Seb has been an anime fan since the late 90s and is particularly fond of anything post-apocalyptic, amusing, catgirly, ecchi or containing exquisite aerial battles. Living in Leeds with his cats and living up the bachelor life, Seb enjoys whiling the nights away deep in a book, game or a damn good series.
ROD the TV Vol. 1
Price £19.99 RRP
Date 26 Sep 2005
Read or Die, the OVA was released in the UK a few years back. Heralded as a damn good move by Manga who licensed it over here, it brought many fans (including myself) back from the brink of region 2 despair. The OVA was absolutely incredible and worked out so beautifully I just had to rewatch it over and over. I love it and so when I heard about the TV series being brought out a couple of years ago I leapt at the chance to see it in fansub.
I was confused after the first episode. Who were these people? Why did they have the paper abilities? Where was Yomiko?! I took a few breaths and relaxed. I waited with baited breath for the next few episodes to be released, and slowly but surely, I was tamed. The Paper sisters, a trio of semi-related detectives come bibliophiles are lovable. After seeing them in action you slowly but surely need to see more of them. From their antics in the bathroom when Nenene first opens the door, to their unique approach to democracy, you cannot help but love them and I do and I certainly am not the only one! *cough* Kev *cough*.
A brief rundown of the story in volume 1 goes as follows. Nenene is a book author. Currently suffering from a major case of writer’s block she is being led around in Japan doing book signings from works gone past. Her life is at stake due to numerous and frequent attempts on her life by mysterious bombers. She meets the Paper sisters, discovers their ability, and they begin their job to protect her. Numerous discoveries and antics occur. The killers are put to justice. Nenene’s relationship with Yomiko (Finally a connection with the OVA!) becomes more obvious and you feel relieved that you are in territory you recognise. In the final episode, one of the paper sisters, Anita, prevents a big book from being stolen by a mysterious midget stranger and some more people we all recognise make an appearance, this time, they are in a more sinister form.
It’s safe to say that apart from the extremely amazing action sequences and the cute and lovable antics of the paper sisters, not much really occurs in the first volume. One of the finest examples of an Introduction volume I have yet to see. By ROD OVA standards, it’s slow. But this can be forgiven as the OVA was a mere 3 episodes and this is at least 8 times that!
Having previously seen the series on fansub, I was quite surprised how easily I slipped into enjoying the dub. It’s surprisingly good. I have high expectations from series I have seen fansubbed, and this has easily broken the mould. Nenene’s and Anita’s voices are especially well done giving them full of life and energy which is just what their characters need. The DVD does come with the original Japanese soundtrack complete with dubs, as well as a quite rare feature, but highly useful, which translates all the Japanese signs and text into English.
The music is absolutely incredible. Enough said!
My high expectations have been met. Overall, it’s a very good start to what is going to be a very action packed series. You get to meet the characters, and see just the tip of their abilities. You already get to feel the plot curling its fingers around your brain and you can enjoy yourself in the process.
As a ROD fanboy, I will resist from giving this a 100/10, but its score is well deserved.
A bit slow at times, but an excellent introduction