Kingdom is an anime series that released way back in 2012. Season 4 of the show came out in 2022. Since then, it’s become one of the most talked about shows amongst fans of the genre.
Moreover, anime has become far more mainstream in recent times than it was a decade ago. This has amplified Kingdom’s popularity, and people are loving every aspect of this historical drama.
The show’s basic premise is that China is divided into different states (7, to be precise), and they are in a constant state of war. Amidst all this, there are two orphans who witness a small battle and vow to one day lead armies and fight for glory.
The setting might sound a little familiar to you all, and you might wonder if the show is based on a true story? Let’s find out.
Kingdom is a fictional adaptation of a historical period in China known as the Warring States, which lasted from 475 to 221 BCE. The period ended after Ying Zheng, King of Qin, conquered all states and unified China.
Kingdom is pretty close to the actual Chinese history. It depicts characters such as Ying Zheng, Xin, the Queen, and numerous others, who actually existed during the Warring period.
In the show, Ying Zheng and Xin play the main characters amongst many others, and their portrayal is based on real figures. However, the makers have also taken some creative liberty and introduced fictional elements such as supernatural/extraordinary powers to make the story more appealing to the audience.
Should I Watch or Read the Kingdom Series?
The Kingdom manga series first came out in 2006, and as of June 2022, 65 volumes have been published. While some people prefer the original manga, others feel the show is better. The TV series follows the manga quite religiously, but there are a couple of differences.
The animation in season 1 of Kingdom was criticized because it lacked the finesse and elegance the manga’s illustrations possessed. This problem was solved in season 2, where the animation quality and visual language were much better.
Another difference is that the manga series has nudity and sex scenes. On the other hand, the TV series doesn’t showcase such scenes.
Besides the differences mentioned above, there is another important one. Besides war and battles, the manga focussed slightly more on politics. This acted as a sub-plot which added more layers to characters, their thoughts, and actions.
The TV series skipped this part and made the show much crisper. Overall, this didn’t have any significant impact on the narrative.
So, if you’re a purist who likes to consume the original content, you can read the manga series. But, if you want to listen to background scores, witness action sequences, and enjoy a cinematic experience, the TV series is a better option.
Another thing you need to factor in is that the manga has 65 volumes, whereas the show only has 4 seasons. So, you must choose the medium based on how much time you can give to this series.
You can read the Kingdom manga on platforms such as MangaRock and Mangadex. The Kingdom anime TV series is available on platforms such as Crunchyroll.
Kingdom is a Japanese seinen manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhisa Hara.
The manga provides a fictionalised account of the Warring States period primarily through the experiences of the war orphan Xin and his comrades.
In the story, Xin fights to become the most significant general under the heavens, and in doing so, unifying China for the first time in history.