Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Birdy the Mighty Decode
Title: Birdy: The Mighty Decode
Genre: Sci-fi Action
Length: 2 Seasons (13 and 12 episodes, respectively), 1 OVA to bridge the seasons.
The story is great for a sci-fi and is constantly present during the whole show, which is really the beauty of 12 episode series. Birdy, an interstellar special forces agent of sorts, follows a group of aliens that had stolen a very dangerous piece of technology that can erase civilizations, and during an epic battle in an abandoned school, Tsutomu Senkawa, who was exploring prior to the fighting, is picked up by the one of the fugitives and thrown at Birdy as a distraction. Blinded by some light the perpetrator was emitting, all Birdy sees is an outline of a figure lunging at her, so she does the first thing any respecting bad-ass would do: Punch the shit out of it. With one plasma infused punch, Tsutomu's torso is turned to ketchup and he blacks out. The next day, he wakes up, very confused about his state of being, positive that he had the religion smacked out of him by some glowing chick the night prior, but, seeing that he is one piece he goes about his life. Within the next couple of days, he finds out that while his mutilated corpse is being repaired by Birdy's people, he has to share a body with Birdy in order to go on about his life as an apology for being caught in the cross fire as Birdy continues her search for the illegal aliens.
Dear God in Heaven, if for nothing else, watch this anime for the animation! Every character looks great, every movement is natural, and the battle scenes- good God the battle scenes- are perfectly animated. Everything is so cool looking in the battles and chases; for example: Birdy's boots release a sort of energy boost when she jumps or lands, or her punches, which are infused with energy that is delivered to the target whenever they connect. The animation will change in some fights, becoming very rugged and wild, as shown in the second season in during a flashback where Birdy as a young girl takes on a horde of invading robots that had destroyed her android mother unit/caretaker earlier in the invasion. This crazed animation style emphasizes the young Birdy's emotional distraught and rage, us not just telling us the fact that she is mad, but rather letting the audience see Birdy's anger in closer context. A little of the action was impaired by the art style, making it unclear what was happening in some movements, but it is very short and is cleared up by the next few frames. The characters are constantly moving as well, so it just isn't mouths moving in a conversation, but rather involving exchanges and dialogues where body language, positions and changing expression really move the character interaction.
The show is as deep as a puddle. No underlying message, no hidden agendas; just plain show, which works in this series favor because it wasn't meant to be something to make you think, you are just meant to enjoy.
This show is exactly why I love short, 12 episode series. There weren't any break episodes like "Birdy Goes to the Beach" or whatever. The show has a purpose and that is to tell a good, solid story that keeps you focused with amazing animation. Short series really let a story shine because there isn't time in an episode to lallygag with unnecessary scenes- each episode progresses the story which keeps people interested. That is why I really dislike all these 20 season convoluted excuses for anime. Fillers are for hamburgers, not art. It is like cutting up a Michelangelo and putting each piece in a random room in a house. What the fuck good is a painting if I have to run up and down stairs to get the whole picture?
Also, Birdy is just genuinely a good heroine. It has been a while since I have seen a decent heroine who isn't there just for eye candy. Sure, she looks good, but she kicks ass, she is a dynamic character who changes over the course of the series, and while she is fearless, she still has a lot of emotions that drive her and the story as well.
Watched this one in Japanese dub which worked very well. The voices fit the characters like gloves, human and alien alike.
FINAL GRADE: A+
An anime you can just enjoy and not write a thesis paper on.