The BEST Episodes of The Story of Saiunkoku

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2021

Network: NHK

Saiunkoku is a world of eight provinces or houses, each named after a different colour. The new Emperor, Shi Ryuuki, has gained for a reputation for being uninterested in courtly matters and for flaunting his love for men. Shuurei, although born of the important Kou family, has difficulty making ends meet. She easily accepts an invitation to be the Emperor's concubine in order to turn him into a good ruler. The mysterious Seiran, a young man who was adopted by her father, goes with her as Ryuuki's bodyguard. Entering the imperial palace revives Shuurei's dream of being a court official, and, together with the many companions she meets along the way, continues moving bravely forward while trying to fend off the Emperor's advances.

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Every Good Story Has a Hidden Side

#1 - Every Good Story Has a Hidden Side

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 8, 2006

After being bribed by a high authority from the palace, Shuurei enters the Imperial Palace as the Emperor's consort and unofficial tutor, in keeping her promise to encourage the prince to rise to the responsiblities of the Emperor and to begin taking interest in the country and the throne.

star 7.75
4 votes
Water on a Sleeping Ear

#2 - Water on a Sleeping Ear

Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired Oct 14, 2006

Ensei and Seiran were set free from their prison thanks to Kokujun, as Shuurei and Senya were finally departing after days of waiting, on Shuurei's part. Eigetsu and Kourin were also freed by Kokujun, who volunteered to bring them to Kinka.

star 7.60
5 votes
A Woman's Word is Her Bond

#3 - A Woman's Word is Her Bond

Season 1 - Episode 32 - Aired Jan 6, 2007

Shuurei searches the Sa stronghold for Kokujun and Eiki with some help from Shourin while Sakujun continues to be his creepy self around Shuurei. Shuurei meets with Chuushou and staunchly declares her unwillingness to cooperate with the Sa clan.

star 7.50
2 votes
Meeting is the Beginning of Parting

#4 - Meeting is the Beginning of Parting

Season 1 - Episode 35 - Aired Jan 27, 2007

Seiran's game of death with Sakujun doesn't go as planned, but there are other poisons at work. Shuurei goes to meet Sakujun one last time to retrieve her hairpin.

star 7.50
2 votes
All is Right in the World

#5 - All is Right in the World

Season 1 - Episode 36 - Aired Feb 3, 2007

Shuurei and Eigetsu finally meet the other assistant governor, Tei Yuushun. The recent drama begins to wrap up and settle to a conclusion; Sa Enjun's noble goals also come to the surface. Shuurei and Eigetsu finally make it to the appointment ceremony as Sa Province's new co-governors.

star 7.50
2 votes
Fate is an Inscrutable and Interesting Thing

#6 - Fate is an Inscrutable and Interesting Thing

Season 1 - Episode 39 - Aired Feb 24, 2007

Shuurei and her company in the capital celebrate, but while this is going on Ryuuki and Shuurei must deal with the many emotions coming from the reuniting and plausible separation again.

star 7.50
2 votes
A Frog in a Well Does Not Know the Great Ocean

#7 - A Frog in a Well Does Not Know the Great Ocean

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 15, 2006

Shuurei teaches Ryuuki about daily life by taking him on an excursion through the Imperial City.

star 7.00
3 votes
The Talented Hawk Hides its Talons

#8 - The Talented Hawk Hides its Talons

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 22, 2006

Ryuuki averts an attempt to assassinate Shuurei by drinking the poison intended for her.

star 7.00
3 votes
Casting Pearls Before Swine

#9 - Casting Pearls Before Swine

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 29, 2006

After participating in a swordfighting tournament, Ryuuki discovers his exiled brother Seien is closer at hand than he previously believed.

star 7.00
3 votes
Lacking the Finishing Touch

#10 - Lacking the Finishing Touch

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired May 13, 2006

Shuurei is kidnapped by forces who may or may not be working against the Emperor's interests.

star 7.00
3 votes
Even the Strongest Swimmer May Drown

#11 - Even the Strongest Swimmer May Drown

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired May 20, 2006

The plot against Ryuuki and Shuurei comes to a head as the conspirators are defeated. With her task complete, Shuurei leaves the palace.

star 7.00
2 votes
Wanting to Borrow a Cat's Paws

#12 - Wanting to Borrow a Cat's Paws

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired May 27, 2006

Shuurei returns to her work at the temple school. Ryuuki begins writing a proposal that would allow women to take the official examinations. Ensei Rou, one of Seiran's friends, arrives from Brown Province.

star 7.00
2 votes
The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

#13 - The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Jun 3, 2006

Shuurei disguises herself as a boy to assist the Imperial bureaucracy during a heat wave.

star 7.00
2 votes
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

#14 - Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 10, 2006

The reason bandits have been attacking Ensei Rou is revealed; while acting as temporary governor of Brown province, Ensei angered the local nobility by rejecting corruption and bribes. As he has not passed the official examination required to be a high official, Ensei returns his seal of governorship to Ryuuki. Ryuuki passes a law allowing women to take the official examinations.

star 7.00
2 votes
There is no Cure for Lovesickness

#15 - There is no Cure for Lovesickness

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Jun 17, 2006

Seiran and the rest of the household watch over Shuurei after she catches a bad cold while chasing a troublesome student. Reishin Kou continues to conceal from Shuurei that he is her uncle. Reishin fears that if Shuurei knew his identity, she would hate him as the man who took her father's place as head of the Kou clan.

star 7.00
2 votes
Discretion is the Better Part of Valour

#16 - Discretion is the Better Part of Valour

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Jun 24, 2006

Shuurei comes to the aid of thirteen-year-old Eigetsu, who is attacked by bandits while visiting the imperial city to take the official examination. A local gang challenges the city's crimelords and Kochou, the madam of a brothel and Shuurei's longtime employer.

star 7.00
2 votes
From a Gourd Comes a Horse

#17 - From a Gourd Comes a Horse

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Jul 1, 2006

Ryuuki earns the fealty of the local crimelords by resolving trouble with a gang who had been harassing examinees. Shuurei takes the imperial examination and passes with the third highest score.

star 7.00
2 votes
On a Rock for Three Years

#18 - On a Rock for Three Years

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Jul 8, 2006

After making a bad first impression Shuurei and Eigetsu are ordered to spend their first two months as imperial officials cleaning the lavatory and shining shoes.

star 7.00
2 votes
Children Do Not Know Their Parents' Hearts

#19 - Children Do Not Know Their Parents' Hearts

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Jul 15, 2006

Kouyuu Ri ponders his course in life and his relationship with his foster father Reishin Kou, who took him in on an apparent whim.

star 7.00
2 votes
There are no Devils in the World

#20 - There are no Devils in the World

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Jul 22, 2006

A rumor spreads that Reishin Kou manipulated the imperial examination to allow Shuurei to pass. As Reishin is imprisoned, Shuurei, Seiran and Eigetsu face betrayal by a friend helping the conspiracy.

star 7.00
2 votes
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie or Poking a Bush Draws Out Snakes

#21 - Let Sleeping Dogs Lie or Poking a Bush Draws Out Snakes

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Aug 26, 2006

In retaliation for the arrest of Shuurei and Reishin, the Kou clan goes on strike, causing half of the imperial government to shut down. Shuurei and Eigetsu rush to finish their report before the official inquiry begins at noon.

star 7.00
2 votes
You Can't Hide by Burying Your Head in the Sand

#22 - You Can't Hide by Burying Your Head in the Sand

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Sep 2, 2006

The plot against Shuurei is defeated after she passes a verbal examination before the Emperor and assembled officials with flying colours. Shuurei and Eigetsu's report furnishes evidence against the corrupt Sa clan official who plotted against them.

star 7.00
2 votes
If You Love Your Child, Send Her on a Journey

#23 - If You Love Your Child, Send Her on a Journey

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Sep 9, 2006

Ryuuki appoints Shuurei and Eigetsu as co-governors of Sa Province.

star 7.00
2 votes
Flowers Blooming from Dead Wood

#24 - Flowers Blooming from Dead Wood

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Sep 16, 2006

Seiran recalls the events that led to his exile 13 years ago and the family that took him in.

star 7.00
2 votes
The Wise Know When to Approach Danger

#25 - The Wise Know When to Approach Danger

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired Sep 23, 2006

As Shuurei prepares to leave for Sa province, she, Eigetsu and Ryuuren Ran hear rumours of a ghost inhabiting the imperial palace.

star 7.00
2 votes