REVIEW BY RYO DARK
Form of Anime: Movie
Released in the U.S.: Yes
Kite. The name means nothing to me, seeing as in the anime movie, they never once explain the title. First time I saw this anime, I was a naďve, young otaku searching her local Blockbuster for any anime tapes they might have. I thought the cover of Kite looked cool, so I rented it. Oooooh boy, what a mistake. I HATED IT. Really, I despised this anime. It is by far the most violent anime I have ever seen. Coming from me, that may not say much, seeing as a lot of the anime I watch is warm and fuzzy. Buuuut, my favorite genre of live action film is HORROR. I can stomach the worst kinds of gore, and I love it. But I don’t know, this movie, it seemed like it brought senseless violence to a new level of disgustingness. Exploding bodies, tons of blood and other bodily fluids, sex, nudity, brutality, you name it, it had all the horrible things I’d never want my children to see, if I had children. Aside from all that, I felt this movie didn’t have much of a plot to follow. The characters weren’t very well-developed and their backgrounds were quite vague. The animation was nice (and I *will* give it that much), but the soundtrack was unmemorable, and the ending SUCKED. I can see some people viewing the ending as "deep," portraying a continuation of the mindless violence that the city’s youth get sucked into, but I scoff at that. It was a sad attempt at being deep. Ok, so you see, I CLEARLY hated this movie. However...
Recently, I downloaded an incredible AMV made by NHMK AMV's. It is Kite, to the song "Clubbed to Death, Kurayamino Mix" from the Matrix Reloaded soundtrack, by Rob Dougan. I am a huge fan of Rob D., so I gave it a whirl despite objections from the side of my brain that screamed, "KITE SUCKS!" I have to say, given my current perspective on Kite, it would take an INCREDIBLE amount of video editing skill to alter my opinion. He pulled it off. For some reason, I suddenly saw another side to Kite. Sure, the AMV had plenty of violence, as did the movie, but it also showed a side of the movie I hadn’t seen in the first viewing. It actually convinced me to go rent the movie again. Trekking on over to Blockbuster, I again made the fateful choice to rent Kite. After a second viewing, I am now somehow torn upon what to think.
Basically, the plot is as follows, the main character, Sawa’s, parents were killed when she was young and she was taken in by a creepy police investigator named Akai who trained her to be an assassin. A ka-wa-ii (ugh) schoolgirl assassin with guuuuns. Anyway, she grows up a little and becomes ridiculously good at her job of killing. She wears these pretty red earrings all the time, which contain some blood from her parents. The creepy-ass murderous Akai that took her in gave them too her. He’s creepy, and they have sex together, which is wroooong, but whatever. Sawa meets another teen assassin named Oburi and they befriend each other in a weird sorta way. I guess they connect because they were both forced into a life of killing due to dire circumstances. Anyway, Oburi is the closest thing to a bishi in this movie, and I admit he’s reeealllly cool. I’d say the best thing this movie has going for it. He’s nonchalant and pretty hehe. There is a DRAMATIC twist towards the end revealing the identity of Sawa’s parents’ killer. Not that you could guess it. At all. But the very end really pissed me off. REALLY. Cause you know, I don’t know if I should spoil it for you, but they get rid of the only thing that movie even had going for it. So I was mad.
You might be asking, so what was the difference between the first and second viewings of the movie? Well, I have the AMV to thank for it, but somehow I connected a little more towards Sawa’s character. The first time around, I thought she was just a cold-blooded killing machine, but later I understood that she really didn’t WANT to become an assassin, she had no other choice. It’s like how teenagers on the streets are forced into prostitution because of their living conditions, situation, and environment. It was actually much sadder the second time around. I was able to look (a little more) past the violence and view what I thought was the message behind it. Sawa was human. On the outside she seemed a cold-blooded killer, but she still had hidden emotions. She was so young, and had no other choice. She killed, to survive. How poetic. *Gag!* Oh and one other note, both times I viewed the "edited" version of Kite, not the Director's Cut (which contains, in a nutshell, 4 more XXX hentai sex scenes. One of which was uber controversial as it was Akai molesting a very very young Sawa). If you LIKE this movie (God Forbid), you should see the Director's Cut, who knows, maybe the extra sex adds some flair to this otherwise dull movie.
Music: 2.5 stars out of 5 (I guess, there was music...somewhere in there)
Animation: 4 stars out of 5 (Pretty nice, smooth)
Plot: 2 stars out of 5 (Thinner than an anorexic)
Character Development: 1.5 stars out of 5 (GAH, who ARE these people!?)
Overall: 2.5 stars out of 5 (Blech! See it if you care that much, or love violence and pointless sex, but I don't recommend this for general audiences.)