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Kingdom Season 3 release date confirmed for spring 2020: Kingdom manga’s Coalition Invasion arc compared to the anime [Spoilers]

Kingdom anime artwork
The anime Kingdom Season 3 will cover the Coalition Invasion Arc from the Kingdom manga series by creator Yasuhisa Hara. Pic credit: Studio Pierrot

After years of waiting, Kingdom Season 3 has finally been confirmed to be coming out in 2020!

As anime fans know, the third season’s broadcast was delayed for a long time due to the impact of COVID-19 on the production schedule. In October 2020, the anime production committee finally confirmed that the Kingdom Season 3 Episode 5 release date was being scheduled for 2021.

The third season is covering the story events from the Coalition Invasion Arc from the Kingdom manga by creator Yasuhisa Hara. Hara will once again be part of the anime production in a supervisory role. On the official website, Hara said that he is “working closely” with a “brand new team.”

Animation studio Pierrot produced the first two seasons in 2012 and 2014, respectively. For Kingdom Season 3, the anime series switched production staff to Studio Signpost, which is the new name for studio Pierrot’s subsidiary Pierrot Plus.

Director Kenichi Imaizumi will be helming the project at Studio Signpost. The series composition will be handled by writer Noboru Takagi, who is best known for the Golden Kamuy anime series. Character designer Hisashi Abe has previously worked on the Berserk anime and the Psycho-Pass anime movie series Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System.

This announcement is not a surprise since some of the primary staff also changed between the first two seasons. Director Jun Kamiya helmed the first season while director Akira Iwanaga directed the second.

However, there were some staff members retained in both seasons, including episode director Mitsutaka Noshitani, key animator Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, and several others.

Some anime fans criticized the first two seasons for using a lot of 3D CGI animation. With the production staff changing, it’s unknown if the third season will follow suit, but large battle scenes are often 3D-animated as a time-saving measure by studios.

There will also be several voice cast members returning for Kingdom Season 3.

  • Masakazu Morita as Li Xin (Shin)
  • Jun Fukuyama as Ying Zheng
  • Rie Kugimiya as Heliao Diao

Some of the new characters will be leaders from Chu’s military.

  • Yuya Uchida as Shun Shin Kun
  • Miou Tanaka as Kan Mei
  • Atsuko Tanaka as Ka Rin
  • Yuuto Uemura as Haku Rei
  • Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Kou Yoku
  • Daisuke Namikawa as Go Hou Mei

The Kingdom Season 3 opening (OP) theme song music is “Tomorrow” as performed by BiSH and the ending (ED) theme song is “Deep Inside” as performed by waterweed.

In the past, FUNimation released the Kingdom English dub for the first two seasons. It’s currently unknown if FUNimation will produce a Kingdom Season 3 English dub.

The company has been streaming Kingdom Season 3 on FUNimation Now, but as of October 2020, the first four episodes were Japanese audio only with English subtitles.

Kingdom Season 3 Anime Key Visual
A key visual released for the Kingdom Season 3 anime. Pic credit: Studio Signpost/Weibo
  • Updated October 5, 2020: Kingdom Season 3 Episode 5 release date time frame added. Updated manga info.
  • Updated March 19, 2020: Added Kingdom S3 OP/ED info.
  • Updated March 4, 2020: Added new Kingdom Season 3 anime key visuals.
  • February 14, 2020: Kingdom Season 3 release date confirmed!
  • Updated February 10, 2020: Added Kingdom S3 trailer.
  • Updated January 15, 2020: Added new Kingdom Season 3 character art.
  • Updated December 16, 2019: Added Studio Signpost staff.
  • Updated December 13, 2019: Added key visual for the third season.

This article provides everything known about Kingdom Season 3 and all related news. As such, this article will update over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Kingdom manga compared to the anime

The story for the anime series is based on the Kingdom manga by writer and artist Yasuhisa Hara. Serialized in Weekly Young Jump magazine since 2006, the manga series is already up to Volume 59 as of September 18, 2020.

Publisher Shueisha’s website has not yet listed the Kingdom Volume 60 release date.

Unfortunately, an official English translation of the Kingdom manga series has not been announced.

In addition to the Kingdom anime, the manga series has spawned a Kingdom video game for iPhone and Android. There’s also a 2019 live-action Kingdom movie that was released in the United States and Canada by FUNimation.

Kingdom Manga Volume 56 Cover Art
The manga cover art for Kingdom Volume 56. Pic credit: Yasuhisa Hara

The first season of the anime adaptation covered the first 173 manga chapters with 38 episodes. The second season slowed the pacing down significantly, adapting 78 chapters with 39 episodes.

Each season was composed of three cours.

A “cour” is a three-month unit of TV broadcasting based on the physical weather seasons. Most anime seasons feature 12 or 13 episodes per cour.

The number of episodes for Kingdom Season 3 remains unknown, but Hara confirmed the third season would adapt the Coalition Invasion story arc.

Assuming the remaining six chapters of the previous mini-arc are also adapted, that means the third season will include Chapters 251 through 356, which is 105 chapters in total.

Hara released a drawing along with the Kingdom Season 3 announcement. The pic depicts General Kan Mei, a character who first appears in Chapter 268 of the Coalition Invasion Arc.

That means Kingdom Season 3 should once again have three cours and end with Episode 39. If such a long story arc played out over fewer episodes, it’d risk creating pacing problems by condensing the manga’s story too much.

In the past, Hara discussed targeting Volume 100 as the goal for the Kingdom manga’s ending. With such a Luffy-like lofty goal in mind, and with the manga series so far ahead of the anime adaptation, it should be possible to create Kingdom Season 4, 5, and 6 in the coming years.

Manga readers who want to read ahead of Kingdom Season 3 can jump straight to Chapter 357 of Volume 33. Assuming the anime continues to keep similar pacing between seasons, it’s likely that Kingdom Season 4 will adapt the next four story arcs, which run from Chapters 357 through 437.

Kingdom Season 3 Anime Characters Key Visual
The key visual for the Kingdom Season 3 anime that was released in March 2020 showed the character designs. Pic credit: Studio Signpost

Kingdom Season 3 release date confirmed for spring 2020

The official Twitter account for the anime series and the NHK TV station have both confirmed that the Kingdom Season 3 release date is set for April 5, 2020, during the spring 2020 anime season.

In mid-April 2020, the anime production committee announced that Episode 5 would be delayed.

The committee claimed that they had originally planned enough time for the production of the third season, but the delay was due to the impact of the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic on the production schedule.

The Kingdom Season 3 Episode 5 release date is planned for Spring 2021.

Kingdom Season spoilers (plot summary/synopsis)

The alliance between Zhao and Qin may have allowed the Chinese state to expand its borders, but it caused Qin’s neighbors to begin plotting in the shadows. Zhao Prime Minister Ri Boku and Chu Prime Minister Shun Shin Kun form a Coalition Army comprised of all the warring states except for Qi, which withdrew its men at the behest of Qin diplomat Sai Taku.

With 540,000 men ready to invade, the Coalition Army intends to wipe Qin from the map. Qin’s leaders realize their only hope is to abandon all posts that were not of significant strategic value. They needed to gather all their troops to form a defensive position at Kankoku Pass to defend the northern path to Qin’s royal capital city of Kanyou.

This defensive maneuver works, so Ri Boku is forced to send a smaller force on a mission to infiltrate Kanyou through a secret passage in the south. Leaving a path of destruction in their wake, they march on the capital.

The last city remaining in the path of the Colation Army is called Sai. King Ei Sei realizes their only hope is to stop the Coalition’s advance in Sai by gathering together every spare man available to prepare for a siege in Sai.

As it so happens, Xin (or Shin) enters the battle of Sai. Will Xin be able to prove his worth by becoming a 3,000-man commander on his quest to become the world’s greatest general?

Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait for the Kingdom Season 3 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "woke-taku" and he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment.... read more

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