Birdy the Mighty: Decode (Season 1 and OVA)

Birdy Cephon is an Altan Ixioran: a Federation Investigator who comes to Earth in pursuit of Geega,a criminal (of course). Birdy assumes an Earthling disguise: an idol with the name Shion Arita.screenshot-558 Meanwhile, Tsutomu Senkawa, a highschooler, explores an abandoned building with his childhood friend Hayamiya; soon, they realize there are people there, so Tsutomu apologises and starts to leave. Birdy arrives and calls out Geega,who was disguised as the man who shoo-ed off Tsutomu. Fighting ensues, Geega gets on the backfoot and grabs Tsutomu and throws him at the Investigator. Bakabirdy thinks that Geega is approaching her and prepares her grand punch.

Screenshot (526).png
An iconic moment

Snap goes Tsutomu’s body and he dies. Then he comes back to life. Later he finds out that Birdy killed him and as a responsible murderer she transferred his conscience to her body. So now, they both have the same body. So that’s the synopsis.

Here’s more information, directly copied from MAL

Episodes: 13
Aired: Jul 5, 2008 to Sep 27, 2008
Premiered: Summer 2008
Producers: Aniplex, Shogakukan
Studios: A-1 Pictures
Source: Manga
Genres: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Now, based on the body-switching (?) premise, the anime staff can waste their money on stupid fanservice like Tsutomu peeking at Birdy’s parts (Kokoro Connect did that, but that suits that anime) which wouldn’t suit this anime at all. There’s hardly any fanservice, well except Birdy’s suit: which rarely accentuates her body in an erotic fashion and the idol shots of Shion Arita which do not consist of time consuming boob zooms or panty shots.tumblr_mvv5ud3IgR1rpwqk9o1_500.gif

So, for people who can’t stand fanservice: you can watch this show without setting your hair on fire. As a person who doesn’t like ‘in the face’ fanservice, I was hesitant on watching this anime because of Birdy’s character design (which is pretty narrow minded of me) but the first episode changed my mind.

STORY & SETTING: The plot of Birdy’s first season (yes, I am only talking about the first season) is not anything exceptional and honestly quite predictable. This anime is one of those shows which can easily be put under a nice, compact umbrella of genres: Sci-fi, Action, Comedy and Romance. The world building in this anime isn’t elaborate and exhausting which I find to be quite rare. In fact, the world building is so concise that most of it is kept in the dialogue. So, basically you have to digest the world for yourself for the most part, which isn’t really extensive at all. I loved this aspect of the show, the fact that almost no time is wasted on world building, character backstory; the story just plunges head first into the narrative. The narrative is dominantly romance which is pretty solid but doesn’t really stand out from other romance sub-plots of other anime. The pacing of this show is quite slow but only in retrospect, its not really that noticeable.

CHARACTERS (Mild spoilers, skip this section if you are really sensitive to spoilers): Now, I don’t have much of a positive opinion on the characters, except Birdy, Tsutomu and Nakasugi. The antagonist Shyamalan was a weak character (a vain one.. no further spoilers); even though his back story was quite decent, the events that unfold around him was really lazily written. The other alien that accompanied him turned out to be irrelevant. The writer seemed to be quite lazy with tying the characters together and having good interactions, except for Nakasugi and Tsutomu’s date.

ART & ANIMATION: The strongest aspect of this show is the art and animation. I have nothing to complain about the animation of the show: it is smooth, the choreography of the fights were really well done and the camera angles were on point. Clearly the director (Akane Kazuki) has some skills in fight scenes; here are some snippets:

But the art, his somewhat inconsistent. I understand that there is a restraint to detail in art for smooth animation, so complex designs need to be sacrificed. But such was not the case in Birdy, in still frames, the art was simplistic- which is never a bad thing- but the bad thing was the scarce but noticeable inconsistency.Here’s an example, the time between the scenes are like 4 seconds

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See the difference? Well, I had to be nit picky. Nevertheless, to sum it up, the art is good with scarce slips in quality.

SOUND: The soundtrack is stellar, especially Birdy’s theme (you can listen to it here ); it sounds epic as in a space opera. The opening and ending songs are pretty upbeat but I think they rarely suit the show. The background music also has electronic, fun beats in the light hearted moments. Overall, the sound department is pretty solid in this series.

THE OVA? Well, the OVA had irrelevant plot and no character development except for Nakasugi. Supposedly, it is a bridge from Season 1 and 2 but honestly, the first episode of Season 2 did a pretty good job at bridging that supposed gap. I liked the ending song of Shion and my verdict is…Screenshot (593).png

So that’s for the OVA.

As for the series, I recommend watching it because of its premise, animation, music and enjoyment. I also recommend watching this because the second season seems much better (only watched halfway through). So expect a review of the second season next week. This anime is on the better spectrum of sci-fi action shows.

So next week I will be back with the second season’s review, until then…Screenshot (594).png

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