「knell」 & 「kaleidoscope」
K might be entertaining and rife with some rich character interactions, but it doesn’t make the show any easier to write about. It’s strange because my enjoyment and appreciation of the series has certainly grown, but perhaps it’s the amount of thinking that goes into delving into every little detail that’s creating the difficulties – listing plot events is easy, but dissecting the thematic messages behind the event is far more time-consuming, but ultimately worthwhile. The storyline is nothing more than a vehicle used to convey a specific message, hence why it seems pointless to write a post listing out an episode’s happenings and call it a day. Events are meaningless by themselves, and can only become bolstered by execution and the writers’ intentions behind their story.
From the start, the nature of K’s stories have been ambitious, creating an anime series in media res where official explanations were scarce and most of the comprehension fell into the hands of the audience. It certainly doesn’t make it an easy watch, but K’s penchant for assuming the audience has half a functioning brain is actually somewhat welcoming. Things are firmly within reach of comprehension – no detail is so far out of left-field that viewers can’t follow the trajectory of the storylines and none of the plot elements are so convoluted that it requires an 8000-page encyclopedia just to follow what’s happening on screen. If there is one thing that K can be faulted for, is that its grandness extends to several other medias at the same time: light novels, manga, which are all part of the same universe. The anime is of course, standalone, but some world-building does occur in those mediums and their stories do offer a more expansive backstory to supplement the cast and setting of K the anime. It presents an interesting dilemma for the production, as the amount of knowledge the viewers need to be aware of in order to be fully steeped in the experience becomes less centralized, yet an anime adaptation is clearly the most convenient way to reach the largest audience. So how do you go about stitching information from a myriad of different sources so that it all makes sense?
The result isn’t perfect, but if the last two episodes have proved anything, it is that K has always been realizing its ambitions in one way or another. A lot of the plot elements such as “Weismann Levels” and the “crater incident” don’t have official explanations, and Totsuka’s influence on present-day HOMRA is slightly hampered by the fact his bond with the members aren’t as fully explored as it could have been. In fact, most of the jargon K presents has not been given a thorough tl;dr explanation, but for some reason, the show seems to be proceeding along just fine. It won’t please everybody, particularly those who like having things fleshed out completely, but even without a play-by-play, it doesn’t require too much brain power to follow the trajectory of the plot. Complex explanations are almost superfluous since the point of the story is not what these elements are, but how they affect the situation now.
For example, it’s been hinted for quite a long time Mikoto’s life is nearing its end, assuming Weismann Levels, the Sword of Damocles, and a King’s life are connected somehow. This was evident not only narratively, but also visually – taking a closer look, it’s easy to see the tattered state of Mikoto’s Sword, and even without someone hammering the viewers over the heads with a mallet, it’s an all too simple task to deduce it’s not a good thing.
This puts an interesting spin on Mikoto and Reisi in particular, who are not only diametric opposites by virtue of their appearance, but by their values. Reisi is not an inherently antagonistic character, but a highly selfish one. What he does is for his own benefit, and what he thinks is best for others. Contrast him to Mikoto, who seemingly runs amok at his own pleasure. He creates chaos after chaos without a second thought and it paints a portrayal of a self-absorbed tyrant constantly saying “fuck you” to society. But strangely enough, people flock to the Red King with genuine affection and loyalty. There is one singular thing Mikoto cares about – HOMRA influences his actions to the point he neglects everything else in order to protect them. That’s the choice he makes even when it seems his life is at stake, and this shot is probably the most fitting visual to portray the different paths the two men have taken at this point. I love and appreciate what this that moment did for both of the characters; this is Mikoto’s last “gift” of sorts, the final thing he can do for Yata, Izumo, Anna, and the other members who gave him their explicit trust. This is the only thing he can do for Totsuka, who first gave him the choice of becoming a monster or a King that protects his subjects.
For Reisi the effect is more profound, marking the moment he first loses his aloof attitude – the intensity he exhibits is phenomenal, and it’s perhaps the first instance where his character is moved by motivations that aren’t solely his own. He still is a selfish character capable only of framing situations from his perspective, but his investigation into Totsuka Tatara’s death and his confrontation with Mikoto this time around are tinged with rationales that don’t solely involve “keeping the order”. Being a sharp man, he knows the effect the HOMRA member’s death will have on the group – in order to protect the peace and salvage Mikoto’s life, the only logical course of action then is to launch an official investigation. There is a thread tying everything together, and seeing it converge is, to put it simply, fascinating.
How Shiro will deal with the brunt of the rage from not one, but two Kings, is still a mystery, especially since it seems everyone is being manipulated by a puppet master bigger than all of them. Weismann clearly has some screws loose, having lost everything with his sister’s death. He knows exactly how to push characters’ buttons to create the largest fire possible, which is the primary thing that makes him seem so omniscient. There is a clear goal he wants to achieve, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out to be abolishing the King system once and for all, returning humanity to the path it should have taken.
Episode 8 full-length images: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38.
Episode 9 full-length images: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 35, 36, 37.
I wonder how the murder of Totsuka will be justified? Since we still don’t know the motive to his death and the history of how everyone gained their sword of damocles, its fair game to how everyone and everything ties together. But I’m afraid to how some elements may be ignored since there is so much going on, I hope the next episode starts off well.
It’s obvious that Colorless King wants Mikoto exceed limit of his powers and thus repeat Kagutsu Crater incident. And what better way to piss him off than kill Totsuka, who was pretty much the soul of HOMRA?
If by “how” you mean “by what means”, then from Weismann’s flashback it’s obvious that Kings gaining their powers from the Stone Tablet.
Woah so many full-length pics. Bakamochi as crazy as ever.
I’m just glad that the series is finally giving time to the rest of the kings and its setting. Shiroh and Kuro’s story is fine and all, but I’ve always felt that the real strength in the series lies in the universe its built in.
Red and Blue should make it out already. I’ve seen less tension at the World Series of Poker.
Yeah, seeing that pic was like “NOW KISS”.
To the fan art I say. I hoping that someone has also gotten that idea and made some Doujinshi out of them scenes.
watching episode 10, the read king and his gang were act like hooligan rather than ‘allies of justice’ . well they more toward acting as ‘ bad’ guy that good. although they come in peace but the way they handle student is very unprofessional . is seem next episode they getting their butt kick by shiro , kuroh and blues team. still curious on sword of Damocles with white /silver light appear which show at the end of preview. it might be shiros or maybe other new king appears
btw if you look closely to the mystery masked man caller (ep 9) Show Spoiler ▼
Show Spoiler ▼
I had my shares of convoluted anime like Guilty Crown and Eureka Seven Ao – so presented with an anime with good animation and story seems kinda refreshing to me. This show has fanservice but funnily enough I find it to be somewhat decent – which confuses me greatly. Neko is completely naked but how is it possible that she seems decent? Fanservice normally arouse you in some way but strangely enough I find her to be more beautiful than lustful. It just goes to show how good the artwork is that they manage to make even fanservice acceptable.
This show seems to have everything but somehow for me it isn’t enough. It needs to have something … something that makes our heart tingle … something to make our very soul resonates with it and while everything makes sense – somehow I’m not feeling it you know. Maybe it’s still too early but that said this is still a good anime worth watching.
I guess it is because she is, first and foremost, a cat, she is innocent and shameless in a literal way. So she is more cute than she is sexy.
The beginning of Episode 9 was for me as a native German quite awkward. Seeing those Nazi-symbols like the armbands in an anime was a strange feeling. I mean I exactly know what horrible deeds my grandgrandparents did there, so I disliked it beeing “cutified” or “sexified” (like Weissmann’s sister in her uniform) in an anime.
Even nowadays the bombing of Dresden is used for some Germans as a reason to swear revenge. So this dramatic scene near the ruins of the “Frauenkirche” also was kind of awkward.
And this Japanese-German kind of made my ears bleed. The pronounciation and the grammar were so odd, so that I was hardly able to understand it.
You shouldn’t be surprised we barely understand their english 😛
I actually dont wonder.
Once my Japanese teacher tried to explain something in German, but nobody understood her since she hardly spoke German. Then she tried to use English. . . . but it was even worse.
Ermm… The whole point of the previous episodes (especially episode 9) was to hint that the current Shiro is actually the Silver King (aka Weismann), and that the current Сolorless King used to be in Shiro’s body; until the night that Totsuka was killed, after which he took over Weismann’s body, i.e. his power is to swap his consciousness with that of others. So the one who’s pushing buttons is actually Colorless King. And his goal is far from “abolishing the King system once and for all”, he just wants to repeat Kagutsu Crater incident.
your point seem reasonable but that doesnt explain why shiro lost his memory ? doesnt swaping body do swipe power? if that that case then the colourless king able to obtain 1st kings power or something
My guess is that he lost them from falling (more precisely, from hitting the roof). Notice his reaction – he’s very calm, like nothing happened. As for powers, they’re bound by the looks of it to the soul, not the body, so no, swapping shouldn’t give any additional powers.
after rewatch epi 7 and 9, shiro sword do resemble to adolf ‘s sword , now i see where u come off that theory. so it might be tru in a way. let hope next episode , they provide us better answers
Not only swords are almost identical, but their personalities as well. And in preview you can see that sword have spheres of all seven colors, with silver in the middle.
ya , you were right, never notice that , a sword with all the 7 color cores.
Which preview are you referring to?
Of episode 11.
interesting theory, tht was completely out of the blue for me, but i have to ask, the Silver King is supposed to be the most powerful(plus mysterious) King, would it be possible for the Colorless King to just take over his body?after all didn’t he(the Colorless King/murderer) fail with the Red King?plus the Sword in the preview looked like it was just came into being for the first time.
There is a possible explanation for why the Colorless King managed to swap bodies with the Silver King – we know that there’s a high possibility that the Colorless King’s power functions by exploiting the target’s mental weakness, which, in the case of the Silver King, would be the trauma of losing his sister. Instead of coming face to face with her death, Weissman chose to turn away from reality and probably the only person who could truly understand him and help him with coping – the Gold King. He then spends a few decades circling the skies of Tokyo, with a doll made in his sister’s image(or her preserved corpse) as his only companion. That doesn’t sound like a very healthy way to move past a traumatic event – in fact, I’d wager that he still hadn’t come to terms with it yet. So all the Colorless King needed to do was exploit that weakness of his – perhaps by taunting him with false hopes of reviving his sister? who knows – to take over the Silver King’s body.
Of course, Mikoto also greatly fears the possibility of losing Anna – or any of his HOMRA members, in fact – but that’s precisely what made the difference between Mikoto and Weissman. Mikoto is surrounded by people who are fiercely protective of him, look up to him, and someone that truly understands him as a person. Unlike Weissman, he is not a lonely king – he is, as Izumo had put it, a gun that protects what needs to be protected – and perhaps it is that facet of his personality, as well as the presence of everyone around him, that gave him the mental strength needed to throw off the Colorless King.
Okay, thts a pretty good theory, only things i can question about it atm, are where – or more accurately whose body – is the Colorless King inhabiting now since the Silver King(at least the body) seems to be dead and if the Silver King/Shiro stll has his powers – after the body swap – why didn’t he protect himself from the fall in the first place.on the other hand if the powers also were swapped with the bodies why would the Colorless King give up the power of Silver King – one whose power is on par with the Gold King – for the Red King’s power, even if he wanted to repeat this ‘Kagutsu Crater’ incident couldn’t he do tht with the Silver King’s power – who is also a King and probably more powerful, therefore able to do more damage.
I’ve believe I’ve addressed those points in greater detail in my Shiro/Weissman theory post, but here’s the gist of what I think:
1) The Colorless King is probably just inhabiting some random student in Ashinaka high school at the moment. We know from Anna’s divination powers that he’s definitely on the school island – notice that Anna confirmed the fact that Tatara’s murderer is on the island before Shiro and co snuck past SCEPTER4 to get there – so she must’ve been tracking the true murderer of of Tatara all along instead of Shiro. They just coincidentally happen to be in the same places until this point because the Colorless King has been following Shiro around on the Himmelreich, and Anna’s divination powers don’t seem to go as far as to take altitude into account :p.
2) The very fact that Shiro even survived a few hundred feet fall from an airship is a testament to the fact that his powers of ‘unchanging'(read:immortality) as the Silver King are very much intact. So in that sense, he did use his powers to protect him – though it was more a passive usage than active one. It’s possible that at the point he got kicked off the blimp, he honestly didn’t know about his powers and thus showed no outward signs of using it – the amnesia portion of the Shiro/Weissman theory is one that I’m still a little bit fuzzy on, since it’s not clear how much of an impact it has on his awareness or ability to use his powers as the Silver King.
3) I think the Colorless King gave up on the Silver King’s body precisely because he realized that their powers weren’t swapped – he might’ve assumed that a King’s powers(or at least the Silver King’s power of immortality) are tied to his body, and so by chasing Shiro out of his original body, Shiro would be stripped of his immortality and the Colorless King is free to kick him off a blimp to finish him for once and for all. However, the very fact that Shiro survived seems to suggest that his kingly powers are not tied to his body, but to his essence/soul/spirit etc., and that fact was further affirmed when the Colorless King witnessed Shiro’s sword of damocles from the Himmelreich(Munakata stated that the Himmelreich was somewhere near the gym when all that happened). That might’ve been the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, and so the Colorless King set out to put plan B(taking over Mikoto instead) into action.
However, there’s also an alternate explanation for the Colorless King’s motivations, stating that he didn’t really care for power, but just wanted to fuck with everyone for the lulz (hence killing Tatara and starting a chain of incidents that led to the clusterfuck situation in episode 10). Either way, I suppose episode 11 will reveal the truth.
We all know that having a SISCON can cause people to do crazy things. Tempest + K.
Full-lengths… Full-lengths everywhere.
I completely agree with you! This is one of the reasons why I find K quite enjoyable.
I wish more people would realise this. I can understand that some explanations would be interesting, but they’re not essential for the plot to progress as long as things make sense or seem logical, I think.
Excellent writing as usual! Your posts truly makes it worth the wait! I missed you ;A; ♥
And wow, that full-length count… Insanity \o/
*Cybersteel puts on his Yuri goggles.
I agree explanations aren’t essential to the plot, but like you said they are interesting(and fun) especially in the context of forming theoretical explanations by ourselves and testing it out with the show, at least thts why I discuss subjects not clearly explained in the show.
I feel like I missed something in the scenes from the point that the mysterious phone dropped into Mikoto’s cell to the point that Mikoto burns his way out. Was there an implicit motive for the guilty party making the phone call, and what does Mikoto meaning by “I see what your game is”?
I’ve touched on that scene slightly in my theory post here, if you’re interested.
At this point, I’m inclined to believe that his motivations boil down to 1) he just wanted to hijack Mikoto’s body and powers or 2) he doesn’t particularly care about getting power – he just wants to fuck with the current balance between Kings and possibly cause Mikoto’s Sword of Damocles to fall. Or maybe both.
My interpretation of Mikoto’s line was that Mikoto realized what Tatara’s murderer’s ability – hinted to be body swapping – was, based on the mental battle they had.
That makes sense. Thanks.
As far as I’ve read through it, your theory post is fascinating, but when was the scene with the Weissman imposter exclaiming “Why?” while looking at Shiro’s photos?
episode 3, 18:59
maybe this one?
Yep, shadow’s got the right one.
Question: Is Neko’s original form a cat or a human?
if i consider her behavior it would seem she’s actually a cat who takes human form by using her power of manipulating perception, but if tht was the case why does she turn into her human form when Munakata Reisi nullfies her abilties or when she loses focus(note: first time while she was asleep in ep 2).
on the other hand, if i consider her as a human being who takes the form of a cat by using her powers, tht wouldn’t explain her behavior at all, unless of course it was all an act, which seems unlikely although certainly a plausible theory.
Yeah, the same thing has been bothering me for quite a while as well. Going by her behavior, she’s definitely more cat than human, but the few pieces of evidence we’ve been shown (Munakata ‘dispelling’ her cat form, the robots perceiving her as a human because her sensory manipulation powers don’t work on them etc.) indicate otherwise, which is really baffling to me. Personally I’ve interpreted it as she was a cat that got ‘promoted’ to a human when she obtained her powers(whether she’s truly a Strain, or Shiro just unconsciously made her his clansmen the night he fell through the roof), so now her ‘true form’ is a human though she’s originally a cat.
I’m inclined to think that whatever change occurred to her was due to her meeting with Shiro, though, because all her flashbacks to her time before their meeting indicated that she was, by all means, a normal cat with no special powers. After all, isn’t stealing fish an easy task if you can simply manipulate the senses of the chef? She also seems somewhat scared of humans – but if she could both turn into a girl and use her memory manipulation powers to make everyone treat her as a close friend…well, you get my point.
A cat who got promoted(not the best choice of words, I think) to a human?
That does work(turning into a human thing is a little weird for me though), but two things
1) Strains: not much info about them, but if they have special powers without it being given by a King, wouldn’t it be likely they had them since birth rather than just ‘manifesting’ powers out of nowhere or just by the appearance of Shiro(though thts not completely out of the realm possibility).Even though this is just speculation I tend to believe Strains might be relatives(children,grandchildren) of previous clansmen(something along the lines of powers being passed down by specific DNA strands).
2)Shiro unconsciously making her his clansmen doesn’t seem to sit well with me.Mainly because Shiro himself haven’t showed any signs of having any powers and while there was no explanation as how the Kings give others powers, I tend to believe it’s not something tht can be done so easily.
It is possible tht meeting Shiro might have triggered a changed in Neko, but I tend to think tht Shiro isn’t/hasn’t yet awakened as a King, so I think any change occurred in Neko might have been emotional, contrary your theory about it being about her special powers/abilities.
I do have a plausible theory but it’s a bit of a stretch, what if Neko was a human girl who was born with her perception manipulation abilities and happen to love cats(which isn’t strange for a kid), at a very young age and unintentionally used her powers to make her look like a cat to everyone else and since then she was treated as a cat by everyone and didn’t have a chance to grow-up as a human being hence her behavior.And as to why she was scared of human beings or being unable to steal fish by using her powers, I would explain it as not having the emotional(or mental ability/maturity?) capacity to consciously use her powers before she met Shiro.
p.s: while we’re on the subject, am i the only one who gawked at the chances of a guy with amnesia falling on a girl/cat who can create false memories?
Maybe I’m missing something again, but the entire way that EP 9 played out seems to suggest that Mikoto allowed himself to be imprisoned for the sole purpose of being bait for the murderer. Sure, I accept that he may be no less insightful than any other king, but I still find it hard to swallow that he could somehow be so many steps ahead of the perpetrator in a cat-and-mouse game. Can anyone elaborate?
it was mentioned tht Mikoto can ‘blow-up’ at any moment, because his Weismann Level is reaching it’s limit, taking(i’m assuming) along the entire city with him and the Blue King can stop him or at least minimize the damage done, so by being imprisoned he is able to be with the Blue King most of the time.as for the murderer contacting him i think tht was all on the murderer’s part than Mikoto’s.at least thts my theory.
Yea, from his brief conversations with Mikoto, I understood Munakata’s intentions in locking up Mikoto, but the fact that Mikoto so easily waltzed out of his cell upon determining the perpetrator’s location strongly suggests to me that this was essentially the exact thing that he was waiting for; in other words, if Mikoto had never intended to sit everything out from the beginning, then he would only have allowed himself to be locked up if he foresaw some sort of development akin to what has happened. This implication, of course, is what I’m having a hard time believing.
Ermm… no. Of course he walked out of his cell after he determined location of Colorless King, what else he should’ve do? But that doesn’t mean that he was bait for the murderer and that this is exactly what he was waiting for (yes, he’s waited for others to find Totsuka’s murderer, but that’s not the same thing (and not really a reason)). Mikoto let imprisoned himself mainly because he wanted, as Izumo said in episode 6, to get some sleep without worrying burning everything around him to the ground.
i tend to agree with DiabloCthulhu here but there also subtle hints given in the show tht goes along with WW’s theory, at the moment i think it’s best to wait for the next episode.
it’s not tht farfetched to think Mikoto knew tht the murderer was actually after him, after all he is a King(who probably has many enemies) and among the known Kings he is the most unstable one, so Mikoto might have realized tht killing a powerless HOMRA member was someone’s method of instigating him.there were plenty of indications tht show Mikoto is a impatient person but tht doesn’t necessarily mean he’s foolish.
Man this show still screams “GAYYYYYYY!”
Finally the story is moving at a faster pace 😀 Can’t wait to see how Shirou’s friends will react to him and how the action is going to unfold in school.
Random question, in the preview of episode 10 (that was shown at end of episode 9) anyone know the song that was featured in it? It sounds like Anna’s character song but it’s kind of catchy. I was hoping it will be featured in the ending credit of ep 10 but I guess not.
Yeah, it is Anna’s character song, Honoo no Katachi.
is it safe to assume that Silver King is not only the initial cause but also the current source of all other Kings power?
I am interested in how the legacy was passed from the previous generation King to the next one.. if I got it right – the previous Coloress King was a chivalrous person (judging from Kuro’s words)
Sorry, for my dumbness – I more or less get why Shirou returned to the Island school, then Mikoto followed the Coloress King there… just in case the question is spoiler for anybody
assuming Shirou is not the murderer… why the murderer Show Spoiler ▼
is there in the first place? he followed Shirou? what for?
Is Anna crying in that preview pic… 🙁 ?
And , I forgot to add this to my previous post , but those full-lengths are AMAZING 🙂
Well Done !!
Wouldn’t it be cool if Shiro and Weismann somehow pulled a body switch at the beginning of all this? Meaning Weismann is the nice Shiro we all know and love and meaning Shiro is the nasty Weismann we all think is crazy?
Yeah, I think it’d be cool.
Also, lol Kitsune mask.