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Birdy the Mighty: Decode – Part Two (A J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

January 15, 2011 by  



A wonderful conclusion for Masami Yuuki’s “Birdy the Mighty: Decode”.  The second part of the series features more action and is actually more violent than the previous season.  But the storyline is much deeper and more enjoyable!  Definitely recommended!

Image courtesy of © Yuuki Masami/SHOGAKUKAN. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Birdy the Mighty: Decode – Part Two

DURATION: Episodes 1-13 (300 minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, English and Japanese stereo

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: 17+

Release Date: November 30, 2010

Originally created by Masami Yuuki

Directed by Kazuki Akane

Series Composition: Hiroshi Ohnogi

Music by Yuugo Kanno

Character Design by Rousuke Sawa

Art Director: Takeshi Satou

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures Inc.

Featuring the following voice talent:

Miyu Irino as Tsutomu Senkawa

Saeko Chiba/Lucy Christian as Birdy Cephon Altera

Kanae Itō/Cherami Leigh as Natsumi Hayamiya

Kaori Nazuka/Trina Nishimura as Capella Titis

Keiji Fujiwara/Robert McCollum as Keisuke Muroto

Kenichi Suzumura/Todd Haberkorn as Satyajit Shyamalan

Yasuhiro Mamiya/Chris Ayres as Bascillus

Shinji Kawada/J. Michael Tatum as Tuto

Ako Mayama as Irma

Anthony Bowling as Kimura

Maaya Sakamoto/Brina Palencia as Sayaka Nakasugi

Michiko Neya/Caitlin Glass as Weegie Gahhaw

Chris Burnett as Kazuyoshi Chigira

Takashi Oohara/Chris Cason as Masakubo

Christopher Bevins as Kashu Geeze

Christopher R. Sabat as Skeletso

Chuck Huber as Sasaki

Sayaka Ohara/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Kaori Sanada

Birdy is a jaw-dropping, pin-up sensation with a secret. Under the cover of darkness, this dream girl becomes a bad guy’s worst nightmare. Birdy dons her crime-fighting costume and hits the street as a lethal, interstellar federation agent charged with nailing the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy.

Her latest case involves a gang of extraterrestrial terrorists and a stolen space weapon that could nuke every living thing on Earth. Birdy’s got the moves to stop them dead in their tracks, but there’s one big problem: she’s got a nasty habit of going berserk, and somebody always gets hurt. Yeah, Birdy may be dreamy, but she’s also the only thing more dangerous than the bad guys.

Contains episodes 14-26.

An anime series that has a good amount of action and dramatic elements to make “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” an enjoyable series worth catching!

It all began with mangaka Masami Yuuki. Well-known for his longtime police anime manga series “Mobile Police Patlabor”, and although he abruptly stopped writing the series, “Patlabor” would receive life during its multi-year run on television via an anime adaption (which would also lead to three full length animated films). But because of his name of being the man who created “Patlabor”, Masami Yuki has received his distinction for creating one of the most entertaining stories of all time.

Around the time that “Patlabor” came out on television, Masami also began working on the series “Birdy the Mighty” for “Shonen Sunday Super” which was adapted into a 2-episode OVA series by MadHouse Studios and eventually released in the US back in 1996 (courtesy of U.S. Manga Corps).

As for Masami Yuuki, he would go on to work on other short-lived manga series but it wasn’t until 2003 when he began focusing on a reboot of his “Birdy” anime series. The manga would have the same title “Birdy the Mighty” which is serialized in “Weekly Young Sunday”.

Five years later, a TV anime adaptation known as “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” received its anime adaptation courtesy of A-1 Pictures and would be directed by Kazuaki Akane (“Escaflowne: The Movie”, “Heat Guy J”, “Noein – to your other self”) and feature a screenplay by Hiroshi Ohnogi (“God Mazinger”, “Heat Guy J”, “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”). The series would feature character designs by Ryousuke Sawa, art direction by Takeshi Satou (“Ghost Slayers Ayashi”, “Please Twins!”, “Utawarerumono”) and feature music by Yuugo Kano (“D.C. ~Da Capo~” and “Lamune”).

And now, both seasons of “Birdy the Mighty” will be released in the US courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment.

The concept of “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” revolves around a Federation police officer named Birdy Cephon Altera and her robot Tuta who are chasing two alien criminals named Bacillus and Geea on the planet Earth. While on Earth, she uses the disguise of a Japanese pop star.

The other character that the series would focus on is high school teenager Tsutomu Senkawa who is joining a friend/student to do some investigation work. Unfortunately, Tsutomu happens to be in an area where Birdy is chasing an alien criminal. The criminal throws Tsutomu towards Birdy who mistakes it as a weapon and thus obliterates him.

The federation police officer has created a major offense by accidentally killing a human being and in order to keep him alive, she merges her body with his, so his living body can receive medical attention and literally be rebuilt by alien technology.

So, now the two must share the same body and work together as Birdy goes after the alien criminals on Earth and Tsutomu tries to continue his human life as a teenager. But being in the same body, Tsutomu starts to understand more about Birdy and the challenges and pressure she has to face to catch criminals all over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Tsutomu falls for a fellow classmate named Sayaka Nakasugi and she starts to fall for him.

As Birdy continues to catch criminals, murders are taking place throughout the city but to make matters worse, these murders may be connected to the girl that Tsutomu has fallen for.

The first season of “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” shows us how both Birdy and Tsutomu try to cope with each other after the fusing and both trying to understand each other despite them being quite different. But most of all, developing a respect and friendship towards each other despite in the same body.

The second season of “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” takes place after the first season as Tsutomu has received reconstruction once again.  But this time, Birdy meets up with another childhood friend from her planet named Nataru Shinmyou, who lives on Earth as a refugee and is pretending to be human.

But Birdy is unaware that her childhood friend is also a bit twisted and wants revenge on a terrorist group that has used his father.

Meanwhile, Birdy and Tsutomu’s hosting is starting to glitch as Birdy is starting to forget all her memories and is literally about to lose herself to Tsutomu’s memories.  Can Tsutomu help her before it’s too late?

VIDEO :

“Birdy the Mighty: Decode – Part Two” is presented in 16:9 widescreen. For the most part, it’s a television series and the animation is OK but not the most detailed. To be truthful, having owned the original OVA series, I was hoping to see some similarities in character designs and quality but for the most part, “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” is a series that emphasizes story over design.

It’s interesting to note that unlike the first half of the season, there are a few scenes that look wonderful when it comes to artistic backgrounds, showcasing the devastation around the planet.  Whereas in the past, there was more simplistic animation and backgrounds, this time there seems to be more of an effort.  Especially since this second half is much more violent, more action-packed and more bloody.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Birdy the Mighty: Decode – Part Two” is presented in English 5.1 Stereo Surround and Japanese stereo. The series features good utilization of the surround channels during explosions and crowd ambiance but for the most part, the series is front and center channel-driven. The Japanese audio is stereo and I opted to selected stereo on all channels on my receiver for a more immersive soundscape. But dialogue is clear and more robust in the English dub considering it is 5.1. As the Japanese soundtrack is well-done, I actually enjoyed the English dub for “Birdy the Mighty: Decode”. Well-acted on both soundtracks and anime fans should not be disappointed with the voice acting of the main protagonists.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Birdy the Mighty: Decode – Part Two” comes with no special features but trailers for upcoming FUNimation Entertainment releases.

After all I have said about “Birdy the Mighty Decode” and how its first season went, somehow there was a big change for this second half of the season as there is an improvement in animation, artistic backgrounds but also a more focus on a darker, bloodier, action-packed storyline.

I admit that I was taken back by how the storyline was much more deeper as we start to learn more about Birdy’s past and how her childhood was difficult becausee she is an Ixioran Altairan, a bio-engineered supersoldier bred for combat.  While the first half featured Tsutomu and his friends, more emphasis is put on Birdy and instead of focusing on how her amazing supersoldier abilities, part two tends to showcase more of her emotions, especially around her childhood friend Nataru Shinmyou.

And as expected between these two childhood friends, they are so close and to see each other as adults, you know there is a romantic angle when the two are featured.  And while Birdy is not too familiar with the concept of love and relationships, Tsutomu tends to show her what true emotions are when you care for someone.

But while these episodes are Birdy-based and not Tsutomu-based, Tsutomu still plays a major part because he starts to learn more about Birdy’s past, as she starts to lose herself because of the hosting.  Unlike the first half which I felt that Tsutomu was a bit whiny, we start to see a much more braver Tsutomu this time around and willing to help his friend.

Overall, “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” was a pretty entertaining series and the second part of the series was much more exciting, darker, bloodier than I expected. And although, I tend to frown upon anime series that have to change and incorporate these elements for the sake of viewership, for “Birdy the Mighty: Decode”, as a fan of the original OAV series, the violence and darker storyline is what I was expecting and less of the teenage melodrama that the first season was showcasing.

But now that I think about it, I suppose that the first half was featuring Tsutomu and getting the viewer prepared for his character and seeing him grow overtime, and as for Birdy, in many ways, her being bonded to Tsutomu is important as she has grown from a soldier but also to a person who cares about people and starting to discover these other emotions that she didn’t think she had.

But just like the first part of “Birdy the Mighy: Decode – Part One”, If there was one thing that I wished the part 2 on DVD would have is special features.   No audio commentary, nothing.  And that’s surprising for a FUNimation Entertainment release because they tend to at least include a voice actor’s commentary track.

But in the end, “Birdy the Mighty: Decode” was a pretty cool series overall.  I highly recommending picking up the set with both volumes but definitely watch the entire series from beginning to end.

Recommended!






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