Ousama Ranking (Ranking of Kings) is one of the surprise hits of this season. It’s one of those unhyped anime that could have easily been a hidden gem. Fortunately, Ranking of Kings doesn’t seem to be going under anyone’s radar. The intricate plot and lore hides behind an art style that reminds us of Studio Ghibli. Ranking of Kings goes beyond our expectations, and every episode has a hidden twist. One thing we’ve learned is that there is no such thing as extreme good or evil in this anime, except maybe for Bojji and Kage.
More Than Meets the Eye
At first glance, Ranking of Kings seems like another anime about the struggles of a person with a disability as he is discriminated against, shunned, and ignored. That is adding to the fact that he only wants to spread some love and kindness. However, that is immediately disproved after a few episodes. The characters are portrayed as real humans, meaning they have an array of emotions. In one episode, they’re shown as heartless scum who only wish ill towards Bojji, but they’re then shown going out of their way to heal his wounds in the next episode. Similarly, the opposite is also true. Because of this, the characters become more interesting and harder to read, which also provides depth to the anime.
The Political Struggle
One of the common major motivators among the characters is their opinion as to who must sit on the empty throne. While the reasons behind their choice aren’t necessarily the same, they are all willing to go to extreme lengths to support their candidates. This political struggle adds another reason behind the characters’ actions. It also expounds their morals and beliefs. Because of the somewhat reasonable meaning behind even the most heinous of acts, it becomes easier for the characters’ likability to shift. In addition, the fact that they commit evil acts for their political beliefs does not necessarily indicate that they have no conscience. Dormas' guilt after supposedly killing Bojji is the perfect example of this.
What’s the End Point?
Ranking of Kings has an unpredictable plot, and the unusual world setting makes the story’s direction harder to foresee. With the constant power struggle, shifting of sides, and betrayal, this raises the question of what the anime’s goal is. Is it seeing Bojji becoming a king of the Boss Kingdom? Is it seeing him be strong enough to defend himself? Or perhaps it is seeing him build his own army? This is surely difficult to answer halfway through the series, so all we can do is see it through the end.
Ranking of Kings has been a pleasant surprise. It breaks through all our expectations and wows all of its viewers. The peculiar world setting, intricate characterization, and deep lore make it a must-watch. While we are still left clueless as to where the anime is taking us, we are definitely on the edge of our seats as we wait for the next episode to air. If you are, too, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.