‘Kite Liberator‘ is a Japanese science fiction anime directed and written by Yasuomi Umetsu. It was produced by the animated studio ARMS and released in North America via Cinedigm Corp. It is 2008 a sequel to the television OVA Kite.
Monaka (Xanthe Huynh) is a shy, reserved, and clumsy Tokyo high school student who works at diner where she dodges harassment from nighttime customers and her boss, but is defended by her older co-worker Manatsu Mukai (Tara Platt). However, Monaka is actually Sawa the Angel of Death, a vicious vigilante who has taken the mantle of a crimefighter who disappeared ten years ago. She receives a gift, rocks from Mars, from her father Orudo Noguchi (Jamieson Price), an astronaut on the ISS. He misses Monaka, but soon gets exposed to solar radiation that begins to mutate him, making his body hard after eating a meal from Defy Foods, which was working on a way to help astronaut’s bones in space. Though the ISS is evacuated and destroyed, one of the mutated astronauts, now a monster, begins to stalk prey in Tokyo.
I really enjoyed the animation from this one. It was well-designed, especially Sawa’s costume and weaponry. It was a definite upgrade from the previous film, which I did enjoy.
Monaka is a well-rounded character. She does a good job of playing the nerdy student by day and the vicious vigilante at night. Her relationship to her father was a defining point for her growth. I do wish that they would have expanded on her origin, as to why she was recruited into the vigilante organization.
As for the story, I do feel that it was two different animes put together. While Sawa’s story is a dark cyberpunk noir, her father’s story is a science fiction horror with their relationship the only thing connecting them. It felt like watching two different plots that were put together for convenience. As for its status as a follow-up, I felt it was more of a “spiritual successor” than a direct sequel, as no information is giving on the fate of the original Sawa.
That being said, I still enjoyed the movie and liked seeing a crimefighting vigilante battling the worst of scum on the street of Tokyo while getting to know the people around her. I understand a third film was planned to make it a rounded trilogy, but it never materialized.
Bottom line, Kite Liberator is an enjoyable anime that is excellent for your watchlist. While it seems to have conflicting genres, the main character of Sawa keeps the movie together.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Disturbing images, Strong bloody violence, Foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: I’m fine if I never see another customer like that ever again.
Check out the original Japanese trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.