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Finished series: Kiddy Grade

We've finished watching Kiddy Grade, a 24-episode series by GONZO Digimation, from 2002.

Main characters are Lumiere and Eclair, who work for the Galactic Organisation of Tariffs and Trade as "ES-members". Normally, they stand at the reception desk, but when the shit hits the fan, they hop into their spaceship "La Muse", together with their mobile robot...thing "Donnerschlag". Lumiere, who has the power to manipulate electronics (via spiffy beams that come out of her fingers) talks to the ship's computer "Wirbelwind" who takes them to some distant planet where trouble is brewing, so that Eclair can hurt the villains in various panty-exposing ways. Oh, and there's also an inspector travelling with them (can you believe they have a comfy couch in the back of the bridge!?) who has a big-ass suitcase-of-many-things.

So far, it seems like your average scifi-fluff with underage girls flashing their panties at the viewer. (It should be noted that Lumiere, who seems even younger than Eclair -- pre-teen, so to speak, is not the object of too much fanservice. She seems to run around in something that I can only describe as a bathing suit with frilly lace at the edges.)

It seems that humankind has spread across the stars, but at great cost. The 'Nouvlesse', pure-strain Earthlings, own pretty much anything. The rest of mankind has, essentially, sold themselves into slavery (the euphemism used is 'life-long employment contract') and has been modified in various ways to adapt to space -- mostly through nano-technology, robotics and cyborg-implants.
And that's not all -- GOTT is basically the enforcement arm of the Nouvlesse! At a certain time, Lumiere and Eclair are called to a planet to quell the unrest under the workers. When the military police starts shooting the demonstrators (who live in, effectively, slavery), Eclair snaps and kicks the Nouvlesse off the planet. This prompts the Director of GOTT to outlaw the pair, and they have to retreat as fugitives.

And then they get killed during an attack on the GOTT headquarters. Yes, they get killed, you heard that right. At about episode 17, I think.
And then they come back. In different bodies. There has been some flashbacks where the pair look decidedly different and it is revealed that they are at least 60 years old, and someone makes a comment about being "an ES-member that won't be allowed to die". I thought it was just a coincidence -- perhaps the nano-technology makes good use of anti-aging stuff, or something like that. But no -- they do get killed, but then get resurrected in new bodies (which means that Eclair's boobs are now even bigger).

This Transhumanist bent really appealed to me. Instead of the usual 'only the people who can afford it buy upgrades for themselves and their children', it's the exact other way around! The snobs are the ones without enhancements, and they're proud of it!
To speak in terms of the Transhuman Space roleplaying game Eclair and Lumiere must be Bioroids whose memories are shaped via nanotechnology -- or perhaps they are bioshells who get a backup installed. They also can produce nanites ('nano-mist') to produce several effects (shields, javelins, powerful blasts etcetera) -- so perhaps their bodies produce those nanites in 'nanite-factories' embedded in their bodies. In fact, when they're fugitives, the 'D-command' is executed on them, making the nano-cells in their bodies to expand, damaging the tissues -- with death as the ultimate result.

Think of it in terms of an RPG campaign: we have this rich universe, rife with conflict between the Nouvlesse amongst themselves and between the 'commoners' and the Nouvlesse. There's a patron organisation that provides missions, backup (sometimes in the form of other ES-members) and other resources. Death isn't the end, because the PC's will get new Bioroid bodies when they kick the bucket...

Good points:
- Interesting transhumanist background;
- Character designs are appealing;
- Animation is smooth and CGI and cell-animation is blended nicely (as is to be expected from GONZO these days);
- Rich worlds and environments;
- Hearing the Japanese voice actors wrangling the French and German names;
- Opening and ending songs are really catchy!
Bad points:
- If you're allergic to pantyshots, avoid this title. It's not as bad as, say, the horrible trainwreck that is Ikkitousen, but it's there;
- You need to get through the fluff to get to the interesting part.

If you're interested in transhumanist issues, then you'll give this series an 8. Otherwise, it's a small 7-.
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  • Mail

    I've been getting a lot of snail-mail lately. Not only am I participating in Postcrossing (the cards I send and receive are automatically posted to…

  • Postcrossing through Twitter, continued

    It turns out that cards that I sent, do not get posted to Twitter when they are registered by the recipient. Too bad -- I asked on the Postcrossing…

  • Postcrossing activity

    Postcrossing can post entries to Twitter if there's any activity (sending cards, received cards, etc). I've set up a Twitter account (fub_cards)…