Tetsuwan Birdy Decode is one of the rare shows to fall into my sort of grey ‘above average’ categoty. For those who don’t know, if there’s so much as one thing about a show that I particularly like it’s likely to join my favorites list even if just as an honorable mention. It’s pretty rare for me to really enjoy a show without considering it a favorite. Past occurences of this phenomenon are Tsukihime, Tokyo Majin, and Niea_7 among others. This catgeory contains shows that appeal to me in some ways but don’t stand out, usually because they don’t take any real risks. There’s nothing wrong with that – some of the shows on my favorites list have glaring flaws caused by the same risks that pushed them into the list. The ‘above average’ shows are usually really well-rounded, sort of memorable, fun, and great for rewatching. The feeling is extremely similar to seeing a movie in the theater which you enjoyed, and may even buy on DVD to watch again, but don’t put on the top shelf of your collection.
Birdy was a ton of fun and felt very complete. In retrospect, I sort of which it had kept up the SF pulp of the first 5 episodes, but it transitioned so well into a normal story that I almost didn’t notice. The resulting plot made the first 5 episodes into a believeably intentional exposition and not like the series just suddenly turned into something different, which shows skill on the writers’ part since ordinarilly ruining wha they had going would have sent me into no end of bitching and complaining.
By far the thing that attracted me to the show the most was the fights. Not only well animated and fast, but they were over the top which is what I love to see out of fights. Big lasers knocking people into buildings and creating huge craters – that’s what i like to see. It’s unfortunate that the fights thinned out as the show progressed, but the one between Birdy and Undine was fucking awesome and worth rewatching on it’s own (please be on youtube!) and the finale was as epic as it needed to be with plenty of city-eradicating lasers. I did think the resolution was a bit too anti-romantic, especially considering various mentions of Senkawa’s ‘youth’. I can’t complain hard, though.
Character wise, the show was mostly average with a few exceptions. Birdy and love interest girl were fun, however the real money was M NIGHT SHYAMALAN. That’s right, the villain was a middle-eastern looking American named Shyamalan… a reference if I’ve ever seen one!!! He was a good villain, though he never had a real opportunity to step out of the shadows. The siuation with Shyamalan was vrey Death Note – he gets alien powers he doesn’t really understand from an extra-terrestrial who’s just in it for entertainment. He’s calculating, confident, and want to cleanse the world. He literally utters the words ‘keikaku doori’ at one point, too. The other role worht noting was the guy played by Norio Wakamoto, one of his best roles in recent shows. I knew it was him within 1 syllable XD.
So yeah, good show, worth rewatching in a year or so, but not a favorite by any means.