The Twelve Kingdoms(十二国記, also known as "Record of 12 Countries")tells several stories from the world of the Twelve Kingdoms, located on several islands accessible through magic. On the islands, magic works and societies similar to classical China exist. While the inhabitants of the Twelve Kingdoms are aware of the existence of our world, the reverse is not true.
Each of the Twelve Kingdoms has a kirin, a mythological beast who first selects and then serves the monarch of his or her kingdom. It can also assume human form. Though only a few rulers and kirins are in the main focus of the story, many are encountered in the series and play a significant role. The anime focuses on the Kingdom of Kei and the events surrounding it. Several of the other countries are introduced, the most prominent being Kou, En and Tai
, while Kyou, Hou, Sai and Ryuu
play a minor role compared to the other three.
In the role of the main character, Yoko Nakajima, a Japanese girl who is suddenly transported to another world and eventually discovers that she is the empress of the kingdom of Kei.