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The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1

(The Story of Saiunkoku #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,228 ratings  ·  74 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
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by VIZ Media LLC (first published June 26th 2006)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,228 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)
Frankly, the only decent thing I can say about this book is that the art is lovely. The rest...debatable.

For one, everybody is beautiful.

No no, I don't think you fully get this: Every. Body. Is. Really. Freaking. Beautiful.

This wouldn't be much of a problem if all of them didn't look EXACTLY the same. All the men are pretty. All of them have long hair. All of their hair is light. All of them have heart shaped faces. ALL OF THEM HAVE ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME FACE AND BODY STRUCTURE.

That makes di
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011, manga
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
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
I hadn't heard of this before. Even the anime. So I wondered how the manga would be after watching a bit of the anime, which is pretty good. And this volume, I kind of like it. Same with that art style. Characters are interesting or well, the ones that are introduced so far and its only the first volume. Good start though.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this anime when I first watched it about 10 years ago and now I finally found the manga. The beginning is great and I fear a re-watch of the anime is in order, too.
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru

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
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Better than I had thought it would be. I like Shurei, but the story surrounding her just didn't grab me. The art is pretty, but the character designs are too similar overall. Better than average, and I have no doubt that this will find many devoted fans. Not sure I'm going to be one of them, though.
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics-manga
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.
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book. Wonderful art, touching and often funny story... I loved the anime and I'm loving the manga!
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I picked up and read this volume, I didn't know this comic was based on a novel. That accounts for the unusually large amount of text per bubble ratio. (A nice change from many shojo manga, which can sometimes feel sparse in writing and development, generally speaking.) It also may explain the somewhat abrupt and mildly confusing plot shifts (if the manga author was assuming readers were already familiar with plot points from the novel.)

I like the cleanness of the art a lot, as well as the
Sinai C.
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
K.C. Rivers
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga, historical, shojo
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.
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.)
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Not bad. I'm interested in where this manga is going.
It's obvious that the artist is a huge Chinese history nerd. The mc had more costume changes than necessary, but I'm not complaining about it (in fact, the art is the best part of the manga).
I think there were certain parts that jumped around too much. Like non-specific time passing on one page. Or how the emperor's motivation/personality changed drastically over 4 pages or so. (view spoiler)
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have been wanting to get back in this world forever from the anime and i am so glad i did. This manga had a fantastic art style a fresh start to a series and once i got the panels down easy to read. If you are wanting to pick this up as your first manga you can though there are a couple of parts you may need to get some help with the panels. But i love the characters the story and art style immensely so overall i review this manga a 4.5 out of 5 stars because of the panels but also because i w ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series is one of my favorites. The rating is for the overall series since I can’t recall particulars about each specific book.

The main character is strong and likable. She is extremely hardworking as she tries to earn her place in a profession that is traditionally only available to men. Although there are underlying romantic tensions with multiple possible love interests, the focus for me was her journey as she pushed against societal expectations and glass ceilings.
OUAB  (K. DeAnne)
A quarter way through this manga book I had to really think about what was all going down in the storyline. There was a point where I was about to give up on this book, but I pushed through until the very end. Enjoyed this book, but will not continue to the next book.

☾ Age Group: Teen
☾ Angsty? Little
☾ Romance Scale: Building and cute
☾ Graphics: Black and white
☾ Setting of Story: Kingdoms and Royalty
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story!! I can't wait to read more!
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
hard to follow, a lot of unnecessary dialogue

i'd probably read more eventually just out of curiosity but my least favorite in the shojo beat series so far
Kaylabookworm22 L
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read. It got really good in the middle. It is different than what I would normally read but I hope to read more from this series one day.
Amanda Setasha Hall
An older manga and not really a unique storyline, but it's cute so far and the art style is decent.
Shin'itsirou Futono
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Karlie Lucas
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite manga series. I didn't think I'd like it at first, but the story has intrigued me. I can't wait to see how it ends.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-reads, manga
This was all around awesome! Shurei is an awesome character, and I really like the art and presentation. The story is shaping up to be quite interesting too.
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
Amanda McCoy
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
It was okay, but a little over dramatic. I know, manga is always a little overly dramatic, but this one just seemed a bit too much so for my tastes. Though I really did like the artwork.
S. J.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
K. O'Bibliophile
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Mar 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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Shoujo Manga Book...: The Story of Saiunkoku Discussion 2 18 Jun 28, 2013 04:41PM  

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Also known as 由羅 カイリ

Other books in the series

The Story of Saiunkoku (9 books)
  • 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
  • The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 7
  • The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 8
  • 彩雲国物語 9