Precious Prince in a Treacherous World – Ousama Ranking Ep 1 & 2 Review

In a treacherous kingdom straight out of an enchanted fairytale, can Prince Bojji find his way to the throne? This is a review for Ousama Ranking Episode 1 & 2.

Episode One 

Bojji did it! He beat Daida in swordplay!  

I knew he could do it! ☺ 

Oh man, I’m so glad I finally got around to checking out this anime. It’s been on my radar for months, but I haven’t really had time until now. Better late than never though, right? ☺ 

Prince Daida's ego getting a much-needed beatdown from his older brother Prince Bojji. Ousama Ranking Ep 1
Prince Daida’s ego getting a much-needed beatdown from his older brother Prince Bojji. Ousama Ranking Ep 1

Oh my goodness, I loved every bit of this first episode! My initial impression is just…being blown away by the sheer beauty of this animation style! Wit Studio did a great job at making this anime feel like a moving watercolor painting. 

I love that the main character, Bojji, is mute and deaf. Not in like a weird way, but I’m happy that for the most part – it’s not really a handicap for him. 

Everyone in his kingdom thinks he’s an idiot.  

It took Kage, a former member of the decimated shadow assassin clan, to realize his potential upon their first meeting. Besides – both young boys seem to be really lonely. I’m so excited to see how their friendship pans out – especially since it seems like everybody (except his father King Bosse) is against Bojji. 

Just like a typical fairytale, the young underdog prince has an evil stepmother, an ailing father, and younger brother with a surfeit of ambition.  

Domas, who I was truly hoping would be a sincere and loyal retainer to Bojji but seems to be masking his disdain for the prince – might end up becoming a problem. I understand the infatuation with Daida, the “able-bodied” golden-haired prince who has all the strength of his warrior father, and the cunning of his mother Queen Hiling – but they shouldn’t count Bojji out. 

After all, he seems to know more than he really lets on. 

He understands what is going on around him, despite everyone else labeling him an imbecile (well, except his father, Kage, and that one guard who saw him fight).  And it seems that…there have been a few assassination attempts on his life? 

In that flashback Hokuro had while watching Bojji dodge the snakes…were those not Bebin, Dadia’s master swordsman’s snakes? 

Well, Bebin definitely uses snakes as his weapon, or familiar. Now, if the snakes attacking Bojji before were indeed Bebin's snakes or not is the real question...Ranking of Kings Ep 1
Well, Bebin definitely uses snakes as his weapon, or familiar. Now, if the snakes attacking Bojji before were indeed Bebin’s snakes or not is the real question…Ranking of Kings Ep 1

Do we know who Bojji’s mother is? 

I mean, his father is a giant. He has to have some sort of latent powers, even if he is the ‘runt’ of Bosse’s children. 

Either way, I am excited, impressed, and intrigued by Ousama Ranking

On to the next episode! 

(By the way – how about those opening and ending songs?) 

Episode Two 

Oh no, Bojji! 

Man, I almost shed a tear. 

Between Kage’s sad backstory, and everyone allowing Daida to beat the crap out of Bojji until he felt like he “won” – I’m sick.  

But, in a good way. 

You know that Gordon Ramsay meme? Where he’s like “finally, some good fucking food”? 

That’s how I feel watching this anime. 

I won’t lie – this fall season has been absolute trash.  

I don’t know if it’s because of the whole “-” thing going on, but fall anime just is not what it used to be. Last year, and seemingly this year the winter cour will be where it’s at. 

Don’t get me wrong – I’m enjoying Blue Period, but even as an anime only I can tell that it’s extremely rushed. Not to mention, the somewhat poor animation quality, lack of additional frames necessary for character animation fluidity, and hardly any hint of an OST make it a rough show to watch. 

I love this show. I know it’s only episode two – but I love it, okay? ☺ 

I think I mentioned this before, but I am an absolute sucker for period dramas. Anything with medieval aesthetic, grandiose worldbuilding and even a hint of magic? I’m there. 

Aside from those elements, Ousama Ranking is right up my alley because it isn’t sugarcoating things. 

This may sound bad, but I enjoy watching characters realistically suffer. 

I enjoy tragedy. Cinema verite. Film noir. Psychological thriller. 

High-fantasy. 

I want to see the backstabbing and scheming – but I don’t want the characters to explicitly tell me their intentions.  

I don’t need a 20-minute exposition where characters name their fears, dreams, and doubts in unnatural conversation to simply let the audience know what their all about.  

That’s lazy writing. Spoon-feeding that after a while feels demeaning, to me at least. 

Show me why a character is the way they are without a single word. 

When we first meet Kage, he seems like a “somewhat” hardened criminal. But you can tell there is a soft side to him.  

Either he:  

1. is reminded of himself in Bojji, or  

2. Grew up too fast and is just being a petty thief to get by. 

Bam! Kage’s backstory – he was a sheltered boy who finds out his family is a clan of assassins, and thieves. His mother acknowledges it’s “wrong”, but that they make a living by using the gifts they were born with – hiding in the shadows.  

Just before he has a chance to make up his mind about joining the family business, his clan was seemingly double-crossed by the Geslan guy.  

Evidenced by Kage’s reaction last episode when Bebin mentioned that the shadow clan was extremely loyal to their king, and then all of a sudden murdered him. 

Before Kage’s mother was murdered, she hinted that Geslan had words with the king, and could have murdered him in a fit of rage. Then pinning the blame on the shadow clan, thus wiping any opposition Geslan could have faced over a power grab now that the shadow clan’s king is dead. 

If the shadow clan really was a bunch of turncoats, why on earth would Countess Poise hide Kage? She potentially risked war with that kingdom by harboring a fugitive.  

Meaning either: 

  1. That kingdom where Geslan is from is an enemy to Poise’s kingdom. 
  1. Geslan and Poise both find each other repugnant, based on his words calling her “creepy” before politely asking her where Kage went. 
  1. It was obvious bullshit, and Poise and her retainer knew the shadow clan was innocent, and decided to help Kage out. 

Kage is then taken in by a low-brow thief who uses him (but remembering his mother’s words on how the clan got by, Kage allows it) and ultimately gets murdered because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Then Kage uses the only gold coin he had to buy a tomato, and is disrespected and looked down upon while purchasing it. 

Kage alongside his unnamed surrogate thief-father. Ranking of Kings Ep 2
Kage alongside his unnamed surrogate thief-father. Ranking of Kings Ep 2

Slowly, as the seasons change the light behind his eyes dim and he becomes hardened against the world – only focused on his survival. Until he meets Bojji, who reminds him of himself and how he was living barely two years ago. 

Then we have Domas, who in public and during court presents as the ever-dutiful retainer to the soon-to-be king, Prince Bojji. Despite always signing to him with a smile, and appearing taken aback by the Queen’s harshness toward him – Domas hates Bojji. 

Yes, Domas says he pities him, but he also despises that he has to focus on the “weakling” when he’d rather fight the swordsman prodigy and favorite to become king, Prince Daida. 

After an orgasmic fight with Daida, he has to go back to training Bojji – who can barely lift a small sword. 

By the conventional standards, Bojji is a hopeless failure, and a waste of time to “the greatest swordsman in the land” Domas.  

So, he doesn’t call the fight. 

Domas allows Daida to injure Bojji “to the point of no return” so that he has an excuse to no longer train the prince.  

Apeas, who has seemingly higher rank than Domas and was watching from the ‘heavens’ on a (morally) high tower, clearly disapproved of Domas’ actions. But, Domas does not care.  

Then, Kage makes a remark that Domas is untrustworthy, and pledges his loyalty to Bojji. 

All of this amazing characterization, depth, and visual storytelling with barely any exposition! 

Simply amazing! 

We even got a hint of the source of Daida’s arrogance – some sort of Snow White-esque magic mirror. I don’t know if he’s talking to a bad spirit, sorcerer from another kingdom, or someone who is poisoning his father to play kingmaker and control the fate of the lands through Daida – but I’m intrigued how this individual is controlling his judgement. 

Queen Hiling tells everybody with ears that Daida is going to be the next king, but will he really be

Bebin actually looks kind of disgusted with Prince Daida here...and I am all for it. I love the touch of the crown being the only thing in Bebin's line of sight. Ousama Ranking Ep 2
Bebin actually looks kind of disgusted with Prince Daida here…and I am all for it. I love the touch of the crown being the only thing in Bebin’s line of sight. Ousama Ranking Ep 2

Bebin seemed to think the spar between brothers would go Daida’s way, but Daida’s brutality even swayed the guards who thought Bojji was “playing dirty”. Daida’s arrogance failed to let him see that everyone around him was disgusted by his actions – including own his teacher. 

Yes, Bojji wasn’t fighting “with honor”, but beating and maiming your opponent without dignity just makes you seem like a monster.  

So Bebin’s face when Daida asserts that “everything is going according to plan” is just the cherry on top of a complete ‘wtf is wrong with this kid ‘cake moment Bebin was having. 

Wow, if I keep going along this train of thought we’ll never see the end of this review. 

So, tell me your thoughts. 

Wholesome Kage and Bojji to end this Ranking of Kings episode review off with ☺
Wholesome Kage and Bojji to end this Ranking of Kings episode review off with ☺

Do you think the shadow clan was framed? 

Why does Domas resent Bojji so much? 

And…who on earth (or what on earth) is Daida conversing with in the magical mirror? 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more weekly Ousama Ranking reviews and discussions! 

次のエピソード: Journey to Experience Death

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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