7 of 13 people found this review helpful
24 of 24 episodes seen
Opening sequence: 7
Ending sequence: 6
Rating: PT: Blood, violence, nudity, sexual themes.
First off, the series starts slowly; they introduce the characters, main and supporting ones, and try to give you a basic take on their positions, relationships and personalities. Off course that approach would usually be negative but the lively and original cast they conveyed made every one of them memorable for the later episodes, indeed they outdid themselves for the characters on this one.
Then an even bigger surprise, the fillers! Fillers are stand alone episodes or group of episodes which deviate from the main plot and do not serve a story related purpose, thus they are side stories. These are usually pretty bad but worse yet, they were mostly stand alone episodes, which means these fillers didn’t rely on an over-arching concept where a story of several episodes would be elaborated and instead are each independent episodes with their own story which starts and ends in the same episode. Normally these are comedic failures with non-sensical plots that the director and his team come up with while they take a break from their originality while awaiting the next real episodes, however, Kiddy Grade offered genuinely good ones. I was shocked by this; the episodes were serious, had a purpose and revolved around interesting side stories. Based on these episodes alone I would have rated the show 8/10, which is a feat to say the least. So for those who dread fillers, do not fear as these were good enough to make me forget about the fact that the show still hadn’t really started from a plot standpoint.
The rest of the show will consist of an ongoing story which will be rather intense; once started it doesn’t stop. The story will be divided into three separate arcs but that is all I can say without spoiling it. The story is entailing and keeps you wanting to watch each episode that will succeed the current one. The main characters of the series, Éclair and Lumière, are going to give you plenty to watch as they ride their spaceship across the galaxy in the service of the GOTT, their benefactor and an organisation that is supposed to keep the peace in the galaxy.
Off course without going into details I can still comment on the ending: The ending of most series often feels rushed or butchered. That is due to the fact that more than ever the manga itself is still ongoing. So either due by a demand from the original author or meddling of the studio and perhaps plain out lack of originality from the director himself, the ending ends up as a major disappointment. Kiddy Grade didn’t have that as they weren’t following any current on-going work but doing their own thing (which is when Gonzo excels). The ending ended up rightly paced, properly timed with the right amount of episodes, good quality overall and just a good ending too.
The characters are quite unique, each a part of a two member team, they have their own original team ships and unique powers to each of them. Their fashion style, their abilities and their personalities are all uniquely theirs and very well written, they are an example of characters done right in a series. The relations between each characters will progress and while slower and perhaps to a lesser extend between the minor roles, the main cast will not be neglected. The past of these individuals however is mostly unexplored with the exception of Éclair, in whose case it plays an important plot point, but even though this may turn away a few, it shouldn’t, as the characters didn’t suffer from it. As the story progress so will they and a plot bumpy in twists will keep you guessing. Normally I’d go into details over the characters respectively but the cast is far too numerous here and besides, the fun of the show is finding out.
The voice acting was spot on, emotionally proper when needed and felt real all the way. The right voice actors were chosen for the cast indeed. One thing that might annoy some people though, the English dub as the opening and ending song in an English version rather than their original Japanese counterparts but that’s about it for what I’ve seen.
The series is rich in light fanservice: a casual few panty shots, revealing clothes, daring viewpoints and even nudity at one point. However, none of it gets in the way so it hardly matters; it adds for those who like it and takes nothing from those who don’t.
The action is some of the best out there, Gonzo knows their stuff when it comes to animation and action sequences. The space battles are dynamic and flashy, the personal fights are original and fast paced, you can’t ask for more, especially since they throw just enough to be entertaining but not too much to diminish the show. The animation, of course, is spot on as well.
One of my few complaints is that SPOILER-any character hardly ever dies-SPOILER even past the plot necessity standards but while it did keep it from attaining tenthhood, Kiddy Grade still scored a well deserved 9/10.
I recommend the show to those who like action, fanservice, stellar plots, good characters and space shows. It really deserves praise for what it accomplished.