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The Story of Saiunkoku, Vol. 1

(The Story of Saiunkoku #1)

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,275 ratings  ·  78 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 neer-do-well ruler to govern.

Shurei enters the
...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by VIZ Media LLC (first published June 26th 2006)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  3,275 ratings  ·  78 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
...more
Estara
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, read-in-2011
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
...more
nidah05 (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.
Ren (A Bookish Balance)
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars

The Story of Saiunkoku follows a young woman named Shurei, who comes from a poor family of noble birth. Her kingdom is ruled by a seemingly incompetent emperor, who does not want the throne. She becomes consort to the emperor and is tasked with motivating him to properly govern his kingdom.

After this first volume, I have some pretty high hopes for this series. Shurei is an extremely likeable and capable protagonist, and I love how intelligent she is. I'm also quite a fan of Ryuuki he
...more
Jane
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
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 neer-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
...more
Sesana
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.
Ipshita
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.
Kati
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!
Snail
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
...more
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
...more
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.
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.)
Arthur
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
Alejandra
Nov 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This review is for all 9 volumes.
I had very little idea of what this was about, other than it was recommended for fans of shoujo fantasy, and the cover hinted at adventure in a vaguely historical setting. While this is set in a fictional East Asian country, it is more like historical fiction than fantasy. The story follows Shurei Hong, a teenager of noble birth whose dream is to become a civil servant, but as this path is forbidden to women, she instead works as a teacher as well as an
...more
Rachel
First off the art is gorgeous and the backstory are fascinating (based on a Chinese tale I think, though the characters are Japanese). The main storyline is easy to understand. A down on her luck noblewoman, Shurei the daughter of the state archivist, is a teacher and is selected by a member of the ruling council to assist the newly minted emperor in properly ruling. He is 19 and she is 16. She is getting paid a lot of money to do this and plans on using the money to restore her family's home, ...more
Julia
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)
...more
Christina
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 ...more
Kristina
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JW
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
This series is one of my favorites. The rating is for the overall series since I cant 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.
...more
Erika Sarutobi
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This series is just so close to my heart and I am finally reading the manga.

Everything is almost the same as the anime but the anime contains more detailed and extra scenes. I prefer Shuurei's outfits here since they're always different. The extra chapter was cute and hilarious.
Shin'itsirou Futono
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exellent!!
R
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story!! I can't wait to read more!
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.
Amanda Setasha Hall
An older manga and not really a unique storyline, but it's cute so far and the art style is decent.
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.
Nore
Oct 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: manga
I read the first three volumes of this, and I decided not to read any more because I literally can't tell anyone apart.
Christine
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Its all about feminine. The protagonist is a young woman has carefree personality, smart. And it shows us that a woman wont lose with a man. Instead some men adored her. ...more
Strona po stronie
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful drawing style! Perfect with some background erhu music.
Mary
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga, library-reads
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.
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong author name on Kindle editions 2 15 Nov 19, 2020 11:21PM  
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

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