ROD the TV was a very interesting watch for me. At first I was not sure I would like it as I had started a few anime series at the same time and it did not jump at me as being awfully great, and I did not watch past the second episode at that time. A few months later, I decided to watch episode 3 and 4 to see whether the rest of the series was worth a shot. What a great surprise it was after those episodes! As soon as I finished them, I could not stop myself from putting more discs in and watching the rest.
This speaks volumes for the story as I am not usually one who has to impatiently and compulsively watch a series so quickly. The episodes tend to end on captivating cliffhangers (a tool employed to great effect in shounen classic Saint Seiya) that have the audience on the edge of their seat and the ride pays off some healthy dividents throughout the series. The suspense of the middle section of this anime has not been matched in any action series I have ever seen so this anime really breathes new life into a rather stale genre (not saying that Noir or Madlax are bad shows but their pace are no match for this series').
The animation of Read or Die the TV can be summed up in one word: SUPERB. All the way through, there is consistency in the way things are drawn and animated, which is a great achievement for a series of 26 episodes with not so much as a recap episode thrown in. The battle scenes are especially stunning in this anime as the fluidity and depth of field of the medium is brilliantly explored. The backgrounds and the character designs are also excellent and remain so throughout. The only thing I was not a fan of was the fanservice of the series. It was not excessive so it was never a big issue but it did affect how seriously one perceives the show in a couple of spots.
Read or Die's only sore spot is the soundtrack, as it is an adequate one but not one that stands out. The scores suit their scene effectively but they are not powerful enough to warrant a purchase of the soundtrack. The sound effects are great during the battle scenes and when objects move (which is important here as a lot of travelling and levitation takes place), and the voice acting is also very accomplished.
With a professional seiyuu cast, characters are brought to life successfully and Read or Die delivers just that. The main cast of Maggie, Michelle, Anita and Nenene are voiced so well that they are distinct characters, and on more than one occasion the performance allows you to feel the anguish of the characters without it sounding overdone or melodramatic. The episode previews are actually a great demonstration of the eloquence performance of the cast.
The characters of R.O.D only ever suffer from sounding one note in a few places because some of them are underwritten. This is to be expected when the story has to cover so much and the cast is fairly large, but it still affected how some of them came accross even if it were just a minor quelm. Characters like Anita, The Paper and Maggie suffered in that sense a little bit because the writing did not call for them to be more than one-note characters most of the time. A few efforts are made to make them a little more believable throughout and especially towards the end, which was convincing enough but not quite as engaging as it could have been.
As mentioned, R.O.D has a whole lot of story to tell and it does so very well for most of its run. Some elements could have been explored a little further, such as why the British Library and especially Wendy were so devoted to their cause but what was given was convincing enough to not leave plotholes which was the most important thing. The inclusion of later characters was also done smoothly which was great but it does not really come as a surprise since this show's writers are some of the best out there when it comes to pacing a story. The twists were also well paced and brought in to consistently engage you more and more in the title.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this anime and I think it can easily be enjoyed by many because of its broad appeal, so it is an easy recommendation. Keep with it if you are not too sure about the first few episodes as it just gets better from there, and delivers one of the best action anime series of all time.
Enjoying an anime is always nice; better yet is when a series ends up exceeding your expectations. Such is the case with 'R.O.D. the TV'. This is a surprisingly entertaining adventure with likable characters and a jazzy soundtrack that should be checked out by anyone who enjoyed the action-packed OVA that came before it. To those who haven't: I strongly recommend you do, it's a terrific action-anime first and foremost; but it must also be noted that the second half of this series builds heavily on characters and events that transpire in the OVA.
'R.O.D The TV' is best described as a combination of X-Men and James Bond, with a dash of Cowboy Bebop. The story revolves around three girls: the happy-go-lucky but surprisingly perceptive Michelle, the tall-and-silent Maggy and the spunky Anita. Together they form a group of private-detectives called 'The Paper Sisters'. The 'Paper'-part is a reference to the special ability of these girls: each of them can manipulate paper in a special way that might have your morning newspaper turn into a deadly dagger or a swimming swan. Origami on steroids so to speak.
The series starts off by having our heroines protect and eventually move in with a novelist called Nenene Sumiregawa, a writing prodigy with a severe case of writer's block and some emotional baggage caused by the sudden disappearance of a close friend a few years ago. Over the course of the series the sisters solve cases and do their best to get along with Nenene. The first half is mostly comprised of establishing the characters and 'case of the week'-episodes in which the Paper Sisters solve random cases (tone ranging from lighthearted to horror-ish, much like Cowboy Bebop) to pay their bills. The second half presents a more cohesive and more serious story built upon the established characters and plot threads of both the first half as well as the OVA.
All in all the narrative does a great job of keeping the whole thing going. It never drags aside from a rather slow beginning and there are plenty of interesting twists and events to keep it engaging. Even better is that R.O.D. the TV manages to juggle between all the characters and (sub)plots with the finesse of an A-class circus-clown, ultimately providing a satisfying end to the whole affair.
Another part of why the series works so well is because of the characters. The Paper Sisters quickly prove themselves to be quite endearing as individuals (Anita in particular) but they shine brightest when working together, particularly when trying their best to help their often grumpy but well-meaning employer Nenene. Speaking of which, Nenene (referred to as 'sensei' by most of the cast) also proves to be a surprisingly well-developed and interesting character thanks to how well the series portrays how loneley (because of her missing friend) and under pressure (considering all her fans are fiending for a new novel) she is. Sadly the antagonists don't fare quite as well. They manage to be entertaining and menacing but their motivations remain largely unexplored (the main antagonist in particular is a very missed opportunity) with the exception of one minor villain whose character is remarkably well fleshed out.
The visuals and audio are remarkable. The OVA was also an absolute delight in this regard and it's nice to see the TV-series continue this proud tradition. The detailed art, distinctive character designs, fluid animation (NB: I watched the series in 2010 and feel that its animation can easily compete with contemporary stuff), excellent sound-effects, jazzy soundtrack (again very reminiscent of Cowboy Bebop) and solid voices make for an overall product that's well above-average as far as production values is concerned.
On the whole, R.O.D. the TV manages to be a deftly plotted, fun-packed adventure with likable characters packed in a stylish prestation. It could have been a great series if it had few more fight-sequences, a better developed main antagonist and a more spectacular finale. As it stands, though, I still recommend anyone who enjoyed the OVA to spend some time with the Paper Sisters.
three sisters engage there lives with eachother as true sisters even though they arent related. One of the sisters is a succsesful writer but hasnt published a new book in years.
Excellent. Now that we've established that...
Read or die follows three sisters and an popular author. The author looks for an old friend and continues to write. The three sisters are paper masters, this basically means they can manipulate paper to do awesome crazy stuff (think green lantern except he needs lots of paper and the skills to manipulate it properly). During the story the sister will randomly have their own episodes where they go on missons, these seem random but hold purpose later.
Characters. Are great! Real, authentic, believeable and honest. Most mesh well together but the ones that don't, dont' for obvious reasons.
Sound/Music. Amazing. Possibly the best I've heard in an anime to date. The opening theme sents the pace with a jazzy exciting beat, read or die will continually use music to match the mood and build excitment throughout, they do this masterfully. Also the voices (i watched the subbed version, so if you are watching the english dubbed, i don't know how it'll sound) match so well with each character, even though i don't speak japanese i can tell the tones and understand each characters general emotion. Voices are so perfect.
Animation is great. Smooth free of flaws, it follows explosions, detailed paper construction, and fights without flaw.
Overall this is really really great. Music and voices are so marvelous, the characters are really great, and work so well together. The story really picks up after episode 13 and things become EPIC. With a little bit of sillyness, some growing up, dire situations, and creative stunning battles, read or die balances battle and emotion with precisly as it shound be. Also has lots of book references so prepare for that. DON"T SKIP THIS ANIME IT IS GREAT