Éclair and Lumière are your usual kawaii, ultra-powerful heroines who are members of GOTT, an organization whose duty is to uphold justice and protect peace. They are ES members, which means that we get to watch Éclair whip ass with her lipstick. No, I'm not kidding.
Kiddy Grade traces the adventures (or misadventures) of a pair of ES members (special agents, really) - Éclair, who possesses very strong but hidden powers, and Lumière, who has the ability of access all kinds of computer networks - as they are dispatched to protect the peace.
Gonzo Digimation never disappoints in the technical department, and Kiddy Grade has all the elements of the making of a great classic. In fact, when it was released, it was all the rage. What can possibly go wrong with cute, likable, well-designed characters, bountiful eye-candy and fan service, original mecha design coupled with explosive high-flying action, plus a plot convoluted enough to make the head spin?
The plot, it seems.
Let's leave the technical details out, as we are talking about Gonzo after all. The plot is Kiddy Grade's double-edged sword, depending on how you look at it. The main storyline does not kick in until halfway through the series (I seem to be watching too many of these plot-becomes-interesting-mid-way anime lately). The first part of the show concentrates on showing off Éclair and Lumière's powers and toys, in the usual assignment-of-the-day where they are required to the save the world within 23 minutes.
The highlight of the first part of the series is also the introduction of the various pairs of ES members, each possessing different unique and powerful characteristics. They cooperate with as well as are pitted against each other. Éclair and Lumière are obviously not the only ES members around. The other ES members are important because they have a major impact on the later half of the series.
But it seems that the creators are trying too hard to squeeze in as many twists and turns as possible. This is when it gets a little tedious as they attempt to explain all the mystery that surrounds our ladies. There's a sense of disjointedness, and all the monologues that Éclair has certainly do not help much. Up till the last five episodes, they are introducing yet more characters and a whole new plot. It would be much better if they let the story move a little slower and take time to develop the interactions and bond between all the various characters more. Too many twists and turns stifle the story and prevents it from flowing properly.
The plot is the most vivid part of the show due to one very, VERY jarring change that happened in the later part of the series, which I was totally unprepared for. I shall not give it away, suffice to say that I think the creators must have gotten tired of looking at the same faces over and over again.
Kiddy Grade is a pretty decent watch but it certainly does not live up to its hype. Still, as far as entertainment value goes, entertain it does.
Interesting enough to keep people anticipating more. Add one star if you like cute girls, mecha and action. — Diane Tiu
Recommended Audience: Teens and above. After all, it takes some maturity to truly understand what's going on. Younger audiences *may* just enjoy the action and eye-candy, which are plentiful.
Version(s) Viewed: R3 DVD
Review Status: Full (24/24)
Kiddy Grade © 2002 gimik • GONZO • GOTT
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