Aug 6, 2007

[TV] R.O.D. the TV

R.O.D. the TVR.O.D. the TV is the hit sequel to the Read or Die OVA, although in this case the letters could refer to either Read Or Die or Read or Dream. This is due to the fact that this 26-episode series is actually the result of merging two different mangas with those same titles, both having been created by Hideyuki Kurata.

The series centers around the three "Paper Sisters" - Michelle Cheung, Maggie Mui and Anita King who are also Papermasters like Yomiko Readman in the original Read or Die OVA. They run the "Three Sisters Detective Agency" and are first tasked to protect Nenene Sumiregawa, a character from the original Read or Die manga series.

The series follows the adventures of the three sisters as they slowly enveil a plot by the remnants of the now-fallen British Library to return the British Empire to its former glory (as it was in the OVA). Key to their plan are 7 books which hold the genetic imprint of the Gentleman, the original head of the British Empire who is already deceased at the time of the series. In their travels they eventually find Yomiko Readman and together they fight to stop the British Library.

Watching the original OVA is not a requirement to enjoy this series - in fact the OVA feels more like a very remote prequel to this series since most of the characters have changed dramatically since then. The R.O.D. the TV seris takes place about 5 years after the events in the original OVA.

If you enjoyed the OVA because of the dynamic fight scenes then you'll enjoy this series even more. The sisters are weaker than Yomiko individually given each appear to be limited to a particular type of paper manipulation. Michelle is skilled at ranged weapons like the bow and arrow. Maggie is able to create "puppets" or golems that do her bidding. Anita is more of a martial artists but is also able to use paper offensively as a blade or defensively as a shield, much like Yomiko in the OVA. This time around Yomiko is even more powerful that before, no longer needing direct contact with paper to control it and being able to demonstrate all three talents that the sisters have individually.

While a few episodes in the series may seem a tad slow in terms of development, overall the series is highly dynamic and very exciting given the diverse abilities of the sisters and the strange opponents they encounter who have powers of their own to counter the Papermasters. Even better is the rich storyline with a plot full of political intrigue and devilish manipulations on both sides that make for great entertainment.

I just wish the series had not ended so soon since it was definitely worth watching and what I would consider to be one of my favorite anime series.

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