January 3, 2009
Is Kaiba a Cyberpunk? We’ll get to that in a minute. As some of you may already know, I have a soft spot for Cyberpunk anime. They tend to exhibit unconventional storytelling, fascinating dystopias and visuals of highly artistic merits. A popular criticism against the genre is that viewers find it difficult establishing any emotional connection because characters are so lifeless. Titles like Serial Experiments: Lain and Ghost in the Shell movies for example, feature characters who rarely present themselves empathetically, which is somewhat expected as they inhabit a world dehumanised by our constantly advancing technology. Personally I find such sterile quality strangely alluring, but I can see why it can isolate some viewers. In any case, Kaiba is many things. Experimental anime, fairy tale for adults, intricate mystery…but what intrigued me the most was how warm it felt compared to the previously mentioned series that treats similar existential themes in an emotionally cold manner.