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Kite
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 04/10/2005

Synopsis:
With her angelic face and supple body, Sawa is every bit the fantasy schoolgirl of most men. But Sawa isn't just blessed with killer looks... she has the matching instinct as well, for Sawa is an assassin by occupation. Working for a shady detective, Sawa takes lives in the name of justice... or so she thinks.

Review:
I watched and reviewed Kite: Director's Cut some three years ago, thinking that it was the closest the English-speaking market was going to get to Kite's unadulterated form. Lo and behold, the Kite: Uncut DVD quietly enters the R1 scene in late 2004. It was the wrong time, really. The furor over Kite's previous versions had already died, and truckloads of newer and more hardcore hentai titles were being launched left and right. Kite: Uncut's release created little more than a ripple among fans and purists. Had this been released during the height of Kite's popularity and controversy, it would have gone off with a great big bang.

Kite: Uncut begins by letting us in on a typical day in Sawa's life. She's in an elevator with a punkish-looking guy, all innocent and sweet. A bit later, we see Sawa drawing her gun and killing the guy she was with... and very violently at that. So it goes. Day in and day out, Sawa is given targets to exterminate. We later learn that Sawa's boss is actually her guardian -- a detective named Akai who adopted her after her parents were brutally murdered.

Sawa is one truly tragic character. She's orphaned early, molested, raped, and used as a weapon by forces we don't fully comprehend until the end. Sawa meets a kindred spirit in the person of Oburi, a young man close to her age who is also an assassin for Akai. It is rather difficult to illustrate the plot further without giving too much away, but Kite is ultimately about Sawa's awakening and response to the truth.

What kept the uncut version from reaching us sooner was supposedly the graphic rape of a prepubescent Sawa. I was expecting some really heavy material, but to my disappointment, I could not even tell which scenes were not in Kite: Director's Cut. The plot remained exactly as it was, and the alleged child-rape scenes weren't anything to shake a stick at since Sawa did not look anything like a pre-teen. There was even no resistance whatsoever as Akai ravished her. At the time Kite was originally released, this may have been shocking to many. But years have passed, and most of us have probably seen more offensive scenes in more recent hentai releases.

The art and animation are still among the best I've seen in a hentai feature. The character designs range from beautiful to downright disturbing. Our protagonists are drawn attractively, but most other characters seem to possess asymmetrical faces with strange-looking features. Much emphasis is given to blood, violence, and gore. Nudity and sex are also depicted in an extremely detailed manner, reminiscent of Cool Devices' "Yellow Star".

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Kite: Uncut. Sex and violence aside, it is a film with character and substance -- a combination that a lot of works, especially hentai, lack. If you still have not seen Kite, make sure you grab this version.

Miscellanies:
If Kite: Uncut is to your liking, also see "Mezzo Forte: Director's Cut".

Screenshots
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Review Title:
Kite
Type:
OVA
Episodes:
2
Duration:
50 Minutes
Aired:
1998
Suitable For:
Adults Only
General Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Hentai Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Genres:
Action, Normal Sex, Rape
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