Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kiddy Bleh...

Actually, I had intended to write a summary of some anime I’ve finished recently, as well as ongoing anime that I’m currently watching. Then I decided to split that post into two: one with the anime I’ve finished, and one with the ongoing ones. In the end, this anime got it’s own post, because it’s so special… it makes me want to puke.

I had written two posts about the sequel to my beloved Kiddy Grade, one in which I discussed the awesomeness of the teaser, and one (not so long ago), in which I talked about how bad it turned out to be. I still wanted to review it, so I forced myself to watch it through till the end. It actually took me a while, because the subbing group I was originally following decided to drop it. Since my PC doesn’t run HD, I had a hard time finding a decent SD sub. It seems like no one wanted to sub this. Reminds me of another series, whose sequel was so bad that people avoided touching it with a ten-foot pole. Yes, I’m talking about Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-. The thing is, that was a much better sequel to the original than this anime is. However, deep inside my broken heart, I am very much in denial, and keep believing that this is actually a spin-off, and the true Kiddy Grade 2, Kiddy Generation (or whatever title it was supposed to have) will one day surface to shine.

Ok, let’s jump head first into this juicy pool of crap… Let’s start of by analysing the characters. When I first saw the teaser, I couldn’t tell which character is which. I mean, I expected a hot-headed Éclair-wannabe and a rational Lumière-copy. But the teaser showed two girls whose personalities you couldn’t make out just from their looks. I was expecting magnificent, new characters, with unique personalities. Instead, I got one-dimensional blandness. Let me explain: Éclair was indeed rash and tomboyish, but she changed so much throughout the series, and had a compassionate motherly side to her which made her lovable; while Lumière was not just some stuck up smartass damsel in distress, but was genuinely elegant and would many times take initiative to act.

Q-feuille and Ascoeur are nothing like that… in the bad sense of the word. Asceour is not hot-headed or rash, she is outright stupid and fumbling. Nothing she says can be taken seriously. There are some really strong moments in the series (surprisingly), which are ruined by her bad personality (I’ll get to these later). Q-feuille seems like a character added only to balance out the stupidity of her partner, and she’s not doing a good job at it. They seem more like a Japanese comedy duo, Ascoeur being the boke and Q-feuille providing the tsukkomi. It is pathetic… Also, since Ascoeur is supposed to be the silly one, I guess that’s why they changed the character design, since she originally looked too much like Lumière, and wouldn’t do.

Then, at one point in the story, we are introduced to Di-air. She is the third member of the team, and is pretty much a third wheel, to the entire story no less! I think the whole series would have been better off without her. She seems so useless, providing nothing but comic relief, the introduction of her pet TAMA seriously destroying character interaction and conversations. I want to forget about her as fast as possible.

I’m not going to talk about their ship and robot, because quite frankly, I didn’t think much about them. Unlike La Muse/Wirbelwind and Donnerschlag, which you become really fond of, and feel the characters’ sorrow at their loss, Mistral and Typhon strike no emotional importance and are seen, at least through my eyes, as disposable machinery.

I am going to talk about the villains, however. They seem like the most interesting characters in the story. Sure, Geacht’er has a serious sister complex, making every girl (possibly even Shade) around him his sister princess, but besides that, they seem like really interesting characters. They each have tragic backgrounds and owe Geacht’er their life, which is repaid through their unquestioned loyalty. It is interesting to see, however, how some villains defect from his cause when they find out the true nature of his actions, while some remain loyal.

Now, I’m going to go into the story somewhat, since that’s all that’s left to talk about. The general story is almost ok, but there are some really annoying filler episodes. If you watch Kiddy Grade carefully, you’ll notice that there are virtually no fillers. The sequel has some, and they are all very annoying. In one such episode, the girls travel to a holiday planet, and wear swimsuits throughout the entire episode, as if it were the obligatory seaside episode of a harem anime. Once again, it is pathetic…

Now, if I clench my teeth together really hard, I can bear with the stupid characters, the useless comic relief and everything else, up until episode 12, when something unforgivable happens. They break canon. That’s right, they break canon, something unforgivable for a sequel or spin-off or whatever. They say that Éclair’s ability is that of Space Manipulation and Lumière’s is that of Time Manipulation. Bullshit!!! Not even Lumière’s G-Class ability, Particle, has anything to do with time manipulation, all it does is manipulate matter at particle level, and she can’t use it for a prolonged period of time anyway! So yes, they break canon, and from that point on, the whole series talks about space/time manipulation, as though it were as simple as walking a dog. Also, space/time manipulation becomes the central plot point, and it gets mentioned as much as nuclear weapons in Metal Gear Solid. It is a serious letdown in the story. If they had gone with the original Teleportation for Ascoeur and Precognition for Q-feuille, it would have been interesting, however, when they obtain these awesome Space/Time Manipulation powers, it seems like they move to a wholly different league, yet still get beaten up pretty bad at times. It’s like watching a bad X-Men episode. And another thing about abilities, they emphasise “resonance” a lot, which has to do with partners sharing abilities, or boosting them. Nothing of that sort was discussed in the original series. A-ou and Un-ou could share their abilities, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum could combine their abilities, but that’s it, there was no generalised concept of such a thing.

Another annoying thing was all the kissing. I’m really not against kissing. I’m not a child that goes “gross!” whenever they see someone kiss, but it’s just too much! Di-air regularly kisses both Ascoeur and Q-feuille to boost their powers, Geacht’er kisses Ascoeur to bring back her memories, Ascoeur kisses Q-feuille to join their powers, it’s really disgusting after a while. I actually ended up turning away from the screen during the last episode, when it got too much. Only in the last episode, they kiss four times! Mind you, in Kiddy Grade, they only kissed once, and that was a truly heartfelt moment. Not the case here…

And another thing I can’t forgive them, the way they destroy the coolness of old characters. I’m going to point out three things here: One, during one episode, you find out Hiver and Sommer’s true identities, and it’s really awesome, but the mood is ruined by Ascoeur’s stupid behaviour. It would have been so nice if they worked on it a little more.

Two, during the last episode, you get to see Viuola/Cesario and Dextra/Sinistra teams joining the fight. This is awesome in itself; however, you get no explanation where they come from. When I first saw the teaser, I noticed some really awesome things: the logo has changed from GOTT to GTO, the headquarters has changed, the Director has changed, some teams have changed, however, some teams have remained (Tweedledee/Tweedledum and A-ou/Un-ou). I wondered, why did these teams remain? What happened to the others? Apparently, nothing, since they join the final fight; but they didn’t serve under GTO during the series. Why? Explain movie! Explain! (ß paying homage here). My guess is that they were also frozen in time during the accident, and got unfrozen when all hell broke loose, but it’s really not explained.

The third and worse crime is that they bring back Éclair and Lumière during the last episodes, and they each have only 2 lines. One line is them presenting themselves, and the other is each of them saying their catchphrases… … … Seriously? Is that the only thing Éclair and Lumière mean to you? Catchphrases?! You know what? Fuck you! Seriously, I hope there’s a special place in hell for the people who made this awful sequel (I think they can burn in the same pot as the guys who make really bad remakes).

Well yeah, that’s the Kiddy Grade 2 we’ve been so wholeheartedly waiting for. Kiddy Girl-and… just saying it makes my face contort in all sorts of painful expressions. The people responsible for this should pray that they never cross paths with me. I’m now going to purge myself of this vile excrement, by watching the Kiddy Grade movies.

Next time, A Hell Made of Bullets!

Friend Fact:
What anime-related song makes my eyes water whenever I listen to it? That would be Shiroi Kisetsu, the theme from the Kana ~Little Sister~ eroge. Granted, it’s not anime, but it’s anime-ish enough to answer the question. I’ve yet to work up enough courage to play the game through a second time, despite my brother’s encouragement to do so. If you don’t know about it, play the game, it will change your life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

okay um screw you. some people actually like this. Dia was an important character. She helped unfreeze Q-fuielle and her powers helped them a lot. Also that whole episode where they were vacationing on another planet wasn't a filler. It was their first misson as E.S. members so it was important.