Kingdom Season 1 Episode 1 appears to be exactly what I’ve been looking for. Every time I finish up with one of my episode by episode reviews of a anime season, I start wondering what I should go to next. Should I just watch the popular anime that airing right now? That’s no fun. Part of the reason I started this blog was to discover new anime.
When I started to look this last time, I came across Kingdom. It seemed like it could be an anime that I would like, and there’s the added bonus that season 3 is fresh in everyone’s mind. I figured “Why not!” and decided to take the plunge.
How do you like the story of Kingdom Season 1 Episode 1?
There’s nothing in the first episode of Kingdom season 1 that particularly surprised me. Two orphans, Piao and Xin, have a goal of becoming famous generals one day. They train relentlessly and one day a member of the Royal Court shows up and takes Piao away.
Unbeknownst to either boy, there’s a power struggle going on in the capital with the younger, half-brother of the king intent on seizing power. Piao ends up embroiled in all of this and returns back to Xin a bloody mess. This sets Xin off in a rampage and the story is off.
It feels like a pretty standard revenge story. Devious people are at work and it affects the person that the main protagonist cares for. It’s simple but effective here. Watching Xin lose his mind over the death of his best friend is a pretty moving moment. It definitely sets the stage for this anime.
Is there anything in the episode that seems off?
There is one thing that’s been bothering me since the start of Kingdom episode 1. How did Piao and Xin learn how to fight with swords? It’s not like there’s someone around that’s a master swordsman. They don’t have a teacher that can easily explain why the two boys are so proficient.
When you watch Piao and Xin duel each other, they come across as more than competent swordsmen. The two boys have obviously spent a great deal of time honing their craft. I just don’t see how they could get to this point without having some sort of instruction. It just doesn’t make sense.
Is there anything in Kingdom Season 1 Episode 1 that you don’t like?
Yes. The animation. If you look at any of my previous reviews on anime that are predominantly CGI then you’ll see a common theme. I really don’t like CGI use in anime. I admit there are times when it’s used efficiently in an anime, but when it’s the whole thing I really don’t like it.
Kingdom Season 1 Episode 1 is predominantly animated via CGI (or some other technique that closely mimics it). That means there are times when the characters in the anime lack the body language or lip movements necessary to accurately portray what they’re trying to do or say. CGI makes everything feel stilted. I don’t like it.
Great, you don’t like the animation. What do you like?
I think this is about as good an introduction for an evil faction as I can remember. Politics can be an unforgiving game. What I just witnessed in Kingdom Season 1 Episode 1 was the cruel reality of politics back in ancient times. It’s even true in some parts of the world today. When a rival faction takes control it can mean death.
The king’s younger half-brother, Cheng Jiao, is a shrewd, conniving little monster who puts an emphasis on his bloodline. He despises anyone that rises above their humble beginnings, as we’re shown in detail when he has a loyal soldier killed. He hates his older half-brother and wants to take control of the throne because he considers his half-brother’s mother to be unworthy.
Is Kingdom Season 1 Episode 1 Worth Watching?
I can tell right now that Kingdom is going to be an anime that’s geared more towards mature viewers. If you like these kinds of stories then my first impression is that you’d like this anime. I enjoyed watching episode 1 and I’m looking forward to episode 2. Just be warned, episode 1 is 50 minutes long so you’ll need to invest some time in this one.
Now go watch some anime!