Okay so I WAS gonna do Pokemon first but that one. Well lets face it summarizing it is an improbable NIGHTMARE to summarize/review since EVERY EPISODE is so goddamn formulaic it makes it nigh impossible . Well without coming across as a rough draft that is. Thus i may as well go for Kiba. Which WAS indeed aired on Toonami just the Jetsream online service not the TV segment.
Now this segment here will be for the first 26 episodes(I’m actually on 32 but splitting by how the boxset is so yeah up to 26). This show starts with a our main character who is named Zed living in an underground city. Here we see his day to day life and issues with do0rs/gates( and I mean this guy REALLY hates doors and gates he tears them up though he also has good reason in his own way). His school issues and how his mom is hospitalized in what seems to be a permanent case of shock or something like akin to that(she cannot speak and merely stares at a jellyfish in her room nothing else so YOU tell me what that is). As the first episode goes along we also see his best friend Noah. Who is a bright young man as well as being head of the student council and sticking up for him when he can. However as one would expect even Noahs his life is anything but rosy. He has a permanent illness that endangers his life and he needs to stay in a special skeletal vice suit. Or as his doctor puts it “Every one day in your life is like 16 for a normal person”(Well i THINK that’s it i could have day and year mixed up). However all he wants just like Zed is to be free. Free to live his life.
Now as this series first episode finishes Zed and Noah are BOTH taken out of “Calm”(the name of their city) after a bit of a ruckus where Zed is attacked by a man who uses spheres/magic called “Shards” and “Shardcasting” respectively to try and kill him. His mother wakes up from her pseudo coma then and well all kindsa shit goes down(shit that doesn’t even START to get TOUCHED ON until episodes 20+, and no i’m not shitting you it really takes more than a quarter of the series from episode one to even START to get an idea of what happened back in Calm).
So after this slow to start and big to finish first episode Zed finds himself in a new world. One with open skies green pastures and an all around beautiful place really that goes by the name Templar.. And so upon ending his first day in Templar Zed has learned about the powers that the man who attacked him used. The power of shardcasting(which basically amounts to being able to summon magic oversized marbles from ones body to either attack or summon spirits with. So think Bakugan only FAR more badass) and of COURSE he has some legendary power. A special spirit to be precise. However telling any more would actually be spoilers a decent amount beyond what I have already given(go figure huh).
Now while Zed is busy having “fun” Noah on the other hand winds up in what seems like paradise but well I can’t elaborate here due to “Spoilers”(to quote River Song from Doctor Who). However as events unfold Noah also turns out to have a power(of course) but talking too much about Noah is like talking about Code Geass. Kinda impossible to do without excessive spoilers. So I’ll just say again that while he also has a power of the same TYPE as Zeds it’s also VERY different. Now Noahs’ story it should be mentioned takes place as a side story and for the most part it is an essential side story full of more spoilers than Zeds in fact so of course they eventually merge and then seperate after they meet up again later. However most of this does not happen until around episode 22+ so yeah limiting spoilers.
Now the world itself is rather interesting. It is broken up into four primary nations(or is it?) with at least one nation having a sub group that they use as slaves(not gonna elaborate on the slave race two arcs and some nice plot points get messed up if i do that). Now one nation is the Aforementioned Templar. This nation is ruled by a council and believes in freedom, liberty and choice. It has no industry and instead seems like a mix of a medieval village and a village in holland(what like I could resist windmill jokes). If you’ve ever played it think of the small village town partway through Quest 64(I don’t care if it’s obscure it works and I’m sticking with it). It is here that Zed lands(as i mentioned before). Templar has an ally in one of the other countries. this one is called Neotopia. This land is one of those things that seems nice and happy on the outside but the inside…Yeah not so much. However going too deep into this country will offer MAJOR spoilers. But I will say this it looks utopian but Pope Stallin is the boss and the national designer seems to have taken a que from either the “perfect planet” from a Wrinkle in Time(yes old book/obscure book i know but good example nonetheless) or Adrian Monk.
Now the last two areas are VERY different and I will give basic social and visual outlines since anymore would well kinda spoil alot. Funny actually that ANYWHERE but Templar/Zed spoils massive amounts of plot in this series.
So the first(or third one depending on how you count) is Zymot. This country is both a jungle and a desert. Where the main citadels are is a jungle and where they train their slave warriors in the desert. This is the type of place where the strong rule and the weak are left to die if not outright killed in mortal combat/training exercises. Now this land is where the first really big story arc shift takes place and it’s also where alot of the problems come from. TBH I cannot say much about this place but not just because of some seriously nasty spoilers but also because of the fact that TBH this area isn’t really elaborated on as much as you’d think even by the end of the series(I’m rewatching it).
Now the final primary area is called Tusk. We hear this place mentioned in Episode 1 in LITERALLY 2-3 LINES(and i;m not joking in ONE SCENE it’s BRIEFLY mentioned and then forgotten by and large short of mentioning of ambassadors until episode 20 or so) and yet THIS is where the bulk of the drama happens. This land is like a craggy mountain/volcano. The skies seem to always be red the land barren and mountainous almost like a giant volcano. In this land two species exist. The regular Tuskans who have spikes on their shoulders but are otherwise human and the Beastman tuskans who have “shards” imbedded in their bodies(as in born with not transplanted) four arms(some Beastmen even have wings) are giants and have the ability to breathe fire and fight spirits head on(in short big bad monsters). Now these two groups on the surface would be at odds what with the beastmen practicing human sacrifice and all that but well you can probably guess from there. Now this land isn’t as simple as the others. It has what seems to be a ruling council and even nobles but they also seem to value power over almost all else. So I guess I’d say this is one messed up place in more than just looks. Now sadly saying anymore would ruin over half the series both in this set and the last 26 episodes as well. So yeah gonna have to leave this as incomplete for now.
Now as for the meat of the series. It’s actually NOT you’re basic merchandising/shounen show(amazing i know). Political snafu’s aside(there was actually a lawsuit about this series in real life thus why no toys) it is also ALOT darker than usual especially for what WAS going to be a marketing show. The bulk as I was getting into is basically Zed trying to learn to master his power while simultaneously dealing with various issues. The first 5 episodes or so(excluding episode 1 of course) are fairly basic fair with episode 6 doing a skip to Noahs story for about 3 episodes.So yeah be ready for even more basic fare(though Noahs story gets pretty messed up pretty goddamn fast. So I guess that means it’s episode 8-9 before it really picks up.
Now by basic fare I of course mean tournaments(in fact mid tourney is where we skip to Noah),the basic girl falling for him and sidekick recruitment(the girl is actually a pretty major player later one but up until the early 20’s so the end of this part she’s basically a tagalong), Being assigned to a teacher who by all rights seems to be the classic “nothing fazes me and I’m a strong patient gentle soul who can kickass” type and of course the mandatory rival. You know the basics. Now one of the most interesting things about this show is that EVERYONE has some kind of secret whether even THEY know it or not. Zed and Noah have not only their power but past and issues(among other things) while others aren’t what they think they and then the basic dark past story bits. Now these episodes end it should be noted end RIGHT BEFORE the “Joust”(read pseudo tournament arc). By that point we know pretty much all about Zed and Noahs powers. Have hints of darker affairs to come and ALMOST everyone’s dirty little secrets are at least hinted at. Some former fighter are now even breadmakers LOL So overall it wraps up the first half quite nicely and i should have the next segment up by the end of next week if not a few days. Just use the MAL link to figure it out LOL.
So then I guess I’ll end this with this comment. If what I’ve described sounds interesting go ahead and check her out(it’s apparently streaming in the US at http://www.theanimenetwork.com/Anime/Kiba/Watch if you’re in another country some good places would be your basic anime download sites LOL) . If not then well it may not be for you. However just remember this. Just because it’s based off of shounen stereotypes and tropes DOESN’T mean it falls prey to them. If anything I’d say this show is to shounen as Digimon Season 3 is to pokemon. Darker grittier and downright nasty at points. Now the only real question for you readers is will I call part two Kiba the little fang that could OR will it be Kiba the little fang that tried. Up to you of course but i wonder how many people will guess my take right.