Sorry this post is a few months late but I didn’t have the chance to watch it in the Japan theaters and only caught it last week on a long trans-Pacific flight but holy schmoly was it hella entertaining. I’m talking about Kingdom, not the Korean drama with zombies but the Japanese popular shonen manga of the same name adapted into a J-movie. Kingdom grossed $50 million in its domestic run and is the highest grossing live-action Japanese movie of the year, with the top 2 local films going to anime Detective Conan and Weathering With You. Kingdom is set in Chinese history at the end of the Warring States period and about the future Emperor Qin who unites all about China, and his top general Lee Shin.
The manga is still running and over 50 tankoubons so I expect a sequel to this movie which is executed so well and perfect casting with the passionate Yamazaki Kento giving it 120% and the opposite balance of calm and controlled Yoshizawa Ryo as the young ruler. The supporting cast is excellent too and I just realized that Nagasawa Masami is in the top 2 live-action Japanese movies this year as she’s also the female lead in Masquerade Hotel with Kimura Takuya which I’ve already recommended. It’s been a good year for J-ent and honestly Kingdom is what I wanted from Arthdal Chronicles, taking an early pre-history era and making it engaging and fun rather than dark, drab, and dull. My daughter called it the J-version of Gladiator which is an apt comparison, it’s stirring and overly dramatic but just the right balance to suck you in without being over-the-top. Continue reading