K is set in an alternate future where psychic kings rule over Tokyo. A tale of intrigue is brought to light when the Red King’s vassal, Totsuka Tatara is murdered by one who calls himself the Colorless King. Things get even more complicated when said Colorless King turns out to be a seemingly harmless and carefree highschool student by the name of Shiro Yashiro.
Emerging from the primordial soup of anime tropes, K is many things. It is a combination of fantasy, mystery and science fiction all rolled into one audaciously exuberant package filled with mythological allusions. On the surface, it is a polished product, lovingly animated and put together with an outstanding and memorable score. It is both a visual and auditory delight.
While it is chock full of great ideas, K is ultimately squandered by its lack of focus. The narrative flow is uneven, there are certain parts of the series that drag, almost forcing the progression to a standstill. There are times when the dialogue is sparse and there are times when the characters inexplicably feel the urge to dish out exposition. These are the noticeable shifts in writing style that prevent the series from tying together plot points seamlessly for the casual audience. Blending genres like nobody’s business and reluctant to provide easy answers, K can be a very tedious affair and a disjointed mess.
And yet, as flawed as it may be, K is a fun show. It has a knack for subverting expectations and continuously lures the viewer in with its visual clues and mythological references. Sometimes, it even surprises you with the occasional introspective dialogue. The characters, while not completely original, are always fun to watch. There is a lot of thought put into the design of these characters, their personalities, quirks and even fighting styles, allowing one to grow familiar with them.
There is no doubt that this show’s greatest strength is its ability to coax the viewer to take on the role of the sleuth. K is an entertaining series if you’re in the right state of mind to enjoy an unusual mystery mixed with delicious eye candy.