One of the best anime shows of all time, bar none.
Trashman | Topeka, KS | 07/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"*NOTE: This review was written after viewing the series from its original releases, not the box set, which is exactly the same material.*
There are several anime that I adore, including Evangelion, .hack//SIGN, Excel Saga, RahXephon, Infinite Ryvius, and Last Exile. And then there's Pioneer/Geneon's R.O.D: The TV, one of the most stylish and intriguing of them all.
First of all, most newcomers will want to watch the movie R.O.D: Read or Die (released in North America by Manga Entertainment) before tackling the TV series, as it provides some back-story to the 26-episode show. R.O.D: The TV focuses on Nenene Sumiregawa, a famous author and close friend of secret agent Yomiko Readman, who has gone missing since the events of the movie. Nenene has recently become the target of terrorist threats, and her publisher has hired the Three Paper Sisters Detective Agency to serve as her bodyguards.
Like Yomiko, the Sisters are Paper Masters, which means that they can manipulate simple paper into razor-sharp weapons, fierce beastlike creatures, and even giant paper airplanes that can soar through the sky. They are Michelle Chan (a bubbly blonde who has a soft spot for books and small children), Maggie Mui (a strong, silent, and emotional bibliophile), and Anita King (a loud, temperamental adolescent who hates books but loves milk and stuffed animals). They are also assigned to locate a series of legendary books that the British Library also is taking a peculiar interest in.
Joseph "Joker" Carpenter is back as the devious, suave leader of the British Library, as is his assistant Wendy (no longer the bumbling secretary of the movie but a hardened, serious businesswoman). U.S. agent Drake Anderson, Yomiko, and Nancy Makuhari also reappear as major characters before too long. Some of the new characters include Junior (a shy young agent of the British Library who shares Nancy's ability to "phase" through solid matter) and Sonny Wong, a member of Asian publisher Dokusensha who is an extremely powerful Paper Master in his own right.
Unlike several shows, R.O.D: The TV takes the time to establish its main characters without neglecting the plot at hand. When it's providing some exposition to characters like Junior, Anita's friend Hisami, and the Paper Sisters themselves, it hits the right emotional notes and makes the cast human and possible to relate to. When it delves into the underlying storyline, dramatic scenes and fights, it accomplishes them with aplomb. The battles are well-animated and choreographed and showcase the Sisters' powers with great amounts of style. We steadily learn of the importance of the secret books without being handed too much at once.
There are some occasional weak parts, such as one bizarre episode in which the Sisters wander through a town with a set of conspiracies against them. But this is otherwise an exciting show to experience, and to me, it was worth every penny."
A Wonderful Series!
A. Schneider | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Creativity this series scores the highest possible score, but characters and DVD extras? Forget about it.
Simply one of the best series on television, R.O.D. the TV delivers in character originality, character depth, excellent voice acting, memorable scenes, awesome action sequences, enough deep thinking to make adults appreciate this series, and happens to be downright creative in almost every way!
It should be noted that this series is mistakenly called "Read or Die the TV" which it is not, it is "R.O.D. the TV" a spin off from the novel series which started the OVA Read or Die which ended up branching off both this series for the American audience and Read or Dream, a manga series (a new series I hear is in the works as I write this. This is an important distinction to make because the story arc which this series follows is extremely different from the original Read or Die novels as well as the Read or Dream mangas.
So what can you expect with R.O.D. the TV? Plot twists, librarians, book store owners, evil corporations all of which is tied together with magical powers to manipulate paper and also manages to resurrect some loveable characters from the "Read or Die" movie (the OVA for which the series was based on). Slow moving and yet depressingly so as was the case in my opinion with Witch Hunter Robin, R.O.D. the TV will have you hooked in no time with some of the best character development and original story seen thus far in anime!
Truly a wonderful production... though I'd suggest you rent the OVA and then the first couple of DVDs before buying it to make sure you'll love it just as much as some of the other die hard fans out there! Trust me though, there's a lot to love about it!"
Fun, touching, and beautifully done
Alan Deikman | Fremont, CA United States | 08/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An anime with a strong story arc for adults. The very odd title doesn't represent it, the artsy geisha nudes don't quite fit with the personality of the screenplay. What you get are four girl action super-heros that seem like real people, vulnerable and often silly until a crisis hits and then they are serious business.
The three Paper Sisters are Michelle (oldest, bubbly, blonde, very feminine), then Maggie (taciturn, stoic, strong, and tall), and then 13-year-old Anita (tomboy, combative, smart). They have powers over paper, turning it into shields, weapons, and familiars.
The story is about their odd jobs that they use to support themselves, the chief of which is to act as bodyguard for the an unwilling Japanese author by the name of Nenene.
For whatever flaws it has, it generates in most episodes truly memorable moments. If you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV) you will like this just as much. Those that complain about the pacing and the "wandering" of the plot either just missing the point, or missing the kind of anime that has a money-shot of something blowing up or getting whacked every 90 seconds.
The action when it happens is great, but not what is best about ROD. Very few animes are worth five stars, and this is one of them."
Get it if ur reading this
MisterShake | Canby, OR USA | 11/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been watching anime for many a year now, and when I stumbled upon the R.O.D OVA, which aired on Adult Swim some time ago, I was compelled to watch the TV series as well. Setting obvious TV series and OVA differences aside, R.O.D the TV was one of the best animes I have ever had the delight of viewing. The storyline is deep and original, albeit slow at times, and the animation and ideas are top notch. Overall, this series stands on its own, not requiring any proven anime success types (oversexed girls, super-ninjas, etc.) to be entertaining."