Random Curiosity

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「knife」

There’s just something satisfying about spending twenty-odd minutes every week to watch this show (and not just because I have to blog it). With Hiiro no Kakera much of the satisfaction comes from watching the romance and the subtleties in the writing come to fruition. Kuroko no Basuke was as close to “ideal” as an anime could get by my standards, peppered with some excellent characterizations and the most natural form of drama. Jormungand is entertainment at its best, combining breezy action scenes with a crazy cast to churn out some insane action. Sukitte and PSYCHO-PASS are both shows that are also able to coax that viewer satisfaction quite easily, the former creating a quiet dramatic atmosphere with an easily connectible heroine. And putting the whole Urobuchi Gen brand aside, PSYCHO-PASS’s universe is rife with content that is meant to entertain whether or not the audience’s brain is turned on or off. Other shows I can think of that achieves the same effect are probably Zetsuen no Tempest and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun!.

This of course isn’t a comprehensive list of what I watch, or even what caught my interest – these series, including K, are just shows that I don’t want to take my eyes off when on screen. Focusing on it is just so natural to the point it takes no effort to do so. There’s no simple way to describe the strengths of these shows – most of them aren’t even the same genre, and there’s not a lot of common thread between them. But there’s no denying it: these shows can hold my attention, and hold it damn well.

Most of my satisfaction from watching K is derived from the characters, yes, but also from watching everything come together. Anyone who’s spoke to me about anime at any length will very quickly realize I prioritize characters over plot, and very rarely do I decide what to continue to watch solely based on the strength of its storyline. Whether or not it possesses a paper-thin plot or one complex enough to create a never-ending maze, I could care less about a show if the vehicles for its emotional delivery is uninteresting or crappily constructed. K’s center of universe is its cast, and everything pivots around them: the conflict, the slowly unraveling plot, and its best moments (yes, the cleaning robots count as characters). It can certainly be argued that some of the characters have very stereotypical origins, but this is where having an A-list seiyuu roster comes in handy – they’re certainly not going to waste with their roles. Almost every single seiyuu in this production can be considered veterans of the industry; time and time again they’ve proven themselves capable of becoming chameleons that give their characters the emotional capability to connect with the audience with their performance. Take Sawashiro Miyuki, for example. She’s easily recognizable in multiple projects this season(BTOOOM!, Zetsuen no Tempest, PSYCHO-PASS), but she manages to distinguish each and every single one of her roles and infuse a little bit of uniqueness in her performances so that nothing sounds the same. Her portrayal of Awashima Seri is characterization itself in the sense that a lot about her personality can be gleaned from Swashiro’s performance alone. Despite her clearly fanservicey appearance, there’s no doubt Seri is a capable and intelligent woman worthy of being the Blue King’s right hand. There’s no need to explain her character at length because so much has already been made clear. This is the difference between pros and amateurs – inexperienced seiyuu don’t have the ability to transform their performances into true acting, merely lending their voices to the characters instead of actually becoming them. It’s what separates the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Stone from the Hayden Christensens and Kristen Stewarts of the world.

To that effect, Fukuyama Jun and Miyano Mamoru are also giving some impressive performances, particularly Fukuyama, who is using a tone he doesn’t often get to use in his more central roles. It fits Yata’s character quite well, and it’s his ability to convey the subtleties of Yata’s personality that establishes a firm basis for characterization and gets rid of that annoying necessity of telling the audience Yata Misaki is a reckless and rash brat. If done right, there should be no need to list off personality traits during exposition like the writers are checking off a grocery list – not only is that lazy and unconfident, it’s a serious underestimation of the audience’s ability to understand and digest the characters on their own.

Mamoru’s portrayal of Fushimi is every bit as commendable as Fukuyama’s Yata, with the slightly psychotic touch to his acting giving the character an unhinged and volatile edge that presents a great foil to Yata’s fierce loyalty and hard-headedness. He may seem almost as hot-headed as his former gang member, but there’s a calculating undercurrent to his personality that turns him into a wild card – Fushimi knows exactly how to push people’s buttons and he thrives on conflict. He seems the most alive during his scuffle with Yata, reveling in the chaos he created. Under Seri’s watch however, he is more like a tightly leashed dog going about the motions of daily life. This begs the question of why he switched allegiances – he clearly seems to prefer disorder over an organized environment, and he has no qualms of using the powers he gained from his time in HOMRA. So what drove his betrayal? With Fushimi, it wouldn’t surprise me if he betrayed them just for the sake of betrayal – he seems to be a character capable of anything, so doing something that has no rhyme or reason behind it isn’t something that’s beyond him.

And of course, Fushimi and Yata’s arrival at Ashinaka Academy results in a rather interesting tidbit at the end. Kukuri’s denial does throw things for a loop, but I have to wonder how true it is – with what she was privy to last week it’s possible she’s playing dumb to protect Shiro, but with what is shown of her character, it’s equally fair to say she’s quite unassuming and that lying isn’t something that she’s likely to do. It’s far more reliable to trust Fushimi’s findings at this point, since it’s far more objective and “concrete”. The details are still a little hazy, but Shiro’s lack of an electronic record in the school’s database fits with some of the broader, key facts. Shiro claims he lost his school-issued PDA, but what if he never had one? It would explain why he never asked for another one, since things could possibly get complicated. The teacher not being very suspicious of his presence is a bit trickier to explain, as no matter how uninterested someone is in his students, they’re bound to notice when records don’t align.

Whatever the truth is, things certainly got a lot more interesting.

Random Corner:

  • Oh, Engrish, how I’ve missed you.
  • There’s something off about this shot, and not because it’s a panty shot.

Full-length images: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33.

 

Preview

K   05   Preview 01 K   05   Preview 02 K   05   Preview 03
November 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm
52 comments »
  • November 3, 2012 at 6:28 pmEmD

    I think the Colorless clan’s power is memory manipulation.

    If so, then Shiro could have used it on himself to forget his crime and play the innocent kid.

    When Shiro leaves the school, everyone forgets about him. When he returns, so does everyone’s memory of him. He could have used Neko’s powers to warp to the murder scene and back and then used memory wipe/seal on them both.

    Why? Who knows, I can’t think of a concrete explanation except that perhaps his goal is to pit all of the Color gangs agaisnt each other under the pretense of attacking/defending an innocent kid.

    Regardless, if in the end it’s shown that Shiro erased his own memories and in reality IS in fact a twisted murdered, then he will be a magnificent bastard and one of my favorite MCs in recent memory.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll see how it goes.

    • November 3, 2012 at 7:31 pmMixed Milkshake

      Wasn’t the power of the former Colourless King the ability to see into the future? How does that have anything to do with memory?

      • November 4, 2012 at 12:23 amBakaMochi

        The powers of the Kings might differ from generation to generation. Not likely, but it’s a possibility.

      • November 4, 2012 at 1:11 amEmD

        I’m working under the assumption that they’re Colorless because they don’t adhere to a single power like Blue and Red do.

    • November 3, 2012 at 9:20 pmAni_BEE

      I was thinking Shiro might of made the whole in the roof crashing into the school. Also we don’t know how long Shiro has been at the school either or how long Neko has known him for that matter.

  • November 3, 2012 at 6:34 pmPtolemaios00

    I realized during this episode that this series reminds me of Dragonauts the Resonance.

    er…Seri’s “assets” may have something to do with that impression…

    • November 3, 2012 at 10:30 pml3reezer

      I can’t agree with that sentiment at all. They both leave very different impressions (overall and by episode) in my opinion.

  • November 3, 2012 at 6:55 pmMonks

    I really enjoy the battles in this anime. The colors just make it enjoyable to watch, and the fact that the characters are all varying levels of badass doesn’t hurt either.

  • November 3, 2012 at 7:42 pmunknown2

    Theres better Panchira in this anime than Toraburu.

  • November 3, 2012 at 7:45 pmdimasok

    Bakamochi thank you for mentioning Emma Stone she is awesome ;)
    The episode was great too and Fushimi’s performance hit all the right notes

    • November 4, 2012 at 8:22 pmBakaMochi

      Yeah I’ve loved her in everything she was in XD I really liked her portrayal of the lead girl in The Amazing Spider-Man, too!

  • November 3, 2012 at 7:54 pmdimasok

    By the way, Kukuri was knocked unconscious by Fushimi so maybe he did something to her that led to that reaction when asked about Shiro..

    • November 3, 2012 at 8:04 pmAltritter

      That wasn’t Kukuri, that was the student council’s vice-president or something. This girl: http://i.imgur.com/0QCV1.jpg

      • November 3, 2012 at 8:25 pmdimasok

        My bad.. she looked similar…

  • November 3, 2012 at 8:00 pmFT5Havok

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • November 3, 2012 at 8:35 pmmarsh381

      -_-….your view on yaoi is warped considering there hasn’t been any “yaoi” scenes yet in this show. Either ways, it seems next ep we’ll be getting some information, most likely to who was killed by the Colorless King and how Seri knew the red Clan. Yay!! Love the fighting choreography!

      • November 3, 2012 at 11:10 pmFT5Havok

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • November 3, 2012 at 8:06 pmBlackStealth1989

    It has been a while since i’ve seen a great fight scene. Reminds me of the Mugen vs Jin batltle in samurai champloo episode 1. Well done

  • November 3, 2012 at 8:31 pmHimari

    I found myself really liking the backgrounds and interiors in this ep – so many pretty scenes! Redeemed last week’s more boring episode. That fight scene, so good!

  • November 3, 2012 at 8:50 pmKirro

    Yagami Light vs Lelouch Lamperouge

    HEECCCKKK YYYYEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

    (Really, Miyano Mamoru’s acting really struck a chord there. It was brilliant.)

    • November 3, 2012 at 10:38 pmgrey

      holy shit. why didn’t i realize this when i was watching?

    • November 4, 2012 at 12:25 amBakaMochi

      Mi~Sa~Kiiiiiii~

    • November 4, 2012 at 2:04 amThe Moondoggie

      The fight scene was cool enough. But when you start thinking about who voices who….

  • November 3, 2012 at 8:51 pmPlayer

    Regarding no one noticing that Shiro isn’t a student if in fact he isn’t (which seems likely at this point), Kuro and Neko have also, unless I missed something, basically become members of the class without any ID.

    • November 3, 2012 at 9:10 pmHimari

      Yeah, I thought that too.

    • November 4, 2012 at 12:25 amBakaMochi

      But becoming students just because the teacher is too lazy? Sounds a bit… lazy :S

      • November 4, 2012 at 5:02 amShalcker

        Even as far as episode 1, Shiro was shown to be extraordinary liar. Perhaps his power isn’t just manipulating memories, but also people believing whatever he says when he is around, and then having no memories of his lies at all.

        You lie, people believe you (as long as it doesn’t directly contradicts something they know), and then they forget you ever said anything (or that you even existed) – that would be quite convenient power.

        After all, teacher only accepts “transfer student” explanation once it was said by Shiro.

  • November 3, 2012 at 8:56 pmFadingMoon

    Mi…sa….ki… The way it was said was just creepy with a touch of insanity. Well done.

  • November 3, 2012 at 9:38 pmEntrav

    FINALLY A BATTLE. FUSHIMI IS TOO BADASS.

  • November 3, 2012 at 10:32 pmgrey

    gdi, i decided to catch up with this series because of yata misaki’s character design and voice actor alone. i LOVE his character. i think i’ll keep watching just for his sake lol. fukuyama jun is one of my favourite voice actors and it’s so nice to see him use another voice for misaki.

    • November 4, 2012 at 12:27 amBakaMochi

      Yata shot up to #2 after this ep… what a cutie! XD Fushimi is sitting pretty at #1 lol. Miyano Mamoru’s roles have always been pretty hit or miss for me, but this one is most definitely a hit, haha.

      • November 4, 2012 at 8:23 amgrey

        IA! Mamoru is doing a great job as Fushimi. But I guess i’m unfortunately just not into Fushimi’s design as much! I’m not a megane kind of gurl.

      • November 4, 2012 at 8:23 pmBakaMochi

        Kise is still my favorite though! >__<

  • November 3, 2012 at 10:33 pml3reezer

    That fight damn cool in all kinds of way. Did anyone else feel that it was a little slow paced though?

  • November 3, 2012 at 10:35 pmWhatsht

    Fushimi is fun to watch.
    “Mi…sa….ki”

    As usual, not enough Neko and Cleaning Robots.

  • November 3, 2012 at 11:11 pmCTT

    This may actually turn Shiro’s not making his own bento into something really interesting.

  • November 3, 2012 at 11:16 pmKinny Riddle

    Miyano Mamoru always had it in him to do creepy psychopathic/megalomaniacal characters ever since his playing Yagami Light.

  • November 4, 2012 at 1:10 amkevinball

    That panty shot isn’t a panty shot…just sayin

  • November 4, 2012 at 1:01 amGirya

    the school administration of this anime just so awesome,seeing how strangers could be a student for all suddenly

  • November 4, 2012 at 2:02 amdestinyflower

    That’s why Miyano Mamoru is one of my favorite VAs – his Fushimi voice is perfect.

    Also, those full length images are awesome! Thanks for doing them BakaMochi!

    • November 4, 2012 at 8:25 pmBakaMochi

      Thanks!

      And this role is more than enough to pump me up for his reprisal of Taichi in the Chihayafuru sequel <3

  • November 4, 2012 at 2:06 amThe Moondoggie

    Fushimi is just too creepy with that Mi-sa-ki routine of his. He’s also a total ass, like everyone can see.

    • November 10, 2012 at 1:31 pmAxel

      Seriously! I’m not sure who is creepier this season, Sugou from SAO or Fushimi! Sugou is like creepy pervert and Fushimi is like creepy psycho sadist.

  • November 4, 2012 at 2:24 ammistress_kisara

    “To find guys, You ask guys1″ – Yata Misaki

    LOL, it’s the other way around for me :P

  • November 4, 2012 at 4:23 amnaixil

    So the reason for Fushimi to betray HOMRA was so that he can get more powerful, as evident from the 2 colors in his aura, and his desire for more conflict. ie, more fighting. Can’t say I mind the fight scene though. Very nicely done.

    Wonder what’s the connection between Awashima and Kusanagi. Bad blood, or maybe even a romance gone bad? Ohohohoho. I’m over-thinking into things again.

    • November 4, 2012 at 4:49 amAki-Chan

      I don’t think you’re over thinking things. I’m curious about Seri and Kusanagi too.

    • November 4, 2012 at 8:26 pmBakaMochi

      Lol! I thought it’d be something close to “romance gone bad” too XD

  • November 4, 2012 at 3:11 pmAshen

    The choreography of Yata and Fushimi’s fight – along with its emotional weight – alone could have gotten me involved in this episode, but as usual, whenever I start to doubt K even a little it throws some plot tidbits my way to keep me guessing, to draw me in just that much deeper, and to utterly ensnare my heart with its bevy of excellent characters.

    I’m liking EmD’s working theory for Shiro the most thus far. Only time will tell, as they say.

  • November 5, 2012 at 7:47 amKaede

    I must agree with you. The seiyuu play a big role in this series and they did it so well. I was so amazed by Junjun’s voice range, never think he can act out this tone. It is refreshing! As well as Mamo, I noticed since episode 2 that he was using a more sexier voice in this show which get me goosebumps. XD So much love with it! I think so too, he might betrayed just for the sake of betrayal. >__>|||

  • November 5, 2012 at 9:16 amAki-Chan

    Is it possible that Kukuri genuinely didn’t recognise the picture as being Shiro?
    The picture isn’t a great quality , the look on the person’s face is really creepy , and doesn’t really look in character with the Shiro we have seen so far .
    Plus , even though Kukuri did mamange to eventually get some evidence to support Shiro’s alibi , she didn’t actually get what that was about.
    So , putting the other Shiro-issues for now , It probably makes sense she didn’t recognise the pic.
    Unless I’ve missed something. =P

  • November 6, 2012 at 2:27 pmshadowalker

    “He seems the most alive during his scuffle with Yata, reveling in the chaos he created.”

    well said

  • November 11, 2012 at 4:39 amRia

    Has anyone entertained the thought that Shiro and Totsuka could possibly be the same person? Just a hunch but from what I can recall of the murder video clip, the shiro there didn’t have blood splattered on his face or any part of his body right? (correct me if I’m wrong here) and we know Shiro has blood stained on his uniform…this is all just a hunch though and hopeful thinking on my part :)