Rokuro NayaRei IgarashiKinryuu ArimotoYuki Masuda
Medium: OVA, series
Year: 1998
Writer/director: Yasuomi Umetsu
Actor: Dai Matsumoto, Hiroshi Aida, Itsumi Sawada, Kinryuu Arimoto, Kosuke Okano, Michiko Yamaguchi, Naho Hirokawa, Nobuyuki Takano, Rei Igarashi, Rokuro Naya, Yuki Masuda
Keywords: anime, hentai, boobs
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 2 episodes
Website category: Anime 1990s
Review date: 18 March 2024
Kite Remastered
It's by the writer/director of Mezzo Forte, another brutal series from 1998 that's best remembered for explicit sex scenes... but this one especially deserves to be remembered more for being horrifying. It's since spawned a bad 2008 anime movie sequel (Kite Liberator), again written and directed by Umetsu, and a 2014 English-language live-action remake starring Samuel L. Jackson. Both of those are far less extreme than this original, don't have explicit sex and haven't been banned in various countries.
Mezzo Forte is much less depressing than this, incidentally. Umetsu had meant that as a pilot for a TV series (which he eventually made and it's quite fun) and he hadn't originally planned to include sex scenes.
I should describe Kite. Its main character, Sawa, is a fourteen-year-old girl whose parents were murdered five years ago. Ever since that time, she's been the sex slave and pet assassin of a crooked cop called Akai. (Yes, both of those activities started pretty much immediately.) Her eyes are dead. Even if her mouth smiles or her voice actress unusually puts emotion into her dialogue, that fish-eyed stare makes Sawa look like a robot. Akai also has a friend, Kanie, who has a face like a Deep One, rapes girls and helps arrange murders. (Some of these are vigilante justice, if we can trust what Akai tells Sawa, but others seem to be for money.)
Sawa isn't even Akai's only assassin. He also uses a boy called Oburi, whose position is identical to Sawa's and so might be a sex slave too. That's just speculation on my part, but it would almost be more surprising if he weren't.
Even before things turn uglier, you wouldn't have given tuppence for anyone's life expectancy here. Sawa and Oburi both get assigned to the same simple job where one assassin would probably have been better, but then later get solo missions that you wouldn't expect them to survive. Key information is deliberately withheld. Mind you, Sawa's tactics leave a lot to be desired. She's effective, yes, but she faffs around with non-fatal attacks against bodyguards when the only way to survive was clearly to kill everyone in the room as quickly as possible. It's a staggering action sequence. It's terrifying. It was also, though, a massive cock-up and Sawa should sharpen up if she wants to live. (Although I'm not sure she necessarily does.)
As for Akai and Kanie, of course, you'd believe anything of them. Anything. No fate could be too vile for them.
It's an ugly, unpleasant world to live in. Even children playing in the street are horrible. Everywhere you go, the city's depressing and nasty things are happening. Sex isn't sexy. Murder involves vomit and urination. There's no beauty and no love, except for the cameras.
This OVA has been released in multiple versions, one of which is General Release (okay for 16 years old) and all the others most definitely not. The ending is every bit as ambiguous and downbeat as you're imagining, to such an extent that I almost regret the existence of Kite Liberator for telling us whether or not a certain character survived. (The sequel doesn't have sex scenes and has never been banned in lots of countries, mind you.)
If you're looking for something horrible, dour and extreme, then congratulations. You've hit the jackpot.