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"Speed Grapher"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Speed Grapher" More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Tragedy of it All

8/10
Author: lambiepie-2 from Los Angeles, CA
30 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I started watching Speed Grapher on the Independent Film channel where they showed it weekly, but couldn't wait week after week to see the rest. So - I bought the series. Glad I did, I enjoyed this - even if parts higher in the series seemed uneven. But, as you watch the entire series, it all makes sense.

This is the story of greed, sex, family, medical experimentation, war, politics, finance and ultimately - revenge. And a promise to a teen who is going through much because of what she can do. What she is assigned to do without much of her acceptance is what strange adults are paying a great deal of money to have her do to them.

This is a story of a photojournalist who gets a story tip and decides to check out this "secret club". What he finds there - and who he finds there - sets off this 26 series adventure as the photojournalist becomes entwined with all of these lives.

There is everything you can imagine here - including the last few episodes that deals with the "here and now" of political maneuvering between Japan and America that makes you -- chuckle a bit. Where many characters in this series aren't as they appear to be, and many get drawn into a world they had no business being a part of to begin with, you get caught up with the cat and mouse games, the surprises and the end that wraps it up.

This series is entertaining: the story is more adult themed with the politics and war and the anime was - okay. It does keep your interest. And I thought the installment that went over everything in the series "so far" was alright because remember, this was a series that unfolded week after week. For those just coming in at any point, this was a nice way to recap.

The only one thing I did not like in this series was at the very end... the credits were rolling as the story was still being told. Bummer! That was very distracting because you want to see what happens to these characters without interruption.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

major plus points for plot and story, big minus for consistency

7/10
Author: Roman_the_Empire from Philippines
21 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a series that got me hooked from the first episode. This dystopian vision of the future gave a very strong film noir feel, and presented characters that were not necessarily likable, but very human.

The first few episodes had very strong production values, and its animation and art is on par with the best the industry has to offer. Blood, guts, explosions and sex are depicted beautifully.

Which becomes a bit of a letdown the further you progress into the series, as inconsistencies with the animation become evident halfway through the series. Characters that were beautifully done in the first few episodes, such as Suitengu and Ginza, end up looking like stragglers from a really low-budget hentai production by towards the end of the series, both in terms of artwork and animation.

I watched this with the Japanese dub, which overall locks in well with the story and theme. There are several American characters here, particularly during flashbacks of Saiga's wartime career, and they all try to speak English with American accents. Conversely, Japanese characters who speak English, like Saiga, do so with very heavy Japanese accents, adding realism to the whole thing.

Again, the inconsistent production values mar this aspect of the anime, as they obviously hired Japanese seiyu, who end up straining with their pseudo-American accents. It would have been more immersive had they instead hired native English-speaking dubbers for the American characters. It also comes off as weird when African American characters end up sounding like old white guys.

Overall, stronger production values would've pushed this hardboiled anime to a 10.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Speed Grapher

Author: Katalyst Chandra from Canada
14 May 2014

I thought this anime was superb in its own right. I feel this anime captured the essence of the modern or real world today. Which is in the pragmatic sense, capitalism.

Unique and mature subject matter, this anime kept me wanting more. Some avid watchers say it was a bit unrealistic but I beg to differ. I find that this anime captured the realism of secrete cults and organizations today. No I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but things like "Dominatrix" and sadomasochistic perversions exist in this society today.

I feel this anime was trying to exhibit the perversion and deviated nature of human beings through the "club". These above mention perversion or abnormalities have existed within society from the beginning of time, affiliated with the upper class and these things still go on today.

So I found it surprisingly realistic and it pointed out the reality of state of the world is in and those who belong to the socioeconomic status of prestige and privilege, displaying how these "elite" of society squander their money. Overall I would give this anime 8 out of 10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Smile for the camera... averageness with a few bright sparks is caught in the lens.

7/10
Author: ThatMOVIENut from United Kingdom
1 December 2015

From Gonzo comes a 24 episode anime about a retired war photographer, Saiga, who investigates oddities in government affairs, and comes across a premier 'pleasure club', the Roppongi Club, that caters to every vice of Japan's ruling elite. The main attraction is the young Goddess, in reality the heiress of the powerful Tennozu Group, Kagura, who can bestow a gift that unlocks ultimate desire. When given to Saiga, he acquires the power to destroy with his camera lens, and rescues the girl. Now on the run, they must figure out what their 'power' really is, and foil whatever the true agenda of the Tennozu Group is...

While it may never reach maximum potential, 'Grapher' offers an enjoyable conspiracy thriller with a sci-fi flavour to make for engaging viewing. The animation is decent, as well as adequately dynamic for the action set pieces when Saiga battles others who have 'the gift', but it often feels under-detailed and corner cuts are fairly obvious. The dub voice cast are strong, with Chris Sabat and Monica Rial leading the charge, and the characters, leads for both the heroes and villains, themselves do share a strong camaraderie, while the side villains that populate most of the series are having a ball chewing scenery (including a super stretchy ballet diva, a widow who eats diamonds, a spidery dentist and even a politician-turned-living sound system), which does help carry the show over its weaker points.

From a writing standpoint, 'Grapher' is very much a cut and dry action-thriller anime with a high concept twist, mixing in revenge, politics, science gone awry and the futility of warfare and the rampant consumerism of modern society. Ambitious but the execution, while not bad, never feels exceptional and is built from extremely familiar elements (including but not limited to a cynical lead with PTSD, a voluptuous police detective girlfriend (complete with oh-so subtle symbolism with her guns), the theatrical gay friend, meek schoolgirls, all power corrupts, villains with a tragic backstory that also tie in with our lead and double crosses up the whazoo from just about everyone) that trap the series in a mostly repetitive monster of the week format, as well as a repetitive arc structure where Kagura is taken, Saiga gets her back, they flee for a time, and then she gets snatched again.

Indeed, the action and monsters almost end up detracting from the social commentary and lower the bar on the whole, not helped by seemingly one note villains who don't start to really develop until the last third of the show. Here is where 'Grapher' does come into its own and crank the emotions and commentary into gear, but it does feel a tad late to the party. It still kept me engaged, however, its fast pacing, characters and desire to stay on point helped overcome its familiarity. However, it's not something I would really crave to have a second go-around with.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Solid action drama with a supernatural twist

8/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
16 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set ten years after a financial meltdown the rich are getting richer than ever and the poor aren't bothered about. The rich and powerful of Japan are all members of a secret club… a club whose greatest secret is about to be taken by photographer Tatsumi Saiga. That secret is a girl called Kagura who has a strange power… she can give people the power they desire… even if they don't know they want it! After encountering her while infiltrating a club meeting Saiga discovers that his camera has become a weapon; anything he photographs is destroyed! In the confusion he creates he manages to escape with Kagura but it isn't long before Choji Suitengu, the man who runs the club, and his assorted henchmen are trying to get her back… and they have powers that are at least as dangerous as Saiga's. As they struggle to remain safe they learn that few people can be trusted and that the country itself could be in danger from Suitengu's actions.

I only bought this series because it was heavily discounted but I'm glad I did as the story was gripping and the characters interesting. The idea of having characters with various powers has of course been done before but here it seemed different as with the exception of Saiga everybody who has the powers is clearly corrupted in some way. Despite this the villain of the story isn't totally unsympathetic due to his backstory which is explained in one episode. As well as a good group of central characters there are several entertaining secondary ones; both good guys and bad. The levels of violence and sexual content means it isn't really suitable for younger viewers but older teens and upwards should enjoy it.

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.

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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Speed Grapher

8/10
Author: shadowstalkr from United States
26 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This doesn't contain too many spoilers, mostly just my opinion on a few of the episodes.

While it was a little far-fetched (its anime) I think the story was great. While the animation (for when it was made) wasn't as good as it should've been you still can get a feel for what is going on. I think this anime started out really good but it started to get pretty bland towards the end. Episode 16 was basically going over what happened in the previous episodes and episode 15 wasn't that great. You should still watch them, but maybe skip ahead on episode 16.

There really isn't any nudity in this, it may have sexual activity but you don't see any nudity really. I'd recommend this for anyone 17 and up. Also Duran Duran as an intro was great.

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