VIZ Anime’s newest show K envelopes itself in a world secretly ruled by those who call themselves ‘Kings’. Rather than a monarchy, they are more like Mafioso, some a little more anarchistic and some a little more chivalrous. Central to the story are three elements; the Red King, a stoic and dreary eyed chain smoker, Mikoto Suoh and his posse the HOMRA; the Blue King, suave and sharp Reisi Munakata and his small battalion, SCEPTER 4; and the dreamy-eyed blasé, Yashiro Isana as the medium. Enjoying the serenity he feels in this alternate Japan, Yashiro is dismayed to discover he is the focus of violence for his uncanny resemblance to HOMRA’s latest target.
K does a fine job in setting the mood in its first episode, capturing the science fiction aspect in the power that these characters hold (using psychic powers in the style of fire and force fields). The elements of fantasy do not make the story intangible as the artistic style melds together the sense of city life and system of hierarchy. Music cadence becomes a character in itself with beats provided by Mikio Endo in composition, as well as a mystifying opening theme by the band angela, provide a playful awareness and familiar hip hop aspect during altercations between the HOMRA and SCEPTER 4.
All in all, K is a stunning example of animation with breath-taking visuals and a killer soundtrack; definitely a must watch for this season.
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