RogerBW's Blog

K - Return of Kings 03 July 2016

2015 futuristic fantasy, 13 episodes, sequel to 2012's K: AniDB. The Kings, magical masters who can also empower their clansmen, come together for a final battle.

It's a pretty strange setting, this one. The baseline is a shiny future with robots and automatic fines for littering, but the magic powers are pure fantasy battle stuff, down to the symbol/totem of each king being a giant floating sword. The world is much less important here than in the original K, because this one's mostly about extremely kinetic swordfights.

Which is not bad if that's your thing. There's a certain amount of male bonding, and lots of philosophising over the proper use of the Dresden Slate, the huge lump of magical stone which is the root of all these powers, but mostly the plot is an excuse for the fights.

The plot deals with the arrival of a new king, who's doing the AR-MMO game thing to have lots of very low-level minions, with no powers of their own, who borrow tiny amounts of power and then compete against each other to complete missions, gain rank and potentially get the big power boosts. This whole "social game used to get lots of unwitting stooges" thing is starting to feel clich├ęd already; I'm glad I got my own use of it in when I did, in 2013.

The characters are pretty in the extreme, though there's more fanservice than in the first part: two of the three female characters with any screen time have large bouncing breasts, and camera angles are chosen to emphasis these and their backsides. (The other one's a gothic loli.) One of them was naked through most of the first series, and even then she didn't feel this sexualised! Backgrounds, once we get away from the city, tend to the repetitive: yes, it's a very detailed corridor, but it stretches away into the distance with the exact same details again and again.

This does finish the story, which makes a pleasant change these days, but K was frankly better made, and that wasn't brilliant. Overall, I can't really recommend that you seek this out, but it's not objectionable if you want video wallpaper or detailed fights.

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