A file size that’s as large as my arse, anime filled with Mr.A-like characters,
hype machine-powered HIGHLY popular, all-star cast, well-detailed visuals, gothic-inspired sounds. Sounds like K is the best anime of the season according to my standards? For sure, it’s the best if Guilty Crown did not exist. It’s also the most “original” anime if the likes of Code Geass and Durarara!! also did not exist. Sorry to disappoint; but, those titles did exist and air…
At first glance, great detailing and smoothness on each illustration are abound. CGI would also be seen as well-done. The character designs would also seem neat, and the setting art would be ranging from psychedelic to surreal. However, I’m not a fan of shortcuts so I examine visuals more closely. Doing so, exposes a handful of flaws among the visuals of this series. First and very obvious would be the shoehorning of real-life food pictures among the CGIs for the food. Normally, that technique would work great like what’s seen in some SHAFT-produced series, but the ones used here kills the consistency in the visuals. Instead of providing a contrast to the CG-dominated visuals, they looked cheap and, as a result, may annoy some audiences. What’s worse is that it shifted to ordinary traditionally-drawn objects when they were eaten by one character. Other aspects of the background and setting art/illustration are indeed excellent. Character designs are detailed mixture of shoujo-esque themes for the male characters, while using a handful of bishoujo character styling queues for the female characters. Almost all character designs, in general, are influenced one way or another, but K‘s character designs and their illustration queues totally feel like rip-offs from various anime like Rinne no Lagrange, Code Geass, Soul Eater, and Durarara that they don’t define their characters, at all. Plus, sharpening and polishing for the designs totally lack. Further analysis of the animation and CGI techniques used would expose a dozen of unpolished scenes, however, the errors are not too obvious thanks to the fast editing of the scenes.
Audio presentation for K is ok (bad pun intended). Background music and sound effects used are good, but they’re not notable. Jazz tunes fused with some light R&B and rap grace the soundtrack, which definitely help in painting the ‘urban’ setting. The R&B song used for the opening theme isn’t remarkable either. What saves this series from utter monotony is the stellar voice acting afforded by having an all-star cast. Of all the cast members, Namikawa Daisuke should get the most kudos. His voice, technically the same voice used for North Italy in Hetalia, is very fitting for the character and it probably defines the character.
If you’ve carefully watched Durarara and Code Geass, the plot and character interactions would be familiar to you. However, the writing and direction of this series doesn’t even compare to the solidity and suspense that the two mentioned titles have. Like the visuals, most of the writing deviate too much of the character interactions and plot from those two titles. K is essentially Durarara‘s setting with much of the Code Geass plot, without the mecha and foreign invasion. A confrontation between magic-users, in the first parts of the episode, is generic at best. The parts where some soldiers drew their swords doesn’t have any suspense at all. Think of the pilot episode as parts of Durarara!! injected into Code Geass.
Despite all of the obvious flaws that this series has, it still has its own promises. K is actually a very decent action/supernatural anime with a handful of fujoshi-baiting moments. Just not as solid as what many say about it.
Images Used are under Fair Use.