Posted by psgels on 27 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Birdy the Mighty Decode

My three personal favourite series are the following: 1) Mahou Shoujotai, 2) Noein, 3) Visions of Escaflowne. Because Mahou Shoujotai wasn’t directed by just one guy, but a whole bunch of directors and the latter two were directed by the guy called Kazuki Akane, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s my favourite director. So, when he comes with a new series that plans to revive an old OVA from the nineties, then I obviously had to watch it. Overall, it doesn’t live up to his other work, but it’s an impressive series nonetheless.

Although it doesn’t always show this, this series knows how to build up. The first half of the series might goof off at first sight, but once the second half kicks in, everything slowly starts coming together, and the tension is very smoothly built up until the actual climax, and it becomes apparent that the first few episodes were definitely necessary, to flesh out the different characters and settings, and make them believable.

What impressed me the most, though, is the way that this series uses its production-values. There’s time enough for the story and characters to develop, with the second season and all, but both the graphics and music are very well done. The budget of this series is obviously limited, but the creators managed to save most of it in order to treat the viewer to a very small amount of beautifully animated fight scenes, which I’d classify as the best 2D-fight scenes of the past half year. When a character sprains his ankle, or gets his or her arm twisted, you see exactly the bones and muscles that move out of place, which is something most other anime tend to neglect.

There’s just one minor point about this series: it doesn’t have the most exciting main character to work with. Senkawa really is your typical fourteen year old brat, which love issues and impulsive tendencies thankfully the creators do manage to develop his character sufficiently, but he does whine a lot in the process.

Apart from that, I can’t really say much more about this series. It’s a typical series that’s meant to really take off in its second season, and for that it built up really well. There are some clichéd characters here and there, but the director has an excellent sense of timing, and knows what to say when, where and how to make the best out of them.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

9 Responses

  1. senerikfred says:

    I haven’t even been watching this, but if it has a second season, don’t you usually wait ’til the END-end before you write a review?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    senerikfred: when I first started with this blog, I indeed waited with my reviews until the series fully finished. Then Red Garden came along, with its supposed sequel “Dead Girls”, which vanished into thin air when it aired. Because of that, I decided to just write a review for every individual series, for consistency’s sake.

  3. senerikfred says:

    Ah, okay then. It’s just that sometimes you randomly put things on hold, then give up, but it really is easier this way. :P

  4. green says:

    Looking forward to your blassreiter review.

    Birdy is alrite I guess. I give it 7/10, nothing particularly outstanding though.

  5. ryvrdrgn14 says:

    The first time I watched this in the original version I was like “Eh? What the hell is going on?”

    I was interested in the concept, but this new remake definitely makes the story and characters much clearer so I really like it.

    I just hope the second season isn’t bad.

  6. Denizen says:

    This was a very flip-floppy series, really. The first three episodes were excellent, and then it just dropped – and as you said, the overall quality rose again. Some parts are really badly drawn and animated, and some have the most amazing production values of this year. It’s an interesting use of budget, and I think it does pay off.

    Overall, it’s been one of the most enjoyable series of the season, and i’m looking forward to the second part.

  7. Steve Hoffman says:

    I personally felt cheated by the end.

    They took a great story, and cheapened it immensely by removing the sting of death in exchange for the possibility of a second season. I loved the original, but this story built up to a great climax and then just fizzled in resolution.

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Steve: I do want to urge you to check out the second season, then. It’s better in every single way when compared to the first season and it has more than enough deaths to make up for this, and at least Nakasugi is gone now.

  9. Machi says:

    Well its as I said in the shoutbox this show is good but that’s just it the show is well good but nothing close to great or outstanding. It doesn’t particularly try to impress in story telling, I mean I feel really empty with each episode and just go on for continuity sake since each episode isn’t particularly something that stands out to make you think “I want to rewatch it”. Or rather one wouldn’t even bother much re-watching it because its very predictable, I’m not at all impressed with the build up of the show (if that’s what one would like to call its progress towards events.)

    Frankly, it just doesn’t try to leave a “Closed door that leaves us guessing”. What I mean by that quotation is that it gives too much or too obvious a hint into the plot that as a viewer I don’t feel at all drawn to engage the show.

    If the show gave a suggestion as to what is being built up, by suggestion I mean a very subtle hint, then I’d be inclined to engage the show and try to work as if I could try to write what will happen next and end up surprised at how much better what the show presented/wrote from what I wrote in my imagination. To relate it back to the quote this show isn’t a closed door that leaves one wondering what could be behind it but rather its a door wide open that you can already see whats inside and so no longer feel the inclination to engage in the pleasure of guessing or thinking about the other side of the door.

    Its difficult to explain but its the feeling I get when I watch shows like say Kaiba, Dennou Coil, or Fantastic Children (now those are great examples of shows that are able to leave a closed door that leaves the audience guessing rather than an open door that leaves audience to be passive viewers as Tetsuwan Birdy season 1 does.) Just my rather complicated two cents hahahaha

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 03:47 AM)
    Wow Ash Vs the Evil Dead 01 was a blast; I really should’ve gotten into this sooner. I was smiling thru most of it, either because it was funny or slap-stick gory, or because it was a blast to see that Sam Raimi still got it. I guess the only time that Evil Dead works is when he’s involved. Seeing Bruce Campbell again with the chainsaw was a treat which I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.

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