2009 in anime: #4 The planet-eating plant

by Grungi

(Ninth post in the “12 days in anime” 2009 project led by Mega Megane Moé. Other participating blogs include Shameful Otaku Secret!, Continuing World, Fighting for Nippon!, We love maids., Bokutachi no BLOG, Anime Profiling, Desu ex Machina, Blogging about Anime, I Will Show You Terror in a Handful of Flans, Pontifus, Open Your Mind, ∑Xce7ion, Ganbatte Forever!, Mikotoism, wat u say, Memories of Eternity, Simplicity, Gabrielino Anime Club, UNMEI KAIHEN, Nigorimasen!, Mainichi Anime Yume and We Remember Love)

Out of all the criticism I hear about anime (or manga, for that matter) as a whole is that “it all looks the same”. And, even though it’s not technically true, as anyone spending at least a moderate amount of time watching anime could tell, you can’t deny there is an “anime style”.

But, sometimes, you can find a show that really don’t follow the “traditional” style. And when a distinct visual style comes to complement an awesome plot, you get something in the vein of Kaiba.

Kaiba really is a strange beast. At first, it seems harmless, telling the tale of a young man who lost his memories in a world where said memories can be transplanted from a body to another. And judging from the first episode, you can easily be fooled into thinking this is going to be a gentle show following the travels of Kaiba in search of his memories.

And, well, you would be somewhat right. Except for the “gentle” part. Soon enough, you realize that the future Kaiba is set in is far from “cute” despites its looks. It has become a true dystopia, where a lot of things aren’t what they seem at first glance.

As he travels, Kaiba gets dragged deeper and deeper into the world’s problem, as it looks as he’s more involved with them than he, and you, first thought. But I won’t spoil anything for you, as this series is one that really shines if you let it surprise you.

But what moment did I choose, you ask ? Well, it’s the end of episode 7, where you see a plant devouring a planet. You first see this very plant before, and it almost looks cute… As I said, things aren’t always what they seem in Kaiba.

I really do urge everyone with an open mind to try Kaiba. You definitely have to get used to the show’s art style, but if you can do that, you’re really in for quite a ride. The characters are numerous, yet interesting for the most part. And, I cannot stress this enough, Kaiba might look like a child’s book, it’s really not anything like it. The overall tone is very mature, maybe even more so than in some “serious-looking” shows.

Add to that a wonderful (and I mean it) soundtrack, and you’ve got yourself a true masterpiece. Kaiba is science-fiction as it best, challenging you with its plot, weaving a mystery that you’ll be eager to unravel, and on the whole delivering a stunning experience.