ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:00 - 3rd August 2013, by David West

Speed Grapher - Collection

Here's the set up - a world-weary war photographer, Tatsumi Saiga, uncovers a secret cabal of the ultra-wealthy where he encounters a strange teenage girl called Kagura whose kiss unlocks superpowers in those lucky enough to be the recipient. When Kagura plants a smooch on Saiga, he gains the power to make anything explode when he takes a snapshot of it with his camera. Together, they go on the run from the people hungry to exploit Kagura's strange gift - her mother Shinsen and the ruthless Suitengu, who has powers of his own.

Speed Grapher is the sort of anime sure to give a Gender Equality Commissioner the heebie-jeebies. The series features a vulnerable teenage girl on the lam with a grown man, a cop who looks like a Spearmint Rhino dancer and hot and cold running fanservice. Yet the show also has a great collection of freaky bad guys, terrific action scenes and a fast pace. The plot basically involves a lot of chase scenes culminating in Saiga battling to the death against the villain of the week, but the show's energy and style make it work.

The portrayal of the gay characters is distinctly non-PC, but with all the gratuitous nudity, that shouldn't come as a big surprise. The only other dud note is the soundtrack, which is about as lively as a morgue after closing time. Presumably elevator music CDs were on special.

Being a shutterbug never looked cooler or more likely to result in arrest for corrupting minors.
SCORE: 4/5
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