Kingdom is set in the Warring States period of China. The beginning of the story focuses on two war orphans, Xin and Piao, who are servants for the head of a village. In their free time, they like to battle each other with wooden swords; both boys also share a dream of becoming famous generals and escaping from their servant life. One day, a soldier sees them and talks with them about their dueling.
After going back to their home, the boys are surprised by a visit from the soldier. He asks to see Piao, and offers him a chance to take a position in the royal court. After asking about Xin and being told that the soldier will only take Piao, the boy says he needs a day to think about it; the soldier agrees. Xin, who overheard the conversation, tells Piao that he would be foolish to pass up this opportunity. Piao ends up going with the solider.
About a month later, Xin hears a noise outside the barn door. Xin finds a mortally wounded Piao on the ground outside, and Piao explains that he ended up getting caught up in a coup attempt being committed by the king's half-brother. With his remaining breath and strength, Piao hands a map to Xin and tells him he must go to this location in his place.
After Piao passes away, Xin ends up taking the map and Piao's sword, in the hopes of finding a way to avenge his friend's death. The first episode ends with Xin discovering what is located at the destination on the map; what he finds surprises him.
The first episode of Kingdom runs for 50 minutes; however, the first episode needed to be this long in order to establish the story and to get the viewer interested in continuing to follow the series. I have to admit that while I watched the first episode, I found it a little slow to get going; but by the end of the first episode, I thought the series was interesting enough to watch more of if I get a chance to.
Content-wise, Kingdom can be a little on the violent side. There is some blood shown on screen in a couple of the scenes in the first episode. With the concepts and ideas being introduced in the series, I suspect that this violent aspect will appear in future episodes.
Personally, I would recommend Kingdom to anime viewers who are 14 or 15 years of age and older.
|Kingdom||38||2012-ongoing||Jun Kamiya||Studio Pierrot||N/A|