KIBA appears to be this Spring season’s popular shounen anime. Do the magic balls and summons put this show into the kid’s category, or does the art and plot make it something more?
Personally, I wasn’t really looking forward to KIBA as one of the upcoming Spring anime. After reading about it, I figured it would be a generic shounen show about a kid thrust into a magical world. After watching the first episode, I have a feeling I was right.
KIBA follows the story of Zedd, a delinquent kid who smashes gates and generally goes against the flow of society. His mom is in some kind of mental hospital and his childhood friend, Noah, has a neat exoskeleton! Anyway, when we meet Zedd, he’s in quite a bit of trouble with his school.
Exposition occurs (forgive me for not writing a full episode synopsis; I don’t do those), and Zedd discovers he, his mom, and his teacher (and probably Noah) are all “shard casters.” I believe the job description involves throwing magical balls around and summoning androgynous winged dudes to help you in battle. At the end of the episode, Zedd jumps into a portal and ends up in the middle of another shard caster duel.
So as far as the story goes, I think it feels really generic. A lot of the plot has yet to be revealed, but I’m already getting the feeling that this anime will be a bore to watch. At then end, when the evil ninja-esque guy summoned his monster, I literally yelled “Scyther! I choose you!”
The character designs range from okay to “hey, you’re my mom!” to “is that Dr. Light?” The only character design I really like is the one of the girl who is sparring with Dr. Light in the middle of the episode.
The animation during the action scenes was actually quite good. This is the first episode, though, and I’ve noticed that lots of anime pad their first and last episodes with good animation while the episodes in the middle suck. Hopefully the production values will remain high for the rest of the series. This is an action anime, after all…
The OP for this anime is okay. I’m not going to be listening to it in my car or anything, though. The ED is great, but not for the right reasons. It’s full of funny engrish: “very very much, very catchy.” Unfortunately, I don’t find the song very catchy at all…
Overall, the mediocrity of the first episode coupled with the sheer number of anime coming out this Spring means that I probably won’t be following KIBA. If it does end up being good, be sure to let me know by way of comment or in the forums, yeah?