K – First Season | Another review, K?
Yes, the first season. Before I begin, I would like to point out that in regards to the animation of an Anime, K and its series is one of the best. I am a sucker for animation, to me, it’s also one of the things I’ll watch an Anime for. If it’s amazingly designed on an artistic level regardless of how poorly I think an Anime is, I will still watch it because the people who worked to animate each Anime deserves a lot of praise.
Without further ado, shall we get onto the review?!?!?!?!
“Kings” are individuals who have been bestowed with incredible supernatural powers and granted the ability to recruit others into their clans. Protecting the lives and honor of their clansmen is an integral part of the Kings’ duties. After a video depicting the heinous murder of a Red Clansman spreads virally, the unassuming student Yashiro Isana is accused of homicide. Now, a manhunt is underway for his head, bringing him into contact with the infamous “Black Dog” Kurou Yatogami—a skilled swordsman and martial artist determined to follow the wishes of his late master, the Seventh King.
Meanwhile, the current Red King, Mikoto Suou, faces his own imminent demise as the search for Yashiro narrows. But during Yashiro’s struggle to prove his innocence, a greater conspiracy is unraveling behind the scenes; clouds begin to appear in his memory, and close friends start to question his very existence. What began as a simple murder is now leading towards a full-blown war between Kings with the very fate of the world at stake. – MyAnimeList
At its core, K is a story about finding the identity of a murderer and its implications in an ongoing war between superpowered clans. Elements of sci-fi, fantasy and mystery are combined to make for a very appealing package. In my opinion, the first few episodes don’t really explain much, but they leave enough questions unanswered to make you keep coming back for more. I suppose it may be to give the viewer the same feeling that the protagonist Yashiro would get from having his daily life changed so suddenly. However, the story really picks up in the latter half and overall was simply very exciting to watch.
The animation for K is absolutely amazing. GoHands really impressed this time. The backgrounds are highly detailed and the setting allows for some beautiful shots of the city and the island. Reflections and lighting are done expertly, even if at times it looked a little too bright. I also really like the character designs in K – everyone looks great and the SCEPTER4 uniforms are a notable highlight. Additionally, the OP and ED sequences are highly stylised and great to watch, meshing well with the songs chosen.
K has fantastic music – among the best I’ve heard for a while. There are many great tracks and they are used well to enhance the feelings of the scenes. Some of my personal favourites are the main theme, which was also used in one of the PVs; and the ED song, performed by Neko’s seiyuu. I think having the character songs play in the background for the next episode previews was a particularly nice touch. The voice acting was top-notch, with plenty of big names such as Sugita Tomokazu and Ono Daisuke, to mention a few. Across the board, they really succeeded in bringing out the characters’ personalities and emotions.
The characters in K are one of the main driving forces of the series. Much of the plot revolves around Yashiro, who at first appears to be just another happy-go-lucky high school student thrown into the midst of a gang war he knows nothing about. Kuroh is more tough and composed, and his seriousness is a nice contrast to Yashiro’s carefree personality. K also presents us with an interesting dynamic between the Blue and Red Kings – they fight on opposing sides, but seem to be more than just simply enemies.
The only possible flaw I found was that Neko’s character didn’t really get enough elaboration; it almost seemed like she was just included because her powers were needed for the story. The focus moves between the various sides so we get to see events unfold from several perspectives. The characters do develop well throughout the show, with some interesting revelations, though due to the 13-episode length, some may find that not everyone got fully fleshed out. However, the manga prequels make up for this.
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