Friday, September 3, 2010

Two recent Anime I’ve enjoyed massively


So two shows, first is Tetsuwan Birdy 鉄腕バーディー, second is Yakushiji Ryōko no Kaiki Jikenbo 薬師寺涼子の怪奇事件簿.


First show is Tetsuwan Birdy TV series. There was an 4-episode OVA done in 1996 by Madhouse. This new TV series is done by A-1 Pictures. To describe the series, it falls into action, sci-fi, drama, and a bit comedy genre.



Released: 2008

Go to IMDb page

Information ©

"Tetsuwan Birdy Decode"

Saeko Chiba

Actually, the show I enjoyed “massively” is season 2 of the TV series, named Decoder 02. But to get to Decoder 02, Season 1 Decode is not skippable. This is not saying that Decode is unwatchable, it just doesn’t stand out from other shows, while Decode 02’s plot managed to touch my heart so much. Or maybe Decode has Maaya Sakamoto as one of the main casts, which made the show downgrade automatically for me?? (I’ve watching shows which had her as main cast lately, intentionally or unintentionally, and found that most of the shows are somewhat unwatchable… I still like her songs though.)

It’s just such an unforgettable emotional ride that’s so gripping, so intense. Accompanied with the story, the animation style is also very unique. It takes the direction of totally “fluid” animation over traditional static images. The trade off is the sloppy frames, or the blob animation someone mentioned. I’ll take this style over the static images anytime though.

Here is the most infamous episode 7 fighting sequence from Decode 02:

HD Link

About the DVDs, currently only Decode (Season 1) is complete, so I can comment on these discs only. And these are the limited editions with supplement discs which includes “making of” type commentary.

The menu uses transitions between each. But the opening transition to main menu is a bit too long, the menu looping is kind of short.

The video quality is a bit soft, I think the HDTV broadcast version is a lot better (although the HDTV version is more like upconverts), but since DVD contains animation error fixes, it’s probably the format to collect. Also the DVD comes with LPCM 2.0 which is better than the ~192Kbps aac HDTV broadcast had.

I picked all the screen captures from volume 5 because of episode 9’s Birdy vs. Marionette fighting sequence is probably the best fighting I’ve ever seen.

HD Link

When I first saw this sequence, I went back and watched 5 times in a row, that’s how good it is!

The limited edition comes with quite a few goodies, episode guide, actual show’s film prints, and a DVD contains “making of” features, just to name a few. Despite how good the limited editions are, the show’s DVD sales aren’t that good from what I heard. The manga was created in the 90s last century, the elements might be a bit outdated? It’s an even niche show in an already niche anime market, to best describe the show’s situation. I’m still hoping a third season though since some stuff aren’t resolved.

I think they could just put the extra disc’s stuff onto the same disc, to just make it easier to view instead of having two discs… But this makes backup quite easier since now both discs are under D5 size… I think they might have used the same disc as they regular edition, but this disc is skipped.






Next show is Yakushiji Ryōko no Kaiki Jikenbo 薬師寺涼子の怪奇事件簿. The enjoyment is to a lesser degree than Birdy though.

I’d like to describe this show as Haruhi Suzumiya meets 009-1, with a touch of generic detective show (but less emphasized). The show involves in solving mysteries (crime related). The mysteries are somewhat like x-files, involving controversial gene manipulation, hi-tech AI coexist with human, etc. The view point is from the male lead, Junichirō Izumida 泉田準一郎. His first opening line is always I’m Junichirō Izumida, 33 years old, I’m Ryōko Yakushiji’s assistant. His role is much like Kyon with Haruhi. The show doesn’t develop a real romance between the two however, unlike Haruhi. Ryoko, the main character, is depicted as a sexy, energetic, self-centered, smart woman who has a crush on Junichiro (but is toying around him).


About the DVDs, 13 episodes on four DVDs with some extra features such as character design, scene design, next episode narration stuff.

The show is generally decently animated, but action sequences are almost always cut short. The first seven or so episodes especially demonstrate this shortage.

The characters, especially women are well drawn.

Yukiko Muromachi 室町由紀子, a rival of Ryoko, her seiyuu is Houko Kuwashima, which is one of the reasons why I’m watching the show initially… But it proves that the show really don’t need much of this role…

The show also has some French element, the two maids only speak French (must be awkward since the casts are Japanese).


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