DOUBLE THE JAM, DOUBLE THE SLAM
[This week’s Quad DJ Mix is pretty awesome! Check it out while you read along.]
wendeego: Natasha’s doing silly pictures today, so I’ll be the one being (reasonably) serious this time. I don’t have anything profound to say about these episodes, but there were some things that stood out to me that I thought I’d point out here. So, without further ado:
- In episode 7, I thought it was pretty neat how Kuro refused to use his sword against the Blue King. Of course it’s a shonen cliche for the hero to hold back his secret weapon until the last possible moment, but judging from how fond Kuro was of his old master, the Colorless King, I’m guessing it’s less that he doesn’t want to reveal his secret weapon right away, and more that he’s hesitant to use his old master’s sword, even when his life is on the line. It’s a nice bit of characterization that gets a lot across without typical obtuse anime narration, and it’s to K’s credit that this is only one of many.
- Similarly, major kudos to the show for “revealing” Shiro’s incredible powers before pulling the rug out from under the viewer by revealing it to be an illusion. In a genre where most battles are won by being as flashy as possible, it’s nice to see tricks and illusions playing a major role in fights beyond “you thought you defeated me, but that was just an illusion! Now I’m stronger than ever!!!” K hasn’t reached Jojo levels of absurd strategy yet, but even a little bit counts.
- Again, as Natasha will touch on later: Neko is the best character in this show, and almost all the show’s best elements stem directly from her. Other writers might have relegated to fanservice duty–where she would have been wasted as a character–so I’m honestly surprised and amazed that the writers put her so close to the story’s emotional center. The reveal that she was the one who removed Shiro’s memories, and her evident worry about returning them, marks probably the most effective moment in the show emotionally. I felt a little sorry for Shiro and his identity crisis, but Neko’s crisis was like a knife in the stomach.
- Blue Team continues to be incredibly incompetent here. You’d think that if they have the prime minister eating out of their hands, they’d be able to catch a kid, a guy with a sword and an anthropomorphic cat, but I guess our heroes are just that badass. At least the Blue King had a reason for making a deal with Shiro besides honoring the wishes of a fugitive from the law and probable murderer. The changing flight patterns of the airship made for a half-decent plot twist, though!
- HELICOPTERS. Enough said.
- Since K might be the most anime show of all time, it’s no surprise that Adolf K. Weissman is the most anime villain of all time. Masses of silver hair, a giant airship, a demented evil grin…all he needs is a giant sword and he’s all set. That said, if they can find a way to justify how he exploded his airship at the end of episode 8, I’ll be pleasantly surprised because the airship exploding thing caught me off guard. You’d think that the staff of K would want to get more use out of a giant airship, but nope!
All and all, these are a pretty good pair of episodes for a show that both Natasha and I dismissed at first glance. It’s not as hilariously enjoyable as the earlier slice-of-life episodes and I’ll be sad if the cleaning robots don’t come back, but if K’s extremely derivative nature has an upside, it’s that the show knows how to use it effectively. This is a show that clearly loves building up highly predictable edifices in order to lure the viewer into a false sense of security, and then exploding the viewer’s expectations. While I’d take a genuinely original show over K’s deliberate conglomeration of cliches, there’s a method behind this show’s madness that is honestly more than I ever expected from it. I’m not sure if K will be able wrap itself up into a half-decent climax, but it’s going to be entertaining watching it try!
illegenes: Today we are going to be talking about cats and detectives.
Let’s be real. We all thought that Neko was going to be the worst fanservice trope ever. A naked cat lady? Who hates wearing clothes? And really large breasts (that have no nipples, i c what u did there, show) and curves? You’ve got to be kidding me. Except, well, K was kidding. The entire time, INCEPTION STYLE.
PLOT TWIST: Neko is actually the best character in this entire show. She’s fabulous, she’s sassy and doesn’t give a fuck, and sincerely loves Shiro not because he’s the nicest white kid on the block, but because he’s cool and he’s hers! She isn’t serious, but she can easily defeat a motherfucking Blue King and deceive Kuroh in the blink of an eye. She’s the best part about K, in contrast to….
PLOT TWIST #2: SCEPTER never took a class in solving cases. At all.
“Natasha, you’re being a bit ridiculous. It’s only this dude who doesn’t know how to solve crimes!” Ah, but wait. The Blue King in all of his intelligent and magnificent glory!
It seems like he’s not the only King with problems. We also have the Silver King, who isn’t an urban legend, just a German aristocrat who is very lonely man that lives with his doll in the sky and has no one to party or play with.
Well, you can always get a new narwal/humpback whale looking zeppelin, I guess. Since you’re the Silver King and all, and because we still have no idea how hierarchy works in this world at all, really!
You know what, I think I just realized that K in terms of Shiro’s arc is just a blue, homoerotic version of Castle in the Sky. Except instead of Shiro falling in love with Neko, it was Kuroh instead. Let’s just hope Silver King doesn’t turn out to have a great singing voice that can trigger a robot army, or something. Or that Shiro’s power takes the form of an heart shaped amulet. That would be quite tragic indeed.