The great thing about Read or Die (one of the great things at least) is that you can pretty much watch the OVA and TV-series in any order you’d like. They have one similar character and take place in the same universe, but they’re completely different stories about completely different characters with completely different styles of storytelling.
The TV-series was mostly slow-paced. The OVA’s pacing is fast. It doesn’t care about being solid, and instead its biggest goal is entertainment. It does this with a tight and fast-paced plot and gorgeously animated action scenes. It’s really meant to be an adventure OVA, and does a lot of things right, considering that it’s only an hour and a half long. It’s got a great cast of characters, and especially Yomiko Readman is adorable to watch even if you haven’t watched the Read or Die TV-series.
Like the TV-series though, this is stuffed with neat ideas. The concept of people using paper to fight evil is of course very creative, but again this is just the tip of the iceberg. The different powers and plots of the bad guys in particular are just a delight to watch because of how creative they can get to accomplish their not-so-creative goals (granted, they are bad guys who are evil for the sake of being evil; it’s the ways that they use to destroy the world that are the really interesting part). The plot itself is simple, but effective, neither being too big nor too small for an hour and a half of airtime.
Now, the fast pacing does have the disadvantage is that the only positive thing that I can say about a lot of the side-characters is that they look cool, because we hardly get to know anything about them, the bad guys in particular being a problem with this. Still, for an OVA of this size it definitely could have been done better, and the characters that it does focus on are well explored.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Excellent fast-paced entertainment, though does make a few sacrifices to keep the pace going.|
|Characters:||8/10 – One-sided bad guys, but the main characters are very enjoyable.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Amazing action scenes.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Full of neat idea.|