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'K Missing Kings' is an anime hot mess

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A network of ninjas connected by a smartphone app? That's why 'K Missing Kings' is a hot anime mess

"K Missing Kings" follows up on the 2012 Japanese anime series "K," which put a futuristic spin on Japanese period dramas by stacking superhero powers and skateboards onto time-honored chambara samurai sword fights and dressing characters in "visual kei," Japan's answer to glam-rock style.

Just how do you extend a series after solving its central whodunit/mistaken-identity mystery and killing off major characters? David Lynch worked around that dilemma by making a prequel, and "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" tied up loose ends while satiating the curiosity of obsessive fans. GoRa, the anime collaborative behind "K," has opted for a sequel, but "Missing Kings" only opens another can of worms.

The newly introduced Yukari Mishakuji (voiced by Masakazu Morita) kidnaps Anna (Yui Horie), believing her psychic abilities will lead him to Shiro (Daisuke Namikawa), the series' protagonist presumed dead in the "K" finale. Kuroh (Daisuke Ono) — who guarded Shiro — tries to rescue Anna and also settle an old score with Yukari.

Making sense was never a top priority for "K," and its sequel is just as much of a hot mess. "Missing Kings" tosses out half-baked ideas, such as a network of ninjas connected by a smartphone app. The self-referential flashbacks and Mikio Endo's elevator-music score also do little to warrant a theatrical run.

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"K Missing Kings."

MPAA rating: None.

Running time: 1 hour, 13 minutes.

Playing: At Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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