Here’s to the bleeding hot weather we’ll have to endure and the skirts I may or may not wear.
Don’t think I’ve ever been quite this okay with going to a hot place.
Waiting for the car rental guy to pick us up. Because, seriously, pick-up service is awesome.
Home #2, Summer 2013.
Down the hallway to the stairwell to throw out the garbage.
I wonder if the hallways will look the same when we go back.
If you look closely enough, there’s a Snoopy sticker on the back of the car. Super cute.
Last year. Late spring/early summer in the US.
First off, let me just say that it was one of the worst/best cinema experiences EVER. Worst because — everyone was screaming their heads off and the girl screaming beside me was so full of it that she was choking on her spit and everything. Like, yes, we’re all excited, but if you’re gonna be so extreme about it….. I’d rather you not. Scream at the appropriate parts, people. Not everyone wants the same cinema experience. Plus, the screaming during the movie was so distracting and I couldn’t even hear some of the dialog. The laughing at unfunny parts was also ridiculous. My eardrums hurt from that girl’s screaming. Ugh.
The best experience – because I could clap when there were amazing parts. Admittedly, I shouted excitedly at one part, but that was all. It was the best because I watched it with Raine and we could enjoy the feels together. We waited so long for this anime and we love K and everything so it was indescribably fantastic.
Now, on to the review!! (HEAVY SPOILER ALERT. Do not read if you want to fully enjoy the movie.)
It picks up right where the last season left off (and if you haven’t listened to the radio drama CD, please do so that you have a better understanding of what happens) – Shiro disappeared, HOMRA disbanded and it’s just another day at the Scepter 4 headquarters. But what happens when Kuroh and Neko see Kamamoto and Anna running away from someone?
[You can read Raine's review here. It's quite wonderful and different from my thoughts.]
After a really, really long and unnecessary recap of the first season (narrated by Kuroh whose voice is made of gold), the story quickly reintroduces Munakata and Scepter 4. The Green King attacks the Gold King’s building because the Green Clan are after the Dresden Slate for some weird reason. They are also after Anna because they want to know where Shiro, the Silver King, is.
Mishakuji Yukari makes the sassiest debut with his lovely long lashes and multicolored tresses. When he shows up at the scene and pulls all kind of classy stunts, awe is the word that one would use to describe when looking at him. The bird on his shoulder also proves to be an interesting addition to his appearance. (Don’t underestimate this bird, though, because the Green King can send messages through him!) The Gold Clansmen, also known as the Usagi, are pretty badass in this scene as well, thanks to the great animation.
Yukari meets Kuroh again and they spar because they are on different sides of the war. Kuroh is ever the gentleman and still the true blue disciple of Miwa Ichigen because he is willing to protect the Red Clan members even though they have never been on good terms. This is the part where I say that this movie has a lot of Kuroh scenes that are totally worth watching. Neko is also a great sidekick who has some seriously formidable Illusion powers.
The story wastes no time showing Yata as he deals with the loss of Mikoto, Kusanagi’s departure to god-knows-where and the disbandment of HOMRA. I really loved his scenes because he is truly the heart of the Red Clan with his hotblooded personality and genuine love for his friends in the clan. It was totally natural to see him bounce back up so quickly to get help for Anna and fight alongside Kuroh. These two work together so well!
Kusanagi Izumo also joins the action not long after that with a badass entrance by displaying his truly intimidating Aura. He didn’t show off his powers much in the first season, but this movie reminds us why he is second-in-command when it comes to HOMRA matters.
When Anna became the Red King… When Anna became the Red King… mind you she isn’t even the Red Queen, she’s the KING. I, and literally everyone in the cinema, screamed and cheered. One of the best scenes in the movie, especially when a song sung by her voice talent started playing. There was a little flashback of her with Totsuka and Mikoto and I seriously didn’t know how my crying didn’t dissolve into ugly sobbing at that moment because I really wanted to. My heart feels so heavy now that it’s really true that Mikoto is gone. He didn’t have enough scenes in the first season… but I guess, he’ll still forever be in his Red Clansmen’s hearts. As Kusanagi said to Anna, it’s time to accept the reality.
More fighting scenes with Kuroh and Yukari. Kuroh gets his chance to ‘level up’ his skills after Yukari says that his sword is ‘empty’ by reminding himself of his cause for fighting. It reminded me that after joining the Silver Clan, Kuroh stopped announcing his status as a vassal and that was probably why he didn’t use his full strength in fighting.
Munakata stepping in to help the Red Clan from the Green Clan pulling a destructive attack on them was very touching. For the first time ever, my heart swelled with pride for the Blue King. Very impressive show of his Aura.
I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the Green King, but I guess that leaves more doors open for the second season. Yukari is just so fabulous, by the way. And his sidekick/partner a.k.a female ninja, Douhan, was kinda meh. Her ‘fight’ with Fushimi was an odd moment because the scene only seemed to be there to show Fushimi flipping a knife left and right. Other than that, they weren’t shown fighting. Pretty anti-climatic.
When Shiro finally shows up, he is beside the dying Gold King, Daikoku. He says something about having to take responsibility for the conflict that is happening. Daikoku dies and I end up crying a lot because I recently read the K Side: Black and White and their friendship is beyond words. The movie ends with Shiro standing at the edge of the air ship, saying that it’s time for him to fulfill his duties as a King.
I had no idea the movie was ending until the rock music started playing. Honestly it felt so short and the story was yet again left unfinished. It didn’t feel like a really solid plot, but I guess that’s what you get for a ‘second season’ that is a 1-hour-20-minutes movie. It felt more like a segment where we got to see Anna become the new Red King and some in-between parts that would lead to a potential season 2.
Still, I love how there are so many doors left to be explored in this anime. The concept is compelling and the characters are what make the story whole. I think people who expect to see lots of SaruMi and Shiro will be disappointed. Either way, because the plot execution was so excellent, the movie was worth every second.
Yatogami Kuroh, I loved you at first sight. His new attire is wonderfully designed and his personality is just as beautiful as before. He stands for his own beliefs and he doesn’t let anyone stop him from believing them. The moment when his hands shook while he was wielding his sword before his duel with Yukari is a great reminder that mowing people down to reach his objective is not his style. I also loved how he protected Kamamoto and Anna at the beginning. He’s a true hero. Ono Daisuke’s voice is smoldering and perfect. I loved every second that he spoke. I don’t know what else to say about his voice. It’s just… lovely.
I really love Neko in the movie because she is still her upbeat self and her involvement is more than just hugging Shiro, which she did a lot in the first season. She can fight on her own and she also showed how strong her Strain powers were. She’s truly a great fighter, physically and mentally. The movie’s serious tone is balanced by her hilarious antics and adorable childishness, thanks to dear Neko. Together with Kuroh, they form an excellent duo who determinedly search for their King. Komatsu Mikako, her voice actress, did an amazing job portraying Neko. There is no other for the voice of this lovable cat.
Mishakuji Yukari… did I honestly say that I loved his character already so many months ago? Because I finally got to see him and he was more than just amazing. He’s the cool-as-cucumbers and slightly sadistic character type. He barely needs to use his sword in fights because his level (according to Kuroh in K Side: Black and White) is almost on par with Ichigen. All he needs to do is dodge blows and attacks effortlessly and flawlessly. His outfit is super stylish, especially those cool gloves, and let’s not even begin with his voice. Morita Masakazu did a super stellar job, perfecting Yukari’s effeminate but incredibly gorgeous voice to suit his calm semi-antihero and jeering senpai personality. It’s very different from the usual angry shounen typecast so that’s a good thing. A really good thing. The fact that he got so many lines and scenes made everything so worth it.
Yata Misaki is just a funny and quick-tempered kind of guy in the first season, but we actually get to see him grow up in the movie. Although he’s still very rash in making decisions and hot-tempered, he actually makes a difficult phone call to his ex-best friend, Fushimi just so he can save Anna. He is also willing to join forces with Kuroh to make the best out of his situation. I loved Yata even more in this movie. Fukuyama Jun’s voice acting was nothing less than I expected. There’s a reason why he has gained so much respect and so many roles and that’s because he never once fails to disappoint. As Yata, he expresses the strong emotions – sadness, anger, embarrassment, reluctance, surprise, resentment – perfectly through his voice.
As for Munakata Reisi, he is his usual whacky and oddball self, and for once, I appreciate him for that. I also appreciate that he actually respects Anna’s feelings by not shying away from the topic of Mikoto’s death. Sugita Tomokazu is also really amazing at voice acting. I’m used to hearing him do the deadpan/monotone in Gintama and other animes, but it was nice to hear a touch of emotion in the things Munakata said.
Kushina Anna is one of the wonderfully developed characters in this movie. Her reason for being in denial is very human and how she comes to accept it is even more realistic. As one would expect from the girl who always clung onto Mikoto’s hand, she’s very regal in terms of behavior and words of choice. She tells Munakata that while she accepts and respects Mikoto’s wish to be killed to prevent the Kagutsu Crater from repeating again, she does not wish to thank him. All I can say is, Anna is one classy girl with the job of a king and a personality of a queen. Horie Yui will always be the perfect voice actress for Anna. Her singing in that scene when Anna became the Red King gave me the goosebumps. It was that amazing.
Kusanagi scenes are lacking in this movie, but that doesn’t mean his appearances aren’t impressive. The whole cinema was swooning at his coolness. He seems to have gotten over losing Mikoto since he behaves the same way as before. It would’ve been nice to get an update on his feelings, though. Either way, I admire him because that shows what a strong man he is. Sakurai Takahiro as Kusanagi… no words. This man always delivers a great performance.
Kamamoto’s part is short and sweet as are the appearances of other HOMRA members. Nakamura Yuuichi’s voice, no matter how little lines there are, is always worth fangirling over.
Fushimi didn’t get a lot of scenes and he did show a good side of him by exchanging information with Yata, but not without all that tsundere behavior at first. I thought that there were going to be more Fushimi parts, but thankfully, the creators didn’t. It can get annoying if the story caters too much to the audience because ultimately the story will become crappy.
Mikoto and Totsuka makes me want to cry a lot. Seeing them is just so heartbreaking. Thinking of how Kusanagi is alone makes it even worse. I love how they appeared in Anna’s dream and helped her move forwards in her new life as a Red King. And the way Mikoto held Anna’s face before the dream ends… *ugly sobbing* I hope they can continue to appear in her memories and still be as wonderful.
Honorable mentions: All the other voice talents involved in K Missing Kings. I didn’t manage to list them all down because I have run out of words, but just so you know, I love all the voice actors and actresses of the characters in K. Without them, I don’t think the movie would’ve been as good.
Just when I thought the first season’s OST was beautiful, the soundtrack for K Missing Kings was ten times more beautiful. The soundtrack is SO AMAZING I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE IT IN WORDS. It is BEAUTIFUL. It is everything that love is made of. No other soundtrack can beat the music in this movie this summer. The first song played in the very first scene already stole my heart. I like how the OSTs weren’t wasted. Like, there was music made of sweet symphonies and melodies in almost every other scene. Angela’s Different Colors was also uh-may-zing. Glad I stayed for the whole song. OST: A+++
The art is similar to the first season so I have no complaints on this end since the art is simple and beautiful. The animation and visuals are a whole different story… in an extremely breathtaking way. The animation is even more fluid and the action scenes are even more intense, especially when shown from different camera angles and paired with music that suits the mood. The scenery and cityscapes are jaw-dropping beautiful and just pure stunning. I love how they kept the rainbow hues and filters.
It was worth every penny and second to watch K Missing Kings at the cinema. The experience – except for the rowdy audience that screamed way too much – of hearing Japanese words and super amazing OSTs play from the speakers as well as cheering loudly (without waking the whole neighborhood) was super fun and very memorable. Well, the subtitles were a bit distracting, but ah whatever. I’m really happy that there will be probably/most definitely be another season because I love K infinitely.
Thank you to my mom for the tickets and the ride to the cinema! Thank you to the cast and crew members and everyone who worked on K for making it worth the wait.
My rating: 11/10. Is this too ridiculous? If so, then please accept 10/10, thank you.
No blood! No bone! No ash!
The countdown is over. We just came back from watching K: Missing Kings. It was worth the wait, the money and the cinema experience.
Thank you so much, Mom, for agreeing to pay that ridiculous amount for the tickets and for going along with our otaku madness. Thank you for dropping us off on a weekend when the malls are the most crowded and for dropping us off even though the car had a flat tire. I honestly thought we were going to have to walk to the mall haha.
[This post is 2500+ words long so feel free to scroll past if you're not into anime]
If you haven’t watched it, the trailer for K: Missing Kings is here:
Prepare yourself for spoilers in this post. All the spoilers right below. Do not read if you haven’t watched it. Repeat: Do NOT. It will take the fun and joy out of watching it for the first time.
Here is what I wrote in March about what I hoped would be in K: Missing Kings. Let’s see how many of my dreams came true:
1. PLEASE LET MIKOTO BE IN THE MOVIE! – Check!
2. Let Anna be the new Red King!!! – Check!
3. Morita Masakazu as the new character Mishakuji Yukari?!?! – Check!
4. Can’t wait to see what Angela brings to the table music-wise. – Check!
5. It would be nice if Yata and Kusanagi get a bigger role! – Check!
6. I hate Fushimi for obvious reasons. I do not, however, hate manga Fushimi as he seems like a slightly better person. – By that I meant I hope his role isn’t ridiculously big. Check!
7. Let there be flashbacks so that we can see young Mikoto and Totsuka! – Check!
8. Somebody needs to make Awashima and Kusanagi kiss already. – Aww, no, but they had cute scenes all-round so I’m happy.
And now we arrive at my thoughts on K: Missing Kings. Here we go:
The beauty of the opening scenes was just captivating. After the 25-minute long recap of the first season which I thought was unnecessary, K Missing Kings had us from the get-go. It lived up to all the hype that was built up over the past year. You know how some movies just create so much hype that when it’s actually released and people go see it and it’s disappointing and people get crushed? Yeah, that. K did not do that. I fully expected it to go either way – disappointing or pleasantly surprising. It was neither. It was beautiful.
Outside the cinema, I asked Skye, what if it sucks? And she just said, it’s okay, just believe in K. Either way I think it will be satisfying enough for us. Thinking back, it seems kind of cheesy since it’s just a show but K IS NOT JUST A SHOW. -yandere in me rears its head-
We followed Gora, Tsuda Kenjirou, Morita Masakazu, K Anime and angela’s twitter last year so we’ve been keeping up with all the updates. Especially the 100 Days of K Visuals which is a one-picture-per-day countdown. I dunno who their marketing team members are but WELL DONE. The Twitter updates were great and kept us on our toes.
I LOVE that they didn’t waste any time at the start. They just introduced the new characters and kept the ball rolling till the end. There were basically no unnecessary scenes. How is that even possible right? I thought surely there’d be some unnecessary scenes – maybe annoying Fushimi scenes or some Ashinaka Academy scenes – but there were none. If you want to know the plot, Skye is writing that so wait for her post.
Yukari. What can I say about this beauty? He was just AMAZING. Who knew that he’d be one of those narcissistic beauty boys? He reminded me of Yumichika from Bleach because of his slight(?) obsession with beauty. That beautiful hair though. Love it. Don’t you just love it when pretty boy characters can fight well? Yah, because I do. Mishakuji Yukari, you have my heart. Well, actually Mikoto does but maybe you can share hahahah.
Anna as the new Red King. I was hoping that it would be true and it was. And it was a hundred times better than I imagined. Anna, we are so proud of you. You deserve to be the new Red King. The warmth of your red. The warmth of Mikoto’s red. Your powers. All of it. You read that right. Anna is a girl – a child even – but she is NOT a queen. She is a KING. Girl power all the way.
Wow, when her sword appeared in the sky. Such a powerful moment. What I love about Anna is her determination to not be a burden to others just because she’s a kid. She wants to be able to protect the others the same way they protect her. Thinking back, her words ‘I want to protect everyone’ carry so much meaning behind them because I think she wanted to protect Mikoto but didn’t know how to.
I also love that they showed her insecurities about herself and about becoming the new Red King. She was shown to be a stony kid in the first season with not many emotions or reactions and I think people got the wrong idea about her but hopefully they’ll see in this show that she’s more human than that.
Munakata made fewer appearances than I thought but every scene that he was in made so much sense. Especially near the ending when the Scepter 4 members saluted Anna as a welcoming of the new Red King and Munakata stood at the end, just waiting. And when Anna went up to him… it was the most awkward yet moving scene.
Like, there’s Munakata – the man who killed Mikoto to stop Mikoto’s Sword of Damocles from falling and creating a huge crater; he didn’t want to kill Mikoto but he had no choice if he wanted to protect the city and its people; he saw Mikoto as a friend even though they had clashing personalities; he wanted to save Mikoto but couldn’t get through to him.
Then there’s Anna – she loved Mikoto so incredibly much but knew that he was reaching his limit and she also knew that Mikoto wanted Munakata to be the one to kill him and there she is, standing in front of the man who killed Mikoto. Her conflict is clear – while she cannot be grateful for Munakata killing Mikoto, she is also not angry at Munakata for fulfilling Mikoto’s wishes.
Complicated. But Anna handled it like a champ. I’m glad that the Red and Blue Clan are on friendly terms with each other now.
I didn’t even think it was possible to bring in Mikoto and Totsuka without the story becoming ludicrous but Gora really blew me away with what they pulled off. It was just one of the rawest and most beautiful scenes in the show. I cried. I cannot even imagine a more appropriate scene in which Mikoto and Totsuka appear. They even had lines!!! And the scene just reflected the core of the Red Clan – the Red King, Mikoto; his serene and easygoing right-hand man, Totsuka, who balances his violent powers; and Anna, the princess that they love and care so much for.
Which is why I can say this: even though Mikoto and Totsuka had barely a few lines, it’s enough. It’s enough for me. I’m happy with how they left things with Mikoto and Totsuka. Wishful thinking though: it would be wonderful if somehow Mikoto and Totsuka could come back or maybe have more scenes in season 3 (maybe in Anna’s dreams again).
Kusanagi is also part of that core that I mentioned above but his purpose was shown in other scenes. He’s the wise and collected one – the one who reigns in Mikoto and Totsuka when they get out of hand. The other who has a steady head on his shoulders and doesn’t give in to whimsical desires or raging fits of anger (except where his bar is involved). I felt a bit sad for him after listening to the drama CD because HOMRA started out with the three of them (him, Mikoto and Totsuka) and now the only remaining founder is himself. How does he feel about that? His friends ‘abandoned’ him, you could say. Surely he must be hurting inside. But Kusanagi isn’t one to openly show his sadness and distress. I wish they showed some of his inner thoughts about Mikoto and Totsuka being gone.
I thought he closed the bar and left to go ‘find himself’ or something like that but yeah, we should have guessed that being Kusanagi, he would only want to move forwards and do what he had to do. He went to Germany! To Germany! What the heck? Haha, I thought that was a bit radical and independent of Kusanagi to go alone to dig up info about the Dresdan Slate. Ugh, Kusaji is the best. So cool and collected and charming. No wonder Seri likes him so much. ;] Can I ever get tired of listening to his Kyoto dialect?
Kamamoto as Anna’s protector brought heart-warming scenes. Haha, thin Kamamoto is not too bad. I thought I would hate him because honestly, roly poly Kamamoto is adorable so why change him into summer Kamamoto? His relationship with Yata was lovely as ever. About Yata – it was heartbreaking to listen to the drama CD in which Kusanagi announced that he was closing the bar and leaving on a trip, HOMRA was disbanding, Anna was going to stay with Kamamoto and Yata being angry at everyone for leaving. The way Yata expressed himself in the drama CD was emotional and quite the opposite of how Kusanagi reacted. Without Yata, I don’t think HOMRA would be the same. I’m glad they gave him a bigger role and made him go after Anna. Love Yata and his pride.
Kuroh. was. great. Kuroh is the star of the show, I think. Well, actually, I can’t decide because everyone’s role was equally important. But Kuroh fighting Yukari was important. Kuroh facing the guy that he once looked up to as his ‘older brother’, Kuroh facing the student who dared to point his sword at Ichigen-sama, Kuroh standing up for his new king and his beliefs, Kuroh wielding Ichigen-sama’s sword (Kotowari), Kuroh with his long flowing black hair, KUROH JUST AHSAKLFHDSFJSDLGJD!!!!! Stop, I love you, Kuroh.
Neko was surprisingly pleasant to watch. I didn’t quite like her in the prequel but she has won me over after watching Missing Kings. She was hilarious and I actually enjoy her interactions with Kuroh. Also, her protectiveness towards Anna <3.
Sorry but I may be the only one who is glad that Fushimi got fewer lines. He wasn’t nearly as annoying as he was in the first season but I still prefer to see less of him.
Moving on to the Green Clan, did the Green Clan’s ninja, Douhan, look like Alex from Kuroko no Basuke or what?!! I didn’t think that Yukari would be in the Green Clan or that he’d be that villainous. I honestly thought he’d come fight Kuroh but eventually join forces with Kuroh (no idea what inspired that thought). Surprise, surprise. And the parrot was an interesting twist… I thought it was Yukari’s pet.
The music was A class. I mean, just when you think nothing can top the first season’s OST, we are introduced to even more amazing music. All the piano scores and sweet tracks… Anna’s song = tears of joy. Angela’s new song Different Colors is as refreshing as we expected it to be. They need to continue being the official K band.
Where do I even begin with the voice acting? Like Skye said in her K review, the seiyuus are the voice and soul of the characters. Morita Masakazu as Mishakuji Yukari was PERFECT. Sakurai Takahiro as Kusanagi Izumo just gets better. As with Fukuyama Jun as Yata Misaki who seems to really embody Yata’s personality. I may or may not be crying right now. Even if I’m not, know that I’m crying inside. Horie Yui, I LOVE you! You are the perfect Anna.
Also, Ono Daisuke deserves a paragraph of his own for his amazing voice. He voices Yatogami Kuroh and holy mackerel, he is PERFECT. That voice. I love it. I want to meet him one day and tell him that he has a beautiful voice.
And obviously you know I love Tsuda Kenjirou. I’ll just name the rest of the case because they deserve the credit: Tomokazu Sugita as Munakata Reisi, Sawashiro Miyuki as Awashima Seri, Miyano Mamoru as Fushimi Saruhiko, Nakamura Yuuichi as Kamamoto Rikio, Komatsu Mikako as Neko, Namikawa Daisuke as Isana Yashiro, Kaji Yuki as Totsuka Tatara.
The art… THE ART… Stunning. My favorite scenes were of Yata’s room in the bar (it was inside the bar, right?). Bar HOMRA just gets better. The animation is one of the BEST I’ve seen. So much attention to detail, so many shades and colors, so many subtleties that add to the beauty of the scenes. The characters’ movements and the action scenes were so fluid, you would not believe it.
I especially love the revamped look of the Swords of Damocles. If I told you that MOST of the scenery is inspired by real places, would you believe me? Honestly I was shocked when I saw that the buildings and streets and views are all real places or inspired by real places. Animated, the real places look amazing!! Don’t believe me? Watch the trailer.
Why I love K Project so much can be summarized into one phrase – character-driven story. I can’t even decide who my favorite character is because they are all connected in some ways and their unique bonds are what form the base of the story.
All in all, things added up. Things made sense. All the elements -characters, story, art, music – combined to create a masterpiece. Some unanswered questions were answered but new questions arose with this new movie so that can only lead me to wonder if season 3 is in the works. I mean, dammit there were so many hints of more to come – Yukari saying ‘we’ll meet again’ to Kuroh, the mysteriousness surrounding the Green King who did not appear in the show, Kusanagi’s findings from Germany, Shiro’s words at the ending, Munakata at the special cut scene after the credits with his mysterious ‘the burden of slaying a king… I’ll accept it’.
When I walked out of the cinema, I was brimming with emotions. So many waves of emotions that I didn’t think I could put into words but here they are… some of them, at least. I’m still supercharged with a myriad of emotions towards K: Missing Kings. Now I’m just waiting for people to upload all the gifs and songs so that I can swim in all the loveliness that is K Project.
I applaud you, Gora and GoHands. You have outdone yourself and reignited my undying love for K Project. K Project is one of the reasons why anime has become such a big part of my identity. Not even a bunch of screaming hooligans can ruin the joy of being one of the first few to watch K Missing Kings.
My rating of K Missing Kings: 10/10. My rating of K Project (which I stand corrected): 10/10.
Kizuna, once again.