Yuri Anime: Read or Dream The TV, Vol. 1

July 12th, 2004

Part 2

So, Upon rewatching the saga of the three paper sisters and erstwhile writing prodigy, I find that my initial reactions to the storyline and characters are little changed from my initial viewing.

The main thing about the first four episodes is the omnipresence of Yomiko Readman made plain through her absence. From the locket around Nenene’s neck, to the paper-using skills of Michelle, Maggie and Anita, the picture on Nenene’s desk, her search for information, etc., etc., Yomiko’s presence fills every second of this series. It almost seems as if she’s a kind of guardian spirit – which, of course, she isn’t. Future episodes will reveal how very human she is, but at this point, we don’t really know that yet.

I am also impressed with how much of a curmudgeon Nenene has become at 20. It’s taken me nearly twice that long to become so grumpy. My hat’s off to her.

As for the Paper Sisters…they are both more and less annoying that the first time. It strikes me much more this time how innocent and…unfinished…they all seem. It may be 20/20 hindsight, but they really aren’t quite human at this point. Like Maggie throwing out furniture to “clean” the apartment. No one would really do that, unless they had no experience of human interaction.

On the other hand, Anita, who I initially loathed, I find myself watching with more interest. Her annoying qualities seem less pronouced to me, this time around.

However, I still maintain that the second episode of this series is vile. Unfunny, irritating and in many ways pointless, it sets the characters on the board, true, but also annoyed the living daylights out of me. Both times.

For a first volume of an anime seires, however, it’s a pretty damn good beginning. A strong beginning, the weaknesses of the second episode pretty much made up for by good third and excellent fourth episodes. By the time you finish the first volume, there’s more than enough to work with in terms of character and the plot has, at least in part, appeared. Compare this with something like Bakuretsu Tenshi, which took something like 13 episodes to develop any kind of plot.

Fanservice comes in many flavors in ROD The TV. Whether you’re into Gainax bounces, loli, yuri, shota, androgyny, evil psychotics, it’s all pretty much in there, somewhere.

All in all, as anime series go, ROD The TV is still one of the best I’ve ever seen, and Volume 1 is a pretty strong start to an amazing series.

Overall – 9 out of 10 for character, plot, design, writing.

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was able to watch episode 2 knowing the backstory, and therefore able to see quite easily what complete social cripples these three are. If I didn’t know it, though, I’d want to kill them all. Especially Maggie. Who grates on me in 3 and 4 too. Look, kid, just buy a book, don’t fall over half dead. Sheesh.

    Did anyone else think Maggie ‘cleaned’ the apartment to make way for new books and no other furnishings? Probably the way she cleans the apartment in Hong Kong.

    And Nenene’s expression both before and after realizing Michelle is the one buying up the books, not Yomiko, is probably my favorite moment in the 4 episodes. Shame they ruined it with comic kicking anger afterwards.

    Like the three sisters, this series is really schizo, which makes for a very variable series.

    –Sean G.

  2. Absolutely agreed, Sean. I felt the same way – watching the total lack of any skills, other than fighting, it all seems very obvious now.

    And I always thought that Nenene’s discusssion of her realtionship with Yomiko – that she didn’t know if it was love, but she’d been crippled as a writer since Y. disappeared, then her reaction to Yomiko’s “reappearance,” was the answer to that question.

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