Friday, April 8, 2011

Kiddy Grade Anime Review

Kiddy Grade
Complete Collection - 24 episodes
600 minutes
$89.98 (2006) $49.98 Viridian Collection (2008)
ISBN 704400075407
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Keiji Gotoh
Studio - Gonzo
TO BUY: Kiddy Grade

Synopsis: In the far future mankind is spread throughout the galaxy under the Global Union.  The Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs (GOTT) acts as a universal police force and includes a 'shadow unit' called the ES Force (Encounter of Shadow-work) comprised of twelve superpowered operatives.  The operatives are paired up as teams with each team given a spaceship and guard robot.  Orders are issued by the Galactic Council to Chief Eclipse who then puts her teams into action.  We focus on the C-Class team of Eclair and Lumiere as they stop intergalactic crimes with the help of auditor Armblast.  ES teams include:
  • Eclair ("Power") & Lumiere ("Puppet") with guard robot Donnerschlag and spaceship La Muse (Wirbelwind)
  • Alv ("Absorb" "Reflex") & Dvergr ("Absorb" "Reflex" "Transmission") with guard robot Thor and spaceship Svart
  • Tweedledee ("Storm") & Tweedledum ("Magnetfeld") with guard robot Dodo and spaceship Cheshire Cat (C-Square). Twins can combine powers for "Windstorm"
  • Viola ("Calamity") & Cesario ("Driver") with guard robot Titano and spaceship Fenice 
  • Un-ou ("Amazing") & A-ou ("Amplifier") with guard robot Ganador and spaceship Salyut
  • Sinistra ("Whenever") & Dextera ("Anywhere") with guard robot Zephyrus and spaceship Centurion
The Nouvlesse are the galactic elite and hidden force behind the GU/GOTT.  They are fanatical "Earthlings" who look down on others as "commoners" and exploit them (classic bourgeois v. proletariat).  When a particularly nasty assignment triggers latent memories in Eclair the entire galactic balance of power is dangerously imperiled.

Pros: Box set included trading cards of the 48 different eyecatch images (although this adds a lot of extra weight to the set), plenty of fanservice (although Lumiere's character looks a bit young), halfway through the show Eclair gets a new body -- with bigger boobs!

Cons: Eight discs!? Funimation seriously put only 3 episodes with practically zero bonus features on each disc - what a waste! Character designs were simple, plot was convoluted and developed too slowly

Mike Tells It Straight: Mixed reaction to this show - pacing was too slow and the episode count could have been cut in half without hurting the plot.  The character designs and motivations were too simple for my taste, but the fanservice was playfully done.  The later episodes brought everything together and made for a decent sci-fi story.  Overall a bit too childish, but not intended for children.

TO BUY and Recommendations: Speed Grapher Shattered Angels S.A.V.E.