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Poster featuring Monaka (left) and Sawa (right)
|Genre||Action, science fiction, thriller|
|Directed by||Yasuomi Umetsu|
|Produced by||John Sirabella (Executive Producer)|
|Licensed by||Sony Pictures|
|Released||April 8, 2008|
KITE Liberator (カイト リベレイター Kaito Ribereitā?) is an American-released, Japanese-produced direct-to-video anime film and sequel to Kite. It was also adapted as a manga serialized in Comic Valkyrie magazine and released only in Japan. The online rights to the film were acquired by Sony Pictures, but the home video rights belong to Anime Works. Unlike the first film, Kite Liberator does not have any sex scenes at all, and includes a different cast of characters. It was released on March 14, 2008 in Japan and on April 8, 2008 in the U.S. and bundled with Kite: Director's Cut.
Taking place ten years after the events of the original "Kite" film, "Kite Liberator" opens with Kōichi Doi, a researcher for Defy Foods, returning to a space station. Doi had been researching methods of preserving bone mass in zero gravity through diet. After Orudo Noguchi and another crew member are later found to have space radiation exposure and ordered to discontinue missions, Noguchi asks Doi to deliver a package to his daughter Monaka for her birthday.
Meanwhile in Tokyo, two police officers pursue a violent pedophile named Tsuin through the streets and into a train station. After shooting two bystanders in the women's restroom, he takes a young girl hostage and hides in a stall with her. However, the lights go out in the restroom and the pedophile is attacked by the assassin known as "The Angel of Death" (also known as Sawa) who quickly disarms and shoots him, leaving a pile of feathers on his corpse. As she escapes on a train, she is revealed that she is Monaka
Later that night, Monaka goes to work at Apollo 11, a maid cafe patronized by perverted regulars. Monaka plays the part of a nerdy, clumsy high school girl while in public making her a vulnerable target for harassment. Monaka's older co-worker Mukai does not take kindly to these customers however and retaliates in certain cases, such as spiking a customer's drink with habanero or kicking them in the crotch. Monaka's manager later receives a phone call from the real Tsuin, the older brother of the pedophile killed earlier that night, saying his brother had been killed by someone called Gaga. Later, Monaka returns home to find the package from her father, a bracelet made from rocks from Mars.
Back on the space station, Orudo and the other crew member's condition has worsened, their bone volume rapidly increasing. The on board doctor realizes the condition was caused by a combination of the space radiation and Doi's food. On her way to school, Monaka passes by the apartment complex to look at the floor plan. After school, she bumps into her manager and sees Mukai with a child. The manager explains that Mukai is a single mother though he does not know what happened to the father. That evening, Monaka goes inside the apartment complex. When the owner returns to the same place, Sawa appears and takes out the owner of the building.
On the space station, Orudo and the other infected crew member have transformed into homicidal, bulletproof monsters who quickly kill most of the crew and ISS police units. They are able to kill one of the monsters by blowing up the space station, though they are unable to find the other. The doctor and Doi along with the others are able to escape the station though the incident draws Defy Food Company to hire agents to get rid of evidence that may jeopardize their reputation. The same night, after working at Apollo 11, Monaka and Mukai converse while playing with fireworks, discussing Mukai's life and revealing a little of her past. One her way home, Monaka runs into Gaga, the police officer chasing the pedophile a few days before. She asks him to not tell the school that she is working at the maid cafe as a minor and he agrees before asking her on a date. As one of the monsters from the space station emerges from the sea nearby, agents from Defy Foods demand the doctor's and Doi's silence concerning the space station incident. The next day, Monaka is told her next mission is to kill the monster now roaming the city. In preparing for her mission, Monaka's gun choice is noted by the manager of Apollo 11, saying it's the same gun used by the real Sawa before she disappeared.
The same night, Gaga is attacked by Tsuin in his apartment. When Gaga pulls his own gun they start the gunfight before Tsuin flees the scene, starting a foot chase. Not so far away, Sawa uses the sniper to engages the monster. She ceased fire only to find it completely bulletproof like the other. She uses the machine gun, then explosive shells. Two methods are not working for the monster. Having running out of options, eventually pinning her to a wall, she loses the blue lens and the monster recognizes her from her bracelet and eyes. He hesitates, giving Sawa enough time to shoot it through the mouth since she found a weak point, forcing the monster to fall back onto a car in the street. He attempts to show affection towards her but she brushes his hand away just before the car explodes. Doi convinces her to join him in a car to debrief her and it is revealed that one of the monsters was her father, Doi then calls her Monaka. Monaka quickly kills the two agents driving as they pull guns on her and then turns and shoots Doi.
While find her father, Monaka is intercepted by Tsuin who takes her hostage. Threatening to kill her if Gaga got any closer, Monaka breaks free and shoots Tsuin before he can retaliate. Gaga approaches but finds Monaka has escaped again, leaving only her hair ribbon behind. On the run again, Monaka passes a truck that explodes as the monster (now fully regenerated) exits the truck. The two make eye contact. There is nothing happening next as the screen fades to black and the closing credits roll.
- Marina Inoue as Monaka Noguchi
- Akemi Okamura as Manatsu Mukai
- Masakazu Morita as Rin Gaga
- Setsuji Satō as Kōichi Doi
- Kei Shindō as Azuki Noguchi
- Mugihito as Torokurō Amuzu
- Yasuhiro as Tsuin
"Umetsu's work has been a favorite of mine since I saw his designs in the Megazone 23 Part II OVA all those years ago as well as numerous things since then. Hopefully it will be another ten years before he can be pulled back to this franchise so he can focus on more interesting projects." — Chris Beveridge, Mania.
"The straight-forward nature of many scenes doesn't quite maintain the goals of the piece as a whole. But taken as a gentle, self-reflective Tarantino-style satire, it works." — Justin Sevakis, Anime News Network.
When you are watching this film on Hulu or Netflix, you will see some different shots:
- Sawa's face moves fast like in the trailer but it moves slower on DVD.
- As the assassin shoots in the bathroom, her body was barely visible.
- The assassin shoots the owner, they are two bullets instead of one.
- The officer's hand with a detonator button was not visible before blowing up the space station.
- The people were wearing different clothes while looking at the ship.
- Doi and the other survivors run slowly before the explosion.
- The floor at Gaga's apartment was gold instead of blue.
- The explosion is only partial after the defeat of the monster.
- The assassin's red eye was bright.
- Tsuin's back was visible while hiding inside the garage and taking the assassin hostage.
- "Kite Liberator". Newtype USA 7 (2): p. 63. February 2008. ISSN 1541-4817.
- Beveridge, Chris (April 29, 2008). "Kite: Liberator". Mania. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Sevakis, Justin (April 25, 2008). "Kite Liberator". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 8, 2011.