YMMV / K

  • Adorkable: Who in K isn't this at some point?
    • Munakata with his jigsaw puzzles.
    • Shiro is adorkable personified.
    • Misaki.
    • The HOMRA and Scepter 4 "alphabet boys" in the manga, and in season 2. About half of the Return of Kings ED is them being adorkable, doing things like sword Air Guitar.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Shiro. The end of the first season cleared up the business with the murder video, but he's still hard to pin down. He seems to be a kind, compassionate King, but he does tend towards a lot of irresponsible actions. That said, these actions are made in pretty desperate situations, and in some cases seem to be the only option. There wasn't exactly a better way to stop the body-snatching colorless king currently on a rampage in Shiro's school besides killing him.
    • Saruhiko Fushimi - Jerkass Woobie or just plain Jerkass?
      • Lost Small World gives some much-needed insight into his decision to leave HOMRA for Scepter 4 - he really didn't fit in with HOMRA, but he and Munakata had an almost instantaneous connection. Kusanagi seemed to realize he would lose Fushimi to the Blues as soon as he noticed them looking at each other.
      • That and his home situation, which gives some background to his trust issues.
      • Then, the way he risks his life on an undercover mission for Scepter 4 in season 2, and how Misaki understands his side after that, and tells Saruhiko that he's not a traitor. He complains about it like he usually does, but he still does it. And when he has the chance to abandon the mission and save himself, he turns it down completely.
      • Even so, the general Stalker With a Crush impression he gives off in the first season, the way he's so quick to settle into "Then Let Me Be Evil" when Misaki thinks of him as a traitor, and the way he interacts with Misaki in several places - including but not limited to actually throwing knives at him in a fight (though he did heat the knife first) - have led a lot of fans to see their relationship as irredeemable and toxic, and Fushimi as a completely awful person. Not that they all see this as a bad thing, but that's a different issue.
    • Munakata acts like such a sadistic son-of-a-bitch one could easily mistake him for a villain. While he seems to be a force for good, how much of what he does is for the sake of protecting people and how much is simply an excuse for him to do as he pleases without consequence? His preference of toying with his opponents lends credence to the latter interpretation.
  • Ass Pull: Shiro returning alive and well without a scratch in season 2 despite having his entire upper body blown clean off by Mikoto. It's Hand Waved as his King's power, but it's still a less than satisfactory explanation for surviving something as powerful as Mikoto's attack. Made even more confusing by the fact that the attack allegedly killed the Colorless King, despite the fact that he was trapped in Shiro's consciousness, therefore being able to live within him. It happens again at the end of season 2 with Shiro returning to his old body without a scratch despite his original body being around ninety years old.
    • Then again, his power is absolute immortality, and it has been stated in the movie that as long as a single cell of him remains, he can come back to life. Regardless, the topic still can be debatable among fans.
    • It's briefly mentioned in K: Missing Kings Movie that the Gold clan retrieved Shiro's body and 'salvaged' it. Thus leading to the theory that Shiro was able to preserve his body's state using his power, but the Gold Clan was able to restore it since their clan probably has the technology/resources to do it.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The opening song: KINGS by angela.
    • Kuroh's theme Yatogami Kuroh.
    • The track Knock-On Effect, which tends to connote that something cool and plot-related is occurring.
    • Tatara's theme song, TotsuKa Tatara, is simple but painfully touching.
    • Knight, the track that plays during the battle between Saruhiko and Misaki.
    • Saruhiko's theme Knife which doubles as theme for his and Misaki's broken relationship.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Neko. While a lot of fans enjoy her, many others find her extremely annoying, and a few have even dropped the show because they couldn't stand her.
    • Anna Kushina was pretty well liked during the first season. However, cue the movie and the second season, where she becomes the new Red King, and some of her fans have switched to bashing her, calling her a Replacement Scrappy who is not as well-developed or cool as Mikoto.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Izumo Kusanagi x Bar.
    • Kuroh Yatogami x Voice Recorder.
    • Reisi Munakata x Puzzles.
    • Anna Kushina x Marbles
    • Saruhiko Fushimi x Knives
    • Misaki Yata x Skateboard
    • Yashiro Isana x Umbrella
    • Seri Awashima x Red Bean Paste
  • Complete Monster: The Colorless King is a Body Swapping maniac who sparked a conflict between two powerful groups, HOMRA and Sector 4, as part of a gambit to absorb the powers of their super-powered leaders, the other "Colored Kings". He murdered a pacifist member of the HOMRA gang and switched bodies with Shiro/Adolf Weissman to leave him to be blamed for the killing. Taking the reclusive Weissman's blimp as a hideout, The Colorless King waits until suspicions are arisen about him, letting numerous characters try to approach the blimp to question him and then laughs giddily while he blows it up, the immortal body he's inhabiting keeping him safe from harm. Trying to break the Red King of HOMRA's composure so he can invade his mind and steal his powers, The Colorless King taunts him, admitting to having killed one of his gang members and threatening to rape Anna, a child in his gang. Eventually causing enough tension between HOMRA and Sector 4 that they engage in all-out combat, The Colorless King possesses a Sector 4 member and tries to kill the defenseless Anna before possessing a high school girl and friend of Shiro to try and get him to lower his guard. Insane and cruel, The Colorless King hops from body to body, caring nothing for the safety of the people he uses as long as he gets the power he seeks.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Shiro bears many similarities to Corrin:
    • Both are white-haired, teenaged main characters of their respective works.
    • Kind and helpful towards other characters, and are well-liked and respected by those who know them.
    • Are accused of crimes they didn't commit; Shiro is thought to have killed Totsuka, and Corrin is blamed for the death of Queen Mikoto and for being a "traitor" to two kingdoms. Both characters are caught in a conflict between two rivaling parties because of this. When they prove their innocence, they also manage to uncover the real enemy who started the conflict.
    • Turn out to be leaders to a forgotten clan/kingdom; Shiro is revealed to be the Silver King, and Corrin turns out to be a royal of the lost kingdom of Valla.
    • The fandom has noticed the similarities betweeen Kuroh/Shiro, Allen/Kanda, and Shion/Nezumi, in their looks, at least.
    • Reisi is similar to Sakamoto. Not only do they look very alike, but both are Trolls who act professional on the surface.
    • Appearance-wise, Adolf K. Weissman gets compared to Victor Nikiforov, and it helps that Adolf's true personality turns out to be quite similar to Victor's.
  • Die for Our Ship: Any female characters are likely to be bashed, along with Seri who is obviously intended to be paired with Izumo Kusanagi. Poor Kukuri gets this the most, for being close to Shiro when the fans prefer him with Kuroh and not having much connection to the main plot other than getting bodyjacked in Episode 11. It's silly, since the creators obviously prefer him with Kuroh as well, and Kukuri shoots down the idea of her liking Shiro in the very first episode (and she looks like she means it). Not to mention the fact that she doesn't remember who he is. Neko also gets this, but not to such an extent because of her general childlike personality and involvement in the central storyline.
    • It's not just girls - Reisi Munakata gets this as well, from Mikoto/Totsuka shippers, and sometimes even SaruMi shippers... despite the fact that Misaki understands Saruhiko's devotion to Reisi as his King, and that's why they can be friends again, or more.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Fushimi sometimes gets painted as a straight-up woobie by fans, instead of the selfish, sadistic, possible Jerkass Woobie he is in canon. Yes, he has a troubled past and a very reclusive nice side, but he also betrayed HOMRA, drugs an innocent student, and taunts Yata at every opportunity.
    • Misaki is often blamed by some fans for Fushimi's and Yata's break up, for apparently not paying enough attention to Fushimi or choosing to associate with someone else besides Fushimi. All official material showing that Yata did indeed try to patch things up with Fushimi and figure out what was wrong with Fushimi is seemingly ignored.
    • Hidaka in Days of Blue Chapter 1 seems to kind of view Fushimi in a similar light, but thinks Fushimi just has a Jerk Ass Facade. He thinks Fushimi wants to open up to everyone and invites him to their party. To nobody's surprise Fushimi cruely rejects Hidaka's offer.
    • Turns out, in Lost Small World, that he does have a Freudian Excuse for rejecting absolutely everyone as he comes from a household with a mother's who's always gone and an emotionally abusive father. This would also explain why he has no idea how to interact properly with people, why he latched onto Misaki the way he did, and why he is so messed up in general.
    • He gets a lot of character development by the second season, and he seems to have grown out of all of that.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Members of Homura. Especially Izumo, Anna, and Yata. Kamamoto is very popular on /a/.
    • SCEPTER4 gets their share, too—especially Fushimi. Then Akiyama and Doumyouji, thanks to Memory of Red.
      • Akiyama became one early on before Memory of Red because he was noted by fans to be really 'handsome'.
    • Ashinaka High's cleaning robots. Really.
  • Expy:
    • Yukari Mishakuji is quite similar to Shiki
      • Both are notably described as beautiful men who dress mostly in black and carry a sword.
      • Possesses a strong desire to become the strongest and is not afraid to challenge those who may be stronger than himself.
      • Enjoys fighting and will kill anyone. However he will spare those who he thinks might give him a thrilling fight later on.
      • Betrayed those closest to him to achieve his own goals.
      • Initially lets his younger brother (or what could be considered his younger brother) live for a while.
      • Was defeated and spared by a hobo-like man who liked to give cryptic messages/poems (someone they wanted to defeat).
    • Seri Awashima is a lot like Riza Hawkeye, except this time, with TINY MINISKIRTS.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Averted - the couples that you would think would be this are actually fairly close to canon, with new posters in almost every issue of Spoon 2Di giving us more and more of Saruhiko and Misaki getting very close to each other. Kuroh and Shiro, and Mikoto and Reisi, as well, though SaruMi is the most popular ship.
    • Compare this older Official Artwork to this newer one. Notice how Fushimi and Yata are now in front of the image rather than in the back like they were place in the older Official Artwork.
    • A lot of people ship Adolf K. Weismann with Daikaku Kokujouji, despite Kokujouji and Klaudia showing interest in each other, and Adolf being with Kuroh.
    • Reisi/Saruhiko is also fairly popular, though usually on the side of SaruMi, not instead of.
  • Fetish Retardant: In K: Return of Kings the blatant fanservice and Gainaxing from Seri in the first episode was very distracting and widely ridiculed.
    • Although the Fanservice did do it's job and garner some of the desired fans it was trying to attract.
  • Foe Yay: Quite a lot scattered throughout the anime.
    • Most notably Reisi and Mikoto, who are enemies but seem to care for each other to a certain point.
    • Yashiro and Kuroh can also be considered such, at least for Episodes 3 and before, where the latter was persistently trying to kill the former.
    • This is Yata and Fushimi's entire shtick up until the end of Return of Kings.
  • Genius Bonus: For those familiar with the legend of Damocles and the king of Syracuse the whole concept stops being just "cool names and awesome powers". The Seven Kings represent Damocles, the Slate his King and their Swords of Damocles the heavy sword the king hang over Damocles' head with a horse hair when he made him acting king, as a reminder that his luck could run out at any time and that there's always a danger. Just as Damocles, the Seven Kings can never be sure when or if their sword is going to fall and kill them.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In Episode 2, Kuroh finds out that Shiro's story about his "little sister" is fake, and confronts him while dropping the badass line "How's your sister doing, Yashiro Isana?" Then in Episode 11, we discover Shiro's true identity...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Colorless King's final goal was to steal every kings powers. We all know how that turned out. He was killed without managing to steal even one. Ironically, the laziest, grumpiest and snarkiest member of the cast, Fushimi Saruhiko, one upped him without even trying. Colorless King 1, Fushimi 2.
    • In season two Fushimi actually has a grand total of THREE clan powers. Somewhere the Colourless King's spirit is crying.
  • Ho Yay: Most of these examples also overlap with Foe Yay above.
    • Yashiro is not so shy about blushing around Kuroh, even to his face (as seen in Episode 3 when he shyly asks if he could call Kuroh by his first name. And then in Episode 4, Yashiro jokingly calls Kuroh his wife.
    • Between Suoh and Munakata. When discussing the ticking Time Bomb-status Suoh's powers are rapidly climbing to, Suoh proposes that one way Munakata can keep on eye on that if killing is not an option is to keep him company 24/7. In a cell. Hell, the entire conversation exudes Ho Yay subtext. Also, in episode 10, there is Reisi and Mikoto on the ground with Suoh pinned under Munakata and their faces close enough to kiss.
    • Mikoto and Totsuka. Totsuka was Mikoto's most loyal follower before his death at the beginning of the series. Mikoto also wears Totsuka's earring as a remembrance.
    • Between Saruhiko and Misaki. Saruhiko left HOMRA because he was so tired and jealous of the rest of HOMRA, especially Mikoto for having Misaki's love, pride and attention, while he himself gets more and more ignored. It was so painful for him that it led him to a Love Makes You Crazy breaking point, where he would go to extreme lengths to hurt Misaki and even himself in front of Misaki, as he would rather have Misaki hate him than feel nothing for him at all.
      • In The Movie, Yata swallowing his pride and blushingly thanking Fushimi for helping rescue Anna, could be interpreted as Ho Yay by some.
  • Incest Subtext: Some fans see this in regards towards Aya's feelings for Fushimi. Although it could be argued that Aya just admires Fushimi since there's no clear/definitive statement or action from Aya that indicates that she has stronger feelings. It could also be argued that her actions against Fushimi are a result of her jealousy and not an obsession over getting Fushimi's attention.
  • Iron Woobie: Yata. Beaten 2 times by Kuroh, lost his target 2 times, best friend left him to join an opposing clan Scepter 4, and Totsuka died in his arms. Despite all that, Yata keeps pushing himself forward and will even skip breaks that may be a bit detrimental to his health just so he can capture Totsuka's killer.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Fushimi. Often gives harsh criticism to others while belittling them. Doesn't show mercy even to his former allies. Won't even mingle with his own members from Scepter 4. The only time he doesn't show the 'I've got a stick shoved up my ass' face is when he's with Yata (but then he's got the 'I'm bat shit insane' happy face). He's even meaner towards Yata and provoking a fight at every opportunity. Though underneath it all, Fushimi does hold some morals and cares deeply about Yata. He's really upset that he's no longer the only important person in Yata's life (the only person he has ever opened up to). Fushimi doesn't want to share Yata with anyone else. Leaving Homra in hopes that Yata will follow him into Scepter 4. Upon failing to get Yata to follow him, he falls further into his jealously due to isolation and is willing use childish means to get Yata's attention. Not to mention that he was emotionally abused by his father as a child, bullied and always alone until Misaki made an effort to befriend him.
    • Mikoto. He stops at nothing to avenge Totsuka's death, even endangering his own men and normal people's lives. On the other hand, he does try to keep his men out of it and showing Anna genuine affection by letting her sleep next to him on the last night of his life, and using his last breath apologize for having to leave her. It's noted that when he was being taunted by the Colorless King while he was in prison, he didn't react until Anna was being threatened. The look on his face when he saw her after his badass breakout, and she ran up to him before taking his hand spoke volumes about how much she meant to him, even if he wasn't that expressive. And then there is the fact that he is dying and his actions actually quicken his death. The Colorless king's threats against her were another reason for him to want to kill him so badly.
    • Reisi turns out to be this. For most of the series, he seems cold and calculating, even a bit cruel. And then we realize the true extent of his worry about Mikoto, and see how desperate he is to save Mikoto from destroying himself. His expression when he realizes there's no way but to kill Mikoto after his attempts to save him have failed is one of the most heartbreaking moments of the anime. The consequences of what he'd been forced to do in Season 1 become apparent at the end of K: Missing Kings, and during the entirety of Season 2, when his life is hanging in the balance.
  • Les Yay: A few, as well.
    • Sumika appears to have something for her friend Kukuri. She also blushed furiously when she saw Neko. This is highlighted in Sumika's side story in the collection of short stories 'K All characters'.
    • Sakura Asama has a very obvious crush on Chiho Hyuuga.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Since it was obvious from the beginning that the story would revolve around Shiro, there's no way that Kuroh would be able to kill him so early on in the series.
  • Lost in Medias Res: One of the most common complaints against the first episode or the entire series so far. The narrative drops the viewers in a battle between some unknown organisations who also want to capture our seemingly clueless protagonist for no apparent reason. The situation between the clans and the reason Shiro is wanted among them are gradually explained.
  • Moe: Anna. Especially in this radio drama.
    • Also, Kukuri and Neko have their cute moments as well.
    • Shiro is moe incarnate. Particularly with Neko in cat form on his shoulder.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Totsuka's killer really crosses it in episode 9, when he threatened to kill both Kusanagi and Yata, as well as to do things to Anna, who is an 11 year old child. Needless to say, Mikoto wasn't pleased, at all.
  • Mind Game Ship: How ReiSaru is normally played out, since Munakata is something of a Manipulative Bastard and Fushimi is pretty messed up.
    • Also Fushimi/Yata, since Fushimi is a Stalker With a Crush who takes great delight in taunting Yata, to the point where he's essentially a walking Berserk Button for the kid.
  • Narm: In episode 11, when HOMRA psyche themselves up for the upcoming battle with SCEPTRE 4, they chant "No Blood! No Bone! No Ash!". Not only is the English vaguely amusing, they're also stomping as they chant. The thing is, the stomping is synchronized, and due to the odd animation, it looks they're doing the can-can while they get ready to wage war.
    • Also in Episode 11, they shoehorn a pantyshot into the scene where Shiroh gets stabbed. The drama was instantly diffused!
    • Homra chanting their battle cry, accompanied by a mournful male chorus in Episode 13. It's supposed to be heartrending, but it's trying a bit too hard.
    • Also when Shiro orders Kuroh to leave the island with Kukuri. It's supposed to be a tense, emotional moment, because it's likely Shiro is going to his death, but when Kuroh leaves he sort of...trots away, and it looks very silly.
    • In Return of Kings, the flashback to when Iwafune found Nagare at the Kagutsu crater incident. It's supposed to be younger, pre-Jade-Colored Glasses Iwafune, but his voice actor barely even bothers to sound any different, so it just comes across as silly when the lines are shock and horror at the incident that made him lose his idealism, still sounding like he does twelve cynical years later. Not that the writing is golden, either - the scene would be cheesy even with the best voice acting.
    • Nagare's character design. He's wearing something that looks like he got it at a Halloween pop-up store. His hair looks okay, until the last episode, when his power makes it stand up by itself like he's in some cheesy shonen fighting show.
    • The ridiculously over the top fanservice centered on Awashima in Return of Kings. The first season was nothing compared to now and that despite the pan from her butt to her boobs used every time she fought. Now barely a scene passes in which her panties or boobs aren't on blatant display and episode 1 almost strips her completely. It's gotten to a point that even male fans - who are supposed to be drawn in by this because Male Gaze is a thing - started complaining that it took away from the drama of the show itself.
    • The extensive use of Stock Footage can be this, especially in scenes that are supposed to have a large impact. Especially so when it's Stock Footage from the first season, as seen during episode 1 of ROK where the sword draw sequence of the very first episode is reused, with the small addition of Fushimi. The change in quality is so obvious that it's laughable.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Kamamoto looks suspiciously like Guy Fieri of Food Network fame.
  • No Yay: In Gakuen K, Anna's age is changed so she's in her thirties even though she still looks like a kid.
  • Padding:
    • Main complaints for Episode 2. Instead of getting the plot progressing or answering questions, it's filled with a comical chase between Shiro, Kuroh, and Neko. Heavily happens in season 2, with much screen time dedicated to reuse of animation and flashbacks.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: A few.
    • Kuroh and Yashiro - KuroShiro. Sometimes also called Black and White.
    • Fushimi and Yata - SaruMi by the Japanese and English fandoms.
    • Mikoto and Reisi - MikoRei is used a lot by the English fandom.
  • The Scrappy: Kukuri. Despite being hardly relevant to the plot, she keeps showing up, which makes some Kuroh/Shiro fans think she'll be pushed as a love interest for one or the other of them. It doesn't help that in all of her appearances, she has displayed the same stereotypical Nice Girl personality, and never given any sort of backstory or motivations. Then when she actually becomes relevant...
  • Stepford Smiler: Shiro, in spades.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Given that he was doing research in Dresden, Germany during World War II, Weismann almost definitely worked for the Nazis. His scenes in the past even depict him with a red armband (though No Swastikas are ever shown). It all worked out in the end, but it's still somewhat jarring that the adorable white-haired boy we meet in the first episode turns out to have the Nazis as previous employers. Though, in the setting he was born into, he wouldn't have had much of a choice, which is tragic in itself. See also "Headscratchers".
  • Values Dissonance: One of the main themes is the Clansmen's Undying Loyalty to the Kings. No wonder it didn't do too well in Eagle Land... which is a shame, because the dub is fantastic, and it would be a shame if they never get to do the movie and season 2.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The lack of information regarding the plot during the promotional stage - along with the beautiful artwork and animation - are what drew attention to the series at first.
  • The Woobie: Shiro. Turns out all his memories from ever since he was a child was one big lie. Just imagine calling your friend to realize that she doesn't even know who you are, calling home to find out that the number does not exist, and finally taking a train back home - to realize that where your home is meant to be, there is nothing but an abandoned stadium... This isn't even getting into how everyone wants him dead. And even when he's scared enough to cry, the poor guy refuses to give in and still remains upbeat about it.
    • Kuroh and Neko in the K:Black and White Side Novel.
      • Both lost their parents when they were children. Neko used her powers to trick a couple into thinking that she is their child. She realizes that what she did was wrong when confronted by the Gold clan and undoes the illusion only to have the couple brand her as a monster. She leaves deciding to live a solitary life as a cat from then on.
      • As for Kuroh, after the death of his parents everyone else who took him in seemed to have met untimely deaths or bad luck causing him to be left to die by himself. It's even sadder - when Ichigen first met Kuroh, Kuroh was dying from the cold, wandering in the woods, and Ichigen saw that the only way to save Kuroh was to make him his clansmen. Things improve for him after that, though.
    • Yata and Anna by the end of the anime. They both seem to see HOMRA as a sort of surrogate family and have to deal with losing Totsuka before the series starts and Mikoto in the last episode. For Yata, there's also his issues with Fushimi, though that gets better in the end.
    • Even Totsuka gets to be this in the K: Memory of Red Manga. Totsuka's father abused him and called him "cold-hearted", which Totsuka believed of himself. When he meets Mikoto and Izumo, he's frequently beat up and targeted, but he refuses to leave their sides despite being told how dangerous it was. Then there's the event that kicked off the anime series...
    • Saruhiko Fushimi and his massive trust issues. Here's another abuse backstory, and when he finally made a friend, they join HOMRA together, and, well... expecting him to fit in well in HOMRA is like expecting Misaki to fit in well in Scepter 4. It only took three years for Misaki to realize that. Saruhiko did do some nasty things along the way - he's a Jerkass Woobie, but no less of a Woobie.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/K