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.