Otakon just ended and we had a blast, despite the technical glitches. A great end to our con season for the year.
Despite the euphoria, this post is actually to talk about a series we just finished (K as you might guess from the title of the post) .
This series has been out for a while as have some of the various adaptations and the movie. ‘K’ is one of those interesting anime because there hasn’t been a lot of buzz about it over here as much as there was in Japan. This is definitely part of why we haven’t watched it yet, it was easy for it to slip out of mind. Now there’s a new season coming out this fall , which has been licensed by Viz, and it seemed like the perfect time to watch it.
As I mentioned this wasn’t as popular in the US as it was in Japan despite it being pushed here quite a bit, to the extent that there were showings of the movie here in the US. ( love this phenomenon). It was watched, but plainly did not have the same hit status. This has never put us off before, and it didn’t this time either. We watched this show and very much enjoyed it.
The plot is complicated and forces you to follow its jumps and hurried tying together of different threads as pacing is definitely an issue in this show. Additionally, because of the complicated plot and large cast of characters, the series demands your attention in order to keep it all straight. This is something that is enjoyable in a short (13 episode) series, but might get tiring in an forty to fifty episode series. Personally, we find something that demands our attention to this extent somewhat of a novelty and very enjoyable. Some people have been known to read books while reading subtitles because we can follow the story while doing that. Not with ‘K’.
The art is absolutely beautiful as well, with a somewhat stylized art form and gorgeous, fluid animation. Undeniably a series that people who watch anime for exactly those things will enjoy. The sound track was a positive note to the series as well. The themes are charmingly scored, as are the insert songs. While all of the music is arguably pleasant, the insert song “Circle of Friends” by Yūki Kaji was a highlight. It makes a poignant undertone to specific scenes in the anime, while underscoring themes regarding friendship and camaraderie at play in the series.
For us the ultimate high point of this particular series though, is that at the time that it was made, it was an original series. The manga and light novels are based on the anime instead of the reverse, which is not often the case. We are always thrilled to see an original story in an anime, instead of working from source material. The lack of original series is something that many people of complained of in our hearing, and a definite bonus to this series, even if we did not like based on its own virtues. While there are definitely problems with this show including its pacing and the need to flesh out many of the characters and events in the story, it does stand on its own merits and more people should give this show a try. We are pleased that we did and look forward to season two coming out this fall.