Twelve Kingdoms is one of the best i've seen yet again. i could go so far as to say that it is the Japanese/Asian counterpart to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. it's that sensational. the music, man, it's one of the best things i have ever heard in the entire music industry. it's so touching it could move you to tears on the spot. even just by the Opening theme, the music will already sweep you into another world. (what a coincidence, the ED was performed by the same blind singer who sang both OP and ED for the other anime great, Infinite Ryvius.) the art and animation department doesn't disappoint either. the costumes for each of the kingdom's royalty are so exquisite and detailed.
unlike most anime which adapts from manga, this one came from a series of novels by Fuyumi Ono. i think one of the best strengths of the anime lies in how well it was able to describe and explain to the audience how this alternate fantasy world works, one that is pretty complex. it's interesting enough to keep you hooked and wondering as to how the other kingdoms and their rulers fare, because politics is always a volatile thing.
there's also one other thing that has me strangely drawn to this anime, and it's the relationship between the king or queen to his respective Kirin. the Kirin is an elvish-like creature second to the kingdom's ruler yet at the same time he (or she) bears an authority higher than the king's or the queen's because it is actually he who chooses the ruler since the Kirin is a holy creature representative of the Heavens.
my only issue with this series is that it abruptly stops at episode 45 when the series was slated for 68 episodes. it's because Ono hasn't finished with all the novels yet. be that as it may, the series is still pretty outstanding especially with one major arc that ends at 39. hopefully a completion of the series will be seen in the near future.