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The Ending Of The Kingdom Anime Season 3 Explained

Historical fiction isn't overly-common when it comes to anime. However, those few series that dare to explore the events of our real world seem to find nothing but success. "Vinland Saga," the historical Viking anime from Studio Wit, is currently scheduled for a second season. Likewise, "Kingdom," has three complete seasons detailing its own version of China's Warring States period.

The Warring States period is one of China's most important historical time frames, to say the least, as it inevitably resulted in the first instance of a unified China (via Encyclopedia Britannica). In terms of the anime itself, however, the more important aspects have less to do with the history, and more to do with individual characters and their arcs. So while the ending of "Kingdom" Season 3 doesn't bring a close to the central conflict of the Warring States, it does wrap up many important character arcs, giving the upcoming fourth season a solid starting point to continue its story.

Qiang Lei finds vengeance and a new home

Though the main protagonist of "Kingdom" is Xin, most of the ending of "Kingdom" Season 3 focuses on Qiang Lei. Lei is a longstanding member of the series' cast, and has been around since Episode 17. She is a former member of the assassin Clan Shiyuu, but has since left to pursue her own goals. Chief among these goals for the majority of "Kingdom" has been to avenge the death of her sister, Qiang Xiang. Xiang was killed by Yuu Lian, another member of the Shiyuu Clan who has undergone a ritual that has made her equal parts ruthless and formidable.

When Lei finally gets a crack at Lian, things really don't go well at first. She sustains heavy injuries during their battle, even in her deepest "dance" (the trance-like fighting style used by Shiyuu warriors). Eventually, however, Lei manages to fall into a deep enough dance to defeat Lian, with the only thing tying her to the conscious world being her connection to Xin and his army. The moment ends up being a great triumph for Lei, who has accomplished her life's goal and can now move on to bigger and better things, like becoming a Great General of the Qin army and becoming a potential love interest for Xin.

Xin wins the day but not the war

While Lei had her own personal quest for vengeance going on, much of Season 3 of "Kingdom" was devoted to the attack of the Coalition Army against Qin. Rebuffing the might of five combined states was no small task for any army, and it took much of Qin's strength just to maintain. In the end, however, it came down to a final confrontation between Xin and the Supreme Commander of Zhao, Pang Nuan.

Pang Nuan has been nothing less than a powerhouse over the past two seasons of the series. Having defeated Xin and Lei in the past, Pang Nuan is built up as one of their largest obstacles, at least in terms of martial prowess. Nonetheless, Xin has grown greatly since he first faced Pang Nuan, and managed to duel the commander to ostensibly a standstill. Eventually, Pang Nuan's allies convinced him that staying and fighting likely only meant death for himself and the Coalition Army, so he retreated to fight another day.

This means big news for both Qin and Xin. For starters, Qin manages to rebuff a major invasion and so still has a chance at fulfilling its destiny by creating a unified China. For Xin, however, it is one step closer towards fulfilling his own destiny as one of the land's Great Generals. Of course, the conflict at hand isn't entirely finished. A unified China is still a long way to go.