Akemi's Anime World

Read or Die Anime Review

Read or Die Box Art

Read or Die (R.O.D.) OAV

4 stars / OVA / Action / 13-up

Bottom Line

Good style-over-substance action.

It’s Like...

...L/R imbued with superpowers from Giant Robo and charged with fighting the contents of a history textbook.

Second Opinion

Although only a 3 episode OAV, Read or Die manages to pack a reasonable amount of character development into the short timespan, at least for the 2 main characters Yomiko and Miss Deep. Yomiko is knowledgeable and well versed in the area of literature, while retaining an endearing naivety and ideology, and miss deep is somewhat cynical and pragmatic, but ultimately kind hearted. I found the characters to be quite interesting, and although obviously not as developed as characters in a full length series, quite passable for the meagre timespan the anime allowed.

Despite the unusual nature of its setting and characters, Read or Die remains primarily an action flick and the unique abilities of the lead characters makes for exciting and original action sequences (such as chasing down an enemy in a giant paper aeroplane).

The high production values of this anime lead to neat, clean art, competent use of colour and silky smooth animation from start to finish, with lots of movement on screen and hardly any static shots at all. The fight scenes are impressive and well choreographed, making good use of the characters abilities, like using sheets of paper to block bullets, and a whole fight scene involving lots of passing through walls, floors and each other (very hard to follow but cool nonetheless).

In fitting with the visual dynamics of the animation, the music is faced paced to match with the action heavy plot, and complementing the material without ever really standing out.

The "cool-ness" factor plays a big part in the appeal of Read or Die, and is a prime example of the style over substance genre done right. Whether fighting in a huge arena reminiscent of Moses's flight across the Red Sea, or battling in the closed confines of a public library, Read or Die always retains a certain breathtaking flair that sets it apart from other similar animes that concentrate on action over plot.

I would recommend seeing this anime to anyone who can appreciate a good style over substance anime, in the same vein as stuff like Mezzo Forte, Kite or Hellsing.