Movie Follow-up to the Anime Series
Sawa is a young girl who kills a man with extreme prejudice for unknown reasons at first. Later, it's revealed that she's a well trained assassin. Armed with a pistol that uses exploding ammo, she deals out death in some gruesome ways for her employer named Akai.-summary
That is without a doubt the shortest summary I have ever written for a movie. Mainly because this OVA is very weak on its initial story. But make no mistake, Kite, which is directed by Yasuomi Umetsu has a tad bit more story than it first appears. Still, it could have been a much better title had the director focused more on the psychological thriller aspects of the movie, instead of dishing out mindless hentai that had little to no point, in regards to the plot or the story. As well as one very overdone action scene that crossed over into the complete absurd by the very second. I have seen this OVA at least three times since its release, and I still can't help but to roll my eyes every time I see that particular scene. Those who saw this know exactly what I'm talking about, because it's something Uwe Boll himself would be proud of.
I've heard many non fans say that this film is completely lacking in character development. I have to disagree with this point of view completely, because it appears that certain folks where searching for characters on the cheery side that they could relate to. This is simply not the case here, as Umetsu seeks to only exploit the negatives in human behaviour. Sawa is developed rather well, as the viewer gets to know her through flashbacks, as well as the situations that goes on in her current life. There are many hints taking place, which reveals Sawa as a very disturbed young girl who suffers from a traumatic past and a hellish present. Akai is a very twisted character who will be easy for people to hate.
The plot is a mixed bag if I ever saw one. This is where Umetsu's weakness in storytelling shines, and proves that his ideas where quite limited. Instead of focusing a little bit more on Sawa and Akai's development. He goes the route of injecting many graphic sex scenes, that really has nothing to do with the plot. The only scene of any real importance is the first one, and you get a front row seat of the action, while it could have been left up to the imagination. All of the sex scenes are this way, and it's pretty much clear where the directors mind was at. In other cases, he well uses foreshadowing, and delivers small pieces of the story and plot that are missed by some naysayers. But I can understand this, because the sex scenes can easily put many viewers off to the point where they can care less about what is actually going on.
Kite does pretty well in the style department. The animation is pretty good and the action scenes will deliver to most gore hounds. They are very graphic and brutal, with blades that resemble icepicks, being used to impale hands and feet during battles. The shoot outs concerning the exploding ammo is almost reminiscent of Fist of the Northstar. The sex scenes are indeed XXX. You pretty much get the whole nine yards here; cowgirl position, doggy-style, and full penetrations. This is pretty much a porno here.
The anime is quite noirish with good attention to detail to city landscapes, and I really liked the use of lighting. The darker sets gave a good ambiance that captures the moody feel of the movie. This also goes for the somewhat lack of lighting in certain daytime segments.
The soundtrack consists of jazzy tunes that features light piano and saxophone laden backgrounds. At times, the songs fit pretty well, while during others it feels terribly misplaced. The character designs are very good for the most part and they fit with the anime well enough. The only problem that I have in this area, which happens to be a big one, would be the character design of Sawa. Although she appears to be somewhat on the mature side. I found her school girl appearance to clash with the noirish setting along with the other characters. Some may feel that this works into the "cute but deadly" thing. But I think it has a whole lot more to do with Umetsu's fetish concerning young school girls, as well as his very childish mentality.
I will mention that I hate anime porn. I never understood the fascination with cartoons having sex. I originally picked up Kite because I wanted to see what the hype was about, and I personally believe it's way over-hyped. Now, in the eyes of those who are not familiar with anime porn, which is also known as hentai. Kite will appear to contain way too many sex scenes. However, to those are very well rounded in anime, I will mention to them that this has nothing on Legend of the Overfiend.
Personally, I look at this type of anime differently from the way I use to, so I won't overlook the story if it's there. Kite has a little bit going for it, but unless you're very action starved, a die hard anime fan, or love hentai, then I recommend skipping it. If you enjoyed Mezzo Forte then you'll probably like this. The anime is 60 minutes.
Now on a side note. There are two versions of this movie that I know of. I reviewed the uncut version which features all of the sex scenes, and there's also an edited version. I believe that the edited version is 45 minutes and the sex scenes are removed. But I can't exactly remember how much was taken out, because I only saw the edited version once, and it was a very long time ago. But if you're like me, and prefer watching everything in the form it was meant to be seen. Then you should go with this copy.
-Some kind of character development
-Maintains serious focus
-Sex scenes add almost nothing
-Somewhat clashing of style
What did you think of this review?
Movie Follow-up to the Anime Series
Director: Hayao Miyazaki; Release Date: April 15, 2003
Anime & Manga movie