Birdy The Mighty: Decode2008 - 2009Streamed on - FunimationEpisodes: Two seasons, 25 + 1 OVAGenre: Action, Mystery, Sci Fi, Comedy
This show is Epic. Yeah I said it.
Yes, I know I am waaay late on this Anime. Over two months late. I kept watching the fall shows and also found new ones while I paused on this. And yet there is always a reason as to why Birdy has been held up. I have way too much criticism to give to this series and I would give it the award of "Most Disappointing Anime I have ever watched" with no hesitation. Yet, I loved it. I liked the concepts, styles, and themes it provided as well as the action it presented when it was given the chance. Also the 2nd season was awesome. But let's start out by roasting the show first though. I need ta get this off my chiest.
Birdy The Mighty: Decode is a show about two main protagonists in uh, Birdy, a galaxy federal investigator working undercover as the pin up girl Shion Arita and Tsutomu Senkawa, your essential male anime character (Which I don't need to go over). These two, under certain circumstances, comes to know each other and build a relationship throughout Birdy's investigation on her time in Earth. Then, just like in any story, things happen!
Awhile back I had a blog where I stated that the first episode of this show was, hands down, the best first episode I had ever seen in Anime. Ever! Well, now that I have more experience within the media having seen a lot more shows since, I can now say that IT IS STILL THE BEST EPISODE 1 YET! Everything an anime fan wants in a 22 minute episode is packed here. The art style, especially the animation sequences, were top notch. The characters, the sound effects, the galactic theme; everything clicked! Maybe that's why this series is so discouraging. It's as if they had gotten a new director and a different studio after the first two episodes. What happens after? NOTHING!! Was the team rushed because of its schedule? Was it just a first impression that they were going for? Who knows but the pacing of the series becomes slowpoke like it will drive you nuts! On top of that the action sequences come to a halt and hardly shows any fighting or super powers the great berserker killer has. The story actually has pacing and does not divert too much from its main arc but a normal anime series gets it done in like 5 episodes as opposed to 13. Why even put these other characters at all when they hardly have any plot progression.
Now, fortunately, most of my criticisms are directed to the first season of the series. Yes, there are 26 episodes to show and thank goodness, the 2nd season is better. For the series as a whole though, I do like the faded color palette they used in the show. It has a somber feeling to it while being bright at the same time. It really pushes the mood they are trying to achieve, which is both dark yet perky. It's definitely a style of its own. The soundtrack is better than average so tune up because you'll have a couple of songs that will catch your ears (or maybe it's because they play the same songs in every episode..). Also, the whole crossing gender boundaries is always a nice touch, akin to Ranma but in a totally different persepective. It works and its funny but I thought they could have played around the idea more creatively.
For those that are currently watching the series, don't worry about the different conflicts seen through both season as they have an OVA, episode 26 that ties both together. I mean, Birdy's story is told throughout both seasons but it's almost as if they started fresh on the 2nd wave...not to say that it was a bad thing..
Because the 2nd season was a lot better and had more interesting characters to show for! Apart from that, the season focuses on exposition and questions that had been nagging viewers ever since the series began. This latter half of the series has great pacing and it's smooth; you know you'll get something in the episode leading on to the next.
Something positive I can say about the series as a whole is that I don't see in a lot of shows is the fact that it has a lot of heart and presents it directly in its actions of subtlety.Whether it is showing gratitude for someone or making the audience believe in the characters, it is successful. Even the fight scenes are truly violent that it would make you fearful of these creatures from outer space; hardly any mercy is shown. Plus the relationship between Birdy and Senkawa is not what you expected. Sure Senkawa is the typical Japanese anime male character yet at the same, there is not much sexual anxiety burning through him and he gets along just fine.
In conclusion, the closure for the anime for me was a bit mixed. I feel like this show needs more episodes and what's a shame is they do tease that more is coming but this aired in 2008-2009. This is 2013 people...five years later with no updates. There is so much more to explore within the world of altans, ixiorians, humans, and tsutomu's story. There were some characters that I felt got left behind within all the mix. Do I really need to make a fan fiction for this? I can say that I have yet to watch the original nor read the manga so I guess there's still something for me to enjoy. This anime is very underrated yet at thesame time, season 1 will make you sad. I truly enjoyed the animations for this show during the action sequences (also at the last episode, it's almost as if Man of Steel took the choreography at the last fight), it's truly something to marvel at and enjoy. I just wished they made more because the series, in the end, caught me by surprise.