Ranking of Kings

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Ranking of Kings
Ōsama Ranking volume 1 cover.jpg
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Bojji (right) and Kage (left)
王様ランキング
(Ōsama Rankingu)
Genre
Manga
Written bySōsuke Tōka
Published by
English publisher
BookLive
ImprintBeam Comix
MagazineManga Hack
DemographicShōnen
Original runMay 20, 2017 – present
Volumes15 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
  • Yōsuke Hatta
  • Makoto Fuchigami[a]
Produced by
  • Megumi Inoue
  • Kazuki Oshima
  • Maiko Okada
Written byTaku Kishimoto
Music byMAYUKO
StudioWit Studio
Licensed byFunimation
Original networkFuji TV (Noitamina)
Original run October 15, 2021 March 25, 2022
Episodes23 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Ōsama Ranking: Yūki no Takarabako
Directed by
  • Yōsuke Hatta
  • Makoto Fuchigami[a]
Written byTaku Kishimoto
Music byMAYUKO
StudioWit Studio
Original networkFuji TV (Noitamina)
Original run April 2023 scheduled
icon Anime and manga portal

Ranking of Kings (王様ランキング, Ōsama Rankingu) is a Japanese fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Sōsuke Tōka. It has been serialized online via Echoes' user-submitted Manga Hack website since May 2017 and has been collected in fifteen tankōbon volumes by Enterbrain. The story follows the adventures of a little prince named Bojji, who was born deaf and tiny in size, and his friend Kage, a survivor of a wiped-out assassin clan, who understands Bojji’s words despite him being unable to speak.

An anime television series adaptation by Wit Studio aired from October 2021 to March 2022 on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block. A series of special episodes, titled Ōsama Ranking: Yūki no Takarabako, will premiere in April 2023.

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

The title of the series refers to a same-named system by which a committee, acting in absentia for a race of powerful magical beings known as 'Gods', ranks the power and prosperity of the mortal world's many kings. The king that is bequeathed the number one ranking is entitled to a boon from the ‘Divine Treasure Vault’, a fabled stronghold brimming with untold riches and holy artifacts. While not all kings seek this power in earnest, the existence of the ranking and the ambitions of those who strive to sit atop it form the driving force of the narrative.

Plot[edit]

The story is about a little prince named Bojji who is deaf but above all naive, because despite many criticisms from his people about his accession to the throne, he does his best and dreams of becoming the greatest of kings. One day, he meets Kage (Shadow), a survivor of a wiped-out assassin clan, who understands his words despite Bojji being unable to speak due to his disability. The story follows the pair as they navigate the world and all of its adventures and darkness.

The inciting incident of the series' first arc is the death of Bojji’s father, King Bosse, a legendary giant warrior who, in his prime, was widely renowned as the strongest man in the world. While Bojji’s right to succession is affirmed by Bosse on his deathbed, there are those among the royal court that believe that Bojji's physical shortcomings make him unfit to rule and that his arrogant (but physically capable) younger half-brother, Prince Daida, is more suited for ascension. Chief among these dissenters is Bosse's widow and Daida's mother, Queen Hilling, who calls for a vote to circumvent Bosse's will and forgo Bojji's right to succession. The vote is passed and Daida is placed upon the throne.

Having been denied his birthright, Bojji requests he be allowed to undertake a journey so that he may gain experience and grow stronger. Hilling, who once had great affection for Bojji and regarded him as her own son, begrudgingly acquiesces. Unbeknownst to both of them, Daida, under the influence of an enigmatic figure, has set in motion a sinister plot to consolidate his power and achieve the position of number one in the Ranking of Kings.

Characters[edit]

Bojji (ボッジ)
Voiced by: Minami Hinata[3] (Japanese); Emily Fajardo[4] (English)
The main protagonist of the story and the first prince of the Kingdom of Bosse. Born deaf and tiny in size, he was ridiculed and scorned openly by many within the palace and kingdom. Despite his disability, Bojji dreams of becoming a strong king like his father and always tries to maintain a smile in front of others. He is known for his kindness (which has earned him many unexpected allies), diligence, and intuition, which allows him to read lips and know what people are saying. He also possesses extreme agility and dodging ability unconventional for kings that tend to rely on strength, and like all members of his race is impervious to poison. Following Daida's coronation, he and Kage set off on a journey. His name is a wordplay on the Japanese word "bocchi" which means someone that does not have any friends.
Kage (カゲ)
Voiced by: Ayumu Murase[3] (Japanese); SungWon Cho, Emi Lo (young)[4] (English)
A last surviving member of the shadow clan and Bojji's companion. Born to a clan of assassins, Kage was a young child when he witnessed his entire family murdered by the kingdom they served. He subsequently escaped and was exploited by a thug, who eventually sold him out for his ransom. Tempered by the rough way of the world, Kage then grew up using his clan's abilities to make a living off thieving. He eventually meets Bojji and is touched by his kindness and his situation, pledging to be his faithful friend. He is tasked by Bebin to follow and protect Bojji on their journey. "Kage" in Japanese means "shadow".
Daida (ダイダ)
Voiced by: Yuki Kaji[5] (Japanese); Justin Briner[4] (English)
Bojji's younger half-brother, the birth son of Queen Hiling and the current king. Like Bojji, he is hardworking and resilient, but possesses a streak of pride and arrogance in his strength that seems to take after their father. Deep down, he is secretly jealous of his brother, who he believes was able to get everyone's love and the position of king without any effort. In the time leading up to his coronation, Daida is manipulated by a Magic Mirror and is forcibly made the vessel for Bosse's reincarnation.
Hiling (ヒリング, Hiringu)
Voiced by: Rina Satō[5] (Japanese); Luci Christian[4] (English)
The queen, Daida's mother, and Bojji's stepmother. She used to be more doting and affectionate to Bojji, but following Daida's birth, adopted a stricter and more practical-minded personality regarding royal affairs, ultimately deeming Bojji unfit for rule. Despite being highly critical of Bojji, she treasures him just as much as her birth son, often spending much energy to heal any injuries he sustains. She allows Bojji to go on his journey with Domas and Hokuro, setting their destination to be her parents' home. Her name is from the English word "Healing"
Domas (ドーマス, Dōmasu)
Voiced by: Takuya Eguchi[5] (Japanese); A. J. Locascio[4] (English)
The greatest swordsmaster in the Kingdom of Bosse, whose sword style reflects King Bosse's strength. He was assigned to be Bojji's tutor and while he treasures the prince very dearly, decided that he would never have power equivalent to his father and gave up on him. In an attempt to reaffirm his loyalty to a single lord, he pledges allegiance to Daida and attempts to assassinate Bojji by pushing him into the Hole of the Underworld. Overcome with regret, he cuts off his right hand later and rescues Hokuro from execution, intending to train him to become stronger.
Bebin (ベビン)
Voiced by: Yōji Ueda[5] (Japanese); Christopher Wehkamp[4] (English)
Daida's teacher who cares very deeply for his lord and has helped keep the Magic Mirror's deadly influence at bay. He wields a curved dagger, shuriken and is a snake tamer. Under Daida's orders, he tried to assassinate Apeas but was supposedly killed by the latter and sank through the ground, leaving his whereabouts unknown. He sends Kage to accompany Bojji and help him get stronger.
Apeas (アピス, Apisu)
Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto[5] (Japanese); Luis Bermudez[6] (English)
An expressionless commander dubbed "Spear of the King" who is heavily loyal to King Bosse. Once a cowardly man, he trained with monsters under the supervision of Miranjo and earned his current title. He worked with the Magic Mirror to transfer Bosse's consciousness to Daida's body.
Dorshe (ドルーシ, Dorūshi)
Voiced by: Hinata Tadokoro[5] (Japanese); Brent Mukai[4] (English)
A large man dubbed "Shield of the Queen" who guards Hiling. He originally served King Bosse as 'King's Spear', but was later reassigned to guard the new queen, Hiling. Initially, he was upset by the decision but later was given the opportunity to decide whether or not Hiling was worth his protection, answering in the affirmative.
Hokuro (ホクロ)
Voiced by: Daiki Yamashita[5] (Japanese); Bryce Papenbrook[4] (English)
A low-ranking knight who deeply cares for Bojji after the latter comforted him upon his mother's death. He was ordered to accompany Bojji on his journey and look after his personal care, being the only knight that knew sign language. After Domas' betrayal, his pride as a knight and loyalty to Bojji compel him to return to the kingdom, risking his life to inform Hiling of the news. He is rescued by Domas just before his execution and undergoes training to become stronger.
Bosse (ボッス, Bossu)
Voiced by: Kenta Miyake[7] (Japanese); Cris George[4] (English)
The former king and father of Bojji and Daida. He was a giant who yearned to be the strongest man in the world and made a deal with a demon, choosing to steal power from his very own son. Feeling remorseful later, Bosse chose to become king and establish a country to ensure Bojji had everything he ever wanted in life. He is subsequently reincarnated in Daida's body. His name is from the English word "Boss".
Shiina (シーナ, Shīna)
Voiced by: Takako Honda[7] (Japanese); Laila Berzins[4] (English)
Bosse's first wife and subsequent First Queen of the Bosse Kingdom, and Bojji's birth mother. She was executed by Miranjo when Bojji was young.
Miranjo/Magic mirror (魔法の鏡役, Mahō no Kagami)
Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto[7] (Japanese); Brianna Roberts[4] (English)
A mysterious mirror who advises Daida on his actions. Sealed within is actually the spirit of a woman named Miranjo, whose body is encased in ice within the palace's basement alongside various other deadly monsters. Miranjo has two masked guards who serve her and was previously involved in Apeas' training to become a high-ranking official. She describes herself as "someone who shared the joys and sorrows of [King Bosse]", later creating an elixir for Daida to become a vessel for reincarnation.
Desha (デスハー, Desuhā)
Voiced by: Yoshimitsu Shimoyama[7] (Japanese); Gabe Kunda[4] (English)
The king of the Underworld and commander of the Order of the Underworld – the most powerful legion of soldiers that slaughter demons and prevent them from wrecking havoc. He has a complex about his face and wide mouth and dislikes his younger brother Despa due to his good looks. However, it does not stop both of them working together in some situations.
Ōken (オウケン)
Voiced by: Kōji Yusa[8] (Japanese); Shawn Gann[4] (English)
The younger brother of Desha and Despa and former commander of the Order of the Underworld. He once was a kind-hearted prince who swore to found an order of knights that shared his values. He also holds the title of 'Sword King of The Underworld' due to his master skills in swordsmanship. After unwillingly receiving true immortality, an ability that also slowly consumed his humanity, he became a remorseless monster that inflicts pain on his victims.
Due to his madness, both of his brothers have no choice other than to imprison him in the Underworld, where he remained until freed by Miranjo to conquer the Bosse Kingdom.
Despa (デスパー, Desupā)
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai[7] (Japanese); Christopher R. Sabat[4] (English)
The middle brother of the king of the Underworld and Ōken. Unlike his older brother, Despa is much weaker, vainer and money-minded. He takes Bojji and Kage into his care and promises to train Bojji up to become stronger (for a price).

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Ranking of Kings is written and illustrated by Sōsuke Tōka. It has been serialized online via Echoes' user-submitted Manga Hack website since May 20, 2017 and has been collected in fifteen tankōbon volumes by Enterbrain as of December 12, 2022.[9] The series is published in English digitally by BookLive on BookWalker.[10]

No. Release date ISBN
1 February 12, 2019[11]978-4-04-735517-0
2 February 12, 2019[12]978-4-04-735518-7
3 April 12, 2019[13]978-4-04-735599-6
4 June 12, 2019[14]978-4-04-735684-9
5 August 10, 2019[15]978-4-04-735719-8
6 December 12, 2019[16]978-4-04-735807-2
7 April 11, 2020[17]978-4-04-735854-6
8 August 12, 2020[18]978-4-04-736228-4
9 December 11, 2020[19]978-4-04-736458-5
10 April 12, 2021[20]978-4-04-736602-2
11 August 12, 2021[21]978-4-04-736743-2
12 December 10, 2021[22]978-4-04-736868-2
13 April 12, 2022[23]978-4-04-737007-4
14 August 12, 2022[24]978-4-04-737154-5
15 December 12, 2022[9]978-4-04-737284-9

Anime[edit]

The anime television series adaptation is produced by Wit Studio and aired from October 15, 2021, to March 25, 2022, on Fuji TV's Noitamina block.[2][25][b] The series is directed by Yōsuke Hatta, with Taku Kishimoto supervising the series' scripts, Atsuko Nozaki designing the characters, and MAYUKO composing the series' music.[3] King Gnu performed the first opening theme "BOY", while Yama performed the first ending theme "Oz."[7][26] Vaundy performed the second opening theme "Hadaka no Yūsha" (Naked Hero), while Milet performed the second ending theme "Flare".[8] Funimation licensed the series for streaming outside of Asia.[27] Medialink licensed the series in Southeast Asia and will stream it exclusively on iQIYI.[28] The Tokyo Federation for the Deaf supervises the sign language depicted in the show.[29] Funimation announced an English dub version of the show.[30]

In August 2022, it was announced that a series of special episodes, titled Ōsama Ranking: Yūki no Takarabako, is set to premiere in April 2023 on Fuji TV's Noitamina block.[31] The cast and staff from the anime series will return for the series, which will feature a story that was not in the original series.[32]

Episode list[edit]

No.Title [33][34]Directed by [33]Written by [33]Storyboarded by [33]Original air date [35]
1"The Prince's New Clothes"
Transcription: "Hadaka no Ōji" (Japanese: 裸の王子)
Yōsuke HattaTaku KishimotoYōsuke HattaOctober 15, 2021 (2021-10-15)[c]
2"The Prince and Kage"
Transcription: "Ōji to Kage" (Japanese: 王子とカゲ)
Makoto FuchigamiTaku KishimotoYōsuke HattaOctober 22, 2021 (2021-10-22)
3"The New King"
Transcription: "Atarashii Kokuō" (Japanese: 新しい国王)
Kazuaki ImaiTaku KishimotoKazuaki ImaiOctober 29, 2021 (2021-10-29)[d]
4"His First Journey"
Transcription: "Hajimete no Tabi" (Japanese: 初めての旅)
Makoto FuchigamiTaku KishimotoMakoto FuchigamiNovember 5, 2021 (2021-11-05)
5"Intertwining Plots"
Transcription: "Karamiau Inbō" (Japanese: からみあう陰謀)
Masahiro OkamuraTaku KishimotoShinobu TagashiraNovember 12, 2021 (2021-11-12)
6"The King of the Underworld"
Transcription: "Meifu no Ō" (Japanese: 冥府の王)
Hitomi EzoeTaku KishimotoShintarō NakazawaNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)[d]
7"The Prince's Apprenticeship"
Transcription: "Ōji no Deshiiri" (Japanese: 王子の弟子入り)
Shōta GoshozonoTaku KishimotoShōta GoshozonoNovember 26, 2021 (2021-11-26)[e]
8"The Sacrifice of Dreams"
Transcription: "Yume no Ikenie" (Japanese: 夢のいけにえ)
Yumi KamakuraTaku KishimotoMakoto FuchigamiDecember 3, 2021 (2021-12-03)[d]
9"The Queen and the Shield"
Transcription: "Ōhi to Tate" (Japanese: 王妃と盾)
Arifumi ImaiTaku KishimotoArifumi ImaiDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
10"The Prince's Sword"
Transcription: "Ōji no Ken" (Japanese: 王子の剣)
Mai TeshimaTaku KishimotoMai TeshimaDecember 17, 2021 (2021-12-17)
11"Older and Younger Brothers"
Transcription: "Ani to Otōto" (Japanese: 兄と弟)
Ryōta AikeiTaku KishimotoRyōta AikeiDecember 24, 2021 (2021-12-24)[f]
12"The Footsteps of War"
Transcription: "Tatakai no Ashioto" (Japanese: 戦いの足音)
Makoto FuchigamiTaku KishimotoShinsaku SasakiJanuary 7, 2022 (2022-01-07)
13"The Kingdom in Turmoil"
Transcription: "Ōkoku no Midare" (Japanese: 王国の乱れ)
Chihiro Kumano,
Atsushi Nakagawa
Taku KishimotoMasayuki MiyajiJanuary 14, 2022 (2022-01-14)[d]
14"The Return of the Prince"
Transcription: "Ōji no Kikan" (Japanese: 王子の帰還)
Yumi KamakuraTaku KishimotoYumi KamakuraJanuary 21, 2022 (2022-01-21)
15"The Order of the Underworld"
Transcription: "Meifu Kishidan" (Japanese: 冥府騎士団)
Hitomi EzoeTomomi KawaguchiShinsaku SasakiJanuary 28, 2022 (2022-01-28)
16"Royal Majesty"
Transcription: "Ō no Igen" (Japanese: 王の威厳)
Mai TeshimaTomomi KawaguchiYoshiki Kitai, Yōko Kanemori,
Mai Teshima
February 4, 2022 (2022-02-04)[g]
17"The Curse of Immortality"
Transcription: "Fushi no Noroi" (Japanese: 不死の呪い)
Tomoko Hiramuki, Mitsutoshi Satō,
Atsushi Nakagawa
Fūka IshiiHiroaki ShimuraFebruary 11, 2022 (2022-02-11)[g]
18"Battle with the Gods"
Transcription: "Kamigami to no Arasoi" (Japanese: 神々との争い)
Makoto Fuchigami, Mitsutoshi Satō,
Hitomi Ezoe
Fūka IshiiShintarō NakazawaFebruary 18, 2022 (2022-02-18)[g]
19"The Last Bastion"
Transcription: "Saigo no Toride" (Japanese: 最後の砦)
Arifumi ImaiTaku KishimotoAtsushi TakahashiFebruary 25, 2022 (2022-02-25)
20"Immortal vs. Invincible"
Transcription: "“Fujimi” tai ”Muteki”" (Japanese: “不死身” 対 ”無敵”)
Yumi KamakuraTaku KishimotoYumi KamakuraMarch 4, 2022 (2022-03-04)
21"The Swordsmanship of a King"
Transcription: "Ō no Ken" (Japanese: 王の剣)
Shōta GoshozonoTaku KishimotoShōta GoshozonoMarch 11, 2022 (2022-03-11)
22"A Promise to the Demon"
Transcription: "Majin to no Yakusoku" (Japanese: 魔神との約束)
Hitomi EzoeTaku KishimotoYoshiki KitaiMarch 18, 2022 (2022-03-18)[f]
23"The King and the Sun"
Transcription: "Ōsama to Taiyō" (Japanese: 王様と太陽)
Se Jun Kim, Yōsuke HattaTaku KishimotoSe Jun Kim, Yōsuke HattaMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)[h]

Reception[edit]

Manga[edit]

As of December 2021, the manga had over 1.5 million copies in circulation.[22]

Ranking of Kings ranked at the 6th place on the Tsutaya Comic Awards 2019.[36] It ranked 5th on Manga Shimbun Taishō 2019.[37] The 2020 edition of Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, which surveys professionals in the manga and publishing industry, named Ranking of Kings the seventh best manga series for male readers.[38] The characters Bojji and Kage were nominated in the Best lead male actor and Best supporting male actor respectively, in the Magademy Award 2022.[39][40] Ranking of Kings is part of the Youth Selections category at the 50th Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2023.[41]

Anime[edit]

In China, the anime received acclaim from viewers for its heartwarming story. The show received nearly 48 million views on Bilibili with only 4 episodes available.[42]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2022 6th Crunchyroll Anime Awards Best Boy Bojji Won [43][44]
Best Protagonist Nominated
Anime of the Year Ranking of Kings
Best Character Design
Best Fantasy
Best VA Performance (FR) Alexis Tomassian as Kage
Galaxy Awards Monthly Galaxy Awards Ranking of Kings Won [45]
2023 12th Newtype Anime Awards Best Mascot Character Kage 4th place [46]
7th Crunchyroll Anime Awards Anime of the Year Ranking of Kings Pending [47]
Best Fantasy
Best Animation
Best Character Design Atsuko Nozaki
Best Main Character Bojji
Best Supporting Character Kage
"Must Protect At All Costs" Character Bojji
Kage
Best Director Yōsuke Hatta
Best Opening Sequence "Hadaka no Yūsha" by Vaundy
Best VA Performance (English) SungWon Cho as Kage
Best VA Performance (Arabic) Adel Abo Hassoon as Kage
Best VA Performance (Castilian) Marc Gómez as Daida
Mónica Padrós as Hiling
Best VA Performance (French) Alexis Tomassian as Kage
Brigitte Lecordier as Bojji
Best VA Performance (Italian) Andrea Oldani as Daida

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chief Unit Director (チーフ演出)
  2. ^ Fuji TV listed the series premiere at 24:55 on October 14, 2021, which is effectively 12:55 a.m. JST on October 15.
  3. ^ This episode aired at 1:28 a.m. JST, 33 minutes after the original air time on Fuji TV.
  4. ^ a b c d This episode aired at 1:05 a.m. JST, 10 minutes after the original air time on Fuji TV.
  5. ^ This episode aired at 1:30 a.m. JST, 35 minutes after the original air time on Fuji TV.
  6. ^ a b This episode aired at 1:15 a.m. JST, 20 minutes after the original air time on Fuji TV.
  7. ^ a b c This episode aired at 1:00 a.m. JST, 5 minutes after the original air time on Fuji TV.
  8. ^ This episode aired at 1:25 a.m. JST, 30 minutes after the original air time on Fuji TV.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Loo, Egan (November 5, 2020). "Wit Studio Animates Ōsama Ranking Fantasy Comedy for October TV Premiere on noitaminA". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
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  6. ^ @LuisBermudezVO (November 17, 2021). "Was going to hold off until episode 2 when I have *actual words to say*, but since @caitlinsvoice tagged me in her post, I'm ecstatic to say you can hear me as The Spear of The King, Apeas in #RankingOfKings! Easily my favorite show this season, SO HYPE for you all to hear it!!!" (Tweet). Retrieved March 27, 2022 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Loo, Egan (August 12, 2021). "Ranking of Kings Anime's 1st Full Video Unveils More Cast, Opening Song Artists". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
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  14. ^ "王様ランキング 4". Enterbrain. Archived from the original on August 17, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  15. ^ "王様ランキング 5". Enterbrain. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
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  19. ^ "王様ランキング 9". Enterbrain. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  20. ^ "王様ランキング 10". Enterbrain. Archived from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
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  22. ^ a b "王様ランキング 12". Enterbrain. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
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  24. ^ "王様ランキング 14". Enterbrain. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]