Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|ROD - Read Or Die|
Actors: Ryan Abraham, Raymond Braun, Brooke Cadorette, Chad Fifer, Crispin Freeman
Director: Kouji Masunari
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 05/27/2003
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Cheer "The Paper," the most ingenious anime heroine in years
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 04/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"R.O.D. (READ OR DIE) is quite an imaginative and delightful three-episode Japanese OAV (Original Animated Video) series that deftly mixes sci-fi, adventure, comedy, history and a love of rare books. Made in 2000, it's set against a marvelously detailed background of urban settings like Tokyo, Washington DC, and New York, along with the massive Victorian-style (but secretly high-tech) British Library headquarters, as well as a diverse fleet of retro-style aircraft and seacraft. Overall, it offers the kind of fresh, unpredictable and literate entertainment that caters to the restless tastes of the more discriminating anime fans in America.
The heroine is a 20-something woman named Yomiko Readman, a shy, self-effacing bookworm who is a teacher and obsessive collector of rare books. She traipses about in a long skirt and overcoat, lugging a large briefcase behind her on a wheeled cart everywhere she goes, even when chasing super-villains. She's also a secret agent known as "The Paper" who has the extraordinary power of turning any kind of paper product into a lethal weapon or protective barrier. One of the special thrills of this series is the way this talent is used so often to ingenious effect in the course of the three episodes. When the Library of Congress is attacked and robbed by a famous Japanese inventor cloned back to life, Yomiko is assigned by the British Library to retrieve the stolen books. The enemy is soon revealed to be much wider in scope and encompasses a host of other historical figures brought back to life, including a certain famed composer. World domination is not their aim but something much more sinister.The plot is rather complex, but never wavers off track as the action moves from Tokyo to D.C. to New York (including a harrowing scene at a pre-9/11 World Trade Center) in the first episode alone, venturing to India in the second, and to a massive techno-fortress which rises out of the central Pacific Ocean in the third. The writing is consistently clever, the heroine relentlessly charming and the characters and multiple historical references always intriguing. There's also an elaborate title sequence that's the best seen in any anime since "Cowboy Bebop," along with a jazzy early-'70s style-TV theme that gives it some added color. The release of all three episodes on one DVD is a welcome signal of the possible resurgence of the OAV format, which allows for limited-run series of various lengths like this one."
Right when you thought it was safe to read...
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 12/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, this anime is a tad silly. But it is also filled with tons of action, humor and good artwork. After watching R.O.D. TV (disc one), I had to go see what OAV started it. The plot is super-James Bond, the characters are detailed and with such voice actors as Amanda Winn-Lee (from Plastic Little, Ghost In The Shell TV series, and Burn-Up), Tricia Dickson (from Hellsing, Spirit Of Wonder, and Haibane-Renmei) and Crispin Freeman (do I HAVE to list his work?).
If you are a fan of R.O.D. TV, of James bond movies, or just enjoy a good "End-Of-The-World" storyline, this is the DVD for you. There is a link to R.O.D. TV's main character at the very start of the first episode of the OVA. You just have to look hard enough!"
High quality, lots of fun
Steven Myers | SF Bay Area | 05/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Read or Die is a breath of fresh air amid the anime releases in the United States: it manages to combine high quality on the technical side with interesting, likeable characters and an interesting story. First off, this is obviously a high-budget production: these three episodes (which is the complete Read or Die direct-to-video series) sport character designs which are attractive, animation which is top-notch, and great sound and music. Moreover, Manga, the studio releasing Read or Die in the US did a wonderful authoring job on the DVD, in contrast to some of their releases (e.g., Macross II). On the technical side, Read or Die simply screams quality.Fortunately, that quality is matched by the quirky, likeable characters and the quirkier plot. The heroine, Yomiko Readman, is a book-obsessed woman with the power to manipulate paper (which is far more interesting than it may sound). She is also a secret agent for the British Library. When cloned historical figures try to steal her newest book purchase and destroy the world, she is assigned to stop them. Yomiko is the most interesting heroine of the last several years of anime releases: she is a woman, not a girl; she is not overly sexualized; she is capable and strong without pride or arrogance.The only real flaw in Read or Die is that, because it's only 3 episodes long, the weird little plot is somewhat opaque. Moreover, many of the historical figures will not be familiar to a US audience, but this is a quibble, really. The show is not about the villains or their purposes, it is about Yomiko and hers."
Crazy, Weird, a breath of fresh air
Ben Carpenter | Amarillo, TX United States | 04/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The plot was pretty twisted but I liked it anyway. Yomiko Readman, a.k.a. "The Paper" is a special agent who is working for the British Library, helping them to put an end to a gang of villaneous clones of made-up famous people from history bent on destroying humanity and stealing its rarest books. Yomiko is nuts about books and reading and her superpower is that she can manipulate paper into just about anything she wants it to be. She can cause it to become as hard as metal or she can bunch it all together to form objects ect. She even carries a briefcase around thats full of paper(unsuspected ammo). She teams up with another couple of special agents, including the lovely Ms. Deep whose superpower is that she can pass through solid objects. Together they take on the evil clones. So yes, the story may seem weird but it works and thats whats important. It was a highly enjoyable superspy romp around the world with superheroes taking out supervillians with some of the craziest diabolicol schemes ever devised.The music in the series was awesome! Music in an anime is very important to me, it has the ability to draw one into the story and the mood of the show. ROD's music does just that. Its got a kinda upbeat spy/thriller thing going.Animation was amazing! Extremely detailed characters and environments, beautiful colors, backdrops and clean lines. The characters were all great, either very suave, sophisticated, mysterious, or dangerous.Parental Guidence: There is no nudity, only Ms. Deep cleavage. Language if I remember correctly was mild. Violence is moderate. For the most part it wasn't very graphic, the worst scenes that come to mind are a bad guy getting shot in the side of the head with some sharp object. This was shown from the front so it wasn't graphic. Then there was a suicide scene that showed people cutting themselves and blood running all over. Both instances happened very quickly though. Also Ms. Deep sometimes kills by "phasing" through people. I'd recommend for 13+ My only gripe with the show was that it was only 3 episodes long! If you watch the show not knowing what its about, you may become a bit confused as I was as you are thrown straight into the meat of the story without even knowing that the characters are supposed to have superpowers. I started out watching the show thinking Yomiko was just an ordinary book-lovin citizen and was pretty darned confused when she turned around and started fighting with paper and then I couldn't at first figure out her connection to the British Library or that she was an agent all along. But if you read this review, you'll have a better understanding of the show before it shoots you right into the plot. I say all this cus I almost quit watching when all these things started happening - just glad I didn't :)On a happy note, I read in Newtype that theyre coming out with a new ROD tv series in Japan and they may be keeping Yomiko in it! I look forward to it"