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Kingdom 731.5


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Page 1
TL Note: This page just explains the reprinting with Hara’s explanations attached. This chapter is the climax of Dakan Plains, so it’s being used to help promote the movie.


Page 2
Upper Box: In the previous chapter, these two finally met face to face, so here I’m letting the reader feel as if they are present in the moment through these body and face shots. By paralleling both of their panels, you have a sense of them being directly across from each other.


Lower Box: I’m always drawing under the assumption that readers have forgotten the previous week’s chapter. This insert cut is so the readers can get a sense of space by observing the distance between the two generals and the open space between the generals and their soldiers.


Page 3
Following the flow from the previous page, I wanted there to be an impact on the readers when they opened this page, so I wanted to show a wide, panorama here. But it was cut for the sake of page balance. Even now when re-reading, I wish there was more intense sense of them being surrounded by numerous soldiers. Lol


Page 4
Unexpectedly, it’s the strategical Go Kei who starts the fight. In this setting, it’s obvious that Duke Hyou is stronger, but actually, Go Kei has strength from the memories he keeps in his heart. In order to show the unpredictable development of Go Kei putting up a strong fight, I had Go Kei make the first attack.


Page 5
The reader’s expectation is that “Duke Hyou is stronger.” This page serves to make the reader think maybe Duke Hyou settled the duel in a single blow, but it’s actually a brief pause before revealing it was an even hit on both of them.


Page 6
This guy is unexpectedly important! This lieutenant knows Go Kei’s backstory, so because he is here, it shows Go Kei’s spirit and mental fortitude. His name is Jii. Lol


Page 7
I drew a nice picture showing their emotions, right? It took 7 volumes, but at least with close-ups, I was finally able to draw in an “attention grabbing” way.

Page 8
I thought it would be boorish to make Ouki say something here, so I had him remain silent. In contrast to Bihei and the others who are panicking, Ouki understands everything clearly, and even though he understands Go Kei’s spirit, he believes it will ultimately be Duke Hyou’s victory. Tou is the same.


Page 9
Here, I decided to move the point of view over to the Wei army. Go Kei shows his emotionally charged fighting. That frantic energy spreads throughout the Wei army. These aren’t orders being yelled, but yells of support naturally bursting forth. Very loud, excited cheering. This development is meant to give the expectation that there’s a chance for an upset victory over Duke Hyou who always wins through might.


Page 10
The layout this panel is one I’ve always had in mind when drawing battlefields. The fists of the soldiers closer to the front, the great generals dueling, and the soldiers further back holding their breath in suspense while watching the duel. If there had been space on the page, I wanted to do a bigger spread of this… lol. I also always wanted to add “shaking” to the SFX.


Page 11
Up until this point, I had depicted Go Kei as a “monster of strategy,” but here, I borrowed Shin’s monologue to paint a new picture of Go Kei as someone with true martial strength. I also wanted to give the idea that maybe Duke Hyou isn’t as strong as rumored, and I tried to make the reader wonder who would win.


Page 12
After spending the last 3 pages making the reader unsure of who would win the duel, the old guard of Duke Hyou flip the narrative away from Go Kei. The soldiers of Duke Hyou are steadfastly watching the battle and are sure of their lord’s victory. They aren’t sweating at all. If you look closely, up until this page the only ones sweating while watching the duel are Shin, Heki, etc.


Page 13
I considered Go Kei’s backstory when doing his character design. The main points are his face paint and his scarf. At the time, there was a custom to tattoo criminals faces. So the red lines I put on his face are so you will think they’re tattoos or that they’re covering his tattoos. He didn’t have them in his childhood, so it must have been his punishment as a survivor of a royal family, right… On the other hand, his scarf is made from the hair of fallen members of his family. He wraps it around himself to not forget his hatred.


Page 15
Upper Box: Re-reading this chapter for the first time in a while, I thought “Huh, is this guy Gakurai?” lol
But no, it’s not.


Lower Box: Opposite Go Kei who has a clear backstory is Duke Hyou who is difficult to grasp. It was unexpectedly difficult to make such a character appealing. Because there had to be a compelling reason for his erratic behavior. So here, I took the reverse approach and created an atmosphere around him that makes the reader think “What a mysterious guy.”


Page 16
This is a small panel, but it’s one of my favorite scenes. If only I could have drawn it better… It doesn’t come across well, but the two of them inscribing an arc while approaching each other is nice, right? It doesn’t come across well, though… lol


Page 18
Right Box: The term “instinctual general” was born through Duke Hyou’s actions, so it didn’t carry much weight yet. So in order to give the term weight, I had him say that he “lost sight of Go Kei’s core.” It’s not quite a feral intuition, but I deliberately showed a perceptiveness about him. You could say I built his character up from this point, or at least he became somewhat more clearly defined as a character.


Left Box: I had an idea that Duke Hyou’s eyes would resemble a wild beast, and I referenced pictures of leopards and tigers when drawing them. He’s linked to “panthers”** lol. His collar and waistband are also leopard patterned.


Page 19
Upper Box: In order to lead into the next issue where I will further develop Go Kei’s backstory, I had the outcome of the duel become unpredictable here. Because I want the readers to be full of excitement and concern while waiting for next week, I drew the Duke Hyou soldier’s sweating for the first time here.


Lower Box: Both of them are making nice faces, huh? It comes across like I really had fun drawing their expressions here lol.

**TL Note: Panther in Japanese is also “hyou” but the kanji is different. So he’s saying they’re linked by “hyou.” It’s unclear to me if he actually intended that when naming Duke Hyou or if he’s just joking around since he says lol.


Trad de Saemoon

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Bon ben pas de débat sur l'instinct avec ces commentaires... :P 


Juste qu'on apprend que l'instinct, c'est bien un truc inventé ad hoc pour justifier les décisions loufoques du Duc. La loufoquerie de Shin n'est donc pas prête de disparaître s'il doit devenir le plus grand instinctif de tous les temps 😅

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