Book Review: Read or Die Vol 1 by Hideyuki Kurata

Title: Read or Die Vol 1

Author: Hideyuki Kurata

Series: Read or Die #1

Page Count: 208

Publish Date: March 21, 2006

Publisher: Viz Media

Buy Read or Die Vol 1 at Amazon.

Synopsis:

Yomiko Readman’s love of literature goes far beyond any run-of-the-mill bookworm! In fact, she has a supernatural ability to manipulate paper in the most amazing ways. From turning a tiny scrap into a lethal throwing dagger to making a single sheet hard enough to block bullets, she’s only limited by her imagination. She uses her phenomenal power to seek out legendary books containing secret information that, in the wrong hands, could be dangerous. Back by a Special Operations Division in England, Yomiko has her hands full battling evildoers, saving the world, and trying to find time to curl up with a good book.

Yomiko is called in to use her special talents to recover a rare book that was stolen from the library 20 years ago. Her commander, a mysterious gentleman simply known as “Jokar,” has set up a deal to buy the book from the very man who stole it – the slippery Mr. Woo, When accused of the crime, Woo retaliates by attacking Joker but finds himself foiled by the paper-wielding Yomiko. But he’s a slippery fella and has a trick or two up his own sleeve. Will it be enough to defeat the likes of the determined Ms. Readman?

Read or Die Vol 1

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My Review:

Having previously watched the Read or Die OVA, I was excited to dive into the manga.

Imagine my surprise when the movie and manga were so vastly different that I questioned how they could be from the same universe, involving the same characters.

Let’s talk about where the book’s strength lies.

The entire concept of having the power to manipulate paper in any way is truly amazing. Imagine the possibilities you could have with this. With enough paper, anything could be made!

And yet, it’s more of a side character in this story than anything else. Yomiko uses her powers but it doesn’t feel like they make a significant difference in the story.

If more attention had been put on this power, then I think the book would have been much better. Not to keep comparing it to the anime, but it was done so much better there, you really felt that with every turn Yomiko had to use her powers because it was the only way to defeat evil.

As for the rest of the story, it’s pretty rough.

You have an overzealous obsessive fan of a young author who proceeds to kidnap her and threaten to do things to her that fall into the SA category. And there not much else going on outside of Yomiko’s obsessive ways about the same author, though hers at at least not in a predatory fashion.

If you are like me, and hoping for the manga to be an extended version of the OVA or an extension of that story, then you will be highly disappointed. I would recommend sticking with the OVA and ignoring that this manga even exists.

Overall, it’s not terrible, but it does feel far too over-the-top to be good. I’m uncertain whether I will read the rest of the series, which is on my TBR. Chances are high that I will abandon this series.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Read or Die Vol 1. Have you read this book?

Buy Read or Die Vol 1 at Amazon.

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