Posted by psgels 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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  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:25 PM)
    @Kaiser: EoE is one my favorite anime of all time. Once you ditch the superfluous religious imagery the rest makes sense. Human Instrumentaly succeeds, everyone turns to LCL then the conduit fails as some reject it and regain form. Deep in the fiction end of SciFi, but makes in-universe sense.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:17 PM)
    I don’t want a happy ending, what I want is something I can wrap my head around at least.
    I’d doubt it’d be as disturbing as end of evangelion though.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:16 PM)
    Now does it have problems? of course. I mentioned the most prominent ones and their causes in my first comment. Does its issues outweigh the entertainment value? depends on your personality. Keep in mind that there is no such a thing as a universally flawless creation. Every anime/manga/film/book has a community of haters; some sincere and some are just attention-seeking contrarians.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:10 PM)
    It wouldn’t have been that hard for the 3rd movie to tie a nice bow on the events of the 2nd film and acted as everything was fine, that would’ve certainly pleased the masses, but that also would’ve made it a monument to artistic compromise. If you want feel-good material you’re barking up the wrong tree. Like Ramsey says in Game of Thrones “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:06 PM)
    I reserve judgment on the entirety of the Rebuild movies until I see the final one. That’s the one that will either elevate it or completely run it into the ground. there are few who seem to understand what they were going for in 3.0 since yeah it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as 2.0 with it’s action-packed finale and Shinji finally doing something and saving Rei, but Eva is not about satisfaction but failure and loss.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 10:01 PM)
    I’m actually really looking forward to the 4th film.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:59 PM)
    I’ll admit it now as a mature adult, I was ragging against Eva too much for getting into an argument with a friend years ago when I was a teenager about it and he understood better than I did and I felt thick and that he picked up on it more easily than I did. He’ll be laughing/gloating when I tell him I gave the franchise another chance through the movies, this is still a joke among my friends about me and the show.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:54 PM)
    I’m recalling my brother’s vie on Eva the series vs the reboot:
    That he feels “The films are entertaining but un-neccesary because you don’t fix a piece of work that isn’t broken”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:53 PM)
    Now the characters are emotionally a bit blank because that’s what Anno wanted. To show the mental isolation of the protagonist they needed to keep him separated and tormented. Liking/hating this is a matter of taste. Now we also have Kaji, Fuyutsuki and others to move the plot and Mari for lightening up the mood, the latter which I also didn’t enjoy, but it didn’t really ruin anything.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 09:47 PM)
    Now was Eva bad or good is matter of opinion that is completely separate from it’s ‘relevance’. I believe it was fantastic for it’s time and slim budget. The parts that were actually animated were done real well. The style was so influential the biggest company in the game right now (including Ufotable) copy and allude to it.

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