We really enjoyed this movie, one of the best we’ve seen from Japan.
Kingdom is an adaptation of a Manga series of the same name which I believe ran into 3 seasons.
Shin is a war orphan and becomes a slave. There he meets Hyo, they have a close relationship for years, both who have ambitions to become “The Great General under the Heaven”. Hyo is then recruited by the Royal Army which sets Shin off on a dramatic path.
Well, I have limited down the amount of information about the plot, just wanted to provide a little taster.
Shin is played by popular actor Yamazaki Kento (山﨑賢人). His career started as a model but got his first acting roll in 2010 appearing in many productions since then.
Hyo is played by Ryo Yoshizawa (吉沢亮), another popular actor whose career started in 2011.
Yamazaki Kento interviewed by Netflix Japan, English subtitles are available:
I saw a little of the original Manga series and there are distinct similarities between that and the film, even down to the costume design. From what I can make out it’s a pretty good adaptation.
The production quality is very good, they appear to have gone all out to make this into an epic including the CGI work. I did notice an error with the CGI, in two scenes the army was cheering, however, I bet many people won’t even notice.
The storyline was solid and moved fairly fast with some breaks when they needed to discuss strategy. Lot’s of fighting and action scenes.
Yamazaki Kento made the movie, he was clearly the star, sometimes comical, delightfully over the top now and again, appeared to put a lot of passion into his role.
My only criticism, this was a movie about China but didn’t feel like it at all, only when they actually mentioned the country. The production didn’t feel “Chinese” at all from the costumes to the mannerisms. I guess it was like Chinese TV and films pretending to have a scene in England where a Russian actor is faking a British accent, which I see quite often.
We gave this move a 4.5 out of 5.
To Be Continued
There is no indication in this movie that there will be a part two, however, it’s definitely happening. Both Yamazaki Kento and Ryo Yoshizawa will be reprising their characters along with others. According to what I have seen Kingdom 2 will be released this year, 2021.