K: Missing Kings Review – METANORN

K: Missing Kings Review

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Grab some popcorn! It’s time for a movie review

winter15-foshSince the next season of K is about to start in a few weeks I decided why not talk about the movie since it comes after the first season and connects the second season which is really cool! Much like the Code Geass Boukoku no Akito OVA series that takes place in between the first and second seasons and for this special post I brought on Irenesharda who has impressive knowledge about the current kings!

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spring15-irenesIn a world where history took a slightly different turn, seven beings have been given the power to lay the world to waste if they so chose…and instead they use it to power a bunch of gangsters, a small (but elite) police force, and the second coming of the Hindenburg. Come on guys, don’t you have any sort of delusions of grandeur? But then again, we wouldn’t have them any other way. The world of kings was introduced to us in [K] back in 2012. Whispers of a sequel in the works went on for years, and finally this coming Fall Season, it will arrive! But before you even think about watching the premiere, the geniuses of GoHands gave you a little bit of a present to whet your appetite. This–is Missing Kings.

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Kick Ass Animation

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Anna is ready for a BBQ!

It’s quite interesting to see all the hard work studio Go Hands did with K! I remember being absolutely blown away by their unique art style and camera use back in 2012 which put them against Shaft’s Nisemonogatari and Ufotable’s 2nd half of Fate/Zero as far as mind-blowing animation goes, but how did Go Hands get the kind of budgets of Shaft or Ufotable, especially with their very small backlog of anime from Madock Scramble, Coppelion and the over the top WTF ecchi-ness of SYD? I guess we can praise them for SYD getting them noticed because the first season came out in 2010, so maybe SYD sold a bunch? I mean it really is crazy that their most successful series are SYD and K, but anyway were here to talk about the movie which is fantastic to look at! Now I can’t go into as much detail as Irenesharda did below; however I really loved how the focus of the movie wasn’t spent just on Neko and Kurou searching for Shiro because that would have been really boring! And timeline wise this is a year later since Shiro went missing. For the most part the movie revolved around the eventual reveal of the new red king, who was Anna, I mean who else was so close to Mikoto when he was alive? I suppose most of us thought that Izumo would take over or maybe Misaki? Those are the only other characters I would pick from besides Anna.

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Kukuri’s only appearance for the entire movie!

While we have our main cast back along with the same actors we also get new characters like Yukari Mishakuji who is in the green clan and is apparently the rival of Kurou because they shared a master I think? It was also funny to learn he was voiced by Masakazu Morita or as I know him Ichigo from Bleach and for those watching Dragon Ball Super he also voices Whis, but it’s still crazy to hear him as any villain. Then again Ichigo does have his hollow form which is just an evil version of the same character so it totally works. I forget what Yukari’s goal was in the movie I guess he was thrown in to fight any clan willing to get in his way or was he just around to stop the red king? I know he wanted to capture Anna for whatever reason? It ha been a while, but he was still a very awesome mini boss for the movie because it gave Kurou a chance to show off his fighting skills or was it more of a way for Go Hands to show off? I can’t imagine them putting all that effort into the TV series and not show off for the movie. Besides the amazing fight scenes which are the number one reason I enjoy K so much I also love how they use the special powers like Neko’s illusions, Kurou’s magic stretching hand, Izumo’s fireballs, Anna’s tracking and Misaki’s strength. I still feel that K could cross over into Railgun/Index universe somehow, but yeah I say that about any magic/super power anime…

Kool Kings

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The blue king still cool~

Honestly, I wish there were more anime movies that were done as well as Missing Kings was for the K franchise. Many such movies that come after a series usually are either recaps of the entire series which is useless for those who have already seen the series, or it is a stand alone thing that really doesn’t contribute to the overall storyline and while enjoyable, you can skip it if you want.

Not so, for Missing Kings…This sequel to the 2012 series is not only a great story unto itself, but it is also necessary for you see in order to be prepared for this season’s sequel series, K: Return of Kings. So what exactly happens in it? Well, firstly, I would suggest you watch the movie yourself if you can. But if you’re not able to, and/or don’t care about spoilers, then here are the highlights:

In the first series, we learned the basic mythology behind the world, That through the power of the Dresden Slates, a scientist working for the National Socialist German Worker’s Party in 1940’s Germany, named Adolf K. Weismann was able to harness special abilities known as “aura” that garner the principles of the Earth, time, space, and reality. Decades later, these abilities fell into the hands of the Japanese, giving rise to seven incredibly superpowered beings, and through them, seven superpowered clans, not as powerful as their leaders, but dangerous all the same. These seven clans are unique from each other, each with specific traits, characteristics, and personalities. The leaders of these clans are known as kings, and it is they that control and rule the country from the shadows. Each of the kings are ranked by number and color, designating their level and type of power, the order in which their position was created, and what level of the spectrum they operate upon. These seven are:

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Knowing all this information, following the finale battle of last season, three kings disappeared that day, two are confirmed dead, and one’s status is unknown. No new kings for any of the three clans have been chosen. By the movie’s start, half a year has passed. The Red Clan a.k.a. the HOMRA gang, without any sort of leadership, fell apart. The Silver Clan has been tirelessly searching for their king, without success, not knowing if he’s actually dead, but hoping that his unofficial title as the “Immortal King” indeed rings true.

Silver clansmen, Kuroh Yatogami and Neko find themselves helping out Red clansmen, the lovely loli, Anna Kushina, and Rikio Kamamoto, who if you don’t recognise, it’s because they decided to completely change his character design from the lovable fatso to a just as lovable bishie and blame it on “weight loss”.  The two of them are on the run from members of the Green Clan known as “<jungle>”, who for some odd reason are after little red princess Anna.

Much of the movie is chases and fights between the Silver and Green Clansmen, specifically Kuroh and his ex-fellow clansman and new character to the series, Yukari Mishakuji. As a character Yukari is one of those types that everyone is familiar with, and yet not one that you quite know how to explain. He’s evil, and yet he’s so charming, he’s so despicable, and yet he’s not entirely wrong in regards to his ideals either. He left the Colorless Clan to join the Green Clan, and is now one of three characters in the series that developed the rare ability to wield two colors. He and Kuroh have major beef from back in their days as Colorless Clansmen, and much of their screentime is spent fighting each other. It’s through him and his compadres that we get to know the Green Clan for the first time and the Green King Nagare Hisui, who we never see on screen, but he definitely makes his presence known.

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Dude is this JOJO?!

The Green Clan, <jungle>, is being set up for becoming the villains of this new incoming season. Their reason for kidnapping little Anna is never really explained and you quickly realize that there is much more to what’s going on than can be seen on the surface. The Green Clan is up to something sinister, they’ve become so bold that they dared to intrude on the Gold King’s territory without permission while he’s suddenly disappeared. Did I mention the Gold King disappeared? Yeah, he disappeared, and I’ll give you two guesses as to where. The Gold and Silver Kings go together like peanut butter and jam, and if one has mysteriously vanished, you can bet that the other knows something about it.

Well, it turns out the Gold King Daikaku and the, quite alive and still immortal Silver King Adolf, have been hiding away for the past months, staying out of sight and contact from anyone including their own clansmen, on Weismann’s newly rebuilt airship. Daikaku it seems, knew that the Green Clan would be coming and that they are coming after Adolf, and that’s the reason he asked him to stay hidden from them. The Silver King does what he says as a favor and also to take care of his old friend, as the man is actually in his last days. We forget that these two are the only original first generation kings still left, and Daikaku doesn’t have Adolf’s eternal youth. I’m glad that he died a rather peaceful death, though in the process, dumping everything in the Silver King’s lap.

Now for the Silver King himself, he too agrees that it’s time that he stopped hiding from the world, and with change on the horizon and an uncertain future ahead, it’s time he stepped up instead of stepping back. We don’t know what those coming changes, but it does place a foreboding shadow over this new season. You’ll notice I’ve been calling him Adolf this entire time as well, and that’s for a reason. While still in the more youthful body of Yashiro Isana, the first king seems to be looking and acting more and more like his original self with every word, while he does have a new sense of purpose now, the way he carries himself, stands, walks, talks, even his new clothing and hair style show a deeper maturity than before, which I’m actually rather glad about. I was never keen on the whole high school angle of the original series, and I can’t see them spending too much time there in the sequel. Despite his looks, our main character is actually in his late 90s to early 100s, there is a maturity of mind and nature there, and I’ll be interested in seeing him now more as the adult Adolf, more than the teenage Yashiro, in the sequel series.

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Misaki-“Who the hell are these lame ass cosplayers behind me.”

But the 1st King isn’t the star of this movie, that spot actually belongs to little Anna. Her powers are misbehaving and it doesn’t get any better after she is captured and caged by the Greens for some unknown purpose. It becomes obvious what’s happening to her about midway through the movie, but the scene when she is revealed as Suoh’s successor still takes your breath away. The animation, which has been gorgeous all series, is even more amazing here. But even before her transformation into superhuman royalty, the dream sequence between her, Suoh, and Tatara is just as beautiful in its simplicity. The three of them finally being able to say goodbye, Suoh passing his mantle onto her, and acknowledges the red she loves so much is now in her. It’s just such a lovely scene, and it really puts new meaning to Mikoto and Anna’s close connection in the first series. No longer princess, Anna has become a wonderful Red Queen (I believe in keeping with a word’s gender, even if the series does not), and the Red Clan has already accepted her with open arms. She’s still young and doesn’t speak much, but then again, so was Mikoto, and she has Kusanagi and Yata to help her lead. And if you thought seeing Suoh owning every scene was awesome, pyrokinetic Queen Anna is going to blow everyone away. Suck on that Carrie! There’s a new firestarter in town! And she wears red so much better…

If that wasn’t enough plot points for a single movie, we do get some other slight advancements for our other vast supporting characters. Our psycho frenemies Yata and Fushimi are still…well, frenemies, but they are indeed much more amiable than they were in the first season. It seems that while they won’t admit it to each other, both have changed and matured a little since the battle at on the island. Speaking of SCEPTER 4, the Blues don’t do much other than sustain a perimeter on the Gold territory all movie. though what insight we have is on their king, Reisi Munakata. It’s been some time since he was forced to kill his friend and fellow king, Mikoto, and while he seems unaffected even to the point of probably being able to fool himself, his Sword of Damocles shows the truth, and that the weight of the guilt has caused a crack in his very soul. Anna comments about him having to deal with the weight, and Munakata seems content, almost accepting of the wound. Honestly, despite how affected HOMRA was, the Blue King was probably the most afflicted by Suoh’s death but as king he has no allowance to be able to display such emotion or weakness or regret over what he had to do. So, instead his emotions are staying undealt with and bottled up. I willing to bet that this fact will end up becoming a plot point in the new series. I don’t have any guesses as to how, but it will factor in somewhere.

Well, that’s about it. the movie ends once again with everything in flux. We’ve gained one Queen, but lost a King. One King has decided that it’s time for him to come out of hiding, while another is holding onto his guilt like a badge of self-flagellation. And one King is about to make his move with a rather sinister purpose. Change is coming to this world and we’re going have a front row seat as this next season begins, giving us the next chapter in the saga as the world prepares for the Return of Kings.

Extra Neko

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Bored Neko is cute <3

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Breast buddies forever.

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Gotta love derp Neko

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Castin spells yo~

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Yes Neko fights a damn bird.

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Neko-“Oh snap! I ran out of magic nya!”

End thoughts

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Overall I loved this movie because it was more of the same from the first season or a really really really long ass episode! Again the animation, fight scenes, characters were really awesome, but this movie was more like Anna’s story and who was going to take over as the new red king. I also liked how we got some touching moments with Anna and Mikoto even though it was mostly in her head it was still nice to see Mikoto kind of give her a push in the right direction to step up and take the red king’s power for herself. That and Neko wow I didn’t realize how much I have missed that character even though most probably find her to be more annoying than actually useful, but I think she has her moments and who knows maybe we will learn more about her with the next season? Speaking of the new season I don’t really know what to say about the next season other than I hope we get to see the other kings along with new characters. So what did you like about this movie or have you not checked it out? I would assume you have or are planning on watching it soon? Either way I can’t wait for the next season to start.

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I’m so excited for this new series. For me, I just started watching this series only a few weeks ago, and the movie right after, so it’s all very fresh in my memory right now. I do feel sorry for all you guys who did have to watch the first series episodically when it was first coming out, since I think the pacing issues that many mentioned are done away with if you binge watched them all together. I think it took the series a bit of time to find its stride (about to episode 6 or 7 in the series) but it eventually found its way. And the movie shows that they’ve improved much since those first toddling steps the series had to take at its start. I’m expecting them to hit the ground running with this new sequel, and I can’t wait.

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27 Responses to “K: Missing Kings Review”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    It’s been a while since Metanorn had a movie review. I remember the last one being on Blood-C: The Last Dark which was the sequel to the original Blood-C series. Fortunately, the movie was a huge improvement/recovery from its shabby predecessor.

    I have to say that Missing Kings was a visually beautiful and awesome follow-up to an already unique and colorful series with a slightly more original storyline. Not to mention the nostalgia from seeing known characters again while getting to know new ones.

    Though I didn’t see it coming when I should have, it makes sense of Anna being Mikoto’s successor to the Red Clan since they both were inseparable as though they were siblings. With her as the new Red King (actually a Red Queen), HOMRA has another chance at being a full-fledged brotherhood, so Yata should be more than pleased after trying to shoulder their spirit solo when the group broke up. And kudos to them after watching the first season, they, without a doubt, behave as a group with ties and bonds to each other that goes beyond blood whereas Scepter 4, the Blue Clan, looks more based on a cold hierarchy. Now that Anna’s awakened to her powers, I could only imagine the confliction in her looking at Reisi, Mikoto’s killer, in front of her. Naturally, if not for her better sense of judgment, she’d probably want to tear him apart.

    I forget what Yukari’s goal was in the movie I guess he was thrown in to fight any clan willing to get in his way or was he just around to stop the red king?

    Yukari, a newly initiated member of the Green Clan “Jungle” after the previous Colorless King died, was tasked to be the head of the operation hunting Anna down so they’d use her power to track down Shiro because, without clarification at the moment, the Green King sees him as a threat. And based on what I saw, the guy has a huge ego thinking of himself as Kuroh’s mentor and that his “junior” just can’t keep up with him.

    You’re not going to believe this but I saw an ANN article for the second season giving some bios on the characters. Despite his juvenile looks, Yukari is 30 years old!! I’d like to know his secret.

    Pretty much common knowledge each clan has their specifics but I found “Jungle” especially impressive given the Green King can disperse his power, creating potential clansmen, through the internet. A very sneaky and ever-reaching ability since everyone in the modern day world is so dependent on technology the uses the net. If the Green King was strongest of 7, the whole city would be his playground by now.

    I can’t say the Gold King’s passing saddened me since it seemed to be his time. He was 96 years old at the time of his death. He lived a long life. Not a lot of screen time on him but I’m sure he was revered as a tough but fair leader. The Red Clan has Anna so I’m wondering who’ll succeed the Gold and Colorless clans. Indeed an interesting mix to have a monarchy-like setting in a modern day world but the next in line don’t necessarily have to be blood related.

    Overall, I didn’t regret watching “Missing Kings” in the slightesr. It was great from start to finish and has me hyped for “Return of Kings”. Among other things, anticipation is on what will become of Reisi due to his Clan Sword beginning to crack, possibly from the result of him killing a King. Which also leaves to wonder what would’ve happened to Mikoto were he still alive after he killed the Colorless King with Shiro’s help.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I have this sneaky suspicion that they don’t call Anna “Queen” because the word “queen” doesn’t carry the same weight that a “king” does in the Japanese language. But I will be calling her “queen” as long as she is one. And from what I’ve seen, she’s the first female to be one of the 7, so there isn’t any precedent.

      I think Weismann might be the key to helping Reisi. We haven’t really looked into everything about his powers since he really didn’t make his debut until the very last few episodes of the series. I want to really see why he’s the strongest of the kings. I think that maybe his power of invulnerability may factor in to the blue king’s situation. It was probably way too late for Mikoto.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I can’t say the Gold King’s passing saddened me since it seemed to be his time. He was 96 years old at the time of his death. He lived a long life. Not a lot of screen time on him but I’m sure he was revered as a tough but fair leader.

      I’m wondering what kind of leader Weismann will be now that he’s decided to step up to his role that’s mostly just been ceremonial thus far.

    • Foshizzel says:

      anticipation is on what will become of Reisi due to his Clan Sword beginning to crack, possibly from the result of him killing a King

      Yeah it might be time to find a new blue king! Maybe we will see a passing of the crown in the new season? As for who will take that crown id put money on Seri Awashima! Then again how cool would it be for Saruhiko Fushimi to take over as their king? That is probably not going to happen but who knows id love it.

      • IreneSharda says:

        I can’t see Seri ever being a king, she’s too much of Reisi’s follower. She’s not ready, even if I thought she ever could be. She’s a lot like Kusinagi, a steady number two, neither are meant to be the full leader. I honestly would see Fushimi eventually becoming king, though I’m not sure. I can’t see him ever becoming completely blue. He’s able to use blue and red aura for a reason. He’s too orderly and purpose-minded for the red, and yet he’s too short of temper and fiery of heart for a blue, so I think he will always be in between.

        However, to be honest, I don’t think that Reisi is going to step down, if he does go out (and I don’t think he will), it will be in death. His replacement will probably be someone else random, like how the Colorless King’s replacement was someone else unrelated to the Colorless Clan.

        • Foshizzel says:

          However, to be honest, I don’t think that Reisi is going to step down, if he does go out (and I don’t think he will), it will be in death.

          Yeah agreed.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I do feel sorry for all you guys who did have to watch the first series episodically when it was first coming out, since I think the pacing issues that many mentioned are done away with if you binge watched them all together.

    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And depending on the viewers, it’s mostly about patience and tolerance. As someone who waits to see what happens next as long as nothing bothersome/annoying shows up, I was alright with the first season’s pacing.

    • Foshizzel says:

      OOooh yeah when I tagged with Kyo on season one there were a few episodes that left me like WHAT? NO! I NEED MORE, but that is the pain of being an episodic blogger sometimes cliffhangers come with the job and agreed BB it really is about having patience…

      • IreneSharda says:

        I grew up on television always having cliffhangers every couple of weeks, and I read them in books all the time, so when I see them so much in anime nowadays, I welcome it.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I mentioned Yukari’s age in my earlier comment, so I think it only fair the give everyone else’s. I think it helps get a better grasp at the character’s sense of maturity.

    Source: Anime Spotlight – K RETURN OF KINGS

    Yashiro Isana (Daisuke Namikawa): Age: 18
    Kuroh Yatogami (Daisuke Ono): Age: 19
    Neko (Mikako Komatsu): Age: 16
    Anna Kushina (Yui Horie): Age 12
    Reisi Munakata (Tomokazu Sugita): Age: 25
    Nagare Hisui (Kazuyuki Okitsu): Age: 25
    Izumo Kusanagi (Takahiro Sakurai): Age: 27
    Misaki Yata (Jun Fukuyama): Age: 20
    Rikio Kamamoto (Yūichi Nakamura): Age: 21
    Seri Awashima (Miyuki Sawashiro): Age: 23
    Saruhiko Fushimi (Mamoru Miyano): Age: 20
    Yukari Mishakuji (Masakazu Morita) : Age: 30
    Douhan Hirasaka (Kaori Nazuka): Age: 28
    Mikoto Suoh (Kenjiro Tsuda): Age: 24 (at time of death)
    Tatara Totsuka (Yuki Kaji): Age: 22 (at time of death)
    Daikaku Kokujoji (Shozo Iizuka): Age:96 (at time of death)
    Kukuri Yukizome (Satomi Sato): Age:18

    • Foshizzel says:

      Great to see a majority of the characters rocking that 20+ age range even though everyone minus Anna of course look 18 just based of physical appearances hahaha

    • IreneSharda says:

      Technically “Yashiro Isana’s” body is 18, but the person inside him is really in his 90s. Honestly, I really don’t even consider Shiro a real person anymore. He’s a shell that Weismann uses since he can’t move back to his original body for some reason. In fact, I noted above that “Shiro” is actually becoming more like Wiesmann by the movie, which I’m glad about as that will move the series away from the school atmosphere, which I think was what really weakened it in the beginning half. The more you moved away from school and teens, the better it was. In fact, even Kuroh calls him “Wiesmann” more than “Shiro”, the only one who still consistently calls him that is the infantile Neko.

      And I can’t believe that Yukari is older than Suoh or Reisi, they seem so mature in comparison.

  4. zztop says:

    But before you even think about watching the premiere, the geniuses of GoHands gave you a little bit of a present!

    At least GoHands’s doing well. On the other side, I’ve heard anime studio Manglobe’s just filed for bankruptcy. Not only does this put their projects like the upcoming Genocidal Organ movie into disarray, but there’s a few angry animators who still haven’t got their paycheck yet.

    • Foshizzel says:

      I heard about manglobe and damn that sucks! Sadly I wasn’t a big fan of Gangsta even though it had a great start it just got boring and the overuse of shadow in that series is terrible! I know they gotta censore the blood and stuff.

      I wish their animators luck in finding work with other studios.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Well, the animators can’t be blamed for being angry. Their investments have just gone up in smoke. Losing their job and not receiving two months worth of income… It should be impossible to not be sympathetic to their distasteful situation.

  5. Painboy says:

    This series looks interesting. Is there a place to watch this other than Hulu? The stream looks like a blurry pixelated mess and it has commercials.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I don’t know about the series. A considerable number of sites have probably terminated their links to it by now.

      If it’s for the movie “K: Missing Kings”, my best advice in that regard would be to find a torrent with a reasonable memory size and download it. That way, you can avoid most problems that come with streaming.

    • IreneSharda says:

      There are plenty of places across the net that you can see it both subbed and dubbed. You can get the series on DVD now. Officially, I think iTunes has it too, but just search the web, you’ll find it.

      • Painboy says:

        Looks like I found one. Animation is quite nice. The color gamuts they are using are certainly unique. A little all over the place in the first couple of episodes but it seems to be catching its stride as it progresses.

        • IreneSharda says:

          It’s an awesome show with a cool mythology, once you catch up, we’ll be glad to have you join us for the sequel!

  6. akagami says:

    I finally got around to watching the movie today, and it was a great bridge to the second season! More Neko, more blue/red rivalry, more Kuroh being indecisive ^^, more artistic angles (with random fanservice stuck in… I didn’t notice it while watching, but in the SS above of Kukuri they snuck in a panty shot)

    Now I can get around to watching S2!! Although it looks like the animation quality has fallen at a glance. =/

    • BlackBriar says:

      Better late than never, akagami. Welcome to the club!!!

      I take it you’ve been working on your backlog given it’s been a while since you last commented. 😉

      Although it looks like the animation quality has fallen at a glance.

      Hmmm… Looks more like GoHands was trying something new and returned to their usual animation method after a trial run.

      • akagami says:

        I discovered FF8! And have also been marathoning One Piece to catch up, I’m now about halfway through the Dress Rosa arc. And some older series (like Da Capo III).

        Hmmm… Looks more like GoHands was trying something new and returned to their usual animation method after a trial run.

        It might be the broadcast quality, so much fuzz. Plus the one scene I saw had the mouth continuing to open and close while the talking stopped and before it started again later. Lazy animation.

      • akagami says:

        Also really behind in this season’s shows, so I can’t comment on anything =/

        • BlackBriar says:

          Well, it looks like most shows this season will end almost two weeks before the month is over. That might be your limited time window.

          Random question: Have you been following the Seraph of the End anime lately?

          • akagami says:

            The only show that I’m close to being caught up is Asterisk. Which is funny, because I dropped it after the first episode and only picked it up after Highway’s review of episode 2 and the introduction of Saya.

            Although I did read the Seraph manga before the first season aired, which I think goes pretty far into the second season. I think I got to chapter 34 or so.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Yeah, I’ve been watching Asterisk myself as a moderately interesting anime but things have gotten very interesting with the introduction of new character and opponent, Irene Urzaiz in episode 10.

              Well, the author has been in charge of the Seraph anime adaptation since the beginning and things have gotten pretty far with the second season. The recently released 9th episode of the second season covered chapter 34: “Asura’s Power” and chapter 35: “Traitorous Allies”. Not to mention the manga’s 40th chapter is supposed to be released sometime soon.

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