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Kaiba
カイバ
Genre Sci-fi, Romance
TV anime
Director Masaaki Yuasa
Studio Madhouse
Network Wowow
Original run April 2008July 2008
Episodes 12
Anime and Manga Portal

Kaiba (カイバ ?) is an anime series directed by Masaaki Yuasa that debuted on the Wowow satellite network in Spring 2008. Animation is by Madhouse and it is described as a sci-fi love story.[1]

The series received an Excellence Prize for animation at the 2008 Japan Media Arts Festival.[2]

Contents

Synopsis

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?

Characters

Kaiba (カイバ Kaiba ?) or Warp (ワープ Wāpu ?)
  • Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima
The main character, who does not speak very much. Kaiba has a hole in the middle of his chest and a tattoo of three circles forming a triangle on his belly. At the beginning of the show, he has no memories he can access.
Kaiba has great power; it slowly becomes revealed that he is able to survive physical damage unscathed, and he also appears to have powerful abilities to halt or destroy large objects with his mind. However, as of yet he is unaware of and unable to control these abilities clearly. He also has a vastly detailed and complex memory, in effect total recall.
Kaiba's real name is Warp, and he is most commonly known as the king of memories, of whom he is the genuine original. He is one of six sons of his father, the former king; in a conflict to determine his father's succession at the end of his life, all of Kaiba's brothers were killed, and only Kaiba survives with his invulnerability. For some time he ruled in the place of his father, and invented the technology that enabled the preservation of memories, making it available to the people. Since then, it appears that he was closed off and tightly controlled in his palace, closely monitored by some other party through cameras and other devices while generally remaining in power.
By the time the first episode begins, he has fallen down through the clouds, and his memories have been closed off to him by the electrical storms inside. Someone else in a clone of his body is currently reigning as king, though he does not have Warp's powers nor memories.
Neiro (ネイロ Neiro ?)
  • Voiced by: Mamiko Noto
A girl who shares an unknown connection with Kaiba. Little is known about her, although she is currently under the care of Popo and a memory merchant. In episode 2, a broadcast reports about a "memory tank" exploding, releasing thousands of memories into space in the form of orange egg capsules. It is believed that Neiro is responsible for this incident.
Neiro grew up alongside Popo, and has been involved with Issoudan for a very long time. She is largely under Popo's control, and he has her convinced that should she get into trouble, she has no other place to return to.
In the events of episode 10, just prior to the first episode, Neiro meets Kaiba and falls in love with him, and when he leaves she is sent to his palace to kill him. When the two of them abscond from the palace and fall through the clouds, Kaiba preserves her memories, but she falls back into Popo's hands.
Popo (ポポ Popo ?)
  • Voiced by: Romi Park
Popo is the first to encounter Kaiba upon awakening. After crossing paths with him again, he explains to Kaiba the nature of the current world, and that his life is in danger. Giving him the temporary name "Warp," Popo smuggles him onto the freight ship Neuron while creating a diversion for him to escape from Cloak, a man who is after Kaiba's special body.
Popo is the more public voice for the organization Issoudan, an anti-memory chip organization destined to destroy Warp for the wrongs he allegedly committed and rid the world of these supposedly evil technologies. Popo's real motivation is likely more nearly that he wishes to take this power for himself.
After the events before the first episode, Popo has Neiro's memories modified to make all her good memories of him and all her bad memories of Warp, ensuring her loyalty.
Dada-sama
The shady man behind Issoudan, regarded almost religiously by its members. Popo is not as reverent.
Dada-sama is actually three different people in aged Warp clones, working to take back the throne from the original Warp.
Vanilla (バニラ Banira ?)
  • Voiced by: Hisao Egawa
The sadistic sheriff on board Neuron. Though Vanilla is extremely strict in enforcing his authority upon the passengers (and enjoys doing so thoroughly), he is not above corruption, and is willing to make deals, accept bribery, or steal memory chips for himself. He also has a weakness for extremely cute girls. In spite of his shortcomings, however, he is surprisingly devoted to Kaiba, and has gone through great lengths to insure his safety (albeit not knowing his true identity, and in Chroniko's body). This devotion comes to a head in episode 7, while the two are on the run from the law. He transfers Kaiba's and Hyo-Hyo's memories elsewhere as their ship is under bombardment, knowing full well that they would be unable to escape, and also telling Kaiba that he had back up bodies elsewhere to comfort him. However, after making sure that Kaiba is safe, Vanilla reveals that there was no such insurance for him, and he perishes alongside Chroniko's memoryless body when the ship is destroyed.
Kaba (カバ Kaba ?)
A stuffed animal-like body that resembles a hippo. Kaiba uses this body to smuggle himself in the ship. It is very difficult for him to move around in this state, and he is also incapable of speech or expressing facial emotion. He often makes use of the body when he doesn't feel like being harassed by Vanilla any more. Despite its status as a substitute, Kaiba has an attachment towards it, and is in a brief moment of grief when he loses it in episode 5.
Hyo-Hyo (ひょーひょー Hyōhyō ?)
  • Voiced by: Wasabi Mizuta
A small intelligent creature that accompanies Kaiba starting from episode 2. It cannot speak (though it does have a voice) and it flies around using its two antennae to spin like propeller blades. It was dispatched by the memory merchant in episode 1 to follow Kaiba in his travels and helps Kaiba avoid capture.
Chroniko (クロニコ Kuroniko ?)
A girl Kaiba meets during a stop Neuron makes in episode 3. She sells her body (literally) so that the money can support her family and hopes that someday her family will become wealthy enough to buy her a new body in the future. However, she is killed by a corrupt doctor (by simply releasing her mind from storage), and her body is sold anyway. Before her body is taken by the buyer, Hyo-Hyo places Kaiba's mind inside her body, and Kaiba uses this disguise to avoid capture and get back aboard Neuron.
Baru (バル Baru ?)

Technology

Despite its appearance, Kaiba is in fact very much science fiction. Many powerful and futuristic devices are present throughout, creating a very different landscape of the possible vs. impossible than are present at the time of its making.

Memory chips
One of the most important features of the Kaiba landscape is the ability to store a person's memories, preserving them after death and allowing them to change bodies if needed. Not everyone opts for the change, but many do if they can afford it. While it does provide a great advantage and convenience, as well as prolonging the life of their ego, it can also make a person shockingly vulnerable, because their chip can be removed putting them at their attacker's mercy.
Memory chips are small metallic cones which generally insert into the top of the head. With some assistance, it is easy to switch bodies at will. It is also possible to modify, copy, and trade memories on the open market or at a clinic, for good or nefarious purposes alike.
Memory tanks
When a person dies, their memories are released as small yellow-orange beans which float away out of the atmosphere, creating vast rivers of dead people's memories out in space. On some planets, these memories are collected in huge yellow memory tanks like anchored hot-air balloons, the contents of which can then be searched and viewed.
Memory readers
Odd shaped green devices, these can be used to not only read the memories of a living person, but to actually physically walk around inside the memory-bubble created there and explore their mind. Memories usually appear like books, though the style varies greatly depending on the person. It is also shown that the room the memories are in stays the same regardless of who is in the body; changing the person using the body merely changes all the memories inside.
The devices can also copy the memories from a living person and play them back later, as if the person was still there. As a secondary function, they are even capable of freezing their target in place over a limited distance.
Popo's exclamation[3] seems to indicate that the official name for these devices is "horeito," and that they are additionally capable of completely erasing memories, effectively killing the target.
Artificial bodies
All different manner of artificial bodies are shown in the course of the show (most notably Kaba), though they all seem to be inferior in quality to bodies that grow up normally. Advanced cloning and biological fabrication technologies are also very well developed.
Weapons
The most common type of weapon used in the show is never called by name ("kabairu" according to the official site and the ninth episode), but nearly omnipresent. They are shaped like gold-colored globe with a ridge over the top, then a pointed end and a handle opposite. These weapons vary in size from handheld all the way up to very large, wrapping around the body and carried similarly to a large marching band drum. These weapons are devastating in power, turning anything they hit into something like green water. They destroy most objects, with the exception of memory chips.
Another different sort of weapon comes as a feature of the memory readers. They seem to be able to freeze their target in place, even stopping their thoughts in their tracks. Memory readers seem to also have the function of erase the memory chip, killing the target.

Theme Songs

Opening Theme

"Never" by Seira

Ending Theme

"Carry Me Away" by Seira

References

External links

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