In The Kingdoms of Ruin, science fiction meets fantasy as the Kingdom of Redia pits science against magic, wiping out the witches who have served humanity by providing healthcare and innovations, balancing the environment to correct the world after the humans destroy it. In the last episodes, audiences got to see the lore of the series, which showed the inhumanity of humanity as well as the reason for the series’ main character, Adonis (Kaito Ishikawa), and his plot for revenge. But at the end of Episode 2, The Kingdoms of Ruin zigged instead of zagged, with the seemingly second protagonist, pink-haired Doroka (Azumi Waki), killed by the sniper Eekhout and Adonis just on the verge of learning how to bring his mentor, the ice witch Chloe Morgan (Ryoko Sshirrashi) back to life. Directed by Keitaro Motonaga and animated by Yokohama Animation Lab, The Kingdoms of Ruin comes into Episode 3, “A Gentle Death,” in the middle of the battle that started in the last episode.
Well, a massacre is probably a better word as Adonis rampaged in his grief through the city, enacting a plan for revenge that he’s sought to enact after a decade held prisoner. But in addition to action, this episode also offers substantial worldbuilding elements, particularly in adding balance to how the remnants of magic may be able to stand a chance against the empire.
In the classic “you reap what you sew” fashion, the Kingdom of Redia’s greatest strength against the witches is also now their largest weakness. At the beginning of the episode, The Kingdoms of Ruin outlines how the humans began to overtake the witches, which involved sacrificing the health of humans in the long run. The machine used to bar the witches from using their magic projects particles that decimate the cells in the human body. While an atmosphere dampened the effect that the particles had on humans, with the way that humanity has irreparably damaged the environment, being exposed is now nearly instant death.
With each episode, Yokohama Animation Lab stretches its animation skills wide. Beginning with a flashback and a filter that visually tells the memory’s age, the series also shows more of Adonis’s magic and how it catches and propels Redia’s bullets back at its soldiers. Additionally, the animators have expertly crafted facial expressions to show the dread and surprise of the characters offered close-ups. One of the best is the expression on Eekhoult’s face when his bullet is sent back at him hundreds of times larger than what it was fired at. Shock, awe, and absolute dread, his bright blue eyes and delicate facial structure capture it all fantastically. With heavy action and a lot of narrative development by tearing apart, everyone we thought were the main characters, The Kingdoms of Ruin Episode 3 is a perfect continuation of the series. The series is a new level of interesting, to say the least, offering uncertainty and action with every scene.
As a series, The Kingdoms of Ruin has turned time and again, with no plot armor protecting the characters it introduces and names. It’s only been three episodes of the series, and somehow, it feels like it has shifted on its narrative access multiple times while still holding onto its core theme and story: witches versus humanity, science versus magic. The constant cliffhangers don’t annoy the viewer. Instead, they intrigue, pulling you into the next episode of the series. I have more questions than answers at the end of The Kingdoms of Ruin Episode 3, but that isn’t a bad thing. I understand the world more now, but I don’t understand the path we’re taking to explore it all, especially at the end of this episode and Adonis’s fate.
The Kingdoms of Ruin is one of the most exciting series for the Fall Anime Season, and that continues in Episode 3. I can’t say that I know where the story is going in the slightest, but I am going on this ride.
The Kingdoms of Ruin Episode 3 — "A Gentle Death"
The Kingdoms of Ruin is one of the most exciting series for the Fall Anime Season, and that continues in Episode 3.