Why Ousama Ranking, or Ranking of Kings, is the perfect anime to start this week
Ousama Ranking or Ranking of Kings started airing in fall 2021, and so far, only 10 episodes have aired. Episode 11 comes out on December 24, Friday, and right now is the perfect time to catch up to this beautiful anime.
Ousama Ranking is scheduled for a 23-episode first season, making episode 11 a good midway starting point for both weekly watchers and those who prefer binging.
Sousuke Touka’s Ousama Ranking offers a complex but straightforward story
Ousama Ranking manga has been written and illustrated by Mangaka Sousuke Touka since May 2017. Wit Studio produces the anime. The intro “BOY” is performed by King Gnu, while Yama performs the outro “Oz.”
Ousama Ranking is set in a fictional universe where the land and the underworld are divided into kingdoms among magic and mythical creatures. The magical council ranks these kings in what is known as the Ranking of Kings. The higher the king on this list, the more prestigious the kingdom.
Ousama Ranking follows Bojji, the first prince of the Kingdom of Bosse, ruled by the giant King Bosse, seventh on the ranking list. Bojji is the crown prince and holds the ambition to become the world's greatest king.
However, Bojji is deaf and has difficulty speaking any comprehensible word. What makes him especially unfit to be king in the eyes of everyone is his exceptionally petite stature and lack of strength resulting from it, despite being a giant.
His stepbrother, the second prince Daida, is far superior in strength and king-like fighting capabilities despite only being a half-giant. Bojji is ridiculed and misunderstood by everyone around him until he meets Kage, a young survivor from the Shadow clan. They become an unusual pair of friends.
What makes Ousama Ranking such a compelling watch
While Ousama Ranking might seem like a regular underdog coming of age story, it is not only different, but its simplistic storyline makes the layered plotline stand out.
Ousama Ranking is filled end-to-end with characters that subvert some trope or the other. Bojji, despite his small stature and lack of strength, is determined and strategically intelligent enough to utilize the skills he has.
Despite being a skeptical thief at first, Kage becomes fast devoted to Bojji. Daida, while jealous and easily manipulated by Miranjo, the spirit within the mirror, is at the end a child. He slowly learns to understand the cold world his brother is forced to live in and how Bojji fills it with warmth from being kind and considerate.
The two most complex characters in the story are Bojji’s parents. King Bosse adores Bojji, but he is later proven to do anything for power. Queen Hiling, on the other hand, is partial to her son Daida over her stepson Bojji when it comes to succeeding the throne. But she is just as caring towards Bojji as towards Daida, perhaps even more.
Ousama Ranking has a straightforward storyline but a layered and branching plot. Appearance vs reality is the story's theme and it is usually revealed to the viewer in flashbacks.
The plot's driving force is Bojji and the relationships he forms with the people he meets. A considerable portion of the cast start to learn sign language after meeting Bojji because the things Bojji wants to articulate are often wise and complex in their simplicity.
Bojji’s deafness and his difficulty in speaking are never shown as his weakness. Instead, those attributes are some of the things that make Bojji a unique character.
The animation of Ousama Ranking is different from what we’ve seen so far from Wit Studio. The backgrounds are done in impeccable detail, as is the Wit Studio staple, but the characters are drawn in a Cartoonish style to highlight the complicated characterizations of the mangaka. The voice acting, especially Murase Ayumu as Kage and Kaji Yuki as Daida, brings the anime to a new height.
The most commendable part is the animation of the sign language used by the characters. They are animated under the supervision of the Tokyo Foundation for the Deaf. Every sign is animated with a lot of detail to be understood by the viewers who know the language.
Where to find
Ousama Ranking has been serialized online via Echoes’ user-submitted Manga Hack website. The anime is licensed in Asia by Medialink, which is streaming exclusively on iQIYI.
Funimation licensed the series for streaming outside Asia and recently announced an English dub of the show. Ousama Ranking episodes generally air on Fridays each week.
There is no sense of pity or sympathy but a relatively robust faith in how the series views Bojji. Ousama Ranking is one of the best anime from Fall 2021, and with it continuing into the new year, it promises to be one of the best in 2022.
This article reflects the opinions of the writer.