Read or Die OAVs
A Parent's Guide to Anime
Recommended for Mature Audiences
Reviewed by Margaret K.:
I am not an experienced anime reviewer, so any summary I give for this series wouldn't do it justice. What I can say about it, is that it is stylish and fun, and definitely a good watch. The story revolves around Yomiko Readman, a substitute teacher, and book fanatic who has a supernatural power to control... paper? When a Beethoven manuscript has been stolen, and great minds from history are being cloned through stolen DNA in order to bring a downfall to mankind, who else but our adorable heroine, known by her agent name of "The Paper", can save the day? Although some parts of the plot may seem cliched at times, and at other times, confusing, the characters, themes and sheer artistic vibe of the 3 Oav series makes it an entertaining show. While some people have disagreed, I love the dub. It sticks pretty closely with the script and is well acted. It also is good for clearing up the nationality of certain characters I would have otherwise not noticed. (For example: A German character speaking with an accent.) I also found the animation to be among the better series I've seen.
Parent's Guide Rating:
red (recommended for mature audiences)
The rating given for the series is 13 and up, but I think the series requires a little more protection than that. It's sort of in the gray area, whereas it isn't so harsh as to earn a 16 and up, it is pretty intense for the lower rating. I know there are many 13 year olds who could handle all the violence, but if I were to find a personal example in my younger sister (Who is 13), I wouldn't want her to see some parts.
At some times, it dosen't get worse than gunfights and explosions, but it can become very intense, often with large amounts of blood. I found myself comparing much of the violence to a 007 movie, (In fact, many aspects of the series seemed to resemble 007) or to something along the lines of supernatural action, like X-men. But of course, being animated, the series gets away with much more blood than your typical live action flick. One of the worst instances involves a character, who can phase through solid objects, killing somebody by reaching into their chest and crushing their heart. (Much blood is shown) Another objectionable scene includes shots of people slitting their own throats and wrists under the influence of "The Suicide Symphony", which is being used as a new weapon of mass destruction. (They're shown later, dead with pools of blood beneath them).
I caught a few "D*mns" in the subtitled version. With the dub, the language was elevated a bit, with lots of use of stronger terms like "B*tch" or "B*stard".
Not much of note, really. There are some blank nude figures in the theme song (Another Bond-esque quality I found), but that's about it. There is one joke in the English version, where a character complains about her code name "Miss Deep" making her sound like a porn star.
Overall, I'd say it depends on who the kids are that are watching it, and whether they can handle strong violence and mature themes. When I say themes, I refer to the fact that in this series, the bad guys seem to have a well-meaning (although twisted) motive.
The series really straddles the line between PG and M, so I'll default to the M rating. View this one at your own discretion.