K Episode 3: Game of Drones

Rule #1 of living in a futuristic Japanese city: Do not mess with people named Mikoto.

Summary: Cool kid, Kuro and Neko conclude their collution, consequently the Black Canine comes back to his objective. Mikoto capitulates to Scepter 4 of his own accord, which causes controversy amongst his clansmen. The Cobalt King cautions Mikoto to keep his capacities in check, but declines to kill him. He consigns his colossally chested second-in-command to communicate their scheme to the cabinet.

… Or something.

Looks like Shizuo got back to being an actual bartender again.

Aqua‘s thoughts: I have to apologize. All this time I have wrongfully assumed that K is about seven “kings”, each with their respective clans, fighting for power over the city and our Proud Ordinary High School Student Main Character getting accused of being the psychopathic eighth “colourless” King, who seeks to destroy all the other kings. Turns out that none of this is actually true. In fact, the Golden King is the one who already rules all of Japan – even pulling the Prime Minister’s strings – and judging from Scepter 4‘s actions this episode, it seems like the other clans are actually assisting him in this, rather than trying to take his throne. What exactly HOMRA (or Howling Flame)’s position in all this is still isn’t clear, but it is rather obvious that they cannot stand their Blue adversaries and would like to see Shirou killed.

Shirou, on the other hand, is not being accused of meddling into the whole King business as the eighth King, but actually of claiming to have inherited the throne of the now deceased Seventh King. This seventh, “colourless” King is the King Yatogami served and idolized. The seventh King told Yatogami that if the one who would replace him would be evil, Yatogami would have to put him down. As Yatogami still accuses Shirou of having killed the HOMRA clansmen, he wants to fulfill his duty, but Shirou eventually manages to talk him out of this because of… reasons.

“… Guns? Seriously, dude?”

All of this nonsense has taken its damn time to be explained and has now finally done so, albeit in an episode that is a true drag to sit through. Most of it consisted of talking heads and explanations that seemed to blatantly contradict story elements pointed at in earlier episodes. At one point, Reishi even managed to blabber four unexplained words of jargon in less than 10 seconds. Copious amounts of hooplah that sounds a lot more profound and interesting than it actually is, all sugar-coated in lethal gallons of fujoshi-bait characterized this episode fully dedicated to exposition, but in the end, I’m only left with the nagging desire to know where the heck this could possibly be going. It is as if K almost neutralized its own interesting premise and went from Game of Thrones meets Durarara!! to Eden of The East Light: The Otomege.

The swagger-tastic direction, splendid animation and over-the-top battles are mostly gone as well, and while K still looks pretty, most of this episode’s budget was crammed into a 30-second fight scene. Episode one was a ridiculously over-the-top action show, episode two a comedic screwball goose chase and episode three a boring, pseudo-clever infodump. Is K honestly going to change direction every episode?

Random notes

  • So far we know four of the kings and some of their clans: red (Mikoto and HOMRA), blue (Reishi and Scepter 4), golden and colourless (Shirou).
  • A green clan was also mentioned, and the mysterious silver-haired guy who looks like Sephiroth is probably a King as well. Is he the golden King? Or maybe a silver King? Are the other Kings going to be even remotely relevant?
  • Please tell me Neko will serve another purpose in the show aside from being the token female fanservice character? Please?
  • I’m usually very good with names, but I still don’t know the names of more than half of K‘s cast. This is why Durarara!! and Baccano! had role call credits. By the way, is it me or doesn’t anyone in this show have any shred of personality?
  • No, GoHands, breasts do not work that way.

Is there anyone watching this show who still legitimately thinks this guy is anything remotely resembling cool?

Gee’s thoughts: Well, I won’t lie. I’m a little disappointed with this week’s episode of Wizard Gang Wars. Obviously, it’s still gorgeous, though I will admit that the obnoxious filters are starting to annoy me. Still, it’s not offensive enough to make me stop watching. This episode seemed content with more exposition and world building, which is always necessary, though with a show as dumb as K, I feel like the time would have been better spent on wizard street fights. On the bright side, my favorite character, Yata (aka. Kung Fu Skateboard Kid whom’s scenes the studio spent all their budget on) finally won a fight, even if it was against faceless mooks, which I guess is better than nothing. I have a feeling the poor kid is gonna spend most of this show’s run getting his ass kicked by his far prettier and bishonen adversaries. If there’s one thing I learned about anime with a primarily male cast, it’s that for some asinine reason, the prettier and more effeminate you are, the stronger you are. Since our skateboarding friend actually looks like someone who could pass for a male, that doesn’t bode well for him.

Overall though, a definite step up from episode 2’s naked catgirl chase, and with more of the characters and plot revealed, hopefully we’ll get back to wizard street fighting by next week.

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