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Yokimo Readman just loves her books, and she has thousands. She coos over them, cuddles them, and absorbs herself so fully in in reading them she can literally let a five car pileup crash by her without noticing.
And she has a curious superpower. She's a "paper master" that can make paper do all sorts of incredible things, like form barriers or bind things or cut through steel. So it is fitting that her spy code name is "paper." So she is a secret agent. Unlike the usual anime super-heroine, Ms. Readman doesn't ever shed her long skirt, vest, and glasses when doing battle with the bad guys. She stays her same cute-but-dorky self throughout, saying things like "give me back my book, please" from the super-villain that stole it from her even while he is trying to kill her. She leaves it to her colleague to wear the form-fitting spandex costume (which is, after all, obligatory).
The storytellers in this movie have an excellent sense of subtlety, even while they indulge in the usual action-adventure excesses. There are a few worthwhile reflections on the nature of the historical figures that are cloned and brought back to life as part of the Evil Plot, but most of what is worth watching is Yokimo herself. Her first use of her power is so casually done that you would miss it if you blinked, but that fits with the character. Perhaps her most endearing moment is when she admits that as much as she treasures her books, she knows that real life is more important.
You have to see for yourself how believable it is when she takes on a homicidal samurai with a light saber on his side with nothing but a morphed dollar-bill for herself. For me, it worked.
I am amazed I can give this DVD 9 stars while still finding what should be a fatal flaw. The passion of the character is for books, but never once does the story depend on something that she read in all the thousands of books she is supposed to have read. Leaving this out reduces Yokimo's driving characteristic from a powerful plot device to a simply amusing fetish, which is a shame. And there is something to be said for being a role model for the kids that can and should watch this. However, the story is fun enough that this can be overlooked and 9 stars is appropriate.
The artwork is slick, smooth, and convincing. The voice acting in both English and Japanese is superior. Sometimes the background details get washed over, usually in the machines of battle hardware, which is actually not unwelcome.
A note about the series: I found this DVD because I rented the first volume of "R.O.D. the TV" from Netflix, and liked it so much that I found this story was the prequel. So I canceled the entire series at Netflix and bought this DVD and the whole series of "R.O.D. the TV" just from that one sample. They are that good.
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