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If you loved "Dirty Pair", then you are gonna love "Kiddy Grade".
The Present Future
Review by Matthew Anderson
24 Episode TV Series
Running Time: 75 minutes (3 episodes)
Rated: PG-13 (Adult situations, language, partial nudity)
In the distant future, there exists an organization called the G.O.T.T. (Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs). Their mission: to handle trade and business disputes. When negotiations go awry, the G.O.T.T sends in "shadow units" identified as ES agents.
Two of their best agents are Éclair and Lumiere. While they are lower ranked operatives, few can match their skill. Recently, they have been assigned to work with a rather shady representative of the Galactic Union, Mr. Armburst. While not exactly thrilled to be working with him, they have their orders.
The worst thing that could happen has; Éclair has started to regain her memories. She is plagued by visions of a past she knows is hers, but she can't understand.
While on a mission, Éclair and Lumiere are placed in a situation that forces them to make a fateful decision. Purged from the GOTT, these two friends must flee before they are taken out by the GOTT Special Forces.
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: The quality is excellent. There are no pixels or errors noted. The colors are solid, and the motion, fluid.
AUDIO: The English 5.1 is a good mix, with plenty of surround sound effects during the action segments. The music is blended quite well, and does not over power the dialogue.
The English and Japanese 2.0 is pretty evenly matched. It too has a decent surround sound mix. It will depend on your system which is better.
EDITS: The best of both worlds. Thanks to the use of multiple angels, you can watch the open and close with English titles, or the original Japanese versions. No edits to the episodes have been made.
EXTRAS: Pretty much the same as the previous volumes. There is an art gallery consisting of a montage of scenes, the clean close animation, a promotional slide show and Japanese TV commercials. There is also a profile section and a reversible cover. No cards in this one.
STORY: If you loved "Dirty Pair", then you are gonna love "Kiddy Grade". Based off the concept by gimik Gonzo, series planner Hidefumi Kimura's story is full of action, snappy one liners, and lots of fun! With this volume, things take more of a darker turn.
ACTING: The cast is very good, on both tracks. On the English dub, we have the always entertaining Monica Rail as the cute Lumiere. Her voice is a little stronger than her work in other titles like "Excel Saga" and "Noir". I enjoy Colleen Clinkenbeard's youthful and energetic voice for the hyperactive Éclair.
Let's not forget the Japanese Cast. I love Ryoko Nagata's mix of sexiness and playfulness for Éclair. As Eclipse, Miki Doi's strong vocals is exactly what you expect for the leader of a black ops team. Aya Hirano low key voice is perfect for the cold and aloof Lumiere.
FAN SERVICE: This volume is the payoff you have been waiting for. After three volumes of tantalizing glimpses of Éclair's breasts, we finally get to see them. They are magnificent. Lumiere gets a brief shot, if you like girls with A-cups.
In the review of volume three, I said that it looked as if the carefree days of fun were just about over. Well, I was right. These three episodes are pretty intense, with lots of strong emotions, and dire situations. The problem is, if I tell you everything that happens, then I will spoil all the fun.
Here is what I can say. First, Éclair is starting to regain her memories, thanks to the events in volume 3. Second, the Nobles, who also appeared in volume 3, are a lot more trouble then they are worth. Third, there is a spy among the ES members, and you will never guess who it is. Last but not least, Éclair is even more dangerous that you could ever imagine.
As it turns out, working for the GOTT isn't all fun and games. It seems that everyone is in fear of loosing their life, doing the GOTT's dirty work. This goes all the way up to Eclipse, who knows that her time as head ES agent is limited. The only one who seems to be secure in their position is Mr. Armburst. As it turns out, our aloof "auditor" is a hell of a lot more than he seems (like there was any doubt).
I like how the other team members react to the "purging" of their fellow ES members. Some are upset, like Cesario and Viola, while others are very happy, like Alv and Diverger. I know those two are up to something. To make things worse, all of them know that one of them is going to be sent after their former teammates.
One final ES team is introduced, right before the crap hits the fan. Not much is known about A-ou and Un-ou, other than one of them is a master of disguise. I have a feeling that their role in future events is going to be a major one.
In Japanese animation, if you add the word "section" before a number, you know that your ass is grass. In Kiddy Grade, the ultra cool, very dangerous, gonna kill ya before sunup group is Section 13. Well, I assume they are bad asses, with the amount of terror in Lumiere's voice when she talks about them. So far, we have only seen one of them, and her only job was to figure out if Éclair is willing to surrender. As you can guess, she wasn't.
A holy grail of sorts can be found in the last episode of this DVD, a full frontal shot of Éclair's beautiful C cups and Lumiere's little boobs. No bra, no panties, nipples and all.
I wish I could say more about "Kiddy Grade: The Present Future", but I can't. Suffice to say, if you have made it this far, you need, you must, buy this volume. While the tone may have changed, the action, animation, and writing is still awesome!
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