Sawa is a school girl, an orphan, and an assassin. She is being controlled by a corrupt cop who gives her targets to kill, detailing to her the crimes these men have committed in order to justify their death. Some of his power over Sawa has to do with her deceased parents and the promise of revenge. When another orphan, a teenage boy called Oburi, is brought in to assist Sawa, the two teenage killers form a bond of sorts. As they heal each other's emotional wounds, they begin to dream of a life that would not be spent under the shadows of murder.
Story: Well, first things first. This isn't a Hentai in the 'traditional' sense. To call it so would be a misrepresentation of the movie. It's more of an action-packed drama which happens to feature nudity which actually fits with main plot. The synopsis pretty much sums it up and is essentially about a 'hit-girl' (as opposed to hitman).
For what is essentially and hour-long anime, it really packs a lot in there. Lots of bloody violence which is nicely balanced with the more emotional side of things (plus some nudity to add to the dimension of things). I felt the plot moved at a nice
even rate and I didn't feel bored at any point.
Animation: Well, for a 10 year-old anime is was very well animated. Everything looked smooth and sharp and the slightly more 'old-skool' style simply added to the grittiness of the content. The fight scenes were one of the highlights as the choreography was really well done and really got you into the scene.
Sound: Does exactly what it says on the tin. No particularly memorable themes or anything but the sound effects were exactly as you would expect.
Character: Without giving too much away. The characters developed well over the course of the anime and you empathise with the main characters and end up disgusted by the way some of the others treat them in such a way that you expect the director was aiming for. A definite plus.
Enjoyment: As you would expect I enjoyed it quite a bite due to the reasons mentioned above and I wouldn't be against possibly watching it again.
Overall, I would have to say that if you're looking for some proper hentai then look elsewhere, but if you want to see a good piece of quality anime then this is something I'd recommend :) .
MAL rates this as an 'Rx - Hentai' but I would say that it is still an Rx, but not strictly a hentai. It has scenes of full penetration sex, and nudity, but it serves only to further the plot and help you understand the characters. Take this into mind that this is not a hentai, but has the graphic sexual content of one.
Story: - 8/10 - Very Good
The story in this OVA is rather hard to describe without giving many spoilers, but essentially it is about a teenage girl who is involved with a crooked cop after her parents are murdered, who makes her
and another boy kill people who have done wrong. Doesn't sound special, does it? Seems we have seen things like this before, right? Wrong. This OVA provides so many subtle plot twists and turns that until the end of the show, you have no clue what is going on. Let me continue to warn you though, it is very, very graphic.
Art - 10/10 - Outstanding
Even by today's standards, the art in this is beautiful. The characters are well-designed, the layout of the rooms and city is good, and the backgrounds are detailed to the point of insanity. This OVA is about ten years old too boot, which makes the art even more impressive. Blood and gore is used heavily, but not in situations that it wouldn't be appropriate, and it is semi-believable considering the weapons the people are using for the killing.
Sound - ?/10 - ???
I can't comment on the sound, as I watched this on my computer, and my sound is broken. I would imagine that it would be good though. See other reviews to see how the sound is.
Character - 7/10 - Good
The characters in this OVA are actually rather good considering it's length. The line between hero and villain is stepped on many times. The character development in this series is very good too, as I have said before, it keeps you guessing who-did-what the entire show, and keeps you on edge. There are not many characters though, but the ones that are, they are put together nicely and have believable personalities.
Enjoyment - 10/10 - Outstanding
I haven't enjoyed an Anime this much is a long time. Too bad it is only 2 episodes. I would probably re-watch it if I had time, but it is rather memorable.
Overall - 8/10 - Very Good
Once you watch Kite, you will not forget it. It is an anime that is truly unique from it's counterparts, in a way that some thought to be impossible. A final warning is that this anime contains rape, blood and gore, full nudity, sex, mild cursing, and sex scenes involving characters whose age is hard to determine. I would say that this series would be alright for people who are looking for an anime that pushes the envelope on what is publishable. For the weak of heart - stay away, you will be revolted beyond belief.
Kite is one of the strangest anime I have ever seen. It isn't the over the top gore, poorly drawn hentai, or strange choice of Bebop freestyle sax to play over the sex scenes. What makes Kite special is its insane level of tonal inconsistency. This is one of the few anime that I viscerally dislike, but at times actually wanted to like!
I'm pretty sure Kite was the result of 5 directors getting in a massive brawl and playing "King of the Mountain" with the directors chair. It would explain why the feel and tone of the OVA shifts completely every 5 minutes. The first
director wants a gritty action ripoff of Luc Besson's films like Leon and Le Femme Nikita. The 2nd director wants to make a seedy hentai. The 3rd director wants to make an 80s action exploitation film like something the Cannon Group would release. The 4th director wants to make an action comedy with Looney Toons physics similar to Kung Fu Hustle. The 5th and final director wants to make a somber, psychological drama about contract killers struggling with their conscience.
I have NO idea what the production history behind this trainwreck was like, but it must have been similar to that of Tinto Brass's Caligula, which is the only movie I have seen that really reminds me of Kite. Although that is being too positive because Caligula is GOD compared to fucking Kite!
A teenage girl is working as an assassin for 2 crooked cops named Akai and Kanye. She kills random celebrities and then fucks Akai. BTW, just to mess with the audience the name Akai means "red", but Kanye is the character with red hair. The character named Red has black hair. After completing a mission, Sawa the girl assassin is introduced to a young boy assassin named Oburi, who sports some of the most bizarre fashion in all of anime. I'm pretty sure this guy gets dressed in the dark! Oburi is the closest thing to a moral character in this piece of shit, although 5 minutes in he pulls a random heel turn and destroys a kid's basketball like he's Biff Tannin.
After several more ridiculous jobs, Oburi reveals to Sawa that Akai and Kanye were the ones that killed her parents, but she states that she knew this all along. I guess the reason she killed for them and fucked them was because....I have no idea. It is similar to how Vegeta in DBZ stated that he always knew that Freeza destroyed his home planet, but that makes sense for Vegeta because he was power hungry and strongly amoral at that point. This really makes little sense for Sawa since she has the skill to easily kill them and has no fear of killing even in broad daylight. She is supposed to be sympathetic and have a heart under her deadly exterior, so why she didn't kill them earlier makes absolutely no sense.
I've actually SEEN what Kite was trying to do done right, but Kite fails miserably. For example, there is an anime inspired fantasy novel called Wolfbreed that pulls this off. The main character is a German werewolf that was raised as a secret weapon by the Teutonic Knights of Germany, acting as a blatant stand in for the Nazi SS. From a very young age she was tortured, raped, and forced to kill in gladiator matches simply to survive. She witnessed at least one of her siblings get brutally murdered for standing up to the Werewolf division commander. She spent literally her entire life getting told that she was sub-human and her ONLY purpose was to follow orders and brutally murder other allegedly "sub-human" enemies of the Reich. Now with a background like THAT, it would make sense that she would at first lack the internal strength and courage to rebel against her cruel masters. Sawa was taken in as a teenager who already had experienced loving parents and developed a moral foundation. She may have self esteem issues, but doesn't have to struggle over the question of her essential humanity and whether she has the right to disobey orders. Sawa really doesn't have a valid excuse that can make the audience sympathize and cheer for her. Seriously, I honestly couldn't cheer for Sawa and had no problem cheering for a werewolf SS commando who had murdered 100 Balto-Slavic civilians by age 9. Let THAT sink in.
With the help of Oburi, Sawa finally decides to kill off Akai and Kanye, but Oburi gets shot and killed by the basketball brat from earlier, who was apparently also an assassin. The brat assassin walks in on Sawa who is expecting to meet Oburi and the film just ends. Did the brat whack Sawa and our protagonists lived and died by the sword? Did Sawa kill the brat and live on? Who knows? I guess the 5 directors couldn't decide on an ending, so they decided to just not have one.
A saxophone goes freestyle and cuts loose during wildly inappropriate times, which reminds me a LOT of Manos the Hands of Fate.
At one point I considered Kite the worst anime I had ever seen, but I no longer have this view. It is a terrible anime and an absolute train wreck, but worse series DO exist. I guess I have to give it a 2/10 because at least some of the action scenes are enjoyable.
"A pencil looks better in my hand than a gun does." -Sawa
Well, I'll be honest, the pencil probably should have been in the hand of a writer who was a little more focused on characterization, but was instead passed off to a guy who knows how to write brutal, over the top action and hit you with the shocker. Exploitative, violent, and outrageous- this one is a cult classic among the ranks of your Violence Jacks and Mad Bull 34's.
To have appeared in 1998, the time at which animation had started the gold rush towards computers and getting away from the pencils and
pens, Kite looks pretty good for one of the holdouts of hand-drawn anime.
The blood and gore effects are appropriately squishy and splatter like so many bugs on the windshield. Kite has these fun little guns with timed explosive bullets that also lead to interesting results... Head explosions, bodies ripped apart by gunfire, stabbings, severed limbs, meat fountains, it's all here. There's even a flying head sent off to the metro by an explosion.
Sound and Voice Acting: 6
Sound consists mostly of some groovy Books-A-Million jazz muzak, gunfire, explosions, and groaning.
Not a whole lot to say, there's really not an incredibly nuanced, detail oriented script with dynamic, emotional performances in this one. It's competently handled, nothing special. Of the two versions I saw, the re-release in DD 5.1 is vastly improved.
Tiny cast in this one. Emotionless, repressed Sawa takes center stage. She is presented as a tragic anti-heroine, her parents were murdered and she was taken in by sadistic cop/forensic investigator Akai, who turns her into his personal killer for those people he believes have escaped justice. (If you've seen the Showtime series "Dexter", they totally ripped Kite off.)
The other two named characters are Oburi and Kanie. Oburi is a young man, approximately the same age as Sawa, who also moonlights as a contract killer. Kanie is the assistant to Akai, and sets up the hits.
Kite is a fairly basic revenge narrative with a couple of good twists thrown in at the end. It's quite short, so there's not much I can say here that won't spoil it, but it depicts the tale of ambiguously teenaged hit-woman, Sawa, and her killings at the behest of her psychopathic, abusive guardian, Akai. She deals with his abuses while attempting to discover the killer of her parents, while at the same time undertaking dangerous assassination missions for seemingly little reward. Carrying her anger and desire for vengeance forward, she'll stop at nothing to even the score, and reclaim her life as her own.
I really did like this one, it hit me with some shock and disgust I haven't seen since Violence Jack, with violence, blood and gore to match. About 152 gallons of blood are spilled, various visceral dismemberments, and overall over the top and stylized, but brutal action. As a quick action flick, it succeeds in giving you what you asked for: guns, child murderers, and a dose of filth.
(Note: I heavily disagree with the hentai tag, here. While containing explicit scenes, that does not form the basis for the story of Kite, it's merely a tool used to provide character background and add another layer of in-your-face)
Kite is a decent late night film that's worth watching if you like mildly disturbing, violent, cult classic anime. The twists were good, the ending was satisfying, and it's got crazy gore effects, what more can you ask for?
If you're seeking some gruesome dismemberment and straight up, unfiltered violence in the vein of 80's gorefest exploitation OVAs, look no further.
NOT FOR KIDS!
Kite: brought to you in part by studio Arms, the makers of Elfen Lied!