Hello everyone, and welcome to the second season of K, titled Return of Kings. I recently watched the first season of K without realizing (at the time) that a second season was forthcoming, so I figured why not take a look?
5 seconds in and I’m already enjoying the episode. Here’s one of the CliffsNotes of how I appreciate anime: if the music is awesome, I’m willing to overlook other flaws. And this first episode is no exception. Pretty graphics + an awesome instrumental score in the opening = a decent way to start a show in my book.
Straight out of the gate we’re treated to a flashback between the Red and Blue clans. How do we know it’s a flashback? [Spoiler Alert] The Third Red King, Mikoto Suoh, and fellow Red clansman Tatara Totsuka are still alive. The two clans clash, and while it’s a little redundant to anyone who’s seen the first season or the movie K: Missing Kings, it serves its purpose of establishing an ongoing rivalry between the two clans. So me, I sat back and enjoyed the animation and the techno music. (???????)?
Speaking of which, the animation is very pretty, and included some CGI during the scenes with the helicopter and the sexy car. The two blend together well and the CGI doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb or anything. The different clan colours also feature prominently in their fight scenes, so when the Blue and Red clans fight for example, we’re treated to light shows with lots of blues, reds, pinks and purples. Very pretty ~
Fast-forwarding to present day, we see an unnamed blonde boy known only as a “J-Rank” speak to someone on a cellphone atop a tall building and activate Mission 2086. Down on the street, Neko & Kuroh are walking along when a cyclist tosses a green parrot plushie into Neko’s arms. She puzzles over it for a few moments before it explodes.
The next several scenes establish that the Green clan (whose members are known as JUNGLE, the same as how the Red clan is HOMRA, and the Blue clan is Sceptre 4) has been targeting not only Kuroh & Neko, but both the Red and Blue clans as well. Their goal seems to be to provoke the two clans into fighting with each other so that JUNGLE can be the dominant clan (at least in the short-term), as far as I can tell thus far.
In the final scene we see the blonde boy talking to Nagare, the Green King, discussing how they will continue to attempt to lure out the Silver King, and how the Blue King is “running out of time.” Above him, as the sun sets, said Silver King drops out of his airship in the sky towards the city below.
I’m split on this one. I really liked the first season, and while I tried to remain interested in this first episode, I found myself feeling a tad weary at points.
I think my favourite thing overall about this episode was the music, honestly. The music and the graphics caught my attention immediately, and because I love shiny things and a solid beat, they kept me watching throughout the episode. I’m also curious to find out more about the Blue King’s health issues, or whatever it is that’s limiting his lifespan, and I hope that it will become a major plotpoint (because as much as I love fight scenes with pretty animation, they do get old pretty quick). On a side note, the 8bit animation created by JUNGLE was a neat retro touch.
In the column of things I mark down in red pen, there are lots of fight scenes. When used to move the plot foward (such as the scene in the mall near the end of the episode), they’re fine, but some of the smaller ones feel repetitive. Yes we know Yata and Fushimi used to both be in HOMRA until Fushimi defected to Sceptre 4, and yes we know that they supposedly hate each other (well, for those of us who’ve seen the first season anyways). I don’t need to see them constantly getting into minor skirmishes just to keep me reminded of that fact. I don’t need to see Sceptre 4 go through their little recitation of their names every time they draw their swords in combat either; that will get old very fast.
Also on this list, I am a little disappointed to add that “select characters” as an item (so far). For in addition to Yata being a whiny, hotheaded skateboarding brat, and Fushimi being an asshat, I am not happy with how Seri Awashima’s character has been developed in this new season. (She’s hard to miss, since the show only has what, 3 female characters in the main cast?) I do not remember her being a bouncy piece of ass in season 1, and as much as I want to like her, it’s really hard when she’s busting out of her clothes (literally). Every time she moves her chest has a mind of its own, and I’m just really tired of women in shounen shows being a walking-talking silicone doll. If I wanted to watch jiggling boobs I’d rewatch Golden Boy. Maybe her personality will develop more as the series progresses. Please GoHands?
Someone must’ve given her baby oil for her birthday.
Lastly, while an instrumental track both opened and ended this episode, there was no “official” opening or ending theme. I am looking forward to seeing what was selected in the next, as a good song is always a welcome addition to my iTunes.
Because I am on the fence about this episode, I will give the series three episodes to prove itself. I can sometimes be a bit of a snob when watching anime, so I am trying to keep my mind a little more open when watching shows that don’t fit into my usual interests. Next episode I have my fingers crossed for more awesome music and some character development.
Possibility of watching: High
Possibility of blogging: Moderate