Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Read or Die TV

We've finished watching the Read or Die TV series (also known as "Read or Dream").

It continues the story of the 3-part OVA in a rather clever way. There are new protagonists: three paper-using sisters from Hong-Kong who set up shop for themselves in Japan, after protecting Japanese author Nenene Sumiregawa from an attempt at her life. Stranded in Japan, they take jobs from the Dokushensa, a shadowy corporate branch of the Chinese intelligence service. And then things start to go haywire...

We're taken on a rollercoaster ride, featuring the cast of the original OVA and some new characters. For a long time, it is unclear who are exactly the bad guys: is it the Dokushensa or the British Imperial Library? Who should our heroines trust?
The answer is: no-one! They're all out for themselves, with nefarious plans that will shake the world! As a result, we get to see daring rescues, Wendy Earhart doing lots of dirty work for Joker/Mr. Carpenter, Hong Kong sinking below the sea surface and the president of the US wetting himself repeatedly!

If you loved the OVA, you will like the TV series. Yes, the story-telling is less than tight, but the action scenes are terrific! Beautifully choreographed and reasonably animated -- the action scenes is where the series shines.
The animation is lack-lustre (except for the action scenes), the character designs un-inspired, the storytelling is uneven: sometimes slow, sometimes (too) fast. There are a few repeating sequences -- it's not the series of the millenium, and it's certainly not as good as the OVA. But enjoyable none the less.

Good points:
- The action scenes kick ass!
- The music: lots of music from the OVA is recycled, but the new music continues the great RoD-tradition in that department.
- We get to see the events and cast of the OVA in an entirely new light.
Bad points:
- Animation and character designs just not that good.
- Storytelling drags on at places. Takes a long time to pick up momentum, but doesn't preserve that momentum. The writers did not determine which story they wanted to tell in advance.

Verdict: If you love the OVA: 7. Otherwise: 6.

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