Ranking of Kings a major surprise hit that appear out of nowhere. Despite its plain appearance and poor beginnings, this adult fantasy story enthralled us for two seasons and has now reached its much anticipated finale. How does Bojji’s story fare now that we have experienced the rest of it (so far, at least)? Here is what we thought of Ranking of Kings.
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
Prior to the news of the anime adaptation, you wouldn’t be the only person who has never heard of Ranking of Kings. Sousuke Touka, a manga artist, began releasing his first manga in 2017 on the user-submitted website Manga Hack after quitting his salaryman job at the age of 41. Wow, it seems that you can always pursue your aspirations! It was adapte into the beloved anime we know and love by Wit Studio after winning numerous awards and selling over a million copies!
The narrative itself follows the physically weak and deaf Prince Bojji as well as his misunderstood shadow friend Kage as they attempt to demonstrate that they are capable of so much more than anyone gives them credit for. This same theme of perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds is carrie over into the story. But it’s not just these two underdogs; every significant character has a nuanced personality and complicated motivations that run counter to the stereotypes of fairy tale characters they appear to represent. Our favourite is Queen Hilling, who at first glance appears to be your typical evil stepmother but is actually simply neurotic and too protective. Hilling becomes one of Bojji’s most dependable supporters during his adventure once he demonstrates that he is not as frail as she believes he is.
Emotional Moments That Hit Hard
Ranking of Kings brought us to tears with its first two episodes, as we’ve said in prior pieces about the show. Despite the fact that Bojji cannot talk clearly and Kage is an entirely non-humanoid shadow creature, their hardships touch our emotions. Even after Kage discovers a new purpose in life by Bojji’s side, you can still hear the bitterness in his voice as his past slowly robbed him of his happiness and innocence. You can relate to Bojji’s feelings of betrayal when people use him as a pawn in their plans, as well as the internal conflict he experiences when deciding whether or not to extend forgiveness.
The combination of the outstanding storyline, the unexpectedly expressive animation, and especially the voice acting is what makes this all possible. Everyone involve seems to have put their all into this project; in fact, the animators had to redo Prince Daida’s facial expressions to match the intensity of Yuki Kaji’s performance after Kaji, best known for his role as Eren Jeager in Attack on Titan, recorded the character’s tearful breakdown while being imprisoned in his own mind. Ranking of Kings is incredibly compelling to watch because every emotional scene feels authentic, intense, and raw.
Could’ve Been a Bit Shorter
However, there are some flaws in this series. The pacing, which lags for significant stretches of the second course, is the main issue. As we watch it week after week. We began to doubt that the battle with the unstop swordsman Ouken would ever be won since no matter how many frantic strikes our heroes launch at him, Ouken always manage to mend himself. The fight itself feels like filler in the overall scheme of things, despite the fact that his tale is intriguing but has no bearing on the primary plotline. We don’t mind as much Desha’s interactions with the Underworld and the king ranking system because they are likely setting up events for a later season.
Instead of 23, 18 to 20 episodes of Ranking of Kings would’ve been preferable. The story’s overall arc was plainly too extensive to be told in a single 12-episode season, but by spreading it over two full seasons, the pacing was significantly hamper. We wish anime shows could simply go for however long they need to without being constrain by TV scheduling rules!
Overall, Ranking of Kings is a fantastic anime that is deserving of all the praise it has received. Check out the fruits of the labour of Bojji, Kage, and Sousuke Touka; they have proven themselves deserving of greatness.
What do you think about our evaluation? How did you find Ranking of Kings? Thank you so much for reading, and do let us know in the comments!