Kite (TV Mini Series 1998) Poster

(1998)

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8/10
Dark, erotic tale of underaged assassin
fertilecelluloid27 December 2004
Director and storyboarder Yasuomi Umetsu's high octane visuals hang from KITE's basic, unoriginal storyline, but don't let that put you off this pleasing document.

An assassin forced to kill and driven into occasional sexual servitude by perverted bosses is the basic set-up of this excuse for subversion (nothing wrong with that).

That the assassin looks twelve (despite her concessionary breasts) is why KITE is questionable material in more conservative circles.

The shoot-outs are beautifully realized and the sound effects are sharp and effective. Umetsu has a passion for the domino effect of violence as one grisly atrocity begets another until the Tokyo streets and subways resemble a hellish inferno.

The erotic sequences, cut or softened in some versions, are as explicit as you can possibly get and gorgeously drawn.

The 2004 Kitty Media DVD (the only one to get) is totally uncut, as is a German disc released a couple of year's ago (sans English subs).

KITE is juvenile in spots, slow in others, but it's a good animated co-feature if you're thinking of screening Luc Besson's THE PROFESSIONAL for your comrades.
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8/10
another rare find
PKozyura2 April 2001
Solidly built anime and a pleasure to watch. Character development is believable, although predictable. The story feels slightly sketchy and rushed closer to the end. Bonus points for the absence of "will be continued in #2" hint. Absolutely worth watching and owning.
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9/10
Exploding Bullets Cause Exploding Pulse Rates
Zantara Xenophobe5 October 2000
Warning: Spoilers
NOTE: This review is going to have some crucial spoilers in the second paragraph, so watch the movie before you read this.

I really like good anime, but I am usually hesitant to rent it because I often pick out a tape that is really a collection of TV episodes. While they still may be good, they rarely leave you with a sense of closure that makes you feel like you got a good deal out of the movie when it is over. I was a little nervous about renting "Kite" (pronounced 'key-tae') because it clocks at a mere forty-five minutes, which is usually a sign of TV excerpts. I went ahead anyway and checked it out. Boy, did I get a good deal out of the movie when it was over!

The movie begins with a jaw-dropping scene of violence: a child molester getting killed by a young girl. You expect something like it is going to happen, but the movie is more graphic than you will expect. But this is a good thing, and it really sends your pulse flying later on. We soon find out that the girl is named Sawa, and she is under the care of a slimy police detective named Akai, who, along with an even slimier associate named Kanie, give Sawa information on people she is to kill; they tell her the victims are all child molesters, but you begin to wonder if they are really being honest with Sawa (which they aren't). Akai and Kanie murdered Sawa's parents years earlier, and over time have forced her to kill who they want her to kill, which she does excellently with a special gun that shoots exploding bullets. Sawa does her job emotionlessly until she meets another young assassin that works for Kanie: a boy named Oburi. When they meet, they begin to consider getting away from their masters, but they find out that leaving is easier said than done, as Akai and Kanie aren't about to let their lucrative business go down the drain.

The movie is not for the weak-of-stomach. The exploding bullets create a huge mess, but that seems to make everything all the more real. There is a very violent scene in a men's bathroom that is one of the most exhilarating and exciting scenes I have ever had the pleasure of watching. The dubbed dialogue is very good, as compared to most dubbed dialogue cartoons in which you can just tell something got lost in the translation (although with criminal editing, something is indeed lost). And the animation is terrific, too. My only quarrel is the time. I wish the movie was twenty or thirty minutes longer, enough time to strengthen the relationships between the characters, especially between Sawa and Oburi and between Sawa and Akai. The reason this time is gone is because the company that released the film in the United States hacked out a substantial amount of the film, which was a terrible thing to do. Otherwise, I probably would have rated this film a perfect 10. Nevertheless, don't pass this one by when nosing around in the animation section, looking for an exciting anime. It sure beats the TV show stuff you could end up with. Zantara's score (edited version): 9 out of 10.
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7/10
Too short...
frozetti25 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The film is quite good. It could even be one of the best I've seen,but... I think 50 minutes is too short. Because of it, the love story between Sawa and Oburi looks a little stupid,and after watching it I had a feeling that something was uncompleted.

And of course there are lots of logical mistakes. For example: how can a man survive after explosion if he was in epicenter of it? How can he miss the target if he's standing in a meter distance from it? There are also some mistakes with bursting bullets.

Nevertheless I can say, that movie is quite good and it's definitely worth seeing. But it's sad to realize that it could be much better. And it's strange that Yasuomi Umetsu still hasn't made the second part.
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6/10
Dark desperate mood, but still a failed anime
siderite5 November 2014
The animation was a little strange, although I couldn't say it was bad. The problem was with the depiction of emotions on the characters faces, they all looked a little off. The same issue can extend to the characters themselves, though. It is difficult to empathize with any of them and the rushed nature of the script doesn't help.

The story is about young assassins, trained by people with no scruples. The violence scenes are really complicated, but also amateurish. They often end in the assassin almost failing and managing to survive by using some prop. Then you find yourself wondering why they didn't use that from the start. There are also a lot of sex scenes, bordering on rape, but they are kind of pointless after a while.

Bottom line: the atmosphere was great and the sense of desperation and dark foreboding was clearly why so many people liked this. However the story itself, while predictable and simple, was clearly meant to be more and the anime failed to capture it. The animation is simplistic as well. I watched the 2014 movie a week ago and, frankly, I think that the movie was better, moving the story in a different but good direction, while being clearly more carefully created.
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9/10
amazing
eyesofsociety30 December 2003
wow, this anime is one of my favorites. the action sequences rule and it has the greatest animation. you just fall in love with the main character as she kills but at the same time remains cute. i wish all animes were like this.
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8/10
A lot better than the live-action U.S. movie adaptation!!!
xgray-0387328 April 2016
This is movie is the primary example of why Hollywood needs to stop making terrible live-action U.S. film adaptations based off of certain anime shows and movies. This anime OAV is basically a simple concept to follow, but the filmmakers of the U.S. live-action version just wanna make it a repeat of Dragonball Evolution. Now the story is actually interesting to watch and the characters have a lot more to offer since it's basically Sawa out to get revenge on only one guy that she had known who was the murderer of her family. Now if the live-action U.S. movie had gotten rid of so many unnecessary crap and just stay true to the original, I would've been fine with that. But, nope. They just made it obvious that I should just stick with the anime, instead.

Overall, I actually like this version a lot more than the live- action U.S. version.

8 out 10!!!

Definitely a must see.
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8/10
One of the best adult action movies ever!
ivan_thechemist139 March 2009
First of all if you have seen Kite I guess that you are at least 18 or you have seen an awfully censored version. The movie begins with a little brutal murder scene and then gets more and more brutal every minutes. Gunfights, murders, child abusing sex scenes - this movie has it all. If you can't take this you better don't watch it, because if you do you will be disgusted and will claim that this movie is only sex and gore. But it is NOT! If you watch full director's edition, you will find how Sawa interacts with people, you will see all of the terrible things that her masters have done and will understand why she is so full of hatred. I don't really think that there was a better way to tell the story. And I don't that there is a better hit-man story, either. Maybe except for Hit-man itself ^^.

I don't know why IMDb refuses to show the word hit-man, but so be it.

Also if you don't like anime, don't watch this. You wouldn't like it-the art is a little crude, not so polished and the violence will be just way too much for you.
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8/10
decent fun mindless & entertaining
sykoraggs21 January 2003
this is certainly not the best anime out there, but dont take it too seriously and have fun with the really twisted story and well thought-out action sequences. the ending is very rushed. i had to watch it a couple times until i figured out exactly what happens. its no akira or space battleship yamato, but kite still delivers good entertainment at a decent level of inteligence. on some levels kite reminded me of the professional (natalie portman movie). i've heard some people complain that its too short, but i couldnt imagine this anime being any longer than 50 minutes.
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6/10
Stylish And Violent Anime...
EVOL66628 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
NOTE: This review is based on the chopped-to-sh!t U.S. release...

KITE is basically an all-filler, little-substance anime with some semi-twisted pedophiliac undertones. Unfortunately, the copy that I have has all the hardcore hentai material cut out of it, which is extremely disappointing and knocks it down a few notches in my book.

Sawa is young female assassin being "pimped" by a sleazy police-detective named Akai and his partner. Along the way, Sawa meets another young assassin, a boy named Obury, who is also being exploited by Akai. The two decide after a few encounters together that they wanna leave "the life" - but find that it's not as easy as it may seem...

KITE has a good bit of action packed into it's (U.S. release) 45-minute run-time. Some of it is well-done and "exciting" - some is over-the-top and ridiculous. Regardless, there's plenty of gun-play, explosions, and bloodshed to keep the more hardcore anime fans happy. The exclusion of the hardcore sex material, like I mentioned before - is a huge disappointment to me, but personally - I can't say I liked this one enough to bother seeking out the uncut version. The storyline seemed (as other reviewers have rightly noted...) a bit rushed and the ending was abrupt. The pedo undertones will probably bother some (apparently, in the uncut release there are several graphic sex-scenes involving Sawa - who looks about 13 except for her big-ass titties and is often referred to as "young" - often meaning under 18...) - but being that it's a cartoon, it didn't bother me in this case. Worth a look to violent-anime fans - I SERIOUSLY suggest tracking down an uncut version...6/10 (probably would have been an 8/10 had the hentai material been intact)
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4/10
There are much better revenge films out there
williambendavis-933-21895814 December 2014
Much to my disappointment, this movie is not that great. It's about a young girl who has been trained as an assassin and her ultimate goal throughout the film is to find and kill the people who killed her parents. Not a terribly original story, but in can be done right. This is a case of doing it wrong. With no explanation, our main character, Sawa, already knows who killed her parents and she's just waiting for the right time to kill them I guess? I don't know why she waited as long as she did to kill them, but whatever. That's not the main problem I have. The main problem is without the hunting down the killer story line, the film is very uninteresting and quite boring. If you want a good revenge film, watch Kill Bill instead.
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Raped
tedg27 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

This could have been a good movie. I'm particularly sensitive to the cinematic power of sexual exploitation — after all, that's pretty close to much of the cinematic experience. And child molesting adds great power to the experience.

Also, I like Manga's sometimes honest approach to sexuality. Yes, its mostly prurient but its probably better to have sexual exploitation than the often humorous current repression. And anime sometimes goes where film has never gone before (graphic layout metaphors and object boundaries).

This film has all that, and still sucks. It has no soul, no graphic identity, no intrinsic pathos. Are we supposed to simply feel abused?

(it is a small thing compared to the general complaint about artlessness. But it completely destroys the child molestation bit to draw such huge breasts.)

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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7/10
Weapons of a woman
kosmasp13 May 2020
Well let's say woman, because it's borderline girl, which would also mean ... let's just say that this is definitely not for kids. Not everything animation is meant or aimed at children. Even when it haves little ones in them. A lot of nudity and a lot of blood. And if you watch the uncut version a lot of penetrating too - while it does not linger on intercourse, it still is there and it still may disturb people. It should not disturb more than the violence which is quite graphic, but I'm mentioning it anway.

So you should not be easily offended for sure. Because if you are, skip this one. A weird and crude anime, with contradictions that make or break it. Strong powerful female? Check. Being used and abused by men? Also check .. who will prevail and what will be left of them? Literally ...
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Baby Blue
tieman648 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Released in 1998, "Kite" is a violent anime by director Yasuomi Umetsu. The film revolves around a schoolgirl named Sara who is orphaned in her early teens, whose parents are the victims of a gory double murder and who unwittingly finds herself becoming an assassin.

In the late 1990s, the film would be idolised by teenagers for its elaborate, violent action sequences. Later, when they stumbled upon director's cuts of the film, many of the same fans would recoil in disgust. Labelled child pornography in many countries, these various cuts feature extended sex scenes in which the young Sara is repeatedly raped. These rapes are presented as titillation. But were the film's action sequences any different?

The "assassin" or "hitman" genre has always had paedophillic undertones, even in the mainstream, with films like "Leon" and "Kick Ass". Violence itself always has a sexual element, and vice versa. Indeed, many English metaphors for sex have violent connotations. Sex is associated with hitting, the penis is oft treated as a weapon (fire blanks etc), various euphemisms (bang, beat it, tear it up, hit it, knock up) conceptualise sex as violence and even the modern, grammatically correct words we give male and female sex organs originated from explicitly violent Latin and Greek words (sheaths, swords etc). Today gaming terminology is similarly rife with sexual euphemisms (rape, owned, gang-bang, teabag etc).

On a chemical level, the brain's reward systems for aggression and sex are also similar, whilst identical neurons in the hypothalamus light up during both belligerence and sex. Exposure to either also induces similar neurochemical pleasure responses (dopamine, oxytocin etc), which oft leads to addiction escalations in which the subject requires "harder" and "more intense" experiences of violence and/or sex.

On a metaphysical level, the likes of Freud and Lacan have also recognised the overlaps between sex and violence. In psychoanalysis, for example, the death drive exists in opposition to the pleasure principle. But the pleasure principle is itself the death drive, as the aim of the instinct is in every instance a satisfaction which can only be obtained by either removing the state of stimulation, or by constructing a vicious circle of repeatedly transferred desires. The sex act, then, not only chases an unattainable ideal of wholeness, unity or an impossible end, but at its most extreme is predisposed to eventually seek an outright eradication of pleasure; the self desires both its own destruction and the annihilation of the Other. Suicidally, the self seeks to at once consume, destroy, violently merge with and transcend the Other; to go beyond ecstasy.

In other cases, sexual fantasies may have unconscious intents which aren't even sexual. They often serve to assuage an existential lack, for example, whilst other violent forms of sex are acts of hatred, humiliation and dominance, pleasure derived from defiling the other or fuelled by the anger of having been made into an object and defiled oneself. Such fantasies lead into the psychological dead-end of sado-masochism. Pornography, in some cases, also has its basis in resentment, either unconscious or openly.

Japanese animation is itself riddled with misogyny in all sorts of creepy manifestations. Such things range from slight to more overt stuff like rape and sexual assault scenes. "Kite's" multiple cuts - the film's essentially a series of murders and rapes - were themselves created to cater to different Eastern and Western demands. Western markets lapped up the film's stylised violence but balked at the sex, whilst unrated cuts of the film became cult hits in Japanese and European sex markets. Today, as Western social mores change, things like "Kite's" sexual assaults are increasingly viewed as just another acceptable part of power fantasies.

4/10 – Worth one viewing. "Kite" would influence and be homaged in Tarantino's "Kill Bill".
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Cliché, but what isn't?
susanvr11 December 2004
To put it out flat, if you are into chick flicks, or movies with commendable plots, you probably won't like this anime.

But if you are simple in your tastes, this anime is good. It has just about everything you could hope for. Its especially good for a late Friday night rental.

Revenge, violence, unique love story sub-plot (I believe), and a slightly dramatic ending. And even though this anime showcases the wonderfully cliché components of a naked girl, guns, and action violence, the plot itself is very interesting and different from your run-of-the-mill mecha or Tokyo-pop girl/boy out to save the world, or at least the city of Japan.

8 out of 10.
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6/10
A bit overrated
mhorg20188 July 2018
Kite is an orphaned girl who kills for her controller, who supposedly saved her. Filled with some real gore, super violent content and a decent story line, avoid the lame live action movie and see this instead.
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7/10
A Hidden kite Flying High Got its own Good.
mayankyadav-5219027 June 2021
A complete entertainer with High intensity action, Explicit content and soothing and mellow soundtrack consisting mainly of Saxophone Solos to completely fit the mood of this short yet highly entertaining movie.
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Anime Americans will like
tokkichi1 January 2001
When I first saw this film, it was the edited American version (its missing nearly 1/2 hour), and I instantly fell in love with it. I am a huge fan of anime, but I prefer actual movie format (like that of "Perfect Blue") as opposed to the OVA format (like the "Slayers" series). This movie had an excellent plot, rapid-fire animated sequences, and alot of violence and weapons-play. I personally didn't care much for the animator's style, but that is more than made up for in the fluidity of the frames. Watching the movie in its original Japanese will help answer alot of questions that, due to mouth-syncing shortcomings, were not really addressed. And, although "Kite" (pronounced "kah-ee-toe", if one were to read the katakana on the boxfront... pronouncing it like "kee-teh" will mean something entirely different in Japanese) is missing that 1/2 hour of footage, there is nothing really lost in the plot or motif. Anyone who does not watch this film superficially will put the missing details together by context clues throughout. Overall I say that if you can, get the video in its original Japanese, with subtitles in English if necessary...get the raw feel for the film. However, the full unedited version, if you're interested, is only available in Japan, and Hong Kong, I believe. The video and DVD formats used there aren't programmed to play on American players. So, if you want to see it uncut, you'll have to see it in the country of origin.
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4/10
Not that great...
ep.com18 August 2001
Well, there's no real plot to speak of, it's just an excuse to show some scenes of extreme violence and gratuitous sex (which can sometimes be fun, too, but it's not in this case). What else can I say about this...? The action, when happening, is inventive and there's a cool scene where two characters are falling from a skyscraper (one that has to be several miles high), but overall there's not much to recommend "Kite". Watch it if you want, but you're not missing much if you skip this one...
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10/10
What goes around comes around
ryanbigman5 January 2003
Great anime! Actions scenes, blood, and a decent story behind it. You'll know what I mean when you watch this movie when I say " What goes around comes around ". The end of the movie seems a bit abrupt but the overall quality of it makes up. 10/10.
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8/10
what a way to make a living
GreyFox3722 February 2001
ok, this is nuts. now, this is another title where a deep grasp of psychological understanding is necessary. now, in my opinion, going around and blowing peoples heads off for no apparent reason is..well..unorthodox. heh. still, if you understand the story, it is a very well thoughtout process of identity. if you like gore and going crazy, kite is for you
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2/10
Total waste of time.
PatrynXX25 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
(spoilers)

I shoulda figured. The dvd didn't even show the time or how long it was. I thought Wild Cardz was the worst anime movie I'd ever seen. This one is much worse. Makes no sense. Thrown together plot. All so we can see oversized breasts on a figure that doesn't support them.

It had to of been a student film. That musta gotten a C grade

2/10

Quality: 1/10 Entertainment: 6/10 (until I found out it wasn't going to end.) the ending made no darn sense

Replayable: 0/10
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5/10
Not gory, not sexy
Crystal_Dive24 August 2020
Gratuitous violence and sex scenes plopped in randomly . Spawn (HBO) feels more violent than this despite Kite having scenes of people being shot and blown apart. The violence is comical over-the-top ( just 80s styled blood. No viscera. Other anime series are more violent)

Plot is as cliche as you can get -> Assassin sent out on random jobs, seeking revenge for her backstory, discovered that her handler was the killer all along,and the movie end with her taking care of that (without the movie actually showing how that conclusion came to be. It just is...)

Add in a completely random romance subplot with a fellow assassin, which drags the movie whenever such scenes come up, and you get this failure of an exploitation film. Think of a rip-off sequel to Cannibal Holocaust , and you probably get a good idea of what this movie offers.

--

oh, and the girl has a pinup body that rivals any Penthouse model in the sex scenes. Drawn completely different than her non-erotic scenes. So, the description of the youthful assassin doing it is only controversial in writing.
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