Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wicked Anime Reviews #3 Read or Die

Anime reviews delivered directly to the face!

This time, I'm reviewing an OVA for a change of pace. OVA stands for Original Video Animation. As far you're concerned, consider anime movie and OVA to be synonymous. Got the popcorn ready?

Our story starts off with the White House blowing up into bits of fire and dust. That's right. Wake up people. Shit is going down. Then we get a very 007-esque opening before switching scenes to spy on our main character. Yomiko Readman, is a book fanatic. You might think you're a book fanatic, but Yomiko has you beat hands down with your arms and legs tied behind your back as you're being placed onto railroad tracks in the most old fashioned cartoony-cliche way.

After just getting her little paws on a rare book, she's bombarded by a mecha grasshopper. Yes, you're still watching the same anime. Guess who's riding this thing? Jean Henri Fabre himself. The link throws you over to his wiki if you haven't heard of him. If you want to get technical, this isn't the original Fabre but a clone. You learn that several geniuses have had their DNA cloned to create beings known as I-jin. Historical fans will have fun with this. Fabre steals the book and Readman refuses to let it be taken. She manipulates paper as if by magic and takes out Fabre to reclaim her beloved novel that she huggles and squeezes like a puppy.

We're next introduced to Joker. His codename is more ironic then anything because he's a very stiff British man. He is head of the British Library Special Operations Division and he's got a job for Agent Paper (Yomiko Readman). The I-jin are wrecking up the place and it's her duty to stop them if she could just take even five minutes away from a book.

Now that you get an idea of how this begins, let me go over some things that make this movie rank literally in my top 10.

1) Drake Anderson. One of the three main characters of the movie. Almost every line he shouts is gold. He's the serious and experienced type but also part of the comic relief. He's the only agent without super powers but he's as tough as they come. His personality is a comfy contrast to Agent Paper's flighty and ditzy attitude.

2) Nancy Makuhari (a.k.a. Miss Deep). Our resident femme fatale. She's quite the badass and even jokes that her codename sounds like something a porn star would have. The title Miss Deep comes from the fact that she can pass through objects and people. X-Men fans could compare this to Shadowcat.

3) Art. Whether you are a fan of writing, music, poetry, or any of the arts in some form, you are going to be pleased. Art is a defining feature to the overall plot and you'll just have to watch the whole thing to understand.

4) Spy movies. While I'm not a fan of 007 personally this movie is dripping with the spy genre all over it. It manages to pull this off well and it's something rarely done in anime so I applaud it. Even non-spy fans like myself can appreciate it.

5) Dub. The dub is actually really top notch. I prefer it over the sub and you should at least watch it the first time in dub even if your preference is sub. There are many characters from around the world. Fabre's french accent and Otto Lilienthal's german accent (among others) are only going to be heard in the dub and you can appreciate the cultural diversity more when hearing it for yourself.

6) Story. A pretty unique story unfolds here with plot twists and all included. I can't talk about them here so go watch. Why are you still reading this?

7) Action. There's plenty for the action fan to enjoy here with tons of powers and creative fights to get excited over. Enough said.

So figure out a codename and get ready for your mission agent. I'm sending you into the field to watch this and report back here.

This is Kylak signing out.


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