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Kaleido Star - Welcome to the Kaleido Star (Vol. 1) (2004)

 Unrated |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

List Price: $29.98
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Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2004
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001US5RO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,904 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Although she's something of a klutz and has never studied ballet or trapeze, 16-year-old Sora Naegino comes to America from Japan to try out for the Cirque du Soleil-like Kaleido Stage. A typically spunky anime heroine who's always vowing to try her best, Sora wins a place in the cast in a last-minute audition. Her unconventional debut earns her the resentment of the other new girls, but her cheerful determination soon wins them over--except for Layla, the icy star of the show. Back in her room, Sora is counseled by the phantom-like Spirit of the Stage, who can only be seen by those destined to become performers. This acrobatic Cinderella story plays like a mixture of Sakura Wars and 42nd Street: Sora initially gives less-than-sensational performances in minor parts, but by the end of the series, she'll take Layla's place. (Rated 12 and older: minor risqué humor) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would You Like To Swing From a Star July 1, 2004
Sometimes an anime that is out of your regular genre surprises you. While it is possible to mistake Kaleido Star for a 'magical girl' anime, it really bears more resemblance to sports and idol anime, and I'm not drawn to those. Be that as it may, I have an opportunity to watch the early episodes of Kaleido Star, and while acrobatic wannabe Sora Neigino has no magical powers, she has a magical way of getting through her challenges that quickly charms the watcher.
After missing an audition for the Kaleido Stage, a series of clumsy mistakes manages to catapult her into a job. Despite the protests of the beautiful Layla, who is the current star. And indeed, a very talented and egotistical woman she is. Kaleido is a performance are much like the Cirque du Soleil put on, with even more spectacular displays. When you aren't following the plot, there is a great deal to watch and admire.
The episodes focus on the lives of the characters, more than on the stunts, Layla and her partner Yuri, Carlos the owner, Ken who is both gofer and stage manager, and Fool, the spirit of the stage (and the closest thing the show has to magic). Fool appears as a costumed doll with a knack for the tarot and mildly perverse remarks. How these players and the many others deal with their challenges and reach their goals is the meat of Kaleido Star.
Brilliantly scripted and acted, Kaleido Star has enjoyed great success in Japan, where it has run to 51 episodes. The work is extremely watchable, and, more important, bears up under repeated watching. It is aimed at the warm and fuzzy loving younger set of watchers, but I found myself getting quite involved in the story. This is very much a family anime, with a strong emphasis on values and very little that is even slightly risque.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New favorite anime! June 21, 2004
By Mari
I gave this a try even though I usually prefer magical girl anime, and I was very surprised. The animation is beautiful and the story is inspirational. Kaleido Stage is a bit like Cirque Du Soleil, but it has themes like ballets (Romeo & Juliet,etc.) instead of just random tricks. Sora the main character goes through ups and downs as she tries to rise to the top and become a Kaleido Star! If you only buy one anime this year, this should be it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNDER THE BIG TOP July 5, 2004
By Sesho
16 year old Sora Naegino has come to America to try out for Kaleido Star, a Cirque de Soleil-like extravaganza that picks only the best talent to perform in its shows. At a loss as to the location of the show when she sets down in America, she goes to ask a magazine vendor for directions. A stranger overhears her question and kneels down beside her, looking at her legs, even touching them and telling them how nice they are. Leaving her suitcase unattended as she tries to get away from this pervert, her belongings are stolen by a thief. Sora shows her acrobatic skills as she captures him.
After being delayed a the police station as a suspected runaway, she finally gets to the audition late and is not even allowed to try out by orders of the resident star of Kaleido Star, Layla Hamilton. She is allowed to stay on and watch the show. When a trampoline performer is sidelined by an accident, the owner of the show, Kalos, who just happens to be the stranger that had looked at her legs before, asks her to take the injured performer's place. Sora will have to prove herself as she will have to perform before thousands of people with no rehearsal.
These first 5 episodes are mainly about Sora's attempts to fit into the troupe, even though most of the performers are hostile to her. They believe that she has some personal connection to Kalos that lets her achieve unearned status and oppurtunity. Everyone else has to work hard for the little time they get on stage while Sora walks in off the street without even a rehearsal and gets stagetime. Despite this, she is able to get the respect and friendship of some of the troupe due to her hard work ethic and dedication. Mia and Anna, two of her fellow performers begin to realize that Kalos may have shown her special consideration due to her abilities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awwww February 15, 2005
This anime has some of the most beautiful artwork I have ever seen. The colors are amazing, the opening song is catchy, and the style is great. It's also very good natured and clean cut; the only pervert is the Phantom of the Stage, and he makes you laugh, not cringe. The potential love interest, Ken, is genuinely sweet and kind, there is a kindly policeman who pops up at just the right moments, and the "bad" characters are only bad because they are harsh to the protagonist,Sora, not because of any unforgivable offenses on their part. The plot is somewhat predictable, requiring minimal brain activity, but the show does not become boring. A sincere, smile-provoking DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very cute series, though maybe too cute for some. December 25, 2004
This is a very cute anime series. It is about a girl named Sora, who travels from Japan to America to live out her dream of being a performer in the famous Kaleido Stage!

The thing that stands out to me the most in this series is the art and animation. All the scenes are brightly colored, and the performances are amazing. Also, the characters are fun, each with their own unique personality and strange habits and quirks.

The story itslef is the only thing really keeping this series from getting 5 stars, in my opinion. On a whole it's wonderful, but the individual episodes sometimes end up feeling very much like a soap opera. Fans of dramatic shows or action might be put off by just how cute this show is.

Art: 9/10 Animation: 8/10 Story: 7/10 Characters: 8/10 Overall: 8/10 Trying to get a friend or family member into anime? This might be good for people who enjoy Cirque du Solei type shows. Swearing, violence, and sex are virtually nowhere, so this would be okay for kids ages 8 and up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
The case looked new and the DVD looked like it was brand new..
Sora Naegino, a young Japanese girl with a great talent for acrobatics, comes to the United States in hopes of... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Danielia Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, cute, not just for girls Anime.
This is one of my favorite Anime's. I've read alot of negative reviews on this and I think those people are just nit-picking. Okay, Ken's voice is a little odd. Read more
Published on January 17, 2005 by Mother to Angels
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Show but Mediocre English Dub
Kaleido Star has a very engaging storyline that spans through 51 episodes without any filler episodes. Read more
Published on July 19, 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars CUTE!!!!!
This DVD was so cute! It's about Sora Naegino wanting to become a star at the Kaleido Stage. The first day she arrives, she twists a little girl's arm and has to take her place! Read more
Published on June 14, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaleido Star!!!!!!
I saw the first episode via a demo disc in Newtype USA. I thought it would be cheezy, but it turned out to be very well animated. Read more
Published on June 14, 2004 by "psycheceltic"
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaleido 5 STARS
THis is a great anime. I saw the first episode in the May issue of NEWTYPE. Sora Naegino first saw a Kaliedo Stage Performance with her parents when she was young and from then... Read more
Published on May 21, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST ANIME EVER!!
This is a really cute anime about a girl who wants to join the circus! It has romance, comedy, and awesome animation!
Published on May 8, 2004 by "otaku_tigger"
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