[H2]Anime/PSP: R.O.D.–The TV–, Volume 1 (UMD)[/h2]

Chimaera

Being able to start a series fresh is always great fun. You wonder how fast they’ll dive into the action, or if instead they’ll spend their time storytelling. Thankfully, R.O.D. The TV gives us a little of both in this two episode disc, introducing us to four main characters: Nenene the cranky author with a bad case of writer’s block, and the three sisters: Maggie, Michelle, and Anita, who start out as tour guides on Nenene’s book signing appearance to Hong Kong.

In the first episode, we meet Nenene as she arrives in Hong Kong and is met by Maggie and Michelle. Trouble appears to follow Nenene wherever she goes, and lucky for Nenene, these tour guides just happen to also be detectives – and extreme book fans. So they’re more than happy to help out when it appears Nenene’s being followed by a mad bomber. There’s an additional skill that the trio of sisters has that quickly comes in handy – they are also what’s known as “paper masters” with the ability to manipulate paper to their whim. This is not your everyday origami I’m talking about; this is the sort of paper folding that can create flying dragons, vases, lockpicks, clothing, and save your butt as necessary. It’s silly and absolutely amusing and stretches the question of “well, what can’t you do with paper?”.

In episode two, the girls have followed Nenene and landed in Japan. They are quickly brought on as bodyguards by Nenene’s editor after their work in the first episode. This episode is little light on the action side, but once you understand it is mostly driven to bringing the four girls together as setup for future episodes, you find yourself wondering more about how they’re going to pull that trick off versus how many bad guys they aren’t fending off.

Technical/Extras: 6
The animation, while not the most elegantly styled I’ve seen, is well done, and brightly colored. It sets the tone of the series by not using many dark tones at all, yet isn’t blindingly pastel or annoying. The subtitles are better than I’ve seen in other series, but could stand some improvement. The music suits the mood of what’s going on but doesn’t become too dominant.

Entertainment: 7.5
I liked it! The two episodes were nicely balanced against each other, entertaining, and fun to watch. I was actually laughing out loud, but then again I’m a writer at heart and Nenene quickly developed to be a favorite character.

Overall: 7.5

The theme song(s) are cheerful and bouncy. The characters are quirky yet likeable, with potential for growth.

Episodes:
#1 “The Papers Have Landed”
#2 “Rise Up, Oh Dregs of Humanity”

Features: Quick start instructions for the PSP.

Extras: Trailers for Fafner, Gankustuou, Shibuya Kaidan – The Locker -, Viewtiful Joe, Gun Sword, Kyo Kara Mach!, Doki Doki School Hours, Saiyuki Reload, Starship Operators

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