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Read or Die OVA
"OVA Episode 1"
Episode no. OVA 01
DVD Release Date May 23, 2001 (Japan)
May 27, 2003 (US)
Year 2001
Episode chronology
Previous episode "None"
Next episode "OVA Episode 2"

Episode SynopsisEdit

An attack that destroys the White House. A giant grasshopper that wreaks havoc on Jinbocho. These two events have much in common; specifically, a book that will send three agents of the Special Operations Division around the world to stop a deadly plot!

Extended SummaryEdit

The OVA literally begins with a bang: in the dead of night the lights go out at the White House and President Cole, still in his pajamas, is evacuated from the building. A mysterious man appears on the roof and despite the President's bodyguards firing on him, he completely destroys the White House using electrical powers. When the terrified President demands to know who the man is, he only responds: "I-Jin."

After the opening credits the show opens up with Yomiko Readman, who has fallen asleep under a pile of books. She is awakened by a phone call that offers her an upcoming supply teaching job. She soon leaves her home, buying books all over Jinbouchou. Her latest purchase is taken right out from a bespectacled lady, who found it first, but Yomiko says that she got it. The book is the Immortal Beloved, and Yomiko immediately begins to read it. Once on the street, however, Yomiko is attacked by a man on a mechanical grasshopper. He steals the book, but Yomiko captures and defeats him. Joseph Carpenter soon arrives on the scene to summon Yomiko, The Paper, to action.

Joseph Carpenter has identified the man who attacked the White House and Yomiko's attacker, Gennai Hiraga and Jean-Henri Fabre, both historical figures who are long dead. They are both searching for books. Yomiko is sent to America to investigate the White House's destruction, along with two teammates.

In America Yomiko meets Drake Anderson, who appears to know her well but tells her to stay out of the way. Yomiko also meets Miss Deep, who was the woman who tried to get the Immortal Beloved from her. Their conversation is interrupted when a man in a glider bursts in and grabs the book from Yomiko, yet another I-Jin, named Otto Lilienthal.

As Lilienthal flies through New York City, he successfully destroys three military attack helicopters; when more of them arrive at a major bridge, preparing to take Lilienthal out, Hiraga electrocutes them all. Yomiko, Miss Deep and Drake, who have been following in their own helicopter, are affected and bail onto one of the World Trade Center towers. To continue the chase, Yomiko uses the paper from her suitcase to build a massive paper airplane, and after a rough take-off, she and Miss Deep are after Lilienthal.

Lilienthal and the two women exchange shots, but it is impossible for either of them to win. Yomiko devises a plan, where Miss Deep lands on the Statue of Liberty and Yomiko lures Lilienthal closer. At one point Yomiko nearly gets the book, but is thrown and left clinging madly to a wing. Miss Deep catches a paper chain that Yomiko is attached to at the end of the glider with a hook, which attaches the glider to the torch and sends Lilienthal spinning to his doom. The book is thrown free and Yomiko jumps off the glider to catch it, barely caught on the edge of the Statue of Liberty. Miss Deep helps her up, properly introduces herself as Nancy Makuhari, and the two await rescue.

The episode closes on two I-jin - Hiraga and a small child on a bug - observing the scene from a distance.


  • The messages in Yomiko's apartment are signed "Nenene Sumiregawa". They were subbed with repeated words (e.g. "save this up up up!" instead of "save this up! - Nenene"), likely because Nenene's presence (or lack thereof) would have confused viewers unfamiliar with the manga.
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