A Parent's Guide to Anime
Recommended for Mature Audiences
Reviewed by Matthew Moxcey:
Sawa is a seemingly ordinary college girl--but don't let her appearance fool you. She's a cold-blooded killer whose only idea of justice is annihilation of those who break the law. An orphan raised from a young age by vigilante and coroner Akai after the brutal murder of her parents, Sawa is assigned to kill certain criminals, no questions asked. When she meets Oburi, a young man in the same position as her, an instant friendship forms between the two. But with the knowledge of who has slain her parents, how long can Sawa hold back before her craving for revenge gets the best of her?
This movie isn't as much about plot as suspense, action, and visual appeal. Known mostly for it's dramatic camera angles and high level of suspense (not to mention violence), the little story that this feature contains moves along quickly, fitting nicely into the forty-five minutes of film. In terms of animation and realism, "Kite" is a masterpiece. You may, however, want to take a look at "Princess Mononoke" if you're seeking a more involving storyline.
I only saw the dubbed version of this film, and I must point out that all of the main characters' voices are rather lifeless and monotonous. This is most likely intentional, though, so as to give the viewer a real feel for the melancholic emotions that haunt these characters. This film is short, but there's a lot packed in, and its bittersweet conclusion arrived at just the right time.
Full of revenge, deceit, and anger, "Kite" is a dramatic anime with its fair share of psychologically intense moments, and more than enough gore to sicken the squeamish.
Parent's Guide Rating:
red (recommended for mature audiences)
This movie contains no actual sex, though there is a bit of suggestiveness. There's about four seconds of waist-up nudity, but nothing graphic (just Sawa standing around and talking with her top off). There is a fair amount of swearing, including several uses of the F word. And lastly, there's constant and graphic violence, resulting from the common usage of exploding bullets being fired at people. Men are shot in the head, crotch, and various other places, and most of their bodies blow up, with fountains of blood streaming out of them. If not for the intense violence, this anime would probably be suitable for most teens.
Should you decide to watch this film with your child, you may want to talk to him or her about its main theme, revenge. Perhaps you could discuss the reality of violence as a result of anger, and ways that your child could assertively handle vengeful emotions and anger-evoking situations.
Additional comments by Raven Cross:
Additional Content Warning: It should also be noted the previous entire review is only true if you watch the American release. If you get this movie in Japanese from Japan, what you are watching will be hentai, without question, and adults-only material. There were at least 7-8 minutes cut from the American release. I have not seen this version, so I cannot say how bad it actually gets, but it fits an NC-17 rating without doubt.