Akemi OkamuraRikiya KoyamaMarina InoueKenji Nomura
Kite Liberator
Medium: film
Year: 2008
Writer/director: Yasuomi Umetsu
Actor: Akemi Okamura, Kei Shindo, Kenji Nomura, Marina Inoue, Masakazu Morita, Mugihito, Rikiya Koyama, Setsuji Satoh, Yasuhiro
Keywords: anime, SF, rubbish
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 58 minutes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=7867
Website category: Anime late 00s
Review date: 19 March 2024
Kite Liberator
I'm gobsmacked. Yasuomi Umetsu followed Kite with this nonsense? The original Kite is shocking, whereas this is a dumb pseudo-Quatermass with risible coincidences and a Kite-light B-plot about a schoolgirl who lives a happy, protected life where she doesn't want for money and does normal schoolgirl stuff (school, part-time job as a waitress)... and yet for no obvious reason also carries out assassinations.
No sex scenes, though. The nearest it gets is some panty shots and some blink-and-you'll-miss-it nudity for the purpose of showing us Monaka's scars.
We visit the International Space Station and hear a medically accurate discussion of bone density and muscular atrophy. I was mildly impressed. Everything so far looked good. Some bloke's made a super-food that'll protect your bones from calcium loss... but if you absorb too much solar radiation, you'll become an indestructible monster that slaughters everything in its path and can shrug off machine-gun fire. This is because your bones got too much reinforcement.
Still more amazingly, the International Space Station has a SWAT team ("ISS Police") with body armour and machine-guns. They throw grenades and shoot like crazy in all directions and I counted more of these heavily armed assault police in a single shot (eight) than the crew of the real ISS (seven). Later than you'd expect (i.e. not instantly), there's a hull breach. Even then, though, it turns out that flying a shuttle back to Earth is surprisingly quick and easy. Time taken in reality: under six hours. Time taken on-screen: under three minutes, including comedy encounters with buildings and bridges.
She's cute! She's bespectacled! She's clumsy! More once, she trips up on nothing and falls over. I've no idea where she got her super killing skills or why she chooses to go around using them, but she does. (With Sawa, I could understand it. Here, no.) Monaka also has a ball that scatters magic white feathers on all her victims for no reason, so people call her the Angel of Death. Again, no idea why. Because it looks cool, perhaps. Also, she lives in Japan and yet her schoolteacher can check the children's bags and find porn, beer and handguns. We see no reaction to any of these things.
She seems nice, though. I liked her. She only kills bad people (it seems) and she cares about not being caught working as a waitress by her teacher. She's never had a boyfriend, but a cop asks her out.
I don't mind the coincidence of her dad being the monster that she's sent to exterminate. The film's put in the necessary spadework to sell that. Towards the end, though, the brother of one of her targets takes a passing schoolgirl hostage (and it happens to be her) and they're spotted by a nearby cop (who happens to be that cop who'd asked her out).
The ending made me laugh, but not in a good way.
It's ludicrous. Watching this back-to-back with the original Kite would break your brain. There's the odd moment of Umetsu grimy darkness, but it's an unintentional comedy. It's insufficient to call this "bad". The original is serious art, whereas what happens here on the International Space Station is the kind of thing you describe gleefully to other trash-hunters. What was Umetsu thinking?