Man, Kiba is such an awesome show. And I think it's so awesome because while it takes common themes and stories, it does them in a completely different manner.
Take the Joust, for example (what, episodes 4-8 or so?). Yeah, the main character wants to fight in it. But, in a normal shounen action show, what would the reason be? To prove his strength? To show off? Just to get to beat someone up? Nope. Zedd wants to fight to test his strength, to find out how strong he really is.
I mean, yeah, the show has its share of clichés, but it uses them in a way that's new and interesting.
Of course, given the clichés it's applied so far, I am not looking forward to Zedd and Noa's reunion...