Posted by psgels on 14 April 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews

Before Kazuki Akane came with his epic Birdy the Mighty Decode, there of course was the original Birdy the Mighty OVA. While I knew that it was bound to lack depth in terms of the TV–Series I still got curious as to their differences and decided to check it out.

And really, I was pretty surprised at how little these two series have in common. Aside from the main premise of Senkawa being transferred into Birdy’s body and the fact that there are aliens sneaking around somewhere, the storylines are completely different. Hardly any of the side-characters return: I could only recognize Natsumi (who plays the role of romantic love interest here) and that moustache guy (who has a much larger role here).

The story that Decode went with is of course much more superior, but it’s interesting to see how many changes it made, even to the core of the premise. It completely removed the main antagonist that we see here in this OVA. Because of her, the OVA turned into some inconsequential revenge flick that doesn’t really know what antagonist it wants to focus on. Basically, Birdy battles a bunch of bad guys, and that’s pretty much her side of the storyline. It’s nothing that we haven’t seen before, and completely lacks the depth of Decode.

Senkawa’s part in the OVA meanwhile keeps hopping back and forth between amusing and annoying. There are times where he’s pretty nicely characterized, but there are others in which his charms are completely overshadowed by his blandness as a character. The comedy is pretty much the same: some jokes just don’t work, and are the types you see in every comedy series out there. However, some jokes, like the complete lack of tact of Senkawa’s father worked pretty nicely.

Overall, when compared to the stellar standards of Birdy the Mighty Decode (especially its second season), the OVA of Birdy the Mighty is just too short, lacks depth and doesn’t take enough liberties. However, as an action-flick it works pretty nicely. The action certainly isn’t as impressive, but it’s well animated and nice enough to keep you interested. Senkawa and Birdy both have their moment, and this is a pretty nice OVA for those who are looking for very light entertainment.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Light entertainment; nothing more, nothing less and knows it.
Characters: 7/10 – Nicely characterized, but lack a ton of depth.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Pretty good animation.
Setting: 7/10 – Again: no depth. Decode made the setting really come alive. Here it’s just way too standard.

Birdy the Mighty Decode
Black Magic M66

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Concxise says:

    Actually, I really liked the original OVA. The plot was definitely cheesy, though.

    It was a nice surprise to see Violin cameo, and Birdy herself was still as gutsy and fun as she was in DECODE. Perhaps I’m just biased because I found Natsumi a much more likable female lead than Nakasugi. I mean, Nakasugi was your typical “weak and tragic” character, but Natsumi posessed some actual determination.

  2. Avatar deaky says:

    > And really, I was pretty surprised at how little these two series have in common

    Given how most “adaptations” I remember are almost the same as the source (even when asked not to be) you can easily be forgiven.

    I still remember watching Decode and thinking the same thing. In fact, despite the Decode manga being quite different from the original, even the anime of Decode was very different from the Decode manga… and now I think I have to lie down a little.

  3. Avatar Chris says:

    This OVA was old and silly, but it was downright entertaining. Had I not seen it as a kid I’d probably have had zero interest to check out the awesome Birdy Decode series =]

  4. Avatar Omurqi says:

    Having seen and liked the OVA, the constant comparison with the TV show was a little annoying (especially considering you DID give it a pretty good grade).

    Agreeing on your rating though, it was very entertaining, though not very deep (not that I was expecting it to be in the first place).

  5. Avatar Ialda says:

    Where the OAV really shines was in casting Kotono Mitsuishi as Birdy imho; she gives a totally different interpretation of the character, way more serious and mature than Saeko Chiba’s, but still stometimes with a little stroke of exuberance. I have a hard time deciding between the two actresses, as both their versions of Birdy feel alive and unforgettables.

  6. Avatar Badesh says:

    Ah, what a shame. What started with a hell of a first episode fell short after that.

    Srsly the fist episode was so amazing in terms of pacing and design. The Monsters were imaginative scary the action was superb and i really dig that classig character design like in Gunsmith Cats. On top of that the colorplay was something that stood out. But what was it with the other 3 Episodes? man… it lacked any of what made the first Episode great.

    I think i totally agree with your review.

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