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:

    Eh?
    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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

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