We’re finally here! The very last episode of K: Return of Kings has arrived. I am both saddened and a little relieved to have finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel.
Shiro and Neko are racing through JUNGLE’S underground base, trying to reach Nagare and the Dresden Slates before it is too late. And go figure, Neko was actually of use in this episode, although I could have done without the panty shots arising from her cat-like movements during her quick rumble with the JUNGLE peons.
Several floors above, Kuroh and Yukari face off for the last time. Both guys are fighting for their kings, but who will be the victor? Kuroh, naturally. ^_~ But he lets Yukari live. Boooo
Meanwhile HOMRA gets ready to put their master attack plan into action, and Seri keeps a close eye on Reisi in case she needs to kill him before his Sword of Damocles falls.
I think the biggest surprise of the episode was that we actually DO finally find out Neko’s backstory: she is a survivor of the Kagutsu Incident 14 years prior, and while Nagare received King powers as a result, Miyabi Ameno became a Strain. In exchange, Nagare became a reanimated corpse and Miyabi had to manipulate her own memory to live as a cat. I’m assuming her new Strain powers are what gave her the ability to actually transform as a cat too, not just live as one.
Nagare, Neko and Shiro exchange some heated words before they launch into battle. HOMRA aids Shiro by using their firepower to blast a hole through all of the underground floors, clearing a path for Reisi’s — no, Shiro’s Damocles Down! Concentrating such devastating powers squarely at the Slates was apparently Shiro’s plan. Sacrifice himself in exchange for eliminating Nagare and all of their King powers.
In the end, Shiro’s plan goes off as planned. The gush of power resulting from the collision between the Slates and Shiro’s Sword of Damocles blasts upwards towards the sky and heals Reisi, preventing his impending Damocles Down. This was a bit of a letdown because I wanted to see if Seri would really have to kill him, and that he lives is a little disappointing because it essentially renders both Goki and Seri near-useless this season. Seri manages to sneak in a punch to Reisi’s perfect face, and I’ll admit to cheering for her, just a little.
However, Shiro (Adolf K. Weismann) has used up all of his power, and now that Kings are no more, he fades away, returning the body of Yashiro Isana to its original soul. Yukari and Sukuna are left alive, and they leave to go who knows where.
The episode ends with everything returning to normal – almost. Neko is now a student at the highschool on School Island, Kuroh is either a student or still the housekeeper, and an aged up Shiro sits around the table in his dorm room eating with his two former clansmen.
My thoughts: I was really glad to see Neko’s background revealed, because I said previously that I didn’t think us viewers were going to find out by the end of the show. I also liked that Mikoto’s spirit made a brief appearance in order to support/aid Anna when she launched her clan’s attack on JUNGLE’s underground lair. It was a sweet moment.+
As mentioned earlier in this review, I was a little disappointed that Seri and Neko really didn’t have to do much throughout the series, aside from some fighting. The same applies to Goki Zenjo. Suspense was built up surrounding whether one of them would have to kill Reisi, and then that just fizzed away to nothing in the final minutes. Way to be anti-climactic GoHands. -_-
But was anyone else a little creeped out by an older Shiro sitting at the table with two high-school aged students? After the Silver King’s spirit left Shiro’s adolescent body, he (the real Shiro) is shown to not recognize Neko or Kuroh. After the timeskip post-credits, Shiro is referred to as the school’s new teacher, “Mr. German”, and he clearly looks much older than they are. I’m assuming that since he is now a teacher at the school, they’re are making new memories with him… but I still find it odd is all. o_o It was a weird ending.
From start to finish, Return of Kings is a very pretty anime full of good tunes and lots of action. I wasn’t a huge K fan going into this season (having only recently watched the first season on Netflix), and I’m still not a huge fan now that the season is over. However, there were some things which I definitely enjoyed about this show.
Story: This show has its share of action, but the story itself is pretty basic. Return of Kings is all about JUNGLE’s rapid rise to power, and the other clans teaming up to take the Green Clan down. Full stop, end of story. While we learned more about the Kagutsu Incident, and how Nagare and Neko’s backstory tied into it, other things were glossed over. Goki Zenjo’s supposed role to kill Reisi comes to mind, as well as Reisi’s forthcoming demise.
I did however appreciate certain “conflicts” which arose throughout the show, such as whether humans could be trusted with supernatural powers versus humans using their new powers to cause chaos and suffering. I do enjoy a good debate. Neko and Nagare have one of these discussion in the final episode, with Nagare saying that he and Neko had everything both given to and taken from them by the Slates, and that they should have the power of the Slates to protect themselves. Neko vehemently denies this, saying that she doesn’t need powers, only good food and someone to eat it with.
Characters: I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the characters, for one reason or another. I found many to be simply whiny, boring or annoying. Yata and Fushimi, for example, were brats in the beginning of the season but more or less redeemed themselves by the final episode. Neko was just a nuisance, though I know she was probably meant to be a comedic relief. I did like most of the Kings, and Anna coming into her powers as the new Red King was pretty neat. I also really loved the scene near the end of the season where Yata and Fushimi began to mend their friendship, and if there is a third season I hope that they are able to figure their friendship out. Or maybe that will be covered in future manga, who knows.
I of course have to take a moment (or a minute) and mention the large amounts of unwarranted and unwanted fanservice in Return of Kings. While Seri and Neko both had scenes where they shone in battle, more often than not close-ups of their body were simply used as an excuse to highlight their breasts and/or genital area. Seri was also shown in many unrealistic “rubber” poses which only served to highlight how ridiculous the fanservice was. There was enough fanservice in this show that it made me like the show a lot less, I’ll put it that way. :/ Yes they have huge breasts, I get it. Yes their clothes are way too tight/short, I get it. I don’t need it shoved in my face every episode, or every other episode at that. At least not without some of the guys wearing less in exchange.
Music & Animation: Top notch. While the music was starting to get a little repetitive as I neared the end of the season, the tracks still got me movin’ and groovin’. (…Now I feel old.) I would certainly consider buying the OST if I can find it online. The animation, rubber fanservice aside, was fantastic. In particular the animation team’s use of colour during some of the wider shots made this show really stand out, and the amount of detail in some of the segue shots (ie outside of HOMRA’s bar, downtown) had absurd amounts of detail. While the use of colour was starting to become overdone by the time we passed the season’s halfway mark, it was thankfully toned down near the end of the series. As pretty as all of the colours were, there is such a thing as too much.
Overall Thoughts: K: Return of Kings is a neat show, with a straightforward plot and awesome music and graphics. Negatives like irritating characters and too much fanservice are what lowered my final score, otherwise I would have graded it higher. I would not recommend this show to regular anime viewers; however if you’ve seen K, I recommend watching Return of Kings, if only to find out what happens to all the characters. Also, thank you show giving me
one two three new OTPs! (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧
Final Score: 7/10