Kaiba

January 15, 2009 | 4 Comments

monsta_avThe following is a reproduction of an original article from Issue 1 of Fansub.TV’s J-Zine, please see issue 1 for the full article.

Kaiba is the product of director Masaaki Yuasa. This is the man behind Kemonozume, Cat Soup and Mind Games. The series consists of 12 episodes and originally aired between 10 April 2008 and 24 July 2008.

Synopsis:

Kaiba takes place in a futuristic world. Here, peoples’ memories can be placed into small chips and transferred to a new human body, making physical death obsolete. Kaiba awakens to this world without knowing who he is, and all he has is the picture of a strange woman kept in the pendant around his neck. When he is suddenly assaulted Kaiba escapes into space. He then travels to a number of planets, encountering various people as he retrieves his memories.

Review:

What is immediately striking about this anime is the animation, quite different from many of the series seen today it is more reminiscent of older series such as Astro Boy. The character designs seem simple, perhaps even childish, and are enough to put many people off, at least initially.

Once accustomed to this unorthodox style, one will find the animation actually complements the storyline. The story itself can be pretty bizarre. It’s either the making or breaking of this series, and has sparked debate among fans. Kaiba’s strong suit is its storytelling. It does a good job of fleshing out the concept of a futuristic world where peoples’ memories can be stored in chips, transferred from one body to another. Indeed the first half of the series spends a lot of time playing around with this idea, allowing the viewer to feel at home with the setting.

In the second half we are treated to more flashbacks, which not only add to the character development but also bring a sense of mystery to the series. Viewers will find many of their initial opinions are challenged. To say this series is completely story driven wouldn’t be the whole truth however. The series also has a strong cast to back it up. The three main leads Warp, Neiro and Popo are all memorable in their own ways. They even spend time developing many of the secondary characters such as Vanilla.

Another interesting factor that aids in character development is that fact that many of the main characters switch bodies. This puts many of them in unlikely situations, the most notable being when Kaiba switched to a large mute hippo like creature. It certainly adds an extra dimension to the characters. Overall Kaiba is a series I would definitely recommend. With a solid storyline and memorable cast this series has a lot going for it. If one is willing to look beyond the animation, which will be a bit jarring until it grows on you, you will find you’re onto a real winner. Nonetheless one cannot deny that Kaiba has its bizarre moments and this can definitely put some viewers off. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart but if you’re willing to stick by it you will be richly rewarded.

SCORE

Animation: 5
– A possible sore point. The animation will not be to everyone’s taste.
Story + Development: 9
– Leaves you guessing right until the very end.Kaiba
Characters + Development: 8
– Popo and Neiro were well developed. It would have been nice if we saw more development for Kaiba.
Action: 7
– Not abundant in this series but always enjoyable.
Sound: 9
– OP/ED are not only memorable but the music complements the mood of the series well.
Individual Enjoyment: 8
– A solid show that is definitely worth watching.
Overall: 8
– A solid show that is definitely worth watching.


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