Ranking of Kings - Reviews

Alt title: Ou-sama Ranking

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ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Mar 26, 2022

Ranking of Kings was a standout in the roster of 2021 by looking like a European fairy tale. It also began as a typical underdog story about a weak prince nobody takes seriously trying to win his right to the throne, before becoming more elaborate by including themes such as psychological issues and political intrigue. Unfortunately it doesn’t do much from a point on and thus it never escapes the fairy tale vibe it began as. Most of the conflicts are resolved way too fast and in ways that insult your intelligence.

1) Selfish people and traitors will be changing their mind when they see the prince cry a lot or never give up, and will be forgiven almost immediately.

2) Bad guys are turned into misunderstood people with a last moment sad flashback that is making them tragic in an instant (even if they have caused harm to thousands of innocents) and are never punished.

3) Most negative consequences such as fatal injuries go away before you know it. Also fake deaths are abundant.

4) There is no sense of tension or high stakes when betrayals, horrible acts, and injuries can be undone so easily. It wouldn’t be a problem if the author never made it seem like stakes exist, but he does all the time and constantly deflates every conflict with cheap fixes.

It’s nice to see a show taking a more serious approach with its material, but let’s not pretend it does an exceptional job. The lack of negative consequences make it come off like yet another escapism fantasy for people who wish they will be forgiven for all the shitty things they have done, simply by crying a lot. We live in a society where someone can have his entire life ruined by eating a jelly bean, and the easiest method for making people forget all the crap you have done is to manipulate them through their emotions by crying in front of a camera. Ranking of Kings relies way too much on people crying for making you think they deserve a happy ending instead of punishment for all the crap they did, and it reaches levels of insanity the closer it gets to the ending. One of the characters is even given a marriage proposal as a reward for crying despite being the most horrible person in the world.

Also ignore anyone who considers this to be an instant classic or something as grand as that. It’s a very niche show that appeals to fans of fairy tales who seek something more elaborate. Most casual anime fans will not bother watching something that looks like a European fairy tale or will not be fond of a simple coming-of-age story they can find elsewhere, preferably with magical samurais and big titty ladies. As for the veteran watchers, they will most likely dislike how it gives a happy ending to people that deserve years in a torture chamber.

3/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
3.5/10 overall
orpheusx9's avatar
Dec 26, 2021

UPDATE: It got worse.

To be fair, some review comments made me reconsider my score for the animation. I really, really don't like the art style, but the animation is admittedly done pretty well so I updated the score from 5 -> 7. But aesthetic and art style are a part of the animation score, and I hated it, so I will not go any higher than a 7.

Story was downgraded from 7 -> 5, characters were downgraded from 5 -> 4. I stand by what I said when I reviewed this previously. There are things the show did well, especially certain emotional moments and characters. I really enjoyed Hiling's character arc, and some of the side characters like Kage and Despa were some of my favorites.

But as others have pointed out, there are a lot of stupid plot twists and sudden flashbacks/misunderstandings to redeem characters. The writer(s) couldn't figure out whether this was a super serious show about interpersonal, political conflicts or a light-hearted adventure of a weak boy rising to power amid numerous villains and allies. So we got this show that ended up being a half-assed mess of both. Feels like the writer(s) desperately wanted everyone to have a happy ending and forced a bunch of stuff in. This confusion was probably what made me feel like there was something off about this show, but I couldn't put my finger on it before when I first reviewed at only ~12 episodes in.

Some characters (e.g. Hiling) were consistently expanded upon and grew alongside the show. They didn't really expand on Miranjo as a character until way later in the series, but even then her bizarre actions at least had some kind of reason behind them. But then other characters like King Bosse were not only left unexplained until near the end, the explanation didn't make any sense. He played a major role as an antagonist and yet at the same time still felt like a bystander to the entire situation. Even once the series ended, I didn't ever feel like I was bought into what he wanted out of the entire ordeal and why. ** SPOILER ** Daida wanting to marry Miranjo was a complete WTF moment. ** END SPOILER **

For other people who commented on this review, you need learn how to handle people disagreeing with you. My comments weren't even off-base or far-fetched, and you still got so triggered and felt the need to insult me. Kindly grow up

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TL;DR - It starts surprisingly good, but has gotten kind of weird.

Okay, hear me out - I'm not giving this a worse rating just to be contrarian to the other reviews here. When I first started watching this show, I was also totally sucked in. Based on the description and the art style, I didn't at all have high expectations for it, but I was pleasantly proven wrong even after just the first episode.

This show does what many other shows don't, which is flesh out characters and their backstories. I'm really a big fan of Kage, and of course our very own MC Bojji is just a cute little guy doing his best, and that makes you want to root for him so hard because he's so endearing. Seeing Kage so supportive of Bojji is so heartwarming because based on his experiences, he should be a jaded, angry, and resentful guy. But Bojji brings back the light in him.

Similarly, you're given the impression that multiple people are evil and malicious, but it turns out that actually, they're just really misunderstood. That's a pretty common trope in anime, but in this show, it's done in a tasteful, meaningful way that's not cheesy or dumb* (*for some characters... read on to find out more). Imagine a piece of crystal that seems ugly and dull, but then after rotating it and observing it in the sunlight, you finally find the right angle where the light just gleams from it. That's how much depth many of these characters are given, and it really gives this show a whole new immersion I wish other anime had.

And all of this is just in the first 5 episodes or so, and it's so powerful and really just incredible to watch.

But having sung its praises, now I need to get into why I didn't rate it very high. Starting from about episode 5 or 6, shit starts getting really weird.

The problem is that the same depth of backstory and motivations isn't shown for all characters. Where this is notably lacking is in the antagonists or people who turn against our main character's camp.

Arguably, the most important characters are the main antagonists, but nobody has any idea what the fuck they want. I have no clue what their motivations are, and when there's no clear goal, there's no clear conflict. People are randomly tested and assassinated. I can't tell who's an enemy or a friend anymore, people keep flip-flopping, one minute you think they're evil, the next, oh it turns out they're good? For these characters, that "misunderstood" trope doesn't work because, again, you have no idea what they want even after 11 episodes.

The show starts off really heartwarming and interesting and then suddenly several episodes in, there's graphic violence. Like a dead body getting ground into a liquid. Lots of warfare. Limbs getting cut off. Lots of puking. It totally threw me off.

I can't really say any more without spoiling hugely important things, but to sum things up, it started out AMAZING and now I have no idea what the storyteller is trying to tell us. I'm gonna keep watching and see how they tie all this together. Maybe there's some hidden genius here I'm not picking up, but it sort of feels like it's unraveling a bit

5/10 story
7/10 animation
9/10 sound
4/10 characters
5.5/10 overall
dingdong69's avatar
Nov 23, 2021

Honestly everything in this anime is amazing. Hell it might even be anime of the year for me, but I digress. 

Plot

The story is quite interesting, it sets on a world where kings are ranked based on many things: population, economy, the king's leadership, etc.

Among the thousands of kings out there in this fantasy world, King Bosse ranks 7. Renowned for his strength, everyone expected his son to be as strong and big as him... though those expectations were not met. Our adorable (and incredibly cute) first prince Bojji is both mute and deaf, but he makes it up with his amazing ability to observe. He meets with Kage, who was once part of an clan of elite assassins, and begins their wonderful friendship with each other. 

The world looks like any other fantasy type-beat but it's significantly different than what you would expect. Why was Kage's clan cursed to look like that, why it was eradicated, who created the king's ranking system, and much more. Its very indulgent to slowly watch the answers getting revealed one by one, while also creating even more questions. 

Animation and OST

Don't be fooled by the childish style, because it includes everything you could ask for, badass action, unique monsters, and quite a lot of violence. Both the OP and ED are an absolute wonder to hear - King Gnu performing for the OP and yama performing the ED with its fantastic story book animation style.

Tldr: it made me cry in just two episodes, that's how good it is. Watch it.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
Iifeofisolation's avatar
Apr 1, 2022

**Spoilers**

I genuinely thought this was going to be in my top 10 however the last few episodes completely tanked the story.

It started off strong, it made me emotional at times, I loved the certain twists we got but as far as resolutions I felt like it was always rushed and never really satisfying. 

The whole forgiving Miranjo thing though really set me off. I'm tired of shows/real life always saying to forgive people etc... its ok to not forgive. But I guess that's just me. 

Had they forgiven her and given her a light punishment then okay whatever, but for Daida to then want to marry her!? That was the moment I said nope.

As a viewer I just felt really bad for the brothers wanting to help Ouken and instead got f'd over.

The first half of the show was so great but man towards the end...what a huge bummer.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
5/10 overall
Lvand's avatar
Nov 25, 2021



(Edit 3.18.2022: 22 Eps seen as of today, it's a must watch!) 
I know it might be too early to review Ousama Ranking but from what I've seen already it's panning out to be one of my personal favorites already! At least reach Episode 2 to decide for yourself. The story follows a young prince that is deaf and is first in line to become king but the people and even his own family don't believe he meets their expectations of a king, so he is determined to prove them wrong after he meets his first friend ever in the form of a mysterious shadow. The story seems simple at first but starts to get a little complex with twists and turns with moments that had me thinking it was a episode of Game of Thrones, and don't let the innocent art style or characters fool ya, Ousama has it's dark and violent moments but it also has it's sweet and truly engrossing moments, as well as this funny charm to it.

Ousama has a solid cast of characters that are well written from what i've witnessed, and 11 episodes in, the show has made me shed a tear almost every episode and thats thanks to the main character Prince Bojji. Bojji is everything you want from your MC, determined, sweet, brave and one that always has a smile on his face, but behind that smile we slowly peel back the layers every episode and we start to see his true feelings and that alone shows how strong he really is. His co-star is Kage, Bojji's mysterious shadow friend who is the last of his kind who were assassins. He is ruthless and sneaky at first but after meeting Bojji he becomes curious and slowly changes heart, ultimately befriending Bojji. The two are supported by some really well written and quite complex characters that will have you thinking whether they are good or bad.

Studio WIT does a great job with the animation here, the art style is almost that of a Studio Gibli style - think Ponyo or even Ni No Kuni, this might be the one thing that will have some avoid the show, for me I thought it's a nice change to what I've seen lately and it's easy on the eyes, the colors are beautiful and even the action fits nicely. The voice acting is packed with talent, with the likes of Ayumu Murase (Hinata from Haikyuu!!), Yuuki Kaji (Eren from AOT) and Daiki Yamashita (Midoriya from My Hero), followed up with some great music in the show with a solid opening song by the awesome band King Gnu. Overall Ousama definitely deserves a peek into because it possibly might be the sleeper Anime of the Year.

+ Brilliant Story.

+ Well Written Characters.

+ Charming Art Style and Animation.





hope this helps...🤙

9.5/10 story
8/10 animation
9.5/10 sound
9.4/10 characters
9.2/10 overall