After a long period of 9 years director YasuomiUmetsu came with the sequel of much appreciated and recognized film in the demesne of neo-noir anime, Kite. The sequel Kite: Liberator, however, has no propinquity with its predecessor. Before analyzing the film in terms of anime, action, characters and their treatment let us go through the plot summary.
The events in this film are placed ten years after the original Kite. During this time, the city has found its new assassin that goes by the name ‘Angel of Death’. The assassin shows no mercy in finishing her targets and leaves a flutter of feathers as her signature card. After nine minutes into the dark and musical screenplay, audiences become acquainted with the primary character; a teenage killer named Monaka. Just like Sawa, the protagonist in the prequel, Monaka has lost most of her family and only has a father who remains busy serving his duties as an astronaut. Although they have a good relationship as he promises to return for her, traveling through the worlds literarily. Monaka is a clumsy and nerdy high school girl who is susceptible to harassment in public places. It is when she receives an assignment, she transforms completely.
For people who have watched and admired anime by YasuomiUmetsu, this film can be slightly disappointing. The most dismal aspect of this film is, apart from the slight reference to Sawa’s character in the current timeline, it is no way a sequel of Kite. Both the films are completely disserved from each other. The film has come out be a half-baked attempt at making a reboot with the exclusion of explicit content. Bringing a sci-fi note into the movie has snatched the idyllic dark quality that a neo-noir film should possess.
The opening shot of the movie takes the audiences into the space station, immediately giving them the idea that they are in for a different treat. The film is an unsuccessful blend of two genres- action and Sci-fi executed half-heartedly. In the first film, the character of Sawa had a back story, audiences could relate vehemently to her vigilante brand of justice but Monaka not only lacks a back story and justification for her crimes, her character is clumsy without any defining element. The plot of ‘Angle of Death’ loses its importance before even its gets established. The events occurring in both the worlds somehow seem uncoordinated. Monaka is a part time sleazy maid and part time vigilante with precision and control. Even if she is purposely exhibiting these differences in her character to masquerade her criminal endeavors, it all seems very confusing.
Apart from the discrepancies in the protagonist’s character some of the plots in the movie are useless. The plot entailing a police officer’s attraction towards Monaka does not serve any purpose. The animation of the film also fails to impress. There are weird camera angles and frame rates making the film to miss appealing look that normally all YasuomiUmetsu’s films have.
If you have been a lover of neo-noir anime genre, you can watch this film. If you loved the prequel like the rest of us, then definitely you are going to watch this film just to realize how severely it has missed its mark.