Kite: Director's Cut (1998) - DVD Review
By Doc - posted 05.30.03 @ 11:07 am
Film: (Non-director's cut gets )
Written & Directed by Yasuomi Umetsu
Doc Ezra's Anime Warnings:
Rating: 18+ Only.
My Advice: Buy the non-Director's Cut, avoid the child porn and rape fantasies.
Sawa is your average, every-day cute college co-ed. Complete with stereotypical school uniform, pigtails, and a lunchbox that holds tasty treats plus a pistol that fires high-caliber explosive rounds and some tiddlywink-sized grenades. Normal, right? Well, for Sawa, who is a highly-trained assassin in the vein of La Femme Nikita (the movie version, not the goofy TV show) or Leon of The Professional fame, it's just life. Orphaned when her parents were murdered, she is trained and directed by a sleazy cop that has grown tired of people slipping through the system's cracks only to do more bad.
The much-anticipated (for reasons that escape me) Director's Cut of Kite adds approximately fifteen minutes of raw, explicit, and entirely non-consensual sex scenes to what was a solid, well-paced guns-blazing anime. And nothing else. In fact, the older, non-porn DVD actually has some extras, which this version notably lacks. As an aside, the DVD begins with a disclaimer that assures us that all individuals depicted engaged in sexual activity are intended to be nineteen years old or older. But don't believe it. The pitch is supposed to be that Sawa is a college student, but everything from her dress to her dialogue indicates someone likely in high school, at best. English translators are just scrambling to cover their asses because this hentai amounts to little more than the twisted adolescent fantasies of a tiny (and often-reviled) subset of anime fandom that actually wants to see cute anime heroines in submissive sexual situations (against their will or no), and isn't bothered by the child-abuse implications.
As stated, the DVD contains no extras to speak of. Some trailers pitching other potentially sketchy "adult" anime, and that's about it. For DVD quality, the animation looks good, and sounds good. But so does the version that doesn't include rape scenes. And it has storyboards and image galleries.