Kite Liberator

Movie (1 ep x 58 min)
3.229 out of 5 from 2,878 votes
Rank #12,304

In a city where rapists and murderers prey on the innocent, the young Monaka Noguchi lives a double life; a clumsy high school student and waitress by day, she transforms into the skilled assassin Angel of Death at night. Her father is an astronaut and has always been out of reach, so Monaka must balance her studies and job, as well as support herself, while also hunting down those who deserve to die. With a cool and calm demeanor, even in the face of bloodshed, it seems that nothing can sway Monaka’s resolve; however, her newest job will prove to be most difficult, and hit a little too close to home...

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Kite: Liberator

Episode 1

Kite: Liberator

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Surprisingly, Kite managed to get a sequel.I know that Kite holds some relative importance in the world of anime since Quinten Tarintino was inspired enough by it to give to actress Chiaki Kuriyama in preparation for her role as Gogo Uubari in Kill Bill Vol. 1, along with having a few scenes from the anime being recreated for the music video for "Ex-Girlfriend" by 'No Doubt', and even having a live action movie adaptation starring Samuel L. Jackson, but it still had a small cult following and it's not really really well known enough to inspire a sequel.While it isn't as explicit as the first Kite, it still features a few short scenes of characters doing creepy shit with underage girls, so if you're not into that, keep away.After the events of the first Kite, Sawa suddenly disappears after avenger her parents death with no trace of where she went. Several years later, Kite Liberator now follows Monoka, a girl working at a maid cafe who leads a double life as an assassin, much like Sawa.And then an alien shows up. Yes, you read that right, Kite Liberator has aliens.Well, technically they're not aliens, and it is connected to the rest of the plot, but there is still a giant monster running around Japan destroying stuff. How does a sequel to Kite have aliens, or monsters, of all things? Maybe have a similar story to the first, or include a conspiracy or two, or even just have balls to the wall action. But having a alien/monster?To be fair, the anime does star on a space station orbiting Earth, do it doesn't completely come out of nowhere, but it's still a weird direction to take the series.But just as soon as it introduces all of it's plots, it ends just as quickly with a cliffhanger 50 minutes later. Kite Liberator is not especially long at less than an hour later, but the original Kite was around the same length too, and it still managed to have a conclusion, even if it was left a bit vague on what the ending was.Maybe this was supposed to be another episode after this one to resolve a lot of the dangling plot threads, but it probably didn't do well enough enough to warrant making another episode, which I personally find disappointing, because It would have loved to see what the writers would have written as the conclusion for this entry of Kite.And to top it all off, it's sister series Mezzo Forte, written by the creator of this and the original Kite, Yasuomi Umetsu, managed to get a 12-episode series in the form of Mezzo DSA. Sure, it went for more of an episodic approach, but 12 episodes still had enough room to develop on what it was trying to do. Here, there's barely enough room to develop on the one idea that it did have.On a technical level, Kite Liberator incorporates a few shots of CGI, which is surprisingly solid, but in a few shots where it mixes the 2D and 3D animation, it is a bit awkward. But considering that this came out the same year as The Sky Crawlers and Ponyo, I'm going to assume it had to do with the budget.However, I am still a big fan of Yasuomi Umetsu's art style.I can't really recommend Kite Liberator. The only people who would get anything out of it, let alone watch it in the first place, would be fans of the original Kite, and I'm pretty sure all of them would be just as confused about the plot as the people coming into it blind. And here I was thinking that my complaints would be entirely nitpicks or general complaints.Apparently a sequel was announced back in September of 2008, but considering that it's been 13 years as of this review and nothing more has come of it, I don't think it's going to come out, which is a shame.


Kite Liberator is a short, bittersweet movie with plenty of good action scenes, but I can't help but feel it could have been so much more... The film is split into three parts - a prologue in space, a prologue on earth, and the main story.  All are very loosely connected and in chronological order.  The prologues work toghether to introduce a father-daughter relationship, and cement how they feel for each other in the viewer's mind.  Unfortunately there isn't enough time given the length of the movie to really understand these characters.  Why can the father not return home at all?  Why does the daughter work both those part-time jobs, and what is the link between them? The sci-fi thriller element of the story also leaves quite a bit to be desired.  There is very litte effort (or time) to provide a background to either the research the space station denizens are involved in, the company which is funding this, or why developing space food means the scientist responsible for it is allowed to come and go. The unanswered questions at the end of this animated film are too many to count, and unfortunately meant that watching Kite Liberator was not a great experience.  None of the relationships between the MCs and the secondary characters can be fully resolved in the short run-time, let alone between the secondary characters themselves.  The bar owner in particular leaves me extremely puzzeled, and not in a good way.  Conversely, I actually liked the open-ended denoument... In terms of art and design, the female characters in particular are extremely similar.  In fact it took me a few minutes to realise that the girl in the bathroom scene at the beginning was not the MC.  The space scenes are well realised though, and as I mentioned above the action scenes are a highlight of this film.  I do like how the final assination targets have been designed though. This is worth watching if you are mainly interested in sci-fi action and don't care too much for plot holes. 

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