Monday, September 2, 2013
Anime review: Kick Heart
Kick Heart creates a vivid, memorable, and admittedly strange scenario whereby the titular protagonist deals with life in the ring as a masked luchador, life outside the ring helping to support an orphanage, and his own personal desires (sexual, romantic, or otherwise). As it turns out, Kick Heart is not the best wrestler in town, but keeps entering the ring in hopes that Lady S, a significantly more skilled female wrestler who he is head-over-heels for, will reciprocate his feelings. As is made obvious within the first couple of minutes, Kick Heart will bear whatever abuse he has to in order to get this woman to pay attention to him or simply be near her. He deals with her physical punches and kicks, while also taking a decent helping of emotional abuse from his tag-team partner who outright abandons him and the audience who has little patience for an underdog such as Kick Heart.
Outside of the ring, Kick Heart feels an apparent responsibility in helping support an orphanage. While he may spend his earnings on sex dolls to help cope with his lack of progress with Lady S, he also purchases luchador figures for the orphan children and converses with the elder staff members. Also working at the orphanage is a young woman who catches Kick Heart’s eye, but he manages to embarrass himself in front of her as well by clogging the toilet and nearly revealing his personal 'adult' purchases.
Kick Heart’s artistic presentation is very removed from any traditional anime styling. Its psychedelic bright colors and ridiculous action routines add to the zany character and environment designs, a large portion of which are seemingly influenced more by American animation than Japanese. There is minimal dialogue, as the show prefers to show just what is going on in every scene than have characters explain events as they unfold. Running less than fifteen minutes, Kick Heart is a single episode that focuses primarily on Kick Heart as a character – who he is, what is all about, and the ends he will go to in order to achieve both what he wants and what he believes is good for the orphans. That said, despite its main character attempting to remain secretive about his dual life, Kick Heart is a show that is unashamed of its focus on a couple poop jokes and plenty of sexual humor.
My rating: 7.5 (out of 10)