- Genre : Action, drama, supernatural
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: GoHands
We have always had to contend with forces beyond our reach or perception. There are things in the world that just “are” and ordinary people can’t do much more than learn the rules and play by them. But Kings are not ordinary people. For a long time now these very extraordinary people have been bending these laws to their will and given a touch of their power to those that choose to follow them. And they’ve both caused turmoil and kept the balance in the world. These kings fight ancient wars that need not worry the common mortal. So how did a very average if overly carefree kid like Shiro somehow become enemy number one of all these powerful people? When did his life become constantly running for survival and dodging naked cat girls? There must be a reason but Shiro himself doesn’t remember.
I thought it was kind of cool to leave the post title as a single letter. Sort of a reverse light novel title. But I now realize that’s probably SEO suicide. I’m not going to change it though cause I still like the idea of a single letter title. Let’s just say it’s a very good thing I’m not running a business here cause I would be in trouble….
I’ve been meaning to watch K for a long time….cause Mel told me to. Actually, she told me to read the manga but I’m lazy. So when I scrolled past the title in Netflix it triggered a faint pang of recognition. Cause it’s just one letter and I find that really cool for some reason. And at this point, that’s really all I need to start a series.
I rarely watch anime on Netflix but I want to do so more. The stream itself is smooth and the skip intro and auto skip to the next episode features are more enticing than you might think for an avid hunter such as me. I’m only telling you this though because I’m not sure if the series itself or Netflix is to blame for the dull colour filters over this whole show. There’s like a blue/purple (going into pink in some scenes) filter pretty much present in every scene which if on purpose may have been a way to make the show look more gritty and serious but to me made it look drab.
Moreover, the animation was… let’s call it janky. It’s what my notes say. It may not be a real word. To be fair there was a whole lot of it. However, Frequent stills were snuck in, in lieu of actual animation and more than one action sequence seems to suffer from a low number of frames creating jerky and unrefined movement. I will say that design integrity and details remained surprisingly consistent, however, which is pretty unusual.
I’m making it sound bad. It’s not. In fact, K is often really pretty to look at. With intricate character designs that all differ from one another and plentiful backgrounds. The show obviously had some budget and quite a bit of talent at its disposal. It’s just that the production choices seem to actively undermine the nature of the series which was just so baffling to me.
For instance, like I said the designs are quite detailed (probably though to animate) and have a more angular look and almost realistic proportions usually associated with dramas or more mature works. Not to mention those awful filters that just make everything a touch more depressing. But the show is most often an action-comedy. There are some moments of tension but it’s on average a pretty funny show with a lot of silly slapstick humour that completely clashes with the look.
By itself, that’s not a big deal. It could even be a fun subversion if it was just a bit more overt about it. But when you see that the designs were favoured over the animation, you have to wonder why they would pick a narrative where everything is almost in continuous and explosive movement. K is a very action-packed series.
When I say baffling I don’t mean bad though. For instance, I really appreciated the smorgasbord of equal opportunity fanservice. There are plenty of boys all very beautiful, often brooding, sensitive good at cooking, good-humoured and they blush a lot at each other for some reason. As for the ladies, they come in every hair colour and very well endowed shape, often scantily if clad at all and more than once the camera would settle on upskirt shots for their dialogue instead of their faces. If you have any sort of stereotypical fanservice preference, K has got you covered. I loved me equal opportunity fanservice!
The narrative itself is a bit messy. Most characters are only developed as far as they need to be for you to follow the plot. The plot itself high is full of complex magic, murder mystery and political intrigue stays pretty superficial as well. You don’t actually get any explanation for a lot of the outlandish elements. Both of these drawbacks makes it hard to form any deep attachment to either the story or the people in it (which is probably why I was told to read the manga). This isn’t great for an anime’s staying power. Like I don’t think I will be looking back on this series in great detail a few years from now.
But the thing is, it really didn’t hurt it in the moment! Sure the characters aren’t that deep but they’re pretty and fun to watch even if there’s no profound connection for me. And I might not know them well but what I know makes me want to learn more. (I will be looking into the sequel). And the plot is a little spongy here and there (cause sponges have holes. It’s sad how happy I am about this) but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun breezing through the episodes.
To me the narrative construction of K as a series was very well done. It started out as a fast-paced murder mystery with comedic beats. That’s a great way to hook the audience early with a simple premise to follow and a puzzle to solve. By the time it moved into the more complex and convoluted SciFi fantasy drama, I was already familiar with the settings and characters enough to easily accept the shift and keep my interest.
I am a bad reviewer. I made K sound like a bad show. It’s really not. It’s a very flawed series but for me it was also an enjoyable experience. I would definitely recommend it to fans of urban fantasy.
Favourite character: Yata (I’m not sure why either – I just like the kid)
What this anime taught me: Be kind to animals – it could save your life!
“Alcohol doesn’t make you fat, it makes you lean… against tables, chairs and walls”
Suggested drink: A Crimson King
- Every time Shiro blushes – take a sip!
- Every time anyone mentions a colour – get some water
- Every time anyone gets picked up by their head – take a sip
- Every time Kuro cooks – get a snack
- Every time we see HOMRA – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentions the Black Lizard Planet – salute
- Every time Neko steals food – check on your snack
- Every time Kuro brings out the tape recorder – take a sip
- Every time Shiro calls Kuro creepy – disagree
- Every time Neko is naked – take a deep breath
- Every time the action is set on a rooftop – take a sip
- Every time we see a mask – take a sip
I don’t know the studio but like I said, the art style is rather pretty. I have a bunch of screencaps on Pinterest.