Birdy The Mighty: Decode, Part One – DVD Review

Review by: Eduardo Zacarias

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $59.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Genre: Action
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now

Meet the hottest crime-fighting alien pinup model ever.

You just have to love a girl whose tomboyish nature doesn’t subtract from her sexy charm and even more so when this popular-model-by-day-crime-fighter-by-night hero isn’t even human. Part One of Birdy The Mighty: Decode introduces us to Birdy as she takes on a dangerous mission with a new partner that just so happens to be sharing her body. Oh yeah, it’s a different kind of action anime series with a different kind of hero.

Birdy Cephon Altera might by an alien but her race is similar to that of a human and, on top of that, she’s an investigator for an intergalactic law enforcement organization called the Federation. It is her job to put away criminals no matter what race or planet they come from in order to secure peace in the galaxy. In fact, when we first see her – dressed in her skimpy outfit – she makes a bust in her usual shoot-first-forget-the-questions method that earned her the nickname “Berserker Killer” Birdy.

While Birdy certainly has been around the galaxy, a dangerous assignment places her on planet Earth where she decides to operate undercover. Since the prime suspect – an alien in disguise – is posing a producer in the entertainment business, Birdy assumes the secret identity of Shion Arita, a sexy new model who is making quite a splash in Akihabara as their new idol. While working as a model, Birdy spends her nights tracking all suspects involves with a deadly artifact known as the Ryunka. With the help of her partner, Tuto, they begin their

Enter Tsutomu Senkawa, a High school student who is the unwilling member of a school club dedicated to exploring abandoned buildings. One night, he enters an abandoned building with his childhood friend, Hayamiya, when they are caught in the middle of a battle between Birdy and her alien suspect. Said suspect grabs Senkawa and throws him at Birdy who instinctively punches and thus ending the life of Senkawa. Oh, but the young man doesn’t die … he wakes up in Birdy’s body.

As it turns out, he is sharing Birdy’s body who has the ability to switch between a copy of his body and Birdy’s feminine frame. That way Senkawa can return to his daily routine in a body that looks like his while hearing Birdy’s voice. However, when Birdy wishes it she can return to her body. The good news is that alien technology has the ability to repair Senkawa’s broken body and could return it to him but he must cooperate with Birdy’s mission while juggling his daily school life in the process.

Still, when a lead takes them into a dangerous battle that results in the loss of Tuto, it is Senkawa who fills in as her new partner. During the course of their investigation, a girl from class named Nakasugi gets into a car accident and is saved by a mysterious girl named Capella who uses the poor girl’s body. Now the Ryunka is missing and the girl everyone thought was going to die awakens as if nothing happened to her.

Aliens are not the only ones looking for the Ryunka either as we meet a wealthy media mogul named Satyajit Shyamalan is also looking for it with the aid of Capella and a mystery man. Hot on the trail is a journalist named Muroto who is convinced that Shion Arita is some kind of superhero or maybe an alien. Even Senkawa’s friends begin to notice something different about both Senkawa (who they think is going crazy because he seems to be talking to himself) and Nakasugi (who is now more outgoing than usual).

We even get to visit Birdy’s home planet where we meet her commanding officer – who happens to be a cricket-like alien – as well as Birdy’s father-figure (who looks like a half-man-half-dinosaur). The two even get involved in a case involving a terrorist threat while on the planet and then gets called in to a hearing that introduces us to a beautiful woman named Nechla who is an acting Pontiff (a position higher than Birdy).

While the series gives us plenty of action thanks to Birdy, the rest of the series is composed of Senkawa trying to go on with his life while helping Birdy accomplish her mission. The series’ best moments come with Birdy/Senkawa joining classmates and Nakasugi’s growing attraction to Senkawa. As the mystery of Shyamalan unravels, the interesting part comes in the discovery of what is inside Nakasugi.

Things get dramatic as Birdy discovers the location of the Ryunka and finds herself going against Senkawa who is determined to pull the Ryunka out of the person he came to love with it resulting in tragedy. Meanwhile, Shyamalan makes his move that ends with him committing a murder just in order to use the Ryunka that will threaten Tokyo. As buildings crumble and people start dying, Birdy faces off against an awakened Ryunka as Senkawa makes a shocking decision.

While it doesn’t show us anything we haven’t seen before, Part One of Birdy The Mighty: Decode is still a real blast to watch. You won’t be able to help liking Birdy or Senkawa as they juggle the mission and high school life but, more importantly, you’ll love how fun the episodes are up until the very end. This series is definitely off to a good start so Part Two is definitely one to watch as well.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: B+
Birdy is a law-enforcing investigator for the allied alien organization called the Federation who comes to Earth as an undercover agent by night and a hot pinup model by day. During a fight with an alien, however, she changes the life of a human boy named Tsutomu Senkawa who becomes a part of Birdy’s mission to destroy a danger alien artifact capable of wiping out humanity.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
As far as the animation is concerned, this series looks really good with some spectacular visual effects that make the action look simply amazing and wonderfully flashy. The fan service never goes too far than Birdy’s skimpy outfit.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
The original Japanese voices do an excellent job but the dialogue is more snappy for the English dub and you can never go wrong with Luci Christian, Cherami Leigh’s over-the-top performance and Micah Solusod’s talents that make Senkawa even more likable.

EXTRAS: D
Sadly, there are no audio commentary tracks or other extras but there are some trailers at least.

OVERALL: B+
Part One of Birdy The Might: Decode is a reassured good time for those looking for an anime series that knows how to handle action, comedy and sexiness all in one fun package. Sure, it might not push action anime to new heights but Birdy is one girl who definitely knows how to show you a good time. This is definitely a series you should certainly check out.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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