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R.O.D. The TV: Volume 1: The Paper Sisters

Review Date:

Reviewed by:

Released by: Geneon

Age Rating: 13+

Region: 1 - North America

Volume 1 of 7

Length: 100 minutes

Subtitles: English

Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1

R.O.D. The TV: Volume 1: The Paper Sisters


As a world-class writer, Nenene Sumiregawa has to travel all over the place to attend writing conferences and other events. However on this trip to Hong Kong a mad bomber has decided to make Nenene his target and only one detective agency can stop them. Enter the Paper Sisters Detective Agency, a trio of detectives-come-tour guides consisting of Michelle, a stereotypical blonde bombshell, Maggie, an extremely tall but quiet tomboy, and Anita, a young outspoken obnoxious brat. But these three hide an incredible secret, they are paper masters, individuals with the ability to manipulate paper to their will, be it lock-picks, dragons, or defensive shields. As they follow their new charge, the sisters will travel to Tokyo where they will learn the true meaning of danger!


Throughout the first instalment of this series, there is little to be seen in the way of computer manipulation, everything computer generated is virtually hidden within the rest of the more traditional, but deceptively fluid animation. The music score is as implacable as it is exiting, a mixture of warm strings with several other styles including reggae, bebop, and what can only be described as a style completely of the composers own imagination. While the subtitles do not exactly match the dubbed version, nothing is lost in the translation and either is clear and easy to watch. The main characters are eminently believably, as their personalities are at the same time both opposing and complementary; bickering siblings, just the way they’re supposed to be. While the sisters are close and work well together, they are not exactly on the same wavelength as Nenene, who seems to resent their presence at every turn as they make an art of disrupting her life.

Viewers who are familiar with the original OVA (Read or Die) will recognise the world that this series is set in, a modern world, with extremely subtle slightly retro overtones in its architecture and its music. If you haven’t seen the original OVA then you are likely to still enjoy this series as a stand-alone, but having watched it again after seeing the OVA then certain thing start to make more sense, and more references are apparent, but this in no way detracts from the enjoyment experienced from watching it the first time, it just makes a lot more sense. This series has an almost murder-mystery quality about it, leaving the viewer with a distinct sense that there is more going on than meets the eye. While the series was eminently enjoyable, it is inherently serialised by its very nature, and as such, the first volume give tantalising glimpses at possible future events and some great humour and action, but does little to progress the storyline other than to introduce the characters, settings, and situations. If you’ve seen the OVA and liked it then the series is a worthy successor, or if you like a slightly cerebral, action comedy with twists and turns all over the place then this new incarnation of R.O.D. can only impress. The only downside is there is no guessing where this series will end up or how it will get there, though it looks like it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Rating: 7/10

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