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|“||I will not lose. I...will not shatter. Because I am...Ei Sei's...The King Who Will Unify This Lands...Unbreakable Sword!! And I...I am...A man who will become a Great General of the Heavens!!||„|
|~ Shin to Chou Ga Ryuu during their final duel, Vol.55 Chapter 598: Woven.|
|“||For fuck's sake...How Many Times...Do I Have to tell you this? A Great General of the Heavens!!||„|
|~ To Hou Ken|
Ri Shin (しん/信) is the main protagonist of the 2006 seinen manga and 2020 anime series キングダム/Kingdom. He is a 24 year old General for the State of Qin and the leader of the Hi Shin Army during the Warring States era of ancient B.C. China.
Born in an unspecified location within the State of Qin, both of Ri Shin's parents were killed in an unknown war when he was about either 5 or 6 years, making him an orphan at an early age. At some point during this period, he was found and taken in by a Li Dan or community leader of Jyouto, a small village in the countryside of Qin. There, he would meet his future best friend and fellow orphan, Hyou, as they both were brought up as servants under the Li Dan's family.
It was there that the young servant inspired him to take up the sword and the dream of becoming the greatest general underneath the heavens and spreading their names across China itself as Great Generals. With this goal in sight, they trained their bodies and themselves in various forms of martial combat like swordsmanship, hand to hand combat, and other skills daily whenever they had the opportunity in between chores and their free time.
With 334 losses, 332 wins, and 587 draws, both the boys topped over 1,000 battles with each other usually with Hyou winning by 1 match. By sparring every day, both of them believed they were come one step closer to their goal.
As the years passed, they met and befriended the local children of Jyouto, the first among them being the Bi Brothers - Bi Hei, the oldest and Bi Tou, the youngest after the two were soundly beaten up by Shin as they attempted to pick a fight and the rest being their mutual friends Kei and Kou, the local children of the village. With the years continuing to passed peacefully (with the occasional fighting with the neighboring villages' children and teenagers which were usually started by Bi Hei), Shin and Hyou were now reaching their early teens. During one of their daily sparring matches, they catch the attention of a passing official by the name of Shou Bun Kun who questions them as to why they were fighting and they answered that they are actually in the middle of training with the intention of someday going off to the battlefield as soldiers and rise through the ranks while attaining prestige and endless rewards, build and make a home within a beautiful mansion with a huge garden and gate surrounded by a garden and tall walls, marry beautiful women from noble families and have many children while having their own servants. And without a moment of hesition, they both state that their names will echo and spread all across China as they become the most powerful and the strongest Great Generals underneath the Heavens, to which the old official laughs off while thinking that this encounter could be what's needed to tear apart the dark clouds that hang over the state of Qin itself. A day later, after returning from their daily work Shin and Hyou meet the old official again.
At the beginning of the series, Ri Shin was a thin but slightly muscled 14-year boy with hazel, slanted eyes and spiky black (or brownish depending on the art) hair styled with a rat-tail on the back. His facial features started out as somewhat soft, roundish but became more pronounced and slightly more muscular as he got older. By the time after General Ou Ki's death, his hair has grown slightly longer with his rat-tail reaching his shoulders and becoming more muscular. Despite this, his appearance has largely remained unchanged. In terms of clothing, the only attire that he consistently wears throughout the series is his sleeveless blue Yue shirt fastened with a brown cloth belt complete with a pair of straw sandals giving him the appearance of a scraggy peasant to most people. After the Sanyou Campaign Arc and becoming a 1000-man commander, Ri Shin begins to wear armor composed of a blue scale mail, bracers, and boots. Underneath his armor, his clothing remains unchanged aside from a pair of white pants that reach his thighs. Along with his Yue shirt, Shin has consistently carried a sword that he inherited from Hyou at the time of his death. After being promoted to a 4000-man commander, he altered his blue scale armor with spikes oriented on the right shoulder as an homage to the late Great General, Duke Hyou that serves a neck guard.
Extremely hotheaded and brash but carrying a heart of unbreakable gold that holds an extreme amount of determination, Ri Shin is fiercely loyal to his friends and comrades as shown when he vowed to avenge Hyou's death, even at the risk of his own death. His hot temper also makes him clash with Ka Ryo Ten and they tend to bicker like siblings constantly back when they were younger. He is also capable of great rage when provoked by others, making him a deadly opponent to fight against. Ri Shin is also very headstrong and courageous which is evident where he unhesitatingly charges at his enemies often ones that are much stronger than him. Despite constantly being at the front lines, Ri Shin does have an interest in women. As shown when he and Ri Hyou first met Shou Bun Kun he showed a desire to get married and have children but has absolutely zero romantic experience inclinations
I want to fight him! And feel the sensation from fighting him. The strength of the former Three Great Heaven, Ren Pa, the man who was evenly matched with Qin's Six Generals!
Listen to what I have say before you sleep, Man Goku. As a man of Qin...as a soldier of Qin, there is only one thing I have to say to you. I will absolutely never commit or allow something like Chou Hei to ever happen again!
Garbage like you who keep going on about "Reality, Reality" as a way to justify despicable acts like this piss me off the most!! "Everyone else is doing it", what kind of bullshit excuse is that! Inhumane is inhumane! I, Shin of the Hi Shin Unit will absolutely never forgive scumbags like you!! No matter what reason!! Doesn't matter if you're a 1000-man commander, a general, or even a king!! None of it means shit!! That's the way I've chosen! It has never changed up until now and will never change in the future!! — To the Randou Unit.
Signs of a Presence
! Dear me, now this is quite a surprise. Though it might only be the tiniest hint, this child is already giving off the "Air of a General". Compared to the all 1000-man commanders I slew on this trip, this boy puts them all to shame. — Rin Ko, commenting on Ri Shin.
Through various moments in the series, we sometimes see that exponentially strong people have a sort of aura around them. This could be the art for making them appear stronger or this is possibly an actual ability of the individual themselves. However, there are hints here and there that this is maybe an actual ability as Yo Tan Wa and her bodyguards were able to sense it coming from Shin during his battle with Sa Ji and his soldiers.
Of course. My sword is on a different level from you hoodlums! My sword is...Our sword is... Will be known Everywhere Under the Heavens!!!
Ri Shin also shows an exceptional level of charisma, which does not only encourage and empower his soldiers in the Hi Shin Unit with mere words but also has managed to impress even the greatest of commanders and generals after his participation in the different campaigns and battles.
Don't sell me short, Ri Boku. I'm not even the slightest bit upset by you not dying here. This isn't the sort of place where a man who defeated Ou Ki should die. And it wasn't just his podao, I've received a ton of other amazing things from General Ou Ki, too. I'm going to become even stronger. I might only be a commander of 300 comrades at the moment but from here on, I'm gonna climb even higher and my unit's gonna grow even larger too. The names of me and my unit will roar throughout all the lands under the heavens. So listen well, Ri Boku. And etch my face and my words deeply into your head. The one who will defeat you will be I, Shin of the Hi Shin Unit!!
Powers and Abilities
Although possessing a little talent for strategy or tactics, Ri Shin has continued to develop his instincts that have allowed a sense of insight into the flow of a battle to be observed as he grows. In lieu of tactics, Shin leads his unit from the front leading direct charges cutting down swaths and deep into enemy ranks. Through this Shin and his unit continue to grow into stronger and more capable fighters, who specialize in being able to take on enemies many times their number. As a warrior, Shin boasts superior physical abilities and martial prowess than most. Though perhaps his two most impressive assets are his relentless tenacity that marks both his style of fighting and is the most indicative trait that leads to his growth. When enraged, he is able to break through his physical limits and overwhelm his enemies with brute strength alone. His signature move is to leap into the air and slice down at his opponent, cutting through their heart.
- 'Enhanced Strength: One of Ri Shin's most prominent traits is his monstrous strength, this is evident even at a young age as shown when he overpowers 4 bandits simultaneously despite the huge difference in size. Fueled with rage over Hyou's death, he was able to smash through stone walls with his fist. He applied tremendous force in his swordsmanship, being able to easily cut down a large number of armored soldiers without tiring. His immense strength was also shown during his duel with Rin Ko, the most dangerous and second strongest vassal of Ren Pa, which was enough to slay him. He has even managed to wound Hou Ken, a man who was only ever wounded by Kyou, Ou Ki, and Duke Hyou, three of the most prominent fighters in the state of Qin.
- Enhanced Speed & Reflexes: Possessing incredible swiftness and powerful speed thanks to his training with Ri Hyou, Shin is an extremely fast individual. And with perception matching his incredible speed, Ri Shin is also able to "see" arrows fired by members of the Ten Bows of China, the greatest archers throughout the central plains of China.
- Enhanced Stamina: Since his days sparring with Ri Hyou, Shin has displayed an immense amount of tenacity to the point he is capable of fighting on despite excessive blood loss and numbness from heavy wounds. As shown during his fights with Jo Kan, Muta, Sa Ji the assassin swordsman, and Ran Kai, Ri Shin was able to stay conscious and fight on despite losing a large amount of blood and being hit constantly by physically stronger opponents. His stamina as only grown exponentially over the years as he went to constant battlefields and survived numerous duels with stronger opponents. His ability was pushed to its absolute limit during the 6th day of Battle of Sai as he was able to fight on for days with little to no sleep through sheer willpower alone.
- Enhanced Endurance & Durability.
- Enhanced Agility & Dexterity: Thanks to his potent speed, Ri Shin is incredibly agile demonstrating quick-witted agility while cutting down multiple opponents in a blink of an eye.
- Enhanced Senses: Having honed his senses from constant training and running through various battlefields, Ri Shin possesses accurate and strengthen senses with his accurate hearing, he could hear the silent crawling of an injured Hyou and thanks to his martial training and inner talent, he could feel the subtle hints of Muta's killing intent as he reacted to it without knowing the assassin's exact location and while continuing to hone himself through battles, he also demonstrated possible hints of chi sensing as he reacted to Hou Ken, a Bushin's presence during the Battle of Bayou and with his eyesight, he can also perceive objects faster than the average person as he deflects arrows fired by Kou Ri Gen and Haku Rei, members of the Ten Bows of China.
- Danger Intuition: Thanks to his strengthened senses, Ri Shin is capable of sensing the hints of a surprise ambush while in a frosted area.
- Enhanced Recovery & Regeneration': As shown throughout the series and stated by Kyou Kai, Ri Shin also has a higher healing rate than an average person.
- Muscle Manipulation: After years of building up his upper body strength, Ri Shin can flex his muscles to instantly close up small cuts and wounds.
- Indomitable Will
- Enhanced Survivability: Displaying an immense amount of tenacity and golden tier luck, Ri Shin has survived the deadliest of wounds and powerful blows to the point of taking a full-force strike from Ren Pa, a Great General of the Heavens and survive the attack along with his sword.
- Master Swordsman: With martial aptitude that far suppressed the normal limits of an average warrior of the state of Qin's soldier caste, Ri Shin is an extraordinarily talented and skilled master swordsman despite being completely self-taught. With just a wooden sword, he showcased his prowess and potential as he blew away three thugs with a single hit and took on an entire village of vicious killers as he fought them single-handedly. And while wielding the King's Sword, the last memento of his best friend Ri Hyou, his skills went even further as he pulled off incredible feats like fighting trained warriors of the soldier caste and defeated deadly assassins like Jo Kan of the Shukyou Clan, the Basha tribe blowgun expert Mu Ta, and the Ketsu faction's chief of assassinations, Sa Ji during Sei Kyou's Rebellion. And after heading towards to the battlefield, he honed his skills further as he killed multiple infantry soldiers and their captain, beheaded a chariot captain in the mid air, deflected and blocked arrows fired by a member of the Ten Bows, the greatest archers throughout China, and later duelled and defeated a Wei general with his special jumping attack, the Hi Jump Slash during the state of Qin's campaign for Keiyou regions of Wei. And after becoming a 100-man commander along with his frequent sparring matches with Kyou Kai, his skills improve to the point of pulling off even more amazing feats like fighting and killing elite swordsmen like a Zhao general's personal bodyguard team with precision-like dexterity, speed and slashes, wounded Hou Ken, a Bushin (God of Martial Arts) and the newly appointed Great General of Zhao's Three Great Heaven, split in half a fully armored adult man while enraged at the sight of General Ou Ki falling in battle.
- Proficient Hand-to-Hand Combatant: While initially a first-class weaponry expert, Ri Shin is also a powerful bare-knuckle fighter. Demonstrating his prowess when he sent Tajifu flying into the air with only one punch and broke a stateless area raider's nose while kneeing him in the face, both of whom were full-grown adults. And, later showed off even more skill when he sent Rai Do, a powerful 5000-man commander of the Kan Ki Army, flying into the air with a stationary punch.
- Instincts: During the invasion of Qin by the Coalition Army at The Battle at Kankoku Pass on the first day, Ri Shin demonstrated an awakening of his abilities as an instinctual-type. While he was able to sense that the rear would be attacked, he moved accordingly. In the following days, he felt that there was something wrong with the enemy as he thought that the Chu army was kind of quiet in their attacks. At the end of the Chiyoyou Campaign after the enemy headquarter has been seized, Shin again managed to sense that there's another army moving in the nearby forest. He charged in alone and with that surprise attack, he killed Rei Ou of the Wei's Seven Fire Dragon in a single swoop. And after 3 years, during the Battle at Shukai Plains, his instincts have developed to the level where he could command his unit with pure intuition and match Gyou’un - another talented instinctual commander.
- Podao Mastery: Sometime before the siege of Tonryuu, Ri Shin decided to change his main weapon to a standard podao in order to prepare himself in wielding General Ou Ki's Podao. At first, his fighting style was considered amateurish, however, with his immense strength, he compensated his lack of skill with his inner prowess as a Destructive Power fighter blowing away entire battalions of infantry or cavalry soldiers with each swing of his blade. This later helped him survived his dueling bouts with Gai Mou of the Wei Fire Dragons as the Great General stated it was also his boldness that played a part. And in time he grew so accustomed to the weapon, that he could fight and defeat soldiers like Kei Sha's, the Silent Hunter, personal route of veteran elites. During Western Zhao Invasion Arc, he became proficient enough to pick up Ou Ki's Podao and which has since become his main personal weapon. Since then his mastery of the Great General's treasured blade has grown so much that he is able to kill multiple soldiers with a simple swing, hold his own, and sent reeling the monstrous general, Gyou'un, slay the spear master Gaku Ei with one swing, later fought in one on one duel with Hou Ken, an exceptional podao master himself who he later killed.
- Combat Intelligence: While his brash and immature attitude may give off an appearance of stupidity, Ri Shin's reliability on the flow of the battlefield and crafty comprehension can help solve situations that call for adjusting his fighting style against stronger opponents or using his instincts with tactical maneuvering, and thanks to running through various battlefields and learning from his deadly duels, Shin has demonstrated his ability to adapt very quickly in order to get the upper hand in battle. This skill is first shown during his final duel with Rin Ko of the Four Heavenly Kings of Ren Pa after the former Zhao general crippled his leg and he quickly changed the fight from a mounted horse one to even ground after realizing he would've lost if he stayed on his horse. And after learning how to faint from Kyou Kai's teachings, he was able to lure the speedy and baiting Fu Tei into his sword's ranged during the Zhao commander's attack on the south wall during the Battle of Sai. And has since grown more since becoming a 4000 and 5000-man commander which he demonstrated during his fight with Jo Rin of the left captain of the elite Dojaku Unit of the Chou Ga Ryuu Army as baited and sacrificed his right side to the spear man's attack in order to kill him.
- Leadership: He has the skill to inspire the people around him to a great extent. It has been stated by Rin Ko that Ri Shin was a greater leader than he was at his age, shown when at the time when the young captain had become the figurehead for the entire central army on the last day of the Sanyou invasion Campaign. Another example is shown when he led 10,000 of Duke Hyou's troops most of whom were in disarray and retreat. Later, during the Battle of Shukai Plains with a passionate speech he was able to "awaken" his entire unit of hungry and tired soldiers to the point where they were able to push back the Gyou'un Army - a feat that was directly compared to Six Great Generals.
- Riders Aptitude:Ever since his battle with Rin Ko, Ri Shin's riding skill has improved by leaps and bounds. He quickly became skilled in cavalry warfare, being even able to ride horses that were difficult to control. His horses also displayed great loyalty to him, so it is assumed that he treated it very nicely to deserve that loyalty.
- Escape Artistry: In his own words, Shin is capable of breaking free from tight bindings like wooden stocks.
- Fear Masking: With his dream of becoming the Greatest General underneath the Heavens, Ri Shin has overcome the greatest amount of fear in his pursuit of achieving it, having had a calm composure lookout on the heavy, blood lust filled battlefield during his first war campaign, challenged the deadliest of opponents like the assassination chief, Sa Ji, Hou Ken the Bushin, and the Flying Spear of Ren Pa, Rin Ko without a shred of fear.
- Enhanced Charisma.
- Fear Inducement: During the Battle of Shu Kai Plains, with the single impact of his podao swing Ri Shin installed a deep sense of fear within the battle-hardened soldiers of the Gaku Ei Army after instantly killing their leader.
- Self Transcendence: Throughout his entire life and military career, Ri Shin has been an expert at overcoming his limitations as he continuously surpasses his opponents with pure and monstrous development.
- Lack of Formal Strategical Training: After being promoted to a 1000-man commander, Ri Shin found himself incapable of creating strategic plans centered around his unit's new size, which made it difficult for him to score victories against even relatively weak opponents as they were using strategical combat.
- He also easily provoked and can be very reckless. The men of his unit often share this trait, as Ryuu Koku mentioned they fall for feints too easily.
- In his days as a servant, he had no cooking skills what so ever.
- Ri Shin is based on the actual real-life general of Qin, Li Xin.