Preview (Spoilers below):
Bojji is beaten to death because of his battle with Daida, but his stepmother, Queen Hiling, enters the room and uses her powers to help her heal him. Kage tries to sneak out of the castle, but is grabbed by Bebin, who imprisons him and lies to Bojji about the shadow creature’s true location. Then the king dies and it is time to name a successor. His will clearly states that Bojji will reign, but the Queen casts a vote of no confidence against him and, in the end, Daida takes the throne. Bojji goes on a trip and Hiling feels that his family may never be the same again.
Our opinion :
The third episode of Ranking of Kings finally arrives at the king part this week! Bojji’s father dies (very quickly) and the battle for power that the series presumably should explore can begin in earnest. It’s not a bad episode, but it’s pretty boring for the most part, just putting pieces together that will come into play later.
The most interesting thing to discuss after the events of this episode is the Queen herself. Hiling appeared as a fairly stereotypical evil stepmom in the early couple episodes with the way she treated Bojji. Even her character design seems intended to invoke comparisons of witches and fairy tales – her nose is so sharp it could probably tear out an eye. She continues her demeanor towards Bojji in some ways this week, but it also paints her in a much more understandable and sympathetic light. Sure, she might despise Bojji for less than ideal reasons, but it’s pretty clear at this point that she has her best interests at heart… or at least she did at some point.
We see flashbacks of his entry into Bojji’s life after his mother’s death. She intends to win him and always tries to play with him or bribe him with candy. But he takes little interest in her, until she helps heal a wounded snake creature he finds using her mysterious powers. From that day on, they were like a real mother and her son. It’s not clear to me at this point what happened, although the arrival of Prince Daida’s birth likely had something to do with his apparent change of heart. At the end of the episode, she allows Bojji to embark on his own quest despite her reluctance. Maybe she’s finally ready to let him go and become what he needs to be?
Prince Daida, meanwhile, would prefer his older brother not to grow up at all. He appears to be a completely self-obsessed and evil little boy until now. Hopefully the show can flesh out his character a bit more, because at the moment it seems a little weird that he is so mean all the time when his parents were both nice enough from what we have. seen. Of course, appearances can be deceptive. Domas seemed to be on Bojji’s side when it premiered, but in this episode he’s one of the deciding votes when it comes to removing Bojji’s royal ship. He’s going to accompany the older prince on his journey now, so maybe he’ll manage to make some moral redress along the way. A servant named Hokuro also follows; we don’t know much about him other than the fact that he was the only servant who wanted to go with Bojji, so he should be interesting to watch.
The new king isn’t the most exciting episode I’ve seen this week, but it does show that the series is starting to get on the right track. I feel like the first two episodes were definitely a bit slow, but now that the main cast has been introduced and Bojji is on his way to who knows where, the following episodes should raise the stakes.