K – 13 (Fin)

Kuroh stops the fighting between HOMRA and SCEPTER-4, then pledges fealty to King Weismann/Shiro. The two track down Kukuri and bait the Colorless King into possessing Weismann/Shiro, who traps him in his subconscious. He can’t hold him there long, so after ordering Kuroh to withdraw with the freed Kukuri, he confronts Mikoto and Munekata. Mikoto kills Weismann/Shiro, which destroys the Colorless King with him. Munekata then kills Mikoto before Mikoto’s own Sword of Damocles can, averting disaster. The red seals of the members of HOMRA – including Fushimi – rise into the air. Kuro and Neko run off in animal form.

Things get wrapped up pretty neatly in this final episode of the minimally-titled “K”, which most likely stands for “King.” Too neaty, you say? Well, it was a neat series. By that, we mean it wasn’t overambitious and knew what it wanted to accomplish throughout its run, and simply executed, sticking to its rules in the process. Evacuate school of innocents? Check. Save Kukuri from the Colorless King? Check. Prevent the Colorless King from possessing anyone else and wreaking havoc? Check. Prevent the bomb that is Mikoto Suoh from detonating, causing a citywide calamity? Check.

Sure, there are consequences. Kukuri, and likely her classmates, will always have a faint inkling of knowing someone named Isana Yashiro, but the name will forever stay on the tip of their tongue, never fully remembered. Kuro and Neko’s king is gone, leaving them without anyone to give them orders – maybe they’ll be their own bosses now. Anna, Yata, and HOMRA are understandably shook up by their king’s death, and even Munakata mourns the loss of a friend. So not everyone lives happily ever after, but they DO live. Sometimes kings have to make the ultimate sacrifice for their subjects’ welfare; so it is here.


Rating: 8 (Great)

K – 11

Led by Awashima, SCEPTER-4 advances against HOMRA. Shiro, Kuro, and Neko are able to save Kukuri, but Suoh confronts them. Kuroh buys them time, but is outmatched and is bailed out by Munakata, who starts dueling with Suoh. In a mall, Kukuri – actually fox spirit in disguise – stabs Shiro, but a Sword of Damocles appears above him, and he transforms into the new iteration of the Silver King, Adolf K. Weismann.

The school island becomes a battleground there’s a very nice sense that all hell is breaking loose, though in a decidedly less bloody was than, say, Gangs of New York. You’ve got a gang armed with clubs, bats, and pipes against a gang armed with swords, and there’s not much in the way of blood. The chaotic feeling aside, there’s decidedly less sophistocated action here than there was in earlier episodes. The battles themselves were economically animated, as if K was running out of budget.

Anyway, while several pairs of rivals have entered decisive battles – Yata and Fushimi, Suoh and Munakata – the big deal this week is that Shiro is not the newest incarnation of the sneaky Colorless King after all. He’s become Weismann’s new vessel, which makes him Silver, not clear. That means he’s the First and therefore strongest king. But is he strong enough to stop Suoh and Munakata from destroying Tokyo? More to the point, could he be bothered to stop them? We know he’s back, but we don’t know his intent.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

K – 07

Shiro and Kuroh are surrounded by SCEPTRE 4, led by Lt. Awashima. Kuroh refuses to go quietly, so they draw their swords. Neko uses her illusory powers to transform their surroundings from a soccer pitch to a busy city center, but the illusion is broken by Munakawa. Kuroh holds him back while Shiro and Neko escape, but he’s no match for the Blue King. Neko conjures another elaborate illusion of Shiro awakening as a King, and the three escape to an alley. Shiro insists Neko lift the spell causing his amnesia. When she starts restoring memories from before she met him, Shiro remembers being pushed out of a plane.

As long as they were on the run from this group or that, Shiro and Kuroh could maintain the status quo, and Neko’s powers could facilitate that maintenance, extending it indefinitely. But whatever amnesiac husk of Isana Yashiro we’ve been watching so far has developed a sense of duty to his “friends” Neko and Kuroh, even if Neko regards him as master and Kuroh keeps lording the threat of slaying over him. The trio is up against the wall this week, and Kuroh is put in a situation where he could be seriously hurt or killed because of Shiro, and he wasn’t going to let that happen.

Whatever the hell an “unknown strain” is, they’re crafty sumbitches, and Neko is a particularly powerful one. Her offensive abilities amount to elaborate parlour tricks, but they work long enough to keep Team Shiro a step ahead, which is good because King Munakata means business. We particularly liked the illusion of Shiro admitting he’s lied the whole time and seeing his Sword of Damocles appear. We bought it just like Munakata, until he vanished to the sound of a meow. But Shiro doesn’t want Kuroh or Neko getting into any more danger on his behalf. It’s time he knew who he actually was, and take responsibility if it turns out he’s really evil.


Rating: 8 (Great)

K – 05

HOMRA associates Yata Misaki and Kamamoto Rikio and SCEPTER 4’s Awashima Seri and Fushimi Saruhiko gain access to Ashinaka High to look for Isana Yashiro, with neither faction meeting with success. In the process, Fushimi crosses paths with Yata and provokes him into a duel, which Seri breaks up. Fushimi learns the suspect they’re looking for isn’t an Ashinaka student. Yata shows one final person the video still before leaving: Kukuri, who tells him she doesn’t know him.

Neither HOMRA nor SCEPTER 4 come away looking particularly competent this week, as Yata and Kamamoto do a half-assed job canvassing the school (they’re too shy to ask girls), both groups end up scaring the hell out of the students and administration, and just for kicks, they have a battle in broad daylight on school grounds. Yata and Fushimi’s is definitely the first battle we’ve seen between a sword and a skateboard. Combined with Yata fighting while on his board, or break-dancing like Mugen, it’s right on the border between zanily cool and laughably absurd.

Fushimi is formerly of HOMRA, but switch sides, though he doesn’t seem particularly loyal to anyone except himself; he’s seeking “blood and flesh”, suggesting SCEPTER 4 may have a psychopath in their midst. Both the computer (which has Isana Yashiro in its database) and Kukuri (who is friends with him) say they don’t recognize the photo presented to them. It’s not the best photo, but it was enough for everyone to conclude Yashiro was the culprit. Did Kukuri honestly not see Shiro in that picture, or did she lie to cover for him?


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

P.S. When Yata calls Seri “The Heartless Woman”, she says only the owner of “a certain bar” – Kusanagi – calls her that. Do they have a history?

K – 01

Various organizations around Tokyo are led by “Kings” with supernatural powers. When they spot the Seventh King, Isana Yashiro, they all converge on him, with Yatogami Kuroh putting a sword at his throat in the end. “Shiro” was posing as a friendly, laid-back innocent student at a high school on an island in Tokyo Bay, but he’s apparently responsible for various atrocities committed in his past.

Yeah, at the end of the day not a ton goes on in this episode: a kid begs for bits of classmates’ lunches while his admirer (and a naked catwoman) follows him, then he’s sent on an errand for the student festival and he ends up getting chased by an increasing number of thugs and heavies. But not a lot needed to happen because goddamn, K established the hell out of its setting this week with jaw-dropping detail. We’re talking feature film production values. It looks like it cost a fortune. And it doesn’t come off overly sterile, either; there’s a lot of grit and funky camerawork to loosen it up. Very very slick.

We liked how the episode was broken up into vignettes separated by fade-to-blacks, creating a visual rhythm to match the pumpin’, pulsin’ soundtrack, with a little Roots influence. But the eye and ear candy weren’t all we liked. Sure, there’s some very bad Engrish in the beginning, and there are a ton of characters to keep track of, but we think the quick pace and sensory onslaught were conscious choices. The modern world is loud and distracting and volatile. You never know what’s around the next corner, and you may not even remember who you once were.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Car Cameos: All of them. No, seriously. Every damn car is in this, in the background. They’ve got ’em all. And not just simple models. Detailed, shiny, 3D CGI models that glint in the sun. Here’s just the ones we could identify: Audi A8, Alfa-Romeo 159, BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Daihatsu Tanto, Honda Acty Truck, Honda Jazz, Honda Stepwgn, Jeep Cherokee, Lexus IS-F, Mercedes S-Class, Mini Cooper, Mitsubishi i, Nissan 350Z, Nissan Altima, Nissan Cedric, Nissan Elgrand, Nissan GT-R, Nissan March, Nissan Murano, Nissan Pathfinder, Nissan Primera (lots of Nissans!), Smart ForTwo, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Alphard, Toyota Hiace (Truck and Van), Toyota Prius, Volvo V50.