The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1
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The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1 (The Story of Saiunkoku #1)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,717 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Shurei Hong, destitute but of noble birth, has always dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court of Saiunkoku, but women are barred from holding office. The emperor Ryuki, however, refuses to take command, leaving everything to his advisors. Shurei is asked to become a consort to the emperor to persuade the ne’er-do-well ruler to govern.

Shurei enters the p...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by VIZ Media LLC (first published June 26th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,778)
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Jeannette
I think this series has real potential. There is a big story here: palace intrigue, hidden identities, a reluctant ruler, as well as a romance or two. And, there are plenty of beautiful men. Clean, beautiful artwork. The heroine slips into "ditz" mode every so often -- the typical chibi comic relief. It's minimal, but also unnecessary.

This is a new series, and I look forward to reading more volumes.
Estara
Of course I was biased to like this version of one of my favourite female empowering animes - which sadly got too little PR in the West due to Pioneer/Geneon suddenly vanishing from the anime publishers list in the US. I was quite grateful that Funimation finished the first series, but the second series was only available in fansubs - and I haven't heard of this world developing a strong fanbase, so I hardly think we shall get it in English.

There are many powerful shoujo heroines, but here you h...more
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
Synopsis:

Shurei Hong, destitute but of noble birth, has always dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court of Saiunkoku, but women are barred from holding office. The emperor Ryuki, however, refuses to take command, leaving everything to his advisors. Shurei is asked to become a consort to the emperor to persuade the ne’er-do-well ruler to govern.

Shurei enters the palace as Ryuki's consort, but he has yet to seek her out. It is rumored that men, not women, share the emperor's bed...more
Joy
In which a destitute but idealistic young noblewoman becomes the emperor's consort in order to persuade him to take on the responsibility of actually governing. (Re-read 10/10/11 to refresh memory.)
Kayt
Shurei Hong is poor, but of noble birth, and has dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court. Alas, women are barred from holding office. However, when the emperor's advisors get fed up with his shirking of duties, Shurei is asked to become a consort and whip him into shape.

I was surprised by how good this manga actually was. Shurei is a likeable heroine--at first she comes off as a bit too stereotypical: fiery, penny-pinching, and crass, but with the first 10 pages we see that s...more
Kate
After reading several positive reviews about this series on some blogs that I follow, I decided to give The Story of Saiunkoku a try. It sounded a little off the beaten track when it comes to shoujo, being centered around politics, specifically women's role in politics, so I was intrigued.

The story is good thus far (I've read through the first five volumes of the story), with good character development and a well-crafted plot with political intrigue set in what appears to be a Chinese-inspired...more
Sinai C.
Ok, after rereading it for a second time...I'm ready to be nicer.
Again, it deserves it's two stars for drawings because it was honestly such a beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL thing to read. The pictures were so elegant and pretty. The illustrator really has so much talent in this area. The men are pretty, the women are pretty, and everything is just...perfect.
Now, after reading it again, I get a lot more of what the plot is supposed to be about. I'm not half as confused as I was before! So bas...more
S. J.
Sep 11, 2013 S. J. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Manga lovers, teenage girls, people interested in manga
Recommended to S. by: Library
My local library is making a liar out of me. I've always said that I'm not a shojo fan (exceptions being Fruits Basket and Ouran Host Club), but I have now found two series in the shojo genre that are amazing and I'll be rereading them for years to come.

This series is set in a fictional (and slightly fantastical) world that draws heavily on particular eras of Chinese and possibly Japanese imperial courts. The main character, Shurei, is the daughter of a noble but poor civil servant working in t...more
Natalie
Ok, where to begin . . . .

Well, I will start by saying that this review will go between volumes 1-5. If anybody knows any online site that goes even further than volume 5, let me know.

Anyway, I guess I should say that as sad as this is I'm still having problems with their names. I can tell the difference between characters but it's just that some names are so similar that when their names are mentioned I'm thinking, who?

Going into this series, I thought I was going to hate it. The idea that this...more
Rasheta
I don't normally give Manga five stars as usually they aren't as amazingly good as this one is. I had seen the anime and rather liked it, but heard that there was more to the story. Taking that into consideration I sought out the manga.

I picked up the manga today thinking it would be like reading the anime, imagine my surprise when it was enough like it I could see the influence of the manga on the anime but it was also vastly different. The Emperor seems like less of a spoiled overly rambuncti...more
Matthew
The story and concept here are great. Shurei Hong is part of a noble family, but a family with serious financial troubles. To help her family's finances Shurei takes a position as consort for the new 19-year-old emperor who seems more intent on leaving all the work to his advisors. Shurei is sent in to give the emperor a better sense of responsibilty and take command of his realm.

It's very character driven with some nice bits of humor worked in. The art---from the girls to the boys to the backg...more
Chrissy
The premise delightful. The execution pathetic.

Honestly this was saved from one star only by comparison with its screen adaptation.
Conflicts feel terribly contrived, and every twist lined up is painfully obivous.
Shurei Hong is the single biggest problem with the story. In a book filled with characters who are forgettable and dull Shurei stands out by sheer force of Sue. She is so very poor, but only by comparison to her station. We are always reminded of her hard work, but are never SHOWN her st...more
Lilly Watts
The series is not finished, so be warned you will be extremely frustrated!
Yy
Feb 22, 2014 Yy added it
انا اعتقد ان الخير موجود دئما حولنا لكننا لا نحسن استخدامة
Amanda Huber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.C. Rivers
Okay, so the storyline really wasn't mind-blowingly awesome. Interesting, yes. But the artwork was gorgeous, and I'm just a flat-out sucker for beautifully drawn manga. Or perhaps just beautifully drawn manga men. I'm not sure which. Whatever the case, I loved the characters and the artwork enough to be spell-bound.
Emmy Lou
A. Freaking. Mazing. It's not often that I come across a manga that I seem to love every single thing about, but The Story of Saiunkoku seems to qualify! The art is beautiful and neat, the story is intriguing, and the characters vibrant.

I wish Shojo Beat would also publish the light novels. :)
Andy
May 12, 2011 Andy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: manga
Very cool! I really loved the artwork in this series and found all of the characters to be quite funny and sweet. I definitely would recomend this book to teens. At times the story was a bit confusing but the overall effect was very good. I really enjoyed it.
Dolores
I really enjoy the pageantry of this series. It's historical in setting with gorgeous clothing and court intrigue, but there is humor and romance to lighten the mood. Great characters too. A series with a bit of everything.
Leah Webber
This story has all my favorite elements. History, fantasy, and some theme of political intrigue, set in a psuedo-Chinese universe, with all the wonderful costuming and traditions that entails.
Christina Allen
This is a great, beautifully drawn series with complex characters and a compelling storyline. It is beautifully romantic and should appeal to those who love a strong yet feminine heroine.
Amanda
I love the heroine's spunk, but I don't care for her political naivete. I like it less and less as the story continues in the other books, but I still read them. So there you go.
Sarah ~Sehrenity~
Interesting story. The beginning has some rocky moments, and there is a tendencey to get prosaic in parts, but the characterization makes getting through the rough parts worth it.
Ipshita
I fell in love with the anime version of this manga. The story is very well-written and full of intrigues and politics, along with the sensuality of blossoming romance.
Sarah Bishopp Velez
Love it!!! Lots of humor, beautiful artwork, and a touch of romance too. Am desperately trying to get my hands on the next volumes.
Mary Devine
I thought at first I was just getting the characters confused... I wasn't... read to figure out what I figured out.
scarlettraces
this is EXACTLY my kind of thing. the execution isn't completely perfect but the energy makes it up for it.
Kerry
Charming, romantic and funny with beautiful artwork. What more can a girl ask for in her manga?
Rossy
May 04, 2011 Rossy marked it as manga-manhwa-shoujo
Loved the 2 seasons of the anime, can't wait to read it and see if it's just as good!
Marina
Beautiful illustrations.Funny.Nice story.Can't wait for more!
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Shoujo Manga Book...: The Story of Saiunkoku Discussion 2 17 Jun 28, 2013 04:41PM  
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Also known as 由羅 カイリ
More about Kairi Yura...
The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 2 The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 3 The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 4 The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 5 The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 6

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