At first glance it is difficult to tell exactly what kind of series is going to be. It starts off as a sci-fi adventure, then high school drama and ends as an action packed thriller. It’s apparent it ticks a lot of the boxes required to make a good anime including girls in skimpy outfits, good character design and a creative story but for some reason none of it seems to fit together very well.
The story starts off with Birdy in pursuit across the galaxy after criminals who eventually manage to escape to Earth. Birdy manages to track them down, but while engaged in battle she accidentally kills a human boy in the process. To save the boy, Tsutomu, she must merge with him, resulting in them sharing the same body and mind. Meanwhile alien criminals hiding on Earth have come to possess a powerful weapon that could destroy the entire planet and all life on it.
Overall the story is fairly good and the dramatic conclusion to the series is unexpected and the highlight of the show. The story is not very direct, there are several episodes that seem to skirt around the story and do very little of developing the characters. Some of the characters such as school friends have a lot of screen time although they have noting whats so ever to do with the story, neither are they very entertaining, instead they seem to just bulk of the run time of the episode. It is surprising and disappointing that Birdy, being the title character, hardly gets developed at all. Some of the relationships between the characters dither around a bit, although it does all come together very nicely by the end of the series. The action packed conclusion is certainly worth the wait and makes up for some of the earlier episodes, I would probably have to put the series conclusion par with Eden Of The East and Ghost In The Shell 2nd GIG.
The animation is fairly good through out. The character designs are good, if not a little plain, but it certainly does not spoil the viewing experience. The action is very well animated and the use of CG for vehicle and many of the space scenes if very well done. The background art can be a little flat at times but compliments the character design nicely. During scenes where both Birdy and Tsutomu are in conversation there is a picture in picture that in my opinion is very intrusive and distracting, at the same time if it wasn’t there it would probably be a bit more confusing.
The soundtrack and dub are very good, however I’m not sure if it was my sound setup or the audio settings on the disc but the english dub seems to very quiet in comparison to the soundtrack resulting in very soft sound for talking scenes but extremely loud action scenes.
Birdy The Mighty tries to be a more sophisticated series than it actually is but it is good light entertainment. Some of the elements don’t always work very well together and Birdy could have been developed more. I get the feeling Decode 2 will probably make up for this.
Birdy The Mighty: Decode 1 will be available 11th July and is available to order now.
Birdy The Mighty – Decode 1 [DVD] – £14.99 (£1.15/episode)