Sometimes a show comes along that you don't see sneaking up on you. You turn around and WHAMMO! There's a series that blows all your expectations away for how a simple story about high school kids in Japan can be told. King's Game is just such a show. I had no IDEA that a series about teenagers facing a deadly curse could be so epically horrendous in every single aspect of its creation.
Seriously, it's that bad?
I... I thought that we were not allowed to bring up Saikano?
That is the law of the land, but I needed you all to understand just how awful this new show is. It has pretty much no redeeming values. The art style, the characters, the animation, the music, the "plot," the ending... This series has a foundation set out of pure diarrhea, and then the writers and animators built it up using bricks made of baked cow and horse shit, and then they sculpted a cherry to place on top made out of malleable dog crap that came from the anus of a German Shepherd that accidentally ate its owner's Hershey Bar that they were saving for later. It is a tower of figurative feces.
If it was that bad, why did you watch the entire thing?
Oh, it was entirely my own damn fault for finishing this dreadful thing up, but in my defense, Cupcake had read the manga King's Game: Origin and told me that it was pretty good. I didn't look into King's Game the anime enough before starting it, and just assumed it was an animated adaption of the manga. It is not. It is in fact an animated adaption of the 9th layer of Dante's Hell brought to ink and paint.
Just get on with it. What's King's Game about?
The story of King's Game is about a class of high schoolers in Japan being cursed by some sort of supernatural entity that kills them off one by one if they don't play its game properly. Sounds like Another, right? I had hoped it would be just as entertaining as that series, but maybe with a little more structure and clearer rules.... I was disappointed there again.
KG is about a class of 30 or so high schoolers who start receiving texts from somebody calling himself the King. The King starts to order the class into doing (or NOT doing, in some cases) disturbing acts of violence or rapiness. The King tells them all that if they do not participate, or attempt to opt out, that he will "punish them," just not in a Sailor Moon kind of way. This King likes to punish kids who don't murder or rape or maim by making them hang themselves, or by magically cutting their heads off, or by magically cutting their heads off. Yeah, that's one of the many problems of this show, it's very repetitive.
But wait! It turns out that this class of freaking-out-kids has two students among it that have already survived previous King's Games that have already obliterated their earlier classrooms! One kid (Bland Protagonist A) wants to try and save everybody in his new class, while the other survivor (Stupid Psychotic Villainess) wants to help the King mass murder all her classmates... Because she crazy.
Well, that SOUNDS like it has potential...
That's why I stuck with it. Even up till the very last episode I thought that maybe, just MAYBE, they would do something new, something special with this setup. But alas, earwax.
And I'm getting ahead of myself. So, Bland Protagonist A starts to tell his current class of unbelievers all about his previous class, and how everybody started acting on the King's orders (like "say the names of 2 people in your class and they'll die," or "roll a dice and whatever number faces up, say the names of that many people and they'll die") and fucking everybody else over in order to be the only ones to survive. Even though they're never even told that ANYONE would be able to survive the game.
Bland Protagonist A slowly begins to convince his new class that the game is real (way too slowly, if you ask me, especially when the whole class actually SEES multiple classmates die unexplained and bloody deaths), but before he can unite them all against the common threat that they all face, Stupid Psychotic Villainess jumps in and turns everyone against each other because she's 1) Stupid, 2) Psychotic, and 3) A terrible caricature of a villain.
Time and again in this thing, the whole class has an opportunity to straight up kill this bitch with the rules of the game as their loaded gun, but then ANOTHER bland and stupid character would jump in and save Stupid Psychotic Villainess for no good reason at all. Then this bland and stupid character would die a terrible and gory death (usually by having their head magically cut off) due to Stupid Psychotic Villainess' machinations, because all teenagers in Japan are apparently either stupid, or evil, or both.
Wow. That does sound bad.
There were times I prayed that the kids in the show would call my name as the next victim so that the King would rip off my head and I could then stop watching this garbage.
Do we ever find out who this "King" is?
Kind of. I had to have Cupcake tell me what happened in the King's Game: Origin manga just so that that part would at least make sense... it didn't help much in relation to this series though.
You see, in King's Game: Origin (which takes place in a small Japanese mountain village 30 years earlier), the "King" in question is a really weird virus that infected the burg, and made people send themselves strange letters containing threats on their life if they didn't do simple things (like stare at a grave all night, or something lame like that). They would then be compelled to kill themselves if they didn't enact the King's will.
The government then sealed the town off in the hopes that they could stop the virus from spreading... But get this: the virus got out!..... By somehow turning digital and entering people's cell phones. That's not a joke. That is actually what they say probably happens, but it makes no sense in comparison to the original virus that affected living people and made them do things that they thought a malicious paranormal force was doing to them. It does not explain how this physical virus could go digital, or how it could actually make people's heads fall off. As far as I can tell, the dumb theory that the kids come up with is absolutely wrong... But if that's the case, then what IS the King, why does he like to make teenagers murder and rape each other, and how does he kill the kids when they break his rules? We will never know. And by that I mean I'LL never know, since even if they make any more King's Game stories, I'll never watch or read them.
Okay. Cool... So then you might as well tell us how it ends.
Okay, so the King's second to last command for the class is that they have 24 hours to run to about 100 miles to some remote mountain peak in another prefecture. Every 8 hours, whoever is farthest from this mountain will die (by getting their head magically cut off). Well, the kids have mostly cracked by this time, and some have turned to straight evil, and some have just given up. For some reason they keep running (some girls in heels).
By the end of the 24 hours mark, the class is down to something like four kids who somehow actually made it all the way to this mountain without passing out or dying of dehydration. This group of course includes Stupid Psychotic Villainess and Bland Protagonist A. Half a dozen kids died due to retardation or backstabbing along the way.
The survivors then get their final order from the King: Cut up any number of their classmates and make a Frankenstein-like doll out of real human body parts. Instead of using any of the dead classmates lying waist deep around them, Wussy Boy Number Five completely loses his shit and chainsaws his leg off at Stupid Psychotic Villainess' insistence. Do NOT ask where that chainsaw came from. Apparently it's not important.
Then the lamest fight ever occurs between the remaining three kids, and they all die by either chainsaw or suicide. You see, we were told earlier (quite clearly) that if every student playing the game died, the King's Game could not be passed along to another group since no remaining "infected" individual could bring it to a new high school class. But then, just as the show is wrapping up, some new kid in a new school gets a text welcoming him to the King's Game.
Fuck this shit.
That really does sound like a truly terrible series. Was there anything good about it?
Really? Not ONE thing?
Not one thing. The animation is bad from the first to last episode; the character designs are so bland and boring that I had trouble figuring out who anybody was half the time; the story had so many holes in it, and so many unexplained things going on that the viewer has to just throw logic out the window in order to make it through this thing with their sanity... Nothing is good about King's Game. Nothing is even mediocre. EVERYTHING is BAD.
Oh, and before I forget, why is NOBODY in the entire world concerned that all these classrooms of high schoolers are dying by having their heads fall off, or by other weird and violent means. Even in the middle of this story, when more than half the class has perished in one unspeakable way or another, and we know for a fact that at least two other classrooms have had similar things happen in the past year or so, NOTHING IS DONE ABOUT IT! The remaining kids' parents still send them to school and still let them all run out and gather in empty parks at midnight when tons of other teenagers in their kids' class have already died by bloodletting or missing heads in parks around town over the past few days.
Bad. So bad.
I can't believe that I watched the whole thing... Not that I thought that this anime was as bad as the Rossman thinks it is, but because I actually lived through a similar experience during my own time in high school.
You see, everybody kept getting weird notes from somebody telling them that they had to play a game in order to not be "punished." This seemed strange at first, but we all played along because all the notes were telling us to do was "eat lunch with that lonely girl in your class," or "help that lonely girl with her homework," and even "walk that lonely girl home from school."
It was a bit creepy, but I didn't want to be punished. But then I got that note saying "bring a condom to that lonely girl's house on Saturday. Her parents will be out of town." I did, but I still got punished. I apparently had to have sex with that lonely, ugly, enormous girl, and even though I did, it was the worst punishment I've ever endured. Why did she taste like Ex-Lax mixed with a cat box?
(NOTES FROM THE ROSSMAN: Oooooooh yeah! I forgot about that whole thing with Carl in high school. See, there was this new girl who was really shy and lonely who joined our class during our junior year. Everybody felt bad for her, but nobody wanted to hang out with her or help her or anything because she was reeeeeeally ugly. And 5'3" and 320 lbs.
So one day Chi-Chi and I came up with a plan that was win-win for everyone involved! We sent Carl "cursed notes" that told him that he had to hang out with her and help her with her homework and shit... Well, I'm guessing that Carl must have told the poor girl about the notes, because suddenly notes that we weren't writing started appearing in his locker, and they started telling him to do weird and kinky shit with her. That's when we noped out, but apparently Carl kept obeying.... Till the bitter end. Amazing.)
King's Game - Origin was a fun, dark, twisted, and entertaining ride that kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next the entire time. King's Game - The Anime was 12 episodes of schlock wherein 32 kids died who I gave no craps about.
To quote Forrest Gump: That's all I have to say about that.