Also known as R.O.D.
Synopsis: Yomiko Readman is “The Paper,” a secret underground operative for the British Library with the incredible power of complete control over paper, including the ability to make it solid as steel. She is called to duty when a book that could spell the end of the world is stolen, and she must take it back. Going with two other operatives, she attempts to take it back and save the world. (from: ANN)
Genre: Action, mystery, drama, sci-fi
Status: Completed, 3 OVA episodes (May 2001)
Light novels – Ongoing, 11 novels (the 12th novel will be the final one)
Manga – Completed (4 volumes)
Thoughts / Review: ON A SIDE NOTE… Read or Die is a series of light novels authored by Hideyuki Kurata. There are currently 11 Read or Die novels. In volume 11, a note stated that the series would end with the upcoming volume 12. Along with the novels, Kurata scripted the R.O.D manga illustrated by Shutaro Yamada. The OVA, based on the Read or Die manga series, was created by Studio Deen in early 2001 and distributed outside Japan by Manga Entertainment in 2003. The series, directed by Koji Masunari, features the main characters of the original manga such as Yomiko Readman and Joker. It is a continuation of the ‘Read or Die’ storyline, taking place a few years after the events of the manga. (from: Wikipedia)
AND THE CHARACTERS ARE…. YOMIKO READMAN – aka “The Paper” who is the main character. An agent for the British Library’s Special Operations Division. Totally loves books. A kindhearted woman who acts like a kid, but is capable of fighting. Has the ability to control paper (can change it into a lethal weapon, defensive shield, etc.) NANCY MAKUHARI – aka “Ms. Deep” is another agent for the British Library. Has the ability to pass through solid matter (phasing). DRAKE ANDERSON – a tough American soldier who works for the Speial Ops Division of the British Library as a field support operative for the special agents. JOSEPH CARPENTER – aka “Joker” is the level-headed chief director of the British Library and its Special Ops Division. WENDY EARHEART – Joker’s personal assistant and secretary.
MY IMPRESSION… I basically watched this since it was recommended to me by Yaomang and Shinji around the Spring 2008 season when they mentioned that the synopsis of Toshokan Sensou reminded them of this OVA. ^_^
Loved the spy-ish sounding OP theme, although the OP animation sequence could have been better. Yomiko (aka “The Paper” ) had a really cool ability in which she can control (or command?) paper and change it into whatever, make it work as a lethal weapon or a shield. This was equally cool as Nancy’s (aka “Ms. Deep”) super cool phasing powers, which reminded me of Shadowcat from the X-men. Other than that, there’s nothing special or remarkable with the story, animation or character design. Not much connection with the characters, either sympathy or some kind of affection. The only thing I had in common with Yomiko is her love of books, and no I do not get all high and ecstatic like she does when I get my hands on a copy of a book I really like (the bookworm in me just feels very giddy). Wait, I think I might have felt a bit of sympathy for Nancy.
Not much character background or development. I suppose that’s understandable for an OVA. I believe the OVA was released before the TV series (which I haven’t watched). All I know is that Yomiko is already part of the British Library’s Special Ops and was called back for duty (she and Joker know each other and she’s acquainted with the Gentleman), Drake has a daughter, and Nancy is… I dunno… Joker was quite suspicious of her so I suppose she was fairly new in the Special Ops Division. Despite the lackluster presentation, I did find some of the fight scenes nice to watch. The one with Nancy versus her clone in the 3rd OVA was a pretty cool fight. I would’ve liked to see more of Joker, probably out in the field rather than inside the base… I wonder if he has any cool super abilities too.
Overall, I thought the three-part OVA was alright. It’s not epic but it doesn’t completely suck either, though it didn’t meet my preconceived expectations. It’s not on top of my list or anything (not even remotely close), but I guess it was entertaining in its own way.