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AlternateNu
May 5, 2005

You know, Aiko...
I really wanted to be killed by you.


Based on the web manga written and illustrated by Sousuke Touka, Ranking of Kings (王様ランキング) is (nominally) a coming-of-age comedy about Prince Bojji; a young, weak, deaf and dumb prince trying to build his way up to be the greatest king in a world where the strength of its ruler determines the ranking of each kingdom. He has to deal with the members of his father's court, the citizenry, and his younger step-brother's overt and hidden derision and machinations on a daily basis.

The anime is being produced by WIT and is directed by Yousuke Hatta in his full directorial debut. Music is by Yuumao.

There are a lot of characters introduced already, but the two main ones are:


Bojji, the aforementioned prince, and


Kage, the last survivor of a clan of shadow assassins previously employed by the king of a rival kingdom.

Two episodes in and I'm already calling AOTY contention, here. The direction is phenomenal and comparing the animation to the source material is almost like ONE's original One Punch Man web manga to Manhouse's season 1 of the anime. poo poo's good.



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Julias
Jun 24, 2012



I haven't read the source material, but yeah I love the artstyle and I enjoyed the first 2 episodes.

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

This poo poo is like if someone took a person's first manga and had studio ghibli make an anime for it. It's really expressive in it's animation and vibrant in it's color palette. I have an effort post coming up just to compare some stuff from the webcomic because it's ridiculous what WIT studio have done.

Snowglobe of Doom
Mar 30, 2012

If you see me in the COVID thread, ignore me.

I photoshop charts to fit my narrative. I happily cherry-pick only the worst information to share and, lacking that, just make up lies.


Jerkface posted:

I have an effort post coming up just to compare some stuff from the webcomic because it's ridiculous what WIT studio have done.

Excellent, looking forwards to it

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

Ranking of Kings is a must watch if you love anime. It should just be a must watch if you love to see studios just swing for the fences with an adaptation.





I don't know enough poo poo about art to say this is a certain style or whatever, but it is basically close to what I'd call a Studio Ghibli house style- Gorgeous backdrops and going for big expressive characters over anything more subtle. What makes this adaptation truly astounding is to see just what they are working with from the source material. The direction on this anime is great. They are using interesting scene transitions, know when to put up the good animation, and make the most out of lesser animated scenes to still land an impact. Unlike an adaptation like say One Punch Man or Mob Psycho 100, this studio doesn't quite have the splendidly paneled & storyboarded manga of ONE or the insane art direction of Murata's adaptation to fall back on.

Instead we see panels like this:





And get it translated into beautiful scenes like this:




The backgrounds are beautifully painted and vibrantly colored. They are not overly detailed, but set the mood of the world just fine, and provide an excellent background for the unique character designs to work. Considering many of the panels in the manga dont even have backgrounds, let alone anything you'd consider beautiful, this is truly great!


I think manga is more than capable of having kinetic feel in the right hands, but the webcomic definitely lacks a skilled artist. ONE for all his faults knew how to draw action so even in his early rough OPM stage he still killed it on some action panels. The animation on the sword fight makes the action leap off the screen here by comparison to the manga.
This


Becomes THIS


And that classic Ghibli-esque expressiveness just puts the full weight on your heart during the emotional moments, landing them 100x harder than what you'd see in the web comic



Last thoughts but just check out the direction on even a simple talking scene like Bojji and the Kids. The voice acting is wonderful on the child characters and its dynamic despite being ostensibly all talk and some exposition about Bojji. Its a cute scene!



Watch this loving anime!!!

Flesnolk
Apr 11, 2012

h

where

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


It's on funimation

Al-Saqr
Nov 11, 2007

The Islamic Orb Illuminati.

This Anime rules and is already hitting all my feelings on episode 2 this is already gonna be one that I'll finish. this is a cute anime with a nice style and kickass animation.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



The manga has good art. Weird move to shittalk the source in trying to get people to watch it, and its not a valuable way of talking about art imo

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



Honestly I was excited for the show but posting like that makes me want to contrarianly dislike it lol.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



I dunno I like being able to see the comparison and as a statement about the work put into animating this show it's certainly effective at displaying how much was the animators/story boarders/whoever going the extra mile when they didnt need to

IShallRiseAgain
Sep 12, 2008

Well ain't that precious?



Some people are good writers and horrible artists, and vice versa. A work can still be good with bad art, but it now having good art elevates it to the next level.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



I dunno that I'd even call that manga art bad, it's just not extravagant the way the anime art is

Good comparison to show what the anime is doing really really well but I do kinda agree that using the comparison to drag down the manga is lame, much like it was lame when it was being done to OPM

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I think for what it's going for, a cartoony storybook feel, the art is good and doesn't need technical fluorishes. As a comic, as far as I've read, Ousama Ranking is good because the character designs are cute, clear, and consistent, the paneling is well done and well paced, and action scenes are very legible. These are all things many more technically proficient artists struggle with!

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

GorfZaplen posted:

I think for what it's going for, a cartoony storybook feel, the art is good and doesn't need technical fluorishes. As a comic, as far as I've read, Ousama Ranking is good because the character designs are cute, clear, and consistent, the paneling is well done and well paced, and action scenes are very legible. these are all things many more technically proficient artists struggle with!

Yea I think the story and characters are charming. And your bolded point there is true. It is definitely "legible". Manga with exceptionally stylized art like Red Hood in Shounen Jump have legibility problems. I want to read more of the volumes to see how much the main author has improved and to see if he ever does try and reach for something with a bit more oomph.

Edit: One other thing is just re-reading my post, I am not really making GBS threads on the original manga so much, so I think a lot of people are projecting their actual feelings seeing the original art next to the anime. It does look stark in contrast!

Edit2: And checking the RAWs for the manga, the artist has improved a lot in the currently available chapters. That is part of the fun too, watching someone grow. The same can be said for ONE to see early OPM vs Mob Psycho 100 vs the newer OPM webcomic chapters. Seeing the art of the author catch up with the charm of the story and characters he created.

Jerkface fucked around with this message at 19:44 on Oct 23, 2021

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

Here is another post showing some of the manga that was adapted for Episode 2. I wanted to show off some of the strengths of the original manga author this time! Whats interesting is they adapted a later chapter for episode 2, this is technically chapter 11 to chapter 13 - and some of this stuff got put into chapter 1 too. There are ~170 chapters of the original out there so the anime team has a long run of material to create this anime with and given the strong direction I assume they know what they are doing when they shift something up so far as they have here.

Its a pretty straight forward adaptation of this section, and I like what the author did - for a lot of the flashback to Kage's childhood growing up the panels are wordless!





I think this is pretty effective, and WIT manage to again add greater impact to the scene with their expressive animation


Also check out the official twitter which has some behind the scenes stuff for the anime's production!

https://twitter.com/WIT_STUDIO/status/1451835805815693315

https://twitter.com/WIT_STUDIO/status/1451111099118596097

And one last interesting fact about the manga, it is self published and it took quite a while before it got picked up for publishing in tankoban format. You gotta admire that!

Jerkface fucked around with this message at 01:43 on Oct 25, 2021

UnderFreddy
Oct 9, 2012

The biggest things in life have been achieved by people who, at the start, we would have judged crazy. And yet if they had not had these crazy ideas the world would have been more stupid



i watched the episodes, and wanted more, so I tried looking for the manga, but it seems barely be translated. So will just have to wait on the anime

very good so far

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


Well, Daida sure turned into Joffrey extreeeemely rapidly. Didn't expect that stuff with Hiling though...

dogsicle
Oct 23, 2012



waited for this week just to be sure, and i'm feeling a bit mixed on the adaptation decisions made between eps2-3

as an anime-only, ep2 was a strange drop in quality to me between the Kage backstory feeling very out of place and its inclusion warping the episode structure into something kinda disjointed. as a result, having the big emotional climax of broken Bojji talking to Kage and crawling to the sword just whiffed. seeing some vague complaints about the show pushed me to check out the manga for the corresponding parts, and yeah they're just kind of shifting things around with what seems like little good reason? OP's post about the Kage backstory being from a full 5 or so chapters later explains why it felt so shoehorned into ep2, and this week's Hiling flashback and healing scene would have been there except they basically pushed it with the Kage stuff.

of course if you just directly adapt the manga and have Hiling come in and heal Bojji immediately that night, you don't get the same punch of the broken kid crawling over to lift a sword...it makes it feel so cynically sentimental, counter to ep1. i'm glad they didn't further delay or outright remove the nuance/recontextualization this stuff gives to her, but it having happened this way leaves a bad taste in my mouth and doubt for future decisions. even in ep3 where i know the flashback isn't really embellishing any heartstring tugging, there's other bits where i start to question if they're just leaving out context that was there, to dump later as reveals or emotional climaxes. e.g. Bebin's unseen deal with Kage, basically everything surrounding Mitsumata's sudden appearance including the Hiling flashback where he wasn't originally.

just annoyed to have this nagging feeling about the show now, but aside from that i enjoyed ep3. will avoid grabbing any more manga knowledge so as to let the show be its own thing until it ends and i go back to read it.

AlternateNu
May 5, 2005

You know, Aiko...
I really wanted to be killed by you.


dogsicle posted:

waited for this week just to be sure, and i'm feeling a bit mixed on the adaptation decisions made between eps2-3

as an anime-only, ep2 was a strange drop in quality to me between the Kage backstory feeling very out of place and its inclusion warping the episode structure into something kinda disjointed. as a result, having the big emotional climax of broken Bojji talking to Kage and crawling to the sword just whiffed. seeing some vague complaints about the show pushed me to check out the manga for the corresponding parts, and yeah they're just kind of shifting things around with what seems like little good reason? OP's post about the Kage backstory being from a full 5 or so chapters later explains why it felt so shoehorned into ep2, and this week's Hiling flashback and healing scene would have been there except they basically pushed it with the Kage stuff.

of course if you just directly adapt the manga and have Hiling come in and heal Bojji immediately that night, you don't get the same punch of the broken kid crawling over to lift a sword...it makes it feel so cynically sentimental, counter to ep1. i'm glad they didn't further delay or outright remove the nuance/recontextualization this stuff gives to her, but it having happened this way leaves a bad taste in my mouth and doubt for future decisions. even in ep3 where i know the flashback isn't really embellishing any heartstring tugging, there's other bits where i start to question if they're just leaving out context that was there, to dump later as reveals or emotional climaxes. e.g. Bebin's unseen deal with Kage, basically everything surrounding Mitsumata's sudden appearance including the Hiling flashback where he wasn't originally.

just annoyed to have this nagging feeling about the show now, but aside from that i enjoyed ep3. will avoid grabbing any more manga knowledge so as to let the show be its own thing until it ends and i go back to read it.

I haven't actually read the manga. So, I don't have the context to make those comparisons. But from the way it sounds, I'm glad I don't have that baggage because from the way this is written, it's just a way to lose enjoyment out of the adaptation.

I loved the episode. Nothing in it felt forced or overly melodramatic. The pacing seemed a bit fast, but that is likely because I'm used to succession battles being long, arduous, dramatic affairs.

readingatwork
Jan 8, 2009

Hello Fatty!




Fun Shoe

drat, this show is like Game of Thrones For Kids in the best possible way and I love it. It's been ages since I've seen something able to get me to give a drat this early on.

Also lmao not sure what I expected the source material to look like but that wasn't it (I kind of like it though). As an anime-only watcher I'll second saying that the episodes feel very well directed and paced to me. If anything is missing or mishandled I can't tell just from watching.

E: Weirdly enough the only part of the show I don't like so far is the titular "ranking of kings". It's too early to say much for certain since the concept hasn't been explored yet but it feels like what a lot of other animes do where they have some random-rear end ranking or title that every character in the world is willing to kill and die to be at the top of. Think Pirate King, Beastar, Hero Rankings, etc. It could end up being handled well in the but I have a really hard time believing that the monarch of a nation-state would give a drat where it ranked on some random top 10 list.

readingatwork fucked around with this message at 02:11 on Oct 29, 2021

AlternateNu
May 5, 2005

You know, Aiko...
I really wanted to be killed by you.


readingatwork posted:

I have a really hard time believing that the monarch of a nation-state would give a drat where it ranked on some random top 10 list.

You seem to be unfamiliar with the state of real-world, global politics. :v:
This is practically Putin’s entire MO for Russia.

AlternateNu fucked around with this message at 10:53 on Oct 29, 2021

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


I think thus far caring about that has been shown to be one of Daida's many, many flaws.

AlternateNu
May 5, 2005

You know, Aiko...
I really wanted to be killed by you.


Fangz posted:

I think thus far caring about that has been shown to be one of Daida's many, many flaws.

I mean. Bojji cares about it, too. I think we’re just supposed to accept it as the framework of this world.

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


AlternateNu posted:

I mean. Bojji cares about it, too. I think we’re just supposed to accept it as the framework of this world.

Does he? I figured he just cares about achieving his mom's dream for him to be the greatest king he can be.

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

Fangz posted:

Does he? I figured he just cares about achieving his mom's dream for him to be the greatest king he can be.

Daida is shooting for the ranking, Bojji is shooting to be the "greatest king" or whatever which may as well be the ranking, but wasn't explicitly about it. I think its interesting that the manga sets up this premise about the ROK but then as of chapter 17 has not really touched on it at all. Why it matters or what is gained by your ranking, etc. Usually you get some kind of sense of the stakes early on in a series with a premise like this. Given how affecting Bojji's character and story are, the ROK framework seems unnecessary.

I thought Episode 3 was good, but not as strong as Ep1 and 2. They were really whipping through the source material and have once again re-arranged a bunch of early chapters. I can't say for sure if I like the pacing change here. Still, WIT does a good job bringing the essence of the manga out and I will again do an effort post with some of my favorite bits.

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

Ok here is an effort post with comparison images. The most striking thing about this episode is how far and wide it is incorporating chapters and how much it is also skipping! This covers chapters from 7 to 19 ! It leaves out a lot of stuff, and cuts some stuff down. I actually found the later chapters in a korean translated website so I can see the "raw" chapters.

For example:


We see the Queen reveal her healing powers. I actually wish they had kept the bit in where it shows her chugging magic potions to regain her power to keep healing all of Bojji. They end up moving it around as a flashback towards the end.





They move this really sweet kiss to the end of the episode, and I think this makes sense. You see a hidden side of the Queen at the start of the episode, and it gradually reveals more of the backstory, culminating in the flashback section where we see the Queen try her best to connect with Bojji. Ultimately they do and now we know that the Queen has cared for Bojji all this time. It up ends the trope of the wicked step mother that is common in fantasy, but she is still a complicated character. She loves Bojji greatly but wants to keep him locked up because she doubts his capability. I wonder how much this hits home to parents of disabled children. It must be really affecting.


CHU - so fucken sweet, everyone i watched this with went "awwwwww"

Covering the rest of the queen related stuff we saw the origin of Bebin's snake king being friendly with Bojji, and it retroactively reveals that Bebin was not attacking Bojji in the original training flashback but likely Bojji and the snakes were just playing.



It also delivers one of the best moments in the episode.


Mama bear protecting her bojji by punting the snake haha

I also really liked the Queen hulking out when she is super worried about Bojji falling. Infact this whole sequence is GREAT. It is directly copied from the manga - her leaping out without concern for herself to save Bojji is powerful!



I love this backstory, it's fun and shows the caring and empathetic side of the characters. Especially that the queen instantly realizes the problem and uses her powers to heal the snake.

--

The rest of the episode has some really interesting developments. There are some lengthier flashbacks and exposition in the manga related to these scenes so if you check out the manga trying to "read up to where you've watched" be careful because the studio is re-arranging the narrative quite extensively at this point. There are multiple chapters & pages of backstory that is being left out for now.

This is another example where the anime brings something a little bit more than the manga can bring, but I don't want to put down the manga. The devil design is great and the idea of this happening at the viewing of the late King is great fantasy horror!




I just love the anime's smoke design & effect and the devil is gloriously framed by the bed canopy which is not in the manga.





--

Finally the fight between Apis and Bebin is of use course well animated again. WIT has a very strong sense of direction for action. They take the manga panels, which as has been pointed out are very "clear" as to what action is happening but not very dynamic and add that missing snap of dynamic movement.




Love that they have Bebin try to use his speed and the terrain to get closer to Apis, this is added choreography for the anime.

This is the panel that I have shown, Apis using the spear to bounce Bebin off balance incredibly cool! Also considerably gory for something with such a light aesthetic.



This is by far my favorite show of the season and of recent memory.

Jerkface fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Oct 30, 2021

Terrifying Effigies
Oct 22, 2008

Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up.



Jerkface posted:


We see the Queen reveal her healing powers. I actually wish they had kept the bit in where it shows her chugging magic potions to regain her power to keep healing all of Bojji. Thats just a fun character beat, but ultimately doesnt really serve much purpose other than to maybe color the world a bit more. It is cute though.


They actually do show her drinking potions briefly as a flashback when she hulks out and heals him after he falls out of the tower.



Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

Nice I missed that!

Snowglobe of Doom
Mar 30, 2012

If you see me in the COVID thread, ignore me.

I photoshop charts to fit my narrative. I happily cherry-pick only the worst information to share and, lacking that, just make up lies.


AlternateNu posted:

I mean. Bojji cares about it, too. I think we’re just supposed to accept it as the framework of this world.

Jerkface posted:

Daida is shooting for the ranking, Bojji is shooting to be the "greatest king" or whatever which may as well be the ranking, but wasn't explicitly about it.

Yeah Daida clearly sees "greatness" as a role or a title which has to be taken by force (by permanently eliminating people who don't immediately acknowledge your worthiness, for a start) but Bojji seems to see it as an inherit personal quality that you grow into. Daida's plan for dealing with the "disloyal" retainers shows that his idea of greatness is vastly different from Bojji's

I Am Fowl
Mar 8, 2008

nononononono


Jerkface posted:

This is the panel that I have shown, Apis using the spear to bounce Bebin off balance incredibly cool! Also considerably gory for something with such a light aesthetic.



Yeah, this is a real spear technique. Typically, this is performed using a hollow tube as a grip (the kuda-yari) that allows the spear to shift and bounce in a way that's unpredictable to the opponent.

Thanks for posting the original pages; I've gotten an appreciation for the art style. It's simple but not lacking in skill, reminiscent of early manga.

Terrifying Effigies
Oct 22, 2008

Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up.



It's also neat how much of the original character designs they preserved into the anime, on the surface they're simple but there's a lot of thought put into making each character distinctive and recognizable.

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

Terrifying Effigies posted:

It's also neat how much of the original character designs they preserved into the anime, on the surface they're simple but there's a lot of thought put into making each character distinctive and recognizable.

My personal favorites this far into the show are Bebin and the Queen. Very characterful. I especially like the Queen and Daidas long pointy noses.

They're definitely part of the charm from the author.

DeadFatDuckFat
Oct 29, 2012

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.




Lol I thought that was just a bottle of wine she was chuggin

Tales of Woe
Dec 17, 2004



this is good but i still can't really tell what the big picture is going to be since the first 3 eps were all setup and backstory. not a fan of how it instantly spent most of an episode on the kage backstory before establishing a direction for the main story, but its not a big deal. i guess the next episode will make it clearer whether its doing something i like now that its entered adventure mode

Blank Construct
Jan 20, 2010

Shepard.



Nap Ghost

This anime rules.

readingatwork
Jan 8, 2009

Hello Fatty!




Fun Shoe

Blank Construct posted:

This anime rules.

Jerkface
May 21, 2001

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE DEAD, MOTHERFUCKER?

Fallen Rib

The newest episode is incredibly weird, and good. This time the animation budget was spent on weird forest dancing. All the water color landscapes continue to be great.

A lot of world building in this episode, and if it wasn't obvious before the ROK world is really strange!!

Also you piece of poo poo, Domas!! How dare you!!

Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


DOMAAASSSS

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PirateZim
Apr 24, 2005





i love this little guy

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