Miyu IrinoKaori NazukaYuko KaidaKanae Ito
Birdy the Mighty: Decode
Also known as: Tetsuwan Birdy Decode
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2008
Director: Kazuki Akane
Writer: Hiroshi Ohnogi
Original creator: Masami Yuuki
Actor: Ako Mayama, Atsushi Ono, Kanae Ito, Kaori Nazuka, Keiji Fujiwara, Kenichi Suzumura, Mamiko Noto, Masaya Matsukaze, Miyu Irino, Saeko Chiba, Shintaro Asanuma, Takayuki Sugo, Yasuhiro Mamiya, Yuko Kaida
Keywords: anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 2 seasons and 26 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=9287
Website category: Anime late 00s
Review date: 14 May 2024
Birdy the Mighty
The show sounded interesting, but I ended up a bit bored. I like its themes and SF worldbuilding, but less so its stories and characters. Both seasons have one of our heroes defending a friend to the point of stupidity and going into denial over the evidence against them.
I quite liked our two heroes, Tsutomu and Birdy. Everyone else is either unimportant, annoying, evil or technically good but working for an interplanetary government so dirty that it's functionally evil too.
The show' main premise is body-sharing, between Tsutomu Senkawa (a Japanese schoolboy) and Birdy Cephon Altera (a space cop who could beat up Spider-Man). Birdy kills Tsutomu in ep.1. Whoops. Didn't mean it. Fortunately, alien technology lets Birdy use her own body as a backup for Tsutomu's. They can swap bodies and personalities. Birdy's a space babe whose standard uniform has less material than a leotard, but Tsutomu's immune to the usual Teenage Boy In Girl's Body tropes and just wants rid of her. Unfortunately, body-sharing can create mental fusion, which would kill Birdy's mind and reduce her to memories inside Tsutomu's body.
Season 1 is Tsutomu-centric and Season 2 is Birdy-centric.
In Season 1, Tsutomu gets close to a female classmate while aliens get interested in an ultimate weapon. He wants to defend her. Sounds good, theoretically. In practice, he takes this to stupid lengths and I wanted him to sod off and die. (Narisugi isn't the Ryunka, you say? On what are you basing this assertion? Also, remember that the Ryunka can turn entire planets into crystal dust on a whim and appears to have started doing so here too.)
In Season 2, we meet Birdy's childhood friend, Nataru. The season's dealing with the fallout of terrorism, specifically the "Central Towers Bombing" (reminiscent of New York's Twin Towers) and the racial discrimination that Nataru's suffered all his life. This storyline has no good guys, unless you count Birdy (and she's being stupid, albeit less than Tsutomu was in Season 1). The terrorists are vile, but I have no sympathy for the interplanetary civilisation that condoned racism and effectively created this entire situation. They also enable genocidal Ryunka experiments and pretend that they didn't. This season is an examination of hatred, vengeance, killing the wrong people and being a twat.
Theoretically, the Federation's interesting. I'd trust their police, but their church is sinister and their government's dark as hell. Also, their civilisation has flaws you'd have hoped spacefarers might have grown out of, plus all-new SF ones that would be impossible for us. (Birdy's a bioengineered living weapon.) In other words, Birdy's an enforcer for bad guys (or sometimes the less-bad-guys).
Tsutomu's classmates don't matter. There's a journalist who's annoying in Season 1, but improves.
This show isn't terrible. It's frustratingly close to being good. All I wanted was some characterisation tweaks, so that I'd care about (say) Nataru. The franchise's fans include Zack Snyder. Season 2's saying dark things about the post-9/11 world, through SF analogy... but, ultimately, it bored me.