Even I am surprised it took me this long to see Kite. Known around the internet as a hardcore action/sex anime of the late 90’s, I had heard both sides of people loving it, hating it, and the countless wars over which version was best. But it wasn’t till I saw AnimeNewsNetwork advertising that they had the sequel streaming on their site that I realized that I haven’t yet seen it and needed to fix this problem.
We are introduced to a college girl, Sawa, who is far more than she appears on the surface. She’s an assassin, trained by her “guardian,” since the death of her parents, to be the ultimate justice against rapists and murderers. But her guardian may be no better than those he hires her out to kill, and when she meets a young man in the same profession as her, she starts thinking about a normal life for the first time…
This movie (actually 2 OVA’s running a total of 50ish minutes) starts off telling you to expect graphic deaths in the first 2 minutes and by the 6 minute mark you have the first sex scene. Though I’m going to put it out there right now, the sex scenes are usually no more than a minute long (if that) and there isn’t really anything to get excited for. Only one sex scene (the last one) actually has any lead in or effect on the plot every other one just pops in and then pops out.
And while Kite is usually labeled as hentai, that part takes a total backseat to the action and violence. Which even being 10 years old had a couple of scenes that were jaw dropping (even if just for being so over the top). Sadly having lots of action and violence isn’t enough to make a great movie, you also need plot. And there is some, Sawa our main heroine has her story told before the end of the movie, but that’s pretty much it. And there really isn’t any reason given behind why any of this is happening. We could guess on a couple of points, but there is just too much of that to really get anywhere. Then after everything, the ending just leaves a sour taste about the whole thing.
The animation itself is pretty good, but the character designs are all ugly. Sawa in fact changes drastically between her normal appearance and her sex mode, which I guess is done to try and make her actually attractive, too bad those sex scenes still fail. I watched it subbed, I’ve heard that the dubbed version is well below the standards of even back then. The japanese voice acting is ok, for the most part, but the REAL standout is that they had people who could actually speak english doing the voice acting for the foreign movie star and body guards..
If you’re in the mood for senseless and unrealistic violence, mixed in with a little sex this is something you just might enjoy. For everyone else who is looking for an actual story and characters to get into, you might want to look elsewhere. As for the debate over which version is better, I’m going to side with the group that says the sex scenes don’t do anything for the movie except maybe the last one(I’d have to see how the censored versions handle it before making a final decision).