Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 2, 2006 to Mar 25, 2007
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.501 (scored by 15094 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure fantasy shounen
SynopsisIn a dystopian future, two friends dream of freedom... and gain more than they bargain for! Hothead Zed is on the run from the authorities, while his brainy pal Noah struggles with his own battered body. Both find a magical world that seems to offer escape and power undreamed of. Join Zed and his powerful, rebellious spirit Amir Gaul on their search for the ultimate power. It's a force that can save the world - or destroy life as we know it. This is the world of KIBA! Where you must harness the power within and fight with all you got!
Characters & Voice Actors
I think it's fair to describe Kiba as Madhouse's take on the whole proxy/monster battle shonen type anime. Aka the Pokemon clones. Hopefully this review will help inform people who are planning to watch it about what they're in for. This is a spoiler free review.
Ok, let's start with the settings. Kiba takes place in a fantasy universe in which humans live on different planets and each planet has a very different way of life. Some of these planets have "Shard Casters" which is basically a warrior who casts spells or summons monsters through these marble thingies he has. Also Shard Casters usually use swords as well and fight together with the monster, which is a freakin' awesome idea!
Though certainly not too original, it does present this in a pretty interesting manner. This series uses these elements not in having friendly battles that are just for fun, but in real wars between different nation planets, in which people actually end up dead most of the time. So we actually have a really good start here.
The premise of the story is pretty typical though. I mean it's about a boy who manages to stumble in to another planet while running from the authorities on his home planet and becomes a Shard Caster and… You know, the usual routine. I don't want this review to be a synopsis.
How does the series go afterwards? Well, the storyline feels a little random and almost aimless at first. However, it is pretty epic in terms of it's content and it has some pretty cool twists and turns along the way. It does involve war, revolutions and even politics to an extent. Though the politics in it are very simplistic and not very intriguing for the most part. It's kinda understandable, I'm pretty sure this series is intended for a younger audience than (for example) your average Gundam is.
And even though this series has little to no blood in it, characters die in very brutal ways and life is very cheap. So this is a very dark Pokemon clone. And though this is my subjective opinion, I found that aspect alone interesting enough to keep watching it. I'm such a sick bastard, I know..
Also I should warn you that the story and the actions characters decide to take don't always add up very well or make complete sense. Though if you've seen Yu-Gi-Oh and liked it despite it's logical flaws, it definitely won't distract you in this series.
The pacing actually isn't too bad for a battle shonen, so I'll definitely give it credit for that. Battles never last more than two episodes, villains get defeated quickly (though not always easily) and most episodes are quite eventful. On the other hand there are some arcs that you'd think will add up with the main story, but eventually turn out to be mostly useless to it. So the pacing is far from perfect.
The conclusion of the series is a little cheesy, and it was both mostly satisfying and a tad open. Though generally the final arc in this series was kinda meh anyways (even though it was necessary for the story to be pretty much complete)..
So the story is nothing that good overall, but I really don't think it's terrible either. At least it's not bad for an anime that is basically a commercial for some card game (which is what Kiba is, though it doesn't make that too obvious).
At the end of the day, it does have a really interesting combination of ideas and a decent presentation of those ideas.
The characters in this series have pretty generic personalities. The MC is like "I wan't to become stronger" and it's for no other reason than his own ego, tbh. Speaking of which there seems to be a lot of cliché lines in this series, and that doesn't really help much. The characters aren't defined too well either, if you pay enough attention, you'd notice that sometimes they behave in a way that Is very much out of character.
The characters (or at least the main characters) do have decent backstories, some of which are connected to each other, so in that regard the characters were handled ok. Even though the stories themselves had the usual clichés like childhood friends etc'.
The characters even develop. The MC's development isn't too bad and actually kinda adds up, but some of the other character's development (and I'm not gonna mention which, but it's pretty freaking obvious) are pretty insane and way out of proportion till it becomes kinda laughable. Oh and other characters that do have a lot of screen time, don't develop much. So it's basically focusing on the 2 main characters in terms of development and the rest are pretty much ignored in that sense. I mean there's still some minor characters that develop, but it's so ridiculous and over the top that it's not even worth mentioning.
The villains in the series are also pretty much your standard shonen villains. Their motivations aren't that interesting and they're just very basic villains overall. Though to their credit, their presence is very threatening because they're very cruel for shonen villains and their body count is high. And they generally have a fun sense of style to them, though nothing we haven't seen before.
As for the character's closure.. it's done in a pretty half assed way for most of them. Especially considering all the crap they've been through, but at least there's some closure. It's better than having none at all.
As you can tell, the characters in this are pretty weak in many areas, so it could turn off some people completely. Though they're not complete card board cutouts like in Pokemon, so give Kiba credit for at least trying to have characters with some depth..
The character designs are very basic shonen designs we've probably seen before. It's nothing unique that you could tell apart from other character designs. Some of the monster designs are ok and others are pretty lame (amil gaoul) and none of them seem too creative.
The backrounds are really good. There are some very nice looking landscapes and though some of it is CG, it doesn't seem out of place in this series.
The animation is pretty good, I guess. This series has a lot of action, and though the battles aren't anything outstanding, they are pretty decent and fun to watch. Especially in the sword fights where a lot of people get stabbed, fall of cliffs, get burned to death etc'.
There're two openings in this series and both of them are pretty good rock/pop kinda songs, especially the second opening that I think was crafted very well. The ending songs weren't bad, but were pretty forgettable.
The sound effects are very basic, we've heard them used a million times before, and other sound effects just sound plain weird. You'll know what I'm talking about if you watched the series.
I don't know Japanese so it's kinda hard to tell, but I think the voice acting is fine. It has some familiar voices as well (at least for me they sound familiar) so some of the actors are probably somewhat famous.
The soundtrack is really good and memorable. Actually it's unbelievably good, there's some really suspenseful tunes here that contribute a lot of atmosphere.
I can't speak for anyone else, but hell yes I enjoyed it! It's not that great, but it's a lot of fun imho.
Kiba is a very flawed series, I'm not denying that. But the good aspects of it are so cool that I just can't bring myself to give it a lower score, or say that it's bad. There are certainly worse Pokemon clones out there. Hell, it could be easily argued that Pokemon is worse than this, with it's million episodes of going nowhere and it's one dimensional characters. Digimon however is undeniably better crafted, but it was also more simplistic and it took less risks.
And maybe I'm a masochist for saying this, but I kinda liked how this series punched me in the childhood with how dark it is, lol.
Bottom line: if you want to watch another basic battle shonen or a much darker version of Pokemon (and though you should probably lower your expectations to a minimum) then I definitely recommend it.
I can't believe such a hyped anime doesn't have a review. Well on with the show:
I absolutely loved this anime storywise. It begins with a young boy named Zed, who lives in a strange, polluted town known as Calm. One day, a spirit, Amil Gaoul, appears to him, and he is dragged into another world. This of course, might seem cliche within the genre of time/world-traveling hereos, but where Kiba sets itself apart is in the concept of shard casting, the main magical ability of the people of the alternate world. Shard-casters can produce from their body small shards which unleash an elemental attack. Other anime have similar concepts, but to use items like this is something that to me is rather new, and I liked it. Also, shardcasters may summon spirits using special shards, and there are six Key Spirits, which are far more powerful than other spirits. Without going into too many spoilers, once the six Key Spirits are brought together, a great power is unleashed, and much of the anime is spent in this quest by multiple factions to obtain the power of the Key Spirits. This makes for a truly epic anime, with a rather interesting ending.
During the first episode, you get the feeling that the art is dark, due to the nature of Calm, but once Amil Gaoul appears, you see the real art style of this anime. Most of the characters are drawn in rather conventional anime form, but the real artistic value of this anime can be seen in the ethereal forms of the various spirits. Amil Gaoul resembles an angel, but there are also spirits which resemble devils, warriors, mythical creatures such as phoenixes and centaurs. Most of the spirits are bipeds, which really adds to their appeal, in seeing ghostly, two-legged forms of many different beings. The places where the shard casters draw their shards from, can resemble anything from an intricate tattoo to jewelry, to some sort of disease-ridden boil, depending where it is, or the very character of the person.
The voice actors are great, although personally I found Roia's voice grating on the nerves sometimes. The battle sequences with Amil Gaoul all have a beautiful chorus to them, so you know when the tide of the battle is going to turn. This is really the only highlight in terms of sound in this anime, the rest could easily be attributed to background sounds.
I didn't like some of the characters, mostly because they often contradicted their own actions in extreme ways. Zed remains for the better part of the anime, a hero, he takes to his role readily, then experiences doubts about himself, and his mentor, who although appears to have a grandfatherly aspect about him, has a dark past that doesn't come out until the last 5 or so episodes. Zed's best friend is another source of frustration, in that he so easily and completely changes himself into the opposite of Zed.
As you are watching the anime, you are completely absorbed in it, and maybe once it ends is when you really start questioning things such as characterization and such, but meanwhile, this is one wild ride. The rather novel concept of shard casting sets this anime apart, and I highly recommend it to everyone read more
Okay most people have already recommend both of these but it was something else I noticed that was similar again both throw balls that have monsters in them.
Both feature fights with monsters who are stored in small balls.
Kiba is like a more mature and fufilling version of Pokemon. People have their own partners in Kiba in the form of spirits. Individuals are allowed more than one spirit (summoned through a small, palm sized ball of different designs that represent the type and character of the spirit) and how they're used adds a bit of strategy. The owners battle as well, making this a bit more engaging than just watching the Spirits do all the work and the trainer do nothing. There's a pretty deep plot that is, in a fashion, an upgrade of the Pokemon plot in the way of Zed becoming the best (though he matures faster than Satoshi in the sense that he's not acting like a "kid" by the 10th episode at the lastest). Like Pokemon, you meet a lot of people on the way but in a more mature sense you see more of them, learn more of them, and watch as they in turn change the main characters. Zed also has a rival but is a more in-depth and emotional plot attached rather than just a guy who occasionally shows up.
Both have people trying to become stronger with monster like creatures trapped within little balls. They also have characters who have great hearts for others even if Zed doesn't really show it much.
Opening Theme#1: "Sanctuary" by Nami Tamaki (1-26)
#2: "Hakanaku" Tsuyoku" by Younha (27-51)
Ending Theme#1: "Very Very" by Afromania (eps 1-13)
#2: "Solar Wind" by Snorkel (eps 14-26)
#3: "STAY GOLD" by Limelight (eps 27-39)
#4: "Sekai no hate made" by Kozue Takada (eps 40-51)
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