The human race spread across the galaxy using terraforming technology to make planets habitable. While respective planets have their own government, one organization operates above and between star systems: the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs (GOTT). They're bound to the whims of corporations as much as defending the law.
Within the GOTT, operates a special unit known as Encounter Shadow Force (ES Force). These two person teams are reserved for special assignments and can bend the rules. Eclair and Lumiere are two receptionists at GOTT headquarters, but also low ranking ES members on the side. A recent string of assignments gets them involved in the holdings and interests of the galaxy elite known as the Nobless.
Sci-fi titles becoming rare, when I get in the mood to watch one the selection is small. Enter Kiddy Grade, a title I've had on the "I should watch that some day" list for years. I avoided it because it looks like mostly gloss with little substance, one of the characters is perilously close to lolicon territory, and "Kiddy Grade" is possibly the dumbest title ever - and has nothing to do with the show! Every dumb title I could think of ("Space Adventure G.O.T.T." or "Short Skirt and Loli") sounds far better than what they came up with. Ugh! Anyway I had my doubts on this one, but the more I watched the more I loved Kiddy Grade.
One theme I appreciated involves corporations, and the lack of boundary limitations. In our ever globalizing world, it seems likely international corporations will one day reach past stellar boundaries if mankind takes to the stars. If you like action, then Kiddy Grade delivers some cool space combat as well as impressive close quarters action at the personal level.
Kiddy Grade really comes together with the story. It starts out as a caper of the week with subtle information provided for later on. While I expected the typical big plot shift later, Kiddy Grade got started way too early for that formula. Instead it goes from plot twist to plot twist and gets crazy towards the end. This approach has drawbacks as well. If you prefer well fleshed out stories, the threads of Kiddy Grade twist too often for things to straiten out. Aside from this, the story becomes disjointed and often glosses over huge plot holes. I think some people misunderstand Kiddy Grade as trying to be intelligent. If it were striving to that end, an effort to to patch up those plot holes would have been made. Instead Kiddy Grade is focused on entertainment above all else, and doesn't dwell on details to keep things moving. I'd be the first to complain about taking shortcuts in this regard, but I'll be honest and admit I found the crazy plot twists way too much fun to worry about it.
The dub does fairly well, but I felt some parts were unconvincing due to under-acting. This makes the characters sound emotionally flat, but it's watchable and better than the typical overacting. The DVD release has some cool extras, including Japanese piracy / copyright messages. While that might sound lame, the cast made them very fun to watch. There's also the Kiddy Grade 2 promotional trailer I can only describe as highly concentrated awesomeness. It'll leave you drooling in anticipation of Kiddy Grade 2 (which was never made).
Kiddy Grade: dumb title, awesome anime. If you want something insightful, yet linear with coherency throughout; this is not your title. However if you want a sci-fi anime which tries to be entertaining above all else: this is it. For that matter if your idea of entertainment involves anime girls, factoring in her outfit; Eclair is one of the best designed anime girls out there. Good stuff, worth your time.
Eclair: You know they can't hear me. The silence shield is up!
Lumiere: There isn't a shield in existence that could silence your big mouth.
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