Read or Die (OVA)

Title:Read or Die (OVA)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: ISHIKAWA Daisuke
NEYA Michiko
R1 License - Manga Entertainment

The series opens with an attack upon the White House by a mysterious man of awesome powers. It turns out, though, that what he was really looking for was the Library of Congress! Meanwhile, Tokyo substitute teacher Yomiko Readman is a young woman who cannot stop reading books. She goes into bookstores that have her face on the wall ('Our #1 Customer') While in some exclusive bookstore (Members Only) she finds an original copy of an extremely rare book entitled Immortal Beloved. While reading it a strange man riding a giant grasshopper shows up and steals it! Yomiko gets very angry and spontaneously generates a giant string of paper which she hurls at the mantis, locking it to the ground! Confused, another man walks up to her and says, 'Oh it's you, Agent Paper'.

[3 OAV episodes based on the manga of the same title. See also the sequel Read or Die - TV.]

Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 8 8 9 9 Dreamer [series:365#2279]
After thoroughly enjoying and loving the series of the same name, I had to pick this one up and hope for the same goodness I got from the series. And I wasn't let down.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork was good. Rich details and color. Animation seemed slightly below par but still good nevertheless. Character designs were good. Yomiko was uber cute!

The OP reminded me of some james bond opener. It was a pretty and catchy jazz-like piece. The soundtrack had some nice elevator style pieces and some soft jazz like ones. At times it would get dramatic and play a clamatic piece..... instrumental.

Series and Episode Story
The whole concept of a "Paper master" was just too cool. Althought it didn't have the flare and awesome fight scenes as compared to the series, there was still some neat animation. Yomiko is the biggest book worm in the history of man. As for the plot, it had plenty of mystery and interesting historical settings and characters... a bit modified. One part that bothered me was in episode 2, Nancy gets wounded by a staff going through her body. Unless I missed something important, she has the ability to go through objects and vise versa without damage. But then, later (few minutes later), I discovered why... so, no bother there. In the end, it wrapped up nicely an concluded.

Overall, this was well worth the watch. Great characters, good plot and excellent ending. In the end, I still enjoyed the series much more but this is still worth a buy.

Last updated Saturday, January 09 2010. Created Saturday, January 09 2010.
Buy Xenoknight [series:365#2967]

review coming after I rewatch the anime...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Monday, February 02 2009. Created Monday, February 02 2009.
Buy 9 10 9 9 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:365#1552]
The Pros: Read or Die is an action anime that brings a refreshing premise to the genre by introducing a new form of heroine in the form of Yomiko Readman. Yomiko goes against the standard character conventions that would be found for an action anime heroine. She is neither attractive nor physically active in combat, relying solely in her power of paper manipulation. Yomiko’s obsession of books makes up the majority of the comedy found in Read or Die. Besides Yomiko, this OAV features a solid amount of plot progression, as there are a good number of plot twists that come along as the OAV progresses. Read or Die’s highlight is its high quality animated action sequences that are quite a spectacle to see, especially as Yomiko and other agents battle the I-Jin. Each of the I-Jin have battle abilities similar to their major accomplishments from their past lives from Genjo Sanzo’s abilities taken from the demonic characters of Saiyuki to Gennai Hiraga’s power to manipulate electricity with a generator box. Some could compare the action of Read or Die to what could be found in the live-action X-Men movies. The soundtrack to the OAV is upbeat and full of energy, which goes well with the fast pace of the series.

The Cons: Read or Die’s biggest problem is that it does not give itself enough time to explore some of its major plot elements. Because of the fast pace of the series, some vital plot elements such as the origins of the I-Jin and the British Library’s gathering of information are left unclear. In addition, the ending to the series felt open as this was used to continue the series with its sequel, R.O.D TV.

Facts on the OAV:

-Based on characters in the manga series created by Hideyuki Kurata. The Read or Die manga is licensed by Viz Media.

Last updated Wednesday, January 09 2008. Created Sunday, January 06 2008.
Buy 9 10 9 7 8 8 manganime [series:365#1633]
I guess I'll give this a buy as I did really enjoy this- especially the first part, and although in my view the quality of this anime deteriates with each episode leaving behind a shoddy ending it was still a good and I watched all three parts in one which is unsual for me.

(i also found where my favourite anime DBZ originates from thanx to this).

Last updated Wednesday, December 14 2005. Created Wednesday, December 14 2005.
Rent 10 9 8 9 7 7 AstroNerdBoy [series:365#436]

ROD OAV at times feels very much like a James Bond title, namely in the music. I kept expecting the Bond theme music to start at any time. I suppose this was the Japanese way of saying, "This show is about a UK special ops agency." Fortunately, this isn't a Bond title, though it is a bit odd, if interesting.

At only three episodes, there's not a lot of time to establish much of anything. In fact, I'm left with a TON of questions. I don't know how this British secret organization came to be. I don't know how its agents got their special powers. And I don't know anything about the creation of the villian organization. Not having answers to questions can be very frustrating, but this OAV is done well enough to counter that.

So what worked? Well having the nerdy glasses girl as the hero for starts. She is certainly not the image of a heroine. She is a complete otaku when it comes to books, so much so that she spends every cent/pence/yen/whatever purchasing books. Her small apartment on top of an office building is packed to the gills with books, and not arranged very well. She loves to read and the local booksellers love her. So when Yomiko is attacked by a man on a giant insect for her latest book purchase, her ability to control loose paper to form weapons or shields was most interesting. Her ability to battle was increased by her desire not to allow a book she had just purchased for reading to be taken from her. I liked it.

Bottom line: It is OK for a one-time watch and worth a rent. When I see the TV series, I may have further remarks.

Last updated Saturday, February 12 2005. Created Wednesday, February 09 2005.

Rent Stretch [series:365#628]
Well, just last Saturday I watched ROD on Cartoon Network, which has gotten into the habit of replaying the shows it runs on Saturday nights on the following Thursday evening. I didn't plan on rewatching it after just 5 days, but somehow it hooked me and I couldn't let go until it was all over. That's how good ROD is. It has an exciting, exotic feel to it--the word "snazzy" comes to mind. The OP sequence is especially neat. Paradoxically, it's also silly--like a James Bond movie with 007 replaced by the shy bookworm Yomiko Readman, who surely never thought of herself as a secret agent. You can't help liking her, and also neat is "Ms. Deep"--especially when she's fighting hand-to-hand. All too often, anime series involving threats to the world end with me asking myself "what just happened?" or "why did that happen?". Here, the show has an almost American-style action movie plot: the good guys/girls have clearly won, and the bad guys have gotten what they deserved. It was afterwards that the thought occured to me that this hadn't really made all that much sense. Assuming the chief villain (the guy with the staff with a skull on it--I never caught his name)was another clone of a historical figure, who robbed the genetic bank of the samples needed to do the cloning in the first place? What was the significance of the word "Stephen"? How many Nancy clones were there, and when did they switch places? Who was the Nancy suffering from memory loss--not the same one as refused to parachute with Yomiko, right? Good thing all these problems didn't occur to me 'til after the show was over. The secret to enjoying ROD is to not take it too seriously. This is fun, exciting, humorous, action-packed--and let's just leave it at that.

Last updated Friday, December 31 2004. Created Friday, December 31 2004.
Buy Forbin [series:365#1573]
Drama : Med
Comedy : Med
Action : Med / High
SciFi : Med
Ecchi : None
Ok I finished Read or Dream,
All the questions left by Read or Die are now answered. I know why this all happened.
This is a great anime, worthy of the 2002 title. It has good music and good backgrounds. I loved folowing around the Paper and her adventures.
Problems with it.
1) The English VA of the Paper is really annoying. But it fits in with her character, she annoys Drake a lot. The VA for Yomiko in Read or Dream has a British accent at least.
Well except for that, it was EXCELLENT!
Buy this!

Last updated Wednesday, January 05 2005. Created Monday, September 27 2004.
Buy 10 10 8 10 8 8 Yousei [series:365#755]
Hm, everything in this anime was quite understandable to me. I didn't find myself lost in any way! The artwork is top notch, as well as the music in my opinion. The way this OAV series sums up in the end was also enjoyable to me. I'm not saying ROD is a must-see, but it is something to check up on

Last updated Friday, July 04 2003. Created Tuesday, July 01 2003.
Buy 10 10 9 9 9 9 The saint [series:365#815]
Everything else seems to work for Read or die. As the winner of anime expo 2002 it holds up to its title.
A short OAV series just enough to even grab that idiotic anime hating friends(if any) of yours.
My only complain would be the lack of character background. How did Yomiko got her power? who is this drake and whats his connection to the british library forces? How did the I-jin come to pass?
If one can by pass all that then go ahead and buy this anime. Its already out from the people at manga video

Last updated Monday, June 30 2003. Created Monday, June 30 2003.
Rent 10 10 7 8 7 8 Sesen Kelader [series:365#471]
Read or Die is originated from a Japanese novel. I'm not sure how the novel was written, yet the anime is, in a way, not so great.
The openining song scene is quite intimate and acctractive, and the title of the story itself is actually very eye-catching. Read! Or Die! It might strike the mind of many nowadays book-hating teenagers or young adults such as me. However, I suppose the story is not well-developed after the first episode. It could have been something more creative and innovative, yet soon after the incidents in the 1st episode, the anime just follows many modern Japanese anime patterns, the "reading" itself is not emphasized except being related to puzzles solving.
The idea to bring back ancient great ppl to the present and apply them with evilness is a way to critisize the past, yet Read or Die does not interpret it well, however. To the extreme these famous ancient ppl just become typical Japanese anime antoganists with famous ppl's name.
Despiste the failure to become an outstanding anime, Read or Die absolutely has great art, action-figure, and certain innovatoin.

Last updated Sunday, January 26 2003. Created Sunday, January 26 2003.
Rent 8 8 5 7 Kaitou Juliet [series:365#137]

I'd heard a lot of raves about this short OAV series before I saw it. The show certainly looks good; the art and animation are little short of stunning. And "The Paper" is one of the more endearing characters to appear in anime lately.

I assume this is based on a manga. Several key plot elements aren't really explained; you just have to accept things like the main characters' uncanny abilities, and run with them. The storyline overall is fairly tight and exciting. It veers too close to the superhero genre for my taste, but for people who like that sort of thing, this should be right up your alley.

Last updated Friday, March 22 2002. Created Friday, March 22 2002.
Buy 10 9 10 10 9 Midnighter [series:365#94]
Oh wow. R.O.D. is one of the most impressive new animes to date. Fantastic animation, excellent visuals, wonderful character designs, and an intrigueing fast paced story make for nearly a perfect show. This 3 part OAV is like James Bond, only not lame.
The animation itself is gorgeous, I would have given it a 10 out of 10 if not for the slight choppiness of the second episode. The quality is nearly feature-film good,with crisp and smooth movement. Character designs looked similar to Bubblegum Crisis 2040, but I have so far been unable to track down and confirm if it is the same designer. In any case, they're fabulous, if a bit over-endowed. Still, it's tough to pull off a good 'glasses' look (look at Magic Knights Rayearth...) but The Paper looks great. I loved all the characters, from Drake to The Paper, and they all had distinct personalities. I was afraid initially that Ms. Deep was introduced soley for fan service, but was pleasantly surprised to watch her character grow.
The Paper's 'super powers' were interesting and creative, although I would like to have more of a background on HOW she does that with paper. In fact, there is no back ground for anything, even the characters themselves, which irked me. I would have liked to have seen how The Paper became involved in the British Library Special Force. The plot also becomes TOO convoluted at parts, as if there were parts trimmed for time. However, I really enjoyed the global 'widescreen' feel to the series, which reminded me of "The Authority" comic book.
The music is well done, from the twangy Bond-ish main theme to the mix of orchestrated and electronic back ground music, and the even threw in some classical. Sound effects were good, but some of the weapons fire sounded inaccurate. The voice cast was superb, but The Paper's voice got a bit grating at times.
Overall, I highly recommend R.O.D. to anyone, as its strong mix of action, intrigue and a clever story make for a perfect show.
News: R.O.D. has been picked up by Manga Video.

Last updated Friday, March 22 2002. Created Tuesday, January 08 2002.

Other Sites
the Read or Die fansite
An excellent Read or Die site with a nice layout. Please Note As of 11/24/02 site has been Dead

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