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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  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:27 PM)
    Ghibi’s up would certainly be a different beast altogether.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 03:08 PM)
    @Ken no, the ghibli one.
  • Kenjeran
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:55 PM)
    @Juno: Up? That Disney-Pixar one?
  • Noel
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 01:39 PM)
    Hi there. I’m currently interning for a small company in London, and they tasked me with creating a video tribute to Howl’s Moving Castle. I came up with this, and I thought you might like it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS-zTTQzgjI Noel
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:23 PM)
    The only time they ever get along seems to be during non-canon alternate universes made for fanservice, official or not.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:21 PM)
    Erm, no. They didn’t “get along” so much as Sayaka at least sympathized nicely with her. At least, until the end, when she basically swore never to sympathize with her again. XDDD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:20 PM)
    Another interesting point is that the character relations are pretty fluid, too. Characters can act differently toward each other in different timelines/potential futures. Rebellion actually solidifies Homura’s consistent feelings toward Mami and also that Sayaka just cannot seem to be on good terms with Homura… but even then, for a while, they got along pretty well until the end. XD
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 12:17 PM)
    Madoka’s characterization seems pretty non-linear and only show up when necessary, so it’s definitely easy to see that they’re “dependent on the plot,” but there’s a ton of stuff there to piece the characters together into something coherent and solid.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Madoka’s characters act pretty confusingly? I never got that. I always felt there actions were pretty logical in the first viewing.
    Though a second viewing of anything can help. Mostly because you know the main story so you can focus on the little details.
  • Juno
    (Thursday, Apr 24. 2014 11:27 AM)
    If anyone wants me to ask any specific questions, let me know. Funny enough, people are saying the same thing I’ve been saying for a long time–that multiple viewings help us understand the characters better. Because a lot of characters DO act pretty confusing at first, but upon a second viewing, after we know more about them, those actions make complete sense. Meaning that Madoka’s characterization is not linear.

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