( Twelve Kingdoms volumes 5 and 6. Spoilers. )
In the first or second episode, Rokuta's shown going into a building with green pillars, looking for Shouryuu. A few episodes later, it's revealed that buildings with green pillars are always brothels. Not that you couldn't guess, since Shouryuu's sitting on a bed with a woman drinking, but I thought it was a nifty touch.
I've been screencapping the series, and because I don't want subtitles all over everything, I've been watching mostly in Japanese, with occasional changes to the dub if I want to check what's being said. I don't often need to; in the first volume, conversations usually consist of Youko wailing "I want to go HOME!", Sugimoto acting like a total nutbar, and Asano trying not to set either of them off. So I don't often change to English, especially since when I have, I've found that I really don't approve of Youko's dub voice. Most of the others are okay; it seemed like the girl who did Sugimoto is reasonably adept at sounding like she's completely out of her gourd. Asano's voiced in English by the guy who did Hige from Wolf's Rain, which is disconcerting... but not as disconcerting as what happened when I went to the dub for a scene between Rokuta and Shouryuu. Shouryuu's voiced by Crim from the .hack dub. Rokuta's voiced by the guy who did Sora. I giggled helplessly all through the conversation. I like them both, the voices fit fairly well, but it's just.... funny. (And if that didn't have enough crossover potential, the same two did Sano, from RK, and Michael from Witch Hunter Robin, respectively.)
Speaking of screencapping and such, Merc, you want a detailed summary and/or pictures from any parts of the third volume you missed? I will do just about anything to aid people in viewing this series.
There's an interview with the producer on this disc, and while he has some interesting things to say about adapting the novels into an anime, I'll post more about it later. My girl Sugimoto - okay, my batshit crazy girl - is an anime-only character. Apparently they added Asano to give the male viewers someone to identify with... odd, since he vanishes in the first five episodes and has yet to reappear except in visions and flashbacks, twenty-some episodes later.
The producer also noted that he approved of not changing the terminology in the series, and he seemed to approve the dub voices, which he felt matched pretty closely to the originals - more or less true, from what I've seen, though I haven't watched the dub for more than thirty seconds at a stretch and can't say. I just thought it was interesting - I don't often hear creator opinions on the series I like.
Past my bedtime now. I go.