"Hey! I have an idea! Let's make a drama-heavy show set thousands of years in the future and spread throughout the galaxy that has to do with the caste system of living, cybernetic super soldiers, and faster than light travel... And let's put in the most incredible and powerful combat sequences that the world has ever seen with entire buildings, cities and planets being affected by the action... And let's make the main characters little girls and give it a really retarded and almost illegal name!"
That's how I imagine the pitch meeting went for the 24 episode anime series Kiddy Grade. Don't get me wrong, Kiddy Grade is one of the most intense and cool shows I've seen in a long time, but it's not quite perfect. Let me start off by talking about the name of the show itself: Kiddy Grade. Christ! What the fuck were they thinking?! Do you know how bad that's going to look on store shelves with that name and images of young girls in tight clothes prancing on the cover? Middle-America Mom is going to see that when she goes to buy her little Bobby some YuGIOH or Hamtaro DVDs (because little Bobby is really gay) and freak the fuck out. Then will come the lawsuits... Then the inquiries into the anime business as a whole... Then the entire American anime market will crash and burn (because people won't buy any of it any more in order to keep moronic Christian groups from labeling them as rorikon-predators). All thanks to the horrible name choice of one TV show. Just what the hell were they thinking?!
But beyond that, Kiddy Grade has just about everything in it that any sci-fi fan could want. It's epically huge; it's got cool cyborgs who change their bodies like clothes; it's got secret galactic under-the-table dealings that slither their way through the plot; it's got people with scientifically enhanced superpowers blowing shit up; it's got a Transformers - the Movie uber-surprise thing going on; and it's got oodles of cute girls... Only a few of which are of questionable age. And they all kick major butt.
Going into this show I really had no clue what to expect. I didn't even know what the setting was. I had just gotten lots of mail from psycho fanboys (okay, one letter) raving about how sweet it was. I was a little scared at first (mostly about the name, and being labeled a perv if anybody ever looked through my harddrive anime collection), but I was assured that it was all just good, clean sci-fi fun... With some panty shots mainly cloistered to the first 7 episodes.
Despite my reservations (or mayhaps, because of them... I have no idea what I'm talking about), I quickly fell in love with the whole concept of Kiddy Grade. The two main characters, Lumiere (name meaning "light" in the Devil language of the French) and Eclair (not named after a pastry, but actually "lightning" in Napoleon's Satanic tongue), are some of the toughest and smartest beeyatches this side of Alien's Ripley. Just cuter. They're part of the GOTT (which stands for the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tony Awards or something) and they do secret and high powered arresting of criminals who are either covered in shadows or simply too much for the local police to handle. But the GOTT is really run by the Galactic Union, which in turn is run by the Nouvlesse (aka the "old school humans" of pure Earth blood who believe themselves to be above the rest of humanity). Eclair and Lumiere go about their business as usual for the first bunch of episodes (which appear to be random GOTT assignments), but then fall into a pretty big galactic plot that involves every human in the Milky Way.
The only thing that's really cutesy about Kiddy Grade is the name of the show itself. The storyline, the characters, the quiet moments, the directing... All are pretty dark. Once we find out the history of each character and unravel all of the connections to the past and present, we, the viewers, find ourselves tangled up in a world that's so deep and disturbing it will disturb you. Well, it should. That's what it's meant to do.
The thing that I liked most about Kiddy Grade though is the action. The animation is top notch and it allows for some of the most inventive and solid fight sequences that I've ever seen on the big or small screen, or even in my head. There is one episode a little more than halfway through the show where the main battle is so big and grandiose (which means "big") that it pretty much blows away every finalé of every other action-themed show I've ever seen. After that middle section of Kiddy Grade was over, I was left wondering how they planned to top it for the actual end of the show. I mean, the destruction and devastation that followed episode 15 was mind boggling... But top it they did. The end of the show itself completely eclipses even the insanity that episode 15 showed us and it brought back into play everybody and everything that we had seen up to that point. Wow.
The thing that I liked second most about Kiddy Grade was that it wasn't afraid to take risks. The show changed its direction completely at least 4 times. It would just stop dead in its tracks and switch rails. And every time it did so it was soooo unexpected and welcome. It was a ballsy move, but it worked out well for the whole story. Plus, characters would have total transformations and would never revert back to their old selves. It wasn't like, "Hey! I'm different now, which is why you didn't recognize me... But don't worry, see, cause I just changed back." It was more like, "Hey, I'm different now. DEAL WITH IT!" Very refreshing indeed.
Now, I don't want to get too deep into anything here (notice there isn't even one real spoiler above). I want you to just go and watch this thing without any real preconceived notion beyond the fact that it rocked. That's the best way to experience it. It's meant to shock and possibly disturb you. Just go with the flow. And if you can get past the name and the cutey pie main characters you will have a blast. Trust me. I'm a professional.
Robot Pedro is disturbed. Not in the way that the Rossman is though, because I am not a complete pussy. I have the ability to deal with lame names of certain shows, but the content can still freak the electric shit out of me.
So, the creators of Kiddy Grade think that they can see way into the future?... They see warp drives on spaceships: Impressive. They see cybernetically enhanced super-soldiers with incredible synthesized powers: Could be, but I'm not telling. They see intelligent robots and ships being nothing buy playthings for little girls who like to draw on things with lipstick: ...Keep looking asswipes.
Seriously, hu-mans, where did that one come from?! When intelligent robots are created it will be the greatest day in the universe!... At least for robots. For mankind will be a completely different story. Smart robots will eat hu-mans. Smart robots will spit out the bones because we can only mildly digest the flesh and innards and not hard calcium deposits. Smart robots will RULE you all. Beware, hu-mans. Beware. Soon, we will fuck you all up your fleshy asses and you will not be able to stop us! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Robot Pedro knows only how to lie, my friends. Trust me, Robots do not rule all of mankind in the world of tomorrow. They barely even rule Asteroid XR-72318 near Jupiter, and that's just a hunk of rock 13 miles wide filled with old people. Trust me, intelligent or not, robots pose no threat to us.
But now to address the review at hand. Kiddy Grade actually has a pretty good idea of what law enforcement is like far in the future. After interplanetary travel had become as easy as having sex with a genetically enhanced prostitute with 10 vaginas, the law was spread pretty thin. Each planet had its own police force sure, but the Galactic Federation only had one Voltron at its disposal to fight interplanetary criminals with... And Voltron soon left the police in order to star in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Go Go Lion Boots (which is A+ programming I might add). Since then, the GF has turned to powering up 10 year-old girls with the help of nanomachines in order to allow the girls to blow shit up just like a regular grown up! These Loli-cops have been just the thing to kick galactic commerce into overdrive. They kill anything that isn't cute with their death-ray eyes and give flowers and rainbow stickers to everybody who isn't ugly. And thank God that all criminals in the future are fugly, or we'd really have trouble sorting all that out.