Yomiko Readman will probably be the cutest bookworm you will ever see. Obsessed with the philosiphy "reading first, hygine second" The viewers will be fully immersed in the life of cute but unkempt Yomiko. In this world, books are the prized posession of the world. Books are so precious, there is a world organized task force designed in protecting these books from 'the bad guys. You'll be imersed in crazy steampunk/fantacy/etc vs magic conflicts and edge of your seat madness through the eyes of Ms. Readman.
The story itself is very farfetched and out of this world, but its a story that everyone should experience at
leat once. Reality may be limited as paper can stop bullets or take down giant insects, but the cute and clumsy Yomiko and her friends will keep you watching with great intent. Being a three episode ova, there is little back story to all what is happening and it leaves the backstory up to its viewers imagination. Which is fine because all that leaves room for is high quality action only an anime can portray.
When I mean high quality action I mean high framerate action sequences coupled with great coreagraphy and amazing attention to detail. Things like paper sticking to a hand or scouring an old bookstore littered with books and dust really show how much hatd work and effort it took the artists to make such amazing detail come to life. Nothing impresses me more than attention to detail esepecially in rooms/buildings. On top of the OVA quality artwork, this show just oozes cool from the James Bond-esque themesong and sexy girl credits to the crazy steampunk gadgets and flashy magic spells, its a pure sensory overload for me.
Speaking of sensory overload, the female supporting cast were quite an eyeful. All of them were either beautiful or cute, very easy on the eyes. And for the girls, the guys are all quite burly military men in stature and can give up quite a good fight. The enemies, on the other hand, are pretty outrageous incarnations of storytime characters (Genjo anyone?) Crazy badguys do lend themselves quite easy to some fun and crazy battles. Not much can be salvaged in terms of backstory information for most of the characters, but the chemistry between all the support characters and Yomiko are quite believeable in an anime sort of way.
Not much can be said in terms of negative aspects other than sloppy animations and some silly situations, but the overall experience is just too fun if you're really into the fantasy action genre. Don't get me wrong, its not the greatest OVA of all time but it is well worth your time (read: Good). If you're a sucker for a glasses-moe like I am (think Yuki Nagato or Miyuki Takara), you'll love this show. And if you love this show, I'm sure you'll love the R.O.D. TV series.
I have been meaning to watch this show for ages. Now that I've seen it, I'm wondering what the hell exactly took me so long to get around to this. It's a fusion of some of my favorite elements--steampunk, books, history, music, and espionage. Yomiko is an absolutely adorable character, and her personality is well-established the moment you get a look at her house. The characterization for the rest of the cast is excellent as well. The artwork is lush and gorgeous, and the action sequences flow beautifully and intuitively. As a bibliophile and history buff myself, the inclusion of various random intellectual figures as
villains was a nice touch. Though Beethoven gets no speaking lines, seeing him pound away at the keyboard with his archetypal wild hair made me far giddier than it should have.
I cannot recommend this show highly enough. It is well-worth your hour and a half.
I found it amusing how much the US president looks like Dubbya, and how much of an absolute trigger-happy pussy he is. He wets his pants at least three times when things get tough, and at one point he flips out and instead of proceeding calmly through a tight spot, tries to pound the 'nuke them all' button. Political commentary much? You must recall this vintage 2001, a very familiar year in his political history.
The Read or Die series is one of those series that I wanted to check out because it gave me the James bond vibe when I saw the trailer. After that, I decided to blind buy the series which I went on Cex website to see if the OVA and the TV series of Read or Die are available in a local Cex store in London. Lucky for me it was available in my local Cex which also had a lot of bizarre anime in it. After that, I decided to pop in my local Cex store and picked up the whole series of Read
or Die that contained the OVA and the TV series. Then on the weekend, I decided to marathon the whole series and in ended up loving the series. This review will focus on the OVA series as the TV series will get its own review.
Story and Characters.
The story of Read or Die follows a nerdy girl named Yomiko Readman who is obsessed with books. As an Agent Paper she works for a secret branch of the British Library, where she has the power to telekinetically control paper so she can project the world from evil but in reality, she just wants to read her new book. Unfortunately, it has been stolen by the I-Jin, clones of the historical figures who believe Yomiko new book holds the key to unlocking Beethoven’s lost Death Symphony. When anyone hears the tune would be forced to commit suicide and the I-Jin intend to broadcast it all over the world. Now Yomiko along with her fellow super agents Drake and Miss Deep must stop I-gin plans of destruction before it’s too late.
The story of Read or Die is honestly the weakest part of Read or Die. Don’t get me wrong it was nice for what it despite the ova being only 3 episodes long and it was fun overall plot but at the same time, the ova sadly didn’t have enough time to properly explain the story to the viewer meaning that ova, especially in certain story elements, kinda stumbles quite a bit. Thankfully the ova isn’t boring at all as it remains to be an entertaining ride from start to finish thanks to being well paced.
When it comes to the characters for Read Or Die I thought they were pretty solid overall despite most of them being sadly forgetful due to lack of screen-time.
Yomiko is a great and unique female protagonist. She is a friendly, and upbeat person who is completely obsessed to a point where she will do anything to get a book especially the ones that she’s currently reading as seen from the first episode of the OVA.
Nancy is a pretty great character as well. She may start off as this cold and focus individual but as the ova progresses she starts to open up to Yomiko where they become good friends.
The rest of the characters, on the other hand, are pretty forgetful. They aren’t bad characters by any means necessary but they were clearly not as memorable as the two females of the show.
While the story itself was unfortunately thrown away in the away side the character development as the chemistry and interactions completely make it up to a point where for the most part completely negate the weak story.
For an OVA that came out in the early 2000s, I thought the visuals were pretty good.
The character designs, for the most part, are pretty solid especially Yomiko who is by far the best-looking character in the show.
As for the actual animation itself, I thought it was very good. The action scenes are smooth, fluent and well animated to the core.
The one thing that I liked about the OVA is how it was able to showcase the character abilities as well as how they react to set power during fights. This alone adds more dimension and tension to the fights as they all fun and intriguing.
The music in Read or Die is fantastic and well directed.
Every single track especially the iconic read or die theme which is by far one of my favourite tracks in action anime. The song magically gave that James Bond vibe every time the track gets played.
This is one of the few series that I have not touched the original Japanese audio so I cannot comment about it. The English Dub was pretty good overall. Kimberly Yates did a pretty great job of voicing the charming Yomiko. The rest of the actors did a good job on the roles that were given.
Read or Die is a pretty great OVA. Sure the story may not be it’s the strongest point but the OVA completely makes it up for having a strong and likeable female lead, brilliant character chemistry, great animation and a kick-ass soundtrack. If you're looking for a good short action flick that has a strong and likeable protagonist than I point you towards this show. Read or Die OVA is a perfect of how two great females leads can carry a story is on the away side and I like it that way.
I have been looking into this series for some time now because to me, it seem like a fresh idea that’s waiting to be made into an anime OVA (and yes, I know it’s based on their light novels and manga, too.) with it having these super-secret spy/James Bond-type tone as it shows throughout the whole course. This could be one of those anime that has the cool factor going for it, much like Shinichiro Watanabe’s anime (you should know what he directed by now.), but hopefully it’s not just the cool factor that keeps it entertaining. How well I know? Well, let the review
Nerdy Yomiko Readman is obsessed with books. As "Agent Paper," she works for a secret branch of the British Library, where her power to telekinetically control paper helps her on missions to retrieve rare manuscripts and protect the world from evil. But all Yomiko really wants to do is read her new book. Unfortunately it has been stolen by the I-gin, clones of historical figures who believe Yomiko's book holds the key to unlocking Beethoven's lost "Death Symphony." Anyone who hears the tune is compelled to commit suicide, and the I-gin intends to broadcast it all over the world. Only Yomiko, along with fellow super agents Drake and Miss Deep, has a chance at stopping them.
OK, I’m just going to say this……I had fun with this anime and as much as the plot doesn’t go that deep, but then again, it is a three episode OVA clocking in at 96 minutes. The plot may seem silly and nonsensical to most people, but it isn’t too distant from reality, it’s not like “GAINAX!! OMG!! CRAZY SHIT!!” type of nonsensical; it’s much like a good action film, whose purpose is to entertain us with how unreal it is without being bored and easily distracting itself from its plot. I will say that using paper as weapons more powerful than they appear are a plus in my book, because after seeing that, I imagine somebody challenging someone to a gunfight and someone made a drawing of a gun and then it came in paper form and it did the job of a regular one, but more deadlier.
Characters in here are a delight to watch as I really love the main character of Yukiko Readman or “The Paper”, as she is called here to be equally adorable as a nerdy bookworm character and capable of her being in a fight, especially that part, and considering not many of those exist in much anime….at least the ones I watch. There’s also Nancy Mukahari (or Miss Deep, which does sound a porno name…..and yes, even in the OVA, they reference that.), the token bad-ass female character with a shady past and Drake Anderson, the lone male member of the team. The dynamic budding relationship between Yomiko and Nancy is actually the only thing I see in character development and progression. Some of the other characters like Joker (not the one you’re thinking), Drake, and the other super villains don’t really stay in our heads and some are just unimaginative characters like Joker is stereotypically posh and English and Drake is the no-nonsense American soldier. They are fine characters just nobody I would give a shit about.
Studio DEEN’s print is on the animation here and knowing their reputation of shows, the animation is solid for most parts here, as I often see a few hiccups even during the paper manipulating scenes. I wouldn’t count it as vintage, maybe even for it being 11-12 years old since its release in 2001 or ’02. I did like the opening theme and sequence of the show, as I’ve said; it brought out this James Bond / superspy tone that fits perfectly into the OVA.
The dub by Manga Entertainment is a fine dub with some good performances with Kimberly Yates, a relatively unknown voice actress, did capture the kindness and bookworm’s attitude of Yukiko. Amanda Winn-Lee, who also directed the dub, was good as Nancy, delivering in the deadpan humor within the character and of course, Crispin Freeman playing the not-so-subtle Joker and you can tell he was hamming it up and having fun in his role.
FINAL VERDICT: You can check it this OVA. It may not go deep within the plot that much but as you watch it, you start to not care that much, that is if you’re enjoying it but if you didn’t, then I shouldn’t recommend it to you. For those you have liked it, the series is available to get, although you might have to pay some high prices and something else to go with it…….but we’ll get to that later.’
Yomiko Readman is an innocent looking girl who has an obsession with collecting and reading books. Her entire check goes into her hobby. After coming into a book, she's soon under attack by a man with a strange ability. She learns that the particular book she just purchased is necessary for an organization's plan. Readman also works for the British Library Special Operations Division under the alias Agent Paper, and her mission is to learn why this outfit is after the book. -summary
For reasons I do understand, R.O.D. is recognized as a popular anime title, and it was so well received that it spawned
a 26 episode series. Despite the claims to fame this is one title that never truly vibed with me. It doesn't get the least bit better over time, instead it does get worse and I see myself never watching it again.
The plot follows Agent Paper and a second woman code named Agent Deep, as they try to reclaim the book when it's eventually taken from Paper. This leads the two into a gauntlet against multiple enemies with bizarre powers, whom happen to be clones of famous individuals such as the samurai Hiraga Gennai, French Entomologist Jean Henri Fabre, and even Ludwig Von Beethoven himself. The anime features quite a bit of historical content, and it's heavily influenced by American superhero comics. Agent Deep has the ability to phase through objects, which is the exact same power of Kitty Pryde aka Shadow Cat of the X-Men, while Agent Paper has the ability to manipulate paper and use it for combat, by either turning it into solid objects for weapons, create shields, or even a vehicle. This large amount of creativity here is the only interesting thing about this character, as it does create some pretty cool action segments.
Now speaking of the action, this is where the anime shines. The animation is pretty fluid with minimum jumpiness during the quick paced battle segments, and the choreography during the hand to hand fights are also nice. The backgrounds are very pretty and they mesh well with the CG and 2D animation. There are some very pretty landscapes and artwork of New York City and even the White House. I can't say I liked the music, especially the Mission Impossible-ish opening instrumental featuring that jazzy theme canon with secret agent type movies. However, it is fitting for the anime.
The plot is your standard good vs. evil, with the stock bad guy seeking to plunge the world into destruction, and here lies some of the problem. Outside of how the bad guy wants to pull off his plan, it's way too cookie-cutter, predictable, and the characters have very little depth. I didn't care for anyone in this title, and this especially goes for Agent Paper who came off way too annoying for me. It wasn't only the voice acting for both languages, but it was her personality and how the character was just written. There are also issues with the writing when concerning her abilities. It's unable to tell how exactly her powers work, and it appears things happen only when it's convenient for the script. One thing I cannot stand are power level inconsistencies.
Read or Die is something that will no doubt appeal to the action crowd. I may have enjoyed it more had I been able to buy into the characters and their interactions along with the story, but for some reason it feels as if it was a vehicle only to show off the visuals, which are very pretty I must admit. The fan service is mildly present via bouncing breast, and the gore is also pretty tame. Still, this is a title I do recommend, because at least it looks pretty while doing what it's suppose to do and that's entertain.
Highs: Visuals, Some creativity
Lows: Stock bad guys, cliché characters, writing issues
Ever since Cowboy Bebop there have been countless anime that rely on the "rule of cool" to win over audiences, favoring spectacle over plot. However, few anime do this better than R.O.D OVA. It is a stylish, exhilarating, and action-packed super powered romp with some of the most creative fights in an anime. Of course, the plot is pretty ludicrous, but this does little to diminish the shows enjoyability.
Yomiko Readman is a substitute teacher and devoted bookworm, who spends most of her income on books. She also is an agent for the British Library special operations, with the physics defying ability to manipulate paper (which
she can use to block bullets and cut through metal). After someone attempts to steal her newly purchased book, Yomiko is informed by the Library that the book is part of a sinister plot. She is then assigned the mission of retrieving the other volumes before the I-gen, super powered reincarnations of historical figures. She is accompanied by fellow agents Nancy Makahari (a.k.a Ms. Deep) who can phase through objects, and Drake Anderson.
Despite how ridiculous the summery above sounds, the plot actually has quite a bit going for it. While it is quite silly, it has a superhero novelty to it. It is a fun action adventure that leaves a lot of room for cool fights, which it has no shortage of. It also leaves enough room for some plot twists and character development. Considering it is only three episodes long, this OVA uses its time quite well and delivers an overall rewarding experience.
All of the characters here are a delight to watch. Yomiko is the cutest bookworm you will ever see. Naive and somewhat inept when it comes to anything other than books, she is the most pure hearted of the lot. Despite her appearance, she is resourceful and quite good in a fight. Nancy on the other hand, comes off as an experienced woman with a few skeletons in her closet. At first she wants to keep her relationship with Yomiko strictly professional, however befriends her later. Yomiko and Nancy's friendship is the highpoint of the OVA's character development and depth. The rest of the characters mostly serve as plot devices, however, none come off as uninteresting. From the egotistical reincarnation of Otto Lilienthal to Joker, the calm director of the Library, all the characters have distinctive personalities. Of course, this is not where the series really shines.
Where this anime does shine brightest is its technical merits. The character designs and backgrounds here are incredible. Each character is distinctive and unmistakable, especially the adorable Yomiko and voluptuous Nancy. Likewise, the backgrounds are marvelously detailed and feel like real locations, it's almost a shame that they are not further explored. The animation is just as spectacular, doing justice to the characters superpowers in eye-popping fights. The music doesn't differ too much from other action adventures, however, it is still well composed and and used effectively.
The R.O.D OVA is an explosive experience. Its visuals are mind-blowing, even putting more recent anime to shame. It has a very likable cast of characters, both heroes and villains; and a good, if incredibly far-fetched, plot. While it does not have much in terms of depth, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining anime. Watch it.
The story isn't too complex. An organisation dedicated to protecting rare books sends operatives to America in order to investigate an attack on the Library of Congress and the destruction of the Whitehouse. They quickly learn that the attack was carried out by super powered clones of historical figures who are trying to get a rare book owned by one of the organisation's operatives, Yomiko Readman.It is every bit as awesome as it sounds. The story is very imaginative and it has lots of twists and turns that keep things interesting. Kurata Hideyuki took full advantage of the limited length by making every single event
important to the story, making the whole story very tight and fast-paced without making the whole thing feel rushed or incomplete. The whole story is also accompanied by an underlying theme of reading that never feels obtrusive or like it's being shoved in your face, proving that these kinds of themes don't have to be sanctimonious or annoying.
The characters are three dimensional and very well fleshed out. I especially like Yomiko's character, although that could be partially because she's one of the few characters who has a larger personal library than I do. I'm joking, she's just a really well developed character. She kicks ass and has awesome moments, but she's also very human and vulnerable, which makes her a very relatable character. Nancy and Drake are also very well written characters. My one problem with this aspect of the series is that the antagonist is a little two dimensional, but even he has several interesting aspects to his character.
The art is very nice. The fight scenes are very creative and flow very well. The character designs fit the characters perfectly. The backgrounds are nice and detailed. I wouldn't expect anything less from the studio responsible for Maria Sama ga Miteru and Samurai Deeper Kyo.
The voice work is very well done and the sound fits the epicness set by the rest of the aspects in the OVA. Neya Michiko and Miura Rieko both do exceptionally well. I kind of wonder why Miura desn't have more voice acting credits aside from just Yomiko, but I'm sure she has her reasons.
The relationship dynamic between Nancy and Yomiko is extremely homoerotic. They never do anything explicit, but I'm giving them a yuri factor of 7/10 for subtext so blatant it's almost canon.
My final rating for R.O.D. the OVA is a 10/10. It's as close to perfection as it could possibly be. If you're a fan of Witch Hunter Robin or Le Chevalier Deon you'll probably enjoy this thoroughly. The action is solid, the story is well constructed and it has a pretty high cute factor too.
"Read or Die" might sound like some bizarre comedy show about over zealous parents trying to encourage their children to read more books instead of playing games/watch anime all day long, but in actual fact it's nothing like that. It's more like an anime version of X-Men (update: well, back when I originally wrote this review, this seemed like a good comparison, but now that there ACTUALLY IS an anime version of X-Men, this comparison is making me look like an ignorant n00b... but it amuses me to leave it in anyway :p). It's one of those shows that, category by category wise, seems to
have most of the indegredients of a great show, but somehow ends up being significantly less than the sum of its parts.
I watched this set of OVA's twice. The first time was soon after I was suffering from withdraw symptoms, having just finished watching one of my favourite series of all time ("Seikai no Senki II" )... and I found "Read of Die" to be rather boring. But suspecting that this is mostly due to bad timing, I decided to watch it again many years later, and though I did enjoy it more second time round, I still found it to be a little underwhelming.
I think the main problem is that I didn't find it easy to get into it. Even though the premises is interest enough, there are no infectious characters in the cast. It beggars belief that the main heroine, The Paper, being such a ditzy character, can be a secret agent - I can't see how they can entrust anything of importance to someone like her.
There are other things that doesn't make sense, like how "The Paper" can fight so well when she doesn't seem to have had any training, and how characters managed to escape from certain death situations etc. Quite a lot of the small details of the story like that are glossed over. However, the show got a lot stronger towards the end, throwing up some good plot twists. I was even starting to feel less detached to the characters.
In the end though, it just wasn't quite enough. With its fantastic visuals, good if not great music (opening theme is slightly reminiscent the opening of "Cowboy Bebop") and interesting plot points, "Read or Die" is a pretty good all round package... but it just seems to be missing a certain something that makes the whole thing tick.
Read or Die, motherfucker. Despite the title this ultimatum has nothing to do with the show. Though main character Tomiko Readman redefines the term "bookworm" with her life obsession of reading, putting even hygiene second to her constant hobby. But reading can't pay the bills - but it can at least meet the check halfway. Tomiko has the supernatural power to control any paper and make it nifty tools or sharp weapons. And with this ability Tomiko works for the British Library Special Operations Division with code name "The Paper". Unfortunately for Tomiko, her eyed book is a rare item under the pursuit of the
I-Jin, an evil organization comprised of historical figure clones who also possess special powers. It's up to Tomiko and her agent partner Nancy "Miss Deep" Makuhari to protect the book and stop the I-Jin's plans with the cooperation of the rest of the BLSOD.
I was surprised upon starting R.O.D. that it was an OVA released from 2001 to 2002. By the early 2000s the tail end of the OVA boom could be seen going out the door. The OVA is potentially my favorite anime format, with flexible production schedules to help ensure better production values and a high final quality that usually trounces TV series, while being more digestible and financially possible than feature-length movies. It's also been an outlet throughout the years to animate niche stories that wouldn't have much broadcasting pull, and even by 2001 R.O.D. has that eccentricity to its concept to confirm that.
Speaking of OVAs, the thing I was instantly reminded of upon starting Read or Die is the 1992 OVA, Giant Robo The Animation: The Day the Earth Stood Still. Both feature a light lampooning of secret defense organizations and terrorist super groups, while combining elements of Japanese superheroes with a wide cast of inexplicably superpowered humans. They also both have a mix of the dramatic, comic, and theatric, going for wide-scaled set pieces. At their hearts they're also both powerful action epics, while Giant Robo has the space to have more impactful drama and characterization. The comparisons end here, but they also made me realize some ways in which R.O.D. didn't measure up.
For starters, the most shocking thing about R.O.D. compared to what I initially expected was the production values. They're surprisingly mild in quality. While the animation is consistently fluid, the background, character detail, and coloring leaves a lot to be desired. The latter three categories are more akin to a TV series typical of this era, which isn't good. The eventful presentation the OVA usually has with its strong production is not really there, and R.O.D. unfortunately feels like longer TV episodes than something special. The fights are entertaining enough to watch, but lack that "wow" factor that might've come with cleverer use of the wide range of abilities in the attack strategies. All highlights that come to mind involve Nancy's ability to phase through objects at will, which lends itself to some mind-bending choreography at its best and cool posturing at all other times (a common attitude in this OVA that serves it well).
The narrative is also nothing too special. It didn't really set out to be, and chose not to dilute focus from its action, but a particular spot I feel has wasted potential is Tomiko's love of books and her clashing with historical figures. I thought for sure, since she recognized them, that she'd further show off her knowledge of their works, personalities, etc. and perhaps give her some dialogue with the otherwise wasted identities of the villains. Sadly, their presences are in name only, and Tomiko's defining character trait isn't really put to much use. R.O.D. is simple throughout. Fun, but it needed some extra intelligence in its execution somewhere. I'd give this one a light recommendation, and would again like to push the Giant Robo OVA on existing fans or those looking for an action epic who haven't seen either yet.
R.O.D is a three episode OVA which is received two TV series, one coming out in the sometime in the near future? Hoping 2017. Yomiko Readman is the biggest bookworm to date, and secret agent name 'Papermaster' that works for British Library secret agency.
The series starts off Yomiko purchasing multiple books leaving her pennies less. After not being able to purchase a certain book, Yomiko ask for it on a loan. The title of the book is “Immortal Beloved” after leaving the bookstore, out of the blue the city is bombarded with by a swarm of bees. Eventually they are dispersed only have
enormous grasshopper follow from behind. Jean Hernri Fabre is the man seeing riding the horse life grasshopper. It was claimed Jean was long dead in a report. Spotting Yomiko and her book, Jean steals it wanting for a particular reason. However, after a mine scuffle Yomiko is able to retrieve her book.
Joseph Carpenter arrives to the scene seeing the catastrophe and mess at hand. Joseph is Leader of British Libray secret agency. He sends Yomiko on mission to the library their organization duty is collect and retrieve rare books. It’s at this location Yomoko meets Nancy Makuhari “Miss deep”, her ability is to pass through solid objects. It’s after the two meet that their adventure and friendship begins.
Animation is pretty solid for it being a much older anime, releasing in 2001. Very nice and crispy flowing seemingly, not a huge drop of quality. The music is also fitting to the to their secret agency, and the opening with a spy feel to it. I believe the English dub excelled at doing an amazing job. The characters are really plain but there isn’t that much time to give them time to develop or expand on.
Overall all I say give this one watch if you feel looking back memory lane or hoping to catch a glimpse at what the new series might be. The way Yomiko uses her paper ability is all there more intriguing and creative on how it’s implement in the anime. It’s a smart, fun, and action packed, miniseries with a lovable main lead Yomiko Readman the biggest bookworm to this day.
Of the animes created in the new millennium (after the year 2000) I have to say that R.O.D without a doubt is one of the most original and creative stories I have ever had the pleasure of gracing both my screen and eyes. I'd go as far to say that it should be considered one of the master pieces of our time (okay not that far but it's pretty good).
Story- Possibly the most unique storyline I have ever encountered combining the worlds of magic, history, politics, adventure and secret organizations (okay when you say it like that it doesn't sound that unique but once you
see the series and the odd way in which they express these principles you'll most definitely agree that it is unique). Basically we have a generally nerdy character who likes to read a lot, at first you think nothing special but then she reveals that she has special paper magic powers and is an agent for an organization which protects the world, if you want to calll what they do world saving at all. Her most recent task is to recover a book which contains Beethoven's "death symphony" from a group of clones of histories greatest thinkers and revolutionaries (history nerd present) who have no particular reason acquired super powers (can you possibly imagine that).
Art- There were certain things I did and did not like about the art. Since I'm feeling optimistic today I will say the thing I enjoyed about the art would have to be the amount of realism in the drawing style and backgrounds (which were drawn pretty well) but even more than that the outfit choices I know it seems wierd but the choices of outfits for each character was just incredibly well thought out.
Sound- I particularly liked the voice acting and sound effects in this series one thing I would have to be picky about would be the consistence of sound.
Characters- In order to appreciate the characters you really have to have a feel for history and for your slightly generic character types. I for one was overjoyed to think that Beethoven would create a symphony that would kill people upon listening, well commit suicide to be exact but it's still murder all the same.
Enjoyment- I actually enjoyed this OVA being a slight history nerd and all, but what really tied it together for me would have to be paper magic; as stupid as it sounds once I saw this aspect I knew I had to finish watching it because honestly I had never seen anything even close to it.
Read Or Die is a short, well made, unserious anime, with lots of action using supernatural powers. It's worth watching. Anime watching librarians might especially like it. Animation is sort of "older-style" but well done. Characterization is done fairly well, but with the number of characters and short length of the OVA, they can only be given so much depth.
This is something to consider the next time you want to watch an action anime, that isn't too serious, with unique action using supernatural powers and a somewhat "jazzy" style. However, I would not suggest watching it if you really hate engrish, as there's quite a
Upon first discovering this anime, I found it very intriguing. A bookworm girl who can manipulate paper into weapons and such, and villains conjuring up historic figures to take over the world. It sounded absurd, but that's why I was so interested.
Unfortunately, absurdity doesn't equal quality. The show, consisting of only three episodes, throws you in to the middle of a very absurd plot, where some "Ijin"s are trying to take over the world. Why? Well, I won't spoil it, but the reason is probably one of the dumbest reasons.
I think the main flaw of this short OVA is the lack of character development,
as well as constructing a cohesive plot. The viewer is thrown into the story, which escalates immediately, trying to emphasize the danger of a particular book. The problem is that we don't know why the book is important, nor why the villains want it until later. And when revealed why, the viewer is presented with two more questions: "How does that even make sense?" and "Why should I even care about what these people are doing?" Although throughout the show it expresses the impertinent danger of the situation, the situation is a bit confusing and lacks any emotion to make viewers even care.
It's very predictable, and the characters lack the depth needed to make this an enjoyable OVA. The actions scenes may be great, but since the characters and the story are only paper thin with details, this OVA falls flat.
R.O.D (Read or Die) OVA is something that should not be taken for granted! This OVA is actually adapted from a manga and then rendered into a movie in the early 2001 by the Studio Deen. I would love to compare this anime movie to any one of highly-acclaimed James Bond flicks. It has all the necessary elements; action, suspense, drama, intrigue and not forgetting, far-fetched idea to conquer the world. Even though the movie is only an hour and a half, it is packed with interesting characters with unique fighting powers and definitely a fresh concept. Hence, hands down, R.O.D OVA is sure to
please the fans and the non-fans. Kudos to the creator Hideyuki Kurata.
R.O.D is the story of an intelligence agency, based in the British Library (of all the places in the world!). This agency has sepecial agets and these agents are to protect the world from the I-jin. I-jin is a bunch of cloned people who have developed a way to conquer the world. Who exactly these I-jin people? How are they going to conquer the world? Well... it's really complicated. You really have to watch it to get better understanding. Seriously!
What I like most about this OVA is the portrayal of the protagonist. It is surely a breath of fresh air. YUMIKO READMAN or her codename The Paper is not like any other agents in most spy flicks. She is a bookish bibliomaniac (obsessed with books) and she appears to be meek and very child-like. Her alter-ego is being a substitute teacher. However, look can really be deceiving. She, apparently, is endowed with the power to control and manipulate paper and hence the code name.
As for NANCY MCHARRY (in some version it's MAKUHARI) she is a leather-clad femme fatale who personality is a total opposite of Readman's. Her codename is Ms. Deep as she can pass through any solid objects by absorbing herself. She says that she despises her codename, as it "makes her sounds like a porn star". She prefers to be addressed as Nancy. However, unbeknown to the agency and Readman, she is actually one of the I-jin's creations which then contributes to the twist of this OVA.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this to everybody who is craving for a thought-provoking and action-packed anime movie. It's a must watch!
Read or Die is, literally, a nice anime. It has all the elements necessary for an anime to be considered good, but it's artistic value is not that high to be considered memorable or a masterpiece. And that's exactly why it's such an enjoyable show: instead of trying to be legendary or gather a huge number of fans, it embraces it's simplicity and just tries to be a good action anime.
Read or Die is about an agent trying to stop some bad guys from killing everybody. It doesn't get any deeper than that, really. What makes the story interesting is the originality. For
starters, the main character is able to control paper and her alias is "The Paper". Oh, and did you think she is some sort of spy working for a secret agency? Not exacly, she works for a secret brech of the British Library. Yeah, the British Library.
The villains are I-Jin, clones of historical figures. So you should expect to see things such as Gennai Hiraga using a lightsaber, Jean Henri Fabre controlling insects and Beethoven killing people with his music.
There's not that much to say here. As expected of a short OVA, the quality is very good, despite having been produced in the beginning of the century. If you aren't picky about the art in an anime, this shouldn't bother you.
Again, not much to say. The voice acting was satisfactory and the musics were used in the correct moments, creating good atmospheres/situations.
That's where the OVA shines: the characters. Each of the protagonists is very interesting and charismatic, from the tsundere Nancy to the superstitious Drake. The protagonist, Yomiko Readman, is the exact opposite of what you would expect from a top agent: impulsive, book otaku, clumsy and often fights in a very odd, but creative, manner. She is and adorable character able to manipulate paper and create a variety of weapons and tools with it.
Unfortunately, there is few space for character development. But even limited by 3 episodes, the show is able to establish a connection between the spectator and the characters. Read or Die is very action-oriented, but the characters are a very important part and their moments of interaction are simply wonderful. The lines aren't superficial or mechanical, but natural and full of life.
Not only the show has originality, charismatic characters, a simple and interesting story as nice action sequences. The I-Jin have unique abilities and the protagonist can use paper to build airplanes, swords, shields etc. Now put these guys in a fight. You know what you get? Amazing and incredible fights, that's what.
With so many awesome moments, you will probably want to see them again, so the rewatch value is very high.
If you want to see the sort version of the review, here it is: just watch it. There is no need for a detailed analysis to understand Read or Die. Maybe you like it because of the action, maybe because of the originality, maybe because of the characters, but in the end, you just like it.
A three episode OVA, Read or Die is a lot like Golden Boy in that it starts off promising but falls apart the further along you get. The initial ideas, the main character, and the first ten minutes of the first episode intrigue enough to generate interest in the viewer. The problem is the next hour and twenty minutes of content.
Yomiko Readman is a character I instantly fell in love with. She’s a ditzy book-loving girl who spends every penny she has on her massive collection of literature. Whilst on a spree she winds up purchasing a novel that has been sought out by a
collection of bad guys hoping to use the contents of the book to create an end of the world scenario and become leaders of whatever’s left afterward. Thus, Yomiko is brought in by the British Libraries to be a secret agent and stop the baddies. She’s accompanied by Drake, a mercenary, and Ms. Deep, who has the ability to phase through objects. Yomiko herself can manipulate paper making it into nearly anything depending on the situation.
It’s a really neat set-up. I dig the idea of a library sending out secret agents to collect books and stop certain bits of knowledge from being used for ill gain. It’s like a more intelligent James Bond…you’d think.
The bad guys have a giant underwater base with a huge rocket ready to be launched. It’s ridiculous and cheesy. It works to an extent, but leaves me bewildered, especially considering how smart I felt the anime would be.
Read or Die is a show about books. Its hero is a nerdy girl who would most likely rather read with a guy than bang him. The anime doesn’t capitalize on this. The book is just a catalyst for a dumb action plot. Replace the Library with MI6 or the CIA and you have the same thing. That’s what bothered me the most because as a concept ROD is unique and has a lot of potential. Perhaps the television series does a better job focusing on the books a little more than the maniacal schemes.
This leads me to the penultimate questions: is Read or Die good or bad and is it worth watching? And the answer is…eh.
Everything about it screams out to my personal likings yet it felt misguided. It underutilized the things it had going for it and the more unique aspects while highlighting facets that you can find elsewhere. Because of this, Read or Die is merely an average OVA that may be worth a shot to those who think the idea sounds interesting, but can be passed by if you’re expecting anything more than a silly homage to James Bond.
This OVA tells of what happened before the death of Mr Gentleman when Yomiko Readman ("The Paper") and Drake were still faithful agents of the British Imperial Library. It is during this time that The Paper met Nancy Makuhari.
If you have watched ROD the Tv in full and enjoyed it, this OVA would be a recommendable watch to better your understanding of the I-jins and the past of the characters, especially that of Nancy Makuhari. Even if you haven't watched ROD the TV, this OVA would still be a good standalone anime to watch.
While the art and characters in ROD did not awe me, the
difference in the tones of voices of some of the characters in ROD the TV and ROD OVA was interesting to me, seeing that some of the characters have grown weaker while some have grown bitter. The story was commendable: simple with a little twist, and also because it incorporates a little knowledge of classical music in the OVA.
I'll start with the point: this OVA is great fun, plain and simple. It's uptempo, doesn't take itself seriously, and is the definition of pleasant surprise.
The story is mediocre, the characters are nothing special but very well fleshed out, the art and sound are good - not extraordinary on their own, but they fit the general mood very well. There is no deep moral, no cerebral overtone, nothing to make you say this deserves a deep look. The sheer absurdity of some of the plot would fit better with all-out comedy. The action is not anything so astounding that you'd talk about it to all
your friends. You'd expect this combination to give an unremarkable result, and most of the times, you'd be right.
But what we have here is a triumph.
The fact that it is so short, with the clever editing and structure means that not a single moment is wasted. The characters are developed just to the point needed, the plot goes between absurd to hilarious to action to serious and back, and in the end, it all fits together brilliantly. If you are looking for anything deep, serious, or meaningful, don't waste your time. But if you just want some light-hearted fun, look no further.