「New & Old」
What’s this, Pancakes covering K&M? The one and only boys and girls. If you’re not aware Zaiden is off spelunking through the wilderness of Japan for two weeks, so I’m here doing coverage duty while he enjoys himself. Thoroughly. Alright teasing aside, I cannot complain too much, particularly when K&M picked a good place for me to intervene. Prototype mecha battles, discussions of advancement versus refinement, hint towards an actual plot? Why yes I think I’ll take it.
It’s been obvious from the beginning, but where K&M’s strength resides is in its engineering, and I don’t mean figuratively. It’s a weird idea to wrap your head around if you lack the itch, but K&M, ignoring the mecha theme, is an engineer’s unabashed wet dream. Concept, development, testing, refinement, all are featured to some degree or another, although until now we’ve largely seen the concept and development angle. Tzendolg and the thrusters on Toybox (great name) for example are radical departures from previous Silhouette Knight design, the sort of thing that redefines boundaries. For all the wow factor though, these designs, as shown, aren’t all that perfect. While all host of mecha shows liking showing the efficacy of one off wonder weapons, the true success is found in the less known—and infinitely more important—realm of gradual improvement and simplification. Colour me surprised then K&M explored this angle a bit with the discussion of Ernesti’s “diamonds in the rough” and the Lab’s new “rationalization” role, but hell, I won’t turn my nose up at it. After all, when you get to figure out how to reduce costs in distillation processes, anything to validate that career choice is definitely welcome 😛
While usually boring, what probably keeps K&M’s narrative approach interesting is a combination of speed and positivity. Jargoned technobabble is kept to a minimum, otherwise “boring” details never overtly focused on, and the whole thing is patched over with the always appropriate action response. The initial fight this week was case in point, featuring all of Ernesti’s important developments and his methodological differences with the Lab while providing us with arguably K&M’s best choreographed fight thus far. Don’t like the nitty gritty of four legged designs? Here just watch it run over the competition. Literally. Makes it all the better too Ernesti quickly befriends our thoroughly crazy Lab leader out of mutual love for mecha designs. I might have concerns with Ernesti’s wish fulfillment function, but the utter lack of pompous superiority on his part easily improves his base character. Doesn’t hurt Ernesti’s enthusiasm appears to be rubbing off on others either, if that (ex) king and grandson sparring match is anything to go by. K&M may be a one trick pony, but it certainly knows how to make the most out of its mecha porn.
Next week, however, looks like we may she shifting gears slightly as some tasty foreshadowing points towards a return of the demon beasts. Coupled with remarks about sending Ernesti to the Village (whatever that means) and it looks like K&M may be gearing up for an actual story arc. Anything is certainly possible, but at the bare minimum you can bet it will involve another radical mecha design. Anything else at this point would be a letdown.