New Japanese Anime “Rank of Kings” Brings China to Tears
If you haven’t heard of the new Japanese anime Ranking of kingsalso known as Ranking Osama, it’s time to pull yourself together. The show is arguably the most popular anime in China right now and is also turning heads in other parts of the world.
If you’re not watching Ranking of Kings, you’re doing yourself a disservice. A deaf, non-verbal protagonist who wants to be the greatest king is probably this season’s biggest tearjerker. Absolutely divine direction and narration. pic.twitter.com/f7LQzsjU5o
— Badger (@SuperBlueBadger) November 8, 2021
The series began airing weekly last month on Chinese online video platform Bilibili for China-based audiences. Although only four episodes have been released now (there will be 23 episodes in total), the series has almost 48 million watches on Bilibili and is already making the whole country talk.
The TV show is adapted from a 2017 Japanese manga series created by Sōsuke Tōka. It tells the story of a deaf, mute and helpless prince, Bojji, who cannot handle a child’s sword but strives to become the greatest king in the world.
Indeed, the storyline is a bit corny, but it won the hearts of many young Chinese people. The anime currently has a score of 9.6 out of 10 after 51,554 votes on the Douban rating site.
Most netizens described the series as “healing”, “heartwarming”, or “heartbreaking”.
— Yume (@YumeTokoyo) November 5, 2021
— bachira ⚽ (@anitweets_) November 6, 2021
Hashtags related to the series are trending on Chinese social media sites. On China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform alone, the hashtag “Ranking of Kings” (#国王排名#) had garnered 170 million views at the time of writing.
“If a story can move people, it is excellent. Even though the plot is predictable, I still couldn’t hold back my tears. reads a popular message on Weibo.
“In fact, as a teacher, I feel uncomfortable watching this because it reminds me a lot of one of my students in the village who is disabled and has been abandoned twice,” reads the comment most voted on Bilibili, which received 114,688 likes. “She and Bojji love life and the people around them. I hope they can have a good life.
It seems people love and need a simple, wholesome story with an encouraging message: no matter what life has done to you, never give up and keep going.
For people outside of Asia, watch “Ranking of Kings” on Funimation.
Cover photo via IMDb