Kingdom (manga)

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Kingdom
Kingdom volume 1.jpg
Cover of the first volume, released in Japan by Shueisha on May 19, 2006.
キングダム
(Kingudamu)
Genre Action, Historical, Drama
Manga
Written by Yasuhisa Hara
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Young Jump
Original run 2006 – ongoing
Volumes 35
Anime television series
Directed by Jun Kamiya
Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Network NHK BS Premium
Original run June 4, 2012February 25, 2013
Episodes 38
Anime television series
Season 2
Directed by Akira Iwanaga
Studio Pierrot
Network NHK BS Premium
Original run June 8, 2013March 1, 2014
Episodes 39
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Kingdom (キングダム Kingudamu?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhisa Hara. The manga provides a fictionalized account of the Warring States period primarily through the experiences of the war orphan Xin and his comrades as he fights to become a Great General of the Heavens and, in doing so, unifying China for the first time in history. The series was adapted into a thirty-eight episode anime series by studio Pierrot that aired from June 4, 2012 to February 25, 2013. A second season was announced[1] and aired from June 8, 2013 to March 1, 2014. An English language release of the anime was licensed by Funimation Entertainment.[2]

Plot[edit]

In the Warring States period of ancient China, Xin and Piao are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin with dreams of becoming "Great Generals of the Heavens". One day, however, Piao is taken to the palace by a minister to be used for an unknown purpose, and leaving Xin alone as a slave in a peasant village. A few months later, Piao returns to the village on the verge of death, urging Xin to travel to another village. There he meets a boy who looks nearly identical to Piao, Ying Zheng, the current King of Qin. Xin learns that Piao served as a body double for Ying Zheng, and was mortally wounded in a power struggle for the throne. Seizing the opportunity, Xin aids Ying Zheng to restore his position as King of Qin. Successful in this endeavor, Xin then begins fighting in many battlefields with the goal of rising to a "Great General of the Heavens", and to help King Ying Zheng achieve his dream of unifying China.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters[edit]

Xin ( Shin?)
Voiced by: Masakazu Morita
The protagonist of the story with aim's to become the "World's Greatest General". He initially begins the story as a war orphan with dreams of a future as a military General. After aiding Ying Zheng restore his position on the throne, Xin fights on a battlefield against a Wei army, and rises to the rank of a 100 man commander. Subsequently, his unit is named, "The Hi Xin Unit" by Wang Qi. After multiple military campaigns, Xin earns many accolades and rises to the rank of 4000 man commander, only two ranks from his goal of becoming a General.
Ying Zheng (贏政 Ei Sei?)
Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama
The young king of Qin who bears a striking resemblance to Piao. Later becomes the infamous Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor to unite China with an iron fist.
Piao ( Hyō?)
Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama
Xin's best friend that also aims to become a renowned general throughout the world. He is offered a position by a palace administrator in the Qin palace as Zheng's body double, but dies at the hands of an assassin hired by the Cheng Jiao Faction.
He Liao Diao (河了貂 Karyō Ten?)
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya
The last descendant of her Mountain Tribe. After being a crucial part of restoring Ying Zheng to his throne, she seeks to improve her worth by training as a strategist. However, not having the means or connections to do so, she seeks the aid of Qiang Hui. This results her in training as a strategist, but with the opposing Lü Buwei faction under Lord Changping. After leaving the school, she joins the Hi Shin Unit as it's chief strategist.
Changwenjun (昌文君 Shōbunkun?)
Voiced by: Yutaka Nakano
A formerly skilled warrior who worked his way up to Chancellor of the left, a senior adviser of the king. He is shown to be extremely loyal to the Ying Zheng faction, aiding him both in restoring him to throne and currently in political struggles against Lü Buwei.
( Heki?)
Voiced by: Kōji Yusa
Chang Wen Jun's loyal subordinate. At the series start, Heki was a 3000 man commander. After fighting alongside Xin in many military campaigns, he rises to the rank of General and is currently seeking greater heights to earn more influence for Ying Zheng
Qiang Hui (羌瘣 Kyō Kai?)
Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa
The heir of the legendary assassin clan "Chi You" who is out to get revenge on the one who killed her sister, "Xiang". She initially meets Xin on the Battle of Dakan Plains where she is essential in both strategic and fighting power for her unit. She subsequently joins the Hi Shin Unit after that battle but leaves after receiving information on her sister's killer. After getting revenge, Qiang Hui returns to the unit and rises to 1000 man commander with the intention of one day rising to a General.

Zhao[edit]

Li Mu (李牧 Riboku?)
Prime Minister of Zhao and hailed as the slayer of general Wang Qi, he serves as on of the series main antagonists. He relies solely upon strategy, vowing never to lift his sword. He seeks to destroy the state of Qin as revenge for their mass killing of Zhao civilians.
Hou Ken (龐煖 Houken?)
A warrior-monk known as a "Bushin". While a technically a general for Zhao, he doesn't take command of any troops. Instead he relies on his pure strength, which can be used to inspire troops. Under the command of Ri Boku he defeated General Ouki. He seeks to prove that he is the strongest being alive.

Chengjiao Faction[edit]

Chengjiao (成蟜 Seikyō?)
Voiced by: Kōki Miyata
The half-brother of Zheng. Because of his initial self-centered and hateful towards non-royalty, he usurps the throne from Ying Zheng. After Ying Zheng stops Chengjiao's coup, his life is spared but he is placed in prison. After a year, he is freed by Ying Zheng to help him politically against Lü Buwei. From this point on he has a change of heart, and begins to sympathize with his half brother's ideas. Unfortunately, he dies as a part of a Lü Buwei plot to turn him against his half brother.

Lü Buwei Faction[edit]

Lü Buwei (呂不韋 Ryo Fui?)
Voiced by: Tesshō Genda
A merchant with intentions of becoming a king. He initially started a merchant a backed Ying Zheng's father to be the next King even though he was seventh in line for the throne. He's allied himself with the Queen Dowager Faction and seeks to remove Ying Zeng from the throne. He currently holds the position of Qin's Supreme Chancellor after numerous political and military accomplishments of his "Four Pillars".
Changpingjun (昌平君 Shōheikun?)
Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe
A prince of Chu who is one of the "Four Pillars" of Lü Buwei, his pillar being strategy; he also holds Ryo Fui old position of Chancellor of the Right. He was essential in preventing the destruction of Qin during the Coalition Army arc.
Meng Wu (蒙武 Mō Bu?)
Voiced by: Taiten Kusunoki
One of the "Four Pillars" of Lü Buwei; father of Tian and Yi, his pillar being warfare. He is known to be a very aggressive and capable general. He defeated the strongest General of Chu during the coalition arc, after learning from Wang Qi during his previous battles.
Li Si (李斯 Ri Shi?)
One of the "Four Pillars" of Lü Buwei, his pillar being legal matters. He later served Ying Zheng as his chancellor of Qin.
Cai Ze (蔡沢 Sai Taku?)
One of the "Four Pillars" of Lü Buwei who was the chancellor of Qin during the reign of King Zhao. Cai Ze is chief of diplomatic relations with the other states. His work was crucial in the victory against the coalition army, which prevented one of the warring states from aiding the fight against Qin.

Queen Dowager Faction[edit]

Queen Dowager of Qin (秦国太后 Shinkokutaikō?)
The Queen Dowager of Qin and Ying Zheng's mother. She is head of the of the royal harem which controls who the king will marry and who will give birth to the King's first child. She is resentful of Ying Zheng because of their past as political hostages for the state of Zhao, a state which resented her for giving birth to the prince of a rival nation.
Xiang ( ?)
A plain looking palace maid who is genuinely devoted to Zheng. She currently bears his child.
Yang ( ?)
A palace maid who is Xiang's best friend.

Other[edit]

Wang Qi (王騎 Ō Ki?)
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama
One of the Six Great Generals of Qin, a group which was given complete autonomy to wage war under Ying Zheng's father. He had a large role in making Qin the super-power state it currently is. He dies at the Battle of Bayou to Hou Ken after being hit by an arrow of a dishonorable soldier. He passes on his glaive to Xin and wishes to see Yin Zheng's dream of reuniting China come true.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The manga series Kingdom is written and illustrated by Yasuhisa Hara. In January 2006, the manga debuted in an issue of Weekly Young Jump seinen manga magazine. The succeeding chapters are still being serialized weekly in the magazine. The first tankōbon volume was released by Shueisha in May 19, 2006; as of July 18, 2014, thirty-five volumes have been released.

Video Games[edit]

A PlayStation Portable beat 'em up styled video game was released on November 2, 2010 entitled Kingdom Ikki Tousen No Tsurugi. [3] The game was released only in Japan.

Historical context[edit]

The story of Kingdom is a fictional adaptation of the Chinese history period known as the Warring States period, which ended in 221 BC when Ying Zheng, king of Qin, succeeded in conquering the other states and unifying China.

Several of the characters are based on historical figures. Many times characters will take the names of people in history, and other times they will have completely different names. Often times this is a result of Japanese Kanji borrowing from Chinese characters, meaning that there are some Chinese names that have no equivalent characters in Kanji. For example, Ou Ki's (王骑), name is a slightly altered version of Wang Yi, 王齮, because the last character of his name,齮, does not exist in Kanji. There are many instances of characters being derived directly from historical figures i.e. El Sei is based on Ying Zheng, while his half-brother Seikyō is based on Chengjiao, and his father and grandfather are based on King Zhuangxiang of Qin and King Zhaoxiang of Qin. Ryo Fui is inspired by Lü Buwei. His supporters Shōheikun and Ri Shi are based on Lord Changping and Li Si, and the Mō family (Mō Bu, Mō Gō, Mō Ten, Mō Ki) is based on the Meng family (Meng Ao, Meng Wu, Meng Tian, Meng Yi).

Reception[edit]

Kingdom was the grand prize winner for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2013 with one judge commenting, "I can't remember the last time I read nearly 30 volumes (of a manga title) in a row feeling this excited." [4]

The manga also earned a Guinness World Record on December 12, 2012 for Manga written by most people. The record was due to its "Social Kingdom" campaign in which fans and other artists were given the task of redrawing the entire 26th volume. Participants included manga creators Eiichiro Oda (One Piece), Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Hirohiko Araki (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure), as well as voice actors and fans.[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]