K-Project, also just known as K, started out strong and then quickly fizzled. With only 13 episodes, there wasn’t really room for fizzling. The premise is strong, the characters are pretty stereotypical with a lot of unique aspects, which is a definite bonus, but the plot just couldn’t keep up.
The alternate history Japan is fascinating. There are 6 (or 7?) “Kings”, which seems to be inheritors of a special themed superpower that they can pass on to their followers. Each King and his followers correspond with a color. Shiro, our adorable little albino protagonist, is potentially the 7th “Colorless King”, which would mean chaos and rioting for the rest of the Kings and the city. Everyone’s after Shiro because he supposedly killed a member of HOMRA, the group of the Red King. Shiro is being protected by his magical cat-girl-friend, Neko, and a mysterious assassin who originally planned to kill him, named Kuroh.
There is a lot to like about this anime.
First of all, the music. I loved it. It sounds and feels like music from a JRPG, especially a Shin Megami Tensei game. At times it’s classical and melancholy, others urban and rough, and sometimes upbeat and poppy. The music sometimes clashes with the scenes it corresponds with, which really fits this show perfectly.
Second, the characters. They fit the typical anime tropes, but they are also more than that. The assassin has a recording device that randomly plays quotes from his deceased mentor; this is weird but also endearing. The hard-assed pretty boy Blue King has a soft spot for the Red King. . .okay, wait, he doesn’t actually have anything unique going on. His underling, the big-busted blondie who is also usually a hard-ass, does have a lot of unsuspected weaknesses. That is definitely interesting. The followers of the Red King are very gritty, intense, urban guys who don’t show up in your typical anime, and I liked that.
What I didn’t like: the plot. It starts out strong, with clear ties between scenes and action. There are definite motivations for the characters and why they do what they do. There is some mystery behind their powers, but the characters don’t have any reason to explain it, and so they don’t – they let it go until it is appropriate for the story to reveal that knowledge to the watcher.
But then, something goes horribly wrong. Things get boring. Nothing happens very quickly. The action is without tension and gets really repetitive. Character development slows to a complete standstill. You get scenes where the characters explain everything very slowly to each other, intense fanservice moments between the guys, alternating with scenes where the watcher has something completely new and “what the fuck” thrown in their face with no explanation. In short, it fizzles. Falls apart. Loses cohesion and consistency. But, if you’ve grown attached to the characters and enjoyed the anime so far you will probably want to stick with it to the end. It’s only 13 episodes, after all.
If you’re looking for something deep and engrossing, this isn’t it. Want a reverse-harem style anime with more of a plot than usual? This is for you. For fans of visual novel anime like DRAMAtical Murder and Carneval, and anime with female-focused fanservice like in Black Butler. The urban feel may also appeal to fans of Durarara!