Full series reviews


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First of all, what kind of title is that? I read somewhere that it was supposed to be Read or Dream at first then they changed it to Read or Die and to mask the change just wrote the abbreviation. It's a series about heroines with superpowers – original isn't it? But the superpowers element is handled superbly – the series is neither a boring sequence of battles against ever stronger enemies, nor was it all angst along the lines of "Should I use my superpowers or not? Ah, what am I going to do with my life!".

Furthermore, the series offers a lot of eye-candy and manages to combine well character and plot development. And that's exactly the problem – great potential which creates great expectations which in turn are never fulfilled. (more…)

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Masterpiece is a word that is used a bit too lightly these days it seems but I will be damned if it is not fitting for Monster. First of all, it’s so different than almost all anime that I have watched. Not that I have watched all that much but still that has to count for something. Secondly, its characters are so well crafted that even tertiary characters are better developed than a lot of the main characters in popular shows like Gundam Seed Destiny. In Monster a character can be developed over the course of a few episodes better than most series do it in 26 – for instance Martin. Doctor Tenma started as a rather annoying and naive youngster and developed into really impressive and confident man, without losing his ideals. And as most people would probably agree Johan is one of the most interesting villains ever, not to mention how frightening he can be, even when he is just talking calmly. Furthermore, I am impressed how the series never spares the viewers or the characters the bad sides of life. For instance, Tenma got severely beaten a few times, a lot of people died and generally life was not fair at all to the characters. Another aspect is the realism – here we have characters who before embarking on their quest to find the evil mastermind actually spent months preparing how to fight, instead of just going agaisnt him, sure that their righteousness will prevail anyway as a lot of anime characters do. The attention to detail in the animation really helps to create a unique atmosphere, everything that surrouns the characters looks so…real. Even without being told you can in a way feel that the action takes place in Prague or in a rural German town, it just felt right. If only the music was better the series would have been close to being perfect. Not that it didn’t have its fair share of good background music, it simply was not good enough compared to the other elements of the show. (more…)