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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun, even if a little confusing.
I got this on a whim, having seen the listing on the new releases screen at Amazon. I mean, with a title like Read Or Die you have to take a look. This anime is not a bad investment, either.
The story revolves around The Paper - A young, bookish female librarian-agent working for a secret organisation housed under the British Museum (or British Library, possibly...
Published on 20 Aug. 2003 by Mr. Paul S. Bird

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an anime take on the stereotypical spy movie!
Read Or Die is an interesting mix of traditional anime and typical espionage movies.
The film includes animated heroines with large bouncy breasts in a dirty pair esque anime stlye; and elaborate superpowers including a book obsessed girl with the power to wield paper into among many things a deadly weapon and a large paper dart big enough to carry two female...
Published on 20 Aug. 2003 by Mr. Ja Mcintyre


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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun, even if a little confusing., 20 Aug. 2003
By 
Mr. Paul S. Bird "dagadadagada" (Aylesbury) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
I got this on a whim, having seen the listing on the new releases screen at Amazon. I mean, with a title like Read Or Die you have to take a look. This anime is not a bad investment, either.
The story revolves around The Paper - A young, bookish female librarian-agent working for a secret organisation housed under the British Museum (or British Library, possibly. The building looks more like the museum). A group of dastardly super-villains have nicked off with a copy of Beethoven's Immortal Beloved book and intend to use it for no good. The Paper must use all her skills and inginuity to defeat these cloned and resurected characters from history and literature. You see, The Paper is not named in such a strange way for no reason. She has the ability to get paper to do anything she wants, and over the course of the three episodes on the DVD (The complete series) she utilises it as deadly darts, ropes and a gigantic plane among other things. She teams up with a couple of other folks - A guy who acts a bit like Solid Snake and a lass by the name of Miss Deep who will most likely suffer from lower back trouble later in life due to her tight corset and astonishing dumplings. Miss Deep has quite a cool skill in that she can "phase" her body and move through objects.
The villains are also cool - These range from a character based on "Monkey", a guy riding a giant grasshopper, a steam-driven jet pilot and a guy who controls electricity. The technology is nicely steam-punk throughout, and builds up through a series of encounters to quite a nice ending.
The animation is excellent - There are plenty of nice little touches, as you'd expect from the director of Blood, even if there is a little too much emphasis on Miss Deep's boobs' jiggling about a la Dead Or Alive. Occasionaly the characters move a little strangely against the background, but it doesn't distract from the action.
The DVD is nice too. Presenting the three episodes in 4:3 format (which I guess is the original) with english and Japanese 2:0 and 5:1 sound, plus subtitles if you need them. Oh, a word about the subs. These are yellow with a slight black border around them - On my player from time to time they blended into the background a little too much and were hard to read. No matter, though, as the story moves so fast you'll pick it up. The Japanese language track is superb, and the English track tries hard, but just doesn't quite make it. The disk features a number of extras, such as trailers and interviews, and the menus are done nicely and in keeping with the theme of books.....
Overall, go for it - This is a fun, if not overly deep, bit of Anime, and I for one hope they make another in the series!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an anime take on the stereotypical spy movie!, 20 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
Read Or Die is an interesting mix of traditional anime and typical espionage movies.
The film includes animated heroines with large bouncy breasts in a dirty pair esque anime stlye; and elaborate superpowers including a book obsessed girl with the power to wield paper into among many things a deadly weapon and a large paper dart big enough to carry two female agents, and a woman who can pass through solid objects at will. It also includes such classic James Bondish moments as the easily escapable death trap without a guard to watch the spy die, and the infiltration of an enemy base with seemingly no hope of success.
The story itself is actually alot better than typical james bond films or the undeniably dire similar espionage films that have come out of late. the film tells of a terrorists diabolical scheme to cleanse the earth of humans by ressurescting actual figures from history to aid them; this may seem very far fetched but anime movies have a strange way of making the viewer accept pretty much any strange events that they throw at you, although it definetely is not for people who arent open-minded.
The dvd itself doesnt really have any admirable additons but you can choose between the dubbed and subtitled versions and a charcter profile for when you innevitably get confused by the enemies plot, it also contains an interview with the creators which is conducted with a translator and is not at all a valid addition to the packae as it is virtually inaudible.
All in all i would only reccomend this to big anime fans as the animation is good and characters are quite interesting, i wouldnt reccomend it to anyone who has never watched an anime movie before because it would probably leave you completely and utterley bewildered.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Love This, 1 Nov. 2008
By 
S. J. Fisher "Hecate" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
This exemplifies many of the qualities that good anime should possess. It is just so hard to imagine something like this being produced by any Western studio. Although fundamentally dissimilar, it shares that idiosyncratic approach to characterization, storyline and attention to detail shared by the best anime, such as most of the Ghibli productions, or Cowboy Bebop for example. The artwork and animation is excellent, and in fact all the fundamentals are of high quality. The bizarre storyline gives it much opportunity for humour, which is subtly exploited, and the characters are unusual but believable, even when they are unrealistic. In fact, even the minor characters have personalities, aided once again by superb attention to detail. Sadly, as far as I am concerned, it appears that the series did not last long, possibly because its good qualities were not appreciated by mainstream anime audiences. Perhaps in Japan it enjoyed greater longevity. Certainly most of it is a long way from the derivative blood and horror formulae which characterize much of the anime which is most successful in the West - although I am not implying that all such anime is bad, by any means. This short series does have plenty of action, but it revolves around such unusual situations, often featuring strangely archaic yet arcane technology reminiscent of Steamboy, that it does not give one the same impression as more common approaches, and is thus, perhaps, more easily overlooked. The very fact that the main character has a `super-hero' style power which involves the manipulation of paper, speaks volumes about the attitude which pervades this series. I wish there were more like it. Long live the British Library Special Engineer Force.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable anime, 13 Jan. 2010
By 
T. R. Alexander (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
This three episode OVA series sees Yomiko Readman, an agent for Section A of the Library Special Operations, as she battles to reclaim a book that was stolen from here, a book that could lead to the destruction of mankind. Along the way she must fight clones of some of histories most brilliant figures.

This was a surprisingly enjoyable anime with a good plot and some interesting characters, Yomiko in particular is a sweet and immediately likable character. The series is generally well made with some nice action sequences and some generally good animation.

There are some problems though which causes R.O.D to loose marks, the most prominent of which is that the English dub is somewhat grating with some terrible accents. Another minor flaw is that the series does feel somewhat unfocused in the first half but fortunately pick up later on and finishes nicely. I also think that the series could have done with a bit more background on come of the characters and their powers but this is only personal taste.

Overall Read or Die was a very enjoyable anime and I will definitely be looking into seeing the full TV series and be on the look out for the books and manga as well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but more than a bit silly, 28 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
Read Or Die is a competently produced animé with nice artwork and a reasonable soundtrack, problem is it is all a bit silly. Set in some sort of parallel universe where the British empire still exists and its main arm of espionage and enforcement is the nuclear submarine equipped British Library. This unlikely semi steam punk organization employs the super powered ditz Yomiko Readman aka agent "The paper" who can do all sorts of highly impossible things with paper. Yet it's just as well we can rely on our unlikely heroine as the world is under attack by a bunch of villains who are all cackling super powered clones of long dead characters from history. All of whom are intent in killing off millions and trashing as much of the world as possible. Including poor Otto Lilienthal who has changed from an early twentieth century glider pioneer to a blank eyed, power crazed, grenade flinging loony with a rocket propelled variable geometry wing super plane. None of which does him any good as he's brought to his sticky end by two girls in a gigantic paper dart,
Silly ? Yes.
Fun ? Again yes but it could have been so much better.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More enjoyable second time round, 31 May 2006
This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this out of curiosity and my first viewing of it left me disappointed. It seemed a rather crazy set of characters and events and just didn't appeal to me at all. A secret agent who's a bumbling bookworm school teacher with the power to manipulate paper in incredible ways, OTT bad guys drawn from history, and a general smattering of insanity just weren't my thing. One month on however and my opinion has changed! I decided to give the English language dub a go and see what that was like. And I found it improved things a lot. I warmed to the characters more and the story just made a lot more sense. It's still a rather insane piece of anime but I've come to quite like it for its sheer kookiness.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth watching, 16 Feb. 2009
By 
F. S. Mcdonald "Fraser McDonald" (Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
Very good anime. Lots of action with interesting characters. Only negative thing is that we seem to have missed out on lots of back plot?? Or is that how it was meant to be?
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Anime!, 22 April 2004
By 
Amazon Reader - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
"Read or Die" is basically full of what is best about anime: gorgeous animation, plenty of action and a good story. A thoroughly entertaining hour and a half in the company of "The Paper", "Miss Deep" and Drake.
Recommended for all anime fans.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch Or Die?, 28 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
This action adventure anime series is one of the best Ive seen. It is set in a Library with the main character Ms. Yomiko Readman aka Agent Paper. someone is trying to procure several lost Beethoven manuscripts and has managed to get the help of a few , very good historians. Readman and her fellow super powered friends must find the books in a desperate race to save the world!
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Read Or Die [2001] [DVD]
Read Or Die [2001] [DVD] by Kôji Masunari (DVD - 2003)
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