(Isis): Greetings, welcome to Project Nitsuj, I am I-
*The broadcast feed from Isis gets cut off as various pictures of space appear. Everything goes dark as Mira appears with Isis nowhere to be seen*
(Mira): Do not adjust your blog, this is no accident or a test. Your blog has currently been hijacked by the Purple clan Starlight and I, their glorious, smart, and lovely leader Mira am here to greet you from my unknown location.
(Isis): Hey Mira can I get up now?
(Mira): Isis! I’m doing a thing here, stay down!
(Shizuku): What’s this about an unknown location? You just put black curtains in front of the windows to block out the sun. You’re still in the house.
(Mira): Quiet! It’s an unknown location just keep rolling.
(Yin-Yang): Hey Mira can I be in your review?
(Mira): No! Go away!
(Yin-Yang): Too late, I’m already in it.
(Seras): Has anybody seen my black curtains? I was just washing them and they just disappeared.
(Mira): Alright that’s it, cut~! All of you get out I’ll do the review myself and in regular manner.
*Isis, Shizuku, Yin-Yang, and Seras leave peacefully*
(Mira): Well so much for being theatrical. Welcome everybody and followers of Starlight to Project Nitsuj, where today we take a look at K: Return of Kings. The second season of the K series as well as the finale. Coming out in 2015 Return of Kings serves as the sequel to the Missing Kings and wraps up the story of K that we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s see how it all ends. This is K: Return of Kings.
Opening and Ending Theme
The opening theme is “Asymmetry” by Yui Horie. If you’ve watched Dog Days than you should know how good a singer Yui is and for those of you who don’t know Yui is the VA of Anna. The song is rather deep, sad, and melancholic which is what you wouldn’t expect to hear a little girl sing but it matches up with Anna perfectly. She has experienced pain, she’s lost two people she really cared about, and didn’t have the luxury of having a happy childhood like most kids out there. The song is about her facing that pain but moving on with her life becoming stronger for those around her but also not forgetting those who she cares about. The ending theme is “Kai” by CustomiZ and it is awesome. I’m usually not into rock songs but this song fits perfectly with the series. In fact, I think it would have been better to have this as the opening and Asymmetry as the ending. The animation for this song is very good and detailed and more character focused as we see a lot of character both main and side characters make an appearance. Plus, there’s an action sequence right in the middle of the song. I honestly think this was originally going to be the opening song for the season but then at the last minute they decided to go with Yui’s song and just made this song the ending.
So the anime starts amazingly well with a fight between Homura and Specter 4 with Mikoto and Tatara still alive. It’s here that we see a lot of improvements in terms of animation and music. The animation this time is amazing, the camera angles and close-ups make it feel as if you’re right there with the characters and the music is really great (the only downside I can see is that they really added on the fanservice to Seri’s character. Look at her, her skirt is shorter, and her breast have a mind of their own. It’s clear that some of the animators want to explore their sexual feelings for Seri. Scene here: //youtu.be/r8I95WL9H08). After the amazing fight scene, we return to the present where both Specter 4 and Homura are being played with by Jungle. Apparently this is all part of some game to earn points within their clan. The more points they earn the higher their ranking. Some of their missions are pretty basic stuff like attack this person, do this, etc. (it’s basically side missions for an RPG). One of the members attacks Kuroh and Neko with a bomb but they easily survive the attack and chase him down later on to see if he knows the whereabouts of Shiro (did you try the umbrella store?). While that’s going on Jungle sends out a viral video slandering Mikoto and Tatara’s deaths (oh no you didn’t) pissing off the members of Homura so they track the viral video back to its location which is a building where Specter 4 is also there to investigate (//youtu.be/4F4qzPbcFiA). Sure enough it is a trap set by Jungle to kill them off and earn points but they bit off more than they can chew and get easily defeated by Anna and Homura (I still can’t believe Anna’s the new leader of Homura. Pretty big promotion from side character last season). We end the episode with Shiro falling from the sky (well he died quicker this time around) to return to the world.
Nothing much happens in episode 2. Shiro is still falling from the sky (how high up was he? This is like Noragami level of falling) and Kuroh goes to Specter 4 headquarters to get interrogated by Reisi who wants to know if Kuroh knows anything about why Jungle is after them and if he’s had contact with Shiro. He says no to both questions and Reisi offers him and Neko a safehouse with them should the need arise. While grateful for the offer Kuroh turns him down and takes his leave (keep it silver Kuroh). While there we do learn a little bit more about Jungle such as they’re an online clan and most of the members haven’t met their leader. They operate on a point system and get more points by completing certain task. The more points they get the better their powers will be and their ranking goes up (that or go to the cash shop and pay for points like lazy bums who don’t like putting in the hard work). However, if they lose all their points they lose all their powers thus making it very hard to interrogate the members since most of them are low ranking and really don’t know that much about the clan (they just joined for the free T-shirt). While Kuroh is talking with Reisi we see that Seri has noticed that what happened to Mikoto is starting to happen to Reisi and now worries that she’ll have to kill him in the future should the need arise (NO! Not my Reisi). On the other side of town Neko hangs out with Homura since she doesn’t like the boys in blue (I have a feeling Neko would like listening to N.W.A) and just like Specter 4 they offer her and Kuroh a safehouse should the need arise and she says no because they already have a place where they belong, the school (the one that you endangered).
Episode 3 starts off with the elite members of Jungle who live in a rundown apartment (this place could use some color). Their leader Nagare, sends Yukari (yes, once again I assure you that’s a man. A very feminine man who I would enjoy shopping with) and Sukuna (a competitive child who likes game) to take out Kuroh and capture Neko seeing them as a threat to his game. While that’s going we see that Jungle has put a bounty out on Yata and Fushimi (with Fushimi having a higher bounty) and they’re both at Shiro’s school. Yata to return Neko’s panties that she left behind the other day (scene here: //youtu.be/m493u6qffus, man this season has a lot of fanservice) and Fushimi. . .I’m not entirely sure myself why he’s there but I welcome it. The two meet up and get into a fight with Sukuna while Kuroh and Neko go to fight Yukari on the bridge where we get a pretty good fight scene. Just when it seems like Yukari has Kuroh, Shiro comes crashing in from the sky to save him (he has returned. And he bought his cuteness with him).
It’s a slow episode in episode 4. After Shiro arrives Jungle retreats (yeah you better be afraid of my Shiro) and he calls a meeting of the clans (can we try not to cause widespread panic in the school this time). Risei and Anna hear his call where he tells them that the Gold King is dead and with him gone there’s nothing standing in the way of Jungle who want the slates. All clans agree to form an alliance known as the Coffee Table Alliance and eliminate Jungle once and for all (it won’t be easy, their clan has spies all over the city. There’s no telling who we can trust). Shiro asks Risei if he can help him guard the slates but Risei says no because he has no intention of leaving something important in the hands of someone who ran away in the past (he’s got a point).
In episode 5 Homura and Specter 4 team up to capture the low members of Jungle. With Homura working in the shadows and Specter 4 working out in the open they make a perfect team (it’s amazing how they’re getting along so well despite only last episode thinking of ways to kill each other). With the Gold King dead all government operations get turned over to Risei meaning he’s practically the ruler of Japan now (first order of business. Change the sun on the nation’s flag to blue. From now on we shall be known as the Land of the Rising Blue Sun). Shiro gets approached by Nagare’s parrot where Nagare speaks to him. We find out that Nagare’s plan is to release the powers of the slates and continue what Shiro did 70 years ago in order to progress the evolution of humans. He wants to form an alliance with Shiro (just the two of them) and continue the research but Shiro politely declines and he figures out that Nagare was the one responsible for the incident in the first anime (so you’re the one who tried to kill my Shiro? I was just starting to like you). Nagare says fine to Shiro and decides if Shiro won’t join him he’ll take the slates by force in an all-out war.
Episode 6 starts off with Nagare calling a meeting but no one really paying attention to him (hey it’s just like our meetings here at Project Nitsuj). Nagare says the group is going to attack the location of the slates on Christmas Eve and then have a rockin’ Christmas party to celebrate their victory. Shiro, sensing this calls for a meeting of the Coffee Table Conference where he comes up with a plan to defeat Jungle once and for all. At first they’re hesitant to let him lead (stop being jealous and listen to the guy who has the most knowledge of the slates and the situation) but once Anna says she’ll help him everybody agrees to help out (thank you Anna). His plan is quite simple, Yukari and Sukana are the main fighters and will be the biggest threat in this battle. The members of the Silver, Red and Blue clan must defeat them while the three kings take on Nagare who can only fight for a limited time due to his body (and after that he’s easy pickings). Christmas Eve comes where Yukari and Sukana attack the tower where the slates are located and meeting them on the first floor is Seri and Specter 4. After fighting a little bit Seri and the others retreat and as Yukari and Sukana climb the tower they get separated where Yukari winds up taking on Homura and Sukana takes on the Silver Clan where they manage to hold him off. At the end of the episode Nagare enters the building and releases the restraints on his body (//youtu.be/Y5JxIrn4OVs).
So with the restraints off his body Nagare quickly makes his way up the tower at amazing speed in episode 7. Yukari and Sukana retreat and Nagare clears all the traps in his way where he fights Anna who despite being a child and only being a king for a short while she actually holds her own against him (although I have to admit listening to rave music while watching the fight scene is a bit weird). Nagare gets passed Anna but gets taken out by Reisi and exhausts all of his power (just as we planned). While Nagare may be down he’s not out as he too has an ace up his sleeve and that ace is Iwa an adviser for Nagare who we find out isn’t a member of Jungle but the Grey king (big time ace right there. Also, I’m curious is there a king for every color out there?).
Episode 8 starts off with a flashback 14 years ago and takes us back to the Kagutsu Incident an incident caused by Iwa which destroyed an entire city and killed a number of people. Iwa was thought to have died in the incident but somehow survived and as he was looking for survivors he found Nagare as a child dying but through an act of fate (or luck) he became the Green King and was bought back to life. Reisi fights against Iwa who uses his fog powers and a gun to beat Reisi. He saves Nagare and they both escape with the slates (and Shiro and Anna just stand there and do nothing). So their mission is a failure but they don’t lose hope and plan to keep on fighting except for Fushimi who’s quite pissed about their lost and exchanges harsh words with Reisi who tells everyone to follow Shiro’s orders instead of his after his defeat (oh Reisi don’t be that guy). Not liking this Fushimi leaves and decides that if he’s going to be labeled a traitor he might as well become one and joins Jungle.
So in episode 9 a month has passed since the events of episode 8 (wow, felt like a week to me). With the slates now in the hands of Nagare people all over the city start to gain powers at random that they can’t control (so it’s like the X-Men or Heroes?). Fushimi teams up with a U-ranked member of Jungle named Douhan that cyber ninja girl from the movie who loves money and with her help he quickly rises up the ranks and becomes a U-rank member in about a month. One night when Kusanagi and Seri infiltrate a Jungle party to see who their shippers and shareholders are their plan gets foiled by Fushimi who thanks to this becomes a J-rank member of Jungle shattering Sukana’s record and is bought into the inner circle of Jungle (here’s your t-shirt, jacket, and key-chain).
Nothing much to say about episode 10. The slates are finally reaching their limits and will be unleashed soon. The Prime Minister has sided with Jungle and has removed Reisi as captain of Scepter 4 and have put the Blue clan on house arrest (oh that’s it he is so fired). Shiro has decided that he’s going to destroy the slates once and for all in order to save the world (and at the same time destroy some of Japan’s power in the world). He also has decided on a clan symbol and name.
The slates finally unleash their true power in episode 11 (took them long enough) and now everyone is getting powers that they know nothing about and can’t control (so this was Nagare’s idea of human evolution? A world where no one has any control of their powers and anarchy reigns. What a load of crap). Reisi heads towards the base of Jungle with Zenji former second in-command of Scepter 4’s original leader at his side (the two man army is on the move). After stopping and evading all the bullets they wait for the entrance to open courtesy of Fushimi who’s been a double agent this whole time (yeah we kind of knew that already). Nagare tries to talk him out of it saying that Jungle is the ideal spot for him (he’s got a point) but Fushimi says no and opens the gates to the underground base. Iwa shows up to face Reisi (rematch) and Shiro, Kuroh, and Neko show up in their blimp to enter the base. Back at Scepter 4 Seri resigns since Scepter 4 has been put on standby and can’t do anything and she wants to be beside Reisi (you like~ him). But the rest of Scepter 4 decide to follow her and ignore orders.
At the start of episode 12 we see that Reisi told Yata about giving orders to Fushimi to infiltrate Jungle should they fail to keep the slates knowing the dangers and risk that he could probably lose his life. After hearing this the rest of Homura tell Yata to go save Fushimi while they help get the Silver Clan down to the slates to destroy them (yes, go and save your boyfriend). We return back to the present where episode 11 left off with the Silver Clan and Homura entering the base of Jungle (careful, it’s a jungle down there. Haha, I bought it back) and taking over each floor one by one. Back on the surface Scepter 4 comes in to help Reisi defeat Iwa where he kills Iwa with his sword (and that’s the second king he’s killed. Should I be concerned?). Back in the base Yata finds Fushimi just before Sukana can kill him. They combine their skills and manage to beat the game loving boy (try reading a book instead). The episode ends with the Silver Clan running into Yukari and Kuroh asking them to leave this fight just to him.
In the final episode Shiro and Neko reach Nagare and the slates where he reveals Neko’s real name Miaybi Ameno. Just like Nagare she too got caught in the Iwa incident and gained strain powers where she was forced to manipulate her own memories and live on as a cat. Shiro reveals his plan to destroy the slates is to use his own sword of Damocles. Back with Kuroh and Yukari, Kuroh manages to beat him but he doesn’t kill him and rushes to Shiro. Nagare tries to stop Shiro by killing him but Neko and Kuroh get in his way and the sword drops destroying the slates and Nagare with them (alright mission accomplished). Iwa who somehow survived the sword slashed activates the self-destruct sequence in the base and dies along with Nagare and Reisi’s life is safe now that the slates are gone. But not everything wraps up nicely. The body that Shiro is in is starting to reject him and is returning to its original host meaning Shiro is being kicked out of the body and returning to his original body (wow that is some amazing sci-fi shit right there). So sometime time passes and Neko enrolls into the school and Shiro also returns to the school in his original body (I prefer the other body) as a teacher.
Wow. Just wow. I’m speechless. This was an amazing anime. While there are a few things left unexplained such as the swords, Shiro finding his original body, and other small nitpicks here and there such as why they turned Seri a very intelligent and respected character into everyone’s wet dream and one of the biggest downsides of this anime is that we never get to see the power of Shiro’s clan or even get to see him fight which everyone was looking forward to seeing the things that the anime needed to get right are right.
The story is very good. I really did like how it didn’t end with Nagare trying to get the slates and fail but instead he actually succeeded in getting the slates and almost succeeded in his goal. While his goal isn’t bad per se and even Shiro doesn’t say he’s wrong for wanting to advance the evolution of man the way he’s doing it is wrong. You can’t force people to change it’s a long and ongoing process that you have to be patient with. Everyone has potential and they each reach it differently. The characters are all good. While Seri got turned into a fanservice device she’s still an interesting character. We see her struggle with the thought of having to kill Reisi a person who she respects a lot and possibly loves. I also like how she was the first one to resign from Scepter 4 just so she could fight along Reisi’s side near the end of the season. The rest of the characters also get a moment to shine in the anime where we learn something about them. We got to see Anna fight, Yata and Fushimi realizing they respect each other and have found their place that they can call home while serving the person they admire the most, finally learning about Neko’s past, Kuroh finally overcoming and defeating Yukari a person he never thought he could beat, Homura and Specter 4 on the same page and working together, and Shiro showing us how smart and strategic he is as a character. Even the Gold king gets a moment to shine in the anime. It’s a flashback but still it’s a good flashback showing how much he respected Shiro and waited all these years for him to return.
The animation is beyond amazing. There were times where I kept forgetting I was watching an anime and actually thought I was watching a live action show. The colors, character designs, and camera angles are just amazing to see. In terms of visual, this anime probably has the best visuals of all time. It’s even more beautiful than Angel Beats. The action is good. While I’m disappointed we never got to see Shiro fight the rest of the characters do an incredible job in their fights. They’re fast-paced but not too fast where you can’t keep up with the action. The speed of the fights is just right. The anime said it best, it almost looks like they’re dancing with each other whenever they fight. Finally, the soundtrack, it’s very enjoyable.
Is it better than the first season?
I would say yes. The characters are more developed here, the story is told better and more interesting, cool fight scenes, and was the overall more enjoyable watch. The first season was good but it revolved around Shiro’s character way too much and didn’t take time to focus on any of the other characters. Here, we not only focus on Shiro’s character but we also get a chance to focus on the other characters as well. This leads to a much better watch where we focus on all the characters, see them develop more, and hope that they all make it out alive.
Return of Kings earns an 8/10. It’s an amazing anime. It might be a bit confusing for some people out there and may get overlooked but trust me when I say that if you take the time to look into it more and understand it you’ll find this series to be amazing. So with the way this season ended have we reached the end of K? While it’s been confirmed that an OVA is coming out soon, does this confirm plans for possibly a third season? I doubt it. For me, this series wrapped up nicely with this season and I look forward to seeing what GoHands does next. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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