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Kiddy Grade #8: Emerging Anew PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Monday, 14 November 2005 00:00
Kiddy GradeKiddy Grade reaches its finale, and the underlying theme is all about the Nouvlesse, who are about to experience a dramatic fall from power.  The universe of future is far from a democracy, and Alv has taken it upon herself to do something about it - although the devil is in the details, and her tactics leave a lot to be desired.  Who do you need to take down an ES-Member?  Lots of other ES-Members...

22 - Demolition/Titan
The Deucalion launches and heads into warp, emerging above Aineias, GOTT's homeworld.  Once there, it transforms into a giant human-form mecha & releases a cloud of atmospheric nanomist that begins to wreak havoc on the planet's climate.  It's initially controlled by Chevalier d'Autriche, a member of the Nouvlesse & Director of GOTT who has fallen out of favour with the ruling class, but Alv & Dvergr have managed to stow away on board and seize control of the ship.  No sooner is that done than Alv turns on Dvergr, shooting her partner, but Chevalier has a few forms of defence left to him yet.  Eclair and Lumiere, meanwhile, head up to the Deucalion to confront Chevalier...

The Deucalion begins its transformationMother and son

23 - Annihilation/Zero

Alv's "spirit" has seized control of the Deucalion's computer systems.  Using the ship's internal defences she launches an attack on Eclair and the others, and warps out of the Aineias system, leaving them with no chance to escape.  The ship emerges above Earth, where Alv is finally able to begin her revenge against the Nouvlesse.  Eclair & Lumiere are determined to protect the planet of humanity's origin, but Alv leads them into the Deucalion's reception chamber, where even her powers are unlikely to be able to save her...

You killed my boy!Gratuitous Tweedledee pic

24 - As Time Goes By
Eclair and Lumiere are back in business, thanks to an ability of Lumiere's that up until now has been kept secret - it seems she and Eclair are really G-class, a level of ability beyond anything that's been seen until now.  But while they've been reborn, the other ES-members are falling all around them.  Dvergr is the one person who knows Alv's weaknesses - she shares them with Eclair, but knowing is one thing.  Being able to do something with the knowledge is something entirely more difficult...

Alv realises things aren't going her wayDvergr says goodbye to her daughter

Even more revelations about Eclair's past life here, with the revelation that Chevalier is Eclair's adopted son.  He was taken away from her as a child when it was discovered he was Nouvlesse by birth, and he's on a mission to "save" her from GOTT.  Despite what you might think when he releases the nanomist on Aineias, he's really one of the good guys.

The biggest problem with the final battle is the excessive use of deus ex machina.  The Deucalion's reception chamber is the biggest example of this - by rights it should destroy anyone unlucky enough to be trapped in it, but first Alv (for reasons unknown) then Eclair and Lumiere (through a conveniently-just-announced ES-power of Lumiere's, who had just spent two episodes complaining about being powerless) manage to escape it with ease.  Yeah, right.  Add in Eclipse riding to the rescue along with the rest of the ES-members and Eclair's clones, and it all comes together just too conveniently to be a satisfying ending.

Things improve after the battle is over - the second half of the final episode covers the aftermath of the battle and what happens to Eclair following it.  There are some touching little scenes here as Dvergr says goodbye to Alv and pays some penance by saving Eclair's life - although it doesn't seem to stop another incarnation of Eclair and Luimere appearing before the end of the episode with no real explanation as to why.

So not the greatest of endings.  Overall, though, Kiddy Grade has been quite enjoyable - after a rocky start it developed a decent story and has done some good work developing the main characters and giving you reasons to cheer them on.  It would have been a lot better if the whole series had been as good as the middle section, but it's still worth checking out.

Rating - ***

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