After watching Kingdom season 1 episode 13, I’m yet again left with the painful realization that CGI is not the answer for anime. The fight with Lan Kai had so much more potential in it that it almost makes this a bad episode. I know I should be excited for what I just watched, I just can’t help shake this feeling of disappointment.
How was the story in Kingdom season 1 episode 13?
Considering everything surrounded what was happening in the throne room, I think episode 13 did a pretty good job. The importance of the breakaway group’s mission is firmly implanted into our heads early on. This is done with both the death of one of the mountain folk in the group and the determination of Zheng’s force in the courtyard.
Should the breakaway force fail, everything will be for nothing. I think that was something that was understood prior to Kingdom season 1 episode 13, but it was good to go ahead and state it here. Xin needed something like that said straight to his face in order to understand it.
The way in which the big battle with Lan Kai unfolds is done pretty well. Xin, Bi and Ba Jio didn’t know that he was going to be their next opponent, but we sure did. This was actually the fight that I was excited to see. I wanted to know how Xin was going to handle the unstoppable giant. I still don’t have that answer.
What did episode 13 get right?
Of all of the things that Kingdom season 1 episode 13 did well, the part that was done the best was Ba Jio’s backstory. When faced with Lan Kai’s seemingly indestructible nature, Ba Jio says that he’s going to “go back in time.” This phrase causes the other mountain folk to step back.
The two mountain elders arrive just in time to tell us why. The two grumpy old men reveal that Ba Jio was basically a feral child living in the mountains. He was able to kill a group of 20 warriors all by himself. He was only tamed by Yang Duanhe and came to serve her. With Ba Jio tapping into that feral side, we get the pleasure of watching him strike fear into Lan Kai.
What did episode 13 get wrong?
Unfortunately, the ending of the Lan Kai vs. Ba Jio fight was a letdown. After being no match for the wild man from the mountains, Lan Kai just grabs Ba Jio. Lan Kai didn’t manage to do this by some last ditch effort, by playing possum or a cleverly laid trap. He just grabs Ba Jio with little effort.
What’s worse is that Ba Jio allows the giant to do it. We just watched the last several minutes of Ba Jio easily avoiding Lan Kai’s attacks while slicing up the giant. Now all of a sudden that stopped? Is that just because it’s time in the story to bring back in Xin? It was just disappointing.
I could repeat myself here and mention that I was also annoyed with the inconsistent usage of blood. If you’ve read some of my more recent reviews of season 1, you’ll notice that it’s been a recurring theme. It’s here in Kingdom season 1 episode 13 as well. I won’t go into it again, you can see my thoughts in my other posts on the anime.
Is Kingdom season 1 episode 13 worth watching?
When I look at what Kingdom season 1 episode 13 did right and compare it to what it did wrong, it looks like I should say no. Thankfully I enjoyed a little bit more than just the few highlights I listed in those sections. I think the characters themselves are interesting. It always helps when they’re based on historical people, at least it does for me. I’m a sucker for these types of anime.
With that in mind, I’ll recommend episode 13. I’m fully wrapped up in the story so to stop here would be unfulfilling. If you’ve made it this far too I think you’ll understand.
Now go watch some anime!