Kite is an Anime series in the action genre, written and directed by Yasuomi Umetsu. Originally released as a two-part OVA 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 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.
Kite Liberator follows a new young female assassin named Monaka Noguchi, who poses as a waitress in a maid cafe and kills criminals as "The Angel of Death" by night (said cafe also serves as the Front Organization). There are two primary storylines: one about the older brother of one of Monaka's past targets seeking revenge, and the other about Monaka's astronaut father coming home from space... wrong. Additionally, the sequel features a cameo by Sawa, now all grown up, Older and Wiser waitress colleague of Monaka (and a single mother). What Liberator doesn't feature is gratuitous rape and sex scenes.
This page is for the censored version only.
Has a Live-Action Adaptation directed by Ralph Ziman.
This series contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Sawa and Monaka, although Sawa didn't exactly choose to be one.
- 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.
- Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: One poster for Liberator shows Monaka taking a with two guns in the water and a clip laying on the rim of the bathtub.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: Akai walks in on his partner Kanye having sex with a young woman. Kanye 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 girl and turning her into a cold-blooded killer who's also essentially his 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 women, 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.
- 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.
- I Fell for Hours: See Overly Long Gag below.
- Kill 'Em All: Every main character save Sawa is dead by the end.
- 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.
- 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 in part to "condition" her.
- 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 a corporate suit is having sex with his 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.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Having had to live through hell, it seems that Oburi and Sawa could be happy together, only for Oburi to be killed before he can reunite with Sawa.
- Your Head Asplode: Sawa, taking a page from Ghost in the Shell, uses bullets that explode five seconds after impact, typically causing the head to explode in bloody gore.
- Wrong Side All Along: Sawa believes that she is acting as a vigilante who ends up with the criminal scum, when the reality is that she is acting as Aki's hitman.