Posted by psgels on 28 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Birdy the Mighty Decode



The first season of Birdy the Mighty Decode was a pretty good series that unfortunately got held back by its own formula and never really hit any heights, and especially the male lead Senkawa caused quite some annoyances. Then the second season came, and surpassed it in just about every aspect. I’m not exaggerating here: the second season managed to take a good series and made it utterly incredible.

To begin with, those who were turned off by the annoying teenaged romance in the first season are going to be delighted, as Senkawa plays a much smaller part in the series and his romance is now something of the past. Instead, it’s time for the female lead (Birdy) to have her taste a bit of romance and it’s so much more memorable. What also surprised me was that the plot of the second season takes place on a much smaller scale: instead of trying to save the world from some sort of evil, the second season instead is about the past of the characters, and revenge for what happened in it. The amazing cast of characters turns this into an incredibly emotional story.

But through all the drama, what’s so special about this series is that it never forgets that this series is taking place inside a world that’s alive, instead of a bunch of places that serve just to tell the story. Even though this is a very dark series, it never forgets to insert some slice of life moments in order to bring this setting to life. Even though Senkawa’s classmates have absolutely nothing to do with the main story, they make countless reappearances as the creators show how they continue to lead their lives after chaos that was caused in the first season. Even in the final episodes, this doesn’t change (compare that to most other similar series, which at that point are too busy saving the world to care about such a thing), and yet the series closes off with an amazing ending.

And the production values! The action series in this series are absolutely stunning. The animation is very messy, but because of that there is lots and lots of movement and even more detail in them. The brutality of the hand to hand combat in this show continues to surprise, as the creators aren’t afraid to show the most graphics deaths and beatings on the screen without any cheap tricks to hide it whatsoever. Combine that with the single best soundtrack of the entire season, and you have a visual feast.

Series like this one really are the reason why I’m still a big fan of anime. This series is utterly incredible in just about everything it does, and it’s an incredible contrast with the first season, which simply looks mediocre in comparison and it’s been without a doubt my favourite show of the past Winter Season.

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

35 Responses

  1. thestation says:

    There are lots of spelling/grammar issues in this review xd.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Um, where? I only caught one grammar issue, but what are the others? English is not my first language, so I may have made a few errors without realizing it.

  3. da_man says:

    top 10? or not? :D
    still waiting for the subs :((((((((((((((((((((((((

  4. Windspirit says:

    So I guess this is another must watch for me ?

  5. Machi says:

    I wouldn’t call the first one pretty good, in retrospect only slightly above average, but at least the second season looks more promising.

  6. c160 says:

    Ughhh I wanna watch this too!The subs are so slowww…Btw,when will the OVA be released?I know it was announced but did they set the release date?

  7. Marmoset says:

    I’m being held up by the subs but I agree this series is incredible (so far at least). It’s annoying this is getting so little attention from bloggers because I think it’s by far the best show of the last two series. I can understand why; it had a meh first season and the name is a little weird but it’s still infuriating to see all these toradora posts while birdy gets no love.

  8. Sparky says:

    I just found this blog, and I’m glad I’m not the only one watching this series. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on Birdy’s relationship with Nataru.

    (spoilers)

    It seemed pretty obvious that he liked her, but I never really got the impression that Birdy had any romantic feelings for him. Even the kiss in the last episode felt pretty ambiguous. She could have just been expressing her relief that he was back to normal.

  9. Machi says:

    @Marmoset: Face it the reason why this would have little attention from bloggers is this is the second season/sequel to the first Tetsuwan. And considering that nobody really gets into the second season unless they’ve watched the first one I doubt many would give this a shot based on the first season.

  10. Shippoyasha says:

    I hope I’m not the only one wishing for a THIRD season here, psgels. lol.

    For one, I didn’t really get on the bashing train for the first season (it was pretty decent and pretty ingenious at spots), so this one being that much better made me so happy for the series.

  11. RogerOskaner says:

    @Machi: Also consider the fact that season 1’s subbing was solely headed by the dreadfully awful Aoshen, which was enough to drive tons of people away. I’m still having a hard time trying to get people to start watching the show.

    Anyways, been following these reviews the past few weeks just to see if the surprising quality of season 2’s been keeping up, and it’s great to see it’s been just as good as I’d hoped.

    Now where’s the fucking subs.

  12. melty says:

    Do you think a 3rd season could be announced?

  13. TCoFA says:

    Hah, finally the subs are out! Watched the last two episodes today and I’ll agree, this was a fucking epic ride. Good night.

  14. PhuzyBuny says:

    Loved it as well.

    Personally, I believe that they aimed for the distorted look not experimentally, but, specifically. I think they were trying to convey the message that in fights, people become angered and disfigured from both a physical and mental standpoint. You can see this when people get angry; rage consumes them, their faces contort, and it is all very unattractive. Anime has taken too much pride in the fact that fights are glamorous and awe-inspiring. The animators for Birdy have learned to take the proper perspective. It portrays fights more accurately; a blurred mass of chaos with emphasis on only the basic understanding of what is occurring. I applaud their work and they should be proud. It is the proper way to depict the action that occurs. Nobody cares about the details when the fight is happening, you don’t look at the scratch marks on the rocks that tumble around, it’s the faces you focus on and pay most attention to from a first-person perspective. And the third person perspective is that blurred and blocky motion that the animators in Birdy successfully portrayed.

  15. S-R says:

    The wait for the subs of this series have been the most painful. Easily one of my, if not the, favourite shows of the past year.
    I’m torn though, while i’m incredibly glad the subs have finally been released and i’ve finished the show… it’s also kind of sad for that exact reason, that it has ended.
    It’s a shame that the many plot threads were left unresolved. Most prominent in my mind, Gomez and Christina Levi and Capella. While i’d LOVE to have seen these get resolved in some way I can also appreciate though that to have everything sorted in a neat little package is completely unrealistic. Just like what you’ve often said about the kind of dynamic reality of the series, the ‘lives’ of the characters and the universe dont start and end in each episode and I really like that.
    But still…hah…
    Eitherway, i loved both seasons even if the 2nd one was a mindblowingly huge progression. Such a shame that it never got the attention it deserved

  16. Ilsa says:

    it’s been a while when i waited for subs with such impatience. now that the wait is over i can say that Birdy really was one of the most amazing series; story, animation, music- all was brilliant. i can agree that the second season was bweyond awesome, but without first one it wouldn’t be able to work out so well.
    i have also thank you so much for blogging this series, – if i haven’t read your review, most probably i would’ve missed the show.

  17. Joe says:

    Finally downloaded the sub for the final 2 eps.. so sad it’s finished. Definitely one of my fav. series ever.

    I really hope there’s going to be a 3rd season. so I’ll just keep my fingers cross. But anyway, do anybody knows when the OVA will come out???

  18. S-R says:

    I believe ‘The Cipher’ bonus episode/OVA is being released July 22nd. :)

  19. kira88 says:

    finally watched the last 2 ep… it was a pretty epic ending that nevertheless made me feel a little unsatisfied with the hanging plot threads that were left unsolved.
    it was an enjoyable ride while it lasted, and to see it finally end gives me mixed feelings of relief and sadness.
    oh well, life goes on, and new shows will come and go, so i guess i’ll go drown my sorrow watching the new ep of guin saga then. :)

  20. lol says:

    hoping the hanging plot threads become a 3rd season, Perhaps even a fourth. Can we assume that Birdy and Tsutomu will eventually become a pairing, or are they more brother sister?

  21. Anon E. Moose says:

    I share your views on the show.
    Fucking awesome.
    The last episode left some plotholes and felt hasty.
    But the ride was excellent and I don’t have the heart to bitch for this.
    I hope they will produce a S3

  22. Al says:

    Hi all

    Fantastic to see that there are already so many fans of BTMD season 2. As most folks seem to agree the new season has taken everything good about the first season and made it into something great.

    For those desperately looking for high quality BTMD downloads with subs Megavideo has most of the vids in .MKV, though I’m definitely getting the DVD’s when they’re hopefully released. Here’s hoping for Season 3 as well.

  23. Mickey says:

    SO. Was actually not a hater of the first season, and only loved the second even more. But I’ve heard some depressing rumors about the future of the series: the company/animators producing it had budgeting problems. That’s the main reason why some of the animation and the two major fight-action sequences got so messy in the second season; they were trying to save money, or so I’ve heard. And with those funding problems still prevailing, there’s been no mention of a planned third season–though, truthfully, I believe they already DO have something kind of planned, because they left a lot of room to pick up the series again. Plus, there were the especially strong hints about that classmate of Senkawa’s being an alien. Can’t leave that alone. :D

    If anyone finds anymore news regarding a continuation of the series–something that proves what I’ve heard completely wrong–please please PLEASE post, multiple times, around the web, so we all can know! It’d be such a waste for this series to go down the drain unnoticed. I was a fan of the original OVA and now of this series too, and totally wish I could help out over in Japan or something to get another season going! T__T

  24. Perrin4869 says:

    It’s such a great shame that even though this season of Birdy was so great, it requires 3 requisites from anyone planning to watch it, and they really are not easy to fulfill:
    The first would be surviving the oh-so-horrible and almost unwatchable first season. It was as terrible as they get, it did absolutely nothing right. Just… bad.
    The second would be accepting that this anime, even though it is about a group of deadly criminals being hunted down and brutally murdered, features some bloody high school students in a bloody high school, for no good reason. They contribute nothing to the story, and have no connections whatsoever to the criminals, and they’re stupid. It’s a shame, it’s as though producers are really compelled to insert them into animes which have no business with them… Makes me want to cry. That’s one thing I really like about American series: they manage to hold their focus much much more than most animes. Sure, there are ridiculous ones like Prison Break, which I classify as the Code Geass of American series, but then again, no anime will ever get to the level of Lost at this rate.
    And the third requisite would be accepting that your hero goes around fighting crime in the outfit she uses. Not very serious, but really… Why!?

    What I’m trying to say with all this is that with such a memorable story, and such memorable characters, why do they have to give it such a terrible execution? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret having watched this at all, but it baffles me that I can never share it with friends because of the execution. And that alone makes the score you gave it too high. If in the very end you can share it with a very selected few with great patience and an ability to overlook the blatant flaws in the production, no matter how good the story may be, its actual value goes down much more than the 5 points you deducted…

  25. reverse says:

    what the hell Perrin4869, if you want to troll at least give a valid reason.
    to even complaint outfit she uses, i meant seriously (that just desperate trolling)
    criminal are not stupid, of course the killer is dam obvious to the viewer, the criminal doesn’t have 6 sense, and unlike all anime villain, in birdy 2 they shot first ask question later.

    lost are one of my fav American tv show
    even lost has garbage execution and plot, just like last gun fire fight no one got hit by a single bullet, that fighting against train personal. there are a lot more just i don’t really bother searching

  26. Perrin4869 says:

    I never said the criminals are stupid, I said the high school students are… I liked the criminals and the whole story around them a lot.
    As for the outfit, I know it disturbed me, I don’t like watching my heroes fight with a bare back! In my opinion it’s just a cheap way to attract audience by fanservice. Though you are right, it’s not a valid reason to troll, but it did bother me a little.
    And in Lost you don’t have Kate in swimsuit every episode for example. And I’m not sure which gunfight you referred to, but I hope you’re aware of the fact that they’re not very shy about killing characters at this point. I can go on about why I think it’s superior to any other show on TV ever, but for now suffice it never degraded its plot to contain stuff that doesn’t contribute anything to it.

  27. joe says:

    Nataru possesses a dark and vengeful personality. Nakasugi lost her memories. So I think that Birdy and Tsutomu will end up together. They’ve been through a lot while sharing the same body, and they both possess kindness and bravery, which motivate them to make sacrifice in order to protect loved ones. Their encounters with romance also have similarities, and they’ve dealt with them the same way (refusing to accept that the persons they care about are doing evil deeds; and try to help those people to turn back in the end).

  28. Firechick says:

    Great news! Both seasons of Birdy the Mighty Decode have been licensed by FUNimation!

  29. Topspin says:

    Thanks for blogging this, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. Birdy/Decode (of course especially season 2) deserves a lot more attention than it gets, it’s one of the best series in recent memory. My roommate was so impressed she asked me to help her fansub Cipher so we could get the full experience. I truly hope Birdy gets a high-quality BluRay release, especially if it’s non-upscaled 1080p!

  30. Adva Tsuenko says:

    –Spoilers–

    @Mickey: “Plus, there were the especially strong hints about that classmate of Senkawa’s being an alien.”

    I know! I forget when, but the proof is actually earlier on in the series — I think maybe even in the first season. The boy runs into a man (one of the key men associated with the aliens on Earth) who was visiting his mother, as the boy returns to his house, and somewhere in that scene it is acknowledged that his mother is an Alterian. So you can know this before the fortune telling scene, but that scene confirms it.

    –End Spoilers–

    Did anyone else notice how the animation quality uber crapped out during the end halves of episodes 7 and 12?? This was bugging me extremely much; it’s as if they used the storyboard frames for all the animation and called it good. This ruined a lot for me, but the story was definitely sweet regardless of it.

  31. thirstevampire says:

    i think it sounds good i’ll watch it when i can

  32. panikos0 says:

    I just watched it and it was a great ride!thanks for bloging the series!if it wasn’t for you I would never have watched it.I really hope for season 3 japan!

  33. Badesh says:

    Whoo, great series thanks. Watched it & loved it. I even liked the first Season but the second season had more depht.

    What kept me interested in the first place were these action packed first episodes of s01 wich were really one of the best i have ever seen. I knew these fights will come again sooner or later. And i just love the character birdy.

    Thx for the reccomendation psgels.

  34. Nuu says:

    star crossed! jeez long time no comment lol. saw this for sale on S.A.V.E. and found your site :) Thanks for the review and now im compelled to buy this :)

  35. Nightlord says:

    Thanks to this review I was introduced to this anime, after watching barely 350 anime series I can say that this is by far one of my favorites of all time, I enjoyed both seasons a lot. The soundtrack, the animation, the characters… gosh, everything was near perfection, too bad there’s no 3d season

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • reaLjustified
    (Sunday, Jul 24. 2016 02:59 AM)
    @Mike It’s really interesting how much success he found as an illustrator after essentially quitting manga. I have a really old pencil case by him that I’ve had for years.
  • Mike
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:14 PM)
    @Kaiser Takahashi was one of the first to take it out of “smut” made for men and gave the genre to girls.
  • K-Off
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 09:34 PM)
    My palette is cleansed after Legacy. I think I can make a push and finish Mirage Sessions by Monday.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 06:25 PM)
    Altogether there is no good explanation as to why Berserk has been on the fringes for the last 20 years. The silver lining is that it looks like things are picking up for the franchise- with a new series, two new games and frequent manga releases- so here’s hoping we get a much bigger budget for the next cour, and god willing maybe even a studio change. And I’m getting greedy, but gimme that From Software Berserk game! That would be an instant cash mine.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 06:18 PM)
    @Vyse: I was actually thinking of that, and the dark mature content is definitely a factor. Yet looking at what’s trending at the moment, with AoT and Kabaneri, it seems that the more violent stuff are bankable now. And it’s not like anime is stranger to adapting material that hasn’t finished yet. So I’m guessing that Miura is hard to work with probably, and maybe he’s tight about giving studios the license.
  • Rusty
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:16 PM)
    I like it better when animes are different then the manga because normally i know how everything will end after reading the manga.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:07 PM)
    And I’m more than open for an anime to do things a bit differently from the source, I mean look at the new berserk they included an action scene that wasn’t in the manga, I liked that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:59 PM)
    @Mike: Makoto Takahashi! Makoto Takahashi! I know who he is, I spent a while looking at his art, best example of good oldschool shoujo style. He also is credited with kickstarting the shoujo-ai genre I think…
    @Bam: flowers of evil both improved on and took away from its source material.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:16 PM)
    Furthermore, it’s not as if Berserk is so special by itself that a decent adaptation is automatically impossible. You’re watching one right now. If you think otherwise than it boils down to personal preference.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Vyse It’s obviously not trying to cater to children, the studio knows its audience. I wouldn’t automatically assume that just because it’s an anime adaptation that it’s an attempt to please everyone.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

EVA 01b

Neon Genesis Evangelion – 01

Truth be told, I’ve never seen any of the EVA franchise, and it’s not normal since EVA is a must for any anime viewer. I don’t really know the reason why I keep myself from watching it, maybe both because mecha is not my favorite genre, and the hype of EVA is just overwhelming that […]

Berserk - 03 2

Berserk(2016) – 03

Forgive me for the delay on this particular post but I must admit that in light of Berserks quality my interest in covering it has somewhat declined. I know that for every episode to come I will have to dance around the elephant in the room but this series isn’t making that easy for me. […]

Orange 03d

Orange – 03

So this week we finally encounter a love rival. Of course with a romance drama show like Orange there had to be someone who would stand on their way right? Except there’s not much of a rival really since Naho never stands a chance against the new girl Ueda. As she learns hard and clear […]

91 Days - 02 2

91 Days – 02

At this point I think it’s clear what kind of show we are getting. It’s not Hitman Reborn which essentially uses its mafia inspiration as window dressing for shounen battles. Nor is it Baccano with a silly yet funny atmosphere combining the prohibition setting and supernatural. No, what we have here is the old school […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 02d

Thunderbolt Fantasy – 02

Sometimes there’s a show that so campy and fun that you just can’t help but enjoy watching it, and then sometimes there’s a show that completely takes you by surprise by how unique it is. Thunderbolt Fantasy offers both of these in a neat package and further showcases the richness of animation as a medium […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 16 2

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 16

Looks like the new opening and ending won’t be getting much use in this second cour either, not that I am complaining of course. This week I  wouldn’t be surprised if people were getting sick of Subaru as his actions continue to be erratic and destructive. The ending of the last episode gave hope that […]

Fate Kaleid Liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! - 02 3

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 3rei – 02

It is safe to say that to get the most out of this series, you have got to be a Fate fan. There are numerous little easter eggs calling back to it, even Kirei’s signature “Rejoice” line. However I say even casual fans could get something out of this series as well. Provided they made […]

Orange 02d

Orange – 02

Let me say up front that I am not fond with either romance or melodrama. We usually mistaken romance for love but whenever I think about love I’d think of commitment. Melodrama don’t do well to me either as I always feel forced, like most of the time when the show goes big, emotional scenes, […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 15 4

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 15

I have a certain belief when it comes to anime and it is that in a great series there is “That” episode. You know the one, the one you will always remember. The one that comes to mind when the series is brought up. Of course depending on personal opinion, that episode can be different […]

Latest Reviews

Untitled-1

Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]

My Life as a Courgette a

My Life as a Courgette (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

It’s never easy to make a good family’s animation. For movies aim at adults, the filmmakers can easily get themselves loose, go crazy and the audience can still get it. But for kids, these movies might be one of the first movies they’ve ever seen and that’s a huge responsibility. They have to aware of […]

Red Turtle a

The Red Turtle Review – 93.5/100

Welcome to my first movie review on World Animation section, the column where I wholly dedicated to indie/ art-house animated features around the world that hardly got coverage anywhere really (but rest assure our since sometimes I will review anime movies as well). And what’s a better way to start this section by reviewing one of […]

Flying witch 09d

Flying witch Review – 86/100

As I mentioned in one of my weekly posts, most of the reason why a slice-of-life anime show don’t work well is not because there’s nothing happen, but more because the cast isn’t interesting enough or the show tends to repeat the things that we already know. I’m happy to say that this is not […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 12a

Bungou Stray Dogs Review – 62/100

Well, we don’t usually give a review on the first cour of anime show, given the fact that the second part will air next autumn season. But since I’m not certain I would cover its second half, plus I don’t think this series will improve itself, I might as well give Bungou Stray Dogs a […]

Kiznaiver - 12 1

Kiznaiver Review – 60/100

Kiznaiver is a very different faire from Studio Triggers other works in that it takes a more serious tone and has a writer who tends to go more for the melodramatic. This is a tale about a group of very different people gathered together and have their pain linked to one another. In an effort […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]

akTwkhF

Stella Glow Game Review-60/100

I really should be getting Grand Kingdom or waiting for Mirage Sessions. My review of Stella Glow is way past relevancy being nearly 8 months late, but I finally completed this and it wouldn’t hurt to briefly wrap up my thoughts about the game created by the now-defunct Imageepoch. I somehow managed to get through Lord of […]