AN: For this review I’m going to try something different instead of the long reviews I’ve been doing up until now I’m going to do a shorter review less spoiler heavy so that you are able to watch the manga and watch the anime without the spoilers. I’m going to apply that to the movies too which won’t mean I won’t do long full of spoilers reviews when I feel like it.
Author: Yasuhisha Hara
Magazine: Weekly Young Jump
Directors: Jun Kamiyama (S1) Akira Iwanaga (S2)
Original Network/Licensed by: NHK BS Premium; Funimation (North America)
Run: June 4 2012 – March 2 2014
So today we are going to talk about Kingdom a manga is set in ancient China around the time of the first Emperor. It’s a manga I like, I won’t tell you how much since that’s for the end of the review. I like it because I love History and as such I like any media that has to do with it as long as it’s good of course and the history is well told.
“The Story of Kingdom tells the story of Shin a young orphaned boy in the Ancient Chinese State of Qin who lives in the village chief’s house almost as a slave (or without the almost, along with his best friend Hyou. Both children dream of being Great Generals under the heavens and practice relentlessly to achieve their goal. When Hyou is “adopted” by a noble and taken to the palace it seems he is closer to their goal than Shin is but when he is killed during the struggle for Qin’s throne Shin begins his quest to become a great general, fighting many battles making powerful friends and allies and sometimes even more powerful enemies”
The manga (and by extension the anime) is supposedly based on the life of real life of Li Xin a real life general of the Qin Dynasty. Although I can safely say that it is a loose adaptation although many of the events that happen in the manga happened in real life although in some cases a little differently than how it’s told, some others were added for the sake of the story.
Opinion: I really like this manga and its anime adaptations, the story is really good and really well told if I had to pick a flaw it would be the pacing of the story as it sometimes feels a little slow for me. Having said that I must say I like the story for the most part so the moments when it feels slow I don’t mind them as much.
The main characters are really likable and easy to root for, three-dimensional and mature throughout the course of the story. The Emperor’s character Sei (this manga’s counterpart of Qin Shi Huang, you could argue he has been whitewashed a little from how history depicts him but he still feels like a King, he has the ambition and the drive to unify China and isn’t afraid to make difficult decisions or face against political rivals not having much mercy against them, although he displays mercy with others.
This manga doesn’t shy away from sometimes showing the cruelty of war and show that there in every side there are good and bad people. It also shows or sometimes just implies the darker side of the politics of the era and the infighting within the court which I really like.
The animation on the anime and the artwork on the manga start really similar to one another, at first I didn’t like them at all but as the story went on not only did I begin to care less about that flaw because the story was so good I couldn’t stop reading or watching but it gradually improved over the course of the manga and the anime.
So is Kingdom a Five star manga and anime? Sadly no, but I award it with Four well-earned stars out of Five. Definitely read it or watch it (Whatever you prefer) when you have the time. And now I leave you with its first opening uploaded to YouTube by Itsnot Akingdom, the title is “Pride” and the artists “Nothing’s Carved in Stone” enjoy.