Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 8, 2005 to Sep 30, 2005
23 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.531 (scored by 17496 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action drama mystery supernatural
SynopsisTen years after the Bubble War, the dichotomy between the rich and the poor in the world becomes more prominent and Japan is no exception. The rich seek to satisfy their desires and derive pleasure for themselves, and Tokyo has materialized into such a city as a result. Saiga, once a war photographer, works for Hibara Ginza in the capitalist state of Tokyo. He infiltrates the Roppongi Club, a secretive base located in the red light district of the city, to collect information about them. However, he was caught in the process and brought forward to a girl called Kagura who was in the midst of a ritual. His contact with Kagura awakens his special ability: the power to make things explode when photographed. In order to unravel the mystery behind the Roppongi Club and Kagura, Saiga begins his solitary battle.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Speed Grapher
Characters & Voice Actors
No matter which site or forum I go to I see very mixed reviews for this show, Speed Grapher. And it's usually because the show looks good and dark and gritty but then it's disliked because it's not as action packed as___ “insert your favorite anime here.” So based on that I think a good review should point this out. It should also state that if you want an anime that's good and dark and gritty but is also character driven and therefore will dedicate a few episodes to building and defining the characters' personalities, then you will like this show....if you want a show that's gritty and dark but has low character development and more shootings and bigger explosions then watch, Black Lagoon.
The animation is very good....it's by Gonzo [I'm actually starting to remember these company names]. Gonzo is the company that did "Last Exile", which had very awesome art and animation, so Gonzo is a good company to base your art/anime standards by. Speed Grapher is very dark and gritty. Even grittier than Black Lagoon because there was really nothing that seedy about Black Lagoon. Black Lagoon tried to make their town [what was it....Roanapour?] seem so bad ass and dirty, but the art style contradicted that image they were trying to portray, it was too clean, too slick and polished. With Speed Grapher, you got the true sense of being in those respective environments; in the fancy mansions you felt it was fancy and high-class, in the seedy parts of town you got that feeling, seeing the trash and hookers and stuff. Also as I said earlier the animation was excellent, good fight scenes, no corners were cut and no looping.
The OP, well I never really liked Duran Duran, hmmmm OK well maybe except for the song they did for the James Bond movie also I liked “The Reflex” but I didn't go wild for this song “Girls on Film” it's just not my thing. But you gotta respect any anime that's willing to make that their OP. The ED songs were forgettable even if the art was nice. The Japanese voice cast did a good job [I don't think the Japanese have ever really done a bad job....except for Inuyasha's voice, where the US voice was waaay better!]
OK so this is where it's crucial in the review, and this is where I diverge from the reviewers that didn't like the show or at least the story part. Because I really was impressed by this story. Like I had said in the animation part, this story is gritty! It gives you are real no-holds-barred account of how truly seedy and disgusting is the underbelly of the world's richest top 2%! Well at least within the fictionalized world of Speed Grapher. And you see the sleaze up close and personal, right down to the funky drool and the raunchy sex-orgies. This story depicts just how the real world works, that those in power feel then can do just about anything....that since they MAKE the laws, they are ABOVE the law. Sure a lot of things in the story are make-believe fantasy and science fiction but make no mistake that the very core of this story carries a kernel of truth! Political rants aside, will also be entertained [again as I said in the first part, you have to love character-based anime] by the various inter-relationships and dynamics between the characters as well as character development episodes, that lets you know some of the good guys aren't so good and some of the bad guys aren't so bad.
I have to say the bad guy, Chouji, stole the show for me! He was tall with long hair, sleek and impeccably dressed....oh and he has a kick-ass power! No doubt in my mind he's merciless, just for the simple fact that he allowed or even orchestrated Kagura to be subjected to all of that sick shit so I can't say I condone his behavior or even understand him on a moral level. He's simply on my radar because he scored high points when it came to the coolness factor. The main guy, Saiga, is an alright guy. I mean he has no 'razzle dazzle' qualities or anything, but he's cool. I guess you would have to look at it from the story point of view, he's supposed to be a normal citizen, he's not rich or anything....even though he's considered high-profile. Also he's supposed to be a bit on the older side and has been though a couple of wars and has seen and experienced a lot of hardcore shit so it wouldn't seem right for him to be this young fetchingly hot bishounen—right? Kagura, is the princess—or in this case goddess—so there really is no need to talk about her, she's cute she skinny and beautiful with long locks. OK, the last person worth mentioning is the blond chic with the gun. I think she's cool, she became a little bit scary and obsessive for a while......and I wasn't feeling that whole 'let's rape an unconscious dude thing' I don't care if he's your man—it's creepy! OK there are some gay dudes in this show that were not only there to be funny but were actually kind of vital to the plot.
Worth it or NOT?
This is a keeper. I would recommend this to people because it is more on the 'hardcore' side of anime, lots of sex and blood. I wouldn't consider this one of the anime greats but it is cool, intelligent and picks up the pace when it needs to. I can see my self re-watching this. read more
Speed Grapher embodies the spirit of "close but no cigar" unlike any other anime I have seen. The show makes honest attempts at greatness, but it practically feels like various people throughout the creative/production process just said "fuck it" and decided to ship out an unpolished product. That said, there are moments when Speed Grapher truly shines, and are not to be overlooked.
The story centers around Saiga, a photojournalist who made his big name doing war photography. When on an assignment as a detective, he discovers an underground club where the rich and powerful indulge in hedonism and depravity. He ends up in the center of a seemingly occult ritual in which a beautiful girl who the club patrons only refer to as 'Goddess' kisses him, and his life changed forever.
Using his new-found ability to make things that he takes pictures of explode, he escapes with the Goddess, and swears to save her, get to the bottom of this, and understand his new powers.
It is from this jumping point that the show starts to try and offer social commentary, to varying degrees of effectiveness. We quickly learn that the basis of these superpowers is that they have their roots in their wielder's innermost desires i.e. their fetish. This concept alone is plenty interesting, they way that the series handles the wielders of these powers (referred to as 'Euphorics') could have been better. Around every two episodes or so we get introduced to a new Baddie of the Week who does something repulsive in their first scene. They get called on to take down the protagonist, wherein we see that their Euphoric powers are tied to the repulsive thing that they did earlier, possibly as they rant elatedly about their fetish.
When combined with the antagonists' speeches on how Euphoric powers are meant to be enjoyed and that to refuse to revel in them is foolish, the takeaway message from it all seems to be 'Sex Is Evil', or at least when wallowed in to the point of having it define your life. By the end of the series, commentary has turned more to the likes of 'wealth and power corrupt absolutely', which is reiterated at every point possible to the point of losing all sapience.
Perhaps the best thing about the series is its primary antagonist, who I will avoid filling in too many details about in the name of avoiding spoilers. However, one thing that I will say was that I found discovering this character's backstory and filling in all the character development that drove them to their current path to be the most interesting and well-thought-out part of the anime. Even this was not flawless in it's execution, as the final step in the antagonist's plan doesn't make sense and would almost be counterproductive to their primary motivation-- but this short-falling doesn't seem to stem from the character's character so much as from sub-par writing, almost as though the writing team couldn't come up with a better conclusion that would still be dramatic.
Which brings me to another major issue with the production-- the animation quality. While some scenes and backgrounds are beautiful, it is easy to tell where the budget went in any given episode. For every fluidly-rendered fight scene there are three scenes of conversations between off-model faces, lazy foreshortening, and bad collisions. In stark contrast to many other Gonzo works, such as Gankutsuou and Last Exile, Speed Grapher is anything but eye candy.
All that negativity aside, I rate Speed Grapher as a solid 7/10 because even for all the flaws it was still an enjoyable and compelling watch. read more
Both shows contain a somewhat "dark" atmosphere with a lighter tone appearing now and then. Each has a "secret" organization that rules the city. Each also has a sort of "special power gene" that only certain humans can obtain. This gives the characters in both series new skills and abilities. With interesting plot lines, both of these will keep you glued to your chair.
In both shows, certain individuals have unique super-powers thanks to a recent phenomenon. In Darker than Black, you have factions of these people up against one another. In Speed Grapher, it's one man against everyone else, a more exciting setup IMO. Also, the characters in Speed Grapher are less opaque than those in Darker than Black where the mystery usually takes precedence over the story, leaving so much unexplained that the show gets tedious.
Similar theme, atmosphere, metaphysics governing supernatural powers, story progression and pacing. Both shows take place primarily in a "dark" city controlled by the underground where the main character fights against an omnipresent shadow-organization, filled with various goons who've derived powers based on their character flaws, in order to protect the freedom of a sheltered girl. The theme of science causing god complex is central to either story. The music used in both also strikes me as similar in style, composition and atmospheric use within the anime.
yeah, very much alike but the Grapher is waaaaaay better in story and character developement than DTB
preffer the Grapher much more...
supernatural, action - more psychology, detective and ACTION
Both anime contain a dark atmosphere and have a secret organization to unmask. A few people have a "strange virus" that can be activated and can give to them strange powers. Both do no have a foregone conclusion.
Black Lagoon and Speed Grapher are both similar shows. Both are action packed and suspensefull. Both have blood, gore, violence, death, and sexual things going on(more sexual things in "Speed Grapher") . Both can get really dark, and still punch in a great joke here and there, but not get silly. Both shows have gun fights (more in Black lagoon) that may ask you to suspend your belief a little bit (but this is good from time to time). Both also involve "different" types of fight scenes we are not used to seeing in anime. For example in "Speed Grapher" we get a guy who can make a camera kill people vs. a guy who's skin is like rubber. In "Black Lagoon" we get a speed boat vs. a helicopter!! Both shows seem "realistic" and put Hollywood to shame. As Revy from " Black Lagoon" says "Don't be stupid, this is way more entertaining than Hollywood's ever gonna be." or as Ginza from "Speed Grapher" says "Don't make me self defense you too!"
Mature, kickass, adult-only anime that have many elements in common.
Both are filled with action, violence, fights, blood, mafia, corruption, money, cigarettes, and the same "nobody is the good guy" feeling.
A sexy, badass gunslinger woman and crazy characters are also included.
Speed Grapher also involves sex and super powers, while Black Lagoon has hilarious black comedy in it.
Both animes made me feel that I was watching a mature anime for adults (violence, death, mafia, drugs, sex, etc.)
These series are both the same kind of anime in many ways. There are gunfights, good action, and blood is flying around. Also there are some sexy girls in these anime too who fights with guns. Speed Grapher has also supernatural powers included.
Black Lagoon and Speed Grapher both deal with more dark and gritty parts of both humans and society, I think Speed Grapher is a little deeper in content but they are both very good.
Opening Theme"Girls on Film" by Duran Duran
"Shutter Speed" by Shinkichi Mitsumune [U.S. Version]
Ending Theme#1: "Hinageshi no Oka (Hill of Poppies)" by Shione Yukawa (eps 1-12)
#2: "Break the Cocoon" By Yoriko (eps 13-24)
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Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Hokkaido [Hokkaido] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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