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Anime: ROD The TV DVD #3 "The Past"
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Age Rating: 15+
Company: MVM
Genre: Action
Running Time: 100 mins
DVD Region 2 (excuse the R1 cover image)

Doukusensha's plans begin to take shape..

Well after months of waiting for the UK release of ROD The TV #3 here it is, with 4 episodes included "Heart Of Darkness", "Christmas Carol", "Goodbye Japan" and "Twilight Of The Papers" (episodes 9-12). Was it worth the wait? Well kinda, but it certainly isn't as great as its all cracked up to be. Read on or...erm...die *insert mad laughter*.

Volume 3 of the series has the main story finally taking shape over a few random glimpses although what we have for the most part here is three random filler episodes and one actual proper story episode (although the filler episodes nudge the story along in their own kind of way). The episodes are a mixed batch in quality which is certainly this discs main issue. We have a rather dark "tomb-raider" style episode complete with Lara Croft lookalike, rather excessive amounts of fairly detailed nudity and litres of blood. It's a good episode for the most part with some thrilling action sequences and the girls working well as a team. We also see slight nods towards who is really evil and who is really good here, and it seems the girls may not have been playing for the right team as it were. The second and third episodes on the disc are distinctly average, the "Christmas carol" episode perhaps even below average it was so snore inducingly bad. It's the type of happy drama free story of Christmas cheer the Americans make and is so vomit inducingly sick and sweet towards its end I was left wondering if I was watching "Miracle on 34th Street" rather than an anime. Episode 11 is a tearful goodbye episode mainly focusing on the apparent crush between Hisami and Anita and the sad goodbye as Anita leaves for Hong-Kong. On one side of the coin it's kind of weird to see such a dramatic scene over what is just a schoolgirl crush, but it is also quite touching to see how upset they get. Average overall mind.

However episodes that are average are soon forgotten as the main plot goes into swing in episode 12. I won't spoil the details but it involves kidnapping and seemingly every member of the cast so far all working to their own agendas in some big book related plan for world domination *boggle*. The Paper Sisters are of course on the case and in full action stance here as we see one of the most well choreographed fight scenes ever in anime. The timing is impeccable, the animation superb and the adrenaline rush you get from watching it rubs out any thoughts that the series may be becoming merely average. Ending on a cliffhanger as well the volumes thrilling conclusion has you wanting more. Oh and one of the cast of the original OVA gets his first appearance in the series this disc. Ah the nostalgia.

Character development wise there isn't anything to exciting other than the fact Nenene has evidently firmly become friends with her rather unusual guests and actually likes them. We see more stalwart behavior from Maggie as she defends her sisters in battle showing she isn't as shy as she first appears. She is certainly the most likeable character in the series, lacking Nenene's satirical side and Michelle and Anita's tendency to irritate the hell out of me.

What we have in ROD The TV #3 is a decent volume with decent episodes. It fails to be outstanding throughout but it does manage it on occasion. I can't however forgive the fairly poor middle two episodes here so it is marked down for that.

As I mentioned earlier the animation is stunning here, individual pieces of paper and the creations of the paper masters moving so well and seemingly independently, with smooth well timed fight sequence animation. It's the same quality as the OVA throughout. MVM's transfer is perfectly fine and good quality in my eyes although maybe not everyone's (Note: I wont be scoring video from now on). Audio wise my preference is dub here, although I do enjoy the sub track as well. In the dub the "British" accents are spot on with Geneon seemingly putting the travesty of Hellsing behind them, the rest of the cast voices are pretty good too. A decent amount of extras are available here and some were good enough to even grab my attention, including the insane "next episode previews". Finally packaging wise is where the volume falls down, this is MVM's usual completely rubbish packaging that feels badly made, and looks even worse there's really nothing good to say about it other than I can read the back easily.

Overall Scores

Episode Contents: 7/10
When it's good its very good, and fortunately it is good over bad.

Animation: 8/10
Superbly animated. Hooray for paper!

Audio: 7.5/10
Decent enough sub and dub.

Extras: 7.5/10
Good , enjoyable to view.

Packaging: 3/10
If I see "For A World Of Anime" again I shall have to be institutionalized.

posted by Mangaminx On Wednesday, October 19, 2005  
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