As an Animé title, Read or Die held particular promise: it has a bookish girl hero, and it is ostensibly about reading, hardly standard fare for Animé, which is usually defined by violence and technology. Putting the Manga DVD in my player, a James Bond-like theme promised action and adventure, a nice mix with a literary hero.
|Ms. Readman elementally controls paper|
Blood: The Last Vampire, another Manga release
- Original Trailer
- Historical Biographies of cloned characters
- Photo Gallery
- Director and Crew Interview
- Free Poster
- Manga Previews, Fan Club, and DVD Catalog
The story is impossible to take seriously, but it is delivered earnestly. That means you’ll end up laughing at the movie, not with it. Read or Die does have camp value (a terrified U.S. president wets his pants), but the laugh-out-loud moments are too few and far between to make all 3 episodes (90 minutes) of Read or Die worthwhile.
The quality of the animation in Read or Die is fine, but it is not particularly amazing, outstanding, or evocative. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.
I had hoped Read or Die would make a nice companion piece to Stone Reader, a fascinating mystery/documentary about reading and books. Instead, Read or Die is just another Animé title. It tries to set itself apart with a unique hero, but it’s just not enough, even with a great theme song, to make good entertainment.