I like dark, gory anime, but sometimes too much, is just too much. I can think of a few popular anime that crossed *my* line and I felt no desire to watch anymore. The Kingdoms of Ruin is kind of riding that line for me right now.
I loved – adored – the relationship between Chloe and Adonis. It wasn’t overly flirty or sexual, yes she teased him, but I could sense that the two genuinely and deeply cared for each other and Chloe wanted to help Adonis learn and evolve positively with magic. I am thinking to myself, I can’t wait to spend more time with this duo!
Then, the way that Emperor Goethe savagely, brutally, mercilessly stripped and murdered Chloe in front of a crowd of people horrified me – and Chloe begging for Adonis’s protection gutted me. It was a lot.
Human beings can be awful and terrible. It’s important for this to be depicted in art and discussed, but I cannot subject myself to feeling like that frequently. It will impact my mental health – and with some anime, it’s non-stop.
So, after watching that awful scene, I don’t know how much more I can take, speaking to the intensity of that part.
Then, we meet Doroka and Anna in an internment camp. The puppet scene just broke my heart again, and Doroka is brave. I can see myself loving this character. Then she manages to break free, helps the prisoners break free, and helps Adonis break free! Let’s go!!!
Adonis, after being bound and imprisoned in a mechanical pod for 10 years, raging about the loss of Chloe in there, comes out seething, unleashing his wrath on the Redia Empire. Doroka tries to convince him to stop the destruction, explaining that she’s a witch and she wants to save him and bring Chloe back – then she gets shot by Redia Empire Operator Executive Eekhout.
Okay, two episodes in and this is a lot. Humiliation. Prison Break. Massacre. Brutality. This show is absolute chaos, but I am incredibly intrigued by this world. The fall of humanity, the eradication of witches – I want to know more and see what happens to Adonis.
Episode 3 has no shortage of insanity or tragedy. Doroka’s flashback shows us humans purging witches, using the magic-blocking technology and it’s devastating. Doroka escapes and heads to Madam Ophelia – who I believe will be a big character later – who seems like a higher-up in the witch world. Doroka dies. Adonis retaliates with a GIANT bullet and blows Eekhout apart.
We transition to the Redia Empire’s perspective. Yuki (the girl with pink hair, bows, and thick eyebrows), the sister of the military commander, Yamato (the guy with the big ears) wants to unleash the magic-blocking technology to battle Adonis, but the scientist Theta (who reminds me of Ritsuko from Neon Genesis Evangelion) reveals that the magic-suppression tech has killed human soldiers exposed during the witch hunt, causing “Human Cellular Dysfunction Disease” – and since all the witches have been killed, humanity is doomed because there’s no way to “cleanse” our environment anymore. That’s a lot. I know. Three episodes and my jaw is just on the floor every time.
But we aren’t stopping there. Theta also drops on us that Emperor Goethe’s illness is from the tech when he unleashed it on Chloe. You think that would be enough to stop Yuki, but no. It’s not so she tries to activate the tech, but Theta stops her – they’re both harmed and exposed. Why Yuki? Why.
I am thinking to myself, “We are done now, nothing wilder can happen.” Then a blue-haired woman soldier cuts off Adonis’s head. It’s not his head. I knew that immediately. No way we are beheading and off-ing Adonis in episode 3. Not happening.
They take the head to a lab and as I portended, it’s not his, and Adonis’s eyes flash open BUT WHERE?
So yeah that was a lot. How many times have I said that now? But I mean, for real, every episode I am like what in the hell is going on – and low key I’ve been a little confused and had to rewind the episodes a few times because I am like – did I get all that?
This anime has had a wild and strong start. I’ve checked out a bunch of different polls all over the interwebs and people have been ranking it high this season across the board, and rightfully so. It’s quite dark and disturbing, so I am a little afraid of what will unfold…but the animation has been beautiful. All the twists and turns already – I am here for it (also, I am here for it because it’s my assigned anime to review, but anyway).
I am hoping to see a softer side of Adonis, I want to see him connect with some other characters on a deeper level, was kind of hoping that would happen with Doroka (RIP) and I cannot wait to see more of what exists of the witch world and seeing flashes of it from the past. You could say the anime has cast a spell on me… for now (that was so bad I had to end with it). See ya next week!
The Kingdoms of Ruin is currently streaming on
this article has been modified since it was originally posted;
see change history