Home » Anime & Manga » The Apothecary Diaries Anime: Wiki, Main Characters & Plot (2023)

The Apothecary Diaries Anime: Wiki, Main Characters & Plot (2023)

If you haven’t heard of the Apothecary Diaries yet, you are missing out on a lot: great art, storyline, characters, and plot twists. With the upcoming Fall 2023 anime adaptation, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with this great gem and maybe catch up on the manga. We assure you won’t regret picking it up!

The Apothecary Diaries, or Kusuriya no Hitorigoto as it was known originally, is a historical mystery light novel by Natsu Hyuuga. The light novel has been adapted into two manga series, one illustrated by Minoji Kurata, licensed by Square Enix, and the other by Nekokurage.

TOHO Animation STUDIO and OLM are the studios behind the soon-to-be-released anime. The official Twitter account has announced that the first season will run for two-cours. With great names behind it, like Norihiro Naganuma at the helm as the director, Satoru Kousaki and Kevin Penkin on the soundtrack, and Akinori Fudesaka serving as assistant director, the anime is sure to bring the source material justice.

Before the release of the anime, let’s go over the important details of the series. This article will cover all the important parts, including the main plot and characters.

The Apothecary Diaries: Wiki

The Apothecary Diaries is set in a fictional country called Li, highly reminiscent of ancient China. In the East, there exists a huge empire ruled by the emperor. The emperor has a separate sprawling complex for his consorts and all the women serving them, the rear palace or what is called the “Harem” or “Hougong.”


All the dazzle of shiny clothes and stifling makeup cannot hide the main purpose of the harem, which is to produce children for the emperor.

Entry of male members is strictly forbidden apart from the emperor, his family, and those known as Eunuchs.

It is established at the beginning of the story that the women servants entering the harem don’t always do so out of their own violation, as Maomao was kidnapped on his way to gather herbs. The literacy rate is also low among young maidservants, and those literate hold higher positions.

Several consorts hold high positions inside the Harem. Two of the most influential ones are Lady Gyokuyou and Lady Rifa. Lady Gyokuyou holds a more relevant role in the manga as the one under whom Maomao comes to work.

I. Plot and Story

Maomao, an unassuming young girl who worked as an herbalist in the entertainment district, gets kidnapped and made to work in the rear palace. Not wanting to bring more benefit to her kidnappers, she decides to lay on the low and escape when the opportunity arises.

Alas, the young 17-year-old possesses farsightedness far beyond her years. Her extreme curiosity and sense of justice lead her right in the middle of the “curse” afflicting the imperial heirs. Three of the emperor’s children have already passed away, and everyone has deemed it to be a curse.

Currently, two of the consorts have children; Lady Rifa with the 3-month-old male heir and Lady Gyokuyou with the 6-month-old princess. After hearing about the consort’s ill condition, Maomao is able to deduce the cause.

Maomao Thinking

To prevent drawing attention, Maomao tries to resolve the matter secretly by leaving a secret letter in the two ladies’ room. Rifa, after ignoring the warning, ends up losing her child.

But Gyokuyou heeds the warning and is able to prevent a tragedy. A handsome eunuch named Jinshi, who seems to be frequently around Gyoukuyou, assures her that he will find the source of the warning.

Jinshi’s tricks work, and Maomao finds herself being at the receiving end of Gyokuyou’s gratitude. Gyokuyou promotes Maomao to be her personal attendant, or rather, her food tester. But having a penchant for poisons and being somewhat of a mad scientist from a young age, she welcomes the opportunity.

Maomao, Jinshi, and Gaoshun

Maomao is soon back to brewing potions and…solving the palace mysteries. Along with Jinshi, what kind of big palace secret will they reveal? And who exactly IS the mysterious, conniving, but charming eunuch who has Maomao wrapped around his fingers?

II. Main Characters

Let’s move on to some of the main characters of the series. Since this is only an introduction, we will only include characters that will appear in the first season and are highly relevant to the overall plot.

  • Maomao


The main protagonist of the series. Her keen sense, intelligence, and insightful knowledge of herbs, illnesses, and poisons lead to her solving the string of mysterious events in the inner court along with Jinshi.

Keen readers may have deduced already that the title, “The Apothecary Diaries,” mainly refers to Maomao being an apothecary.

  • Jinshi


Deuteragonist of the series, Jinishi is a cunning and charming ‘eunuch’ who was assigned to work in the Harem by the emperor. He is highly intelligent and the source of Maomao’s constant headaches.

Jinshi has an air of mystery in the first of the series and, indeed, has a secret identity. For the sake of keeping this article relatively spoiler-free, we will let the watchers see it unfold in person.

  • Lady Gyokuyou

Lady Gyokuyou

The consort of Jade Palace and the emperor’s favorite concubine. She holds great influence over not just the harem but even the court. After Maomao saves her daughter, Rinrii, Gyokuyou takes a liking to her. She is incredibly kind, though she has a mischievous side, often teasing her attendants when the opportunity arises.

She later becomes the empress after marrying the emperor.

  • Lady Rifa/Lihua

Lady Rifa

The Able consort of the Crystal Palace, she is the second most favored consort in the Harem and thus holds great influence. After her son’s death, she also becomes bedridden. Maomao later finds the cause of his illness and cures her back to health.

Contrary to her initial appearance, Rifa has a humble and kind soul. She cares deeply about everyone who serves under her.

  • Gaoshun


Gaoshun is Jinshi’s assistant. Maomao considers him as someone who works hard. He is in charge of various tasks in the inner and outer palaces. He aids Jinshi in almost everything.

Gaoshun takes the brunt of all of Jinshi’s antics. The stress that this poor soul holds is very much visible through the wrinkles on his forehead.

Do small things with great love.

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