Original Run: October 5, 2012 - December 28, 2012 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Action, Supernatural
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for K. Reader discretion is advised.***
Yashiro Isana (voiced by Daisuke Namikawa), better known as Shiro, is a popular student at Ashinaka High School.
One day, Shiro is suddenly attacked by the infamous organization known as HOMRA. While running from his assailants, Shiro is saved by a mysterious man named Kuroh Yatogami (voiced by Daisuke Ono), a.k.a., the Black Dog.
The rescue is short lived when Kuroh explains that his mission is to find and kill the person known as the Colorless King. Almost on cue, HOMRA releases a video showing a person claiming to be the Colorless King as he kills one of their members. The culprit looks just like Shiro.
Despite the damning evidence, Shiro has no memory of killing anyone or any knowledge of this so-called Colorless King.
Although he is able to convince Kuroh of his innocence, for the time being, Shiro is still on run from HOMRA, led by the Red King Mikoto Suoh (voiced by Kenjiro Tsuda), and as well as the organization known as Scepter 4, led by the Blue King Reisi Munakata (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita). To aid him, Shiro relies on the help of Kuroh and a strange girl named Neko (voiced by Mikako Komatsu).
There was a lot to this anime. Therefore, let me start off by saying, it was completely awesome.
Yashiro “Shiro” Isana
From the start, Shiro established himself as an interesting character. He was always able to maintain a calm attitude. It reached a point where it appeared as though he didn’t care about his surroundings or the people he interacts with. However, the complete opposite was true.
Shiro got along with everyone and genuinely cared about their wellbeing. His carefree approach was a byproduct of his own cleverness. Shiro was usually able to think his way out of any situation he found himself in, and he knew it too.
While it was rare, Shiro was shown to get flustered, and even downright terrified at times. This demonstrated that he was, indeed, a human.
This show took a pretty big gamble with its main protagonist’s personality.
Early on, there were times when Shiro probably should have been more concerned about the direness of the situation he was in. Fortunately, by the end, it was clear why Shiro acted the way he did.
If you find yourself confused by what’s going on a few episodes in, join the club. Yes, this story was confusing in parts, and it was that way because of the nature of narrative that was being told.
This show dealt with a character whose memories did not add up, and with people whose motives were not all that clear. Throughout this series, you know just as much as everyone on screen. When this setup is done correctly, as it was K, it can be highly engaging.
This series required you to pay attention. Nothing was done by accident. Everything had a point. If there was something you saw in episode one that seemed out of place, it wasn’t.
K did an amazing job by making moments quick enough to leave you wondering, but not too subtle to where you might forget about a particular event when it’s brought up again.
Plus, there was ambiguity around who the protagonists and the antagonists really were. While you are trying to figure out what is happening, you are also seeing the many sides of the major players involved. It really becomes up to you to decide who you want to root for.
Imagine for a moment that K’s story was just average. My opinion of this show would most likely not change all that much because the visuals alone would have made up for what was lacking.
This series’ animation was just gorgeous to look at. It was pure eye candy. Within the first few seconds of the first episode, you will be smacked across the face on how great everything looks.
If I had to compare this show to anything, I would say that it was similar to the animation style of Death Note. But whereas Death Note was dark and gritty, K was bright and vibrant.
There were many fight scenes and each one was fun to just look at. They were all exciting, they all meant something, and they were all incredible pieces of visual art.
Everything was crisp and sharp. The artwork allowed you to feel the emotions of the characters. When someone was mad, there was anger in every punch thrown. When someone was soothing, their presence was warm. When some died, the sadness of the ones left behind was heavy.
The best part was, these feelings were never told. You saw and felt them for yourself.
K did most everything right. However, there were some slight problems that kept it from becoming one the best.
Do not misunderstand, Neko was a great character. She was cute, funny, and very lovable. Nevertheless, this series downplayed how important she was. Many of the things that happen within this story were only possible because of what Neko could do. As such, you were only left with a solid understanding of WHO she was, but not so much WHAT she was.
I could try and risk spoiling the role Neko played, but I’m simply unable to do that.
It was unclear how her character fit within the world of K. She was it; she was the only example we have to go on. Amongst all the mythos of the kings and clansmen, Neko didn’t seem to belong and only serves as a catalyst to push this story forward. This was disappointing because this could have been fixed with just a little more detail.
K, for the most part, was able to maintain a solid balance between humor and tension. Too bad there were a few times where comedy was forced into a scene when there’s no need for it.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to anime.
I love anime humor. Sadly, series often fail to understand that once you set a serious tone, don’t add in a stupid joke. For K, it did this just one too many times.
The good news is, this series was able to quickly get back on track. Still, I’m left wondering why it was even bothered in the first place?
K was a fantastic show. The story was great, the characters were outstanding, and it was just a treat to watch.
I have no problem saying that this is now one of my favorite anime of all time, and I highly encourage as many people as possible to check it out. In fact, if you have any interest in anime at all, why are you still reading this review?
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning K? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.