Brains to the rescue

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 July, 2007, 12:00am

Saiunkoku Monogatari (TV)

Political intrigue, assassinations and conspiracies abound in romantic period drama Saiunkoku Monogatari (Tale of the Land of Many-Coloured Clouds) where a young girl tries to change the world.

Saiunkoku Monogatari was originally a series of novels by Sai Yukino, with a manga adaptation illustrated by Kairi Yura.

The anime version was produced by Madhouse Production who are responsible for many hit anime shows including Bomberman, NANA, and the highly acclaimed Tokyo Godfathers.

The story takes place in a fictional fantasy world reminiscent of ancient China, made up of eight provinces each named after a different colour.

Our heroine Kou Shuurei is the daughter of the poor imperial court librarian. Although it is a well respected position, it is badly paid.

The Kou family, especially Shuurei, is well loved in the community because of their generosity. During a famine which lasted several years, they gave food and shelter to those who needed it.

Shuurei lost her mother when she was young, so has helped run the household ever since. She does odd jobs as well as tutoring the poor children of the city.

Shuurei longs to take the imperial examinations and become a court official to help the poor. But women are forbidden from taking the exam.

A chance for Shuurei to earn a lot of money arises when she is asked to tutor the lazy 16-year-old Emperor, Shi Ryuuki, in state affairs.

But even with her beauty and brains, can Shuurei survive the scheming around her and turn Shi into a responsible ruler? Will she finally become a court official?

Watch the drama unfold at on the Animax channel at 10pm every Thursday from August 16.