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  • Seattle, WA
  • Joined Apr 12, 2007
  • 46 / M

Kiddy Grade

Feb 20, 2008


In Kiddy Grade's futuristic world humans are no longer earth bound and have expanded their horizons to colonize a multitude of new worlds. However, despite all the technological advances humanity is still plagued by crime hence the need for the Encounter of Shadow-work Force, ES for short, which serves as the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariff's covert law enforcement arm. The ES Force is comprised of twelve members separated into teams of two with each team possessing a unique combination of powers that makes them ideally suited for certain mission types. Of the teams, Éclair and Lumiere become our guides leading us on a complicated tour of this brave new world.

As for story itself, Kiddy Grade focuses on two things: Éclair's mysterious past and the interactions between the Nouvelesse, an ancient aristocratic group, and the G.O.T.T. That said, despite those key themes the film makers dedicated most of the first eight episodes to developing the bong between the two main characters, Éclair and her partner Lumiere, as well as, introducing the other twelve ES members, key political figures, and upper management at the G.O.T.T. Regardless, I felt the plot, while fun and amusing, developed very slowly, but my bigger complaint was the way that the story unravels as there wasn't enough fore shadow or back story in the early episodes. This lack of fore shadow was then followed by pretty significant plot twists and developments that left my head spinning at times. As a result, I have to really ding the story development here because I felt the way things were revealed or how characters were seemingly killed and then brought back to life represented really sloppy story telling.


As with most works from Gonzo Kiddy Grade is a great visual work with well drawn characters, complicated space-based battle sequences, and an incredibly deft blending of CGI and traditional anime techniques. The scenes are artifact free and incredibly easy on the eyes.


Once again Gonzo delivers a great sound track complete with great opening and closing themes, as well as, a unique series closing theme that's also worth listening to. In addition, the general series sound quality was great and sounded very crisp on my 5.1 Dolby system. All in all, a very solid audio work.


Of all the series I've watched I think this one probably had me the most confused in terms of characters. Not because they were explained badly, but because of the sheer volume of them that are thrown at you. What's more a few characters routinely change hair styles and outfits; making what was already a challenge significantly more difficult. However, once your head stops spinning what you actually find is that this light hearted story really revolves around one very complex character with an incredibly detailed past and while there are a lot of secondary characters most of them are merely plot elements and not really things that need to be focused on. That said, I really couldn't give Kiddy Grade a high score here because of how Éclair, Eclipse, and a few other characters are developed. The biggest problem being that in most cases things were just revealed without ample foreshadow.


Kiddy Grade was a very light hearted series that more than met its quota for eye candy (including more than a handful of up the skirt shots). In addition, Kiddy Grade also incorporates some pretty deep story elements including a very typically Japanese class based conflict and serious wartime ethical questions. That said, my big complaint with Kiddy Grade was the random and almost haphazard nature with which the later part of the story is told. Characters are seemingly killed and brought back to life at the whims of the story tellers without any significant explanation or foreshadow of how this might be possible. As a result, I have to admit I spent a lot of time rewinding to see how I missed stuff. Regardless though I do have to admit the early to middle part of the story flowed pretty well and I think for those looking for something different to watch this series could make for some entertaining moments.

6/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall

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ElcyionCoire Sep 1, 2009

by "leans" i meant "lingers"...  no idea why I wrote leans...  

ElcyionCoire Sep 1, 2009

I think by foreshadowing you might mean build-up...  Foreshadowing is when the scene leans on a handgun on the table, and then 20 later someone bumps the table and -surprise!- the gun is knocked off, fires when it hits the ground, and kills the bad guy saving the day for everybody.

Springing new details or plot developments on viewers without warning is simply poor pacing, poor plotting, or a complete absense of any direction.  Either way it amounts to, as you said above, sloppy writing.