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Manga: Kingdom

Millions of years have passed since the times of legends, where men and gods lived together. In this era, it was human ambition that drove the world. It was the great age of war lasting 500 years, the "Spring and Autumn Warring States Period"...

In the Warring States Period of ancient China (475-221 BCE), Xin and Piao are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin. They dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. One day, however, Piao is taken to the palace by a minister. Winding up on the losing side of a power-struggle, Piao manages to return to the village, barely alive. Xin then meets a boy who closely resembles Piao, Ying Zheng. For now he is the king of Qin; later he will become the emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Serialized in Weekly Young Jump, Kingdom is a manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhisa Hara since 2006. It won the 17th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Award Grand Prize.

Kingdom's anime (adapted from a manga running since 2006) aired starting from June 4th 2012. Its first season lasted 38 episodes, and season 2 will be airing in June 2013. Funimation has all of season 1 here.

Kingdom provides examples of:

  • A House Divided: A central theme of the story. Whether it's Zheng's little brother starting a coup d'etat or Lu Buwei's faction plotting to seize power in the imperial court.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Chi You.
  • Arch-Enemy: Wang Yi to Pang Nuan.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Can [Xin] become a full general in five years?"
  • Badass Armfold: Ba Jiao all the time.
  • Battle Couple: Wang Yi and Liao.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Mostly true, characters who are evil at the core generally have ridiculously twisted appearances. Averted, however, with Wang Yi, who only looks like another ugly villain.
  • Blade on a Stick: Wang Yi. He passes it on to Xin when he dies, but it's currently too heavy for him (just as metaphorically as it is physically).
  • Bloodless Carnage: Zig zagged in the anime. In duels between named characters, there is blood. But in large scale battles, defeated soldiers are simply sent flying.
  • Blow Gun: The Weapon of Choice of Muta. After his defeat, Diao takes it.
  • Body Double: Piao was this for Zheng.
  • Bodyguard Crush: As a little girl, Liao promised to marry Wang Yi if she conquered 100 castles. Years later, she was on her way to siege her 100th when she was killed by Pang Nuan.
  • Cain and Abel: Chengjiao and Zheng respectively.
  • Civil War: Qin is currently going through one of the Cold War type.
  • Conspicuous CG: Occurs about half the time with the characters themselves in the anime. Season 2 is improving on how much it's used though.
  • Died On His Horse: Wang Yi.
  • Dual Wielding: Ba Jiao and Lun Hu.
  • David Versus Goliath: In season 2, Xin effortlessly slays a giant of a man.
    • Chapter 348 shows a picture of Xin and Pang both on horses facing off. Both Pang and his horse are three-four times bigger than Xin and his horse. Everyone from both sides have shocked expression of the supposed mismatched.
  • Evolving Credits: New characters are featured in the opening as they are introduced.
  • Fat Bastard: Jie Shi.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Piao dies.
  • Foregone Conclusion: History tells us that the Qin state ultimately succeeds in ending the Warring State Period, bringing about the start of the Qin Dynasty
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. Xin understandably refuses to help Zheng at first since the body double plan killed his best friend.
  • Four-Star Badass: All of the commanding generals, especially Wang Yi. Xin definitely has a lot to live up to if he wants to be one of these.
  • Gorn: In the manga, the fight scenes can get pretty brutal.
  • Hot-Blooded: Xin.
  • If We Get Through This: Sadly, Wei Dao never gets to propose to his girlfriend.
  • Killed Off for Real: Piao, Wei Dao, Wang Yi, Duke Hyou, Moubou, Chengjiao,.
  • Long-Lost Relative: King Zhao and Liao wordlessly realize they are father and daughter when they meet for the first time after Liao was taken away from her mother as a baby.
  • Made of Plasticine: In the manga, body parts tend to go flying. Taken Up to Eleven at one point when two generals were ripping enemy soldiers with studded clubs.
  • Manly Tears: Everyone regarding Wang Yi's death.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Qin's entire royal court when they learn that all other six states are invading them. Even Ryofui loses his cool.
  • Not So Stoic: Zheng angrily stomps on his throne a bit after his meeting with Lu Buwei.
    • Wang Yi after Pang Nuan kills Liao.
  • Number Two: Teng to Wang Yi. He's personally promoted to commanding general before Wang Yi dies.
  • Oh, Crap: Bi has this expression when Wang Yi appears during the She Gan Plain battle.
    • Changwenjun, after finding out that, the one in charge of the Zhao army is Pang Nuan.
    • Two episodes later, Xin when he quickly realizes his sword strike didn't do anything to Pang Nuan.
    • The Qin army, after Wang Yi is stabbed by Pang Nuan.
      • Xin after he failed to stop the archer from hitting Wang Yi, allowing Pang Nuan the victory.
    • Xin and the audience when a new rival states his name as Wang Ben.
  • One-Man Army: Pang Nuan has no problem taking on hundreds/thousands of Qin soldiers alone.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Piao and later Wang Yi.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The five-man squad that Xin is assigned to in his first campaign. This also applies to the entire Fei Xin Force once he's promoted, growing into True Companions.
    • Episode 4 of season 2 drives it home when the newly introduced Yu Feng Force (whose members are of noble lineage) laughs in the faces of the villager-populated Fei Xin Force.
  • Reality Ensues: This does take place in the middle of a war period.
  • The Rival: Wang Ben and his Yu Feng Force to Xin and the Fei Xin Force.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Piao.
  • Samus is a Girl: Duang He, Diao, Qiang Lei, and one of the six great generals Liao.
  • She Is the King: Duang He.
  • Squad Nickname: Xin's is the Fei Xin (Fast and Trustworthy) Force, while Wang Ben's is the Yu Feng Force.
  • Smug Snake: Cheng Jiao and Jie Shi.
  • Smug Super: Lu Buwei and Huan Ji
  • So Proud of You: Zhao to Liao when he realizes she is his daughter.
  • The Strategist: Diao makes steps to become this near the end of season 1, and has enrolled in a strategist school in season 2 and becomes Xin's strategist by the end of season 2.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: He Liao Diao and Qiang Lei.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Episode 32 is centered around this.
  • Tagalong Kid: He Liao Diao initially.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Piao's sword and Wang Yi's lance for Xin.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cheng Jiao and his court after Lan Kai's defeat.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 32. The Fei Xin Force is forced to retreat from a losing battle, ending in Wei Dao's death.
  • Wham Line: The end of the first episode of season 2, messengers inform Qin that Li Mu is the Prime Minister of Zhao.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Lun Hu looks physically about as young as Xin, but is really in his thirties.
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