Lost in a memory.
Kaiba is a young boy that wakes up to a strange world. A world where memories can be stored outside of the body and mysterious hovering objects puncture you, steal these memories, and leave you lifeless. Kaiba is a victim and has lost all his memories. The only memento that hints at his past life is a pendent with a picture of a girl in it. Without realizing it, Kaiba is forced into different worlds and manages to capture some of his memories. However, what he retrieves is a more distorted, more sinister world. A world which he does not want to face.
Kaiba is an experimental, science-fiction anime. The story isn’t afraid to show adult themes at all. It revolves around a futuristic world in which people’s memories can be stored in chips and placed from one body to the other. The series smartly spends its first half fleshing out and playing with this concept, so that the viewers feel more at ease with the setting, only for the second half to kick in with the real plot of the series.
Viewers are introduced to a sheer wealth of characters in this series. Almost every character has hidden aspects to them that are not obvious when we first meet them. This causes the story to go in directions that are not instantly obvious. The characters feel realistic in every sense, and their actions are just as believable.
The animation is totally different from any anime you will probably ever encounter. The movements, facial changes, background movements are all very peculiar and unique. The animation style really sets the atmosphere in Kaiba. Each character is rendered imaginatively, with each being particularly memorable. The art direction is fantastic in its use of flashbacks and the way it fully realizes even the most difficult of sci-fi concepts.
Both OP “Never” and ED “Carry Me Away” by Kagami Seia are calm lyrical songs with hints of melancholy. Not only are they pleasant pieces to listen to, they are just perfect for the atmosphere of this show. They blend with the show so well they appear as vital pieces of an episode, which most of the OPs/EDs fail to do. What sets the background music apart from other shows which Yoshida Kiyoshi worked on is that Kaiba also possess a few emotional and even vocal pieces to spice things up. While ambient music does a perfect job at creating the bizarre sci-fi atmosphere for the show, vocal pieces never fail to instill emotion, making the already dramatic and epic scenes even more so.
Despite its deceptively simple appearance, Kaiba is an absorbing and thought-provoking that only rewards viewers who look beyond the surface and appreciate the series’ attention to detail. If you fancy sci-fi that is genuinely worthy rather than merely shallow and pretentious, then go ahead and watch Kaiba- you won’t be disappointed.
And on that note,