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1[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/read_or_die_ova_cover_4332.jpg]]²%%[[caption-width-right:300:some caption text]]²²''Read or Die'' is a three-episode {{OVA}} set in an alternate late 21st-century Earth with rare and mostly hidden superhumans. The story centres on the adventures of Yomiko Readman, an [[BunnyEarsLawyer eccentric]] yet [[CuteBookworm adorable]] bibliomaniac who is also a part-time substitute teacher and [[BadassBookworm a super-powered agent]] for the British Library's secret intelligence division. Codenamed "The Paper" by the British Library, Yomiko possesses what are best described as [[ElementalRockPaperScissors elemental]] [[PaperMaster paper powers]]--in other words, she can manipulate paper in practically any way imaginable. She also has an insatiable addiction to reading, which she feeds by spending thousands of pounds a week on books. Due to her work and her quirks, Yomiko is an odd combination of giggling innocent schoolgirl-ish woman--she gives off a distinct impression that her mental age and, er, general level of life experience are those of a twelve-year-old--and stone-cold killer.²²The OVA follows Yomiko as she and a pair of fellow agents work to stop a mysterious group of supervillains who call themselves "I-jin" ("Geniuses") and resemble notable figures from history. The I-jin want, amongst other things, [[{{MacGuffin}} a book once owned by Beethoven that Yomiko has recently purchased]], within which lies the key to an evil plan with world-wide consequences. This conflict plays out as a globe-trotting rollercoaster ride of action, friendship, betrayal, wild plot twists, and a small leavening of sly humor. The show's [[SuperHero superheroes]] are also far more Western in concept than [[{{Sentai}} sentai]]--atypical for a Japanese production--but the writers and producers make it work, showing a clear level of comfort with the idiom.²²''Read or Die'' was originally a [[LightNovels book series]], then a manga. The OVA follows some of the characterization introduced in the first manga chapters, but drastically becomes an AlternateContinuity. When the OVA became a popular success, the creators followed it up with a 26-episode TV series titled ''Anime/RODTheTV'' (''ROD TV'' or ''R.O.D. the TV Series'' in the West), which also became a popular success.²²[[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2012-02-23/new-read-or-die-manga-darker-side-story-outlined A new manga series began in 2012]]: "R.O.D. Rehabilitation", set in a DarkerAndEdgier AlternateUniverse, features a different Yomiko who lives in a world where the printed word has been declared obsolete and the few remaining bibliophiles left are trying to create a rebel city-state.²²[[http://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Read_or_Die There is a stalled community project to translate the original novels.]]²²JustForFun/NotToBeConfusedWith MateOrDie.²²Also, as one last note: The [=OVA=]'s first episode, which was produced in the year 2000, shows the World Trade Center in New York City. One scene in the episode is set on the roof of one of the Twin Towers. Anyone who has a [[TooSoon sensitive disposition]] to the events of 9/11 may wish to avoid that scene for that reason.²²----²²!! ''Read Or Die'' includes the following tropes:²²* ActionGirl: Yomiko and Nancy²* AlternateContinuity: The ''Read Or Die'' novels, the ''Read Or Die'' manga, the ''Read Or Dream'' manga, the animated adaptation (consisting of this {{OVA}} and ''Anime/RODTheTV'') and ''R.O.D.: Rehabilitation'' are all separate continuities, but borrow key concepts and characters from each other.²* AlternateHistory: Britannia still rules the waves (at least in the OVA) through the efforts of the British Library, but by the time of the TV series it has decayed and fallen even further than its real-life counterpart. In the OVA [[http://readordie.wikia.com/wiki/Joker Joker]] has the authority to give orders to UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates military and government. In the TV series the UsefulNotes/UnitedKingdom has been expelled from the UsefulNotes/UnitedNations and is forced to infiltrate [[http://readordie.wikia.com/wiki/Dokusensha Dokusensha]] to regain power. Yomiko Readman is amazed to learn this from Joker.²* AnimeAccentAbsence: Yomiko is half-Japanese, half-British, but in the English dub of the {{OVA}}, she speaks with an American accent. This is corrected in the dub of ''Anime/RODTheTV'', as a [[TheOtherDarrin different voice actor]] provides her with an English accent. Meanwhile, her original actress is playing one of the other characters.²* ApocalypseHow: [[spoiler:The I-jin plan to use the [[http://readordie.wikia.com/wiki/Suicide_Symphony Suicide Symphony]] to wipe out the human race.]]²* ArchivedArmy: The I-jin.²* ArtInitiatesLife: Ikkyu can do this in illusion form.²* ASinisterClue: The final episode features this trope prominently.²* BadassAdorable: Yomiko²** Junior in R.O.D the TV. He is capable of jumping from moving helicopters and is skillful at using guns and martial arts. And he's only about ''eleven''. [[spoiler: Six biologically.]]²* BadassBookworm: Also Yomiko²* BadassNormal: Drake Anderson²* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: Although all of the Ijin are clones, they possess powers and abilities far beyond what the historical figures had done or accomplished. It is hard to tell who exactly the worst offender is.²* BewareTheNiceOnes: If you are dumb enough to get someone as sweet and kind-hearted as Yomiko-chan '''mad''', you better damn well have your will written -- because she is going to kill you with it.²* BigBad: Ikkyu²* BlessedWithSuck: Being a Paper Master goes hand in hand with a crippling case of bibliophilia; Paper Masters have serious problems with money because they both tend to forget about work in favor of reading and are almost irresistibly compelled to purchase new books whenever possible. Furthermore, Paper Masters are prone to forgetting all about essentials, like [[ForgetsToEat eating and/or hygiene]], in favor of reading.²* BondOneLiner: Nancy, right before clipping Otto Lilienthal's glider:²--> "Thanks for flying the friendly skies."²* BrownNote: [[spoiler:Beethoven's "Death Symphony", which causes anyone hearing it to commit suicide.]]²** Maggie got wacko for a short period of time from reading a magic book that brought up suppressed aspects of her personality.²* ButNotTooForeign: Yomiko is half-Japanese and half-British, while Wendy Earhart is of Indo-European descent.²* ChekhovsGun: See KissOfDeath, below. Additionally, the single braid left in Yomiko's hair after Nancy leaves. It is more than just a visual reminder of Yomiko's trust in Nancy; [[spoiler:the (apparently paper) hair tie holding it in place turns out to be instrumental in her escape from Ikkyu's DrowningPit.]]²* ChristmasCake: Yomiko and Michelle are 25 years old.²* ClothingSwitch²* CuteClumsyGirl: Wendy Earhart, Joker's assistant²* TheCutie: Yomiko-chan²* DarkSkinnedBlond: Wendy²* DeadpanSnarker: Nancy and Drake²* DeliberateInjuryGambit: Nancy vs. Genjo Sanzo²* DoNotAdjustYourSet²* DramaticWind²* DudeLooksLikeALady: Junior, oh so much.²* {{Eagleland}}: Flavor Two. Drake might be a dynamic and competent character, but the President and military-at-large never seem to accomplish much of anything (except, impressively, wetting their pants three times in a three-episode series).²* EasyAmnesia (AvertedTrope): The amnesia comes about through massive head-trauma and prolonged asphyxiation, which realistically leads to brain damage and memory trauma. Her memory loss does seem a bit [[LaserGuidedAmnesia specific]], but at least it comes about in a realistic fashion.²* EvilTwin²* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: Yomiko, Nancy²* {{Fanservice}}: Nancy²* {{Foreshadowing}}: There's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment early on when Mr. Joker mentions that I-Jin DNA samples were stolen. One of the names shown in the background is [[spoiler:Mata H]] -- or, as we find out, [[spoiler: UsefulNotes/MataHari]].²* {{Gainaxing}}²* GagDub: There's one point where [[Literature/JourneyToTheWest Genjo Sanzo]] chants a Buddhist mantra to make the ocean part in two. You can tell the English voice actor had no idea what to chant and is just muttering gibberish. He even says KlaatuBaradaNikto at one point.²* GratuitousGerman: Otto Lilienthal manages to butcher the German language quite efficiently with a piss-poor imitation of a German accent and some German words.²* AGodAmI²* GratuitousEnglish: "Zah...PAAAAAYPAAAAAAHHH!!!"²* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Any language except English gets slaughtered in the English dub!²* HeartIsAnAwesomePower: Being able to control paper sounds like the stupidest power of all time... unless you can make it hard as steel and razor sharp.²* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Nancy #1]] ²* HistoricalDomainCharacter: The I-jin are all clones of famous people, including [[Music/LudwigVanBeethoven Beethoven]] and UsefulNotes/MataHari.²* HomoeroticSubtext: Yomiko and Nancy form an extremely strong bond over an extremely short time, and there are hints of deeper attraction that is never given time to develop within the OVA. These themes are followed up and developed in [[Anime/RODTheTV the sequel series]].²* HotLibrarian + BadassBookworm: Yomiko. Her extreme love of books can get to be a very expensive habit (at one point, she even asks her boss for a cash advance so that she can purchase more books), but the British Library still regards her as [[BunnyEarsLawyer one of the best in her field]]. When her voice actress was replaced for the dub, her accent suddenly became [[UsefulNotes/BritishAccents British]]. And yes, it made her ''even hotter''.²** Nancy Makuhari disguised herself as a librarian, when she first met Yomiko, getting the same book.²* IHaveTheHighGround: For about two seconds in the second episode fight sequence.²* IllGirl: Faye loved books, but went blind and couldn't read them anymore. When she started to make paper planes out of them, Maggie came to her room and started to read books to Faye to remind her of her love for them. [[spoiler:She gets better.]]²* ImprobableWeaponUser: Beyond the whole Paper Master schtick, there's also some strange weapons in the manga, such as giant matches and giant triangles (the mathematical tool.)²* IntangibleMan: Nancy has the ability to phase her body through just about anything: walls, doors, machinery...flesh and blood...²* {{Invisibility}}: The Mirror Man can render himself invisible.²* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Despite being in love with Hisami, and seeing Anita as a rival for Hisami's affection, Tohru pushes Hisami to reveal her feelings for Anita before she leaves for good, knowing that she would be torn up inside if she didn't.²* KissOfDeath: Sort of. [[spoiler:Nancy]] gives a (delayed activation) Kiss Of Unconsciousness to Yomiko.²* LargeHam: Otto Lilienthal's English dub actor sounds like he's having a lot of fun. "'''YOU CANNOT KILL ZE VIND VIF BULLETS!'''"²* LatexPerfection: According to the manga, it is possible for a PaperMaster to do this with paper. One did it over his entire body, fooling Yomiko into thinking he was her deceased lover and successfully seduced her.²* LovelyAngels: Yomiko and Nancy.²* {{Meganekko}}: Yomiko Readman is widely considered the Queen of All {{Meganekko}}s.²** Nancy Makuhari in one of her disguises.²* MidairRepair: Yomiko manages to add a tail to her giant paper airplane in ''mid-flight''. It helps that it is, you know, made of paper.²* TheMole: [[spoiler:Nancy, for the I-Jin. She ''is'' a clone of the great spy UsefulNotes/MataHari, after all.]]²* TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf: The Mirror Man, an agent of the British Library, has the ability to appear as someone else, but a mirror reveals his true form.²* MonumentalBattle: The first episode of the OVA ended atop the Statue Of Liberty after already battling at the White House and World Trade Centers.²* MonumentalDamage: Gennai Hiraga blows up the White House in the very first scene.²* MultinationalTeam: Yomiko (Japanese/British), Drake (American), and Nancy [[spoiler:(Dutch)]].²* MundaneMadeAwesome: The franchise as a whole is ... you know, an action/espionage series about books.²* NerdActionHero: Yomiko²* NerdsAreSexy: And so is Yomiko-chan.²* NippleAndDimed: Lily under the shower in Read or Dream.²* NotQuiteDead: Drake and the team think they took out Genjo Sanzo with a land-based torpedo, but [[spoiler:Genjo manages to avoid getting blown to smithereens by using Goku's staff to elevate himself into the clouds]].²* OhCrap: Otto gets a pretty big one when he realises just who he's going up against.²* PaperFanOfDoom: Anita uses this to discipline her older sister, Michelle.²* PaperMaster: The TropeNamer.²* ThePollyanna: Yomiko never loses her bright disposition and her love of life and books. Even though most all of the villains she faces are psychotic and do not inspire much hope for the world.²* ThePowerOfFriendship²* PowerTrio: Yomiko, Nancy and Drake. Also, the Paper Sisters in ''Anime/RODTheTV''. ²* PreExplosionGlow²* PropheticNames: "Yomiko" = "reading child"; "Readman" is obvious.²* PuppyDogEyes²* ReadingIsCoolAesop: Not really as overt as with most examples. However reading (insane amounts) gets you superpowers!²* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Nancy repays Yomiko for her initial kindness by offing the I-Jin leader, but decides to stay in the rocket and die because she does not want him to [[DyingAlone die alone]].]]²* RubberFace: Nenene to Yomiko and Michelle to herself.²* RunningGag: Whenever things go bad, the American President [[BringMyBrownPants wets his pants]] ([[ThirdTimesTheCharm three times in the OVA]]). Often with a close shot on his crotch, so you will know he is doing it. WordOfGod is that this was not intended to make fun of America as a whole, but rather to [[TakeThat mock]] [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush a certain President]].²* ShoutOut:²** Joker does [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion the Gendo pose]] in episode 3.²** The opening credits as a whole are an obvious tribute to the ''Film/JamesBond'' opening sequences, complete with Lalo Schriffin inspired swing-band musical score and SexySilhouette shots. Yomiko even does her own silhouettes -- and she makes them look good.²** Anita [[spoiler:gets hit on the head by a baseball and hallucinates/dreams that she]] dives through a [[PortalPool puddle]] into a world after the setting of "Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz", [[AssKicksYou lands with her ass on the witch, knocking her out]] and then setting out on the quest to liberate Oz ([[spoiler:Maggie is the robot that seeks a heart for courage, Michelle is the scarecrow that [[TheDitz wants a brain]] and Chihon is the Monkey King from ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' that's completely out of place]]).²* SpotOfTea: Joker will not start work without it, Gentleman is also seen drinking it.²* SteamPunk: The I-Jin, especially Lilienthal, and much of the British Library in general. They appear to use 19th-century era ''cell phones''.²* StormingTheCastle²* {{Stripperiffic}}: Nancy. She even [[LampshadeHanging comments sarcastically on it, as well as other aspects of her secret agent persona:]] ²--> '''Nancy:''' I never liked my code name anyway. "Miss Deep" sounds like a porn star.²* StuffBlowingUp: The White House, in the opening.²* {{Superhero}} (sort of)²* ThemeMusicPowerUp: The main theme kicks in during particularly important battles, such as the aerial fight against Otto.²* ThisIsUnforgivable: When someone as [[BewareTheNiceOnes nice as]] [[AllLovingHero Yomiko-chan]] says this to Gennai, you ''know'' he is pretty much fucked.²* ThisMeansWar: "As of now, we begin Operation Exterminate I-Jin Corps!"²* TrapIsTheOnlyOption: In OAV, one clear path into the I-Jin fortress suddenly becomes apparent. Joker instructs his team to take that path, stating that while it is obviously a trap, he has a few tricks of his own to play.²* TunnelOfForeshadowing: The very first scene in the TV series.²* TurnTheOtherCheek²* {{Tykebomb}}: Anita and Junior.²* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler: The "good" Nancy is deemed expendable by Ikkyu after she has delivered Yomiko to his clutches, and he feels that she has become too soft as well. He has the "evil" Nancy kill her and drop her into the ocean. [[NotQuiteDead She gets better.]] ]]²* VaporWear: Nancy²* VomitDiscretionShot: In Read or Dream, when the carsick child writer Hisami accidentally fell on Anita and puked in her face.²* WhoWouldWantToWatchUs: Invoked by Maggie, after a starving little girl they picked up from the streets chugged a bucketful of salt water as fuel and revealed herself as the judge of the world and judged the world to be destroyed [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters due to human punk-assery]].²* YouGetMeCoffee: Well, tea, actually, as Joker asks Wendy at the end of episode 2. She is glad to do so, and despite everyone else being ready to go, Joker does not start the operation until Wendy serves the tea.²* YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo: Nancy complains to Ikkyu that he promised he would not kill Yomiko. He explains that while Yomiko does need to die, he will clone her and alter her personality to be more in tune with his goals, so FromACertainPointOfView he was telling the truth.²²----

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