How does the critically most anticipated anime this season add up?
I was excited for K more so than any other anime this season. The art in the trailer was gorgeous and the music was beautiful and full of life. I couldn’t wait for the premier of this deliciously enigmatic series, which kept mum on many of it’s details. So does this series live up to all the hype?
My words can’t really do the art justice. In a season filled with gorgeous productions, this show stands at the top of the heap. That’s saying a lot considering Kyoto Animation and Bones are up at bat in the fall, but there doesn’t seem to be a single misstep visually. The character designs are top notch, using bold outlines and bright colors. The attention to detail follows in the backgrounds, which have a staggering amount of elements drawn into them. All of this is topped off by K‘s crowning achievement, jaw-dropping animation. The fluid motions seamlessly blend in with the special effects and CGI creating a vibrant collage. It’s no wonder that K is amazing to behold.
The music follows suit in terms of quality. The eclectic mix of orchestral strings, piano melodies and electronic beats are pleasurable listens. I don’t really say this often for a series, but I wouldn’t mind purchasing a soundtrack. All the songs seem to be an homage to Nujabes with their simplicity and calming undertones.
K doesn’t seem to be doing anything original. There are two separate factions, a violent but fun-loving gang whose being chased by a government organization fashioned after the Knights of the Round Table. Of course this conflict is just a prelude to the looming battle with a greater evil that both organizations seem to be after. I’m expecting that somewhere down the line the two unite for greater good, putting their differences and ideals aside.
The mystery that surrounds some of the ongoings gives me a bit of hope though. There is an entire concept of magic that isn’t fully explained, and ‘kings’ that are their primary users. I’m sure the relationship between the two will prove to be important to the plot moving forward. Also, apparently the protagonist is the spitting image of the main villain! Finding out the reason why could be enough to make this series a compelling watch.
The one sore spot in the production is the voice acting. Daisuke Namikawa shouldn’t have been casted as the lead, Yashiro Isana. His nasal voice and lack of charisma doesn’t suit the role. Yashiro is supposed to be one of the more popular guys at school, albeit a bit clumsy. Instead of giving a confident performance, he exudes a timid weakness that doesn’t fit. I was looking for a more powerful performance by him that would give Yashiro some gravitas. Even though the show focuses on him, he just comes off as a disposable side character. On a side note, the extensive use of English in the opening scenes wasn’t exactly cringe worthy, but displeasing nonetheless.