"Kiddy Grade" Case Two: Secretaries, Cyborgs, and Space Cases!
Working for the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs (GOTT), Eclair and Lumiere are the Charlie’s Angels for a new millennium. That is, if you ignore the fact that there’s only two of them, one of whom is a tweener who loves wine and opera and the other of whom is a lipstick-powered cyborg with a taste for extremely short skirts.
When we last left our heroes. Okay, to be honest, I can’t really remember what happened on the first disc. It’s been awhile since I got a chance to check out the adventures of the GOTT agents. But thanks to the series’ format, that’s not really a problem. Kiddy Grade is a more episodic series than other FUNimation series: change a few events, and these three episodes could have come before the first three. Sure, there’s a plot arc about Eclair not knowing her past (though we do get a few glimpses of it occasionally), but luckily the cases are solved within a standard half-hour episode.
In “High / Speed,” Eclair, the superstrong, superfast, superflashy half of the duo, enters a tournament for cyborgs. Masquerading in the cat suit you might have seen in promos, she’s tracking down a stolen cybernetic body part. Problem is, the stolen part has been implanted in one of the contestants, so to recover the stolen part, Eclair is going have to bring that contestant in to GOTT. But even though Foxy Fox is not a real bad girl, she isn’t going to go in without a fight.
“Day / Off” has the duo splitting up yet again, but not for a mission: just for the “day off.” Eclair’s first task is dinner (apparently, she treats her internal alarm just the same as I do: smash, unplug, and throw out the window), while Lumiere is off to the opera. Naturally, they both get mixed up with a criminal plot that made me think of The Manchurian Candidate.
Finally, in “Twin / Star” Eclair teams up with another member of GOTT in order to transport some very important information. Of course, things go wrong again and again.
Kiddy Grade continues to be entertaining. Its got the sci-fi action to sate the guys, but what with Eclair’s hulking out with lipstick, Lumiere’s mean use of a gun, and spaceships blasting at each other, it’s got a lot of variety. Heck, its even got a tournament episode. And, okay, let’s say it: it’s also got fanservice: I’m not kidding about Eclair’s short skirts, and the camera tends to pick the best angle when she, to quote Al Bundy, “kicks high”… or falls… or jumps… or coughs… or breathes.
On a more serious note, this disc continues the develop the overarching plot arc about Eclair not knowing her past. I’m hoping this gets explained later on, but right now it just leaves us with some water cooler talk as we try to figure it out.
Extras include two image galleries (one for screencaps, the other for design sketches), creditless intro, the original Japanese commercials for this release, and profiles. While stuff like commentary tracks would be nice, the fact that there are design sketches and Japanese commercials makes for a decent selection. The case is a clear Amaray, with Lumiere on the cover and various shots on the back with a synopsis. The cover is reversible, with a shot of the girls plus a male ally on one side and the girls undressing on the other. As a special bonus, the first 10,000 copies come with a free set of cards with images of the characters.
I’m relieved to say it: the first disc wasn’t a fluke; the fun keeps coming. You don’t need the first disc to appreciate this one. But if you’re going to pick up the second, why not pick up the first as well?
Episode 4 “High / Speed”
Episode 5 “Day / Off”
Episode 6 “Twin / Star”