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Born from a much loved, but lowly ranked concubine, Genji Hikaru is called the Shining Prince and is the beloved second son of the Emperor. Although he cannot be an heir to the throne of his father, Genji spends his life surrounded by every pleasure and love. And yet, his one longing in love is something that even the power of an Emperor can never give him.
An anime adaptation of Asakiyumemishi - Tale of Genji, Waki Yamato's historical shōjo manga retelling of the same novel (the Tale of Genji) about a motherless prince and his descendants. The anime celebrates the thousand-year anniversary of the original novel, although the exact date of its writing is unknown.
Includes examples of:
- Animation Bump: The first episode is very different than the rest.
- Anti-Hero: Genji.
- Arranged Marriage: A very common costume at the time. Genji marries Princess Aoi after his come of age, due the high rank of the princess and the relations that his father wanted to build to him.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: In several love scenes.
- Battle In The Snow and the Rain: In the last episode.
- Beautiful Dreamer
- Bedmate Reveal: In the first episode.
- Bishonen: The prince Genji and his best friend To no Chuujo.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Used in different circumstances: Lady Fujitsubo can't tell Geiji that she loves him because she is married with his father; later, she can't tell her husband that she suspects that her baby is not his but his son's.
- Casanova: Each episode is named after one of the Genji's ladies/conquers till episode 8.
- Censor Steam: Since Genji is with his ladies in bed, in several scenes, his nudity (and his partner's) is blurred or darkened. The first sequence of the first episode it supposed to be sexy, but it's so heavy censored that it has the opposite effect.
- Cherry Blossoms: Tons of them!
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Lady Rokujo, one of Genji's older lovers.
- Compressed Adaptation: Inspired by the novel The Tale of Genji, but with half of the book left out.
- Death by Sex: poor Yuugao...
- Empathic Environment: The weather and seasons always reflect the events or the characters' mood. It's always spring (with cherry blossoms) when Genji falls in love with someone new; it's always raining when he is sad and there is a strong storm when he dramatically meets Lady Fujitsubo after spending a long time without seeing her.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": All "names" of the characters are not real names but titles; "Hikaru Genji" means "the Shining Prince of the Minamoto Clan", "Lady Aoi" means "Lady Blue" and so on.
- Gainax Ending: All of sudden, in the last episode, in the middle of several unfinished situations, the whole series ends with Genji saying some Famous Last Words and... that's it. Credits.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Genji is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai also known as Suzaku Kururugi and Cloud Strife.
- Ho Yay: with his friend and brother-in-law To no Chuujo. At certain point they dance together in a spring festival and spend some time after praising each other for their dance techniques.
- I'm Going to Hell For This: surprisingly, Genji says that in the last episode and he sounded sincere. Lady Fujitsubo takes this so seriously that she decides to become a (buddhist)nun.
- It Can't Be Helped: It's the Emperor's reaction when he is informed about the details of Genji's illness (Episode 4)
- It's All My Fault: Lady Aoi's father was really feeling guilty.
- The Jeeves: Koremitsu, Genji's manservant.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After their amorous encounter, Lady Fujitsubo is pregnant.
- Large Ham: Your Highness have the habit to deliver some corny poetry after love making to the astounded lady who accompanies him. A couple of the ladies follows his example.
- Meaningful Funeral: Princess Aoi's, in a day too beautiful to have to bury someone.
- Melodramatic Pause: Several, with variations in the close-up style and the piano tone. Most memorable are the two in episode 5.
- Miko: Lady Rokujo's daughter.
- Mukokuseki: Lady Fujitsubo has dark purple hair and matching purple eyes; several characters, including Prince Genji, have dark blue eyes; Lady Aoi has sky blue eyes and greenish hair; Lady Murasaki has the mostimpossible clear blue eyes.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Lady Fujitsubo and Genji.
- Not Staying for Breakfast: Or for any meal, Genji is always in a rush because of his busy agenda. Some of the ladies weren't pleased, especially Lady Rokujo.
- Oedipus Complex: Lighter than the original novel, but still, Genji is in love with his father's new wife, Lady Fujitsubo, who supposed to be his new "mother".
- Say My Name: Yuugao... Yuugao!! YUUUGAO!!! (episode 3)
- Shotacon: Shota Genji's first kiss with his stepmother when he was only 12.
- Tears of Blood: In this case, blood at Lady Rokujo's mouth with this meaning.
- The Thing That Goes Doink: They live in palaces, after all!
- Upperclass Twit: Genji, of course.
- Victim Falls For Rapist: A soaked wet Genji appears at Lady Fujitsubo's parents house (where she was) in a stormy night right after they had agreed to not see each other anymore and invades the room, assaulting the lady while she cries "we mustn't!" with less and less conviction... and the episode ends. He used the same "technique" with Lady Rokujo.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: All of them to the point of abuse. Tons of cherry blossoms petals falling from dozens of trees! The huge moon shining over the brilliant lake! Birds and birds flying over the blue sky! Dresses colorful as rainbows! Oil lamps shining! Special light and blur effects all over the place!
- Wife Husbandry: Even sometimes referred to as a Hikaru Genji Plan. Lighter than expected, the ending of this chapter was left out in this adaptation.