Next week, we’ve got a Vice Pit session wherein we answer one of your questions about our preferences for old school anime. I specifically bring this show up during a little rant about how my distaste for modern animation studios who lean too heavily on computers to handle rendering. As much I’d like to focus on the plot of KINGDOM first and not get bogged in such technical stuff, it’s almost impossible because the back-and-forth between 2D and 3D is unavoidably distracting.
Maybe I’d have some hesitancy about sounding like some fuddy-duddy luddite about this… but listen. The studios’ reason for using CG models is because they want to be forward-thinking and current, right? So why do the CG portions of KINGDOM look like cut scenes from some PS1 title, circa 1995?
It’s even more distracting because they switch back and forth between that blocky stuff and some perfectly good 2D work. Honestly, it drew me out of the experience enough that I was well pretty removed from this story of peasant boys seeking out their wildest dreams of bellicose grandeur.
Truth be told, I could picture myself enjoying this just within the particularly narrow window of a Chinese History Class. Like I can see some cool teacher making the week a little more fun by letting everybody just watch a video like this instead of forcing them to read their text book. If you’re going to have to learn about this highly-mythologized fable from the Qin dynasty, you might as well be hearing the oh-so-earnest bits of dialog being shouted on screen instead of in the quiet of your mind.
So yeah, plot wise - - we’re talking about something nice, dry and a bit spastic here that could maybe enliven your lesson plan someday. That's all I've got to say about KINGDOM.
Watch this episode, “The Boy With No Name” below and decide for yourself.