With the Zhao Retaliation arc of the manga coming to a close soon, Kingdom fans are still debating over who makes the better general out of our favorite Qin trio.
All 3 were finally promoted to generals at the end of the 18th arc – the Western Zhao Invasion arc, but since then, they have proven themselves in different areas, making the choice for who the better general is extremely difficult.
They represent various areas of the spectrum, and while comparing them, we must take into account all the aspects that make a good general: combat strength, intuition, mental fortitude, tactical intelligence, leadership, experience, and overall feats.
Shin is the better general when it comes to strength, achievements, and instincts; Mou Ten is the better general when it comes to strategy, tactical intelligence, and leadership; Ou Hon is the better general in terms of experience and overall statistics.
In this article, I’m going to look at Shin vs. Ou Hon vs. Mou Ten by comparing their strengths and weaknesses.
What are Shin’s strengths and weaknesses as a general?
Ri Shin’s strengths as a general are his physical strength, instinctual prowess, and willpower. He is also extremely charismatic and inspires loyalty among his army. Shin’s weaknesses include a lack of strategic intelligence and leadership skills.
I. Physical Might
Shin wielded Ou Ki’s glaive and killed the Great General Hou Ken during the Gyou campaign.
For his achievements against in the Western Zhao Invasion, Shin was promoted to the rank of a general and the Hi Shin Unit was made into a 15000-Man Army.
Hou Ken was only ever wounded by Shin’s mentor, Ou Ki, his other mentor Duke Hyou, and by Great General Kyou. Hou Ken was one of Zhao’s 3 Great Heavens; the fact that Shin was able to kill him really says something about his strength, agility, durability, and willpower.
He was barely able to stand by the 15th day of the Battle on Shukai Plains, but he still defeated Hou Ken, the man who killed his guru.
In the battle with Rin Ko, Ren Pa’s second strongest vassal, Shin was able to adapt his combat style and defeat him, something Ou Hon had earlier failed to do, even with his special move.
Shin is outmatched when it comes to strength, and will always stay that way due to the fact that he continuously surpasses his limits.
Before Duke Hyou was killed during the Battle of Kankoku Pass, Shin had just started tapping into his instinctual skills.
But after the master instinctual-type general died, Shin really began to awaken his own instinctual prowess, so much so that he was able to cut down the general Man Goku. And Shin wasn’t even a 2000-Man commander then!
Ri Boku himself commented that Shin was starting to become like Duke Hyou.
His instincts developed to the level where he could battle with pure intuition, even matcing Gyou’un, an instinctual commander.
During the Zhao Retaliation arc, his intuition evolved almost to Duke Hyou’s level, when he instinctually withdrew his army from the right-wing and reinforced Gaku Ka’s army instead.
Without this, Ri Boku would have succeeded.
As of the latest chapters, Shin seems to be able to tap into his instincts almost at will.
Out of the three, Shin and his efforts probably have been the most indispensable to Qin.
He has killed 2 Great Generals, including Rei Ou and Hou Ken, and a long list of at least 10 generals throughout his tenure as a commander.
After being made general, Shin has naturally added to his feats, and I’m not just talking about kills.
He has actually honed the abilities he already has while working on the ones he doesn’t. This shows what kind of a general he is and will be in the future.
IV. Charisma & a Loyal Army
Mou Ten and Ou Hon’s armies are technically stronger that Shin’s due to the fact that they were basically handpicked by their fathers. But Shin formed his unit from scratch. This means that his emotions towards them are much more, and vice versa.
During the Western Zhao Invasion and Zhao Crisis arcs, Shin made leaps in terms of awakening unity within his army – like after Shousa’s death, and the deepening trust with Ka Ryo Ten.
If an army reflects its general, then the Hi Shin Army sure reflects positively on Shin.
Shin’s greatest but most underappreciated attribute is his charisma and likability. He uses this to snatch the men he wants and recruit them into his own army, especially if they have some special ability missing in the men already present. Recruiting is a crucial skill for a general.
It’s this charisma that instills loyalty among his unit/army. I mean, just look at Kyou Kai; she refused to leave his unit to start her own even though she was more than capable. Of course, her reasons might have been slightly different, but still.
When Shin was “killed” in his battle with Hou Ken and his soldiers thought he was dead, the whole army was absolutely distraught. This just proves their genuine love for him.
With an army with such a close bond to their leader, Shin as a general is already quite strong even if we don’t consider his other strengths.
Shin sure has a lot of weaknesses, but these balance out his strengths. They are essential, seeing how he is the main character and Hara needs to show a progression of difficulty.
Shin’s greatest weakness is that he’s an idiot. I don’t mean to be mean, but the guy isn’t the smartest tool in the box.
Recently, during the Zhao Retaliation arc, Shin sacrificed his strongest soldiers in a miscalculated strategy.
Ka Ryo Ten is the one who strategizes for the army; if she were to die, Shin would never be able to hold up.
Both Ou Hon and Mou Ten are more intelligent that Shin.
In addition, Shin is also more emotional and gets easily triggered. An impulsive general isn’t a good one.
Now that he has such a large and powerful army, Shin tries to strategize accordingly, but fails to take into consideration his men’s weaknesses and stamina.
After the Battle of Kokuyou, it’s Mou Ten who has to remind Shin that his unit should rest. Later, Den Ri Mi does the same during the Gyou arc.
This is why Shin isn’t really a good leader, despite his charisma.
Additionally, Shin is unable to recognize that all his soldiers have different abilities and need different kinds of training. The Hi Shin Unit – now Army, can do with better and more specified professional training.
As a result, currently speaking, Mou Ten’s Gaku Ka Army and Ou Hon’s Gyoku Hou Army are stronger and better led than Shin’s Hi Shin Army – although Shin’s soldiers might have a thicker bond with their general than the others.
His soldiers are good, but their potential is great. If Shin improves his commanding skills and spends more time honing their techniques, the Hi Shin Army might just become one the most powerful armies in the future.
What are Mou Ten’s strengths and weaknesses as a general?
Mou Ten’s biggest strength as a general is his tactical and strategic intelligence, as well as his leadership skills. His weakness is physical strength and one-on-one short-term combat.
I. Tactical Intelligence
Mouten is a long-range general. He relies on tactics and battle strategies way more than martial might.
During the Gyou arc, he was hyped as almost being on the Great Generals Ou Sen and Ri Boku’s levels, seeing how he was able to predict their movements in battle.
He was able to halt Ki Sui’s advances and save the whole of Qin’s left wing during the Western Zhao Invasion along with Shin’s contributions.
His tactical finesse not just disrupts enemy formations but saves a lot of lives.
If his army becomes larger, Mou Ten can even take the backseat, i.e., he won’t have to front-lead them, which is what he is already doing, what with the Zhao Retaliation arc.
Mou Ten is so clever that tactics and strategy get different headings.
During the Western Zhao Invasion arc, Mou Ten, frankly, seemed way ahead of both Shin and Ou Hon. He made some brave and smartly calculated moves and never really made mistakes large enough to cost the larger Qin army.
He was also the first one to be given an independent command of his unit during battle by Ou Sen. Ou Hon was only a subordinate commander of the right flank whereas Shin was made to directly report to Ou Sen’s unit.
Shou Hei Kun, Qin’s greatest strategist, himself pointed out Mou Ten’s potential. In short, Mou Ten is a strategical prodigy.
Mou Ten is highly suited to lead an army, especially a large one, because of the skills he possesses. His leadership, combined with his strategic brilliance, can effectively push back enemy armies twice the number.
In the Western Zhao Invasion arc, he lies about Ma Kou’s death and stops the Ma Kou Army from collapsing. Later, he becomes the acting general of the Ma Kou Army.
Mou Ten also recognizes the value of the Hi Shin Unit, and a true leader is capable of noting the strengths of their peers as much as their weaknesses.
He understands human psychology and emotions better than anyone. Mou Ten is intelligent, so he naturally knows how to work his soldiers into performing to their maximum potential. Be it lying, raising morale, or awakening the determination to rally against an enemy.
I. Martial Prowess
His lack of physical might makes him weaker than both, Shin and Ou Hon.
He kept pushing the fight with Ba Tei and was unable to defeat him on a direct 1v1.
After being promoted to general, Mou Bu assigned Aisen to his son’s army, a guy with brute force who compensates for Mou Ten’s own lack of strength. Ri Ku Sen too, although, he did get his arm pretty seriously injured recently.
But if Mou Ten were to go up against a Great General or any opponent stronger than him in a duel, he’d likely lose. Unless he pulls some brilliant strategy that gives him the upper hand.
What are Ou Hon’s strengths and weaknesses as a general?
Ou Hon’s strengths as a general are Shin and Mou Ten’s weaknesses. He is good at everything – but not great. This is also is weakness, along with his arrogance.
I. Balanced Skills
Ou Hon is the Jack of all trades, second in strength, second in intelligence. But the thing to note here is that he doesn’t rank third in either, which means he’s good – damn good, at strength as well as strategy – just not the best.
This is his highest advantage, because Mou Ten sucks at strength and Shin at strategy. Ou Hon is the most well-balanced, which is a great trait for a general.
Ou Hon may well just become the rare hybrid general, a mix of tactical and instinctual, but for that, he’ll really have to start working on both this attributes separately.
II. Master of the Spear, Precision & Efficiency
Ou Hon with a spear is almost unbeatable. He has been training all his life to become a spear-master – and it shows.
His special spear moves, Dragon’s Talon and Dragon’s Nest displays his skills at manipulating his attack and beating even powerful foes like Gyou’un.
The thing with the spear is, Ou Hon can also make his attacks extremely accurate and precise. Due to this, Mou ten comments that even 12 men couldn’t touch him with his spear.
He uses this same precision training while working with his army. We know Ou Hon had to build his unit after Shukai Plains from scratch, and this might have been a good thing.
In chapter 662 of the Shiyuu Conflict arc, we really see how much Ou Hon’s tactical skills have improved.
With Akakin in his army, Ou Hon has begun leading from behind, effectively commanding Akakin, who I’d say is a soldier with brain as well as brawn – well-balanced, just like his general.
In the Zhao Retaliation arc, Ou Hon being a general trained for strategic warfare from a young age, boasts of a more elite squad that can deliver precision attacks with their siege towers – while Shin couldn’t.
This just proves that Ou Hon and his army have drilled with this equipment multiple times.
III. Experience & Insight
We all thought that Ou Hon would become general before Shin and Mou Ten because of his father, Great General Ou Sen.
Go Hou Mei even called Ou Hon a man without any weakness due to the fact that he fought in the era of the first generation of Qin’s 6 Great Generals and Zhao’s 3 Great Heavens.
This is probably why the Kingdom Guidebook 2 describes him as the leader of a new generation of commanders.
His experience also lends to his military knowledge insight. During the Battle of Eikyuu, he was able to find their own weak spots and rectify them. He helped Shin capture the Zhao fort by sending A Ka Kin and his unit to help at a crucial moment. This proves his foresight.
Earlier, Ou Hon formulated a battle plan against the Fire Dragons of Wei. During the Fire Dragons of Wei arc, Earl Shi almost killed Ou Hon along with his whole unit, but in the end, Ou Hon was actually able to finish the insane Earl Shi by exploiting his weakness.
During the Chiyoyou campaign, even though Tou was present, Ou Hon was the one who saw into Go Hou Mein’s defense formation.
He also advised Tou to not call for General Ou Sen since he predicted Zhao would attack the eastern front if Ou Sen left.
So even though Mou Ten is believed to be the best strategist of the 3, Ou Hon is a very close second.
As of the recent arcs, Ou Hon has been even more careless and impulsive that Shin, so much so that it almost led to his death. His arrogance needs to be reigned in as well.
Ou Hon should become more eager to prove himself and pay more attention on honing his strengths.
II. Daddy Issues
Ou Hon and Ou Sen’s relationship has always been strained and if you think this doesn’t affect his general capacity, you’re kidding yourself.
But his feelings towards his father have also aided him in increasing his endurability and determination. During the Battle at Shukai Plains, even though he was almost fatally injured, he returned to the battle to kill General Gyou’un and save his dad, Ou Sen.
Once this relationship becomes less volatile, Ou Hon can spend his mental resources on becoming a better general.
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.