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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 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 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 Akai's partner "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.
Kite is infamous for its extreme violence and depictions of graphic rape, some of which appear to involve victims who are clearly underage. 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, 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. Your Mileage May Vary on that one...
- Body to Jewel: Akai had some of Sawa's parents' blood fashioned into an earring, which has been her most prized possession ever since.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: Occurs when Akai, concerned about the loyalty of Oburi and Sawa, walks in on Kanie while the latter is raping a young woman in his apartment. The two carry on a business conversation as if nothing unusual was happening. (Though for them, it could very well be business as usual.)
- Corruption of a Minor: Akai and Kanie are in the business of turning orphaned young children into ruthless assassins-for-hire.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: After meeting Sawa for the first time, Oburi is struck by an errant basketball as he walks by a pair of children playing in an alley. He overreacts slightly by tossing the ball back at them before shooting it with explosive ammunition. Tellingly, while one of the children 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?"
- Groin Attack: Happens to an unfortunate mook during a botched hit.
- It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It: Invoked to taunt Oburi after he and Sawa are captured by Akai.
- Meaningful Name: "Akai" means "red" in Japanese, and Sawa's flashback sequences often involve red (sometimes blood-related) imagery.
- Narm: The English dub for some fans is a fine example of unintentional hilarity, with Sawa's voice actress pronouncing "Oburi" as "Ovary" and "Kanie" like that guy who made Taylor Swift cry.
- Overly Long Gag: After a particularly lengthy and brutal fight scene, the mood is lightened somewhat after a man latches onto Sawa, throwing her and himself out the window of 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 over-pass. 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.
- Plot With Porn
- Rape as Backstory
- 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.
- 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.
The following tropes are inherent spoilers. View at your own risk.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Oburi's death-from-out-of-nowhere that leads to the OVA's Downer Ending.
- Downer Ending: After they escape their former "guardians" to start a new life together, Oburi is ambushed and murdered by a child assassin while Sawa patiently waits for him at home.
- Kill'Em All: Every main character save Sawa is dead by the end.