(This is Kingdom film review, which is a live-action adaptation to the manga of the same name)
The story of the famous Warring States Period of Ancient China has seen many works come out that explores how the small state of Qin conquers all the other states. Kingdom is one of these films that start out as an adaptation from a manga of the same name.
It is directed by Shinsuke Sato, a director famous for directing many live adaptations of famous manga series such as Bleach and Inuyashiki. This film also casts some famous faces such as Kento Yamazaki, Ryo Yoshizawa, Kanna Hashimoto, Masami Nagasawa, Kanata Hongō and Takao Osawa. Without further ado, let’s delve into the Kingdom film review below!
Kingdom tells the tale of how a young orphan slave, Xin, comes to meet the upcoming King of Qin, Qin Shi Huang, and to pursue his dream of becoming the best General in China.
Kingdom Film Review
The whole premise is exactly the same as the manga or the anime of Kingdom
The whole premise is exactly the same as the manga or the anime of Kingdom. It is essentially a scene-by-scene recreation of some of the more dramatic moments in the manga. However, the story itself is written well, and this film is clearly created for the fans. For those that have not read the manga, you may get confused but the premise is still simple enough for you to grasp the storyline.
The film really does its best to cram all of the scenes from the manga into the 2-hour timeline of the movie, and stopping just nice at the end of the first arc. There are some great moments in the film that deliver the same exact emotions as in the manga. So, overall, I would say the premise get a thumbs up from me, though do take note that I’m already a fan of the manga itself, so there might be some bias-ness in here.
The film really does its best to cram all of the scenes from the manga into the 2-hour timeline of the movie
Pacing is fairly excellent, as it follows the pacing of the manga completely. However, I like that some parts are fastened to make the pacing flow smoother and not too slow to produce boredom. The film knows how to increase the tension as well as seeding in some quiet moments for characters interactions.
CGI can be a hit and miss, as some of them do look slightly fake. However, this film knows it and we also know that it focuses more on actions than CGI quality, so this part can be forgivable. Also, some of the CGI to make the environments as well as some characters, like Rankai The Executioner, look almost exactly like the manga do deserve a praise for their dedication to detail.
The film knows how to increase the tension as well as seeding in some quiet moments for characters interactions
The action scenes are a tad too exaggerated, but they do follow the style and sequence of the manga, so I would say it’s still pretty great!
Man oh Man, the characters are truly the star here. And this is the part where this film hits the right note in making sure the characters stay faithful to the original source. Most of the characters featured here share similar appearance, personalities as well as talking style. It is to the point that some of them are so similar that I’m really impressed they manage to find the right cast.
There’s only so few movies that are based on mangas that manage to retain the original appearance of the characters themselves. The few memorables ones are Xin, Ying Zheng, Yang Duan He and the General Wang He. These look and act almost exactly as the original characters in the manga itself! Thanks to this, the film feels so relatable for us fans of the manga series, and we are not disappointed with the acting qualities at all.
There’s only so few movies that are based on mangas that manage to retain the original appearance of the characters themselves
Others such as Zuo Ci is also pretty memorable with his style of fighting that mirrors the manga. But I must say that all of the characters are pretty unique and they stand out in their own ways. The villain is quite weak though, but it’s based on the manga, so it’s not really the film’s fault.
The soundtrack used is appropriate for the film with some Chinese ancient music coupled with war drums to illustrate the war period of those times. The tracks help with the mood setting, as well as for increasing tension during the fight scenes. However, they themselves are not as memorable.