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Ladholyman's Kaleido Star Ova Review

Kaleido Star

Kaleido Star ova Review

Sora Naegino has been dreaming of becoming a member of the Kaleido Stage since she watched "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" at the Kaleido Stage with her parents.
One day she starts her journey from Japan to America - however, when she arrives, her suitcase is stolen. But with Sora's awesome athletic skills she soon catches the thief and a kind policeman drives her to the Kaleido Stage. Although the casting is already finished, she manages to be accepted by Kalos Eido, the owner of the Kaleido Stage, and is now finally a member of the crew.

On her first day of training, only by a misunderstanding, she challenges Layla Hamilton, the top star of Kaleido Stage. Now Sora has to master Layla's "Golden Phoenix" in only a few days. If she fails she has to immediately leave the Kaleido Stage, but if she succeeds Layla will accept her and Sora can finally fulfill her dream - to be the true Kaleido Star.

Synopsis: Chibi`kyo

Story & Playability

The Layla Hamilton Story puts on the greatest period of one of the best shows in recent years, Kaleido Star. It is made of win and deities. It features superb dramatic moments and wonderful lesbian undertones. It has two unforgettable insert songs. For Kaleido Star fans everywhere, this is an OAV no one should miss. But be sure to have watched everything else before this.
Before I watched this, I was given the impression that the OAV was going to be a big long flashback on Layla`s past. Boy was I ever so wrong. Well, some of this was a flashback on Layla`s past (where we get to see the cute little Layla Hamilton), and some was flashback of the whole Kaleido Star series, but mostly the OAV was dedicated to Layla struggling to find her future and come to terms with her dad. May was added for comedic effect, and so was Ken. A very solid story; the best part being the part where Sora cut Layla`s hair. That one scene spilled over so many lesbian undertones along with deep morals and themes that I was showered with happiness.

Rating: 9

Graphics

Gonzo proves that they still have the stuff. From the very beginning, the art design stays very consistent throughout the whole show. Characters blink, move, and do amazing acrobatics with such amazing fluidity that I was not able to even blink. Imagine the original TV series on hyper-steroids. The natural wind-blowing-on-hair scene during Layla`s introspection has to be one of the best wind-blowing scenes in all of anime. Layla`s bike ride down the steep incline, along with the ending animation, just makes me want to cry out in happiness that God gave me eyes.
Korean animation or not, the random acrobatics were unbelievable. Well, I can't compare to other shows of its kind, since I can't recall ever seeing a show with circus animation. Anyways, nothing to complain here.

Rating: 10

Sound

Two superbly fitting pieces, one as the opening, and one as the ending, round out the amazing soundtrack. Old songs from the TV series were brought back, bringing the emotional scenes to a climax. The sound effects are just as jarring as the original series, especially the very last scenes of Sora`s and Layla`s respective performances. The voice acting also did a wonderful performance, especially Layla`s soliloquies and May`s comedic commentary. What`s strangely missing was a line from Leon, one of the key characters in the original series.

Rating: 9

Fun

Layla was the main character here, so all you Mia and Anna fans will probably be a bit disappointed. I learned quite a bit about Layla in this OAV, from her severe phobia of failure to her hidden past of being a weakling and a crybaby. All this makes me appreciate her already beloved character even more. Sora was her usual happy-go-lucky self, so not much development there. But there was no need to, since Sora did fulfill her purpose as Layla`s pillar of support. All the other characters only had cameos, and somehow (I don`t know why), Ken started wearing those fruity glasses. It makes him look more pimp, I guess.
If you have not watched the original series, stop right here. Don`t even think of watching this. That`s like reading the epilogue of a book without even looking at the table of contents nor the pages in between. That`s like watching Advent Children without even knowing what a Buster Sword was. In order to fully enjoy this OAV, watch the original. All in all, I was truly amazed at the quality and enjoyment I received while watching this. Jyunichi Sato is a genius. But I do feel a bit of sadness, knowing that this will probably be the last period of an amazing show. What a great ride it was, all the way to the end.

Rating: 10

Final Verdict

9.50 (excellent)

Reviewed by Ladholyman, Feb 23, 2006

Comments

  1. Konbawatsuki Feb 23, 2006

    Hmm .. . It's a good review because can give enough description from kaleido strar story and character.

  2. Mnemeth Mar 07, 2006

    An excellent review and not really any spoilers which is even better. I also agree with the rating.

  3. gabysango2011 Jul 31, 2006

    i like it...i think it's a great review...
    it seems that u like kaleido star...
    see ya

    merged: 08-01-2006 ~ 07:25am
    i also like kaleido star

  4. rukasu04 Mute Member Feb 12, 2010

    Thanks for the review

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