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From bullet proof dragons to locks-picks, a paper master manipulates paper to their will. In Hong Kong, three young paper masters, Anita, Maggie and Michelle, use their formidable skills to protect Nenene, an author targeted by a mad bomber. As their bodyguard duties take them to Tokyo, they will be educated on the dangers of literacy!

The first DVD contains for Episodes:

 

Episode One: The papers have landed - Nenene Sumiregawa maybe young, but she is renowned for her work, sadly as of late she can't seem to focus on her writing. While on a trip to Hong Kong to promote her novels transition from the paper form to the big screen. Enter the paper sisters Anita, Maggie and Michelle, who are hired to protect Nenene after a threat is made against her life, will they be able to protect her, or will Nenene fall victim to a tyrannical writer.

Episode Two: Rise up, Oh Dregs of Humanity - With Nenene safely back in Japan, she struggles with a stubborn case of writers block. However, still under the threat of possible threat attacks, the paper sisters are hired on full time to act as her body guards. Will Nenene be able to survive possible threats against her life, and more importantly, will she be able to survive the paper sisters.

Episode Three: Let's meet in Jinbo-cho – With Nenene warming up to the idea of having the three sisters around, she allows them to move into her apartment. While working to fulfill their responsibility as body guards to Nenene the paper sisters, must accompany her to her publishing office, in the heart of Japan’s book district, Jinbo-cho. With Maggie and Michelle’s unquenchable thirst for books distracting them for their duties, their pulled away from guarding Nenene, leaving Anita who detests books to protect Nenene from those that would threaten to harm her. What of the rumors that the mysterious paper user Yamiko Readman, has she returned after being missing for 4 years?

Episode Four: The Seventh Grade Course – With Nenene growing accustom to living with the paper sisters living with her, she becomes worried that the neighborhood house wives may begun wondering why the youngest paper sister Anita isn’t attending school. Being forced into starting Junior High school, with forged documents produced by her sister Michelle, Anita is reluctantly trying to fit into a classroom environment.

The Read Or Die series has grown on me, from the moment I first watched the OVA series up until the point I was introduced to The TV Series. My only regret is I’ve yet to read the manga. As for the first installment of the Red Or Die – The TV series, the first disc introduces us to other mysterious paper users, the Paper Sisters. A group of young women that have the same powers as Yamiko Readman (a character from the OVA series). Their powers allow them to manipulate paper products to use as everything from clothing to weapons. The paper sisters are called upon to protect Nenene Sumiregawa after she is threaten by a fanatical writer during her stay in Hong Kong. This is only just the first of many chapters in the Read or Die TV series.

The first “Read or Die – The TV” DVD features 2.0 Dolby Japanese Audio and 5.1 Dolby Digital English and Japanese Audio with two English subtitle streams (Dialog translation and signs only). The Audio for this Disc, the word amazing isn't good enough to describe it. From the opening theme song, to the effects, right down to the characters dialog it was perfect, crisp, clear. The aforementioned description can be used for the video quality of this disc, to put it simply, perfect.

The special features for this DVD are nothing short of amazing, offering everything that one would like to see. Beginning with what I would consider the best feature of the disc being the menu layout. Read Or Die has everything to do with paper and books, the menu screens follow this setup, from the main menu where you choose to play the disc, to selecting the special features, takes the look of a table of contents in a book. When browsing into the submenus, more of the book theme continues, for example being in the special features section, an appearance of books being laid out on a shelf.

As for the special features, the first DVD contains a varied selection of fan pleasing features, the first such feature being the Japanese trailers for the first four episodes in the series, follow by, by far my favorite feature and is not seen enough in anime DVD releases, is an audio commentary by the production team responsible for the release of Read Or Die The TV into the North American market. The remaining features include a conceptual art display of the characters; with some of the art work is an included director commentary on why the particular choices were made for the characters. Lastly, trailers for upcoming releases from Geneon.

Read Or Die - The TV is a promising series that offers a great story, with development between the characters and their environments, with a high pace action story thrown in for good measures. After watching the audio commentary, I notice additional things about the series that can be overlooked, examples being the level of detail given to the environments, whether it’s Nenene’s apartment, or the streets of Japan or Hong Kong. A nice touch, in which the crew that brought this series to light deserves credit for is the characters themselves, in other series, the characters pretty much wear the same clothes, however, in R.O.D TV, the character clothing changes with the times, from normal day wear, to combat clothing, etc. For those who are fans of the original Read Or Die OVA and the Manga, then this would be a good series to jump into, it’s a great story with great characters this series is a must have for you collection. For those looking for something new, then definitely get out there and rent this one.

Animation: 9 / 10
Story: 9 / 10
Audio: 9 / 10
Video: 9 / 10
Extras: 10 / 10
Impact Rating: 8 / 10

Overall Rating 54 / 60or 90%

By Matt Capranos

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