I have no idea why I decided to pick up the raws for this anime. In fact, I have no friggin idea why I decided to pick up a raw in the first place. The only japanese I know is that which I unconciously picked up from two years of anime-watching. I think I’m just going to blame impatience. I’ve been waiting for this show for a while, and still no fansub group decided to pick it up.
Anyway, this is what I managed to understand: we have a girl, named Siurei (I think that’s how you spell it, please correct me if I’m wrong) who works as a grade-school teacher. She also plays a japanese violin-like instrument, I forgot its name for a bit, with which she tries to get a job. She plays horrible, so she isn’t much of a success. Afterwards, she complains to her boyfriend/friend/future boyfriend/servant/brother/whatever (whose name is apparently Seiran) about how she has to live in poverty all the time, that she hates being poor, et cetera.
When the two of them get home, they are visited by a strange old man, who has an offer for Siurei: she has to work for him, in excange for a fairly large amount of money. If I had to take a guess… it would either be five thousand, or five hundred Ryu, as the man holds up five fingers when he says the amount. Siurei is so stunned by this, that she accepts.
There are some catches to this, though. I still haven’t figured out which, but they aren’t pretty. Anyway, once appointed, it seems to me that she aquired quite an important function, as everyone seems to respect her and is in awe of her. A small girl, probably named Kourin, comes to bring her tea. She trips and falls, spilling tea all over her. Siurei comforts her. I guess that we will see this girl more often.
We then switch to two bishounen, one seriously annoying the other, to the point of yelling. Then Siurei comes across them, the three introduce themselves, and she brings them some lunch. Aparently, there’s only one thing that she can make, though she seems to be very good in this. She then takes some kind of book and leaves.
We then switch to Siurei in a small forest of sakura, awed by the beauty of them. She then meets up with another bishounen, and instantly begins to feel something for him. When she asks for his name, he gives a fake one, as it appears to be identical with one of the two bishounen featured earlier. She lets him have some of her lunch, and then she leaves. The screen zooms out, we see a couple of old men talking and the episode ends.
I think that Saiunkoku Monogatari has lots of potential. After all, its total amount of episodes consists of 39, and the first episode already features a lot of progress. I also like the art, it’s one of the cleanest I’ve yet to see, not to mention the great costumes. It doesn’t beat Tales of Phantasia, though. The music also is very fitting, it conists of ancient japanese musical instruments, which play about half of the episode. A bit too little, though, but it could have been done a lot worse.