The Kingdom Season 4 anime will continue the story with the Kyou Kai’s Revenge story from the Kingdom manga series by Yasuhisa Hara. We’ll also get to see Shin in action in a secret mission as he’s promoted further up the Qin military hierarchy.
In the past, the manga creator has served in a supervisory role on the anime production staff. It’s likely that Hara will return, and any studio changes will probably be minor.
After all, the first two seasons were produced by animation studio Pierrot, which is best known for Naruto/Baruto, the upcoming Black Clover Season 4 anime, and the original Bleach anime series (it’s possible Pierrot could produce Bleach Season 17: Thousand-Year Blood War).
The third season of the Kingdom anime was produced by Studio Signpost, but since that’s the new name for the Pierrot subsidiary Pierrot Plus, it wasn’t much of a change.
What is not minor is the main staff changes between each Kingdom season. Every time, the director and main staff has changed, so it’s very likely that the Kingdom Season 4 staff will change once again.
However, there were some staff members retained in both seasons, including episode director Mitsutaka Noshitani, key animator Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, and several others.
Kingdom Season 4 will likely have a returning voice cast for the Japanese language release.
- Masakazu Morita as Shin (Li Xin)
- Jun Fukuyama as Ei Sei (Ying Zheng)
- Rie Kugimiya as Ka Ryo Ten (He Liao Diao)
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 4 English dub.
The Kingdom Season 4 opening (OP) theme song music and ending (ED) has not yet been announced.
For those watching Kingdom’s third season, the anime began airing in Japan on April 5, 2020. The total number of episodes has not yet been announced, but the first and second seasons had 38 and 39 episodes, respectively.
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.
Beginning with Kingdom Season 3 Episode 5, the third season of the anime series suffered from delayed production due to the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic.
Therefore, it’s likely that the Kingdom Season 3’s ending will air in either December 2020 or early January 2021 depending on the length of the delay.
Updated April 27, 2020: Kingdom S3 episodes delayed.
This article provides everything known about Kingdom Season 4 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 57 as of March 19, 2020.
Publisher Shueisha’s website says that Volume 57 contains up through Chapter 624. Historically, four new manga volumes are released per year.
Unfortunately, an official English translation of the Kingdom manga series has not been announced by any North American publisher.
The Kingdom manga’s ending is not coming any time soon. Back in 2015, the manga creator was interviewed by Da Vinci magazine, and he stated that he wished to convey the idea that humanity tends to repeat war while proclaiming a desire for peace.
To achieve that goal, Hara says he will need to target Kingdom Volume 100 for the ending. From the perspective of anime-only audiences, that goal means there could be 8 to 10 anime seasons in total, so we should expect Kingdom Season 5, 6, and so on in the coming years.
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.
Anime fans have been pleased with the third season of the anime adaptation. Some anime fans criticized the first two seasons for using a lot of garish 3D CGI animation.
Studio Signpost also used CGI in the third season, but it wasn’t egregious. 3D character models were used whenever the camera zoomed out to show entire armies, but when the camera close in on the action, the battle scenes were hand-drawn 2D animation.
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.
The ending of the second season skimmed over the six chapters of a mini-arc that ended with Chapter 260. To summarize, Shin (Li Xin in Chinese) suffers many defeats since he is not a strategist. Ri Boku allows Ka Ryo Ten (He Liao Diao in Chinese) to rejoin the unit after she attended a military school, and they began winning again.
One important detail that was skipped was how Kyou Kai (Qiang Lei in Chinese) leaves to search for a clan member who killed her sister. It’s not that big of a deal since Kyou Kai is MIA during the Coalition Invasion arc, so the beginning of Kingdom Season 4 should adapt her story arc (see the spoilers section below).
Note: This article was initially published before the Kingdom Season 3 episode finale aired in Japan and will be updated over time.
The third season picked up the story again with Chapter 261, with Episode 1’s title being named after Chapter 264. Since Hara has confirmed that the third season would adapt the Coalition Invasion story arc, that means the third season will include Chapters 261 through 356, which is 95 chapters in total.
Adapting 95 chapters means the third season should have at least three cours again. Condensing the story too much would create pacing problems, otherwise.
The Kingdom Season 4 anime should pick up the story again with Chapter 357 of Volume 33. But the question remains on how Kingdom Season 4 will adapt the next several story arcs.
The Studio Signpost writers could up the pacing a bit by adapting the five-story arcs which run from Chapters 357 through 485. Ending with the story arc that runs from Chapter 402 through 437 doesn’t make sense since it largely focuses on the Queen Mother establishing the new state of Ai and planning their next move. Instead, finishing with the Koku You Campaign arc would include multiple character arcs and also finish on a high note with a battle scene.
Such a stopping point leaves only the relatively short Beuracrats Job story arc before launching into the Western Zhao Invasion arc, which is the biggest story arc of the entire manga series thus far. Since that story arc is well over 200 chapters already, it’s probably best to adapt it with multiple seasons starting with Kingdom Season 5.
The negative is that option means Kingdom Season 4 would adapt 128 chapters, although the pacing was still considerably faster in the first season. So, one alternative is to split up the six arcs for Kingdom Season 4 and 5 and leave the Western Zhao Invasion arc for Kingdom Season 6.
Kingdom Season 4 release date: Is 2021 possible?
As of the last update, Studio Signpost, NHK TV, or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Kingdom Season 4 release date. Nor has the production of a Kingdom anime sequel been announced.
Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Kingdom Season 4 premiere date will occur in the future.
A big part of the reason for the long 6-year wait between Kingdom seasons 2 and 3 was the fact that the anime was catching up with the manga series. When Season 2 finished airing on March 2, 2014, the manga was only up to Chapter 336 of Volume 31.
Anime productions take years of planning, and the studios, staff (which includes many contractors), and voice cast need to be scheduled in advance. In the case of Kingdom Season 4, it’s possible the turnaround time could be much shorter since the manga is so far ahead. So, in the best-case scenario, Kingdom 4 could come out in 2021, assuming Studio Signpost is already scheduled.
Kingdom Season 4 plot summary (spoilers)
The last time we watched the Kingdom anime, our heroes had saved Qin from annihilation from the invasion by the coalition army. Shin was recognized for his efforts and rewarded with a promotion to the 3,000-man commander.
The Hi Shin unit was despatched to deal with pillagers ransacking the border towns of Qin. But our story now takes us to the state of Zhao, where Kyou Kai is seeking revenge on Yuu Ren, the member of the Yuu clan responsible for the death of Kyou Kai’s sister.
There, Kyou Kai meets Kyou Mei, a spy in Zhao. Mei has been tracking the enemy movements and is able to point Kai in the right direction.
But when Kyou Kai finally finds her nemesis, she finds herself in an ambush and surrounded by warriors of the Yuu clan. Kyou Kai is able to take down these other warriors, but Yuu Ren is another matter. Kyou Kai finds herself needing to violate taboos in order to overcome the other woman.
Having defeated Yuu Ren, Kyou Kai asks Mei to hide Ren’s body and then tell everyone that Kai was killed. Kai hoped to prevent the next ritualistic massacre of young girls by promoting the rumor that Ren was alive and in hiding.
Kyou Kai then travels to rejoin the Hi Shin unit, where she reveals her goal to become a great general in Qin. She also makes it clear that she intends to have children with Shin!
Ei Sei (Yin Zheng) may have been crowned king when he was only 13 years old, but he does not officially become the king of Qin until a coming of age ceremony when he turns 22. With the ceremony fast approaching, Chancellor Ryo Fui (Lu Buwei) conspires to entrap Ei Sei in a new war by arranging for a small-scale invasion by Zhao.
Ryo Fui proposes that the king should lead the defending army into battle, but then Prince Sei Kyou (Cheng Jiao) volunteers to lead the military. The prince easily manages to repel the Zhao invaders at Tonyruu city, but then conspirators working with Ryo Fui capture and imprison the prince.
The conspirators started rumors that the prince had launched a rebellion against the king, but Ei Sei didn’t believe the rumors. Instead, the king promoted Shin again with 5,000 men and sent them on a secret mission to save the prince.
Unfortunately, Shin does not arrive in time to save the prince. Before Sei Kyou died, he asked Shin to protect his family and to lead the remainder of his faction in service to King Ei Sei.
The wars resume with Qin General Tou leading a campaign to conquer the Chiyoyou region of Wei. Shin’s unit is called into action, and Qin’s forces go up against the remaining three great generals of Wei’s Seven Fire Dragons. Shin also secretly sends Kyou Kai to the Wei headquarters as an assassin.
Two months after successfully taking over Wei’s Chiyoyou region, Qin has begun building a fortress as a foothold into Wei. Shin’s unit is defending the workers.
During this time, politics and intrigue begin between the factions in Qin when the Queen Mother comes out of hiding. The Queen proclaims that she has birthed two children with Rou Ai and intends on creating her own state of Ai.
Ei Sei’s coming of age ceremony and coronation are coming up quickly. While celebrating the new year may be desired, many recognize that the king’s coronation would be the perfect time to attack.
Unfortunately, anime fans will have to wait until the Kingdom Season 4 release date to watch what happens next. Stay tuned!