City appears to be a futuristic metropolis, but beneath the surface, it is like
feudal Scotland. Secret clans forge alliances and rivalries, fueled by their
unique powers. Kuroh Yatogami and his feline fellow clan member Neko have been looking
for Yashiro Isana, the Silver King, who ominously vanished after what fans know
as the “Academy Island Incident.” Their fruitless search will be interrupted by
more inter-clan conflict in Shingo Suzuki’s K:
Missing Kings (trailer
feature length sequel to the hit manga and anime series, which opens this
Friday in major markets.
Silver Clan members are not the only ones struggling with potential losses. The
Red Clan, known as HOMRA, has essentially been in hiding, largely out of touch
with each other. For some reason, the Green Clan (a.k.a. Jungle) is hunting
Anna Kushina, a young HOMRA member with Professor X-like powers.
The two Silver
Clan members will team up with Kushina’s protector, Rikio Kamamoto as best they
can, but they are temporarily overmatched by Yatogami’s old nemesis and his
super-charged ninja accomplice. As a result, an unlikely request for help will
be made to Scepter 4, the icily efficient Blue Clan.
many feature incarnations of popular anime franchises, Missing Kings is not an inconsequential side adventure shoehorned
into the established timeline. It advances the storyline in significant ways.
That means there are real stakes involved. While that makes it a high priority
for the existing fan base, newcomers are not given much exposition to get up to
speed with. Granted, viewers should be able to pick up on the basic elements of
X-Men and various conspiratorial hidden
history motifs at play. However, the relationships between the various clans
will be richer and far more comprehensible to those who are familiar with their
there is a lot of good action in Missing
Kings, starting with a highly cinematic raid on the Gold Clan’s corporate
headquarters. In quieter moments, it spins out some legitimate character development
arcs, particularly for Yatogami and Kushina. Returning writer GoRa also answers
some lingering questions from the series, while still leaving plenty
high quality anime production, Missing
Kings looks great and sounds surprisingly hip thanks to a jazzy-quiet
storm-ish soundtrack. The faithful should be well satisfied, but it is still an
awkward entry point for the uninitiated. Recommended for fans or those who just
want to see some well executed anime action, K: Missing Kings opens in some markets this Friday (7/18), but
screens Saturday and Monday (7/19 & 7/21) in New York at the Village East.
Check for local listings at Eleven Arts site here.
Labels: Animated films, Anime, Japanese Cinema