|Read or Die character|
|Age||25 (Read or Die and Read or Die OVA), 30 (R.O.D the TV)|
|Occupation||Substitute Teacher, The Paper|
|Voice Actor||Kimberly Yates (OVA), Helena Taylor (TV series)|
Biography[edit | edit source]
Yomiko Readman, also known as "The Paper", is a character in the Japanese language novel series Read or Die, the manga and anime spin-offs of the books, and the sequel, R.O.D the TV. Though in appearance Japanese, she is in fact half-Japanese, half-English.
Yomiko is a bespectacled substitute teacher and an introvert. A Bibliophile, she prefers to bury herself in her books. She spends almost all of her income on books, and her "apartment" is stacked floor to ceiling with books. She resides somewhere in Jinbocho, a neighborhood of Chiyoda, Tokyo known for numerous bookstores.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Yomiko is shown in always the same clothing, whether it be in the manga, OVA, or the TV series. She wears modest simple white blouse and a long black skirt, as well as a trenchcoat. This trenchcoat has many pockets and inner sections from which she can pull emergency supplies of paper "ammunition."
Yomiko's hair is also almost always unkempt. Joseph Carpenter provides a comb to her in the OVA when she is going with him to attend an important meeting with Mr. Gentleman, commenting that her grooming habits need improvement. She seems embarrassed by the comment, but apparently not embarrassed enough to actually correct the issue herself later. The only reason her hair appears managable in the OVA later on seems to be because Nancy Makuhari fixed them into braids.
Her measurements are 34-23-34 inch (86-59-87 centimeters).
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
- Yomiko is also a field agent for the Special Operations Division. She is a Papermaster, a person with the ability to bend paper material to her will. The user can create, shape and manipulate paper and/or paper-like substances, such as papyrus or parchment. She can make paper bulletproof or sharper than the sharpest sword. If she has enough paper, then she can construct a giant paper airplane that flies. The only limit to the effects she can create is her own imagination. In the OVA, it seems that she must have in her grasp of at least hands, teeth, or perhaps some other body part at least one piece of paper in a group of papers in order to manipulate them, though eventually by the time of R.O.D the TV she is able to manipulate paper by pure mental control.
- In her capacity for the Special Operations Division, Yomiko often has to embark on dangerous missions. Though because of her clumsiness and social awkwardness she would not seem to make a very good secret agent, at one point allowing her emotions to get in the way of defeating an enemy, if receiving the proper support she can actually be quite useful, with ninja-like reflexes in combat and the ability to stay focused on the battle. She is considered one of the Library's top agents.
Manga Plotline[edit | edit source]
In the first volume, Yomiko is introduced as an agent for the British Library. After recovering a rare book from a violent commando, Yomiko meets Nenene Sumiregawa and must save her when Nenene is kidnapped by a deranged fan. Yomiko must rescue her and defeat the fan's hired hand, a deadly assassin named Fire Inc. who is as skilled with fire as Yomiko is with paper.
In the second volume,Yomiko has a mission to be a substitute teacher at the Manshu Academy. It is believed that the Manshu Academy is a cover for a more devious operation, and assisting Yomiko is Wendy Earheart. The students are split into two factions, the superpowered A students and their teacher Iraka, and the lesser B students. Yomiko discovers Donnie Nakajima is still alive, and falls in love again. Nenene later joins the school in order to find out what Yomiko is up to.
In the third volume, Donnie turns out to be a villain in disguise, a childhood friend named Ridley Wan. He is trying to uncover the Underground Library by tricking Yomiko and manipulating her emotions. This will draw out the sentient Underground Library so Ridley may gain ultimate power and seek revenge on the British Library. Ridley blames the British Library for buying him and Donnie at a young age and subjecting them to harsh training, and for Donnie's death. Joseph Carpenter's communication is blocked off from Wendy, and Drake joins later to back up Yomiko. After Ridley reveals himself, Yomiko falls into a deep depression and cannot read or wield paper.
In the final volume, Ridley obtains the Book of Truth from the Underground Library by convincing Iraka to sacrifice herself. While the A students try and feed the B students to the Underground Library, Drake, Wendy, and Nenene help defend the B students while Yomiko comes out of her depression and tries to convince Ridley his ways are wrong with a late letter from Donnie. Joseph Carpenter arrives with support, but his actions are less than expected. Joseph Carpenter expects her love of books to overshadow human life. Only Yomiko can read the Book of Truth and re-write history, but she refuses. Joseph Carpenter plays his hand and shoots Yomiko, and reveals the truth behind Donnie's death. Donnie refused to seek out the Underground Library, so Joseph Carpenter ordered Donnie to let Yomiko kill him by attacking her. Once Yomiko hears the truth, she fights off Joseph Carpenter's special forces and refuses to read the Book of Truth. Joseph Carpenter is about to deliver a fatal blow but Ridley takes it for her, and Joseph Carpenter's hands are cut off. The Underground Library is destroyed and rains paper all over the world, and everyone goes back to their lives except for Ridley, who dies with the Underground Library.
OVA Plotline[edit | edit source]
In the OVA, Yomiko goes into debt to buy a rare copy of a book called die "unsterbliche Liebe" or "Immortal Beloved". The book is dusty and dirty, but has sheet music handwritten in its pages, in the margins and on the blank pages in the back and front. She is almost immediately attacked by the clone of Jean-Henri Fabre. He tries to steal her book, but using her paper techniques she fights back and wins. Various clones or I-Jin of famous historical figures try to steal her book throughout the OVA. They are trying to use the sheet music in the book to reconstruct Ludwig van Beethoven's supposed lost or Suicide Symphony, which causes anyone who hears it to commit suicide. Eventually, Yomiko helps in destroying the leader of the plot, a clone of Ikkyu.
Later on, she rescues her friend Nancy Makuhari from British custody and goes into hiding for five years, the events of which are covered in R.O.D the TV.
TV Plotline[edit | edit source]
Yomiko's years of isolation made her reluctant to join Nenene and the Paper Sisters in their fight against Mr. Carpenter. However, after a brief chase through the library, Nenene eventually convinced her to join their group. Yomiko entered into a mentoring relationship with Anita, teaching her how to create the giant paper airplanes, among other things.
Yomiko was instrumental in halting Carpenter's plans. She failed to kill him after infiltrating his base and sneaking up on him undetected, but was able to stop Anita and Junior from being used to resurrect Gentlemen.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- "Yomi" (読) in her first name means "reading" in Japanese, while "-ko" (子) (literally "child") is a common suffix in Japanese female names, so her first name means "Reading-woman". This has the same meaning as her surname "Readman" if neglecting gender differences. The name is also shared by book publisher Yomiko Classics.