Posted on 13 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




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.

Suggestions:
Read or Die TV
Yozakura Quartet OVA
Hyper Future Vision: Gunnm

5 Responses

  1. Watcherzero says:

    One of my favourite OVA. I would also argue the baddies arent bad for the sake of being bad, they were created to do a job and they know it, they conciously know they are just tools and their satisfaction is completing the purpose of their creation.

  2. c160 says:

    The best part of the OVA for me is the NancyxNancy fight,so awesome! The fight choreography was really something else!

  3. fluca says:

    Yomiko Readman, to me (a guy who LOVES to read) is simply THE most endearing anime character ever to be animated. She is intelligent, badass and super cute. I saw this OVA many years ago and I still can clearly hear her say “hon” while extending her hand to the bad guy. So cute!
    Also, the series is a hoot to watch and the fight scenes very well choreographed.

    The only sad part is that seeing this ruined the tv-series for me. The moment I saw it wasn’t about Yomiko, I just lost interest…

    Anyways, I’m happy you finally got around seeing it.

  4. MkMiku says:

    This is a cool OVA that I’ve watched multiple times. Every time I seem to notice/enjoy something new. The fighting is great, the bosses are cool…what more could you want?

  5. DangerMouse says:

    Agreed, this is one of my favorite franchises, I loved both the OVAs and the TV series for their strengths.

    The creativity of it all, the secret agents theme (not to mention the secret agent-ish music of the OP of both the OVA and TV series), and the creativity of the action scenes and how they were choreographed was just amazing with every action scene just incredible to watch and the TV series caught me right away with Anita’s actions on the plane really showing that the action scenes were going to indeed hold up surprisingly well in the transition to having to spread out the budget for a full series given that the OVA was just gorgeous.

    It was a lot of fun with really cool action and really likeable characters.

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:59 AM)
    And holy hell,it would appear I have a thing for Tsukiyama and Touka =)
    The direction was very good when things hit the fan in the last few episodes too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:53 AM)
    Additionally, the rushed pacing in the end it never came to bother me, I think from reading the whole manga that it needed a good pruning/trimming and what was left was the worthwhile material. I never really cared much for the characterization in the manga, it wasn’t all that miss-able.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 07:51 AM)
    Marathoned the tokyo ghoul anime there on a whim. I enjoyed seeing the fights animated even though visually there was room for improvement in places, the censoring while poor in places was nowhere near as bad as I had expected and didn’t ruin things for me as I thought it might.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:36 AM)
    At this point they have become a caricature of their own subcultures lol
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:25 AM)
    I mean we like the edgy, dark, gory sex stuff with a grotesque twist but the J-pop inspired art with star-shaped eyeliners, Ganguro, the green hair and accessorizing with 16 belts and dog collars … probably not as much.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:23 AM)
    @K-off: yeah that and a misunderstanding of the nature of the world’s infatuation with Japanese culture.
  • k-off
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:15 AM)
    @Bam They started falling apart when they began streamlining the game for casual players. Same story with so many good developers.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    I mean I get it, SquareEnix has lost quite a lot of face. I like action RPGs tho so I think given the graphics and the gameplay framework this could’ve been something special, but it seems that bad character designs, writing, and the J-popification of the series is continuing on with this one.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @Bam: Lost interest in the FF franchise arounf FF10, had a love/hate relationship with 11.
  • k-off
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:04 AM)
    @Bam Eh, I’m already going to blow all of my money on Civilization BNW, Witcher, and Alien, so that’s the last thing on my list. I really refuse to buy into the hype for the FF franchise anymore.

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