There’s something to be said for finishing a season with your best material ever.
General Wang Qi, as played by Koyama Rikiya, quite simply made Kingdom exceptional over the last third of the series. He effectively became the main character by sheer force of personality, and there’s nothing at all wrong with the nominal main character, Xin – he’s quite a good one, in fact. But Wang Qi was exceptional from the very beginning, when he made a striking entrance with his bizarre appearance and even more grandiose behavior. RIkiya-san is completely over the top with this performance, and it completely works – it’s a tour-de-force.
emotional crescendo that it’s quite frankly going to be difficult for the second to live up to. Nevertheless there are some very interesting plot elements in place, and the introduction of Li Mu adds a potentially fascinating twist on things – a strategist of the highest order and nominally the enemy, but not a man who revels in or even condones needless bloodshed and even says he “hates war”. I suspect his perspective will be similar to that of Zheng – to bring peace to China by subjugating the land through war. Meanwhile the focus of the story will surely be on Xin as he continues his quest to fulfill his childhood promise and become the greatest general in the land. I have no reason to suspect the second season – scheduled for June – will be any great shakes visually, but judging by the last several eps there’s a chance it could be decent – the finale had some really lovely art and even very good animation in spots. Irrespective of that I’ll be watching, as I’m pretty much sold on the story by now.