Mania Grade: C+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Beam Entertainment
- MSRP: ¥4700
- Running time: 30
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Kite
Kite Vol. #1
Kite Vol. #1
What They SayThe Review!
© Beam Entertainment
This is a title that is sure to attract a lot of attention when Media Blasters, the US distributor, releases it on VHS sometime in 1999, especially amongst the crowd that praise Ninja Scroll as the best anime ever released. Yes, it has the intense sex and violence, which that title brought to the table, along with well-produced animation.
So does this mean I didn't care for it? Well actually no, I did enjoy it. It's an action film, plain and simple. If you don't enter it looking for a deep story and just want to be entertained, then this OVA is great.
The story involves a female assassin who's primary weapon is a gun that shoots time delayed exploding shells -- if she doesn't kill you with the initial shot, just wait a bit -- you'll be dead once the bullet blows half your body away. In the course of the film, she is hired to take out an American action film star. It turns out the star's twin brother has become greedy, and wants to have his brother killed so that he can have all the fame and glory to himself. The fight that ensues in the last half of the OVA is filled with heart pounding Hollywood style action with brilliant sound. The neat thing is that since she is dealing with Americans during this part, all of the dialogue during this entire scene is in English.
The OVA of course ends in a cliffhanger -- since the DVD is only 30 minutes long, this is sort of disappointing. Considering the high price of the disc, it would have been nice to have more of the series. Having been a collector of import LDs for years though, I've become accustomed to this, though lately with all of the DVD collections surfacing both domestically and in Japan, it's been bothering me more than it used to.
It's been several years since I'd seen anything new featuring the unique character designs of Yasuomi Umetsu -- his stylized designs have been featured in the landmark Megazone 23 Part 2 and the "Presence" element of the Robot Carnival anthology. In Kite, the characteristic style is there, but it is a bit more relaxed than his earlier works. It really looks good, and I feel the change is for the better. The video quality is very clean, with no evidence of distortion, artifacts or other flaws. The audio is also very dynamic Dolby Digital 2.0, with great sound effects that convey the action and give the show added presence.
The menu on this title is simple, but works very well; I give it a higher rating since I'm not partial to ones which try to overwhelm you in useless multimedia glitz. On this one, you're presented with the cover art from the keepcase on the right with the chapter choices on the left. In addition, you can view the storyboards for the OVA set to music from the show (these are the last two options on the menu). I would've liked to be able to advance through them at my own pace though; they are shown as a video stream rather than stills.
The DVD is packaged in a keepcase with the very interesting cover art pictured here, even the back has a nice spread of images. The disc apparently includes a gallery of images in BMP format as well -- these are only accessible with a DVD-ROM drive, which I don't own, so I can't check them out (Rats).
If you would like to see this title and even Ninja Mono on DVD domestically (see my review for more info) let Media Blasters know. It's a solid title that will surely please fans of the genre. Be advised that this title has an 18+ rating on it -- although if you weren't offended by Ninja Scroll then you shouldn't have a problem with this one either.
Japanese Language,Storyboards,Additional BMP image gallery when used with a DVD-ROM