K 09 – God’s in His Heaven

All hail the mouse king!

I said this on twitter and I’ll say this again: K is like the Star Driver I never had. On the surface, this series is a star studded style over substance affair, but as you continue to peel the layers of its filtered pixels there’s an overwhelming amount of religious and mythological allusions. K is stylish, fun, dumb but shockingly philosophical at times. It’s an anime that has endeared itself to me in many ways.

GoHands is a young studio, and taking on an original anime as their first ‘big’ TV anime is a huge risk on their part, their first two volumes had above average sales and the strain on the budget is slowly becomes more and more apparent as recycled animation is used throughout the past few episodes. I’m not going to pretend that the series doesn’t have its flaws, but those flaws don’t hinder K from being an entertaining and fascinating show. I’ll go into detail about these things when I write my series review. This series’ worth will be determined by how all these plot points come together. For now, let us look deeper into the strange beast that is K.

God’s in His Heaven, All’s Right With the World

The screencap above makes good use of shadows. The crosses surrounding Adolf iand his sister are formed by the broken building frames due to the bombing.

A few episodes ago, I delved into Japanese mythology and how it all relates to K. This week we take a look at Weissman, the first King who is constantly associated with Christian imagery.The episode starts with a flashback in 1945, a month before Dresden is bombed. Again, one of the reasons I’m very confident in K is the fact that the reveals made in this show have already been hinted at in previous episodes. The Dresden Slate (which may have been based on the Dresden Codex) was explicitly mentioned by Munakata in episode 3, and here we find out that this slate is the source of a king’s power. Yes, the mouse demonstration was what the fuck-tier but let me remind you that K is that franchise that introduced a Pegasus-like horse in the Memory of Red manga and let Kuroh fight a troll-like creature under the lake. It’s shameless when it comes to these things. It’s magic, ain’t gonna explain shit. The Weissman was against war and believed that the Dresden Slate would bring everyone happiness. Of course something inside him was effectively killed upon losing his sister in the Dresden bombing.

It appears that after the war he went on to live in the zeppelin named Himmelreich. Erm, German speaking readers (if I have any!) can anyone confirm the meaning? I’ve seen it translated as “Heaven” or “Kingdom of Heaven” but just to be on the safe side. It also turns out that the Lord’s prayer is inscribed on the Himmelreich. Weissman resides for more than half a century. The Weissman we’ve seen in the past episodes very different from the Weissman we see in the flashback. The old Weissman acted a lot like Shiro and Tatara, naturally charismatic and happy go lucky. To see this drastic change in personality doesn’t really strike me as shocking, but it does well in allowing the viewer to feel some sympathy in regards to Weissman’s plight.

Early in the episode, a tv interview is conducted among the civilians present in the area. An old lady describes Weissman as something like a living god, while a highschool student describes him as someone who scoops you up when your heart is broken. Of course the other girl just laughs at her saying that it’s impossible since his aircraft just crashed.

Weissman isn’t a god. The Dresden Slate may have given them the power and ability to rule other men but as Munakata goes on to say, “…as mighty as he may be, he certainly cannot be immortal. And that holds true, even for the Silver King.” This is a very cynical take on the concept of a god who resides in the heavens but at the same time it also questions the existence of these kings. In truth, they’re more motivated by their personal goals than actually doing anything for anyone. This is possibly arguable, but that’s how I see it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Mikoto Blows Shit Up

Goddamnit Mikoto. I told you that you had the choice. Revenge is, more often than not– frowned upon. Man, why can’t you just learn to forgive amirite? Hahaha! NO.

It looks like he’s finally made his choice, and with that he makes stuff explode. I’m really losing my interest in Mikoto. Compared to a lot of the characters in this show, he hasn’t really made that much of an impression on me aside from having cool flame powers and being the one character destined to die horribly or something like that.

K still does excel in character interaction though. Fushimi’s a difficult character to grasp, but the small moment where he can’t bring himself to draw his sword against Mikoto and how he stands determined in front of his old comrades says a lot about him as a person. Fushimi does not regret leaving the HOMRA and while most traitors are perceived as cowardly, it’s very interesting to see that what may have driven Fushimi to leave is more likely to be more of how the do things differently.

Extra Notes:

  • The Gold King’s animal motif is the rabbit. Mikoto’s is the lion, Kuroh’s is the dog, Neko is…the cat. We’ve also been introduced to the ‘çolorless king’ who may be a fox spirit.
  • Weissman’s Sword of Damocles is the same as the one we see Shiro summoning in episode 7.
  • GoHands recycles both its footage and its voice actors.
  • How are they going to end this is four episodes?

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6 Comments

  1. Munakata goes on to say, “…as mighty as he may be, he certainly cannot be immortal. And that holds true, even for the Silver King.”

    Eh, I thought the second part of this was something like, “that’s even more true for the Gold King,” who has actually aged and will not be able to “rule over the earth” for much longer. On that subject, I’m assuming that he’s the Japanese lieutenant that observed Weissman’s research in 1945.

    To be honest, I kinda shocked that they really went there. I mean, Nazis. Wow, that’s uh, something. And then Weissman and his sister have that comedy routine going… it’s very… dissonant, I guess. Weissman comes off as kind of a total airhead, if not an idiot, since the military is funding his research, what did he think they were going to do with it?

    I’m surprised you didn’t comment on the fox mask and fox spirit-thing. The mask is the same one that Weissman’s “dance partner” was wearing, and it seemed like the person wearing to make the phone call was just an ordinary student. So we can probably pretty safely say that Shiro got himself possessed when he shot Totsuka. By that… spirit thing. Hm.

    I find it interesting how someone is so clearly trying to piss of Mikoto and lead him to create that scene of destruction, by purposefully pitting him against Shiro. There is really no other way to interpret making that phone call and baiting Mikoto into attacking the school, where all of Shiro’s friends are, insuring he’ll go to defend them.

    I did notice that Weissman’s sword was the same (or at least very similar) to Shiro’s. And of course, Shiro/Weiss. Hm. There’s also Weissman’s “dead” body. Very suspicious.

    Anyway, about the German. It’s Himmelreich, with “ei,” not “ie.” German! Anyway, I’m not a speaker, but “himmel” alone means heaven. “Reich” is probably the same as in “Third Reich”, so something like an empire or a kingdom. In any case, it’s a set term used in the Bible. Whether it’s equivalent to “Heaven” or “Kingdom of Heaven” depends on which English translation of the Bible you use.

    • I quoted the line above to emphasize a King’s mortality in the series. But you’d be right to say that Munakata has probably deducted that the Gold King doesn’t have much time left. I think they definitely confirmed that the Gold King was the Japanese lieutenant which at the same time hints that Weissman’s ability may have had something to do with perpetually staying young, that or it was what came with being the first king.

      Yeah, to me Weissman was a naive fool, he probably realized this after losing his sister. That’s why despite being a King, he didn’t interact with other people anymore (or barely did).

      Oh yeah! The mask. My post was running towards a thousand words so I decided to cut it short. Anyway, looks like the fox spirit possesses people, but as to who or what it really is, we have no idea. It could’ve controlled Shiro but how it managed to get on the Silver King’s airship is another thing. Very confusing.

      Maybe that’s the fox spirit’s goal. It intends to destroy Shiro once and for all. This meaning that Shiro may be the only one capable of stopping him from doing what he wants.

      Looking at the screencaps, they’re slightly different from one another but still very similar?

      Oops, made a mistake there. I’ll have to fix that. Thanks for clarifying the definition. It really ties in everything about Weissman’s character.

      • Hm. Maybe the mask is some kind of red herring… I’m actually really interested in that. There are so many possibilities (Weissman got controlled after Shiro, Weissman was the one doing the controlling…), I don’t even know where to start.

        Overall, I really think the plan (such as it may be) is about getting Mikoto to cause the apocalypse or whatever. Something about Shiro just seems too “pawn-like” for him to be the focus.

  2. theconfusedmuse

    December 1, 2012 at 5:07 am

    “K is that franchise that introduced a Pegasus-like horse in the Memory of Red manga and let Kuroh fight a troll-like creature under the lake”

    …As soon as my school’s quarter is over, I’m reading this.

  3. Well, I just watched this episode. K is certainly juggling a lot of plot points–it will be interesting to see how everything ties together (assuming they do).
    Some scenes in this episode certainly left me confused. A toy telephone ends up in the red king’s cell, and out comes a spirit fox thing? And Shiro (or not!Shiro?) with a mask is in his old room, making the call… until the red king blows up the room via the telephone? Speaking of Shiro, wasn’t he in a helicopter with Kuro and Neko, which exploded last time I checked. XP

    Pretty wacky show, but I’m enjoying it all right. Looking forward to some sweet sweet blue king and red king romancing next episode. ;P

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