Kingdom is one of the best Manga series of all time. The story is about Ei Sei who intends to unify all the states of China and Hi Shin who aims to become a great general. The series has some great art, great action scenes, and a great set of characters to it you will ever see.
Though the series is filled with wars, at no point in the series the battle becomes repetitive to read. Ranking the arcs in such a great series isn’t going to easy since there isn’t any arc that can be defined as bad.
All the arcs ranked from
worst good to best are as follows.
19. Training Arc
Episodes – 101 to 107
This arc focuses primarily on Shin’s training in a lawless area and Karyo Ten joining Qin Strategist Academy. Also, the concept of Six Great Generals is first mentioned here. Nothing major or breathtaking happens here but it is a solid short arc that sets up several important plot points for future arcs.
18. Escape from Zhao Arc
Episodes – 74 to 81
This arc tells us the story of how Ei Sei escaped from Zhao during his childhood with help of Shi Ka. It explores Ei Sei twisted mindset during his childhood and how Shi Ka changed them and also Queen’s struggles during that time.
It is a cool short arc showing a glimpse of Ei Sei’s and Queen’s dark past.
17. Zhao Crisis Arc
Episodes – 643 to 648
This arc tells the crisis that takes place in Zhao after their loss to Qin. The king of Zhao, Tou Jou dies of poisoning by unknown persons. There is infighting between Riboku’s Allies and the Royalists. The development of internal conflicts and how Riboku will solve them keeps you intriguing.
The consequences of the arc will be seen in future arcs so the position might change depending upon the future plot. But as of now it is ranked at the bottom three.
16. Sanyou Aftermath Arc
Episodes – 244 to 256
This arc focuses on the events post-Sanyou campaign. Hi Shin unit loses Kyokai as she leaves the group to take revenge. The group struggles with no strategist due to which Karyo Ten joins the group as the strategist and immediately impresses. We also see Chancellor’s election.
This is one of those calm arcs that sandwiches between two epic ones.
15. Alliance Arc
Episodes – 174 to 182
This arc is a very short one that shows the intense courtroom meeting between Riboku and Ryo Fui which leads to the alliance between Zhao and Qin. It also introduces Ou Hon and Gyoku Hou Unit who play a major part in future arcs.
14. Third Faction Arc
Episodes – 183 to 188
This arc introduces the third faction which is the Royal Harem led by Queen. The sour relation between Ei Sei and the Queen, and the secret affair between Ryo Foi and the Queen are revealed. The whole events of the internal conflict between Ryo Fui faction and Ei Sei faction are one of the best parts of the series and this arc is the start of that.
13. Assassination Plot Arc
Episodes – 82 to 100
This arc focuses on the assassination of Ei Sei by Ryo Fui. It reveals more about Kyokai’s background and also the fact that she is a woman. Kyokai is a visual treat with her action scenes as usual.
One thing that I personally didn’t understand in this arc is none of the perpetrators faces any consequences for their action of trying to assassinate the King.
12. Kyou Kai’s Revenge Arc
Episodes – 357 to 365
This is a short arc which covers the revenge of Kyokai on Yuu Ren. It is an adrenaline pumping few chapters of Kyokai’s badass fight versus several warriors.
This arc is a visual treat and also the events changed Kyokai to be more optimistic and positive. Though the arc can be considered a side story to the main plot it still holds as one of the best.
11. Keiyou Campaign Arc
Episodes – 48 to 73
This arc is the start of Shin’s journey on the battlefield. He starts as a foot soldier and also gets acquainted with Kyokai. For the first time, we get to see how battle works and what a general means.
The arc is an appetizer for more grandeur wars in the future. Overall it is a good arc but all the later war arcs are better than this.
10. Sei Kyou’s Rebellion Arc
Episodes – 1 to 47
Next up on our list is the very first arc, Sei Kyou’s Rebellion arc. This arc covers the coup by Sei Kyou to overthrow Ei Sei and how Shin gets involves in this chaos.
It is a perfect introduction chapter that shows a glimpse into the world, the characters, and the dark tone of the series.
9. Fire Dragons of Wei Arc
Episodes – 379 to 401
This arc covers the campaign led by Tou to capture the Chiyoyou region in Wei. Ou Hon and Hi Shin units join Tou to capture the region led by Go Hou Mei and three Wei’s Fire dragons.
This arc has some intense moments like Ou Hon clash with Earl Shi and Shin killing Rei Ou mistakenly. Though this may not be the greatest war arc in the series it is still one of the best ones.
8. Bureaucrats Job Arc
Episodes – 486 to 495
This arc tells the events in the royal court before the start of the Western Zhao invasion. Conversation between Ouken and Ei Sei, and the meeting between Riboku and Ei sei are some of the best moments in the series.
Though the arc is short and has no battle, it has some of the most intense and important events in the series and sets major plot points for the story progression.
7. Conspiracy in the Court Arc
Episodes – 366 to 378
This arc covers the internal power struggle between Ryo Fui and Ei Sei faction. Due to Ryo Fui schemes, Sei Kyou is imprisoned and a rumor of rebellion by him spreads. Ei Sei tries to save Sei Kyou by sending Heki and Shin.
The Heki Army managed to suppress the rebellion successfully, but Shin is too late to save Sei Kyou who dies honorably. Though the arc is short it has several important developments to the story, especially in the internal power struggle.
6. Koku You Campaign Arc
Episodes – 438 to 485
This arc focuses on the battle between Qin and Zhao with Kan Ki army leading the Qin army. Hi Shin unit accompanies the Kan Ki army in this expedition. Kan Ki is one of the most unique and interesting characters in the series and we get to see a lot of him in this arc.
We look more into Kan Ki as a character and how his group is ideologically opposite to the Hi Shin unit. The arc has some breathtaking moments like crossing the river and Shin killing Geisha. But the reason it is so high up is the intense encounters between the Kan Ki unit and the Shin unit.
5. Battle of Bayou Arc
Episodes – 108 to 173
This arc covers the battle in Bayou between Zhao, led by Houken, and Qin, led by Ouki. It also introduces the most interesting and one of the best characters in the series, Riboku. This is also the first battle with Shin as a commander of his 100 men.
This arc has many important moments like the death of Ouki, the passing of glaive to Shin, and Riboku’s introduction. Shin also shined throughout the battle which earns him a promotion to 300-man commander later.
4. Sanyou Campaign Arc
Episodes – 189 to 243
This arc covers the Qin campaign led by Mou Gou to Sanyou in Wei. This arc introduces two of the most interesting characters Ousen and Kanki.
The arc has the best Shin fight in my opinion which is his encounter with Rinko. This arc also shows glimpses of the enigmatic generals Ousen and Kanki. Overall the arc is one of the best war arcs in the series and everything about it is perfect.
3. State of Ai Arc
Episodes – 402 to 437
This arc concludes the internal conflicts between various factions and solidifies Ei Sei as the undisputed king of Qin. A new state of Ai is formed by Queen’s schemes and with Rou Ai as the king. The arc covers the battle on Qin by the newly formed State Ai with help of Chu.
This arc brings a satisfying end to the long-standing conflict between Ryo Fui and Ei Sei.
2. Western Zhao Invasion Arc
Episodes – 496 to 642
Next on our list is Western Zhao Invasion Arc. This arc is the start of the long-awaited quest for the unification of China. This arc focuses on the war on Zhao by Qin to capture Gyou.
The battle of wits between Ousen and Riboku, Yotanwa-Bajio moments are some of the best in the series. Shin, Karyo Ten, and Kyokai shined throughout the arc. One downside might be that the arc is too long but personally, it isn’t a big deal.
1. Coalition Invasion Arc
Episodes – 257 to 356
The arc which takes the top spot is the Coalition invasion arc. This covers the story of the war against Qin by an alliance force of all other states except Qi. The arc can be considered to have two parts Battle of Kanyou pass and Battle of Sai.
This arc is one of the best in Manga history. Every character on both sides was exceptional in the arc. The action scenes, the tactics behind the war, and the brilliant characters all make this arc an epic one. The battle of Kanyou is legendary but the battle of Sai makes this arc the undisputed No.1.
Definition of “best” is subjective but I tried to rank them as objectively as possible. Do share your thoughts in the comments section.
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