Blu-ray Review: K – The Complete Series

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Kaze’s latest Complete Series release is a Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack of “K” but what did we think of the Blu-ray Disc and it’s contents? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of K – The Complete Series.

Synopsis:    

Shiro is an easygoing teenager content with just being a student – until his seemingly perfect life is halted when a bloodthirsty clan, glowing red with fire, attempts to kill him in the streets.

Unbeknownst to Shiro, he is suspected of murdering a member of their clan and will need a miracle to escape their vengeance. Miraculously, a young man named Kuroh Yatogami swings in and aids Shiro in his getaway, only to reveal he’s also after Shiro’s life

Our View:

As the synopsis suggests K follows the events of Yashiro Isana, a typical high-school student who lives within the technologically advanced city of Shizume, however one day while running an errand for a friend he discovers that he has become the target for multiple organizations.  These organizations each have their own reason for wanting to capture him, but this whole fiasco started when a video was broadcasting showing Shiro mockingly killing another person at point blank range.

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It’s the Organization HOMRA who have the most interest in him, and they want to capture and question Shiro as they believe he killed a comrade of theirs, meanwhile the Black Hound, Kuroh Yatogami, tracks down Shiro and attempts to assassinate him, as Kuroh believes he is the colourless king, a person who wants destructive power and to rule the world. Both Organizations constantly battle it out, with Kuroh eventually trusting in Shiro and becoming an ally, however a third organization, which seem to act as secret peacekeepers, also linger in the background, waiting to pounce on both the HOMRA and Kuorh when the time is right. While these three groups ‘battle it out’ a fourth organization is also lingering in the background, and this one is more dangerous than the three put together as they are the group that started it all.

Mysteries, Lies and deceit, along with some uniquely explosive battles, await the viewer and despite it’s approach the whole story is quite interesting and even comes with a few intriguing plot twists. Twists in the story include a girl who can transform into a cat, as well as wield insane magic-like abilities, while on the other hand HOMRA perform all sorts of back-room deals to find what they want, but this is only a taster of what to expect. Despite how it looks from the offset K is not a realistic series, though it constantly attempts to be one, as while generic background characters are regular people each member of the organizations (Clans) can perform some type of unique ability and that’s before you even see the Cat girl who can wield even crazier abilities.  For instance characters from the HOMRA group can wield fire styled magical abilities while another character in the group can see a person’s truth by using marbles.

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While the characters have their own “uniqueness” the Series is visually beautiful and looks great in High Definition, although the GoHands production style of using a blue overshadow on everything (the same style as used in Mardock Scramble) does feel like overkill – especially for a series that doesn’t cover “dark topics” or have that much violence. Yes there is blood, but in terms of “physical violence” there isn’t much, although for a 12 Rating there is a fair amount of swearing , and I’m not referring to Beetards & Sheets either. It’s unexpected so viewer’s discretion is advised on both the English and Japanese audio tracks, as they both have their fair share of swear words.

Extras:

All 13 episodes of the series, along with English and Japanese audio tracks, are crammed onto a single 50GB Blu-ray Disc, and because of this there is not a single bit of extra content – which is overly disappointing as the US version has a variety of extra content.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50
Region: B
Running Time: 5:15:51
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: English & Japanese LPCM 2.0
Subtitles: English & French (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

K offers something different to most anime series, a realistic location with real issues bit mixes them with clan wars and magical (out of this world) abilities. Although the series is interesting I found it quite hard to immerse myself in it and for me it’s down to the presentation of the series.  I’m all for mystery and discovering the facts as time goes along, but the presentation just seems to be all over the place – for instance it starts with an awesome fight between two rival factions, both of which wield magical abilities that would put Fairy Tail to shame, and then it abruptly ends so that it could jump to the everyday life of shiro and his problems. The reason is to provide suspense and an insight into what exactly the HOMRA are looking for, but at this point im more interested in the previous topic of HOMURA’s fight then Shiro’s unusual lifestyle.

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Of course with this Kaze release the series presentation, which does make sense the further you get into it, isn’t the biggest downfall – the biggest downfall is that all 13 episodes, along with two different audio options (English & Japanese), two subtitle options (English & French) and two menu layouts are “crammed” onto a single Blu-ray disc. HD tech savy folks may like to know that the episodes also play at a variable rate between 4mbps & 22mbps, however they average out at around 15mpbs – which is considerably lower than a two disc blu-ray release, such as Guilty Crown, which plays at near double the amount. Interestingly with this much content (and the disc packed to the brim) I’m surprised to say that the episodes still look as detailed as they do, but I assume when compared to the US release the difference may be noticeable to some.

That’s not the only disappointment either, as with the disc being so full there is no room for additional content. If the French menu layout wasn’t included then additional items could have been included, so I assume that this disc is also the same one being used in the French Kaze release of the series, as it would save on production costs for both regions.  Speaking of French menus, the pop-menu on the English side of the disc uses the French pop-up menu and although only one word is in French (fermer) it is still present and untranslated.  The Pop-Up Menu is important as well, as it is the only way to change audio options (as the audio button will not change it for you), furthermore by pressing the main menu button you’ll be redirected to the very start of the disc, whereby you have to choose either the English or French Disc menu. It’s not very quick or nimble either, so it can be bit annoying – but these seems to be the trend of Kaze releases.

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Overall this release of K is a bit of a disappointment, the series is intriguing and looks stunning but I found myself hard to be entertained by it, meanwhile the overall “botch-job” of the disc means it feels like you are receiving a stripped down version of what should be a high value product. If you are a fan of K then obviously picking up this release is a no-brainer, but if you are unsure of the series then you may want to try before you buy as once the series is over there isn’t anything keeping you here.

Score: review-stars-2

K – The Complete Series will be available as a Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack from the 5th May 2014.

Trailer:

 

Quick Look:

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

One Response to Blu-ray Review: K – The Complete Series

  1. Pingback: Dragon Ball & K Unboxing Videos Begin Streaming on MangaUK’s Youtube Channel | AnimeBlurayUK

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