Read or Die

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Read or Die
Read or Die.jpg
Original Manga Hideyuki Kurata
Director/Artist Morio Asaka
Format Anime (OVA)
Made By Studio Deen
Episode Length 30 Minutes
# of Episodes 3


Action, Shounen

Sum it up in a Sentence

A fast paced three part OVA that covers the story of Yomiko "The Paper" Readman as she and the British Library Special Operations Division rush to save the world from an elaborate doomsday plot in this highly charged, superhero versus supervillain anime.

Main Description

Read or Die, as contrasted to the TV series Read or Dream, acts as a prequel to the main series: Our main protagonist, Yomiko Readman, is described as "Paper" for her supernatural ability to manipulate any and all paper within her grasp into a practically limitless amount of applications. As she stumbles through her mostly normal seeming life, a rare tome is stolen by a group of clones intent upon a mysterious musical composition and Readman is soon being ordered about by a secret arm of the British Library, which appears to hire superhuman beings in the pursuit and defense of forbidden knowledge.

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Personal Opinions


The characters and plot wouldn't seem out of place in the average American superhero comic. It features super-human protagonists and villains sporting very specialized skillsets that seem to fall in closer with the superpowers of Marvel or X-men than your typical anime. It feels like watching an American comic book with a Japanese twist, and I would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys traditional superhero comics but is looking to explore anime or manga.

It is also a good example of how the Japanese will take any mundane profession or field and make it into an anime or game. Ex Bartender (Bartending), Ray (Medical Science), Read or Die/R.O.D. the TV (Writing, Libraries, Books), or in games such as Ace Attorney (Defense Law). Only the Japanese would think to make a show about a Superhero Librarian.

Big Big Moon

The Read or Die OVA should be required viewing for any males over the age of 15. Everything fits, even though it shouldn't, and the action never lets up for a second. Besides the crazy antics of misogynist Otto Lillienthal, the fantastic and notorious phasing fight near the end, and the absurd story revolving around Beethoven's lost symphony, Ms. Deep jiggles endlessly. Yes, it's great fun watching Yomiko create swords and lockpicks and gigantic paper airplanes out of Post-Its, but Ms. Deep Emote-q.gif