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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:53 pm Reply with quote
Kiddy Girl-and (TV)

So it's finally come - the much-delayed and long-awaited sequel to Kiddy Grade, a series that has long stood as one of my personal favorites. Was it worth the wait?

Only because of the cameos.

Honestly, the first episode left me rolling my eyes far more often than actually enjoying it. Ascoeur, as an idiot's idiot, is one of the most irritating lead heroines I've come across in quite some time, and that protracted business about spoiler[bloomers vs. panties vs. accidentally wearing neither] was tiresome, as was the climactic action scene after a certain point. Sure, she can kick some butt, but she has no style or flair in doing so - and that was a key part of the original series. Q-fueille, who saw far less front time, seems to be set up as the much-suffering competent contrast to her partner; in other words, a generic complement to a generic lead, and again with little hint of style.

The look of the series is pretty generic, too. Oh, sure, the artistry is clean enough, and the animation is pretty good, but again, it lacks the unique style which help make the original the hit that it was. If you put screen shots of this one against screen shots of the original, it would be hard to tell that the two series were connected at all unless said screen shots included the cameos from the original series. This is one place where Satelight's effort fails.

The chemistry which made the original so special is also lacking, but I'll give the series a break on that for the moment since this is only the first episode. (But really, Eclair and Lumiere established themselves far quicker as a team.) And the new Director and her assistant? Duds so far. She's too soft for the part. The new opener and closer also pale in comparison to their counterparts in the original.

Were we still doing the Preview Guide, I probably wouldn't give this one more than a 2 - it probably deserves higher for the quality of its artistry and animation, but it also deserves to be punished for making such a distinctive series into something so bland. I'll still follow it for the cameos if nothing else (this one has Tweedledum and Tweedledee - and really, why couldn't the fansubbers figure out that these character were named after the characters from Alice in Wonderland and spell them correctly?) and to see if they tell more about Eclair and Lumiere's situation in the 25-years-after time frame, but its first episode is a great disappointment.
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Kruszer
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Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:36 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, Ascauer is definitely, extremely irritating and lacks "elegance" as Lumi would say. She kind of brings my expectations for the series down a bit. Otherwise, the action was interesting and it had that familiar blend of science fiction, fanservice, and comedy so I'll be sticking with it to see where it goes, given that the first one also had a rocky start.

On a side note, another plus is: spoiler[Tweedledee has gotten even hotter. Anime exclamation]
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Westlo



Joined: 03 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:45 am Reply with quote
Kruszer wrote:
Otherwise, the action was interesting and it had that familiar blend of science fiction, fanservice, and comedy so I'll be sticking with it to see where it goes, given that the first one also had a rocky start.


Yeah the start for Kiddy Grade wasn't exactly brilliant... but if Kiddy Girl-and's purpose was to make Kiddy Grade's initial episodes look good in comparison than it succeeded beyond Gotoh's wildest dreams. Ascoeur's a horrible lead compared to Eclair too, Eclair was never this annoying or as much an idiot and it's looking like Ascoeur will be focused on much more than Elcair was (outside of Eclair's backstory episodes). I also doubt this will ever hit the heights of Kiddy Grade.. which had some really good episodes after Eclair went spoiler[berserk] (one of my fav scenes in KG) in that nobles episode.

I'm dropping this like a rock if it's the Ascoeur show with Q-feuille tagging along and being barely noticeable.
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:38 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
the much-delayed and long-awaited sequel...

I refuse to call this a sequel. Its relation to the original, aside from the cameos, is non-existent. Maybe that's why the title was boned.

I got duped while looking it up to get a small primer for it and ended up reading spoilers. I was not impressed. And thanks to this thread, it just instills my apprehension for it.

But here's the sickening part: I'll still watch it. And there's a significant chance I'll own it too, provided it's dubbed with the same cast as the original.

Why? Because it's a chain in a series. Much like a video game and all its offerings (which hurts when it comes to the Final Fantasy franchise).

I had to force myself not to watch the accompanying video and will retain such self control until someone says "Wow! It just got better!"

But better had not be defined as Ascoeur or Q-feuille's panties being a different color than white.
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Shiroi Hane
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:37 pm Reply with quote
PetrifiedJello wrote:
Key wrote:
the much-delayed and long-awaited sequel...

I refuse to call this a sequel. Its relation to the original, aside from the cameos, is non-existent. Maybe that's why the title was boned.

It follows directly on from the first series with continuity of setting and characters. While it is based on the preliminary 2007 version there's also this quote from Newtype:
Quote:
"The overall setting will remain the same," says show director Keiji Gotoh, stressing that there will be considerable continuity between the two series. "We haven't decided exactly how many years apart the two shows will be, but the new series will definitely be a true sequel, so expect to see some familiar faces from the ES Force. We're also planning a few very interesting opportunities for cooperation between the old and new characters."

I'm not sure what you mean by "boned". but the initial title was specifically "キディ・グレイド2(仮)", or "Kiddy Grade 2 (provisional)" - the title was never changed, it was just finalised.

Quote:
I got duped while looking it up to get a small primer for it and ended up reading spoilers. I was not impressed. And thanks to this thread, it just instills my apprehension for it.

What spoilers? Nothing has really happened, neither in the anime nor the manga in terms of plot yet. While I've not seen a full translation of anything bar the first chapter, the manga so far is pretty much bad guys pick a fight, get beaten, rinse and repeat.
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pparker



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:39 pm Reply with quote
I was waiting to see the thread for this, and Key's review. Entirely agree. Wrote a blurb in the What Are You Watching thread already, but essentially said that Yui from K-On! had been hired as the lead for Kiddy Grade 2. Okay character, wrong series. This is not at all what I want from GOTT. Feels like Gotoh wandered into economically obligatory otaku-pandering territory, and I wonder how it could take so many years to come up with this as the sequel.

As others said, I'll keep watching in hopes Ascoeur's ditziness doesn't stay in focus too much, but if so, I'll be sorely disappointed. This first episode seems like a far less-competent Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo, which unhappily died a prolonged death.

If Kiddy Grade hadn't eventually turned out so good, this probably wouldn't look so bad. Just a case of dashed expectations, in a season with very few of them left...
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Kruszer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Well go watch the Shana S OVA to cheer yourself up, it's out now. Wink

Episode 2: spoiler[The Search for Pudding]

spoiler[This episode was extremely strange, EX

...but pretty funny at least. Q-fille or however you spell her name got fleshed out a little bit. I still want to throttle Ascuer though, possibly even more now. ]
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pparker



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Kruszer wrote:
Well go watch the Shana S OVA to cheer yourself up, it's out now. Wink

Not sure if I watch it now, or after my impending re-watch of the whole series. It's that time of year. At least Shana has never let me down Smile

EP 2 here.... well, my worst fears are realized so far. Again, if it weren't a sequel, I could possibly even stand it as moe fluff, though it doesn't stand out in that genre either. Maybe there are obscure cultural references I'm not getting as well spoiler[(those guys marching down the corridor and on the walls?)] The best succinct label for Kiddy Grade's genre I've seen is "Adventure, Science fiction" with a fair amount of fanservice. That's not what this show is, not so far. There's that phrase again...

I tried to find info on the manga adaptation that apparently started in May(?) for some clues, but don't find much to indicate where the show goes. I expect it to take a turn toward more action, plot and less moe comedy, but I hope my time isn't entirely wasted in following it.

EDIT: I did find a translated version of the manga Vol. 1, the only one of 6 so far apparently. Completely different content than the anime eps so far, and a bit less silly ecchi comedy:

Manga Vol. 1: spoiler[It starts with Ascoeur being involved in an actual mission (and pantsu jokes) as an "intern" with Tweedledee, who was assigned as her "guidance counselor" or mentor in an apprenticing system. They have been working together for 6 months, which indicates a very close relationship. Ascouer jokingly wants Tweedledee to dump Tweedledum and take her as a partner, and teases him when he protests too much, providing a nice little character bit.

Completion of this mission ends stage one of her internship, and she is promoted to the second stage, which is "with a partner" independent of a guidance counselor but still not qualified to do "special missions". Q-feuille, who has been interning under Un-ou and An-ou, is introduced as her partner, and Ascoeur complains that she's been paired with a "serious girl". The pair are assigned as waitresses to build their rapport and to learn to serve their seniors. Then there's some skirt-flipping as they change into waitress uniforms...

Tweedledee and Tweedledum have larger parts in the manga volume, which along with the first episodes and their manga relationship may indicate a constant presence in the anime. Un-ou and An-ou's being mentors for Q-feuille isn't mentioned yet in the anime, so that could go either way, but I think it's assumed a lot of old faces will re-appear.]


I much prefer the manga setup, which grounds you clearly and quickly in the new time and situation, and our heroines' place in it (since this aspect of their world was never addressed in the original series), as well giving some very useful and needed backstory on the new leads. Much better introduction of the main characters, their relationship with existing characters, and better sets expectations for the silliness and fanservice to come.
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Dorcas_Aurelia



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:27 pm Reply with quote
I'm rather disappointed in how this is turning out. Sure, episode 2 was funny at times, with Oscar's (I know that's not how it's spelled, but this is easier to remember) obsession with the pudding and her lackadaisical manner. Unsurprisingly Q is the reasonable one of the pair, and her ability is... perfect memory?

So we've now spent 2 of 13 episodes on comical stupidity. The first series didn't start off this slow, and they had more time to cover everything. The traps, too, make the show seem a different genre than the first series. The wackiness and eccentricity of them is incongruous with the comedy from Kiddy Grade. Is this one going to end up being Tower of Druaga in space?
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TJR



Joined: 13 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:31 am Reply with quote
Dorcas_Aurelia wrote:

So we've now spent 2 of 13 episodes on comical stupidity. The first series didn't start off this slow, and they had more time to cover everything. The traps, too, make the show seem a different genre than the first series. The wackiness and eccentricity of them is incongruous with the comedy from Kiddy Grade. Is this one going to end up being Tower of Druaga in space?


Word has it that Kiddy Girl-and is a 24 ep series, so they have plenty of time to get down to business. Anyhow, I see this as a compromise between making a Kiddy Grade sequel and making a new series that reflects current trends. It ain't easy to secure financing, and a change in direction was likely necessary since the original production got scrapped.

I think a focused plot will eventually appear. However, it's best to just sit tight and view Kiddy Girl-and as its own series. After all, I don't think the wacky tone and direction (the marketing hook) will change even if the plot gets more serious.
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pparker



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:39 am Reply with quote
TJR wrote:
Word has it that Kiddy Girl-and is a 24 ep series, so they have plenty of time to get down to business.

Actually ANN says only 12 eps with few titles so far. So it could easily change. But do you have any basis for saying 24 eps yet?

Kiddy Grade took 5 or 6 eps, IIRC, for the central plot to start, so that's not an issue for me if this really goes 24. The only difference being that we already know several of the characters, and so far the Chief doesn't have much of a personality so might not figure into the plot so much.
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Shiroi Hane
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:57 am Reply with quote
pparker wrote:
Actually ANN says only 12 eps with few titles so far. So it could easily change. But do you have any basis for saying 24 eps yet?

here. The Teletama person was right about the airdate but time will tell about the episode count, although I was expecting 24 episodes to begin with.

A-ou and Un-ou don't actually make an appearance until chapter 5 of the manga, although unlike the anime Trixie and Troyes didn't appear until chapter 6 though.

[edit /]

pparker wrote:
Maybe there are obscure cultural references I'm not getting as well spoiler[(those guys marching down the corridor and on the walls?)]

spoiler[I figured that one out eventually but I still don't quite get it - that's Muska from Laputa (the tune Tweedledee is humming gave me the clue and his lines clinched it).]
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JohnnySake



Joined: 22 May 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:47 am Reply with quote
This thread for Kiddy Girl-and doesn't seem to get too much love, does it? Wink I thought it would be appropriate to finally add my $0.02 to it too since, like Key, Kiddy Grade was one of my favorite shows and I was very intrigued by this latest iteration.

I do not want to review every episode up to this point, but I'll agree with the tone of the other posters of how this seems so much weaker than the original series. I definitely see a "moe" influence running throughout it so far. Those moe moments seem to replace the pantsu shots you'd get from Eclair in almost every episode. And the moe was increased in the past couple episodes withspoiler[ the introduction of Dia as another member of their team. And I still have misgivings about Dia's ability to give the other two power by kissing them, reminiscent of Simoun or something, but it's just... weird]

However this last episode finally motivated me to post something here since it dealt with spoiler[the girls investigating the original GOTT HQ. (I kinda wondered what happened to the place and now it is explained.)]

The episode was not really all that spectacular, but spoiler[ it was cool to see the interior entrance to GOTT, even if it was in a bit of disrepair. But what got me all melancholy is when the show brought them down to the lab and there was a wall of markers and images of prior ES members. Eclair, Lumiere, their boss, and others. Damn... Crying or Very sad ]

In general, I think the show could be so much more if they took it just a little more seriously. I am re-watching Kiddy Grade at the same time and it makes for an interesting comparison. You get hints at greater plotlines, but we'll have to see if any are brought to bear and make our heroines act a little more serious and mature. I'll keep watching it though, and hope for the best.
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Dorcas_Aurelia



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:28 pm Reply with quote
There hadn't been any discussion because episodes 2 and 3 were entirely pointless. I initially waved off 4 as pointless as well due to it being a babysitting mission, especially when it was revealed that the precious-gem-theme-named villains (Rubis and something else) weren't after the girl (who interestingly is also named with the same theme). Given that it seems Dia is now a longer term member of their group now, it works more as an introduction for her.

Episode 5 was almost good. It could have even been a decent horror episode for the first half, except the vapidity of previous episodes and having an adorable little girl tagging along undermined the effect. I found myself laughing when I otherwise would have been freaking otu. Also: "17-years old." "Oi oi." Really? Did you have to?

I realized spoiler[the genetic beast would essentially become the group's pet] after Dia made some comment about it just wanting to play, or something to that effect.

Well, maybe they're about to start getting into a something with at least some overarching plot now.
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Kruszer
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:02 pm Reply with quote
We can only hope....

Even if the series was entirely pointless like this though, I'm still finding it entertaining in a Galaxy Angels kind of way so, it's not a total waste.
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