No bone. No blood. No ash.

I suppose I’m a HOMRA girl through and through, as that beautiful ending scene is the one that resonated with me the most. Among the several emotionally compelling moments in the finale, the sight of all the red clansmen sending their King off with such resounding cries takes the cake as the best of them all.

“No bone. No blood. No Ash.”

Perhaps what made it work is how larger-than-life Mikoto seemed to be. Although he barely spoke throughout the series, it was clear what kind of effect he had on those around him, despite his supposedly temperamental nature. He’s a perfect example of a character defined by his value to others – the circumstances of Mikoto’s relationship with each of the other characters aren’t explained, but one thing is painfully obvious: he left a mark on every person he came in contact with. The scene where the HOMRA members bid farewell to him encapsulates the unbreakable bonds they all formed, along with all the emotions that come with it. There’s a tinge of melancholy, yet it seems unbecoming to wallow in despair – it’s not in accordance with the HOMRA spirit, and it’s certainly not the way they should be sending off their King. The moment is emotional, but not heavy-handed, and what’s wonderful is that even in sadness, these characters are continuously moving forward by realizing that despite Suoh Mikoto is physically gone, the things he left behind – themselves, essentially – don’t just disappear.

And in the spirit of things that don’t just disappear, Neko’s unwavering faith in Shiro is touching and bittersweet at the same time. I could never put my finger on it, but her character has always struck me as a pitiful one, her perspective of the world and her connections to it being so painfully limited. In this aspect Neko is closer to being an abandoned puppy waiting for a master that will never come back. Since the show seems to imply there’s a chance that Weismann is still alive, it takes away a bit of the tension and heartbreak, but had it been written in stone that the Silver King was very much dead, how gut-wrenching would Neko’s unfailing idealism be? I almost wish the writers would have gone all the way with this plot development, since it would have made for some great, compelling material. But leaving the door open for Weismann’s possible return isn’t a bad direction for Neko and Kuroh, especially with the second season being announced. The two characters play off of each other with great rapport, and they help to bring that emphatic connection that I thought was missing in regards to Weismann’s character. The Silver King is someone who comes together through the perspective of others, and the emotional piece I thought was missing was there after all – I was just looking for it in the wrong place.

On an unrelated note, what the hell Kuroh? Maybe it shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise, given all his unexplained powers and his “Black Dog” nickname, but I never expected it to be so literal. Maybe after I give K another watch I’ll catch all the hints, but for now I’m calling it weird.

A list of the most impressionable moments in the finale wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Mikoto’s actual death. While K has been dropping hints like flies that the Red King wouldn’t survive the end of the series, it still caught me off-guard when the producers actually went through with his death. For some reason I was expecting a fully contrived event that would result in an ending filled with rainbows and butterflies, so Mikoto’s demise was a pleasant surprise in that it was planned from the beginning, and that neither hell nor heaven was going to change what the writers had in mind. His story was allowed to run its course, and his passing was equal parts foolish and touching. Foolish because it’s clear the sad state of his Sword of Damocles could have been prevented, and because it’s frustrating he believes that this was the only conclusion that could have resulted; touching because it is what it is – a sacrifice made for the sake of someone else, and because Mikoto had no regrets.

Leaving his words to Munakata in silence was a nice touch. Silence is a powerful tool when used properly, and in this case it maximizes the impact of the moment while highlighting the bonds between the two characters. It’s not entirely necessary that the audience hear what was said – these are blanks they can fill in very easily. Hearing Mikoto’s words would detract from the moment because the value of the scene hinges entirely on the fact his last words are reserved for Munakata and Munakata alone. Whatever their circumstances are, their friendship runs deep enough that it forces Munakata to constantly challenge his own ethics and bring out the most emotion that he’s ever displayed throughout the entire series. Similarly, the Blue King is significant to the Red King – enough that he would have Munakata be the one to end his life and bear witness to his last moments. It’s an inexorable request to ask of someone, and considering the enormity of what Munakata had to do, it’s only fair he be the one privy to Mikoto’s last words.

Their friendship highlights the utterly tragic nature of the Kings – instead of happiness their position brings them solitude and duties that constantly twists the path they tread. Weismann’s original purpose of discovering these fantastical powers seem so ironic, and I find this aspect also adds an emotional dimension not only to the Silver King, but all the Kings shown so far. For Weismann it gives him a reason to sacrifice himself – it’s a noble act, but if he felt he needed to atone for the chaos and unintended loneliness he inflicted on his fellow Kings, his character suddenly gains layers of complexity he didn’t have before. And for Kokujouji, who has spent the last sixty years by himself, the power of Kings is perhaps the most melancholy. He may run the country behind the scenes as the most powerful man in the nation, but what good is power if it can’t even protect the things you hold dear? Weismann was a dear friend, yet for all the power he has, the Gold King was powerless against the forces that took away the Silver King’s life. Similarly, for all he strove to do, for all the strength he exerted as the head of SCEPTER 4 and the Blue King, none of it mattered when Munakata Reisi was forced to kill his friend – because only Kings and kill Kings. Ironic indeed.

K’s finale wasn’t perfect by any means; there were some issues, mainly in the breakneck execution of Weismann’s death and some jumpy transitions. However as a whole, the series closed the chapter on the story it set out to tell, which was “Isana Yashiro’s” journey to clear his name, and the Red King’s desire to avenge his clansman. Both threads were concluded in a satisfactory manner, and for that I’m grateful. Last episodes are meant to provide closure; K’s finale did just that.

Full-length images: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 22, 23, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「To be with U!」 by angela

Final Impressions:

As a seiyuu and animation nut, K was hands-down the show I looked forward to the most in fall 2012. I’d looked forward to it for months, and despite the danger of letting expectations run too high, I did it anyway – with a cast that star-studded and scenes from the PV that looked that amazing, what could go wrong (Please, no Guilty Crown jokes, folks)?

I don’t think K fell short, despite the difficulty I had trying to write about it. I’ve never been a very plot-oriented watcher, so when the series shifted its focus from the characters to the overarching story, I admittedly couldn’t think of much to write about. It was still entertaining to watch the story unfold, especially when all the clues hidden in the episodes started coming together. Some of the commenters were very perceptive in this regard, and I’m happy that the series I looked so forward to watching provided some sort of fun to other people.

More than the carefully thought out plot, the series’ strongest point was its writing. Characters were carefully constructed and connected, with sets of characters acting as parallels for another so that despite limited screen time, facts could be extrapolated just by examining the similarities that ran between them. Plot terms weren’t given full explanations, but instead given enough context so that their importance and meaning could easily be inferred. This offers a larger range of exposition since the audience can now understand far more by comparison than by being simply told. K’s writing wasn’t especially witty, but it was effective: it showed more than it told, and it didn’t immediately assume its audience’s heads were full of rocks. Words weren’t wasted on useless endeavors, and where the writers did spend most of their efforts on, they succeeded spectacularly. The cast was wonderful, particularly Munakata, Fushimi, and Mikoto. They were complex, with the viewers’ perspectives of them constantly changing with each episode. Of the three the Blue King felt the most dynamic, starting as an aloof, austere man who loved order, and ending as a conflicted man who was forced to choose his duty. Sugita Tomokazu proved his versatility once again with this role, as did the rest of the cast – all of them made the role theirs, no matter how little dialogue they had.

While I loved the writing and the seiyuu performance, I’m a little more ambivalent on the directing. For the most part it was serviceable, but there were times – especially in the earlier episodes – where I kept questioning what they were trying to do. Things seemed unfocused and the tone/atmosphere couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. This was somewhat problematic in the first quarter where the characters were isolated in their own respective “worlds” and the directing required jumping between the different factions – visually everything was amazing, but tonally it was cacophonous. SCEPTER 4, HOMRA, and Ashinaka Academy all have different atmospheres, but what went on in each “setting” just seemed so disparate from one another – there should be at least something to tie it altogether, to present one world instead of three. Misusing the soundtrack contributed to this issue from time to time, with Kuroh’s theme being spammed to no end during moments where it just seemed so ill-suited. The problem did eventually get better as the series wore on, and the director seemed to get more of a handle on portraying the differences through nuances instead of a jackhammer.

Another thing that initially concerned me about the directing was the preoccupation with vanity. This ties into animation (because a discussion of K wouldn’t be complete without requisite mention of all its pretty animation), and more specifically, the premiere. Some elements veered off into excess territory, not quite able to blend into the plot and sticking out like a sore thumb. The skateboarding sequence was amazing to look at, but it was unnecessary in every aspect. It gave audiences the mistaken notion visuals were all it had to offer, and it’s definitely the producers’ fault for putting vanity ahead of delivering quality work. This issue didn’t persist all the time, but it was one that cropped up every now and then. Other than that though, K has delivered what is probably the most complicated, well-done and consistent visual work up to date, rivaling heavyweights like Kyoto Animation, Production I.G., and ufotable (even with that derpy “Dialogue of Kings” episode in Fate/Zero). GoHands must have an eternal fountain of money or something because wow, quality has never looked so consistent – a dip in quality for K was merely less movement in the background and some recycled scenery every once in a while, where for any other series it would’ve spelled godawful faces and noticeable, terrible drop in animation in general. It’s an impressive feat for an unknown studio, and one can only hope GoHands can maintain standards for the second season.

I’m not sure what the second season of K will be about, other than Kuroh and Neko as they go on adventures to find Weismann (if he’s still alive). That’s not a plot point I’d rather the producers not pursue, but enough questions were raised in the finale that it’s a valid – and the most likely – storyline. It could also deal with the succession of the Red King, since the Red Clan needs another one in the wake of Mikoto’s death. Personally, I would like to see some sort of prequel that deals with some of the less-fleshed out things in the series such as the Colorless King or HOMRA/SCEPTER 4’s past. But I suppose these things are more suited to be told in OVA format, especially since neither the Colorless King or the Red/Blue factions had enough tie-in in the finale to warrant an entire series dedicated to them like the matter of Weismann did. Whatever GoHands decide to do with the second series though, I hope they’ll be able to maintain the high visual quality and the same style of effective writing that made the first season such fun to watch. Maybe they’ll even learn not to paint their work as a vapid show that offers nothing but orgasmic visuals.


      1. people died..that pretty much shows that stuff happened. Personally, I liked the show despite how others might think of it but I don’t care…I’m guessing since I’mable to tolerate shows like this and Blood-C I have a thing for series that don’t have their plots set in stone and don’t just vomit plot info at you on the first ep (which is basically who the majority of the haters were expecting), people should learn to think a little while watching a show and not to always depend on the series telling you everything.

    1. But seriously, what actually got accomplished at the end of this series? There’s still 2 clans that are active and 2 clans that weren’t even revealed. Probably because they were forgotten by the writing staff.

      1. You can make a enjoyable anime without having to ‘accomplish’ something at the end of the anime.Simply creating a interesting universe,characters and showing ‘a day of their lives’, without having end goals/master plans/character development/life lessons, can be enjoyable in their own right.

      2. Actually they kind of do. Especially when they could have easily completed the entire story by simply giving the story the time it needed (i.e. twice the length). So they deliberately left the story incomplete because…reasons.

      3. That’s just the format most anime use these days, but that doesn’t make it a essential part of the show.And the K project contains one anime and two manga(as far as I know) all based on the same universe but has different storylines, I think they intend to explore and expand the K universe through multiple(possibly separate) storylines than just have a single story.Or they could be aiming for character driven plots rather than a storyline.Either way I have no complains for now.

    2. not liking the show doesn’t automatically make you a hater, there plenty of people who simply wasn’t interested/didn’t like it/didn’t enjoy the show without hating it.
      btw, I did like this anime.

  1. Weissman gave up his life so that Mikoto could kill the seventh king and end his blood-lust. Mikoto killing the seventh king brought him to his limit and his sword of Damocles (did I spell it right?)was about to fall, which would had caused a massive (nuclear reaction). Munakata had to finish him off before it happened. The Silver King is the “immortal king” so he probably returned to his original body. A.K.A. he did not die.

    About the black dog, I think that was neko ‘s “magic”.

    Also, “No Blood, No Bone, No Ash” I demand season 2!!!

    1. Yeah,given his loyalty and unwavering strictness, everyone calls Kuro a dog (inu).
      Also giventhe fact the Kuro an Neko aere at playfull odds, Neko made him look like a dog, while running past SCEPTER 4.
      Lol, ’cause it’s only perception and Kuro is actually running in full person. Neko…. I’m not so sure, sinceshe’s antromorphic.
      Funnier even is that Kuro never will know how Neko depicted him while running, all he’ll ever know is she played with their perception to misdirect them.

    1. The Colorless King is the “Black” King. You can see the Colorless King’s Sword of Damocles in this episode and it (and the aura around it) is black, which makes sense since black is really just a lack of color/light.

  2. I’ve watched this mixed with doubt and anticipation and my verdict for it was well … it wasn’t as bad as I feared nor was it as great as I hoped. It was ok, good even just not as good as I expected it to be. Great animation though i feel they cut back on some parts (the battles in the last episodes were mostly panoramic pictures with effects on them)and the voice acting was superb too. The ending however was a bit bland for me. It didnt touch me the way a show usually does when it ends. No innuendo.

    There is something thats tickled my interest. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but K project has just ended with more potential than it did at the start. How? Lets see, it just established a reasonably interesting world with an interesting cast of characters. What I mean is its easy to make a new character and fit him in and make a completely unrelated but interesting story in the same world or explore the other characters story in more depth.

    1. Its a shame too because it looks like they used all of the battle sequences in the PV so I was hoping to see something new but didn’t…plus they recycled alot of scenes, especially…the one girl from Scepter4 (forgot name) everytime she attacked it kept on showing the same sequence from the op. But yeah, K was good, but it isn’t going to be anywhere in the record books. I just hope the break in between seasons isn’t too long…

  3. I generally don’t like it when main characters sacrifice their lives only to be brought back one or two episodes later. Kind of kills the whole impact of the sacrifice.

    I ranked K as one of my favorite animes of the year in the reader’s poll. I made that choice just based on the fact that every week I was always excited to see the next episode and the episodes always seemed shorter than they actually were. It was nothing if not entertaining and visually it was a feast so what else could you personally ask for from an anime?

  4. There was a great piece being played in the back ground called Requiem of Red.
    It’s not yet featured on any of the three bonus disks i have (also bonus 2&3 were the OST).
    So i’m hoping they will release it soon.

    I thought it to be a great song and piece of music. Too bad “Fatso” had to interrupt it by shouting “no blood, no bone, no ash”.

      1. Yes, It starts around the 19th minute and first there is some singing from a girl (Anna, CV Yui Horie) an next there is a male voice over (probably Nakata though character wise this looks weird, the male voice sounds like his CV: Fukuyama Jun). Right before Kamamoto “Fatso” Rikio Sharts shouting “No blood, no bone, no ash” there is a chorus sung by all the “reds”.

        I know the song is called “Requiem of red” by Anna and the red clansmen, but i can’t find it on the OSTs already in my possesion… so sad.

      2. Requiem of Red and To be with U! will both be included in angela’s 6th album, to be released 4/24.

        Far away, yeah. I was hoping for a single release earlier as well, but too bad.

  5. I enjoyed this anime and can’t wait for season 2. With that being said, there is room for improvement.The finale did its job. The music is amazing as well. I just find it a bit annoying that many people auto throw labels without even giving the show a chance( especially the BL moments -lack of-)

    I think the mystery, characters, music, and visuals are K’s strongest points.

  6. I had the same problem with Durarara!!! when I stared at it for a while; too many differences, not enough tying in. (And it did a way better job than this show.) The pretty was enough to keep it going until things finally did start making sense, though.

  7. Hey, Mochi… Love your reviews, and it’s been a pleasure to follow this, in my opinion, wonderful Anime, with your reviews… And I hate to nit-pick and all, but…


    In that order ^^’

  8. I, for one, am supremely glad there will be a second season for this show. This was kind of an experiment for GoRA, the writers, in that they’re largely a group of light novel writers who came together to write for an animated series this time around. That’s some kind of feat I’m not sure we’ve seen before or at least not very often. And the result was in fact entertaining. Not what everyone is used to in regards to plot development, perhaps, but still comprehensible in the end and entertaining if you stuck with it. I would say they were successful. It wasn’t as epic as I initially anticipated, but I did like the story and many of the characters. I’d be interested in seeing more stories come out of this fascinating world where there are 7 kings with powers and clansmen. I’d love it if a true outsider was suddenly introduced to this world and see how they fared, or if we saw more in depth how they all interact. There are still two clans we haven’t even seen. Anyways, I really enjoyed the show and look forward to the second season.

    No Blood! No Bone! No Ash!

  9. Why did no one comment on Anna’s words in the second season preview?? “Mikoto’s red is still warm”. What are your thoughts? Does that mean that Mikoto could actually survive or that there’s gonna be a new Red King?
    In case you haven’t noticed, HOMRA have lost their red clan powers, because technically their king died.

    I’m also very interested in the relationship Mikoto and Munakata had. I thought they were the worst enemies in the first few episodes, but then it suddenly turned into deep friendship?… They seriously need some explanations here…

    Well, K was a bit below my expectations, but you can’t deny it that even with all of its loopholes it was awesome.

    No blood no bone no ash!

  10. That was a fantastic finale, but I also thought they would somehow avoid Mikoto’s death. It made sense, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Poor Anna. Poor HOMRA. But god, it was beautiful and the insert song was wonderful.
    Wonder what season 2 will throw at us!
    Also, does his dog form mean Kuro is a Strain?

  11. Didn’t K already confirm a 2nd season? I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully it won’t be a prequel but a squeal.

    It was a great show. One of the few animes I have been looking forward to watching every week.
    My heart just broke when Mikoto and Shirou died (although it is hinted Shirou will come back).

    LOL and Kuroh, like you said, didn’t think his nickname was so literal XD But he will always be my favorite character along with Mikoto in this series.

  12. on one hand, the finale was good and gave some closure in terms of Mikoto and Weismann. on the other hand, i’m somewhat skeptical of what season 2 will bring about.

    but no doubt about it, i will still be watching when season 2 comes about.
    i wouldn’t mind if they didn’t revive Weismann at all, and maybe just show him in flashbacks?

  13. well my hint that the 1st king , wiessman is not, after all he is the immortal king. the one in episode probably dead is the body of the 7th king – clolorless king, afterall he soul reside in the 7t king. there might be possibility, the 1st king soul return to this original body. if the weisman /shiro really dead, then kuroh and neko will had received the similar effect like the red clan, glowing color power released from the body. furthermore the inspection of munakata (blue king) about the weisman original body still living and kept and guard by the gold king. there is all the reason to hint that shiro ‘might’ appear in season 2

    1. Well the silver sword disintegrating into dust, was definitely weismann’s, the colourless kind had a darkish sword, if you look carefully. And plus at the end when she saw the sword disintegrate, kukuri cried. Why would she cry if the colourless king died? so it was obviously weismann who died. The star shining at the end, might simply be symbolic, of his passing.

      1. and besides “immortal” is not analogous to “invincible”,all the kings posess regeneration powers (remember how munakata was stabbed by the colourless king, and walked away unscathed?). so the reason why shiro was able to heal his wounds, would be because he was a king…not because of his immortality. immortality just means, he doesnt die of age,but he does die when killed by other kings.

      2. @MIT_RON
        It was mentioned in episode 12 that part of the Silver King power was invincibility(inviolable) or rather being immune to all external influences.And Silver Sword’s disintegration could just mean it was deactivated, plus, the Colorless King’s dark Sword wouldn’t be visible because Weismann was containing the Colorless King in his own body.

        I think the Silver King’s power is more closer to the word unchanging than immortal.

    2. But showing that scene at the very moment weismann got blasted by the red king, and plus kukuri actually crying when she looked at the sword disintegrate, seemed to imply something much more than the sword deactivating.

      1. @mit,
        i think you should rewatch episode 9 again. what munkata stated is this ” that monster is still alive and well’ based on translation . furthermore in that episode it also hinted that the 1st ing give birth to other kings (based on the mice experiment) if the 1st king dies then all the king will automatic lost his power/ throne. and if you stated silver king is dead, shouldnt neko and kuro should be releasing the silver orb or something to show that they are free from silver clans like the red clans member? and why would they do a season 2 if there is no shiro. makes right

  14. Good review. Agree about some of the directing issues, I think the series might have flowed better if I had marathoned it instead of watching week by week. The pacing was off sometimes, but as a whole the thing works wonderfully well. Maybe in a few months I’ll rewatch.

  15. For anyone interested there are two K manga ongoing one focused on HOMRA and the other on Kuro.

    For me the best aspects of K was it’s characters,animation,action and mystery elements(latter of which BakaMochi seems to have missed).Of the characters Mikoto definitely takes the 1st place, and regardless of why you like him, I bet more than half the audience of K would join HOMRA in a heartbeat.And as the main character Shiro may appear to be bland at first glance, but if you look a little closely it’s easy to see him as a interesting and complicated character.

    In the first few episodes there were quite a few people complaining this show was too gayish/BLish/yaoi/shounen-ai, while I personally don’t like those things and tend to avoid anime that has too much of those themes, I don’t think K falls into that category, yes, there were scenes in the show that could be interpreted as such, but those scenes were never too ‘heavy’ and always had a different interpretation open to them – should the viewer choose to view them in a different light.Although I did feel like that K was a little lacking in having significant female characters.

    And the visual quality/animation – it’s so good that it seems pointless to write how good it is in detail.

    At times the show was a little predictable, but I like the fact that producers didn’t ruin the plot by doing something unexpected just for the sake of being unpredictable(if you know what I mean).
    Have to say, while this show was less intense than I had originally anticipated it was very enjoyable and definitely worth watching.
    Looking forward to the second season and thanks for the coverage BakaMochi.

  16. somehow i kinda feel that the second season might be a prequel? one that may involve the previous generation of kings and the cause of the kabuki(is that the term) crater? i kinda feel a lil bummed out that they didnt involve the other 2 colour clans. hopefully they are introduced in the 2nd season.

    1. Its the Kagatsu Crater.
      And I would actually find it interesting if they did explain that in the second season.Then again, judging by how much I enjoyed this season , I think I will be satisfied whatever plotlien they pursue next season.

  17. Btw, wasnt the fact that kuroh was a strain, known from the start? We know his master, ichigen, the colourless king died so, and yet we see him using his “extended hand” powers every now and then,despite him not being one of the clansmen anymore, and then in episode 3 he explains that “beings which can use powers, without being the clansmen of kings, are called “strain”” …so yeah the black dog transformation wasnt actually a surprise.

    1. There’s also the possibility that ex-clansmen can retain their powers even after their King had died.Clansmen may have originally gained their powers from a King, but after gaining powers they might be able to keep it independent of their Kings(Fushimi two colors, remember?).

    2. Clansmen retain their powers even after their King dies. At least, the Blue Clan was able to use their powers during the decade when they lacked a King (before Munakata became King).

    1. Guys, I’m stumped. He made a negative comment and said he won’t care about the downvotes. How do you respond to that?!

      I mean, besides NOT responding or giving it any time or thought.

  18. Mochi, to be frank I personally think you’re giving the series way too much credit than it actually deserves. Don’t be mistaken, while many others have completely thrashed K due to its BL vibes and LOLPLOT (which honestly, probably no-one knew what was going on until ep 11, or was it 10), after all that is said and done, I still thought it was OK. But the thing is, an OK for K (oops) in reality translates to disappointment, primarily due to the hype that revolved around it before it became the semi-joke that it is today (not to mention the flashy PV promos for MONTHS and dat god tier seiyuu cast).

    The finale did a commendable job at tying up the loose ends and creating enough ambiguity for a second season, and right now a second season is indeed needed in order to redeem itself. Let me just go through some + – points that could use some addressing:

    +God tier male cast – Need I say more? Hell, we even got to hear Kaji Yuki SINGING despite his character that was supposed to be dead right from the start.

    +- Animation – I’m not an expert in this field but I’m not really sure if the animation here can actually be considered top-notch. One thing is for sure, the background art is consistently gorgeous (albeit some recycled), but the foreground and primarily the character themselves look..sloppy. Long skinny hands/legs anyone? Let us not forget about the persistent green/blue hues around the edge of the screen that makes K look like some instagram photo or something.

    Plot – The premise about 7 kings blah blah, although not the most original (Accel World?), still meant that K had REAL PLOT going for it. But the execution/directing of it is oh-so face-palm worthy. I still remember a conversation with a writer in IRC (who shall not be named) stating that he was laughing at the sight of the airship suddenly just bursting into flames and the episode ending just like that. Granted, now that the big picture is revealed it actually made some sense now, but recall how many times such a scenario happen and everyone is scratching their heads to make any sense out of it.

    + Characters – The main strength of K, like you said, actually lies in the characters themselves along with their star-studded VA giving life to them. I won’t go into this because you explained why excellently.

    (BL) Pandering – This is most likely what killed the series for the people who were quick to dismiss this show. I don’t really get their intention behind such pandering (sales?), but K would have fared a lot better if there wasn’t over excessive BL vibes with Shiro and Kuro. Munakata/Mikoto was a little more tasteful (!) but please..no more of the former. Oh and there’s the (naked) cat too.

    + Music – Probably subjective, but I personally find that the music employed in K do stand out from the norm. Can’t really go into the specifics here since..I’m no good at describing it orz

    At the end of the day, the good and the bad pretty much even themselves out, leaving us with K just being an average series across the board. However, when there’s hype, there’s bound to be disappointment. Throughout the course of 13 episodes, I’ve greatly lowered my expectations on K after realizing it isn’t turning out to be quite the masterpiece I initially thought it was. The comparison of K to GC is actually quite ironical, considering that the train wreck for GC came towards the end while it was the exact opposite for K (train wreck after the start, while redeeming itself towards the end).

    Ultimately, people will always focus on the negative aspects of what made a series terrible, and not what was actually well-done. I know that you are “obliged” to defend K Mochi, and really did an admirable job at it, so kudos to that! For me I just can’t paint a picture white if it is black, the best I can do is to make it look grey.

    To sum it up: K (unfortunately) had expectations to live up to, and didn’t (quite) meet them. That is what people will remember it for, sadly.

  19. God dammit first Chu2 now K, stop making me tear up and feel emotions!Soon as they started chanting No Blood, No Bone, No Ash the waterworks appeared.

    Also, nice red herring there Kuro, a strain all this time?!

    1. Now heres the thing, in LotR, the Wizards were a powerful and influential group, however the group itself wasn’t that important to the plot and only select members of the group were truly relevant to the story. So they can get away with not introducing or giving greater roles to the other members of the grouop

      As for K, the whole plot actually revolves around the conflict of the seven kings. However, we were only introduced to five. And out of those five, only four of them did things that were relevant to the story. Therein lies the problem with K. For a plot that revolves around the conflict between seven parties, only four factions really bothered doing jack shit. And two of these four can barely be considered a faction.

      1. Just because there are parities does not mean there is a need for conflicts. I find it fine that their stories aren’t explored. Not all areas of a story must be touched on and concluded upon. If they showed the black king and all he did was say hi and that was the end I would have a problem. If not it is just a setting, a piece of the story. We need not know what the other factions are doing. But we do know what they are not doing, getting involved in this mess. If it aint their business (neither police or had their member killed), they just do what they keep on doing then in their own ways.

        Same as in Lotr, when all hell is breaking lose what are the rest of the wizards doing? drinking tea? Not the point.

      2. But unlike LOTR, the wizards aren’t meant to be in competition with each other or see the others as other factions (unless one of them turns evil like Saruman). The kings in K are.

        It’s fine to make the first season be about the personal journey of the characters and how they enter and manage in this conflict, but the second needs to focus more on the politics of and impact of these factions on each other and the world (or at least city) at large. That’s why hearing about the second season is a relief to hear about for me.

  20. Just wondering.
    When kukuri shows the picture of shiro at the bottom of the hole it was an alibi for him. This is because it was not possible for him to get from the murder site to the hole in such a short time. Yet it is possible for the colourless king to kill a guy, go to the airship, talk to the shiro, switch body with shiro, and for shiro to get to the hole. Something is not right here.

    1. He’s on a freaking airship. An airship that is presumably faster than the public transport between Shizume city and Ashinaka high school. Kuroh and Shiro were saying that nobody could’ve gotten back within an hour under normal circumstances – nobody was expecting the Colorless King to hop on an airship, switch bodies with Weismann, and then kick the poor guy into the school gym.

  21. ok that was confusing but EPIC i mean seriously i was like WTF at the end ,in rest i was contented with the climax,probably would have been perfect if the final 5 min didn’t ruined it.

  22. Not biting the bait that anyone actually died this episode except the colorless king yet. My problem stems from that announcement for season 2 where that loli chick said that Mikoto’s fire is still warm, or whatever and The Silver King being immortal.

    A long wait till season 2… sigh. I’ll miss this awesome show.

  23. The red king (it’s easier to call the characters of this show by what they are than their own names), the biggest failure at communicating with others I saw in anime for a long time. I’m not even sure I can call him a character when the guy talks with grunting noises. Am I supposed to care he kicked the bucket like all those HOMRA retards? That was still better than the previous episodes.

    All style, no substance.

    Special mentions to the pets.


  24. My thoughts in a nutshell

    “Pretty much the same as the initial thoughts. The show has style and to spare, but it has no idea what it’s doing with it. Even that trails off pretty badly around the halfway point as the budget takes a nosedive and entire episodes are made up of nothing but talking heads leading to… really nothing. That’s really the show’s biggest issue. There’s so much time and space simple squandered for nothing. Both on the high level (pretty much the entire Red/Blue plot) and even on the minute level (long drifting shots of scenerio).”

  25. Ah how I wish this had a few more episodes to flesh out more. Not the best or the worst of the season, but still a enjoyable watch.

    I wonder if our current cast will be more than cameos in the 2nd season at all.

    Also seconding the wth Kuroh? When did he get so literal?

  26. BakaMochi: To me, it appeared that Mikoto’s (The Red King’s) finally words were sent to Anna which was more heartbreaking to me. We saw throughout the show that Anna & Mikoto had an amazing bond and the fact that she can see, hear & sense things that others could not. And, in his last moments after they show him saying his final words in silence, the next scene they show is that her eyes were glowing, we hear Mikoto final words/apologize to Anna and then in tears she screams his name. Showing that even in his finally moment his & Anna bond is strong and no matter the distance his words can still reach her.

  27. On an unrelated note, what the hell Kuroh? Maybe it shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise, given all his unexplained powers and his “Black Dog” nickname, but I never expected it to be so literal. Maybe after I give K another watch I’ll catch all the hints, but for now I’m calling it weird.

    Uhh, that was just another one of Neko’s illusions. You know, like when she turns herself into a cat: that’s an illusion, too.

    Overall, this show doesn’t do justice to the huge world that it paints, and I’m glad that they are making all the spin-offs, and even the second season. I feel like it could have a more interesting plot or develop some characters better, but there is no need to rush and try cramping it into 13 episodes. They told us Weismann’s story, and it was decent; let’s look forward to the other stories in the world of K.

  28. “More than the carefully thought out plot, the series’ strongest point was its writing. Characters were carefully constructed and connected”

    I’m sorry. I stopped reading there. Anything past this can’t be taken seriously. The plot on itself was pretty good, the premise too, it’s just that it had terrible execution. BUT THE CHARACTERS?! Are you ****ing kidding me?! They only properly fleshed out 2 characters. Only 2 ***ing characters! Weissman AKA Shiro and Mikoto. Everyone else has been completely shafted, with some even being worse by being half-fleshed (Skateboarder guy and the one who left to the Blue clan. Meaning we get to see a little about their past but being given no character motivations for their decisions and only the results because they skirt around the root of the issue.

    Bakamochi, I’ll be very harsh but I’m noting down your name as someone whose opinions and commentary I won’t be following opinions from now on. Critical thinking is something I value very much from a writer. Good series should be praised but when a series fails at something, it needs to be stated. When you don’t, it’s a failure on the part of the writer and that means you’re more of a fan than a reviewer. Some really need to grasp the difference.

    1. Oh. And as a follow-up. The final episodes and conclusion were good. But it was too late for me. They’re good but K completely screwed up half of its air time by experimenting with world building, stopped its story dead in its tracks to do that then refused to flesh out characters until they HAD to and then at the end, the plot finally took all the place.

      That’s what I meant by awful direction. The impressive it gave me is that the director and the writing staff simply had no clue what it was doing. I’ve seen Durara!! and Baccano and these are successful examples of similar concepts. K tried to do the same but its direction and it being only 1 cour doomed it. The story being good on its own was also a saving grace since the final episodes meant it almost redeemed all the others. But not enough for me to rank it highly. 6.5 for me. Amazing animation but a huge disappointment in the story pacing and character development.

  29. The best part of K is the action scenes and the high detail art.
    I like how the characters fit in with the detailed backgrounds.

    The focus is on the stories and relationships of the few characters.
    On the whole after 13 eps it feels kind of empty.

    Wished there was more technical explanation on the King ‘system’.
    But it would make it too ‘shonen’ and spoil the elegance.

    Brawls between clans in the streets, reminds me of Durarara!!.

  30. One of my favorite anime of this season, hands down. Yes it had issues; I would have preferred it be a 24 ep. series from the start to allow for greater depths be explored with the other plot points, only five of the seven clans were explored/mentioned in any detail, the Kagutsu Crater tragedy, etc. but on the whole I am tremendously pleased with this first season and while it rips my heart out to contemplate the very possible outcome that Mikoto and Shiro are well and truly gone for good, another part can’t help but think the writers could pull off a convincing “Kings Restoration” in the second act. The way Neko and Kuroh were left especially seems to hint at at least the Silver King’s return, if not the Red King.

    Thank you so much for such an in-depth, honest, intelligent, and thoughtful review of the series and this finale, Bakamochi. Reading you bloggers’ dissections of anime over the years has greatly elevated my enjoyment of certain anime. I look forward to RC coverage of K season 2 whenever it rolls out. Here’s hoping it can keep what worked, improve on what was rusty, and always strive for higher.

  31. the demographic for K was originally a josei, a female audience, so i understand if guys don’t find it as interesting as girls do- i mean, there have been BL waves as well as the huge male cast, obviously directed to females. i’m not saying that guys are not allowed to watch it, i just want people to be aware that not all anime have a general audience targeted

  32. Erm…. I believe the black dog with a sword was just another of Neko’s illusions. I think her cat form has probably been a similar illusion all throughout the anime. After all, when Neko’s ability got cancelled, she went back to human…


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