R.O.D.- Read or Die
When you read the title of this anime, you may think, “Hey! Reading! Dying! Wow, that’s fun!” Actually, the title makes it sound like something without much substance. Well, at least it did with me. Don’t be fooled by that, though, it is an incredible Anime. It has something for everyone and proves to be a fun watch.
R.O.D. circles around a substitute schoolteacher named Yomiko Readman. She has long, black hair and wears glasses and typical teacher clothing. At first, you may think she is very strange. Well, first of all, she leaves herself odd notes like, “Clean Up! Up! Up!” Second, she is completely obsessed with all types of literature. Soon after, we find out that Yomiko has a more interesting life. She is an agent of Section A of Library Special Operations. She is known as “Agent Paper.” “Why?” you may ask. Well, she can control, what else, but paper. We see later on that she can stop bullets with paper, slash enemies with paper, even make a paper airplane out of, well, paper. We also find out that the genes of many heroes or geniuses of the past have been stolen to make super powerful warriors, called the I-Jin, who are bent on getting a book by Beethoven called “Immortal Beloved,” which is in Yomiko’s possession. I won’t tell you what they want the book for. Anyway, one of these warriors named Gennai Hiraga attacks the White House, thinking it is the library, trying to find the book. This is when Mr. Joker, Yomiko’s superior who is led by Mr. Gentleman, pursues Yomiko to get her to help find out what is happening. She teams up with Drake, a military man and father, and Nancy Matahari, codename Miss Deep, a woman who can dive deeply into and through all substances.
Ok. Let’s slow down for a second. Don’t be scared. This is only the premise of R.O.D. I know it might sound weird and the names may sound foolish, but it really is a good anime. After everyone meets up, the story becomes focused more on the relationship between Yomiko and Nancy. They become quick friends and it is obvious that they really care for each other. Though they may be very good friends, Nancy has a dark secret that is later revealed and affects the anime immensely.
Though R.O.D. is very short, actually, only three thirty-minute episodes, it has a great, well-developed story. It starts off weird, but as the viewer gets into the relationship of Yomiko and Nancy, they are able to see that director Kouji Masunari was brilliantly able to familiarize you with the two. Though it is short, the main characters are very well developed, which leaves you with the right emotions in the end. Another great thing about this anime is that it’s not just a love, friendship anime. It has tons of action, blood, and anguish, with comic relief thrown in the mix as well. It has brilliant battles done in amazing animation. The only thing that bothered me was that, while watching the Japanese version, the characters kept calling Yomiko, “The Paper,” in a very weird way. It was funny at first, but got annoying after time. All around, though, this anime is able to provide for the needs of all viewers. If someone is looking for drama, they can turn to R.O.D. If someone is looking for action, they can turn to R.O.D. If someone is looking for comedy, they can turn to R.O.D. Basically, Read or Die has it all. It is a great anime mini-series that I recommend to all.
You can find Read or Die on www.animenation.com for $26.96. It is definitely worth it. If there is anything wrong with the information, not opinion, of this review, please contact me at ChichiriAXS@yahoo.com. Until the light shines through (yeah…that is a new motto…thanks for noticing).
Meiko's Comments: Well, after reading this review and others about ROD on my latest anime splurge, I decided to buy this OVA. I was astounded by how great a series ROD really is! It's one of those plots that just sounds so strange that you wouldn't think to pick it up, but its atypicalness (i think i just invented a new word..) is what makes it great. This is definatly now one of my favorite series (if not my favorite) of all time. GO BUY IT NOW! You can buy it on discountanimedvd.com for 11.99, so dont go to animenation (sorry ChichiriAXS! lol)