Medieval Fun: Thoughts on Ranking of Kings
Ranking of Kings (2021-2022)
Created By: Sōsuke Tōka
Studio: WIT Studio
The shonen series, Ranking of Kings, has been on my radar for a while. I heard great things about it from my sister and friends. Admittedly, I just never got around to watching it because I was preoccupied with other series. It wasn’t until I was watching the first episode of the second season, Ranking of Kings: The Treasure Chest of Courage, with my partner and friends that I got the motivation to watch the first season.
(My friends and partner were concerned that there would be spoilers in the second season, but I didn’t really care for spoilers.)
Ranking of Kings centers on the legendary tale of Bojji, the first prince of the Kingdom of Bosse. Even though he is the first in line of the throne, his abilities to rule a kingdom are put into question because he is deaf. However, through perseverance and courage, Bojji learns what it takes to rule a kingdom as he is faced with a mission to save his brother from being spiritually possessed.
One thing that I enjoyed about this series is that it uses elements of Arthurian Romances and medieval lore. While I was in college, I studied medieval romances and literature and so seeing these ideas partake in an anime series really brought joy for me.
Ranking of Kings reminded me of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Bojji and Don Quixote have this childish innocence and naïve aura, but they are also selfless and courageous when it comes to protecting the things they care about. It’s this good-natured persona that makes both characters likable in the eyes of the viewers.
Furthermore, Ranking of Kings incorporates the hero’s journey concept within Arthurian Romances. An individual goes on a rigorous adventure to prove his worth as a hero. Usually, in this journey, the protagonist would participate in a series of quests: saving people from thieves or magical creatures or competing in events to prove he’s worthy of a fair maiden’s love or to increase his popularity and reputation in society.
In Ranking of Kings, Bojji goes on a journey to find someone that can help him become a stronger swordsman, so that he can prove himself as a worthy king. On his travels, he meets Despa, who teaches him swordsmanship, utilizing his ability to dodge attacks and his small stature as strengths to his fighting style. His heroics paid off when he returns to the kingdom to stop a possessed Daida. Through his swordsmanship, Bojji proves to his royal family and guards that he deserves the crown. However, the second season has Bojji returning to the thrill of heroic adventure and handing the kingdom to his brother in his stead.
Some fans were a bit disappointed at how the first season concluded. It felt very “Disney” as the good triumphantly wins against evil and everyone lived happily ever after especially Daida and his betrothed, Miranjo. Daida and Miranjo’s relationship felt a bit rushed, and it came out of nowhere. Yes, the two share a special bond, but it came off as friendship rather than romance. However, Daida does feel responsible for protecting Miranjo, which his father, Bosse, was unable to do.
Furthermore, there is a lot of lore that is left unanswered. We can only hope that the second season will provide answers, but given the conclusion of the first season, I highly doubt it. One of the enigmas I have is the mysterious demon that took possession of Miranjo’s soul. I wondered what purpose it has in wreaking havoc in the world. I also wondered about the “ranking of kings” system. What purpose does it serve and why is Bojji considered the strongest of kings?
Overall, I really enjoyed this series. Bojji is such a cute character and the medieval literary aspects of this show perked my interest. I will most likely watch the second season once everything is aired though because I am that kind of person.
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