Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In 1998 Yasuomi Umetsu created ‘Kite’ (pronounced ‘kee-tay’ as most of you probably know) and, for lack of a better word, it was a trip. Most people who saw that anime in its unedited form were either repelled by it or hailed it as a masterpiece, and considering it happens to be the most cherished title in my anime collection, I guess you can figure which camp I’m hanging out in as far as that is concerned. ‘Kite’ was insanely violent, pornographic, and borderline pedophilic – borderline because there is some debate whether or not the main character Sawa was a schoolgirl or a college aged woman. Truth be told she had the face of a schoolgirl but since this is a Japanese anime tale, the body of porn star. Imagine my joy to see Umetsu-san has decided to recreate the ‘Kite’ universe with a sequel 10 years later in ‘Kite Liberator’. It would be nice to see what Sawa has been up to these past years after the tragic events of the last movie. Alas we will still be waiting for that movie because ‘Kite Liberator’ is something else altogether, and what that is, I’m still trying to figure out.

Just so you won’t be tricked into thinking that this story an immediate follow up to the original, it starts in space as we witness some CGI space ships performing a complicated docking sequence. The crew members are apparently performing some experiments, including eating a special food product designed to strengthen their bones by adding supplements that are deficient while they are out in space. One of these Astronauts is Noguchi-san who misses his young daughter Monaka back home.

Next thing you know we’re back on earth where a pair of cops are giving chase to a murderous pedophile who they have cornered in a bathroom. This pedophile has a child hostage and has warned the cops that she’s dead if they come any further, and since he has the time I guess he’s about to perform some pedophile type stuff to this child until and young female assassin descends from the ceiling, ends his life and

sprinkles him with dove feathers. The ‘Angel of Death’ is how this person is known, though her identity is quite secretive. It just so happens that this nubile and deadly accurate Angel of Death is Noguchi’s little Monaka, who by day is an awkward high school girl who also works nights, illegally since she’s underage, at a diner to supplement her income. Also working at this diner is a tough young woman who very well could be Sawa years later, but this is not to be explored. Also hanging out at the diner is one of the cops we met earlier who has a ‘crush’ on Monaka despite the fact she is certifiable ‘Jail Bait’ as we used to say.

Okay. Back to Noguchi in space who along with a colleague, through some combination of this bone density nutrition and sun radiation, has turned into an invincible rock monster. I’m just telling you what’s going on is all I’m doing. Somehow this rock monster lands on earth and somehow Monaka gets the task of killing the invincible rock monster, who naturally happens to her beloved father. By the way, the pedophile we saw earlier has a pedophiliac twin brother. But wait! There’s more…. But it’s time we moved on.

‘Kite Liberator’ is pure insanity as there is so much going on and so many different elements that Umetsu is exploring that one has to wonder what in the world the man was trying to accomplish with this story. I know before putting this disk in that the running time of this film was less than an hour and while looking at the DVD counter, and noticing the movie has hit the forty five minute mark and it was still introducing new elements to the story. I’m wondering is this going to be a multi series type thing because there is no way in hell that they’re going to be able to wrap all this crap up in ten minutes. And wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t.

It’s not that ‘Kite Liberator’ lacks entertainment value because the action sequences were nice, the animation is good, and it certainly does pack a lot in its brief running time but if you’re the least bit curious about some back story about any of the characters, look elsewhere. Occasionally you’ll watch a movie or a show with a loose end here and there, but ‘Kite Liberator’ had so many loose ends that it had to be conscious effort to introduce as many plot elements as humanly possible and conclude virtually none of them. It’s quite insane.

If you haven’t seen the original ‘Kite’ then good for you because you can go into this ‘sequel’ with no expectations of the original affecting you in any way. If you have seen the original then this sequel is quite unfortunate because even if you hated it you will ultimately be disappointed by Umetesu wasting the ‘Kite’ name on this confusing mish mash of forcibly connected elements. Now if this is going to be the first episode in what I hope is a serial then ignore everything I’ve said. But if this is it… Wow. I just wish I knew what the man was thinking.

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