I got into this show a few weeks after it started airing because initially the artstyle seemed a bit childish. What I didn’t realize is that this artstyle gives the anime a charm that you don’t really see in other shows that much. It both looks adorable yet believable at the same time. And it definitely looks unique. Let’s talk about what makes this show tick and why I believe you should watch it.
Let’s start with the story. Ousama Ranking follows Bojji, a young prince who doesn’t hear or speak and is made fun of for this reason. He lives in the palace with his father, his stepmother and his halfbrother. His father is unwell and one of the two boys is going to be the next king. Bojji is first in line by age, but not everyone is equally okay with the handicapped boy becoming their next king. Queen Hilling seems to prefer Daida, her own son, as the one to ascend the throne. She meets with the four great warriors protecting the kingdom and they get to an agreement.
While all this is happening, Bojji meets a member of the shadow clan named Kage. He’s a non-human character who seems to be young as well, just like Bojji. We’re never told Kage’s age, and it’s hard to guess, but he appears to be young and his backstory isn’t particularly long. What it is, is very good though. Three episodes into this show and I was completely emotionally invested. Kage and Bojji set out on a journey together with Domas, the master swordsman and Hokuro, a soldier. During this entire mess there’s a conspiracy brewing in the palace as well.
The strength of Ousama Ranking lies in its characters and their dynamics. These are complicated people who feel very real in their convictions. They make mistakes, they hesitate, they pick the wrong side and come to regret it, or they pick the right side but this isn’t clear for a while. This makes trusting certain characters difficult and betrayals that much more convincing when they do happen. And underneath all of this are the workings of Miranjo, the girl in the mirror. What is she planning with Prince Daida? Mirror, mirror on the wall, are you the villain of them all? You’ll have to watch the show to find out.
Let’s give a quick talk about the production side of this show. I already mentioned that it has a unique style and it works so well for this kind of story. It gives it an almost fairytale aesthetic although this is one of those fairy tales that’s a little bit more for adults than for small children. The openings and endings of this show are also stellar. The music throughout just fits perfectly and the production is just superb.
I don’t think there’s too much left for me to say about this show without diving into the story, which I will do in another post, except that it’s well done, has a very good ending, and leaves you wanting more. I loved every second of this show without a dull moment and I’m sad it’s over. I will definitely rewatch this show, probably very soon, and I highly recommend everyone else to give it a watch too. Join me next week for a deep dive into this show’s story and as always, thank you for reading!