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Anime / Kite

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Kite is an Anime series in the action genre, written and directed by Yasuomi Umetsu. Originally released as a two-part Original Video Animation in 1998 by Japanese studio Green Bunny, it has since been edited for release in North America as a single "movie" by Media Blasters (general release) and Kitty Media (Kite: Director's Cut and Kite: Special Edition). The original series was followed in 2008 by a sequel, Kite Liberator.

In Tokyo, a string of bizarre, unsolved murders have the police confounded and the media in a frenzy. The only known connections are the killer's use of exploding bullets, and the fact that each of the victims were famous, wealthy, or powerful individuals. Akai, the lead detective in these cases, knows more than he is letting on. Not only have he and his partner Kanie ordered each of the killings, but many of them have been carried out by his underage lover and adopted daughter, Sawa.

Under the pretense of "cleaning up the city" by getting rid of corrupt politicians and child molesters that are outside the reach of the law, Akai uses Sawa as his personal assassin. Holding misguided affection for Akai after he "rescued" her as a child from the scene of her parents' murder, Sawa has done his bidding for years without question. When she meets her male counterpart, a young man named Oburi who has been trained by Kanie, Sawa begins to question her role in life and the events that led her there. However, Oburi and Sawa soon find out that giving up their current lives will be no easy task, for Akai is not the kind of man that will take "no" for an answer.

Like Umetzu's similar work Mezzo Forte, it has received three releases in North America: a General Release with most of the sexual content removed, a subsequent Director's Cut that leaves most of the controversial material intact, and a Special Edition that is presented as being totally uncut.

This page is for the censored version only.

Has a Live-Action Adaptation by the same name directed by Ralph Ziman.

The OVA contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sawa, although Sawa didn't exactly choose to be one.
  • Asshole Victim: The targets Sawa and Oburi are sent to kill are often Dirty Cops and Corrupt Corporate Executives.
  • Body to Jewel: Akai had some of Sawa's parents' blood fashioned into a set of earrings, which have been her most prized possession ever since. Naturally, she gets very upset when she loses one during a botched assassination.
  • Break the Cutie: Not only was Sawa forced to endure sexual abuse but also mental and psychological torture as was the case when Aki took away her earrings until she committed murder as part of her training.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Akai walks in on his partner Kanie having sex with a young girl. Kanie stops, draws his gun, sighs, says "Oh, it's just you," and then continues on with the sex.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Aki's MO; taking an innocent young girl and turning her into a cold-blooded killer who's also essentially his child sex slave.
  • Corruption of a Minor: Akai and Kanie are in the business of turning orphaned young children into ruthless assassins-for-hire.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Oburi's death-from-out-of-nowhere that leads to the OVA's Downer Ending.
  • Dirty Cop: Akai and his partner Kanie, who make it a habit of kidnapping and raping young girls, as well as training children to be their personal assassins.
  • Downer Ending: After they escape their former "guardians" to start a new life together, Oburi is ambushed and murdered by the same young girl he encountered earlier while Sawa patiently waits for him at home. Even worse, the last shot is of the door to the apartment opening, heavily implied to be the child assassin that killed Oburi coming to eliminate Sawa as well.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending: Every main character save Sawa is dead by the end.
  • Foreshadowing: After meeting Sawa for the first time, Oburi is struck by a puddle of water from an errant basketball as he walks by a pair of children playing in an alley. He overreacts slightly by tossing the ball at the basket before shooting it with explosive ammunition. Tellingly, while the young boy screams and ducks, the young girl just calmly watches him as he walks away.
    Sawa (to Oburi's cats): "Be patient, my friends. Very soon, Oburi will come home to us — right?"
  • Gorn: Sawa shoots her targets with exploding bullets. You do the math.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Happens to an unfortunate mook during a botched hit.
    • In addition, Akai is shot multiple times in the groin by Sawa near the end of the film.
  • Hypocrite: Both Akai and Kanie have Sawa assassinate corrupt cops and child molesters under the pretense of pursuing justice, when in reality they are corrupt cops themselves who have no qualms with raping underage girls.
  • Market-Based Title: In Japanese, it's known as A KITE.
  • Meaningful Name: "Akai" means "red" in Japanese, and Sawa's flashback sequences often involve red (sometimes blood-related) imagery.
  • Non-Indicative Name: You'd think by the title that the heroine is named "Kite," but actually it's Sawa. Nobody is named Kite, and kites are not a part of the film.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Akai. Although he initially acts like he's a Vigilante Man or something, it is later made clear that he's only using Sawa as his personal assassin and sex slave.
  • Overly Long Gag: After a particularly lengthy and brutal fight scene, the mood is lightened somewhat after a bodyguard latches onto Sawa, throwing her and himself out the hole in the wall from said scene in a high-rise building. They then proceed to latch onto a neon sign, which breaks off at the hinges, sending them falling once more until they land on the roof of a car waiting on an overpass. The weight of their impact somehow sends the car through the bottom of the overpass, landing on a truck waiting below the overpass. This impact then sends the whole pile through the ground into a subway station. Then the neon sign falls onto everything, causing the truck to explode... sending Sawa hurtling through another window into an adjacent building. It's like They Live! crossed with Wanted.
  • Rape as Backstory: Aki did this to Sawa for 4 years in part to "condition" her.
  • Sex Slave: Which is what Sawa essentially is for Akai, who does with her as he pleases whenever she isn't on a mission assassinating targets for him.
  • Sexy Secretary: During the above mentioned action sequence in which Sawa falls down a skyscraper, the action briefly cuts into an office building in which an old corporate suit is having sex with his young secretary as Sawa falls past the window.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Sawa, though it's less the size of the gun and more about the size of the hole it makes moments after the bullets hit you.


Video Example(s):



Sawa and the guard she's fighting fall off a building, and a lot of things fall with them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / SerialEscalation

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