K DVD review

K-Episode-13-English-DubbedK is a one series long anime, based in a technologically-advanced city, which is otherwise not too different to the world we live in now. In this city, living among normal people, there are seven ‘Kings’ who each have a clan. Each clan has a different way of running things and ‘maintaining’ the peace; such as the Red clan who are rather hot-headed and act on impulse, and the Blue clan who look more calm and together, and are meant to act with truth and honour. Members of the different clans have different powers, and the Kings of each are the strongest of all. When each King’s power manifests, a huge sword appears in the sky. Each clan already has its differences and complicated past reasons for not trusting each other, but things are about to get worse.

Yashiro Isana is the main character, a slightly clumsy high-school student who is missing part of his memory. He is accused of murdering a member of the Red clan, and there is even video-proof of this murder, showing a young man who looks exactly like Yashiro pointing a gun and firing at the man in question. So members of the Red clan and of the Blue clan come after Yashiro, who is unaware of why he is being chased. With help of his pet cat Neko – who turns out to be a ‘strain’, a being who can alter what people see and therefore also present herself to look human – he tries to escape these two clans and figure out who really did kill the Red clansman. Kuroh Yatogami, also known as the Black Dog, was also sent to kill Yashiro; but he then understands that Yashiro truly does not know who killed the Red clansman, so Kuroh decides to help him figure out what happened. There are even some who believe that Yashiro could be the ‘Colourless’ King, the seventh King, who no one has seen in years.

589168-k___op___large_01So Yashiro sets off with Neko and Kuroh to try and discover the truth. But at the same time he has to look after his fellow classmates – who don’t seem to remember who he is when he is not with them – and avoid being killed by the Blues and the Reds. And who is it who lives high up in the blimp that keeps circulating the city? The secrets to everything that’s going on may be more deeply routed and complex than everyone will expect, with a very interesting past to how the first King came about and how the others followed. 

The time that lapses from the first episode to the last isn’t that great, however many events happen in-between, built in with flashbacks to different moments, both near and distant, that help us understand more about the events unfolding. I rather liked this effect as it slowly added in complications and helped you understand more about each characters actions. It also makes the initially simple storyline not at all simple, making you question who is guilty, who is good and who is bad.

For a while I wasn’t sure what I felt about the series: not because I didn’t find it good, but because there is no clean line between what is good and what is bad, and who you should support and who you should boo. That line between good and evil is what usually helps us understand something like a show, but without that clear definition we as the viewer are left on a fence, the same fence that the characters are on in their strive to be who they are. So this in the end turned out to be what I liked most about K: I find it’s impossible to separate all the protagonists into ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’; they are – for the most part – quite simply human, faults and all. Here is where the charm of the story lies, and this is why I would recommend it to you all.

But the important question remains: who is Yashiro Isana? I honestly don’t think any of you will guess…

A film, K: Missing Kings, will act as a sequel to this and be released in Japan in July 2014.

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