It is now possible to store memory data, so that the death of your body is not actually “death.” As memories are stored in databanks, they can be “transferred” to new bodies. Because so-called “memory trading” now occurs, it is now possible to steal memories and illegally alter them. Society has fallen apart as authority has become lost and stagnant. One day, a man awakens in a ruined room. His name is Kaiba. He has no memories, but he does have a pendant with a picture of an unknown woman inside. In the skies are roiling clouds and electrical storms, impossible to pass without losing one’s memories; above them lies the elusive realm of the rich and powerful, who barter others’ bodies and memories for their own enjoyment and longevity. Below lies a troubled and dangerous world where good bodies are hard to come by and real money is scarce. After suddenly being attacked, Kaiba escapes into space, and during his travels meets all sorts of people and regains his memories. Throughout it, he continues to be troubled by the world’s problems, as well as his own existence. And what of the woman in the pendant, Neiro? – My Anime List
Based on 15 review scores:
Kaiba feels like a true successor to Metropolis, pulling off when its predecessor failed to do. To me, Kaiba is a long form version of a Hayao Miyazaki film (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Within). That’s how high in regard I hold this series. I hold no shame is saying this series is now one of my favorite anime of all time.
To call Kaiba groundbreaking is no overstatement.
It fills me with hope and joy for the medium that Kaiba‘s stylistic children are just now beginning to propagate. From Flip-Flappers—which shares its fixation on memory and mothers—to TRIGGER’s sugar high crossover-fest Space Patrol Luluco, which is another peculiar take on the “world story” genre, it really feels like Kaiba‘s time in the sun is just starting to come. Perhaps it will remain an underground source of influence forever, but really, if you love anime or animation in general, if you love the strange and weird and wonderful, Kaiba almost certainly has something for you. There is so much I have not touched on—and have no room to touch on, really—that I simply must implore you, if any of this sounds at all interesting, to give Kaiba a go for yourself.
Anime Under The Sun
Real Life Anime Reviews
It only goes to show that anime can convey such a masterpiece with conventional methods and express something far more visceral, frightening and amazing enduring. Without having to resort to old cliché and exhaustive methods of expression.
Overall, Kaiba is definitely recommended if you’re into experimental, mystery or science fiction anime. The only bad thing about it is that the plot isn’t the most solid one, so don’t expect everything about the setting to be fully explained by the end. Nevertheless, Kaiba is an masterpiece that makes excellent use of its limited time of only twelve episodes, and it has been my top pick of the past spring season ever since it started.
It has been a long time since a series this good has come along that is why it pains me to not give this a perfect score. I urge everyone to go out and buy this series because if you love anime and have yet to watch this masterpiece, you are doing yourself a grave injustice.
Anime News Network
Those who enjoy unique visuals, reflecting upon stories, and something a little different from the norm would do well to pick up Kaiba and support titles that show the full gamut of Japanese animation, to anime nerds and those who watched Astro Boy when they were kids alike.
Contender for best of the year, of course. I can’t think of anything this year so far, unless that old master Miyazaki’s Ponyo on a Cliff is a triumph, that will probably contain as much imagination and feeling as this title. And even Miyazaki seems to be losing those these days if Howl’s Moving Castle is any indication.
Give these facts, Kaiba is not really a children’s series and there’s quite a bit of mature content thrown into the mix such as the epic battles laced through the series, adult themes and even sexual references. Director Masaaki Yuasa (The Tatami Galaxy) has done a marvellous job at creating a very engaging and non-mainstream anime creation.
Tragic and uplifting in equal measure, Kaiba is not just one of the best anime series ever made but one of the best TV shows. It aired in obscurity and has yet to be licensed in the States, but looks for all the world like a big-budget production. It’s rare in any medium or industry to see such a personal, idiosyncratic expression made at such great expense, and the show that emerged was every bit as miraculous as the events of its creation.
So in short, Kaiba is definitely a series you must watch if you like to be intellectually challenged by your anime. The romance also develops into one of the sweetest stories aired to date (amidst huge weapons, no less, as seems to happen in sci-fi series). There are some scenes in the anime that will touch even the stoniest of hearts. True, the story gets a little confusing at times, especially when Kaiba swaps bodies, and sometimes the cast becomes a little too temporary, but if you can follow the director’s madcap camera angles and fast-paced chase sequences, it’s well worth it.
My Anime List
Recommended for fans of abstract cinema, surrealism, science fiction, Osamu Tezuka, other Yuasa works, or simply anyone looking for a short cerebral series that is nigh indescribable.
This was almost five but there are just too many flaws to ignore. More time spent developing the main narrative and stronger characterisation for the leads and this might have been going for one of the shows of the decade but even without that the grace of its aesthetics and its power and emotionality when it does get it right make it an instant recommendation. Certainly one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences I have had this year.
The Nihon Review
Kaiba is a series that truly stands firmly on the ground with its two feet when it comes to originality and ingenuity but there are blemishes which have stained a potential for series of the year. Nonetheless, with such an imaginative story and an opening sequence which made me weep, Kaiba is still a diamond among anime series. It’s just unfortunate that it is not completely polished.
The Otaku’s Study
To conclude, this series was not within my interest range, however for those who do like the romance genre and do appreciate the art design as much as I do, then you should find this to be a brilliant series.