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"Kiddy Grade" Vol. 1 Big on Action, Short on Story

G.O.T.T., The Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs, ES Members Éclair and Lumiere are essentially the police of the future, with a penchant for disguises, the trailer states. Tracking down criminals, they use their special abilities (Éclair has some special lipstick that either lets her Hulk out or gain a whip and Lumiere can control any electronic device) to succeed on all their cases.

Kiddy Grade Case 1 “The Peacekeepers”

A “Real Review” by Knux Five

“A lady should really be more elegant…”

Having heard that FUNimation had acquired the series (hence a Cartoon Network run is somewhat likely), I definitely became interested in this series. And no, Éclair wasn’t integral to picking this up. Do these ES Members do their job right or do they need to go back to school?

The Show
Episode 1: “Depth/Space”
Episode 2: “Tight/Bind”
Episode 3: “Prisoner/Escort”

Éclair, despite looking older than Lumiere, is definitely the more childish one of the duo. She’ll whip up a costume just to make an arrest, to serve tea, or just to serve documents. Lumiere, on the other hand, is a very “prim-and-proper” type. She blushes at the sheer mention of the toilet and is constantly saying that Éclair should be more “elegant.” The two form the traditional Odd Couple, all while fighting for truth, justice, and the American (well, nondescript culture of the future) way.

The three episodes on the disc didn’t give that much explanation of the plot, and I was left with questions. How do they have their powers? How did G.O.T.T. come about? While I don’t expect them to explain everything, jumping right into a “Case of the Day” format just seems off-putting. I could see these coming in halfway through where we know the characters.

Outside of the disorientation, you’ve got some fun little sci-fi action going on. The fights are interesting. They’ve got a mech, a lipstick lasso, and the occasional superhuman strength. Definitely a nice mix. the designs are nice, but the story…

I’ve got hope that the plot really kicks off in future volumes, but right now it kind of stumbles out the gate. Its got the potential to be awesome, there’s just some story going on over our heads. That’s the problem with series though, if the first three episodes don’t grab you, you might not follow up and miss out on a great series. The first three episodes of Seinfeld weren’t the best, but that show’s a classic nowadays.

The Audio
I listened to the dub, and as a dubbie, I didn’t exactly find a problem. The voices fit. When it comes to music it really gets quiet in parts. Otherwise, when it’s there, it’s not obtrusive, but works. I’ve never been the biggest music listener, so it’s not like I’ll run off to buy a soundtrack of it, but it’s still a decent mix. Technically, I didn’t catch any problems.

The Video

Clean and crisp. This series, after all, is from the past year. No faults, really.

The Extras
There was a promotional video from Japan (along with some Japanese commercials), a few trailers, character profiles, and an image gallery.

The Packaging
Guys, be warned, you’re going to have some pink on your DVD shelf. The cover shows Éclair using her whip with Lumiere and other characters faded in the background. The back shows a few more images along with a blurb of the series. The cover is reversible with some art of the girls on the front and an image of Éclair kicking some butt on the back. The insert reproduces the cover artwork along with episode descriptions and an ad for Tenchi Muyo! GXP. This volume is also available in a series box.

All in All
I really wanted to get into this series, but something just didn’t click. Assuming that all questions will be answered, the show itself is relatively enjoyable. Some will get a kick out of the sci-fi action, while some will enjoy Éclair. Heck, I’m sure some will enjoy their mysterious, suitcase-carrying ally. Extras aren’t anything to write home about but it is rather nice that they’re there. The Japanese commercials don’t exactly offer anything intriguing and most will miss the trailers. Better than nothing, but not as good as, say, a commentary or character designs. More episodes could excuse it, but when it’s only three on the disc, there’s got to be some wasted space.

Final Grade: B

Equipment
Regular guy with a regular hookup. Playstation 2 and a Samsung TV of recent age.

Kiddy Grade Vol. 1 is now available. To view trailers and the first eight minutes of the show, click here.

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