Archive for February, 2011

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R.O.D. Review

February 15, 2011

 

ROD Anome Review by Jon

 

Ever since Cowboy Bebop there have been countless anime that rely on the “rule of cool” to win over audiences, favoring spectacle over plot. However, few anime do this better than R.O.D OVA. It is a stylish, exhilarating, and action-packed superpowered romp with some of the most creative fights in an anime. Of course, the plot is pretty ludicrous, but this does little to diminish the shows enjoyability.

Yomiko Readman is a substitute teacher and devoted bookworm, who spends most of her income on books. She also is an agent for the British Library special operations, with the physics defying ability to manipulate paper (which she can use to block bullets and cut through metal). After someone attempts to steal her newly purchased book, Yomiko is informed by the Library that the book is part of a sinister plot. She is then assigned the mission of retreiving the other volumes before the I-gen, superpowered reincarnations of historical figures. She is accompanied by fellow agents Nancy Makahari (a.k.a Miss Deep) who can phase through objects, and Drake Anderson.

Despite how rediculous the summery above sounds, the plot actually has quite a bit going for it. While it is quite silly, it has a superhero novelty to it. It is a fun action adventure that leaves a lot of room for cool fights, which it has no shortage of. It also leaves enough room for some plot twists and character developement. Considering it is only three episodes long, this OVA uses its time quite well and delivers an overall rewarding experience.

All of the characters here are a delight to watch. Yomiko is the cutest bookworm you will ever see. Naive and somewhat inept when it comes to anything other than books, she is the most pure hearted of the lot. Despite her apperance, she is resourceful and quite good in a fight. Nancy on the other hand, comes off as an experienced woman with a few skeletons in her closet. At first she wants to keep her relationship with Yomiko strictly professional, however befriends her later. Yomiko and Nancy’s friendship is the highpoint of the OVA’s character development and depth. The rest of the characters mostly serve as plot devices, however, none come off as uninteresting. From the egotistical reincarnation of Otto Lilienthal to Joker, the calm director of the Library, all the characters have distictive personalities. Of course, this is not where the series really shines.

Where this anime does shine brightest is its technical merits. The character designs and backgrounds here are incredible. Each character is distinctive and unmistakable, especially the adorable Yomiko and volumptuous Nancy. Likewise, the backgrounds are marvelously detailed and feel like real locations, it’s almost a shame that they are not further explored. The animation is just as spectacular, doing justice to the characters superpowers in eye-popping fights. The music doesn’t differ too much from other action adentures, however, it is still well composed and and used effectively.

The R.O.D OVA is an explosive experience. Its visuals are mind-blowing, even putting more recent anime to shame. It has a very likable cast of characters, both heroes and villians; and a good, if incredibly far-fetched, plot. While it does not have much in terms of depth, you’ll be hardpressed to find a more enteraining anime. Watch it.