Animation: Excellent
Depth: Weak
Design: Good
Characters: Weak
Story: Weak

Type: OVA   (2 episodes)

Vintage: 1998

Category:

» action
Verdict: weak
Related:
Review:

Kite


Summary: >

Sawa is a pretty young girl attending college. She plays the innocent school girl part pretty well, which comes in handy when covering up the fact that she deals out vigilante justice with exploding bullets. For years she's worked with a detective who was like a guardian to her. But then something happened which changed Sawa: she made a friend. Things begin to fall apart when she has to choose between her new found friend and the man that raised and trained her. One thing is certain: whoever she doesn't choose won't live for long.


Thoughts: >

Kite involves some explaining, and this is the third rewrite of this review. In its time, Kite received much praise. As an action title, I agree Kite is impressive with over the top violent eye candy. The designs also have a distinct look to them. It's the story where this one fails, but not due to a bad plot, it's because it's cold, heartless and completely botches the ending. But when I first saw Kite, nothing before the end made much sense either. That's because Kite comes in two versions.

I first watched the cut version. So the uncut version features a bunch of sex right? Correct. However Kite is a unique because plot and character development happens during the scenes. Conversations and flashbacks happen that are critical to the show. Kite was originally two 30 minute OVAs, and this was cut down to 45 minutes. Being short to begin with, removing 25% of the show providing much needed supplementary material makes the "cut" version a mess. In the uncut version Sawa makes much more sense as a character. She's consistent with someone traumatized. This doesn't make her particularly likable, but she's still a stronger character.

In a nutshell, Kite is the perfect mesh of sex and violence. It's like a violent action show interlaced with a porno - but with an actual story. And yes the sex is graphic (I'm not kidding when I use the term porno). Is that necessary? I donno... I mean with peoples heads exploding left and right, why stop there ya know?

This leaves Kite in a weird spot for recommendations. I wouldn't recommend seeing the cut version because everything is so disjointed. The uncut version offers a passable story, but you're watching an action hentai show at that point. Either way the ending is a disaster. With everything that happened to Sawa, she finally got her vengeance and Kite appears to build a sense of hope. Then it completely fucks this up with the ending. Like getting through a bad meal, thinking that desert might be okay, then getting served a steaming pile of shit by some guy with a big smile on his face (Thanks Umetsu). Cut or uncut, I was left with a sense of disgust over that.

Few titles can rival the "extreme" level Kite while maintaining a high mark of quality. There's some merit to that. I don't think "extreme" is enough to justify a show, but back in the day there was a target demographic for this. Kite was at the end of that evolutionary chain.


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2002