Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Essence of Anime Read Or Die|
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 09/04/2007 Run time: 90 minutes
Watch or Die? Not quite.
Roman Martel | California USA | 03/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Read or Die's main objective is to entertain you for about an hour and a half. It's not gonna change the world and it isn't going to fall into your top ten picks for anime. But it will be good for a Friday night viewing or just one of the Sunday's where you wanna pop something in that has a nice combination of fast paced action, plenty of cleavage and lots of explosions. In a way it's a bit of a throwback to 80's style anime where the story didn't really matter - it was just an excuse for the animators to go wild.
The animation and sound are excellent. You've got some pleasing character design for your female leads of Agent Paper and Nancy (you like cute and nerdy or sexy with a leather fetish, you're in luck). There is a strange steampunk meets modern day feeling going on. This crazy mix actually works to keep you guessing what new form the villains will take. The animation is very fluid in the action scenes, with my favorite being Agent Paper and Nancy going after a crazed fiend in a glider around the Statue of Liberty. Visually this series is a treat. Sound follows the same boat with a nice 5.1 mix for the English and Japanese track. Dialogue is clear and action scenes sound great in surround.
The music is pretty distinctive with a nice 60's spy movie sound (John Barry, what have you done?). If you enjoyed the work on "Cowboy Bebop" or "Gunsmith Cats" it's pretty similar. The title theme stands out and is used pretty effectively in key action scenes as well. The rest of the supporting score does a good job, nothing too spectacular but it helps build tension or heighten emotion.
The story isn't anything too earth shattering. Evil forces are out to destroy the earth's population with some kind of crazy scheme (using clones of famous people to create a symphony of suicide). It's up to Agent Paper and her team to discover the plot and stop it. There's a double-cross, there's lots of action, there's some crazy attacks and over the top dialogue. For the most part the script is easy to follow, never once descending into complete bedlam (unlike some 80's anime adventures). The characters get enough background that you understand them and actually like Agent Paper. There's enough for the actors to work with and they do a good job. Again Agent Paper and Nancy seem to be the best of the English voice actors (and mighty familiar if you've watched "Gunsmith Cats"). There are some pretty goofy attempts at various accents and that caused me to giggle a bit, especially when I don't think it was supposed to be funny. Overall not a bad dubbing job, above average.
As for entertainment, Read or Die delivers. It's loud and splashy but that's it's intent. I wants you to thrill to the imagination of the animators and just have a good time. For the most part it succeeds. The three episodes are paced well and kept my interest. There was a mix of humor with the action. For me the mix worked best in the first episode. The second and third episode are good, but they go more for dramatics than humor and are a little less effective. At three episodes it doesn't overstay it's welcome at all. I definitely recommend Read or Die for a rental, and if you need to fill in a fun little spot in your collection, it makes a decent purchase."