Tuesday 11 February 2014

Kite Liberator (2007) - Anime Review

Kite Liberator is the follow-up to 1998's "Kite", a film I've never seen. I've absolutely no idea what the first part was like, or what it was about, but after watching this, it's definitely on my list of things to watch! Samuel L. Jackson loved the manga and anime of the first part so much, that he's remaking it as a live-action movie, set for release later this year.

A friend at work recommended this second part to me, even though he's not an anime fan; in fact, I think this might have been his first anime. I think he just decided to take a punt on this as it was available on Netflix. So I decided to watch it as well. From what I've read, it's not related to the original anime; it's more of a spin-off, with a completely new protagonist.

Kite Liberator is the story of high school girl Monaka Noguchi, who works in a maid café, and also just so happens to be a deadly assassin, known to the police as "The Angel of Death".

Her father Orudo Noguchi works on board a space station that orbits the Earth, and in doing so, he hasn't seen his daughter in four years. When a freak mishap, involving radiation from solar flares, and the bone enhancing space curry that he and one of his fellow crew members have been eating, causes them to transform into raging destructive beasts, and leads to disastrous consequences, we find out that Monaka will soon be reunited with her father once again...

Having never seen the original "Kite", I had no real idea of what to expect from this anime. Like I said before, one of my friends had recommended it to me, so I had only a vague idea that it was about a female assassin, and that there was some violence involved (that's pretty much expected in an anime about an assassin!), but that's about all.

Overall, it's a strange amalgam of several different story elements; sci-fi mutant creatures in space, a mysterious vigilante assassin out to kill the criminals, sci-fi mutant creatures in Tokyo, and a young girl trying to live a normal life. All come together somehow, to make quite an enjoyable flick.

It's not always very coherent though, in the way it brings these disparate elements together, but I guess that's to be expected, especially within the confines of a one hour running time. I can't help but feel this would have been a little better if it were given some extra time to flesh these out. Perhaps feature length, or even over a series, there could have been much more to explore.

The exterior space scenes in the earlier half of the movie are generally rendered in CG, which for the most part are fine, but sometimes move quite jerkily, which doesn't sit too well with the rest of the animation. However, there's not too much of it, so it doesn't really impact on the enjoyment of the film. The action scenes, such as the police chase through the train station, or the monster battle on board the space station, are very well done though, with some great animation and attention to detail; the latter having some very bloody moments indeed. For those of you who are into fan service, there are a few moments; flashes of panties, naked breasts, as well as the bloody violent moments.

Kite Liberator has a lot going for it; the huge mutant monsters tearing up the streets of Tokyo, a deadly female assassin on the hunt for bad guys, and some great action set-pieces, which all add up to a fast-paced and exciting anime. However, it struggles a little to bring together it's parts into cohesive and united whole.

Aside from a rather abrupt ending, overall this was a very enjoyable story. I'll definitely try and watch the first part, and there's supposed to be a "Kite Liberator 2" coming at some point. I might well check out Samuel L. Jackson's film too.

Image Credit: Poster/Header - Wikipedia/iTunes


  1. I had to google it to make sure it wasn't an error on netflix when I finished it, worst ending ever, abrupt is an understatement, I felt like it was just starting to ramp up and then BAM, over.

    I liked the main character but it didn't flesh out anybodies story at all, shame because it really had some good elements going for it.

    1. Haha, yes, I was unsure as to whether something had gone wrong, as I'd watched in on Netflix too. The ending could and should have been developed a whole lot more; it seemed kinda rushed!

      I agree, it's a shame that there wasn't much character development, and like I said, maybe things would've been better had the running time been longer. Still, I think there's enough there to keep you entertained, and I look forward to Kite Liberator 2, if it ever comes out...

      Thanks for reading, Rob!


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