K is a thirteen-episode anime that is presently available to buy in the UK courtesy of Manga Entertainment, who is distributing the series on behalf of Kaze. The show is set in the futuristic city of Shizume whose population includes a number of super powered humans known as Kings. When the first episode begins viewers are introduced to the Red and Blue Kings’ warring factions. Mikoto Suou (Red) leads a street gang called Homra and as you may suspect they don’t see eye to eye with Reisi Munakata’s (Blue) Scepter 4, who are tasked with enforcing Shizume’s laws. Whether it is a game of Ludo or a Halo cartoon, it seems like Red and Blue are always destined to clash.
The show’s protagonist is a carefree high school student named Yashiro Isana whose life is turned upside down when he is framed for murder. Yashiro, who has seemingly been recorded killing one of Homra’s members, must now flee for his life and attempt to clear his name. Proving his innocence won’t be easy though as he is being hunted down by Homra who are seeking vengeance, Scepter 4 who want to bring him to justice and a skilled swordsman named Kuroh Yatogami who suspects that Yashiro is responsible for murdering his mentor. On the plus side Yashiro has an ally in the form of Neko, a silver haired cat girl who has an aversion to clothes. Sensitive viewers fear not. Even though Neko spends much of the early episodes prancing around in the nude, censorship ensures that we never get a glimpse of the cat girl’s pussy (no pun intended.)
On paper K has all the ingredients to be an enjoyable anime. The show boasts high production values, can be amusing at times and features a naked feline lady. What’s not to like? For whatever reason however K’s many ideas never coalesce into anything more than a mediocre cartoon. Despite the flashy onscreen action I was bored for the majority of episode one. Thankfully things pick up after that, once Neko is introduced. The injection of fan service and comedy, courtesy of her quirky antics, are a welcome sight to behold as I didn’t warm to the remainder of the cast. K’s roster of characters aren’t terrible per se, but for the most part they are just clichés that you have seen in a multitude of other shows.
Overall I would say that I enjoyed the script for its murder mystery and I also found the origin of the Kings’ powers to be interesting. Shame then that the writers didn’t delve deeper into that aspect of the story. All we get is a brief flashback forcing viewers to fill in the gaps themselves. On the action front K has some good super powered duels although all the featured confrontations are guilty of ending prematurely. When a battle reaches its climax faster than I do watching Neko bounce up and down you know something is wrong. My rating for the series would have to be a three out of five. In the end K lives up to its name. It’s not terrible yet it’s not great. The show is simply o-K.