Kingdom 4 - 23

Kingdom 4 – 23

Kingdom 4 – 23

Just a reminder: The future of LiA is very much in doubt, and it’s up to you to decide what happens next. Thank you for all your support!
It was announced this week that Kingdom has passed 92 million in manga volume sales. A truly astonishing number to be sure, and while I don’t know for certain, it may very well be the top-selling manga to never receive an English license (never mind, I checked – it’s #6. And holy crap, I forgot about Touch…). It’s available in French of course (what isn’t), and a couple of other languages. But why English publishers, in their infinite wisdom, have chosen to ignore a series that would seem to have great commercial appeal in the West is well beyond me.
I can’t be the only one to notice that look on Meng Yi’s face when Diao’s name was mentioned, can I? In any case, Changping’s fingerprints are all over this climactic battle for the future of Qin. While he leads the charge towards Duke Rongdi, his aide-de-camp Jie Yi (I believe I’ve never noted that he’s played by the excellent Matsuda Kenichirou) is functionally coordinating the battle. Meng Yi is assisting Jie Yi, and Changping’s other student in tactics, Diao, may be in the most crucial position of all. She has to coordinate what’s happening on Rongdi’s rear guard without any direct communication with the commander.



Changping’s tactics are based on the fact that he’s hopelessly outnumbered and thus needs a quick and decisive victory. To this end he means to take Rongdi’s head using the “Lightning Belt” strategy. Naturally his students are well familiar with it – and a good thing, too. Both Meng Yi and (crucially) Diao immediately lamp to Changping’s game here, which is to build a “wall” around the enemy command and take it out with a rapid strike himself. Diao must convince a skeptical Shang Lu to break ranks and form the final wall, and it’s probably fair to say the strategy would have failed if she hadn’t succeeded.
Rongdi doesn’t go down without a fight. He correctly realizes that if he tries to retreat Changping will cut him down from the rear, and the only way out is directly at the charging enemy commander – who’s less of a wall than the head of an arrow. Rongdi is no fool and knows how this will likely end – he’s not underestimating his foe – but he takes the best chance he has. Rongdi may fall here, but he’s determined that his men retreat after he does so they can preserve the hatred of Qin to fester until it finds another chance to boil over. This is the ultimate flaw in Zheng’s grand plan to unify China, but that’s a topic for another episode…
One of the fundamental realities of battles such as this (one need look no further than the day’s headlines for proof) is that the defenders of a nation are always more motivated to fight than those invading it. Zheng’s partisans may be badly outnumbered but they’re fighting what’s effectively a mercenary army buoyed by conscripts and terrorists (the latter of which are its most motivated troops). Once Rongdi is dead the will to fight largely dies with him. A full retreat is what Changping wants, too, and Jie Yi has his men seed the idea through the dismayed enemy. And Diao provides the master stroke, parting Shang Lu’s army like an opening gate and giving Rongdi’s forces an avenue to escape.
With the army outside in rout and the commander’s elite “Pantherfang Riders” guarding the royal family, Fan Wuji (who presumably has no idea his son has been wounded and captured) sees the writing on the wall here. He’s an opportunist, nothing more – for him this is not worth dying over. And just like that, the battle for Xianyang is basically over. Lao Ai is distraught and left behind, pining for his wife, as his army retreats around him. The best laid plans of mice and men – even men as brilliant as Lu Buwei – “Gang aft a-gley”.
Changping was the key to all this, in the end. Just as Xin said, he didn’t give the vibe of an “enemy type” during the battle for Zui (to which he crucially sent Jie Yi). Xin then promptly – and hilariously – thanks Changping “on Zheng’s behalf” and offers a “look forward to workin’ with ya”. Changping’s answer to Xin’s question of why he turned his coat is simple – he shares Zheng’s dream of a unified Middle Kingdom, and sees the young king as someone worthy of entrusting it to. Changping is a military man after all, and perhaps Zheng’s ideals are simply more aligned to his than Lu Buwei’s.
It’s from Changwen, though – they go way back – that Xin wants to hear a pronouncement of total victory. He knows it – he just wants to hear the old man say it aloud. Lu Buwei appears, then, to be vanquished – and the matter of his fate and the Queen Dowager’s, is the next great question facing Kingdom. Lu Buwei is a man of perhaps unequalled talents, and the Queen Dowager is his own mother (and someone whose sins Zheng has already let slide more than once), but this appears to be a bridge too far for both of them. Perhaps the Queen will manage to flee back to her rump kingdom, and Lu to sneak into exile somewhere, but peaceful coexistence in the Qin court is surely no longer an option.
Just a reminder: The future of LiA is very much in doubt, and it’s up to you to decide what happens next. Thank you for all your support!
It was announced this week that Kingdom has passed 92 million in manga volume sales. A truly astonishing number to be sure, and while I don’t know for certain, it may very well be the top-selling manga to never receive an English license (never mind, I checked – it’s #6. And holy crap, I forgot about Touch…). It’s available in French of course (what isn’t), and a couple of other languages. But why English publishers, in their infinite wisdom, have chosen to ignore a series that would seem to have great commercial appeal in the West is well beyond me.
I can’t be the only one to notice that look on Meng Yi’s face when Diao’s name was mentioned, can I? In any case, Changping’s fingerprints are all over this climactic battle for the future of Qin. While he leads the charge towards Duke Rongdi, his aide-de-camp Jie Yi (I believe I’ve never noted that he’s played by the excellent Matsuda Kenichirou) is functionally coordinating the battle. Meng Yi is assisting Jie Yi, and Changping’s other student in tactics, Diao, may be in the most crucial position of all. She has to coordinate what’s happening on Rongdi’s rear guard without any direct communication with the commander.


Changping’s tactics are based on the fact that he’s hopelessly outnumbered and thus needs a quick and decisive victory. To this end he means to take Rongdi’s head using the “Lightning Belt” strategy. Naturally his students are well familiar with it – and a good thing, too. Both Meng Yi and (crucially) Diao immediately lamp to Changping’s game here, which is to build a “wall” around the enemy command and take it out with a rapid strike himself. Diao must convince a skeptical Shang Lu to break ranks and form the final wall, and it’s probably fair to say the strategy would have failed if she hadn’t succeeded.
Rongdi doesn’t go down without a fight. He correctly realizes that if he tries to retreat Changping will cut him down from the rear, and the only way out is directly at the charging enemy commander – who’s less of a wall than the head of an arrow. Rongdi is no fool and knows how this will likely end – he’s not underestimating his foe – but he takes the best chance he has. Rongdi may fall here, but he’s determined that his men retreat after he does so they can preserve the hatred of Qin to fester until it finds another chance to boil over. This is the ultimate flaw in Zheng’s grand plan to unify China, but that’s a topic for another episode…
One of the fundamental realities of battles such as this (one need look no further than the day’s headlines for proof) is that the defenders of a nation are always more motivated to fight than those invading it. Zheng’s partisans may be badly outnumbered but they’re fighting what’s effectively a mercenary army buoyed by conscripts and terrorists (the latter of which are its most motivated troops). Once Rongdi is dead the will to fight largely dies with him. A full retreat is what Changping wants, too, and Jie Yi has his men seed the idea through the dismayed enemy. And Diao provides the master stroke, parting Shang Lu’s army like an opening gate and giving Rongdi’s forces an avenue to escape.
With the army outside in rout and the commander’s elite “Pantherfang Riders” guarding the royal family, Fan Wuji (who presumably has no idea his son has been wounded and captured) sees the writing on the wall here. He’s an opportunist, nothing more – for him this is not worth dying over. And just like that, the battle for Xianyang is basically over. Lao Ai is distraught and left behind, pining for his wife, as his army retreats around him. The best laid plans of mice and men – even men as brilliant as Lu Buwei – “Gang aft a-gley”.
Changping was the key to all this, in the end. Just as Xin said, he didn’t give the vibe of an “enemy type” during the battle for Zui (to which he crucially sent Jie Yi). Xin then promptly – and hilariously – thanks Changping “on Zheng’s behalf” and offers a “look forward to workin’ with ya”. Changping’s answer to Xin’s question of why he turned his coat is simple – he shares Zheng’s dream of a unified Middle Kingdom, and sees the young king as someone worthy of entrusting it to. Changping is a military man after all, and perhaps Zheng’s ideals are simply more aligned to his than Lu Buwei’s.
It’s from Changwen, though – they go way back – that Xin wants to hear a pronouncement of total victory. He knows it – he just wants to hear the old man say it aloud. Lu Buwei appears, then, to be vanquished – and the matter of his fate and the Queen Dowager’s, is the next great question facing Kingdom. Lu Buwei is a man of perhaps unequalled talents, and the Queen Dowager is his own mother (and someone whose sins Zheng has already let slide more than once), but this appears to be a bridge too far for both of them. Perhaps the Queen will manage to flee back to her rump kingdom, and Lu to sneak into exile somewhere, but peaceful coexistence in the Qin court is surely no longer an option.

Source:https://lostinanime.com/2022/09/kingdom-4-23/

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