The Twelve Kingdoms (十二国記 ,Jūni Kokuki?, also known as "Record of 12 Countries" or "Juuni Kokki," a common inaccurate reading) is a series of light novels by Fuyumi Ono. The first entry in the series ("The Shadow of the Moon, The Sea of Shadow") was published in Japan in 1991; the last volume was released in 2001. The series was published by Kodansha and contain illustrations by Akihiro Yamada.
The Chinese mythology-influenced books were adapted into an animated television series in 2002. The Studio Pierrot production aired on Japan's NHK from April 9, 2002 to August 30, 2003, totaling 45 episodes.
The novels are licensed in the United States by Tokyopop and the first volume was released in hardcover in March 2007 as part of their Pop Fiction line. The entire anime series has been released on DVD in the United States by Media Blasters. ~wikipedia