Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Kiddy Grade

Go To
Left to right: A-oh, Un-oh, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, Armbrust, Mercredi, Eclipse, Lumière, Éclair.


"A lady should really be more elegant... * sigh* "

In the Star Century year 0165, humanity has long spread across the galaxy and brought all its old problems with it. Crime rates in the future are still as high as ever. An agency of the Galactic Union called "Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs" (GOTTnote ) has its own special way of dealing with these problems - it dispatches duos of superpowered enforcers referred as "ES Members" to deal with galactic law breakers. Among their number are two who... tend to stand out a bit: Éclair and Lumière. Behind their appearance of just your run-of-the-mill, happy-go-lucky C-class agents lurks a far more sinister past soiled with blood, desperation, and bitter conflict with the very world order they are now charged with protecting.

Does the above sound like a bit like Dirty Pair to you? No surprise, seeing how Kiddy Grade was probably intended as its Spiritual Successor of sorts. However, despite its lighthearted, Lovely Angels-themed start, this show gets progressively darker and moodier, dipping into such difficult themes as problems faced by an immortal and person vs. society and socioeconomic conflict. Kiddy Grade is a true production tour-de-force, starting with the design, directorial and dictational talent of production team gímik, throttled by the GONZO animation prowess and impressive voice acting (yay for Aya Hirano and Colleen Clinkenbeard), rounded off by an impressive musical score by Shiro Hamaguchi. This will make the series worth taking a look at even if you stay indifferent to the questions raised in it.

The show originally aired in Japan in 2002-03. A sequel series was announced in 2006, to be animated by asread rather than GONZO, and while a pilot DVD was released, little info was revealed until February 2009, when it was re-announced under the official title Kiddy GiRL-AND, now to be animated by Satelite and set 50 years after the original. In the interim, the series had been re-run on TV in Japan and re-released as a DVD box set, and also released to selected theatres as three cut-down movies.

Note: Kiddy GiRL-AND has its own page, so please don't put tropes relating to that show here.


  • Action Dress Rip: Happens in episode 5 when Éclair tries to take a day off and heads to a fancy restaurant.
  • All There in the Manual: Many of the events referenced in flashbacks are only fully explained in supplementary material.
  • Alternative Calendar: The "Star Century" calendar system is used.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Except for a few notable individuals, nearly all of the Nouvlesse are selfish, vainglorious assholes who are blatantly contemptuous of all citizens of non pure Earth-bred stock in the galaxy.
  • As You Know: Introduction of the original series.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: While the frequent panty shots can be quite detailed, the full frontal nudity featured in episode 12 showed nipples (in the DVD version that is) - yes, even Lumiére - but no genitalia. This scene was even re-animated for the movie version of the show, with another similar scene added showing the transfer into their new bodies.
  • Blood from the Mouth: When Éclair receives a seemingly fatal injury in the third episode and again after being clotheslined by Donnerschlag in episode 14. She's also been known to cut her own lip as a lipstick substitute.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Subverted. The English version has been accused of watering down Lumière's wine, however, the original script also refers to it euphemistically as "Grape Juice" (萄ジュース).
    • Played straight later on in the series when they had an assignment on Dardanos: In the Japanese original, Armblast hints to Eclair that the reason that Lumiere can't go with her on an inspection is her monthlies. In the English-language dub, any hint to why Lumiere wasn't feeling well was omitted. The real reason was however a mind-control signal.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Donnerschlag and Wirbelwind the A.I.s, thanks to a program called "Hashish".
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • Lumiere has "A lady should be more elegant", and several permutations thereof.
    • There's "Ta-daaa!", courtesy of Éclair.
  • Clone Angst: Alv and Dvergr create copies of Éclair and Lumière as their servants.
  • Cool Starship: La Muse; Every other ES team has their own.
  • Costume Copycat: Alv and Dvergr, although they can copy the abilities as well. They couldn't copy the voices, though.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Several characters, but particularly Lumière, in both her purple- and teal-haired iterations.
  • Delayed Explosion: Practically all the spaceship combat scenes and a few more besides.
  • Disney Death: Various characters, including Éclair and Lumière themselves. Several times. Those nanomachines sure come in handy.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: A device called "Geo Sort" bomb is now mostly used to "restructure" or to "terraform" planets, but is was developed and deployed in a conflict two centuries ago to destroy planets.
  • Evolving Credits: The credits get updated with Éclair and Lumière's new look.
  • Expy:
  • Extreme Speculative Stratification: The "Nouvlesse" literally treat those humans who are not as rich as a sub-species; going to such measures as wearing environmental suits so they won't breathe the same air as the poor (an issue which is mentioned in the series has led to the Nouvlesse to have weaker immune systems); make indentured servitude to the Nouvlesse's companies a standard of life on many planets and try to fund a terrorist conspiracy which will destroy the hyperspace lanes, making all of the planets of the poor (who cannot afford Faster Than Light drives of their own) to be cut off from the rest of the galaxy and quite possibly die off.
  • Eye Catch: Each episode featured a different artist providing the eyecatch.
  • Fanservice: And how, though some found Lumière's fanservice disturbing...
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Lumière's "grape juice" is actually fermented grape juice, a.k.a. wine (usually, high quality, and thus expensive, wine). Which at one points even gets used to save her life.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The anime uses English, French and German words, such as:
    • "GOTT": "Gott" is German for "god"
    • "Wirbelwind": The AI of Lumière's ship, German for "whirlwind"
    • "Donnerschlag": The AI of Eclair's ship, German for "thunderclap".
    • "Salyut": The ship of A-ou and Un-ou's ship. It's Russian for "salute" and was also the name of the Soviet space station programme.
    • Tweedledum's powers are called "Magnetfeld" (German for "magnetic field") and the joint ability with his sister is called "Windstoß" (German for "gust of wind").
  • Gunship Rescue: Done beautifully. Long after La Muse was destroyed, the new one reveals itself by shooting down the large enemy gunship before dramatically rising out of the water.
  • Hammerspace: It's not like Éclair's outfit has pockets, but there is literally nowhere on her person that Lumière can stash her wine bottles.
  • Hand Blast: The clones of Éclair and Lumière have this as their main attack. Ironically, this is not one of Armblast's abilities.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Except for the finale, it uses the for [Word]/[Usually related word].
  • Image Song:
    • Lumière's is "Hikari no Umi" ("Sea of Light"). It has an appropriately staid theme and plays during her flashback episode.
    • Éclair's is called "Tsubasa". Her lullaby also possibly counts.
    • They also have a duet called, appropriately, "Girls Power 〜史上最高〜" (all-time high) and sing a duet version of the ending theme.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: How that bare-skinned cross on Éclair's stomach retains its shape is anyone's guess.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Éclair's lipstick whip. Lumière's "wine bottles" also qualify. Armbrust's briefcase has also been used in this manner.
  • Irony, dramatic: Éclair sees a boy at the hospital who is distraught that his grandma is about to pass away, but is satisfied with it. Éclair explains to him that his grandma probably feels that she's done everything that she's meant to do in life, and all of us will die someday anyway... except for the part where Éclair herself is actually immortal and has to deal with that in her own way.
  • Karma Houdini: Everyone seems to forget that Eclipse approved of the killing of unarmed civilians and even ordered Éclair to help out, which caused Éclair's revolt in the first place. However, this is justified when you realize it was all part of Eclipse's Batman Gambit. At the time, she was under heavy scrutiny by the Nouvlesse, so she had to Kick the Dog at the time to ensure that Eclair would engineer the downfall of GOTT (at the time), allowing Eclipse to fake her own demise, and in the interim she stayed dead until she could come back to life and resume control, minus the interference from above.
  • Made of Iron: ES members bleed, but little things like bullet wounds don't cause them any other problems - unless required by the plot. Entirely justified by their nanomachines — and even if they are killed, that's easy to fix too.
  • Magic Feather: Éclair wears lipstick whenever making use of her full powers.
  • Mind-Control Music: One episode features a song being used to broadcast a mind control signal.
  • Multiple Reference Pun: The name of the computer virus that turns the A.I.s of Eclair and Lumiere's ships into assassins wanting to kill them, "Hashish", is a reference to two things: To the drug hashish, that influences your mind (normally not to kill someone like the virus does to the A.I.s) and to the sect of Nizari Isamili Shiites that reputedly conditioned their assassins with hashish (the word "assassin" was derived from the Arabic word for "hashish smoker") and a faux paradise garden (these claims were most likely just propaganda by their enemies. Lumiere even made a reference to this legend when explaining the virus' effects to Eclair).
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: It's surprising how many ES members have a classified second power that nobody had ever mentioned.
  • Not Quite Dead: One-shot antagonist Mad Bad Bull, episode 4, after being crushed by a crate when Éclair plays around with a ship's Artificial Gravity.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Lumière at one time wakes up to find Éclair kissing her—but it was done to feed Lumière her favorite wine, so she'd recover from her coma. It's telling though that Lumière is not at all upset about the kiss, but about the waste of her beloved wine.
  • The Nth Doctor: A rare animated example: Éclair and Lumière switch into completely new bodies halfway through the series, and it's revealed that they've done so many times before.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The "eyes" of both Donnerschlag and the La Muse turn red when infected with the Hashish virus. Tweedledee and 'Dum also have red eyes.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In Classical Mythology, Deucalion survived the flood brought about by the Greek gods and became the progenitor of the human race along with his wife Pyrrha.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 9, in a sign on an office, the address below GOTT is 'GONDO DIGI', as a reference to Gonzo Digimation.
  • Sleep-Mode Size: When Lumière exhausts her energy restoring herself, Éclair, and Donner, she turns from an adult body to her normal loli form.
  • Super Prototype: The Caliope has at least a few of the abilities that are present in the more specialised production model La Muses (the Thaleia's Resonance Explosion, Polymnia's Reflection Field and Clio's Hedgehog), albeit in a weaker form.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Éclair's lipstick can turn into a whip, crack electronic locks, and more.
  • Theme Naming: All of the partners have some theme to their names, the most obvious are the twins Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
    • Éclair and Lumière: French for "lightning" and "light" respectively; the latter is "translated" as "twinkle" late in the show
    • Dextera and Sinistra: Latin for "right" and "left."
    • Alv and Dvergr: Nordic for "elf" and "dwarf."
    • Tweedledee and Tweedledum: From Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.
    • Un-oh and A-oh: Japanese names for the two Buddhist Deva Kings.
    • Viola and Cesario: Female name and male pseudonym for a character from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
    • Armbrust and Pfeilspitze: German for "crossbow" and "arrowhead."
    • Mercredi and Vendredi: French for "Wednesday" and "Friday."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Viola loves Italian pasta. Cesario prefers Chinese. This is a common point of (albeit playful) argument between the two.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Primarily, Éclair and her eternal struggle against the Nouvlesse, although all other ES Members face this in one way or another.
  • Wonder Twin Powers: Viola's power requires that she hold hands with her partner Cesario. Tweedledee and Tweedledum also have a combo ability.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Donnerschlag and Wirbelwind.