K: Return of Kings at a Glance

return of kings

Spinning Cameras: The Animation.

That I did not vomit at all during the course of this episode (particularly that I avoided doing so in the first ten minutes or so) is truly a testament to my stomach. I have to say, if you’ve got issues with motion sickness, or are at all prone to seizures, you should probably skip the first half of the episode. If you’re worried about missing something important in doing so, rest assured! You won’t.

As much as I liked K’s first season, the fact that the opening half of the episode lacked anything worthwhile is pretty damaging. GoHands sure is good with animation, but their fight choreography by and large has never been something to write home about, so trying to pin an opener on just that is unfortunate. The second half of the episode is much better, particularly when it introduces the chaotic Greens (comprised, apparently, of people who’ve watched too many “trapped in a video game” anime), but its got a fair-sized hole to claw out of. It certainly isn’t the sort of thing designed to draw in new fans; sure, new fans should presumably begin with the first season, but theoretically a new season should also try to intrigue a person enough that they want to go back and check that first season out. Ah well.

Speaking of the negatives, the fanservice. Wow! This has easily the most egregious fanservice in a show not produced by ARMS this year. There was fanservice in the first season, certainly, but it’s dialed up quite a bit here; I found it honestly off-putting. I always prefer to have female characters who matter somehow in shows, but if the only way to get that is to accept that Seri is a walking fanservice device, I’ve got to say I’d rather we didn’t have her at all.

And, hey, as long as I’m on a roll! The shows skips around in time without any indication that it is doing so a LOT in this episode. Since I watch K in a pretty passive way, i.e. without trying to think my way through anything, this didn’t bother me, but it could easily prove confusing. This is especially the case if you don’t remember some of the finer details of the first season; honestly, I just assumed they’d resurrected someone who died toward the end of it, and it wasn’t until a more minor dead character surfaced that I figured we were watching a scene that had happened in the past.

Despite the fact that I front-loaded my criticisms, by the end of the episode I was feeling that old enthusiasm about the show. The Greens throw a much-needed wrench into the story, as they lack the mutual-respect-type thing that the Reds and Blues have between them. The reveal of who the current Red King is was well-executed, even if I probably should’ve guessed who it was; I’m also quite pleased with who they picked. Neko is still very much a cat who has taken on a human form as opposed to a catgirl (if that makes sense), as she tries to eat a bird that proves to be a robot of some sort, and I’ve always liked that approach to her characterization. And some matters toward the end of the episode definitely proved a good hook for watching episode two – this all even though I was bored pretty senseless initially!

For anyone who didn’t love what K was in the first season, though, this won’t change your sentiments. K is still gloriously stupid, and is still perpetually high on the fumes of red and blue filters. If shows that ended in a siscon sky-Nazi reveal weren’t your bag then, they sure as hell won’t be now.

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