Anita King, Maggie Mui, and Michelle Cheung are the Paper Sisters. They run the Three Sisters Detective Agency in Hong Kong which is dedicated to solving cases involving books. They are hired as local guides for Nenene Sumiregawa, a Japanese novelist who has been struggling with writer's block following the disappearance of her longtime friend, Yomiko Readman. The sisters are all Paper Masters—individuals with the power to control paper—and with their abilities, they save Nenene from the dangerous terrorists targeting her at a book signing. But in case they strike again, the sisters remain as her bodyguards to protect her from further harm.
This is a dream come true for bookworms Maggie and Michelle who love Nenene's stories, but the young Anita cannot stand books despite her powers over paper. The three struggle to adapt to their new daily life in Japan, guarding Nenene while continuing their detective work under a mysterious organization, Dokusensha. However, the more they get to know Nenene, the more they discover the link between her, the disappearance of her friend Yomiko, and the mysterious books Dokusensha sends the Paper Masters to investigate. What began as a simple job ends up a bigger case than they have ever had before. Are these girls really willing to risk their lives over literature?
Despite its bookworm outlook at the begging, this show is very action oriented. And its action is centered around Nenene\'s three \'bodyguards\' known as Paper Users. They have the ability to shape and mold any forms of paper to virtually anything they want. Anita King runs the offensive using paper as blades and other weapons, Michelle Cheung is the defensive user creating barriers and such, and Maggi Mui has the most versitility of the paper being able to create creatures and vehicles. At my first impression of the use of this power i was a bit skeptical. If your anything like me your probably going
to say, "Look at all that paper!" And thats no joke too... they use alot of paper in this show (green peace freaks probably shouldnt watch this show). After the intial shock the action starts to become second nature to the show, showing each characters different fighting styles.
The story is pretty deep and intreguing starting by looking for her lost friend only to find out that there is ALOT more than what she bargins for. Since the series is a 2 season affair (26 episodes) This gave them the time to flesh out the side stories of the main characters and find out their ultimate goals with really really REALLY good twists. No spoilers here considering thats half the fun of ROD is finding out how everything fits into place so well...
The artistic detail in ROD is very well done but its not the best i\'ve ever seen. The details in the action scenes are well executed, you truly get the feeling of lots of paper being wasted fighting the baddies. Even after the aftermath (from fighting or just trashing nenene\'s house or the sisters apartment) the detail of the junk lying around is very well placed. Little details like a stack of books next to a staircase or a bookshelf so full its almost about to burst really pull you more and more into the story. I\'m a total sucker for small details like this. A minor gripe would be the sound... the paper monsters should have sounded a little more ferocious, and paper rustling is EVERYWHERE. But it cant be helped ^_^
Overall i really enjoyed this show despite it lacking ecchiness (big surprise i know). But the big fight scenes the animation and detail of every subtle movement make this show flow very smoothly and seamlessly. I mean its practically an 8 hour movie and i sat watched all 8 hours with great intent. I did have a 2 hour nap in between tho since i didnt sleep for 24hours straight.
But anyone whos into magical warfare but
wants something a little different than sparkles
and wands, please pick this anime up! ^_^
Read or Die - the TV is a very interesting Action, Adventure, Anime; where the main characters have the strange ability to control paper. After watching this you might begin to think differently about books and paper. ^_^
Read or Die - the TV follows the adventures of three sisters who have the ability to manipulate paper. These three sisters end up protecting a famous writer Nenene, who's being targeted by some dangerous people. Yet while protecting her, they also take on missions from the Chinese Intelligence on the side, to retrieve rare stolen books. It continues like this until the British Empire begins to
make their move.
The storyline of this action-packed anime takes place 5 years after the incident in the original R.O.D OAV. Just like in the OAV this anime follows the adventures of the main characters Michelle, Maggie and Anita who are all paper manipulators just like Yomiko from the OAV. During the show there's a decent amount of amazing paper combat and character developments. The main problem with R.O. D - the TV is the pace of this show and the number of dull and boring moments. The show started of well but flowed very slowly, with episodes of very little happening and it wasn't until episode 11 when the story actually started to develop. From here right through to the end there are some of the most exciting battles, a decent plot-twist and the most hoped for return of "The Paper" from the OAV.
The animation quality for R.O.D – the TV was great with a decent amount of detail put in. the characters were well designed but the only thing that may annoy some is how cute they made some of them, with their blushing cheeks. Yet this is easily forgotten when there's a major action-packed battle, which is surprisingly fluid, even with multiple characters doing separate things (episode 12 is a good example of this).
The music was superb with every episode starting of with a great Jazz beat (with no lyrics), just like in Cowboy Bebop. The music during the show was also great and blended in well with the mood however it's sometimes spoilt by the character's annoying voices.
Overall this turned out to be a great anime, which had a lot of dull moments but at least it didn't let it spoil the story. As the story began to reach its climax, the new plot did feel a little too unrealistic; of how creating a new world without books would help end wars. At the very end of this series I was really disappointed that very little action happened, so if you're hoping for one big showdown then you'll be disappointed as well. This anime is best suited for those who want to see something interesting that hasn't really been done before, but I recommend watching the OAV first.
The OVA of Read or Die is a secret agent parody, perhaps poking a little fun at how ridiculous some of 007`s plots are, and its overboard story of literary greats trying to take over the world has a campy charm. The TV series brings back most of the characters from the OVA,but centers itself around a new cast. Even though it`s a little more heavy handed with its mood and drama, all the style in the OVA is preserved, only drawn out to a long 26 episodes.
Where the laughably crazy plot in the OVA held a certain charm, it doesn`t serve well as the
plot of a TV series. The plot is fairly thin for the first half of the series. It alternates between monsters of the week and some slice of life pieces. The monster of the week encounters don`t have the same elaborate design as the action packed encounters in the OVA, but they more or less have the same wackiness. The characters of the TV series are also more or less of the same quality as the OVA. They are simple characters with one or two defining quirks, some of which are a bit cliche in the Anime world. A short 3 episode stint is conducive to simple and cliche`d characters, but slice of life is not. By far the worst segment of this series is when it explores the daily lives of the 4 new main characters. The slice of life subplots are boring in and of themselves, and these characters are far too simple and played out to spark empathy.
The story suddenly and completely changes from around the midway mark,kicking out all of the monster of the weeks and slice of life bits for its central plot. It shapes into something vaguely similar to the OVA`s. The heroes have to stop some maniacal villain from taking over the flow of books, and thus, the world. It`s certainly a lot more complex than that of the OVA`s, but to its own detriment. Far too many plot developments stem from extraordinary lapses of common sense by some of the characters. Contrivances like these are sadly, a gigantic driving force. This leaves the plot not only wacky, but also nonsensical.
As if that wasn`t enough, we still have to stomach our average dose of B rate Anime melodrama, including but not limited to complete over-dramatization of trauma, loss, and depression. As per usual also,the maniacal villain has to give his share of philosophical lectures on how to make the world a better place, all of which are answered by the hot headed heroes with equally bogus, but less pessimistic philosophy.
The TV series isn`t really unfaithful to the OVA. It`s not quite as impressive visually, and maybe it`s a bit cheesier, but it goes for the same feel the OVA does. This just goes to show that campy charm is exceedingly delicate. Where the OVA in many ways was so weird, so bad that it was good, trying to stretch that same appeal into 26 episodes just leaves it as plain weird and bad.
I really liked the Read or Die OVA. While it wasn’t the best anime OVA ever made it still was one of the most enjoyable and fun anime OVAs I have ever seen from this medium. So when I decided to hold my out of print Read Or Die TV DVD UK boxset I was pretty cautious about because before I even watched it I asked people opinions about Read Or Die TV and what I got was pretty divided. On one camp you had people who absolutely loved it and they thought it was better than the OVA while the other camp didn’t like
it all that much as it’s very inferior to the OVA that barely had any charm. So after reading people opinions of Read Or Die TV I decided to watch it. 26 episodes later and I safely say that Read Or Die TV is an amazing squeal as it everything that was great in the ova and made it better to a point where it became now one of my favourite anime squeals period.
Taking place 5 years after the five years after the “I-Jin” incident Yomiko Readman has supposedly gone missing. Nenene Sumiregawa, Yomiko former student and best friend hasn’t written a book ever since her disappearance. This has led to her becoming lonely and frustrated that her sensei (Yomiko) has never read her last book, and she feels she can’t write again until she hears Yomiko’s reaction to the book, so Nenene often disappears for long periods of time searching for Yomiko. During her trip in Hong Knog she meets the three paper sisters named Michelle, Maggie and Anita who are supposed to take care of her during her visit. However, the hotel at which Nenene is supposed to stay at is bombed, and at a press conference, Nenene is briefly held hostage by a jealous rival in her industry. The three sisters end up becoming her bodyguards and join her back to Tokyo and from there Nenene enlists their help in looking for her missing best friend Yomiko.
I really liked the story for Read or Die TV. Compared to the story in the OVA series where it was pretty meh the TV series is much stronger in the story department as it not only fixes many of the story issues that I had with the OVAs but it manages to make the story more intriguing to the viewer especially in the second half where the show starts to dive into pretty dark topics and themes which I won’t mention due to spoilers.
The show is once again is well paced as it keeps the viewer interested of what is happening whatever it’s a slice of life school stuff with Anita to the more serious action with Yumiko and the Paper Sisters. Speaking of the slice of life school stuff the first half of Read or Die was excellent because not only it well written as it but it does a great job at developing key characters like Anita.
The second half of Read or Die TV goes backs to it’s OVA roots where there is more action, however, the story is much better executed and intriguing this time around as it’s becomes far more complex and intriguing however I will admit there were certain moments in the show I was not a fan off because it seemed that the story tried to be more epic than it should be.
Overall despite that small nitpick I had with the second half the story of Read Or Die TV is great and well executed.
When it comes to the characters in Read Or Die I thought they were pretty great and fun for the most part.
Before I talk about the Paper Sisters am going to go the talk about other characters first.
First, we have Nenene who is easily my favourite new character in the series. Despite her not having any power to speak off she’s doesn’t let anyone persuade her choices that she makes even if jealous writers threating her with bombs or agency trying to brainwash her amazing will is way too strong to be taken down because she simply never wants to give up being the person that she is. It is a very strong characteristic that I really adore especially for female chararters and it makes me sad that we don’t that strong characteristic all that much in modern anime. Outside of her strong will, she is a well-written chararter who gets a lot of chararter development thanks to Yumiko and The Paper Sisters. Overall amazing character and she’s was my main highlight for the series for me.
Yomiko is still great as ever and like with the OVA she is still an aboustly joy to watch.
The same can apply for the other returning characters from the OVA series.
Finally, let’s talk about arguably the weakest characters in the show the Paper Sisters or more specifically Maggie and Michelle. I honestly thought they were pretty meh overall. Now aren’t bad characters by any means and they do have some great moments but as characters, they didn’t develop that much as characters. Not to mention at times they can be pretty annoying in some cases for me. However, I will give them this despite them not being as memorable compared to the others they chararter interactions were pretty well done and at times very funny.
They aren’t bad chararters but they were not all that memorable compared to the rest of the chararters especially Anita and Nenene.
Anita, on the other hand, is a great character and easily the most developed character from not only this series but the franchise as a whole. Sure she can be bratty at times but outside of her brattiness, she’s actually the best-written chararters even more than Yomiko. Her chararter development in the series was great and very impactful where not only her bonds very well with other chararters but she grows as a chararters. She is the second main highlight for Read or Die TV for me outside of Nenene’s strong will and I really love her as a character.
As for the rest of the characters, I thought they were pretty good and enjoyable for what they were.
Overall the chararters, for the most part, were awesome, likeable and well developed. It was easily the best thing about this series.
Visually Read or Die TV is pretty great. While it may not as amazing as the OVA series it’s still a one of the better-looking anime from the early 2000s. The characters designs are great and applying to the eye. The animation is smooth and constant. All the fight scenes in the show are very engaging to watch.
Overall the visuals of Read or Die were great.
Like with the OVA series the soundtrack is brilliant. The soundtrack still has that great James bond feel it and am glad they didn’t change the soundtrack at all. The one thing I really liked is how they carried over half of the music from the OVA to this series. When I heard that iconic Read or Die from the ova in this show it made me feel so nostalgic and hyped.
The opening theme while not as amazing as the ova is still a great opening theme that perfectly captures the tone and setting of the series.
The first ending theme Moments in the Sun by Kazami with Home Grown is an amazing ending theme that closes off each episode of the first half perfectly. Not to mention is very catchy.
The second ending theme is good but not as memorable as the first ending theme.
Now for sub vs dub
Like with the OVA series I only have seen dub version of Read or Die TV The dub for Read or Die TV is awesome as voice actors did an amazing job at portraying the respective character roles.
My favourite performances in the dub were Rachel Hirschfeld as Anita and Tricia Dickson as Nenene. Overall a fantastic English Dub that shouldn’t be missed.
I love Read or Die the TV. Yes, the show had it’s few shortcomings but those shortcomings did not completely ruin the experience as the show was an amazing and well-written ride from start to finish. The story was awesome and intriguing, the characters, for the most part, were excellent and well developed, the visuals while not as amazing as the OVA it was still great for what it was and the soundtrack is kickass.
Read or Die TV took everything that I loved about the OVA and expanded to new heights and because of that, I consider this show along with the ova series a hidden anime classic that I will forever love.
The anime archer is a rare breed. These are the unsung heroes of the anime world who rely on a rather simple, but effective skill - archery! Most will use a bow and arrow, and a few will utilize a crossbow. Even if they don't always save the day, they'll look cool as hell while trying to.