Android Kikaider: The Animation, Vol. 2: Conflicting Hearts (2000) – DVD Review

Android Kikaider, Vol. 2 DVD

Film:
DVD:

Directed by Tensei Okamura
Character Design by Naoyuki Konno
Music by Akira Mitake

Features:

  • Character design gallery

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • Creepy big black eyes
  • Human-android bigotry
  • Unrequited love

Released by: Bandai
Region: 1
Rating: 13+
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Get it.

Android Kikaider tells the story of Jiro, one of the last creations of brilliant roboticist Professor Koakishi. Created to protect Koakishi’s daughter Mitsuko, Jiro becomes the incredibly powerful Kikaider, dedicated to protection Mitsuko and fighting for truth, justice, and the Japanese way.

Now in this volume, Jiro is off on his own, trying to decide who and what he is and can become, struggling with prejudice and his own feelings for the human Mitsuko. Meanwhile, Mitsuko hears news reports about someone who she assumes is Jiro, forcing her to confront her conflicted feelings about Jiro and what he is. Jiro also finds himself staying with a woman who has a rather odd emotional reaction to him and his situation, but there is a connection here to Dark which Jiro cannot ignore. Finally, we get some more important puzzle pieces of the past, with Mitsuko learning about her father, and Jiro learning about himself.

The art of the show is quite striking, very moody and even dark at times, underscoring the intended mood of the show and the emotional resonance. There’s also some intent to give viewers a bit of the experience of reading manga in how some of the scenes transfer, the character poses, and so forth—a nice touch. The character designs are a bit retro, very 1970s-80s, though it aired in 2000 on Japanese TV. There are no problems with the digital transfer, though the animation style is intentionally dark and stylized in some places, which will not be to everyone’s tastes. If you usually like today’s overly-finished CGI, then give this one a shot anyway. It suits the tone of the show. The sound is good, if not outstanding, and both voice casts show some emotional connection to their characters and avoid some of the typical problems of dub work.

The only feature is an interesting and attractive, but rather brief, character design gallery for a few of the characters. While not excessive or impressive, it’s nice enough and at least something. Anime fans are never satisfied with how much we get.

This is a well-known and generally beloved series that’s had an impact upon the mecha/humanoid robot genre, and as such deserves a viewing at least by every anime fan. The action and creepiness will appeal to the usual shonen fans, but the character depth and soul-searching episodes will appeal to shojo fans. Fans of the mystery, horror, and/or action genres will be quite pleased. Combining interesting art with depth of characterization, Android Kikaider is a winner all around.

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By | 2017-09-24T23:46:25+00:00 May 6th, 2006|Reviews|0 Comments

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