Thursday, February 27, 2014

Animanga: Kingdom


There's not many historical manga stories that hold my attention. Most of the stories are to much like reading a history book with pictures.

The Animanga: Kingdom is a whole different story. I started off by watching a few episodes of the anime...on a recommendation. I liked it after the three. From there I went and read the manga...all (378 chapters) of it. I can some up the rest of this post with four words "The story is dope!".

Kingdom follows the life of a young peasant boy named Shin as he aspires to become a great general in warring ancient china. The story takes place 245 BC (Before Christ) at a time when western china was broken in to 7 major countries. The lands of Qin, Chu, Zhou, Han, Yan, Wei, and Qi are all battling for domination.

Shin and his best friend Sin Hyo lived in the country of Qin. They planned to enter the army and become generals. Sin Hyo, turned out to be an identical double of the king of Qin. He was taken to the palace and used as a body double for the king. Sin was killed by assassins.

Shin discovers the details of Sins murder from the real king. His name was Sai and his dream was to unify all of western China. To due this he had to conquer all the other countries and Shin decided to help him achieve his goal. Sin died protecting the king and to honor his memory Shin to up his duty.

Aside from being a historical piece it's great action sequences, writing and character development. It reminds me of the writing style of Death Note crossed with One Piece. Where the writing and plot make you feel for the character. The battle scenes are well drawn with incredible detail. The characters fight with classic weapons from their time period. Sword, mace, ax, lance, bow and arrow...etcetera. The weapons aren't high tech but how the characters use them makes it look superhuman.

Each battle moves the story forward as Shin builds his private army the Hi Shin Unit composed of elite fighters and and a strategist.  At the same time his victories and failures along with the other generals of Qin propel Sai's dream of unifying China forward. If you read battle type manga like Berserk then I definitely recommend Kingdom.

The anime is on the final episode of the second season. There's no doubt in my mind that there will be a third due to its popularity. Below is a snippet from the battle between Shin and a general from the land of Wei named Rinko. Check it out.

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