Review of K: The Complete Series


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.

8 thoughts on “Review of K: The Complete Series

  1. I watched the trailer at an Anime convention in 2012. It was a good series although I were confused by story later. You should read K manga in order to understand the gap between episodes.

  2. I never got round to watching this but that said am currently struggling to keep up with ones I’m trying to finish(!) I like mystery animes though this one sounds a little distracted from the mystery but I’ll keep it in mind, I quite like watching crazy antics too.

    • Which shows are you presently trying to complete? I don’t know many mystery animes off the top of my head. Another has an element of Whodunit. There’s also Danganronpa, which is decent although it feels rushed as they condensed a long game’s story into 13 episodes.

      • Detective Conan mostly which is massively long, has a lot of specials and movies so takes a while. There’s quite a few mystery shows though usually coupled with horror or as a side theme – when it comes to detective or solving cases though I really like Conan which is probably the major one out there. Most have a mystery that runs through the entire show but Conan (who fashions himself on Sherlock Holmes) has episodic cases plus over arching mystery. The most similar one is probably Detective Academy Q and Mushishi for its episodic nature but its superior in art, music, theme and gravitas, it’s paranormal. There’s Gallery Fake which is a really interesting yet light and funny show about a gallery that openly sells high quality fake art or art carried out by students/masters in a well known artists atelier but not considered real for whatever reason – each episode is about a different piece of artwork and has a mystery and goes into the methodology of conservation yet its really watchable (I’ve heard Bartender, and Master Keaton are similar and quite acclaimed but I never saw them). A really sweet take on another famous detective is Agatha Christie’s Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, quite laid back. There’s CLAMP School Detectives but I never really got into watching that as it was a bit too silly. Heaven’s Memo Pad – the only one I can think of in English Dub other than the first 100 or so episodes of Conan – is pretty good, though a the characters can be a bit hard to get behind sometimes. A light hearted, silly but not too silly one is Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok which is about the Norse gods. One really heart wrenching mystery which was amnesia based with some supernatural elements was Kannon and the remake, harem but really pulls the heart strings. I’ll check out Another and Danganronpa, I think I may have scheduled some time to watch Another before but never got to it.

  3. This is definitely a show that could have done with a full 24 episode season, thus avoiding the rushed denouement while presenting a more robust character development. Good show but not as good as it could have been.

  4. Here is the thing with K: it could have been much better. I read the translated version of the light novel K:Red Side, and I realized there are a lot of details they could have added to the show which would make it a lot better because the characters have potential. It’s such a shame that they made it only 13 episodes. I sincerely loved this one.

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