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"Kiddy Grade: The Present Future" Brings a Dark Past to Light

by on August 15, 2004

Eclair and Lumiere, ES Force Members of the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs, go on missions across the galaxy and kick butt on every one. (Eclair’s the older one with lipstick-granted powers and Lumiere’s the child drunkard with a control of machines.) But when Eclair’s past literally comes back to haunt her, and the pair make a decision that puts them on the run, the line between good and evil will blur. In the future, just who are the good guys?

Kiddy Grade has been a cool series so far. It began with episodic missions that only hinted at the the girl’s dark past, about which Eclair is apparently ignorant.

Well, I think she is ignorant: The events on the “Lies Beneath” disc have her questioning her purpose, and in “Rebirth / Slave” she confronts her past. It’s a confusing episode—though I think that in the long run it will make sense: She wanders through town carrying a box of tranquilizers and visits a diner and a friend. The rest of the story must have been a trip, because she’s at the hospital one minute consoling a child, then talking to rather cruel version of herself the next. I hope all of this has something to do with her past; otherwise, the only thing I learned was that Eclair likes to mix tranquilizers and tea. But hey, Evangelion does not make the most sense the first run through, and everyone considers that an epic.

“Set / Free” is definitely a turning point in the series. Eclair, Lumiere, and their auditor, Armblast, are sent to Planet Aure, where a revolt by the “workers”—citizens who are contractually obliged to spend their lives as employees, thanks to decisions by their ancestors—has brought the economy to a standstill. The Nouvlesse, the rich snobs of the galaxy who rule the planet with an iron fist, are in control of on this mission, and they want the insurgence to be stopped at any cost.

But aren’t the GOTT supposed to be the good guys? Stopping what are essentially slaves from rising up against their unfair bosses doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

Eclair doesn’t think so either.

The third episode, “Frozen / Life,” deals with the repercussions of “Set / Free.” The girls face a new enemy and must brace themselves against Section Thirteen and their terrifying D-Command. What’s D-Command? You’ll have to watch it to catch it: All I can say is I can’t wait to watch the following disc.

“The Present Future” definitely changes things in the Kiddy Grade universe. It’s a pretty big plot development, and I’m anxious to see where it goes. Episode 11 has the best action of the disc, invovling an entire army and Eclair using her lipstick in some new ways. “Rebirth / Slave” focuses more on character interactions. “Frozen / Life” lightens the action, but definitely has some tension and distress, especially in the final moments.

Audio and video continue to be fine. The extras are standard once again, with trailers, image gallery, character bios, and textless songs. The highlight is another entry in the ES Force Team Dossier, this time focusing on the duo of Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The series still doesn’t have any majorly cool extras, like commentary (hoo boy, that would have been nice on episode 11), but they’re still decent. Also, the case still is the clear Amaray with a reversible cover, which is nice.

I can’t recommend this disc enough for fans of the series. “Set / Free” is a great episode and makes a change for the best—or the worst, if you’re employed by GOTT. Extras are kind of skimpy, but the episodes are definitely there.

Episodes included on Kiddy Grade: The Present Future
Episode 10: “Rebirth / Slave”
Episode 11: “Set / Free”
Episode 12: “Frozen / Life”

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