Millions of years have passed since the times of legends, when the worlds of man and gods were still the same. In these times it was the desires of man that moved the world. It is the period of the 500 year war: the Era of Warring States. Kingdom is the story of a young boy who grew into a great general and all the trials and bloodshed that led him there.
In 2013, Kingdom was awarded the 17th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Grand Prize.
On December 12, 2012 the series won a Guinness World Record for manga written by the most people. The record was made possible due to its "Social Kingdom" Campaign where artists, fans, and voice actors redrew the entire 26th volume. Each of them picked 1 frame and redrew it and the top 100 would be given a special edition of the manga. Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Hirohiko Araki (JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken) and many others were among the participants.
The community for this manga isn't very active on here so I thought I'd do my bit and promote this manga by writing the first review.
The story itself isn't novel, it starts off normally in a cliché manner with two war orphans who dream of becoming the greatest generals in all of China. The appeal of this series isn't due to originality but more to do with the investment you feel with the characters.
There are a number of characters that have been introduced so far and had their pasts explained in some detail. This is definitely a series where a lot of focus
has been placed on character development and this aids immensely with the story telling. Each arc that goes by sees not only the main character mature and develop but it also provides an opportunity for other characters to be put under scrutiny and more information about them to be brought to the fore.
This is a manga about a kid who wants to become the greatest general in all of China and so as you would expect the theme of battle is heavily prevalent throughout. These battles are fascinating to read about and there is a large amount of strategy involved which always keeps you on your toes regarding the outcome and the direction the story will turn. This isn't just a case of one overpowered enemy beating another and through some magic the character suddenly powers up like a typical Shounen title but the characters have to earn their stripes. The battles are where the personalities of each character really shine.
Of course one has to suspend a certain amount of belief when reading any such title as you would constantly think that how would such and such survive in this situation but then by the same token reality is often stranger than fiction and I would say one of the reasons I really like this manga is that it is a lot more realistic and believable although exaggerated at times.
The pacing of the story is done well and each chapter so far has been good value. This series is extremely solid in that the story told might not be original but the way is fantastic for the genre.
The story and characters can only be put to life through the artwork, and I have to say that the artwork for this is very very good. Everything is drawn extremely well and cleanly, battles (which a lot of the manga is focused around) are extremely enjoyable to read and there is absolutely no issue understanding what is going on from panel to panel. This is the highest compliment I can pay to any series as this is my biggest problem with a lot of other manga with difficult if not impossible to follow battle scenes which really detract from the overall experience.
I really quite like the art style of the author with realistic character drawings, really cool drawings of large battles and a good range of characters with variations.
I'm really excited about this series going forward as the character development, the potential direction the story is going to go in and the upcoming battles all leave me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next chapter in anticipation.
This reminds me heavily of Feng Shen Ji although that is more the fantasy route but I became addicted as soon after a few chapters in and this has become one of my favourite series which I am always checking on updates for.
This is definitely one of those series that just needs a bit more publicity and thoroughly deserves it's high rating on here.
I've always been a bit puzzled as to why Kingdom isn't any more popular on this site. Despite having been publishing on a consistent weekly basis for nearly a decade by now, and despite being one of the highest rated manga on MAL, I still essentially never see anyone talk about it. It almost feels like people aren't even aware that it exists. I think this is very unfortunate, because they're missing out on what is perhaps the most inspirational manga I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
The story takes place during the Chinese Warring States period. After a full 500 years of constant warfare
between the various states of China, the bloodshed still shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. It is here our story begins with a young man named Shin who has the naïve dream of becoming the greatest general in all of China. After accidentally becoming involved in a conflict over the royal throne of the state of Qin, he eventually ends up serving under the new young king who has the ambition to one day unite all of China under one banner.
As a result, Kingdom is a manga of epic proportions, containing large scale warfare with hundreds of thousands of soldiers, advanced military strategizing and incredible intensity. The battles are long and complicated, but perfectly understandable as the author's style of writing is extremely detailed and also utilizes tons of tactical maps, overviews and time jumps to explain the flow of combat. It's intelligent but without requiring much from the reader in order to keep up with the plot.
At the same time Kingdom also has extremely in-depth national politics and diplomacy between nations, further enhancing the overall sense of realism. Speaking of which, it should be stated that the manga is in fact based on true events and characters from Chinese history. Of course it's only loosely based on it as the historical records only dictate *what* happens, but the author is the one who decides *how* it happens. In other words he manages to create a story which is perhaps exaggeratedly epic, yet still never contradicts the actual true events.
The best part of Kingdom however is undoubtedly the characters. The story covers many years of time, and thus you get to see how everyone gradually grows and evolves over the course of time in very high detail. There are hundreds and hundreds of notable figures in the story, consisting of generals, commanders, soldiers, civilians, politicians, royalty and more. Especially the main military figures are superbly written, with incredible charisma and all with their own individual traits. The vast majority of them are almost impossible to dislike, regardless of which state they may come from. The amount of color they bring to the battlefield simply cannot be understated, and it feels like they're not just raising the morale of their respective soldiers in the manga itself, but the morale of the readers as well. At the same time, some of the death scenes in this manga are some of the most tragic and emotional death scenes I've ever seen in media. When one of your favorite characters passes away, you will truly feel it. Furthermore, the sheer amount of inspirational and downright moving speeches throughout the course of Kingdom is simply astonishing. The author truly knows how to touch the hearts of the readers with the way he's written the story. I really cannot praise him enough for it.
The art is extremely high detail and helps to amplify the level of intensity of the story. Especially the armies and the battlefields look simply fantastic and sometimes it makes you feel like you're really there. While it may not exactly be on the level of something like Berserk in terms of visuals, it's still more than enough to appropriately showcase the cold and harsh reality of the field of battle, and deliver that atmosphere to the readers first-hand.
Kingdom has some very long arcs occasionally during the more drawn-out battles, and I'll just say here and now that when you're in one of those segments, it's effectively impossible to stop reading it. Why? Because every single chapter ends in a huge cliffhanger! This is one of those stories which just keeps teasing you and forces you to keep reading the next chapter. And the next one. And the next one. And the- ...you get the idea. Point being that despite it having over 400 chapters published at the time of writing this, you can still easily read through all of it in just a few days, no problem whatsoever. It's just *that* addictive once you start.
Overall, in my eyes Kingdom is a manga which seriously needs more attention. I'm still not sure exactly why so few people have read it, but I really wish more people would give it a chance because it truly is one of the most influential and impressive manga out there. It stands out as a very atypical manga to begin with, but above all it is exceedingly rare for a story to be so action-packed, so intelligent yet so incredibly emotional all at the same time.
I was confused after seeing that the manga "Kingdom" didn't have that many reviews, considering that it is ranked in the top 10 manga on MAL; hence the review, as it deserves more attention. The title of the manga does not seem interesting at first glance, which is a shame, as it actually is much more intriguing. Kingdom is a military seinen manga, based on true historical recordings, enhanced with a lot of action and drama.
The story itself appears to be generic and nothing new at first glance - an orphan,young boy called Xin, who aspires to become a great general, meets the young emperor
Piao. This is of course not as simple as it sounds: military conquests, political strive, drama and death will be the fate of these two protagonists. The narration is well presented, gradually improving as the story progresses, while at the same time managing to introduce suspense as well as enabling the reader to immerse himself in the story. The pacing of the story is slow, at times, but improves over time. Readers may find the beginning of the narrative slow, as the author dedicates it to explore the motives of the characters, as well developing them; nevertheless, the reader will be rewarded with a good and well paced story, progressively becoming more interesting as it continues.
This applies to the battles that take place too: these don't only consist of raw fighting. It is bundled together with clever warfare. These are explained very well, which gives a good insight on how warfare was executed in that period. The clever narration together with the military strategies gives a feeling of realism. However, there is a problem involved with the military warfare. Important figures such as generals or the main characters are ridiculously overpowered, often making strategies on the battle fields pointless, partially destroying the realistic touch it created. Nevertheless, battles not involving these were well executed.
The story is not entirely focused upon the main characters. Through background stories of other characters, it manages to maintain the reader interested, as well as building and showing the world of current China. When Kingdom isn't focused on military warfare, it presents slice of life moments. One lacking aspect was that it didn't focus on developing characters.
The cast of Kingdom is big, but the reader is introduced to a handful characters in the beginning; however, as the story develops, a lot of characters are introduced as wars extend to a larger scale. This leads to a problem; a big amount of characters lack depth and are a bit generic. This does not mean that all of them are uninteresting, as for example the emperor or other secondary characters have quite an interesting background, which makes it possible to understand the decisions and motivations of the characters.
Taking as example Xin, who wants to be the greatest general of all China. This character is the usual shonen stereotype, hard-working, dumb, and ridiculously overpowered when it comes to very dear situations with power ups without too much training. This breaks the gradual character development I personally like to see, besides of loosing credibility. Nevertheless, this didn't bother me that much, as the story already since the beginning hinted at this.
As for the secondary characters, back ground stories would have been desireable in order to understand their actions and motivations. For example, the "enemies" of the protagonists are shallow, and have no real purpose other than being the enemy. Most of them are suggested to be very famous; more information on the why and how they were so famous would be enticing as well. This will probably be explained later on, but this remains yet to be seen.
Let me begin by saying that the art of the characters at first glance are not that appealing; however, I found it a very nice change to the current design of characters of the current mangas, which are all very similar.
The art style fits really well with the era in which it takes place: The era of warring states. The style does not evolve significantly over time, but the way how combat scenes are drawn does. One thing I liked are the angles at which the scenes were drawn: this gave a good insight on the magnitude of the battle, as well as making it more interesting for the reader.
Backgrounds, when drawn, are well done and at times spectacular. nevertheless, there is often a lack of backgrounds on scenes and panels, which would be desirable to fill that white void. However, this doesn't hinder the story.
After finishing the anime, it left me intrigued on how the story continued; however, I began reading it from the beginning in order to not miss a single thing, and I must say, it was very well worth it. I generally like reading military/historical mangas, and so far I must say Kingdom is one of the best I have read so far. From the impressive story, the epic battles with clever explained military strategy to the different and outstanding art, as well as the amount of characters that were presented, Kingdom is definitely one of my favourite mangas.
So if you are interested in military/historical mangas, want a change on the other mangas that are out there, or even just want to enjoy very well drawn battles with the story of how Xin becomes a general, I can definitely recommend Kingdom. Don't expect deep political battles, in that case it is recommendable to read The Ravages of Time.
So, this is the first review for me so some things may not sound as good as the ones you've seen!
The community for the Kingdom manga isn't that big at all and I hope it can expand with a bit more hype!
As you've probably read the synopsis for the Kingdom manga already, you've realized it sounds simple and not as enticing, but you're completely wrong! Kingdom completely expands then blows away those expectations you had for the manga in general. The story consists of multiple Chinese based wars and a shifts in internal politics and in which each war plays
an important role for the progression of the story which is critical in this manga. This manga also brings no irrelevant factors in anything such as "Power ups" or "Shonen like features", this is a near realistic manga that relies on real old war tactics in order to succeed,but the author mixes those tactics with a new kind of complex offensive tactics that will highly surprise you! Though there may be a bit of supernatural features, it actually makes complete sense in the plot and even creates conflicts once those "supernatural beings" appear. As you know already it's a war-based manga set in the Warring States Period,and as in war there will be great casualties on one side or both. Major will happen and I won't explain it here due to spoilers.
The characters in Kingdom are amazing! Most characters and mainly the main characters in Kingdom and especially the big name generals past or present have very good character development and has their own goal for the future no matter what opposition is in there way. Also, it doesn't matter who it is in the 7 states of China, by the time you're updated, you're going too love either at least more then one general, main characters, commanders, diplomatic's, nobles, supernatural beings or outside oppositions. Multiple characters in Kingdom have there own sort of personality that doesn't fully bloom unless they're in the mist of battle no matter if it's strength, strategy or character development or internal conflicts itself, but at the end of the war itself, it feels like they've grown more. Also, each state of China has very diverse generals and men that are under them no matter who it is, they bring up difficult melee battles or strategic battles that are fairly interesting! Also, the author bases most characters from Kingdom from actual famous Chinese generals from the 7 States Warring Period dynasty of Chinese's history, but adds a little "flavor" to a wide variety of characters that change there way of thinking during wars and proceed boundaries outside the box.
The art in Kingdom has actually one of the best art I've seen. It's completely clean and detailed which is highly essential for a manga like this. Once you start reading and continuously start to get addicted, you'll notice the art becomes very detailed which I highly guarantee you you'll be shocked at how much time and effort Yasu puts into this manga. The art for the individual decisive battles is also what makes Kingdom so diverse and gives it to be an amazing manga!
I fully enjoy this manga to the point that it actually gets me hyped for the next chapters which only a certain amount of manga's can do to me right now. Kingdom brings a very interesting way of enjoyment through what the characters do themselves and bring excitement to the story before they begin huge battles with the voices of what the generals, commanders and the king of Qin which raises everybody's morale's astonishingly high!
Overall, Kingdom is a phenomenal manga that needs actually needs to get way more hype! This manga brings almost every variety of elements a manga can do and smoothly impress us beyond boundaries. I've also been updated on Kingdom for a good amount of time and I rarely see any bad criticism to this manga which is pretty rare considering everybody has different sorts of tastes. Now that you're done reading this review, GO READ KINGDOM NOW BRO!