R.O.D OVA poster


Yomiko Readman is a lovable, near-sighted bibliomaniac working as a substitute teacher at a Japanese high school. Her real identity, however, is that of a secret agent for the British Library Special Operations Division. Her codename: "The Paper." The moniker denotes her supernatural ability to freely manipulate paper into any object she can imagine, including tools and weapons in her fight against the powerful and self-serving IJIN (Great Historical Figure) Army! Along with her partner, the enigmatic "Ms. Deep," Yomiko travels across the world in attempt to solve the mystery behind the reincarnation of historical figures and their attempt to control the world. (Source: RightStuf)

Ranking 1803

User Count6030
Favorites Count60
Start Date23rd May 2001
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1803
Rating Rank1223
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older


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"Read or Die" might sound like some bizarre comedy show about over zealous parents trying to encourage their children to read more books instead of playing games/watch anime all day long, but in actual fact it's nothing like that. It's more like an anime version of X-Men (update: well, back when I originally wrote this review, this seemed like a good comparison, but now that there ACTUALLY IS an anime version of X-Men, this comparison is making me look like an ignorant n00b... but it amuses me to leave it in anyway :p). It's one of those shows that, category by category wise, seems to have most of the indegredients of a great show, but somehow ends up being significantly less than the sum of its parts.I watched this set of OVA's twice. The first time was soon after I was suffering from withdraw symptoms, having just finished watching one of my favourite series of all time ("Seikai no Senki II" )... and I found "Read of Die" to be rather boring. But suspecting that this is mostly due to bad timing, I decided to watch it again many years later, and though I did enjoy it more second time round, I still found it to be a little underwhelming.I think the main problem is that I didn't find it easy to get into it. Even though the premises is interest enough, there are no infectious characters in the cast. It beggars belief that the main heroine, The Paper, being such a ditzy character, can be a secret agent - I can't see how they can entrust anything of importance to someone like her. There are other things that doesn't make sense, like how "The Paper" can fight so well when she doesn't seem to have had any training, and how characters managed to escape from certain death situations etc. Quite a lot of the small details of the story like that are glossed over. However, the show got a lot stronger towards the end, throwing up some good plot twists. I was even starting to feel less detached to the characters.In the end though, it just wasn't quite enough. With its fantastic visuals, good if not great music (opening theme is slightly reminiscent the opening of "Cowboy Bebop") and interesting plot points, "Read or Die" is a pretty good all round package... but it just seems to be missing a certain something that makes the whole thing tick.

**Story:** Nerdy Yomiko Readman is obsessed with books (she also is a substitute teacher for a Japanese high school but that really doesn't go anywhere). She also works for a secret branch of the British Library as The Paper', where she can use her powers to telekinetically control paper and manipulate it into anything she wants from tools to weapons, the works! They help her on missions to retrieve rare manuscripts and protect the world from evil. But all Yomiko wants to do, however, is read her new book. Unfortunately it has been stolen by the I-gin, clones of historical figures who believe Yomiko's book holds the key to unlocking Beethoven's lost "Death Symphony", a tune which whoever hears it, will be compelled to commit suicide, and the I-gin intend to broadcast it all over the world (because why not). Only Yomiko, along with fellow superagents Drake and Miss Deep, has a chance at stopping them from doing this plan! [][1] Now I gotta say, upon hearing this, I did not know what to think about it at first. On one hand, it mixes together secret agent movies, science fiction action mixed with fantasy based super-powers, which sounds really awesome and cool, there's a ton you can do in the span of 90 minutes (which is kind of like a run time on a movie). On the other hand, the story sounds pretty clichéd. A nerdy perky girl finds something she mistakes as something else which is vital for a world conquest plot and soon gets roped into helping getting the book back, there's gonna be some betrayal, action, suspense, an epic climax, the works. I've seen this before in movie trailers for Pete's sake. Well I guess it can matter not as long as the execution is as least good, and it does hold up well in most aspects. [][2] ...Sadly the story for the most part isn't one of those things. I mean its not weak by any means, but there's a lot of things they don't explain very well or at all. I know its supposed to be a mindless fun anime (at least I think so anyway) but they rushed the first episode just to get to the action sequences and don't really give much time to explore or give the characters any depth. The show does gets better after each episode though and isn't as rushed and loud, so, uh, keep that in mind. [][3] Its just constant exposition and brainless action for the most part. There's very little quiet scenes in this or breather moments to let it all sink in. I know its only 90 minutes but still, at least give the characters some more interactions and screen times with each other or something. Even the betrayal scene, while it makes no sense, you can probably still see coming from a mile away! Also, people might disagree, but I really didn't like the ending. Without giving too much away, it does have a happy ending, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth with the way they executed it. But hey, at least the action is great, and I did legitimately care with what was going on and wanted the characters to succeed in their goals, not to mention the few scenes that did have heart were petty good, so I guess that's a plus. [][4] **Animation:** The visuals are fantastic, especially during the fight scenes with The Paper. They really go all out with the fast paced intense fight scenes and fully utilize the paper ability to its extent. The art is pretty good too. Yomiko looks really cute with her glasses and no oversized bosoms (uh... its a cliché that also happens in these types of shows), the backgrounds are nice looking too for its time. Everyone else looks average though. Lip syncing is solid and movements outside the fight scenes (which aren't much) are good too. [][5] **Sound:** The voice acting is for the most part superb. Everyone sounds and fits their personas and sound nice to listen to. Only characters voices I don't like are from the villains, they sound more annoying than anything :s The music is pretty forgettable. I don't remember much from the OP and I'm not sure if there were any EDs, I guess it was that dull to me? The background OSTs are pretty cool though. **Characters:** Since there wasn't much developments in this, there isn't much from the characters, but that doesn't mean that they were all bad. Yomiko herself is a very perky nerdy biblomanic (no really, she's OBSESSED with books to the point where she has a crap ton in her own room and buys more every single day!) who is kind hearted even in the worst of situations. But when things get bad or you hurt those she cares about, you will regret it cause when it comes to fighting, she can get quite serious and even scary. Nancy, AKA Miss Deep is also not too bad. She usually didn't show much emotion and takes her job seriously, but gradually warmed up to Yomiko in the first episode. Her power is to go through objects and other things and they also take utilize this very well. It's a bit hard to talk about her honestly...um, she's also pretty slick and suave? [][6] Drake is a tough no nonsense solider and is a field support operative. Sure he may not look like it but he's a pretty nice guy and has a soft spot fro children (has a daughter named Maggie also). Wendy is a young British woman in training to be an agent for Special Operations. She serves as Joker's secretary and personal assistant who retrieves knowledge for him. She is somewhat clumsy but devoted and enthusiastic, and cares somewhat for Yomiko. And I'll give credit that she at least tries to not be as clumsy so kudos to that. I don't remember anyone else though, and the villains are pretty lame, there designs are not subtle, their motives are confusing, and they are annoying and have no personality. [][7] **Enjoyment:** Despite all this, I still really enjoyed this anime. It may not be perfect but its still fun and entertaining to watch and it also keeps you on your toes as to what will happen to the characters and you'll want them to succeed. **Overall:** Want to watch a short series? Want to watch something fun and in no way can be taken seriously? Do you like to read? Why not give this show a try? **Pros:** Great animation, great fight scenes, cool background music, intense sometimes, mostly superb fight scenes and bits of development but not much, Yomiko **Cons:** Story is clichéd, first episode is rushed, villains are lame, not enough development and quiet scenes, forgettable OP and ED, that pissing running gag is horrible (oh did I not mention that in the review? Well I am now) **Also recommend:** R.O.D. TV (which is the 'sequel' to this one), Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door (non-anime) [][8] Thanks for reading my 74th review~ [1]: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fanimeprincess.kokidokom.net%2F2013%2F12%2Fsecret-santa-review-read-or-die-ova%2F&ei=apH8VJOXDcPAggTcroJg&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565 [2]: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.shamusyoung.com%2Ftwentysidedtale%2F%3Fp%3D387&ei=iJH8VMPmE8u5ggSHt4OYDg&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565 [3]: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.paradigm-city.com%2Fforums%2Fthread%2F9637-2.html&ei=zZH8VLm3O4SngwTj1oCwBw&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565 [4]: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.listal.com%2Flist%2Fanimated-series-see-before-ascension&ei=ypH8VLSWGsadNumhgbAL&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565 [5]: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Freadordie.wikia.com%2Fwiki%2FYomiko_Readman&ei=_JH8VNaHLMK6ggTp4ILIBg&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565 [6]: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fkanjiiz.wordpress.com%2Fcategory%2Fanime-manga-reviews%2F&ei=spL8VPf4D8SZNt2GgLgI&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565 [7]: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.topanimestream.com%2Fen%2Fanime%2Fread-or-die-ova-1775%2F&ei=65L8VNvVIMLlggSziIPICw&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565 [8]: http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fkarmaburn.com%2Fread_or_die.php&ei=C5P8VIqpOsrEggSbz4LoAQ&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGCJhri0T_dQ-ndzo05oEdivbi-Hg&ust=1425924769173565

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