K: Return of Kings 10 11 12 – METANORN

「K」 Return of Kings 10-12

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Well, looks like somebody got an iPhone 20 for Christmas.

spring15-irenesWell, I took time away from my Christmas festivities to give you a K-Project update! We’re coming down to the wire now, with only one episode left until the end of the series. At this point, I can admit fully that this season has been rather blase in comparison to the previous, and now that we’re coming to the end of the plot, I’m wondering less of how it will all end, and more of if will at least end in a satisfactory enough manner that it can make this sequel venture worthwhile, and perhaps enough to hope for a sequel.

We won’t really know all that until next time, but for now, let’s look at–

The Setup

After having the Dresden Slates stolen, the Coffee Table Alliance has been working tirelessly to try to find a way to beat the Green Clan at its own game. The Green Clan however has started to infiltrate themselves into popular society and the government, which is beginning to lead government mandated clans like SCEPTER 4 at a loss. While all this is going on, Fushimi has made it to the top rank of the Green Clan, but he doesn’t seem to be too impressed with what he sees.

But Nagare Hisui is just getting started. He is one smart and devious king, and in order to stop him, Shiro awakens his long underused research and intelligence skills to figure out a way, and comes up with only one solution–the Silver King will have to destroy the essence and center around his dreams and aspirations. The Slates must be destroyed in order to bring order back to the world that the Green King has gleefully plunged headfirst into chaos.

What are the Reds up to?

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On this lovely holiday, the loli with a heart of fire welcomes you for a pep talk.

Well, really it’s a lot of the same. Red Queen Anna continues to philosophize on what is the meaning of the destructive power of the Reds and how it can be used to protect rather than destroy. However, when she hears that Shiro’s plan is to destroy the Slates and therefore destroying the source for all the Clans’ power, she’s of two minds about it. She would like to get rid of the objects that seem to destine the Red royalty for destruction and disaster, but at the same time, she love the red, fiery power she has been given and what brought her and her clansmen into the Red Clan to begin with.

I can understand her anger at the fact that the Red Clan leaders always seem fated for disaster and that she wants to prevent that, but I honestly think this is another time where a series makes a mountain out of a molehill in an attempt to make an a situation a lot more important or grave than it really is or needs to be. Sure, so far every Red King has been killed by or because of the instability of their own power in a situation that could have or has destroyed the city, but honestly, neither situation was the fault of the Slates necessarily, or even destiny. It was all a choice. The first Red King made a choice to go on a rampage and to endanger lives with his then-unstable powers. Mikoto too was too stubborn and one-track minded to accept any help and take a step back when his own powers were becoming erratic and it too lead to his death. He had a choice to do so several times and decided not to. It had nothing to do with fate, but was simply decisions that those two men decided to make. The only problem was the huge amount of power and  responsibility that comes with their positions as king, and therefore, the concussive ramifications that came with their decisions had catastrophic effects.

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In any case, Anna decides that destroying the Slates is the best option, and so, the Red Clan continues to be what they’ve been throughout the series, and that’s really to just be the background back-up for whatever plan that Shiro cooks up. They do their job and they do it well, but don’t expect them to be more than good-guy muscle at this point. When Shiro crashes his lavish airship into the entrance of the Green Clan headquarters, they stand at the ready to do their part of the plan.

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Somebody is ready for trouble.

We do get a little bit of character development with one of three or so Red clansman that actually make a difference, and that’s is Yata. Of course his development is in the only area that he pretty much gets development in these days, and that’s with basically anything dealing with his old pal and frenemy, Saruhiko Fushimi. Of course things are not as they seem, and Yata realizes once again that he’s underestimated the man he once called his best friend. And so we get a bit of a bromance reunion between the two, as they hash things out between them once again, and one can only hope that this time, the two can finally grow up and just stay friends this time without all this drama.

That’s an empty hope isn’t it? 😛

What are the Golds up to?  

Nothing, nada, not a thing. We haven’t heard a thing from this clan since they decided to pretty much disband after the Gold King’s death, and I have a feeling that we’re most likely not going to.

What are the Greens up to?

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I don’t even think Nagare knows what’s going on anymore.

Really, I honestly thought we would really get a lot more from the Green Clan than we actually did. For a clan that has had as much set-up and room to maneuver as these guys had, I really wish there was more to them than just villains who want to plunge the world into chaos so that a better one could emerge. It’s as cliche as your average “take over the world” plot (of course!), and it really isn’t done any fresher this time around. What had started out as an interesting villain, Nagare really just feels as if he ran out of steam. There’s just not that much going on with him right now. I really just feel as if they started out with an interesting premise of having this long term mastermind that was the puppetmaster behind all of the events of the series so far, and yet had nowhere really for him to go and still have the series end where it wants to be.

Because in the end, despite their power, influence, and numbers, the Green Clan really is rather pathetic. All of the clansmen feel like lost pariahs of society that decided to take solace with each other but never really had any real goal or destination in mind for each other. It’s been a well known fact that hurt people often attract other hurt people, and sometimes this can be a good thing, but other times it can be a “blind leading the blind” situation as well. A plant with go through complex processes and cycles in order to accomplish photosynthesis, and yet in the end, it really it can be summed up as simply a way for the plant to get food to survive. Similar to their plant metaphor, the Green Clan does complex maneuvering to get what they want, and yet, in the end, what they want is so simple and uncomplicated that you have to wonder if we really needed to see all of their steps to get there? They cause a rift in the government in on order to get the Blue Clan off their back, but then they throw away that connection as fast as they get it, in favor of the chaos they want.

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Watch out, fabulousness coming through!

Their plan is so short-sighted, and yet they know it and don’t care, and while this makes them very dangerous, it also makes me less invested in them. Nagare started of as interesting, but now he’s just nuts with nowhere for his character to really go. Yukari hasn’t be much more than the most vain and narcissistic mannequin with a sword, that does nothing but spout threats and fruity dialogue. The bird Kotosaka is nothing but a mouthpiece that shows up when you don’t want him. Sukuna is a bratty little kid that couldn’t make friends and is so far gone that he thinks of everything in terms of video game parameters. Fushimi, well he’s not really that active of a Green Clansman, but we’ll get to more of that in another section. The only one that’s kind of interesting is Iwafune, but being the Grey King and all, I’ll handle him in his own section.

As the others gaze in wonder, Yukari is trying to decide if the green glow compliments his skin. 

As of this point, the end of the Green Clan as we know them has pretty much been telegraphed. Unless some out of nowhere twist comes in the eleventh hour, we all know how this is all going to end for them. I wish that I could feel a little more triumph in their defeat, but as of this point, I really don’t know if I care all that much. 🙁

What are the Blues up to?

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He likes to go out in style.

Well, the Blue Clan honestly got the most development in the shortest amount of time, and yet, I also feel as if, it was development that really should have been common sense. With the Green Clan messing with and influencing the government and Fushimi’s “betrayal” having thrown them all into chaos, SCEPTER 4 feels like they’re up the creek without a paddle. They want to do so much and yet they can’t because of regulations. And unfortunately those regulations they are so tied to, has basically hogtied them into staying out of the Green Clan’s way.

When Reisi was fired as the captain of SCEPTER 4, I was shocked at first and was afraid of how it had affected his already shattered pride, especially with his powers becoming so out of whack and his Sword of Damocles beginning to crumble. However, he seemed to be expecting it and was pretty cool with it. Though I do have to call him out on his mini-pity party that he displayed in episode 10 and 11. As Kusanagi says in the episode, while the government can fire him from his governmental position, no one can “fire” a king. Munakata was and still is the Blue King and honestly, that’s a position that transcends anything that the government decides.

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I was actually amazed at how long it took for the Blue Clan to figure this out. That they are a Clan first, and a governmental enforcement body second. The fact that they were strong armed by the Prime Minister and the Green Clan through him, would have thrown them off, but they should have quickly remembered that they are Blue Clansmen and thus their end all be all authority is not the Japanese government, but their king. All other clans understand this, but I think that the Blue Clan follow the notion of structure and order so much, that it became their weakness. I laughed outloud when Seri, thinking she had no other choice but to resign in order to help her captain, is shocked when the next in line that she turns over authority to, basically says “screw the prime minister” and gives everyone the orders that she should have given in the first place. The Blue Clan still has a job to do and they are meant to stand behind their king, and that’s what they are going to do, no matter what anyone else says.

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It’s about time you got your butts in gear, Blue Clan.

One Blue Clansman that understood that fully, is Saruhiko Fushimi, who we discover is like most of us thought, acting as an undercover agent in order to find the Green Clan’s base and open the gates for the allies. Honestly, the Green Clan have no one to blame but their own arrogance and hubris for what happens next. Considering Fushimi’s history, any clan would  be a fool to trust the guy with all your secrets right off the bat. It wasn’t really that surprising that it was Munakata that had sent him, I was pretty 50/50 on that, but I’m glad that it got confirmed. They actually do bring up the fact that Fushimi is not very well suited for the Red or Blue Clan, and that the Green Clan actually suits him better, however it’s interesting that the former turncoat doesn’t want that either. I have a feeling that while Fushimi might have been tempted by the free nature of the Green Clan, he is honestly a pretty loyal guy, despite what he says and his own reputation. He wouldn’t betray Munakata anymore, then he really could Yata, Anna, or even Mikoto. He left the Red Clan, but in all honesty, he didn’t betray them. He and Yata of course have their heart to heart about the subject, and it seems that both have settled into their position of being in two different clans, and yet still having each other’s backs.

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Fushimi: “You’re late.”

Yata: “Well, you know how I like to make an entrance.”

As for Munakata himself, it takes him a little reminding of his position and that he doesn’t have to always go it alone, by both Anna and his own men, but he’s determined that he can’t let Nagare do what he wants. He’s still got arrogance and pride to spare, and honestly, I think that if his Clansmen hadn’t come to back him up, he would have lost once again to the Grey King. I’m still not sure if he’s learned his lesson yet, but right now, he’s got bigger things to contend with. He might have taken down another king, but once again fighting and defeating another king puts a great toll on his already unstable powers and he no longer has control of his Damocles Sword, which is a very dangerous situation for everyone.

What are the Silvers up to?

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You know what? One of these days I’m going to clean these windows. 

Really, I’ve pretty much given up on the Silver Clan doing anything interesting. They are the one that make up the plan to destroy the Slates, using research that Adolph’s sister had come up with as a failsafe if the Slates ever went out of control. This has to be a big decision for the Shiro, since all of his life’s work were devoted to these Slates, and the Clan System has been around for the past decades, giving life to a crippled Japan, and helping the Clans provide law and order in the city. Yet, it will not be worth it if the Green King’s plan is allowed to continue, and this is the only way that Shiro can see out of it.

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I wish they had really given the Silver Clan more to do this season, but honestly, they’ve been pretty much left by the wayside. It’s obvious that the Silver King will be the one to face off against the Green King and to take care of the Slates now that everyone in the world has begun sprouting special powers, and I will give hope that this final episode with at least have something of interest for him to do. Neko continues to be a big-boobed infantile bore, and Kuroh gives our clan its name finally (as dumb as it is) of Hakumaitou, and he’s going to be fighting his final showdown against Yukari. We’ll have to see if in the end they will really get rid of the Clans and their powers, especially considering that Shiro’s only this vibrant and young because of his power of immortality. How this will all end of him, we’ll have to see.

What is the Grey up to?

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Well, he was only there for a few episodes, but he did end up being the most interesting other Green Clan members. Seigo Ootori aka Tenkai Iwafune aka The Grey King, was the one with the most experience and the most baggage. A man that had lived through so much and was haunted by so much, that he was basically trapped by his package. Sure he helped Nagare live and grow and supported him, but in reality, he knew what he was doing was wrong and yet, he too hurt to care.

He was much a man similar to Munakata in ideals and a desire for peace and order and to simply use his powers to help others. However, when he lost his entire clan in his desire to help others, and his own phenomenal power could do nothing to save them, everything that made him what he was died that day with them.

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A sad life with a sad end…

Now having all of your clan die like that, is as sharp a blow as one can possibly receive, and there are very few that I think could possible understand how he feels. Seigo made some wrong choices after that in order to deal with the pain, but it was obvious that he did feel quite a bit of regret, and he knew that helping Nagare was the wrong thing to do, and yet at that point he had no idea of what else to do . His talk with Nagare before his confrontation with Munakata is probably the most telling, showing a man who is living in the past and has no strength or desire to move beyond the pain he has, or at least can never see a way out of it. And in the end, a man with purpose can overcome a man who has none, and while Munakata has a death sentence literally hanging over his head, Ootori’s time had come a long time ago.

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So, we’re now at the end, how will this all go forth from here? Will all the superpowers be gone for good? Will we ever learn Neko’s backstory despite her whiny protests? Will Munakata go the way of Mikoto, or will he get a better end? With Shiro finally get to do something this time around? And will they stop continuously reusing their stock footage over and over again?! How about next time, instead of putting all your money in a pointless 8-minute sequence that you pointlessly show multiple times, you spread your budget out a bit and give us something nice to see the whole way through. Is that really so hard? Sigh.

One more episode to go,「K」, don’t disappoint me.

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At least the bromance is in full swing. 

About

A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
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8 Responses to “「K」 Return of Kings 10-12”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    These past entries have been thrilling so overlooking any minor faults is granted. Recurring frames in parts of the battle sequences can more or less pass because it’s something I’ve come to expect from the show after watching the first season. Like, if you know a show’s shtick, you shouldn’t be surprised when it’s used.

    Seeing the students spontaneously develop powers, unable to know what to do with them proves without a doubt that mankind in its entirety was and probably may never be ready for such a thing. Nagare surely knows this but still presses on and that mindset is what makes him frightening. He’s purely and unapologetically a first class anarchist.

    To me, like Shiro, the Silver Clan is serving more as overseers and directors in the fight against the Green Clan, using the Red and Blue Clans as the arms and legs. Just like it shows, Shiro makes the plans, Kuroh is his personal body guard and Neko is there to comfort him. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it nonetheless counts as participation and I never pegged Shiro as the physical type. Any direct confrontation towards them mostly comes when Yukari intervenes.

    I guess it shouldn’t come as a shock Fushimi turned out to be a mole under Reisi’s orders. His priors do make him the most eligible candidate. Still, if he really had turn traitor again, I’d have stuck with my assumption that he dislikes bonds and relationships. His personality is difficult to understand.

    That’s two Kings slain by Reisi’s hands. I haven’t seen the final episode yet but unless something game changing happens, he may be looking at a double whammy and it’s no guarantee the population around him won’t get caught in the process.

    • akagami says:

      I have to agree, it’s been a pretty fun ride. I had initially thought the animation quality had dipped, but that was just the poor quality TV version I had for one of the earlier episodes.

      The reused scenes stick out like a sore thumb, but as you mentioned, it’s been entertaining enough that you can forgive.

      Where’s the new gold king and colorless king? The new kings should have popped up by now, no? I want a battle royale!!!

      Btw BlackBriar, did you watch the Strike the Blood OVAs? I just noticed that the 2nd OVA was released recently.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Btw BlackBriar, did you watch the Strike the Blood OVAs? I just noticed that the 2nd OVA was released recently.

        No, not yet. I’ve been waiting for both OVAs to be released and subbed. Also for the hope any of the download sites I visit would have them encoded. No signs of that so now I’m forced to endure the means of streaming to see them.

        • akagami says:

          These is a decent sub by Febreze for the first OVAs.

          • akagami says:

            First two OVAs. Missed a word =P

          • BlackBriar says:

            Thanks for info. I’ll check it out later.

            While we’re a certain subject, have you been following up on Seraph of the End? Especially up to the second season’s final episode?

            • akagami says:

              No, my backlog is pretty massive. Just got around to watching from start to finish Nekomonogatari the other day. I’m only like, what, 3 years late?

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