|July 14, 2008|
Kiba is a action/fantasy anime by Madhouse and Aniplex, which began broadcasting on TV Tokyo on April 5, 2006. The series is directed by Hiroshi Kōjina with Upper Deck Japan, a trading card game company, as the main sponsor. The anime was licensed by Upper Deck USA and produced by ADV Films for North American distribution.
The series is more violent than other trading-card-game-tie-in animations with many characters being killed. According to an interview with the March 2006 issue of Animage, Hiroshi Kamishina, the show's director, noted that the show "absolutely will not have any plot elements that curry favor to children". The producers of the show have also commented that Kiba will not be the type of show to put "human drama" on the back burner while concentrating on promotional tie-ins. While Upper Deck owns the rights to the series, ADV Films is the distributor and their production studio Amusement Park Media produced the English dub. Kiba aired on Toonami Jetstream from July 14, 2008 to January 21, 2009 and is now showing on The Anime Network's Video on Demand service.
Kiba's main character is Zed, a 15-year-old boy who lives in a place called "Calm". Frustrated by his current situation in life he feels that somewhere out there is a place where he can live more fully. One day, at the invitation of a mysterious wind, Zed dives into a space-time crevasse (portal), seeking the answers that might be there. Riding on the wind, he is transported to a war-torn world where magic users called "Shard Casters" fight endlessly with each other, using spells in the form of marble-like "Shards". He is transported to a country known as Templar.
With the power of the Shards, the Shard Casters are able to use spells and control monsters called "Spirits". Fascinated by that power, Zed aims to become a Shard Caster. However, he still doesn't know that residing in his body is "Amil Gaoul", a mighty Spirit with the power to influence the world's future. Amil Gaoul is one of the "Key Spirits" that, when together with the other Key Spirits, can destroy or save the world. There are a total of six Key Spirits: Amir Gaul, Pronimo, Sachura, Monadi, Dynamis and Shadin.
Zed undergoes countless trials in order to find out who he really is and what is most important to him.
Zed — Zed is a 15-year old boy originally from Calm, a land where no wind blows. While in Calm, Zed has a somewhat unusual habit: breaking doors. He claims that by doing this he "feels that he can go anywhere". While on the run from the police of Calm, he encounters a space-time crevasse that leads him to the land of Templar, where he meets the sage Zico and his disciple, Roya. He draws his Shards from a set of three crystals on his left arm. The blade he wields is red, requiring three Shards to form. His Spirit, Amil Gaul, appears to be a wind-based entity that uses two large, white-feathered wings as weapons. These wings have proven capable of slicing through other Spirits, as well as humans.
Roya — Roya is a 15-year-old girl from Tusk, and it's been revealed she was a native. Living in Templer, she is the disciple of the elder sage Zicco, who rescued 5-year-old Roya from Tusk. She was to be killed after it was predicted that she would kill her father, Morocco. Therefore as growing up in Templer, she was falsely told to be an orphan. She is a new-found friend of Zed, and old friend of Mikki. It is somewhat hinted to at the beginning that she may be interested in a more romantic way to Zed, but Zed, at first, is somewhat oblivious to this. She draws shards from a crystal on her neck resembling a [pendant]. She has two weapons resembling sais. These blue weapons require three shards each to activate. Her Spirit, Afkareru, is a water-based entity capable of flight. On top of this, it is able to call forth a harp. Upon plucking the strings of said harp, energy arrows are shot.
Zico — Zico is a 79-year-old man and is one of six sages of Templer; He has a rather calm and wise personality. Zico is the teacher of Roya, a girl of noble birth that he had saved, when she was a child. After Zed arrives, Zico acts as his mentor, and gives him advice on many occasions. Throughout the series, Zico seldom leaves Templer, but stays to regulate their politics and authority. Zico also tells Zed to protect Roya and to keep close watch over his well being. He was a friend of Neotopia's ruler, Hyrum, and was distressed to see how Hyrum had transformed Neotopia into a harsh state. Zico possesses a very strong Spirit (due to his own strong will) called Pryon that seems to want to be captured by the military of Zymot. His Spirit is on a power level with Rambos (Zeds second Spirit). Zico's Spirit is a large red dragon that has many curves on its body, in which it regularly breathes large amounts of fire to completely destroy its opponents.
Robès Redondo — Robès name and mansion "Redondo House" all inherited from his father, Altajid Redondo. He is a princely figure living in Templer. He became the Shard Champion after winning the Shard Casters tournament. For fun he wears a mask, and under the name "No Face", likes to rob the townspeople of their riches. He wishes to know whether he or Dumas is stronger, but was denied the chance when Dumas let Zed fight in his place against Robès in the tournament. Robès draws his Shards from a yellow crystal on his right hand. His weapon is yellow and resembles a rapier. It uses two Shards, placed in the hilt of his weapon. His Spirit, Belladonna, resembles a mushroom-like ballerina, and slashes down foes with its arms. It has also been shown that Belladonna is capable of flight. In episode 13, it is revealed that Robès can use water shards as well as lightning shards.
Mikki — A baker by trade and a former apprentice to Dumas. He is a friend of Roya and Zed. He seems to be romantically interested in Pino, a maid of Robès. Mikki seems to be a childhood friend of Roya. Mikki makes his first appearance in episode 2, in which he elaborates on his will to live up to the expectations of his sensei, Dumas. Mikki works hard every day within a field-like area, accomplishing simple tasks with Dumas. Mikki's Spirit's name is Arumadoru. It never accomplishes anything within the series due to being rather undisciplined, which reflects Mikki's weak will. Mikki attempted to use this Spirit when training with Roya, along with battling at the Joust tournament. He has Slaguna, Dumas' old Spirit which Robès gave to him as a memento, but never used it in any battles other than when he was controlled by it.
Dumas Schuramux — Templer's previous Shard Champion, a title given to the strongest Shard Caster in the country. Even though he held the prestigious title, he works as a farmer. He had turned the basement of his house into a hospital for those of the country of Zymot who have been cast into exile, but when they started attacking the castle he helped to defend it against them. Dumas draws his Shards from an aqua-colored crystal on his right shoulder. His weapon is a brownish-orange and is about twice the width of Zed's sword. His shard element is earth. It requires six Shards to activate. His Spirit, Suraguna, resembles a knight and fights with a weapon that is a cross between a lance and a double-bladed sword. Dumas bears a cross-like mark on his left palm, an inherited symbol of servitude that has run in his family for generations. He is obsessed with changing this 'destiny', and sought to do so by becoming the Shard Champion. To his chagrin, all that came with the title of Shard Champion was "useless honor" and being the first person to call when trouble came about, with no change in his station or position.
Rebecca — A princess who is the last surviving member of the Zymot royal family. Seeing Zed's powerful Spirit, she asks for his help to regain her country. Rebecca, a beautiful young girl, is the princess of Zymot. After Hugh had lusted to attain the power of the key Spirits, he attempted to steal one of these key Spirits which was in the hands of Rebecca's father, who had been the king of Zymot. Before the supposed death of the king, however, he placed the Spirit within the crest on Rebecca's head. Rebecca is saved by her retainer, Elda, after being captured by Hugh. At one time, after being saved, she stayed with Zed and Roya at their house. After she found out that Zed wields the mighty Amil Gaoul, she asked Zed to accompany her to Zymot, as to serve amongst her established defense against Hugh.
Noah — Noah is Zed's friend from Calm. Unlike Zed, Noah is thought of as an upstanding citizen of Calm. Noah sticks up for Zed whenever people speak badly of him. Though others disapprove, Noah hangs around with Zed because Zed saved him from bullies during their childhood. Noah also gave Zed a token of their friendship; two feathers attached by a sort of round metal. Noah is plagued with a disease which forces him to always wear a brace around his neck and spine. He is given a life expectancy of thirty, and anything that causes drastic movements will shorten it. After Zed goes through the portal to Templer, Noah is eventually teleported to a militaristic land called Neotopia and begins making friends while staying with Carter, the man who found him, and his wife. Later, he is known as Lord Dolga, and is found working for the Tuskans.
Hugh — The head of the three Zymot Usurpers and the main antagonist of series 1 and a major antagonist of series 2. He wears a mask over his mouth until Amil Gaoul (the Key Spirit he stole from Zed) rejects him. He has a strict personality, but acts somewhat insane after he's rejected by Amil Gaoul. He is the previous owner of the Key Spirit, Pronimo, later stolen by Sara after Hugh's defeat.
Elmeida — The female member of the three Zymot leaders who wears a blindfold over her eyes. She was one of two supreme commanders of Zymot that served under Hugh, the last King of Zymot. Elmeida typically wears the blindfold on her face to conceal the crystal from which she draws her shards. She is seen on multiple occasions eating snails. It also seems that Elmeida has a rather arrogant personality and is rather merciless in her qualities.
Glaudio — The child member of the three Zymot leaders. His ears are covered by bandages. Despite being a child, his power is extraordinarily high. Glaudio is a child with blonde hair that had been recruited by Hugh at a rather young age. Glaudio served as one of the two main enforcers (the other being Elmelda) under Hugh's command.
Amir Gaul — The strongest member of the 6 "Key Spirits". At first, Amir Gaul appeared as a turquoise being who could summon two feathered wings to create its powerful wind-based attacks. After it started morphing, it first awakened as a phoenix; then, when it had completely awakened, it returned to its humanoid form, this time with the addition of feathered, golden armor. In its final form, Amir Gaul is able to open its eyes. Its rightful, chosen owner is Zed. Amir Gaul probably chooses Zed because they both desire an end to the meaningless fights between the nations. Since Amir Gaul is the strongest of all 6 key Spirits, it cannot be taken from Zed unless Amir Gaul chooses to break that relationship. Anyone attempting to use Amir Gaul against its will, other than Zed, will experience extreme pain and sickness.
Pronimo — In the very beginning it was split up with Zymot having half and the Kalbu-fu the other half. Hugh was able to combine the two together to form Pronimo in the invasion of Kalbu-fu. Later when Hugh was killed, Zed's mother took Pronimo. She then lost it to Xeem, who gave it to Tusk's savior, Mirette. After being unable to control Tusker, Noa took it from her.
Sachura — Noah's key Spirit that he received from a group of nomads called Seekers, shortly after entering the world. Sachura was taken by Mirred so she could awaken Tusker, but when Mirred couldn't control Tusker, Noah took back Sachura.
Monadi — Neotopia's key Spirit. It was hidden under the statue being built as a symbol of power and discipline at Neotopia, but when Neotopia fell under Tusk's control, it awoke, and was obtained by Sara, Zed's mother. Later, Sara lost Monadi to Xeem. Xeem gave it to Mirred to summon Tusker, but when she failed to satisfy Tusker's desire for a strong host, Noah took it.
Dynamis — Tusk's key Spirit, which remained dormant in Tusk's savior, Mirred, until all other key Spirits were in the vicinity. When Mirred fails to summon Tusker, Noah takes Dynamis from her.
Shadin — Key Spirit of the Seekers. Sagiri was given Shadin when she returned to the Seekers, as she was viewed as the savior. She gave Shadin to Zed in order to help him find Noah. Later, Xeem took Shadin from Zed and gave it to Mirred. When Mirred fails to summon Tusker, Noah takes Shadin from her.
Tusker — Tusker is the result of the 6 Key Spirits brought together. Tusker is said to be the power that created and can destroy the world. It has the ability to control all Spirits (Ex-Machina was the only Spirit that couldn't be controlled by Tusker probably because it was a compound spirit simillar to Tusker). Tusker needs to merge with the true savior, who appeared to be Zed (Zed, Mirred, Noah, and Sagiri are considered saviors because they were chosen by key Spirits), and its goal turned out to be the creation of a world that only included Spirits. Zed was able to stop Tusker by - due to the influence of Zico, who appeared in his conscience - separating himself and Amil Gaul from Tusker. Once Zed separated Amir Gaul, Tusker was thrown off balance and defeated. Tusker's abilities consist of close combat fighting, the manipulation of other Spirits, the original 6 key Spirit's abilities, and the unleashing of meteor showers that destroy the land.