My praise for Read or Die may be undeserved, but for its one and a half hour run time, it is executed in a way such that the laughs, tears, and dozens of jumps and shouts from the audience will be strung together in quick succession.
The plot leaves something to be desired in that it is somewhat incoherent, but despite any flaws it may have, it is twisty, dark, and cool enough to wow just about anyone. With three episodes, its obviously difficult to make a good set up for the series, but the first half of the first episode does so with startling effectiveness.
The animation, though it may seem substandard at times (I found myself criticizing it frequently) becomes incredible in the many action scenes littered throughout the story. The style is not unique, but definitely original to an extent. Fans of Darker than Black will be out of their seats for ROD: with just about as much action on screen in 3 episodes as Darker than Black managed in 26 episodes and superior animation and creativity, ROD trumps Darker than Black with ridiculous ease.
The soundtrack is great: campy and sexy. The voice acting is nothing special, although it is done quite nicely. In reality, the characters (though they are about 90% of the thickness of the story) are only a small element in the animation. There are many characters, several of whom are unexplained, not detailed, or left in complete obscurity. Despite this, their overwhelming awesomeness manages to amaze with ridiculous powers.
I'd give this the highest praise right up til the ending. The ending was very good, although a wee bit too emotional for my tastes. Without spoiling, I will say that some will be saddened and others will be pleased. Overall, a great watch for fans of action, mystery, thrillers, and badass super powers.