Kaiba is kind of a tough nut to crack, because I’ve written about it before, but at the same time I can’t remember what it was really about. No, wait, looking back at my previous post, it turns out I never really understood it in the first place. So I’ll try not to focus on trying to understand it and instead talk about what I do remember about it, and why I don’t regret watching it even though I didn’t understand it.
The episode that remains most clear in my memory is episode 5: Abipa, The Utopian Planet. It’s not because it’s very important or very impressive in terms of its ideas. In fact, it’s the opposite: episode 5 was easy for me to understand because it was so grounded in traditional ways of storywriting. As I said in the older post, the overarching story of Kaiba is quite confusing and it only gets worse later on, which is why it was a good thing that episode 5 was mostly standalone. And the story of this particular episode was a kind of story that is familiar to me: It was a “groundhog day” story.
Compared to the rest of the story of the show, episode 5 ends up being kind of mundane. But when you think about the themes of the show – how in this universe memories and personalities are transferable between bodies. consumable and destructible – episode 5 seems like an extremely sensible side story to include. And that’s an aspect I think the show does very well in general. Though it may be confusing and difficult to follow, and for understandable reasons, the show sticks very tightly to its themes. And I thought those themes were very interesting. That’s why I don’t feel like watching the show was a waste of time, even though I didn’t really understand the story.