K - 01
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If you somehow managed to find this review via search engine then leave a comment, because an anime whose name is simply K just seems like lazy naming at work. At least give it something more like they did with C.
To me, all original anime are like Christmas presents. I'm not talking about the ones when your older and you know what you're getting but rather the ones when you still believe in the existence of Santa Clause; you wish for something but you don't really know that you'll get it until it arrives. If you compare K to a Christmas present, it's just downright confusing. All the previews out there stripped it of most of its mystery and all the hype just made everyone else want it, making you wonder if you'd even want it as a present. I sure wouldn't understand the hype of getting any product from a lesser known company but somehow everyone wanted it.
Alas yesterday was the day I opened my present and straight away started to play with it, and what do you know I'm not bored straight away.
What hooks you straight away isn't the story. Heck I still don't comprehend fully what is actually going since we're introduced to a rather huge cast from the get-go and we don't even know most of their names - more accurate to say don't remember - and it doesn't help that the first episode was mostly about fighting. Being all about the fighting and action didn't go as badly you might expect, not after the first few minutes of animation eyecandy.
Yes the animation was the most memorable part of the episode. In one word, fantastic and the camera angles used whenever the character with the skateboard was involved were just breathtaking and then we also had the stunning background scenery to make things even more visually orgasmic. It is also accompanied by an orchestral hip-hop soundtrack that you rarely see in anime but is always great if it's done well. All of this and then we got to the story....
The story has potential. At this point it's a little confusing, there are some gaps in its progression and composition but for the better part of the episode it piqued interest. We know that there are Kings, who are presumably individuals leading gangs with different flames, and that they are all at odds but that's about the gist of it. There could have been more explanation instead of a quick shift in focus to the protagonist of the story, but if I'm being honest I didn't expect that the protagonist to be who he is - his lack of presence in the PV's was misleading - or for their to be a set protagonist for that matter.
What I found quite generic was the mystery that was used to suck in the main character into the plot. I'm not fond of this because it's a little too anime/manga 101 and has been overused by some shonen series for as long as I can remember. I'd personally loved to have seen something better when it came to getting the protagonist of the series involved that didn't require use of such an obvious plot device. The mystery aspect of the story may be here to stick around but I sincerely hope it doesn't since I have Shin Sekai Yori and Zetsuen no Tempest for that.
It was a good start and the series shows potential and if it doesn't deliver you can watch it for the stunning animation or bishonens if you prefer.