Hey everybody, Jacki Jing here, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three months, you’re probably watching the amazing anime Ranking of Kings currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation! This series is animated by a little company called Wit Studio, maybe you’ve heard of them?
Wit animated the first three seasons of Attack on Titan but then MAPPA took over for the final season. So what is Wit Studio‘s big project now? Ranking of Kings. Don’t let the character design style fool you, this isn’t your baby brother’s anime. Ranking of Kings‘ plot is closer to Game of Thrones than Babar the Elephant.
It stars Bojji, a boy set to be king of his father’s kingdom but he’s underestimated by everyone around him because he’s physically weak and also deaf. He communicates via sign language and reading lips. He finds an ally in Kage, the last known survivor of a shadow clan of assassins and together the two of them set off on a journey to train Bojji so he can become the rightful heir to his kingdom.
Of course, everything isn’t that simple. There’s a lot of characters with different motivations and goals. Ranking of Kings is just as much a mystery as an action-adventure series and now that the second season is underway, we’re left with a lot of questions! In this video, we’re going to break down the new opening sequence to see if we can unravel some of the secrets hiding in the show. Let’s get started!
Trailer time stamps below. Either watch the trailer here or use the video above for visuals.
00:00-00:15 – This part is establishing Kage and Bojji’s relationship and feelings as two boys without friends or anyone to rely on. We even see the orphan Kage tear-up after passing by a mom and her daughter. Dang guys, are we going to cry already?
00:17-00:21 – This montage shows four different moments, a pink flower blooming, series of rock formations, a diamond, and spears. The flower and rocks are still mysterious as far as their significance but the diamond is a reference to King Bosse’s proposal to Queen Hiling and the spears are from when Kage’s entire clan was wiped out.
00:25 – Here we see Daida still trapped in his own mind since Bosse has taken over his body. He’s holding a puppet of Miranjo, who he recently met in his consciousness in episode 11. Miranjo uses puppets as part of her magic; she has one of her own body and her two bodyguards are also puppets.
00:36 – Now Bojji discovers a broken mirror, the one Miranjo currently inhabits. Then it comes back together and we see, for the first time, what Miranjo looked like as a happy little girl. She’s a lot different than the Miranjo we currently know, and it might be before she was tortured by the village people in the story she told Daida.
00:41 – Here we see what looks like an army of kings with evil red eyes (like the beasts that Miranjo controls). This could be how Miranjo interprets the kings of the world or it’s suggesting that the king ranking system has sinister undertones.
00:45 – This is young Miranjo again, running through the woods with a playmate who just so happens to look like a young demon. We know that Miranjo introduced Bosse to the Demon that granted him the power he wanted – although the price was Bojji’s own strength. We don’t know how Miranjo and the demon met, but maybe they go way back?
00:46 – What looks like blood pouring on Daida’s shoes, it’s the same brown-red color as the potion Miranjo made Daida drink that led to his possession by Bosse.
00:50 – Young Miranjo is playing with her demon playmate again but then we see her age up…and the demon too. The friendly game of “guess who” changes to imply that she might actually be in the demon’s clutches. Is he the one pulling all the strings?
00:52 – A lot of the scenes in this opening focused on Miranjo’s story, but things change here to look at King Desha. King of the Underworld, Desha is known to have an emotional complex about his appearance that affects both how he sees himself and his more conventionally attractive brother Despa. During this scene he’s looking at flashes of power in his hand but whenever the flash happens, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tear on his face. Desha is hiding a great pain that might be related to the man we see immediately after this, possibly his father?
00:57 – This brief moment gives us a point of view of Daida and Miranjo that we hadn’t seen before. Bosse is the one that gave Daida the mirror and set his possession of his own son into motion. Since then, most of the interactions between Miranjo and Daida have shown the mirror manipulating the young prince. However, in this brief scene we get the idea of why Daida came to trust her. He’s shown just talking to her like a friend and she might even be reading to him before he goes to sleep.
00:58-01:03 – This montage shows the love that different characters carry with them. Young Bevin (note he doesn’t have a beard) with his snake companion, Mitsumata. This is just heartwarming. These two are always looking out for one another. We then see Bojji’s stepmother, Queen Hiling giving the young boy a kiss and a fond memory of Kage and his mom.
01:06-01:16 – We see these landscape scenes from a first person perspective but it’s not immediately clear whose perspective it is. I’m inclined to think it’s Bosse because of the really big hands at the beginning. These might all be places he visited on his journeys from ancient ruins to the ocean to the vast desert.
01:16 – The scenery is immediately followed by the mask we saw Miranjo wear when she met Daida. It shatters before we again see Bojji hugging Queen Hiling before stepping out on a journey with his best pal Kage taking his hand.
So what kind of secrets did this opening reveal? I think it’s giving us some pretty big hints about Miranjo, who could be considered the central villain of the series right now. Like all the characters in Ranking of Kings, she’s more complicated than just “the evil lady in the mirror” and has some still unknown ties to the demon. Perhaps the demon is even influencing her to act on her painful memories and emotions?
One thing I can say for certain is Ranking of Kings is one of the most smartly written series currently airing and it has a great respect for its characters. As more secrets are revealed, Miranjo, Bosse, Daida, Desha, and more character’s motivations will become clearer.
What did you think of this video? Were there any hints that we missed? Make sure to give us a like and subscribe to this channel for more anime deep dives, opinions, and clips. If you’re a Ranking of Kings fan, you’ll want to tune in to the ANN After Show on Mondays at 6pm PT/9pm ET where we discuss the episodes in detail each week!