Kaiba

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Kaiba
Kaiba TV series.png
Key visual of the series
カイバ
GenreScience fiction[1]
Created by
Anime television series
Directed byMasaaki Yuasa
Produced by
  • Hiroyuki Kitaura
  • Yukiko Futakata
  • Manabu Tamura
  • Chiaki Ikeshima
Written byMasaaki Yuasa
Music byKiyoshi Yoshida
StudioMadhouse
Licensed by
Original networkWOWOW
Original run April 10, 2008 July 24, 2008
Episodes12 (List of episodes)

Kaiba (カイバ) is a Japanese science fiction anime television series created, written, and directed by Masaaki Yuasa and produced by Madhouse. It was broadcast for twelve episodes on WOWOW from April to July 2008. It is licensed in North America by Discotek Media and in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited. Its story revolves around an enigmatic character named Warp and takes place in a psychedelic world mixed with a space-opera universe where the change of body, the traffic of memories, are possible.

In 2008, Kaiba won the Excellence Award at the 12th Japan Media Arts Festival.

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

In Kaiba's universe, memories can be stored as information via a memory chip; when individuals die, their minds live on. This digitization of mental information allows for the transfer of one's mind to someone else's body, and the theft and manipulation of other people's memories has become the norm. Society is largely divided into two classes. In the skies are electrical storms, which cannot be passed through without losing one's memories. Above them lies the realm of the wealthy and powerful, who barter others' bodies and memories for their own enjoyment and longevity. Below the clouds is a troubled and dangerous world where good bodies are hard to come by and real money is scarce.

Plot[edit]

The series begins with a man named Kaiba (Warp) as he awakens in a ruined room. He has no memories, but he has a hole in his chest, a triangular mark on his stomach, and a pendant with a picture of an unknown girl inside. After being attacked, Kaiba escapes with the help of an unknown ally and, through his travels, slowly regains his memories. Meanwhile, the woman from the pendant struggles with her own convictions and her past, which may be intertwined with Kaiba's origins.

Characters[edit]

Kaiba (カイバ) or Warp (ワープ, Wāpu)
Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima
He does not speak very much. Kaiba has a hole in the middle of his chest and a tattoo of three circles forming a triangle on his belly. At the beginning of the show, he has no memories he can access.
Neiro (ネイロ)
Voiced by: Mamiko Noto
A woman who shares an unknown connection with Kaiba. In the beginning, little is known about her, although she is currently under the care of Popo. A broadcast reports about a "memory tank" exploding, releasing thousands of memories into space in the form of orange egg capsules. It is believed that Neiro is responsible for this incident.
Popo (ポポ)
Voiced by: Romi Park
Popo is the first to encounter Kaiba upon awakening. After crossing paths with him again, he explains to Kaiba the nature of the current world, and that his life is in danger. Giving him the temporary name "Warp," Popo smuggles him onto the freight ship Neuron while creating a diversion for him to escape from Mantle, a man who is after Kaiba's special body.
Dada-sama
The shady man behind Issoudan, regarded almost religiously by its members. Popo is not as reverent.
Later in the series, it is revealed that Dada-sama is actually three different people in aged Warp clones, working to take back the throne from the original Warp.
Vanilla (バニラ, Banira)
Voiced by: Hisao Egawa
The sheriff on board the ship Neuron. Though Vanilla is extremely strict and oft sadistic in enforcing his authority, and enjoys doing so thoroughly, he is willing to make deals, accept bribery, and/or steal memory chips for himself. He also has a weakness for extremely cute girls. However, he is devoted to Chroniko (which, in actuality, is Kaiba in Chroniko's body), and has gone through great lengths to ensure her/his safety. This devotion comes to a head when the two are on the run from higher authorities. While fleeing, he transfers Kaiba's and Hyo-Hyo's memories elsewhere as their ship is under bombardment, knowing well that they would be unable to escape, and tells Chroniko that he had back up bodies elsewhere to comfort her/him. However, after making sure that Chroniko (Kaiba)'s memories are safe, it is revealed that there was no such insurance, and perishes alongside Chroniko's body when the ship is destroyed.
Kaba (カバ)
A stuffed animal-like body that resembles a hippo. Kaiba uses this body to smuggle himself in the ship. It is very difficult for him to move around in this state, and he is also incapable of speech or expressing facial emotion. While using Chroniko's body, Kaiba also makes use of the hippo body when he doesn't feel like being harassed or chased after by Vanilla. Despite its status as a substitute, Kaiba has an attachment towards it, and shows a brief moment of grief when it is destroyed.
Hyo-Hyo (ひょーひょー, Hyōhyō)
Voiced by: Wasabi Mizuta
A small intelligent creature that accompanies Kaiba after flying aboard the ship. It cannot speak intelligible language (though it does have a voice) and it flies around, spinning its two antennae like propeller blades to float. Hyo-Hyo goes to great lengths to make sure Kaiba avoids capture.
It is revealed near the end of the series that due to Kichi's displeasure at being ordered by Popo modify Neiro's memories, he backed up Neiro's original, un-altered memories in Hyo-Hyo. Thus, Hyo-Hyo was actually Neiro trying to help Kaiba remember his memories and who she is. However, by the end, Neiro and Hyo-Hyo have experienced a completely different series of events, begging the question of which is the "real" Neiro.
Chroniko (クロニコ, Kuroniko)
Voiced by: Chiwa Saitō
A girl Kaiba meets during a stop Neuron makes. She sells her body (literally) so that the money can support her family and hopes that someday her family will become wealthy enough to buy her a new body in the future. However, she is killed by a corrupt doctor (by simply releasing her mind rather than putting it in a chip and sending it to her family), and her body is sold anyway. Before her body is taken by the buyers, Hyo-Hyo places Kaiba's mind inside her body, and Kaiba uses this disguise to avoid capture and get back aboard Neuron.
Paru (パル)
An ostrich-like creature who saves Kaiba. It is revealed that Paru contained the memories of Kaiba's mother.

Release[edit]

No. Title[3] Original Airdate
01"Your Name is Warp"
Transcription: "Na wa Wāpu" (Japanese: 名はワープ)
April 10, 2008 (2008-04-10)
02"Stowaway"
Transcription: "Mikkou" (Japanese: 密航)
April 17, 2008 (2008-04-17)
03"Chroniko's Boots"
Transcription: "Kuroniko no Nagagutsu" (Japanese: クロニコのながぐつ)
April 24, 2008 (2008-04-24)
04"The Room of Grandma's Memories"
Transcription: "Baasan no Kioku no Heya" (Japanese: ばあさんの記憶の部屋)
May 1, 2008 (2008-05-01)
05"Abipa, the Promised Planet"
Transcription: "Akogare no Hoshi Abipa" (Japanese: 憧れの星アビパ)
May 8, 2008 (2008-05-08)
06"The Muscled Woman"
Transcription: "Kinnikushitsu na Onna" (Japanese: 筋肉質な女)
May 15, 2008 (2008-05-15)
07"A Forgettable Man"
Transcription: "Kioku ni Nokora nai Otoko" (Japanese: 記憶に残らない男)
May 22, 2008 (2008-05-22)
08"False Face"
Transcription: "Bakenokawa" (Japanese: 化けの皮)
June 12, 2008 (2008-06-12)
09"Kill Warp!"
Transcription: "Wāpu wo Ute!" (Japanese: ワープを討て!)
June 19, 2008 (2008-06-19)
10"Kaiba"
Transcription: "Kaiba" (Japanese: カイバ)
July 10, 2008 (2008-07-10)
11"Spinning Fans"
Transcription: "Mawaru Fan" (Japanese: まわるファン)
July 17, 2008 (2008-07-17)
12"Everyone in the Clouds"
Transcription: "Minna Kumo no Naka" (Japanese: みんな雲の中)
July 24, 2008 (2008-07-24)

Theme songs[edit]

Opening Theme
"Never" by Seira Kagami
Ending Theme
"Carry Me Away" by Seira Kagami
Insert Songs
"Ki no Uta" by Ai Orikasa
"The Tree Song" by Minako Obata

Reception[edit]

Kaiba received the Excellence Award in the Animation Division at the 12th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2008.[4][5]

Aiden Foote of THEM Anime Reviews gave the series 4 out of 5 stars. Aiden praised the anime series for its outstanding animation and visuals. Saying that "Visually, Kaiba excites. It is, however, certainly soft on the eye and the art style leaves the animators open to draw some incredibly evocative backdrops for the worlds that our lead visits and sees". Aiden concluded: "More time spent developing the main narrative and stronger characterisation for the leads and this might have been going for one of the shows of the decade but even without that the grace of its aesthetics and its power and emotionality when it does get it right make it an instant recommendation."[6] Writing for Anime News Network, Georgia Blair highlighted the animation and the story of the series by noting it was "Well-thought-out setting, fascinating visuals, plot builds up as series progresses."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kaiba". Siren Visual. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  2. ^ "Discotek to Release Kaiba TV Anime, Galaxy Express 999, Adieu Galaxy Express 999, Hells Anime Films on Blu-ray". Anime News Network. June 11, 2017. Archived from the original on June 11, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  3. ^ "Amazon Prime Kaiba Episodes". Archived from the original on February 27, 2022. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  4. ^ "Excellence Award - KAIBA | Award | Animation Division | 2008 [12th] Japan Media Arts Festival Archive". Japan Media Arts Festival. Archived from the original on May 18, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  5. ^ Loo, Egan (December 10, 2008). "Tsumiki no Ie, Piano Forest, Kaiba Win Media Arts Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  6. ^ Foote, Aiden. "Kaiba Review". THEM Anime Reviews. Archived from the original on January 5, 2022. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  7. ^ Blair, Georgia (January 25, 2012). "Kaiba - DVD Review". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 5, 2022. Retrieved January 5, 2022.

External links[edit]