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"Kiddy Grade: Mirror Image": The Clone Wars All Over Again

After the destruction of the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs, Éclair and Lumiere are appointed to lead the rebuilding. Something’s not right, though, as the two are much more serious than they ever used to be. With an army of new ES members alongside, can the two deal with two new rogues who may be more than meets the eye?

Episodes included on this disc
Episode 16: “Look/Back”
Episode 17: “Phantasm/Reborn”
Episode 18: “Unmasked/Face”

Kiddy Grade is one of the few FUNimation titles not to air on Cartoon Network (unlike Case Closed, Blue Gender, Yu-Yu Hakusho, the Dragonball pantheon and countless others). It’s also a title that I’ve been slack on watching, so not everything is fresh in my mind.

Thank goodness the first episode, “Look/Back” is, well, a look back at the first half of the series. Where we last left our heroes, they had taken out GOTT director Eclipse, destroyed the base, and went from being on the run from GOTT to being chosen as its leaders. Nice change of luck for the two.

Their first mission? Create an army of Éclair and Lumiere clones to replace the disassembled ES Force members. The only remaining ES Force members not missing or on the run, Sinistra and Dextera, are made into literal training dummies against the new clones. Take the power of Éclair and Lumiere and multiply it by six and Sinistra and Dextera are going to have some trouble with these girls. Luckily for them, the clones don’t all act as planned. Two decide not to follow orders.

With the rebuilding completed, GOTT has to get back into work. Éclair’s first goal is the epitome of hypocrisy: to turn the GOTT into her slaves to take down her enemies throughout the galaxy. Two masked riders (not the Masked Riders) show up to defend both the GOTT employees and the pair of clones that have an inkling of free will. The fighting comes to a head with Éclair and Lumiere, the Éclair and Lumiere clones, and the two masked riders all meeting for one final battle. The masked riders take off their helmets, revealing two girls who act very similarly to the Éclair and Lumiere we saw in the first half of the series. They look different, but when they claim to be the real Éclair and Lumiere… things just get even more confusing.

Kiddy Grade has always been full of mysteries, but this one just adds a whole new batch. Who are the girls who look like the Éclair and Lumiere that we know, but act nothing like them? Who are the girls that look different, but act the same and claim to be the originals? Sadly, the fact that this disc only has three episodes doesn’t give us any room to get the answers to the questions, and “Unmasked/Face” leaves us on a cliffhanger. The three episodes do manage to pack in some action with the fights between Sinistra, Dextera, and the ES Force clones, along with the new girls engaging in a nice battle. “Look/Back” lets us see the Éclair and Lumiere that we know and love, but “Phantasm/Reborn” shows us a new side of what may or may not be them. As usual, the disc leaves you wanting more.

The extras are the standard for Kiddy Grade: an image gallery, a song gallery (the opening and closing), trailers, the basic profiles, and the in-depth ES Force Team Dossier (covering Cesario, Viola, and their mech and ship Fenice and Titano, both characters who have zero impact on this disc), and trailers.

This is not the disc to watch first. If you’re just getting interested in KG, go back to volume one. If you’ve been watching it, you know you will finish it up and buy this disc regardless. As a fan, I enjoyed it, as it brought up some questions. I can’t wait to see the answers.

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