Most of my first impressions this time are airing later in the season so reviews for them will be posted in the next week or so.  Also, Amagi Brilliant Park’s first episode got delayed due to a women’s volleyball event so the first impression for that will also be up later.  For now, have this review!

Current hype status: SUPER HYPED


Kaito Kuroba is a loud, arrogant high school kid who is the son of a famous (now deceased) magician.  His best and childhood friend is a girl named Aoko, whose father, Ginzo, is on the police force.  After eight years—coincidentally, the same number of years since Kaito’s father’s death—it seems that the mysterious “Kaito Kid” has become active again.  Kaito Kid, a phantom thief, goes around announcing his robberies and yet manages to steal said items anyway, usually through impressive magic feats.

I kinda like the art style better when it’s not trying to emulate Aoyama’s so much…

When Kaito catches wind of the return of Kaito Kid, he’s intrigued.  That same day after school, Kaito accidentally finds a hidden room left to him by his father.  In this room are a pre-recorded voice message and also the Kaito Kid signature costume.  Donning the costume, Kaito sets out to meet with the other Kaito Kid who has been robbing museums and the like.

That is a gun that shoots playing cards. Don’t ask me how that works.

The two Kaito Kids end up meeting on the roof after the other Kid’s heist.  Kaito quickly sees through the imposter’s trick and finds out that the person behind it all was an old assistant to his father.  The assistant, named Jii Kounosuke, reveals that he only pretended to be Kaito Kid in order to lure out the people who killed Kaito’s father, in a magic trick set up to look like an accident.  Jii also confirms that Kaito’s father was the original Kaito Kid.  Kaito seems to be conflicted about this revelation, though soon takes it in stride as he plans to don the Kaito Kid persona himself in order to avenge his father.

In side profile, the characters’ noses are drawn preeeety long…

And so Kaito Kid is “born” once again.

In hindsight I should have taken more shots of the other characters, whoops. I… really have no excuse, Kaito Kid is just that cool.

My Opinion:

There’s probably something you guys don’t know about me and that is the fact that I’m a pretty big fan of the Kaito Kid series.  I have read through a lot of Gosho Aoyama’s Detective Conan series, but I was always so much more intrigued by his Magic Kaito series.  For one, the tone of the Magic Kaito series is a lot more comedic and light-hearted.  (Which… isn’t hard considering how often people are murdered in Detective Conan…)  I was also rather fascinated by the main character of Magic Kaito, the infamous Kaito Kid.  He’s a very skilled magician, who is probably the best person in the world to be a “phantom thief.”  So when I heard that the Kaito Kid series would be a full-length, 24 episode anime, I was super excited.

While this will be the first time that Kaito Kid actually gets his own, full-length anime series, this isn’t the first time his exploits have been animated.  Throughout the Detective Conan series, he’s made a few appearances.  There was even a 12-episode special focusing on him through 2010 to 2012; which I hadn’t heard about before (and that I now really need to watch).  The 12 episode special was basically an anime adaptation of the original three or four volumes of Kaito Kid.  And based on the first episode of this new series, it seems like this will ALSO be an adaptation of the manga volumes.  Since I haven’t seen the 12-episode special, I can’t compare between that and this series, but I’m guessing that this series will be going to be much more in-depth than the specials.

Anyway, back-story aside, here are my thoughts on Kaito Kid 1412’s first episode.  It was good!  Good, but not great.  For one, the animation seems to be… really wonky in places, and the animation isn’t always as smooth as I would hope.  It seems like A-1 Pictures tried their best to stay true to Aoyama’s current art style which is both a good and a bad thing.  It’s nice that they’re attempting to emulate Aoyama’s art style for the anime, since a lot of anime have vastly different designs compared to their original source material.  But at the same time, Aoyama’s art style isn’t really well suited to animation.  So as a result, the entire intro sequence ended up looking really choppy.

And about that intro sequence… I get the feeling that this television series will really prioritize the comedy aspect of Magic Kaito.  Which isn’t bad perse.  But I couldn’t help cringing at the first four minutes of the episode because it felt like the directors/writers for this episode were trying too hard to appeal to “modern” anime fans.  I.E. slapstick shenanigans, lots of shouting, and general mayhem everywhere.  The beginning of the Magic Kaito manga was a lot more subdued than that.  But on the flip-side I think it showed off all the major characters’ personalities well.

Once we got THAT sequence out of the way, the episode flowed much better.  And the showdown between the two Kid’s was pretty neat, if kind of rushed.  The only other thing I have to criticize is the flashback involving Kaito’s father.  In that flashback, Kaito is a kid and his voice is COMPLETELY ATROCIOUS.  It sounds like his normal VA attempting a kid’s voice and falling horribly.  I understand not hiring a completely new VA just to do a small segment that will probably never appear again, but geeze that was just really bad.

Overall, I think this was a decent introduction to the Kaito Kid series.  It seems like a few people aren’t happy with A-1 Picture’s take on the art style (admittedly their noses look way too long in profile) but so far it’s not too bad.  I just hope the animation/art style smoothes out as the series progresses.  To be honest, the first episode/first chapter of Magic Kaito isn’t really a good indicator of the series, as it hasn’t even shown off some of the greater magic tricks that Kaito pull off.  As long as the story is handled well (…and even if it isn’t) I’ll still continue watching.

Out of five for this episode:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

I’m a fan of this series so there’s a very high chance I’ll be blogging this, even knowing it’s going to be a two-course anime.  I’m going to be pretty busy for this fall season, so I may or may not take on a second series to blog.  That all comes down to whether there’s any other anime this season that really grabs my interest.

Curse my weakness for phantom thieves…