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.
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!
Kingdom is a series that people like to hype up these days and indeed has a great premise of ancient Chinese warfare that harkens back to wide spanning stories such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms. However, it's poor presentation and repetitive nature causes it to be about as impressive as a second-rate Shonen.
Now, it certainly isn't an absolutely terrible series (though it being rated a 5 and not a 1 should make that obvious). It seems to have some semblance of war strategies and some of the supporting characters do develop as the story goes on to some extent.
The main complaint of the series'
execution lies intertwined with both it's plot and characters, or more specifically, it's main character. Xin is a terrible protagonist as not only is his personality and motivation a typical hotheaded youth wanting to be the best in the likes of Naruto, but the plot armour provided to him is insane for a series that attempts to pass itself off as a historical piece. Not only does Xin outperform and defeat skilled assassins without much real experience, but doesn't even do it through actual tactics and instead just by shouting and overcoming his opponent through willpower as in any run of the mill Shonen. This practically betrays any engaging premise the series could hold as the attempts at strategies and the support characters' roles are made meaningless when the climax of several major battles focus on a kid overcoming challenges by himself without any thought put into it.
It also doesn't help that many of the support characters seem overly interested in Xin's actions or potential without much reason to do so, such as Wang Yi practically entrusting his legacy to him for typical passing the torch reasons within coming of age stories or the young girl having romantic feelings for someone so dense it took them over a hundred chapters to realise they were female.
Now, I can't fully say if the quality has improved since I dropped this work almost 300 chapters in, but if a series takes that long to become more than a typical Shonen in more than explicit content, there's no real reason to view it in any worthwhile light. Yes, some series take a while to get good, but over 300 chapters in is more than pushing the limit.
To get to the point, Kingdom gives too much of a focus to it's protagonist and his Naruto-esque lack of logic to the point it heavily damages the series' overall quality. Overall, this series that is supposedly praised for it's genius is one with such a lack of logic revolving around the centrepiece that it could be insulting to my intelligence.
If wanting a good manga about Ancient Chinese warfare with genius strategies and very little plot armour, read Sangokushi or most Romance of the Three Kingdoms adaptions in general (particularly the 2010 live action series Three Kingdoms) or if wanting a period drama with memorable and well written characters, watch Rose of Versailles.
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.
Main plot: Interesting
I didn’t know much about the warring states period, and find it really great to have a manga talking about the subject. Of course, don’t take what you read for taken, but the manga seems to follow the historical story fairly well. (If you are curious about it, try “kingdom manga history” in your favorite search engine. There is some nice work out there.) Regardless of its fidelity, it’s a nice way to be introduced to the topic.
Story telling: Redundant and cheesy
At first, I quiet liked how the story telling was done. It’s well paced, I
quiet like the humor, and so much stuff is going that you may wish to shorten your night to read more of it. “Just one more chapter… Oh, the sun is rising.”
But the problem is that the story is always told the same way. The worst being battles. Normal soldiers are useless, Generals kill everything, and tactics are there to maintain the show, but have no influence on the course of battle.
Another problem is how things are told. Everything has to be put in a way it’s amazing to read, making dialogues are unbearably cheesy.
You follow Xin, a very simple minded boy, who gets stronger and stronger. He meets other people, who are either as simple minded as him, or so smart everybody is amazed when they talk, even if it’s to say hello. They all kill tons of people and you should find it very cool. The end.
Art: Good drawings, bad designs
I really like the art because, you know, drawings and stuff. Looks nice, there are some details, you see what I mean. Maybe =l. Actually, it gets better the further you read. Faces are a bit weird at the beginning. But I do have a problem with the character design. Strong people are usually twice the size of a normal person, because why not. Many weird faces too. In short, many humans, but many aliens too.
Conclusion: Very strong start, disappointing continuation
I do believe you should give it a try, for regardless of its many faults, it’s still enjoyable to read. But if you don’t like it from the start, you should just give up on it.
Ps: I’m not a native English speaker. If you find mistakes, please tell me so I can correct them.
I'll be doing my first review in honor of this more than awesome manga. I think it's high time it gets the 10 it deserves. I'll be using the Japanese names as the anime is in Japanese and the manga currently translated with Japanese names and it get's too confusing using the Chinese names.
The story is not in itself original. I know what you're thinking, a young boy wants to be a hero, how would that be different from most other popular fighting manga? Well, although it doesn't differ that much, it tells the story in a fantastic way that it really doesn't matter that
it's not the most original story.
The story revolves around the young boy named Shin who is a slave and aims to become the greatest general under the heavens and although he is the main character, you get plenty of time to see other characters and their struggles and they develop in ways you didn't expect which can drastically change Shin's life.
The story is based in real events with real people although there most likely are a few changes here and there to fit the manga.
The characters are really well made. There is only a few main characters and although they might be "main" characters, they are not always around but can be missing (due to various cirumstances necessary for character development) for volumes and you just get to see them in a short bonus or in a "at the same time in another place" type of extra.
The manga introduces character after character (although keep in mind this has been running for quite a while) so there is plenty to keep in check but they also kill off a lot of characters, some of more import than others, to make it easier.
The characters that you get to enjoy are all unique and there isn't a single character that doesn't have a personality and the girls doesn't all have giant plots.
I really enjoy the art style of the manga. In the beginning it was on the verge of being plain to look at but you can clearly see the changes as you read and it's turned into a fantastic thing to look at. As this is a manga about war you will see huge detailed scenarios with plenty of details. Although it cannot quite compare to the awesome style of Boichi's work Sun-Ken Rock, it comes really close.
This is currently my favourite manga (that is currently still publishing) meaning that One Piece / Fairy Tail is being pushed back even further on my list.
This is definitely a must read for people interested in China's (or Japan's) warring states period.
This is one of my all-time favorite ongoing manga series being produced. It seems to be ranked high overall but I think this is a highly underrated manga and the community seems dead or quiet. I hope if you take the time to read this that I will persuade you to pick up this wonderful series. Fans of Vagabond, Berserk, and Vinland Saga should be drawn in to Kingdom.
Kingdom is a historical Seinen based on the Warring States Period in China. A time of constant war between the 7 states of China, it would last for 500 years until a King would unite all the
states under one flag. The author uses information from the Shiji a historical document that covers China’s beginnings, the Warring States Period, and even beyond that. It was written 200 years after the story takes place. The story itself is about 70% fact and the other 30% the author’s touches. I used those percent’s because the Shiji and a couple other documents are the only known forms of written history from this time in China. Not much is known about the exact details in Qin’s quest to unify China, but all the events, people, and wars that were written down in the Shiji are present in the manga and he follows what was written, but the Shiji does not go into great detail into the events so the author had to put his own spin on it to make the story interesting. Besides a few most characters including our main character Xin were actual people, but their background may not be exactly what happened.
-Side note – Most of the characters names in the manga are slightly different due to their being no Chinese characters in Kanji for the author to use. Also most of the names of these historical people use such old characters of Chinese that most citizens wouldn’t know what it means.
*WARNING RESEARCH THE HISTORY OF CHINA AT YOUR OWN RISK IT MAY CONTAIN FUTURE SPOILERS*
I didn’t follow this advice and have been spoiled to the possible events that will happen past chapter 403
The story starts off with our main character Xin (Shin) a war orphan who is a servant along with his best friend Piao. Their dream is to become a Great General under the Heavens. Piao is noticed by a noble and is sent to the capital to serve as the Kings body double. I won’t go more into the story, because I don’t want to spoil it. Some say this arc may be cliché but it’s done perfectly. It will go on to get better and better with each arc. I would like anyone that wants to read Kingdom to have a spoiler free experience.
What makes Kingdom one of my favorite manga’s of all time is the Wars itself. What you expect is just a bunch of fighting with lots of blood and gore. All those things are present, but it does one thing I haven’t seen done yet and that is the strategy and tactics used in war. It is continuously switching between characters throughout battles to give the reader a better understanding of how armies were led. It will go from brutal battles on the front line to the headquarters where the strategists and commanders of both armies are thinking of ways to counter each other. The fighting in the battles are awesome, I believe they are on par with the battles seen throughout the Golden Age Arc in Berserk.
This is where Kingdom excels there are so many characters in this story that you will hate and love. Xin our main character is awesome, he doesn’t care what your rank is he’ll tell you how we feels. He seems to be like your typical main character, loud, obnoxious, and an idiot, but you will only grow to love Xin and the rest of the main characters. I just got to say Ou Ki is a God and you’ll know what I mean later if you read it. The story just doesn’t focus on its main characters there are many commanders, generals, soldiers, and politicians that the story focuses on. There is a lot of character development from this story, the main characters grow and develop in many different ways showing just how far they have come since the beginning. Even some foot soldiers that survive continue to grow and rise up from peasant farmer turned soldier to a glorified 100 man and 1000 man commanders. I could go into so much greater detail about the character development, but I don’t want to spoil the story, just trust me that it is there and is done excellently.
-Side note: There are female characters in this story even on the battlefield so if you think it’s just going to be a sausage fest you are wrong. More than likely the people that some female characters were based on were more than likely men, due to women rarely being seen on the battle field.
The art in this story is hit or miss to some. I think personally the art is good, at times it can be a little cluttered, that could be, because I am reading online since the manga is not published in America. The faces of the characters themselves are always drawn in extreme detail; the emotions they show also are done really well. There wasn’t a moment where I thought the art was terrible and it never turned me off, that could be because the story is so good I looked past it, but I can understand how some could be turned off. However everyone interprets art in their own way so I will let you be the judge.
Overall I believe any fan of Seinen and history buffs should definitely check this manga out. I promise you won’t be disappointed and I suggest reading the first arc in one sitting, it isn’t too long and will grasp your attention. If you love Berserk you will love Kingdom. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you fall in love with this series like I have.
This is My First Review I Hope You Like it,And Sorry For My Bad English(I'm From Egypt).
The Story Of This Manga is From The Kind That makes You Stick in Your Chair.
This Story Makes You Love Wars.
The Story Talks About two Orphans Whose Parents Died From Wars.
The Story Starts When Xin Goes To The Village And Meets Piao.
In Your First Impression You Will Think That This Is A Traditional Story,But When You Get In The Story You Will Think The Opposite,From The Great Things That The Story Takes Place In China That Means That We Will See A Lot Of Action And Bizarre Great Things.
The Things I Hate In The Story That it shows Some new Characters For a Short Time And These Characters Die Without Making Us Know The Character longer time.
From The Things That I Love In The Story Is The Excitement,Comedy,Sad Moments They Are All Perfect in This Amazing Story.
Oh My God! When I See This Art Sometimes I Think That I See Real People Not Drawn People.
I Love This Art Including The Blood,The Killing Scenes,Everything About This Art Is Perfect!!
The Only Thing I didn't Like Is Some Disgusting Drawing That Appeared In The Manga.
Let's Start With The Main Character Xin.
Xin Is Brave,Strong and Bold,we saw him Talk to The King Of Qin Ei Sei Normally,I Like That He Doesn't Fear Anything,and He Got Great Hope And Ambition,I Didn't See Him One Time Having Despair.
The Thing I Didn't Like In Xin That He Kind Of Reckless And That Gets Him In Some Troubles.
and There we see Ei Sei The King Of Qin,This Character I See It's Perfect.
Intelligence (we got it),He Can Fight With a Sword (we got it) and He Is sober(we Got it).
I Didn't Like In Him That He Sometimes Make Decisions that hurts his allies,and he doesn't Care About That.
and there some Great Characters That appeared and had Left a Special Place in our heart Including The Generals,Soldiers,Citizens and People That Made Sacrifices.
As I Read this Manga,I Enjoy Reading Every Page(Saying One More Page) Until I Get The Last Page In The Chapter and I Have To Wait Next Week To Read The Next One,Then Everyday I Can't Wait To The Next Chapter To Come.
All Of That Because The Great Enjoyment Of This Manga.
I Read Another Mangas And I Saw A Lot Of Kinds Of Excitements,But This Manga Had Its Own Kind Of Excitement That Could Be From The Best Kinds Of Excitements Ever.
The Things I Didn't Like That Sometimes We See The Chapter Most Of It Is Speeches And The Rest is Few Action.
I Recommend This Manga To Everyone,And If You Haven't Read it Yet,Just Read It And I Promise That You will read a Legendary Manga that Makes You Love it Forever.
Thanks For Reading My Review,I Hope You Like it.
Have you ever flipped a page of a manga, then suddenly screamed out with a fiery passion that only a shonen protagonist would have after viewing the contents of the next spread?
Then you my friend, are missing out on one of the greatest manga series ever.
Kingdom is a story that follows a certain servant boy, as he rises up to become a great general of the heavens, during the warring states period in China. In essence, you could say that this is your average shonen protagonist that screams a lot and does the impossible, who slowly matures over the course of the story. However, it's
not a story as boring or cliche as that. While the MC might be exactly as you expect him to be, the supporting characters are far more detailed and interesting than you'd expect. They all have their own roles to fulfill on the battlefield, and off it. Therefore, it's not only the protagonist that drives the story, but rather, the decisions that all the characters make. If those decisions contradict each other, that's when conflict occurs.
A noteworthy aspect of the story-telling used in the series is the telling of the story through the perspectives of several different characters. This allows us further insight into the motives of each character, and helps us grow to empathize with them in some cases. By fully understanding the character, we as the audience are then able to fully appreciate the impact of the actions they take. This switching of perspectives can sometimes be unexpected, but so far, I've enjoyed each and every character arc throughout the story. Even if, not all of them go the way we want them to.
The art is super detailed. Everything just looks great. Especially the facial expressions of characters. Whether it's rage, despair, or even comedic moments, you'll be able to clearly tell what characters are feeling just by looking at their expressions. Of course, not every panel is flawless, but the climactic moments of each arc, always are inexplicably detailed.
This is one those manga that you finish reading, then feel motivated to go out and save the world and what not. I just love all these characters so much, and I can't wait for the next chapters to come out. I'm so glad that I decided to give this manga a shot, cause if I didn't, I'd seriously regret my life decisions. You might not feel as strongly as I do about this manga, but for those of you who do, I'm glad that you're enjoying it as much as I am.
To start it off, I have no problem saying Kingdom is one of the greatest manga out right now. With all the incredible writing, breath-taking action, and page turning intensity, you'd think this manga would be more popular. But alas with poor anime adaptions and a lack of a proper English release, I guess this series is destined to remain underground, which is unfortunate because that means so many people are missing out on how truly fantastic this series is.
To give a cliffnotes version of what this story is about. We have an orphan boy named Shin who has a dream of becoming the greatest
general in China. So he goes through many a battlefield with his ragtag group of friends, raking up achievements and getting closer and closer to his dreams of unifying China and becoming the greatest general ever.
Seems simplistic, right? Something you've seen or read a million times? Well you'd be wrong. While the basic premise might be something you're familiar with, the power of any story is in it's execution and what really makes a series unique is how it develops its characters and themes throughout the course of its narrative which Kingdom does brilliantly. This series is set in the Warring States Period of China with is characters and setting based around real history. And while it's basic story beats follow the actual historical timeline, this series is more of a dramatic retelling than a realistic account, something that actually benefits this story greatly(which I'll explain later). So the story follows Shin and his best friend Sei, the current king, as they attempt to do the unthinkable and finally unite China and end the 500 years of warfare that's plagued its land.
Now this story is essentially told through the multiple large scale battles that were key for the state of Qin's unification conquests of China. Somthing which coincides with the dreams of its main cast. This is definitely the selling point of the series as the war battles are some of the most intense and nail biting I've ever seen done in an entertainment medium. Usually when you watch war battles in movies or even other anime, it boils down to essentially each side giving their dramatic speech about glory and honor before they finally charge each other in a mindless blaze of glory as we watch the main characters cut down swathes of enemies in heroic fashion.
While there's nothing wrong with that and can be quite entertaining if done correctly, it never truly sat right with me. It seemed like they were missing a key and important element in warfare that nearly never gets represented in other narratives, which is STRATEGY and TACTICS. While many might bore you in the lead up to the battle with superficial Scrubs type dialogue filled with meaningless "strategic" mumble jumbo that doesn't really mean anything or is even followed up on during the battle itself; Kingdom is the one series that really incorporates strategic and tactical warfare and manages to weave it into its narrative that feels equally fun and engaging in a way that glues you to the page, eagerly exited for what happens next.
The way Kingdom shows warfare in its narrative is very unique and is something that really sets this series apart and makes it special. Each major story arc is based around a large scale campaign which, from beginning to end is a strategic chess match between both opposing generals. A campaign in Kingdom can cover many aspects of warfare from siege battles, guerilla warfare, and just straight up pitch battles where each side faces off against each other on an open plain.
For a series which relies on the success and excitement of each battle, it pulls it off really well. Each campaign arc feels freshly unique, exciting, and tense while developing the characters and theme of the manga throughout. One thing that keeps each battle different and unique is it's emphasis on how much the battle relies on each sides general. In this series a general isn't just some random guy who motivates his troops and gives basic orders. Each general in the series has very unique characteristics and styles of warfare that never feels the same as any other.
Each general approaches a battle differently which is one of the many things that keeps the reader on his toes, never knowing what's gonna happen next. If you read/watched Hunter x Hunter, then you'll absolutely love this aspect of Kingdom. Because just like that series, this mangaka knows how to capture the tactical nuance that involves two extremely intelligent individuals with different approaches to battle trying to figure each other out. While Kingdom doesn't have crazy abilities or interesting super powers, the author does an amazing job at capturing the different approaches each general brings to the battlefield.
If you're still having trouble imagining the sheer amount of epicness that goes on during a Kingdom arc; Imagine the grand scale of One Piece's Marineford arc or a Lord of the Rings Battle sequence, the strategic planning and tactical nuance that goes on in the Hunter x Hunter narrative, and the sheer epicness of the hand to hand combat and warfare carnage of a 300 battle scene.
Yes, that's Kingdom.
Now, what truly sets a series apart from any other is how the series carries out and executes its main themes. It's one thing that Kingdom also excels at. One of the main themes of the series is yes, the generic follow your dreams trope we've seen in many series before it. However like I said before and I'll emphasize now, it's not necessarily the IDEAS that make a story special but the EXECUTION that sets it apart.
With the main character, Kingdom sets up an underdog story about a poor orphan servant named Shin who has big dreams and is willing to put everything on the line for it. Every underdog story needs two main things to truly work; One - you need to feel like they're an underdog and Two - their eventual triumph needs to be worked for and feel believable. These are two aspects that Kingdom definitely hits out of the park.
Shin aims to be a general and not just any general, the greatest general ever. Throughout the series we see many highly intelligent and amazing generals that make Shin look like a grain of sand in the ocean, however throughout each of his campaigns he continually proves to the characters and the reader alike why his dream is not just a dream and something that he is going to make work in a way that is realistic but also manages to surprise and amaze us every time.
However, in that journey of chasing his dreams, manifests another major theme in the manga; what it means to be a general, a man who leads armies, who strikes fear into his enemies but also inspires his allies. Like I mentioned before, each general is different and approaches warfare from their own unique way but one thing that all generals share in common is how important they are on the battlefield and to the soldiers they are in charge of. It takes a lot to get to the point of general, like managing to survive through harsh battlefields, developing trust and comraderie with your men, and shouldering the burden of all those who were lost during your path to glory.
Shin learns all of these lessons through each of his campaigns, strengthing his character as he loses comrades on the way and strives to protect the comrades he still has. Each arc not only adds to the character development but also strengthens the themes of the narrative and makes Shin's dream of becoming general all the more impactful and important to the reader.
The last major theme, shows itself in Shin's best friend and sort of co-main character Sei. He is the current king of Qin(the nation that Shin and co represent) and dreams to end the 500 years of warfare that have plagued China's lands through military conquest. What makes this themes execution amazing is that while at first we are met with the good merits of the dream, ending warfare and bringing peace to the land.
However as you go further in the series the dream gets challenged by the author and the characters alike as they question what that dream truly entails. We soon realize that Sei's dream isn't as virtuous as you may initially think. It involves destroying every other state through a few short years of horrendous warfare in sacrifice for a hopeful centuries of no war in the future. Sei is met with opposition to this idea by kings and officials of other nations whose lives and countries are at stack because of this idea and even members of Qin's court who are horrified by all the death and violence that are going to come when this vision becomes enforced.
This brings nuance and depth to something that very well could've been a black and white, shonen styled dream. It's things like this that make Kingdom the mature and dynamic series that it is.
Another aspect of storytelling that Kingdom nails out of the park is how it crafts it's worlds and how it represents the political and military situations between each state in China. As stated before, the strength of the generals in this series are extremely important to not only the battles but how they represent the military might of their state. It allows you to really understand the strengths of the different states that are vying for supremacy in China.
Just like how One Piece sets up important characters and power groups that represent the different power structures that help hype up future engagements, Kingdom does this as well. It establishes the important and powerful generals and states early on so that when we get to those engagements there's already a level of hype and attachment involved, creating that excitement that Kingdom consistently generates.
With its great level of depth in its warfare and thematic storytelling it also has some pretty damn cool characters. At first glance it's main character Shin may seem like a standard shounen protagonist type with the whole dumbass with big dreams and a heart of gold troupe that we've seen so many times, however, the harsh choices he's forced to make mature realities he faces in this Seinen manga, allows him to be so much more than that. This series has heroic and exciting war battles but it never shies away from the true reality and darkness of warfare. With the nature of this series it really forces a level of maturity and intrigue that you don't really see in the main characters of many shonen series. Many times Shin is forced to develop and mature as he loses comrades, narrowly escapes death, or faces the harsh reality of the murder and rape that follows citizens of conquered cities. He comes a long way from his childish self and it's a journey that's really worth seeing.
I just realized that this review has gone on for way too long, so I'm just gonna wrap it up by saying that the main supporting cast is also fantastic with a lot of depth that complements Shin well. They get enough attention to get you to care but not enough to take away from the story and the generals of the series are some of the most exciting and unique character types that really keep this manga exciting and worth watching.
This is easily my favorite manga and I recommend anyone to give it a chance. Easily the most underrated manga out right now.
What can I say, other than if you enjoy anything related to ancient warfare, and especially China, that Kingdom is one of the best treat that you can get for yourself.
The enjoyment that you will get from this manga is simply off the chart. All you need is a bit of epic music in the background to accompany your reading (I recommend two steps from hell). Do not even bother watching the anime unless you feel the need to appoint some voices to your favourite characters (I do admit they didn't mess that up at least).
Story and characters.
Now, what make this seinen war
manga so good? It's simple, the main forces behind it are characters with enormous charismatic auras, paired with a gigantic scope. Yes, the scope of this manga is also what allowed it to run for so long (more than ten years now).
After all, right off the bat, we are told that the end goal is to unify China. I'm around 500 chapters, and there's still not even a hint of our protagonist to be even close to succeed yet. Of course it's not like they lost sight of the goal, but rather that in order to achieve this goal, the protagonists need some time to grow, each one of them.
So do not even worry about pacing or the manga losing steam because it doesn't.
Most of the characters are stereotyped, but they all feel genuine, and none of them are irritating which is a good point. You can pretty much root for anyone. (apart from a few very bad guys that are just there for the sake of being bad).
Some of the best characters of this manga are actually quite evil to reflect the time period, but even then you still love them, because they're badass.
I would also add that the majority of the characters have plot armour for obvious or historical reasons... so I guess going in without knowing too much about the warring states definitely is better, because sometimes you really don't know if someone is actually gonna get killed in action.
Another thing... what you will witness in this manga is that generals are basically super-heroes. It's actually completely normal, because these periods of china history are pretty much mythical. Do not worry, some components of ancient warfare remain realistic: the tactics, the maneuveurs, the actual time it takes to finish a battle or a siege involving thousands of soldiers. But generals... they will cut down in half men in armour, they will kill hundred of them, no problem. And you will love it.
Now this isn't an art that I had ever seen before, it's typically "round", I guess. But it's still pleasantly good to the eye. And frankly, some scenes are simply breathtaking. "Epic" is probably too weak to depict some of these panels.
I just hope this manga keeps going for another ten years. This is imo the work of at least half a lifetime. The warring states period is no joke, especially since you plan to finish your work when your story has a clear historic end. And to me if after 500 chapters the author still manages to make my heart race, then the next 500 will certainly do the same.
"An eternal struggle by men risking their lives that never come to an end. Good grief, this is exactly what makes these chaotic times so interesting."
- General Ouki
Story: The manga is based on the tumultuous 500 year warring period of China.
It follows the exploits and escapades of young orphan Xin and a young ambitious king Zheng. "Take me to the heavens" is a promise that Xin has vowed to keep by becoming the greatest general under the heavens. The onerous path in front of Xin coincides with Zheng who aims to bring the entire China together. While one has to deal with the connivers and their contrivances inside the kingdom preventing its disintegration, the other has to ward off foreign advances which threatens the peace of the kingdom.
Art: While the art is as good as the rest of the mainstream manga's out there, his art really shines when the author depicts battle scenes. Gore is abound in the manga so read with caution.
Character: Many of the characters are loosely based on historical figures. With the Mangaka introducing a horde of characters it is no wonder if you have to peruse through the previous chapters to recall them. The Mangaka delves into the dark past of the main characters which helps in understanding their psyche. Mentors along the way guide our hero's as they walk this arduous path.
Enjoyment: I am enjoying reading this manga which has an amazing story, awesome art, great character development and well General Ouki's lips...if you know what I mean.
Overall: As I have not read this manga fully I am not sure of how things are going to pan out in the future and thus the score 9. But I am sure that if the manga retains this quality this manga deserves no less than 10.
Kingdom is one of the best mangas that not many people in the West talk about. I'm really just going to discuss key points I think people should know if they want to get into it:
Get past the first arc! There is quite a loud minority that skip out on it, reasonably so (the art, some cliches, etc) but I love it and encourage people to read it. As many first arcs, it is an introductory to the future of this well thought out manga. You will seriously indulge in all the physical conflicts of the manga and those moments of just theorizing and drama.
If anything, the first few volumes is a basis to understanding why some things are the way they are. So yes, please read the first arc, you don't have to read it again if you don't want to!
Many people seem confuse this to a shounen, though it is seinen. I consider it seinen because of the approach it takes to certain issues, considering the manga is based on real historical events recorded in the Shiji. Overall, even though the sex isn't super graphic or expletives aren't common for instance, we are still looking into the eyes of coming-of-age warriors and how they are consuming the changes of their country; as well as the eyes of old wartorn men and women who have seen it all. I can't discuss much on this issue because I don't read shounen as often, but I think it is a manga an adult would appreciate a lot.
Another factor are the women in the manga. Now, I won't go into details, but there are quite a variety a reader will approach as they read through all the arcs. They are all badass in their own ways, even if some are more susceptible or powerful than others. Most moments, though scarce, of sexual activity is quite needed for progress or understanding. Along with this, there is very little romance for our main characters, although hints here and there that emerge (it's sort of to be expected after all). It's well executed. The pacing is awesome when it comes to dynamic.
The issues I would say a person will encounter are the characters at times or the length of an arc. You will definitely see character development, so I wouldn't worry about the pacing as much as getting through some annoyances as much as possible. You will have to be considerate of how lengthy this manga will have to be to capture the entire essence of the Warring States period and our characters. However it is quite manageable, at least for me. Also, you might find yourself asking questions often of "why this" or "how that," but Hara does cover up most holes or gives good or decent excuses for plot devices (some perhaps more questionable than others, heh). Given how this manga is and the state of many good manga today, people usually do have high expectations though. I recommend reading this with average expectations at first, but they may excel at some point.
Lastly, you may cry. The manga doesn't hold back on deaths. You may find yourself asking, "Who will die next?" The speeches too, goddammit!
Anyway. It's either that you wait until chapter 1000 to read this manga because you will oftentimes want to binge right through it; or, start reading it now and join the waiting club.
Overall, I give the story a 10, the art a 10-- it gets much better over time honestly, characters a 9, and enjoyment 11;. Overall, 10.
This Manga is a must watch for anyone who is into motivational, war and power manga. This is my number 1 manga ever. This one manga surpasses all others.
What it has:
-Failures, the main character fails and recovers.
-Inspiring people, generals that inspire you to follow their path and to be at their level.
-War, the entire manga is about war and only ceases war on the battlefield to move to the war in the government, a battle among governing powers for who gains control.
-Women, although not many the few that exist are very relevant to the entire story.
-Strategy, this series has some major battle strategies and shows
the importance of the strategies within an army.
-Real life struggle. The struggle of becoming like the role models we worship is one that everyone goes through in life.
-Team work. There is no teamwork like the one in kingdom, everyone has a major role and usually thousands of warriors are involved in each battle.
What it doesn't have:
-No superpowers, a historical manga with some level of realism.
-No focus on love stories, while love is a factor throughout the manga it does not focus on any specific love stories with the main character. The love story has not yet being fully developed but there are certain hints throughout.
-No western-hero like good guys. In the manga the main characters have set out to conquer all of china so while they feel their cause is just, it is not necessarily a good one from all points of view.
-Perfect historical accuracy. While it is heavily based on the history of china it is still a fictional story that has its own events that were not part of history. Many of the characters do not correspond to the historical characters.
This manga is about an orphan boy who wants to be a General. The story revolves around the war most of the time
Compared to your average shonen this manga contains no fanservice, no ridiculous power-ups, fights focuses more or less on tactics.
My only complaint is that the main character Shin follow the usual stupid-kid-hard-working-i-wanna-be-something type like Naruto or Asta from Black Clover which is not bad but simply way too overused.
It's not impressive at first glance but with time the art really improved, it's easy to understand what is happening on the battlefield.
If you're tired of cliché and fanservice and like shonen manga, this
manga is for you.
I usually dont have a specific Favourite anime or Manga, but for the first time i liked a manga so much that yes its my favourite manga!!
Dont waver out thinking its just one of those boring Historical Manga, Kingdom can make you fall in love with the genre itself!!
It has Drama, History, Humour, War, LOTS and LOTSSS of action !!!
Its still pains me when i see that Kingdom is still oblivious to so many people and also those who know about it dont think its good enough to give it a try...
So yeah read it and i gaurantee
you ....that this will go to your Favourite Manga list for sure!!!
So this my first review for my new account. Please don't hate me
*Please read the plot first so you would now what I'm spouting here :3*
So the story revolves around this guy called Li Xin.This guy has an incredible (impossible) amount of strength and courage (typical in every shounen).
The strategy on how to portray the ancient wars in China is awesome and all but as usual, exaggeration to some war stuff was added. Samples:
1) A 5 foot 2 kid with a sword defeated/or on par with a 7 footer giant using a large spear enough to barbecue an elephant (don't give me that David and
Goliath crap =.=)
2) Attacking a Phalanx formation head on by the protagonists/antagonists on a war horse. In our world however, the horse and the horsemen would be impaled to death immediately.
3) The girl from the assassin clan is toooooo fast
4) Girls being raped by a giant! (Gaimou from Wei)
But everything is awesome. The story, the lines and the wit. This a must watch for those who needs blood and gore aside from shounen power!
Since this manga has only a couple of reviews, let me add one more '9' to the list.
This manga has a somewhat predictable but solid storyline set in the Warring States era of China (240 BC or there abouts). It may be a typical story line, but it's done very well and in my opinion, the reason certain storylines get told so often is because they are interesting to people! You can read the summary to see what this manga is about, so I won't bore you by repeating it, but I did want to touch on the high points.
Story: Well paced, easy
to follow and the characters have credible reactions to the situations they are presented with. What happens to the main character is improbable, but through the skillful storytelling, you can easily believe he gets to the place he ends up. I'm not usually into this sort of battle manga, but the story is intricate enough and credible enough to keep my interest.
Art: The art is acceptable - nothing fantastic or horrible - it satisfies the requirements of the story telling, though I wouldn't be able to single it out for being notable in any way except that it is superior to the atrocious art of the anime. *shudder*
Character: As I indicated above, the characters are very credible and their actions are believable. As with lots of other shonen stories, you don't see a lot of introspection from them, especially the very simplistic protagonist, but you get enough to remain interested in the story and engaged in the characters. I don't feel a whole lot of emotional connection to the characters, but what I do feel is consistent and solid. No weird OOC stuff to distract from the story.
Enjoyment: I managed to get through 292 chapters of a shonen manga when I don't usually like the genre. It kept my interest and while I wasn't dying to get back to it, I did read it through because the story was good.
Overall: I've read lots worse 'poor boy makes good' stories in my time but this is one of the solidest and most credible. I sort of wish the author had had a more talented artist to showcase the story, but I think for the audience it is aimed at, it is adequate. A definite 'should read' if you like solid story telling, lots of battles, camaraderie among warriors and period settings. There's no magic (though Xin's fighting skills are a bit incredible), but it is a very good tale worth reading.
Also should note that I have tried watching the anime for this but haven't finished it yet. While the artwork for this manga is nothing spectacular, the anime's art is horrible; cheap looking CGI with some hand drawn parts that make the CG stuff stand out (badly!) even more. If that kind of thing bugs you, stick with the manga - you won't get anything more from the anime than you already get from this manga.
Kingdom is a very long manga series (its on chapter 432 and I think it will 700 chapters sense the manga took the time to acknowledge chapter 350) that takes place at the end of the warring states period of Chinese history. China is divided into 7 constantly warring Kingdoms with you following the story of the Kingdom of Qin. You follow numerous character's thought out a very a period of many years (so far at least 9 have past) most importantly a rising star of the army named Shin and the king of Qin El Sei. Without wishing to spoil anything, the story is
epic but also personal. This is just as true of the large military engages as it of the political intrigue. It's about the struggles of the individuals in the larger war torn context. It's complex and really exciting. I've spent many nights now reading Kingdom for hours always wanting to know what it going to happen next. So it's a real page turner. It's also got great larger then life character's. The hero's and their enemies alike are all well developed and easy to understand and sympathize with. It's sad when they die. It's exciting to watch them grow. The writing is also really impressive. Not only the grand overarching narrative, but the tactics in the battles are intricate, realistic, and interesting. This is how warfare was conducted in warring states China. You have calvary, archers, and infantry. You control their positioning and send them to attack the other enemy. Thousands and thousands of people die in all big clashes and often time they are sacrificed in the name of the larger tactical plan. You take advantage of hidden detachments, the ability to improve your troops moral, and the terrain such as devising forts or taking advantage of the high ground. To top it all off, Kingdom gives the impression of being based on actual Chinese history. When a big plot point occurs, a text box will appear saying what sentence on paragraph this was based on from ancient Chinese historical texted. Anyway, reading Kingdom up to now has been wonderful. I can't wait for the rest to be released. 10/10.