Garrett (garote) wrote,

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Read Or Die

After a year of letting this 3-part anime fester on a badly filed DVD-R, I finally rediscovered that special wacked-out state of boredom that makes watching multi-part anime feel like a good idea. To mark the occasion, here's my own special review of "read or die". I won't bore you with the details of the series. This is the internet after all, and why repeat valid information that's already available, when I can hose it down with drivel and obscure it instead? Besides, film and television reviews are always drivel. For example:
"i watched the remake and i got soo bored i fell asleep it is crap i thought it was goin 2 be good theres not even a good storyline 2 it and crapy actors r in it 2 and most of all i thought fckin snow white was fckin scaryer then tht piece of *beep* "
Unfortunately, that's not a review of "Read or Die". It's a review of "Ju-on: The Grudge". Well technically it's a review of the American remake of "Ju-on: The Grudge". I can't find a matching review for "Read or Die", so I'm taking the cue from that fine citizen, and making one. You're reading it right now! I suppose that means I should actually say something. Okay, here we go. I shall now talk "about" the anime Read or Die.

FUN FACT: When anime superagents are bored, their breasts deflate.

Self-parody is a touchy business - you need to reward viewers who are in on the joke, but still deliver the satisfaction of a familiar stereotype. In anime, breasts are like the animal sidekicks of Disney cartoons. They tag along, run out front, and sometimes get into mischief of their own, while other stuff is happening to the main character. Somewhere out there, I'm sure there's an anime where they even talk. And I can say this for "Read Or Die": It's aware of it's own genre, and it's not boring. That immediately makes it better than Noir, X, and Escaflowne. Also, the backgrounds are all painted and very pleasurable:

Actually, Noir had even better backgrounds, but I had to yell at the screen every ten minutes when I was watching Noir. Noir was so brain-squeezingly boring that it quickly moved to a place beyond boredom, and into a realm of pure seething anger. I wanted to find the writers responsible for producing Noir and glue their heads into upside-down fishbowls, each one fitted with a plastic fish that would just swim around and around, all day long, and play the Noir theme every five minutes. That stupid series was over 20 episodes, and it could have been hacked down to three. I was relieved that "Read Or Die" is three episodes, that could have been fleshed out to 20.

Fishbowls. Fleshed-out. Squeezingly. You're still thinking about breasts, aren't you? Stop that! "Read Or Die" is better than that! It's also got kung-fu! And clones and lasers and pants-peeing. And desiccated corpses hiding in libraries! Look!

Mmmyep. It's also got still-scenes that look suspiciously similar to photographs from National Geographic. According to a collection of harried animators in a cramped studio somewhere in Japan, this is what India is like:

Of course, I don't know any better. My impression of India comes from slashdot, the BBC, and Bollywood. But there is something eerily familiar about that scene, even to me.

Anyway, "Read or Die" was worth seeing. For episodic anime, that's grand high praise. Let's stop right here, because if this review gets any longer, I might actually have to say something meaningful or relevant. That would be a shame!

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