Millions of years have passed since the times of legends, when the worlds of man and gods were still the same. In these times it was the desires of man that moved the world. It is the era of the 500 year war: The warring states period. Kingdom is the story of a young boy named Shin who grew into a great general and all the trials and bloodshed that lead him there.
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An engaging, dynamic, and consistent main character
The main character, Xin, is the most realistic shounen main character I've seen and loved. Though at the start he seems to be riding purely on the waves of luck and plot device, we see his character emerge from a socially-conscious background. We cannot relate with him in a way that he has insecurities in skills, in being alienated, or in lacking loyal and loving relationships to support his character. Through and through, he was a young man who started out as a clueless servant boy chasing after a dream left behind by someone he once shared it with. The conditions and violent, volatile way of life in the Warring States Era is not something we who could freely access the Internet or purchase manga can relate to, yet Xin's story welcomes us to dive into his arduous journey of fighting and finding meaning behind it in the grander scheme of things that Zheng is opening to.
Xin has started off as a laughing stock. His antics at the start of the manga has always made me laugh and I enjoyed going back to those moments. But he became such a dynamic character who would provide insight that no eloquent speech or status could deliver. We're spared from “instant genius-change” and sees that Xin will always be the lower-class person that he'll always be. But while he may never be able to map complex strategies in his head, experience shapes him emotionally and mentally. We see him mature. We see him provide the king himself insight a great man like him would overlook.
What I love about Xin the most is that he knows how to deal with people. The way he had Qiang Lei open up to him was not some sort of random talk. We see this with his interaction with Zheng too. I feel like a lot of people overlook that strength is not just about qualities related to popularity or ability. There are a lot of strengths relating to social wellness. This is the one point why I have stamped Xin as a shounen character that is unlike any other. He behaves like how an ordinary person would. His simplicity should not be scorned at, but be admired for its tenacity. Time and time again, those that leave him behind are people who have inspired light in his eyes. Perhaps this is one thing we can relate with him. There are people in our lives who inspire us to dream...and we want to continue living with what they taught us so that their memory will continue to smile with us.
Xin himself understands that thinking is not his greatest strength. We expect our protagonist to emerge from this obstacle by gaining new strength. In Xin, he attains this by relying on others. How often do we see this in manga? Xin even acknowledges this early on in the manga. He is not quite as bright, so he wishes things to be spelled out for him. There is no shame in this. Could you really blame him? He who grew up nothing but as a servant, chasing after Piao's brilliance?
And I like this. I love how it makes sense. I love how logical the facts are. Servants don't just become smarter, and education is not something open for everyone – or something to have time with. Piao was clearly an exception. A one in a one thousand. Xin knew that Piao would have been someone who would be better than him. But he's dead. Xin has buried his memories of Piao in the village until he could achieve their dream. He could not keep on mourning or wallow in insecurity about Piao's death. The only way is forward.
This is a manga not for everyone's taste. I've recommended this to friends who liked it for the grander battles and gore. Me? I loved it because of its characters, particularly Xin. I love the intricacies of politics, the historical setting in China, and the deaths and impacts that leave me to tears and cheering on for Xin. He's not a character who has an ambition to save the world, to take vengeance on a rival or villain, or to find the truth behind some dark secret. Xin dared to chase after a dream to leave a mark on the world and to rise above the social conditions imposed on him as a servant. As Piao once told Xin, they were left with nothing but able bodies. As long as they had the sword, they could do anything.
As a side note, I'd like to point out that the Qin Dynasty and its unification is an era of class struggles. Xin is a symbol of the lower class who is struggling tooth and nail to get to the top. Fellow peasants in the Fei Xin Force who could not achieve or even dare to dream such big goals pin their hopes in Xin. Just as Piao had inspired Xin, Xin had inspired his people. To them, his victory is their victory too. The blaze he leaves as he works toward his dream is an ignition in their life too.
Do not judge Xin on face value. I suppose this manga is not for readers who can only grasp things from the surface. Kokoko. Those who scorn and ridicule Xin's intelligence obviously can't read beyond text.
... Last updated on August 19th, 2014, 10:53am
Seinen manga with cliche Shounen main character.
This is amazing manga but i know the mangaka is trying to make the main character a general , after reading this manga , i say he doesn't have the characteristics of being a general , he is a just a soldier, nothing more , that's where he must be , trusting him of thousands of people's lives in the hands of this naive kid is making me to drop this manga but what i read is for the political and the war and other characters , i just try my best to ignore him at all .
... Last updated on June 27th, 2014, 11:05am
Great series ... only if you can get past the main character
Kingdom is the whole package when it comes to action. It covers all bases with more exaggerated fictional one on one battles to strategical battles to political wars. There are timely breaks between each war to break the monotony of endless fights, and interesting side characters to keep dialogue lively.
But my major issue with this series is that battles are large scale and highly dependent on numbers - not brawn. It drives me crazy that the main character is extraordinarily dumb, which simply does not work when his goal is to be a general in charge of thousands of lives. He sacrifices many of his subordinates' lives by being the idiot that he is but doesn't learn from it. He hasn't shown any remorse or conflicting thoughts about letting so many people die up to this point, and he hasn't developed intellectually to better lead an army. Instead, he continues to put a large emphasis on 'war achievements' and individual fighting strength.
The MC's very character contradicts his end goal, and it makes no sense that he's getting closer to becoming a general.
A Complete Imbecile Cannot Become a Great General
I see a lot of people call the the MC an idiot. He's not. He is an imbecile, a mentally retarded sack of adrenaline fueled stupidity. A person that stupid could never become a great general. At best he would be a puppet for a real strategist who lacked the physical stature to fill the role.
While I like the way battles are laid out and the overall thought that seems to be given to the background of the story, the MC is at best a shounen cliche. If he was just uneducated but possessing native intellect an cunning, this could have been included among the greatest manga ever written.
While I see a lot of people glorifying or downright slamming this manga. I see where both sides are coming from. But tend to lean more toward the positive side. I picked up this manga solely because it was on my list. And was pleasantly surprised. The battles are well worked out, and gripping. (yes they always end happily , and are glorified, but it's still a manga so what can you expect?) The setting is fascinating and the characters are (usually) fledhed out and interesting. And it has incredibly fast releases.
Now my main gripes with this manga were : The main character is pretty obnoxious at the start, though this does get better with time. (which could be seen as a strength because it follows not just the physical, but also the mental growth of the lead.)
And the fact that there are 'surprise reinforcements' every damn time. I know all is supposed to end well in stories like this. But it happens so often that it starts taking away from the tension.
Now overall I really enjoy this manga. And would recommend it to anyone who enjoys grand scale battles and the setting in Ancient China. Just don't expect too many surprises, and be ready to put up with a brat of a main character for at least the first 80 chapters.
Those who reads Chinese classics or other ancient epic stories will have the similar feeling of how a greatness of of heroic general conveyed through story or poems. Kingdom is one of few historic manga that able to make you drown the story with such heroic atmosphere. Some might complain that it's unrealistic but I see this as an artistic way of story telling; much like how ancient bards singing the greatness in excessive and grand word and poems. Some people complain that main character is idiot but I think he's more hotblooded and those "idiot" moment only there to show some healthy dose of comedy among those grand atmosphere. Recommended for fans of epic stories, but be wary that manga is not history textbook.
Fast releases(0-3 chapters per day). That is the biggest reason I like this manga. It is not anything new from what I have read but it is good enough and is enjoyable to read. But yeah, biggest reason is I don't have to wait a week(or sometimes 6 months) just to read the next chapter.
a loooooong read
yep, it's a long pace manga it's not your instance "woow, you're great" type main hero, there is difficulty he must face before he can become what he want
and there (maybe) a little bit romance in near future... well, it's quite good for me after too many battle and bloodbath (even the heroine have some "crazy" skill)
and yeah i will support shin X Kyoukai
... Last updated on April 17th, 2014, 4:42am
One of my favorites manga of all time
I think it was a great decision to start this manga from the beginning, the story lines is great, the characters were magnificent, and the fights were epic. My favorite character is Ouki of course!
I recommend this manga to every one who is looking for great manga.
... Last updated on March 28th, 2014, 10:18am
Main Character is an Idiot
Don't know why it recieves such high praise, but as far as I have read (till CH100) it's average. The lead is irritating and is a total idiot. He has zero IQ and is the dumbest character I have seen. I enjoy gore & historical settings, but I can't stand idiot main character.