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Speed Grapher

 

Grade: B+

Genre: Drama, Action

Reviewed: Sub

Episodes: 24 episodes

Notes:

Introduction:

Ex-war photographer Tatsumi Saiga now spends his days freelancing for a Japanese newspaper. He is assigned to investigate a secret club, "Roppongi Club" whose members are among the upper echelons of society. The club grants its members whatever wish they desire, no matter how base and illegal. Saiga is captured but with a kiss from the club's goddess, his powers are awakened and now he has the power to kill with his camera.

Animation/Music/Voices

The animation is about average but at times noticeably subpar. The character designs are nothing to write home about, and the monstrous transformations are often more ridiculous than scary. The opening song and some of the music sound like something from a porn video but that's the way it's supposed to play. Voices are fine if a bit lacking in emotion.

Review:

Photographer Tatsumi Saiga infiltrates an exclusive secret club and mysterious develops the ability to shoot destructive rays from his camera after being kissed by the club's goddess, a 15 year old girl. Kagura is actually the daughter of the wealthiest, most powerful women in the world, Tennouzu Shinsen, who hates her daughter to the point of imprisoning her and starving her. Saiga frees her and the two go on the run. They're chased by club members who have also developed strange abilities after being kissed by the goddess.

This series starts off strongly with its depiction of corruption and lust, but after a while it becomes a monster of the week series. Still it holds your attention until the end. At 24 episodes it feels just about right, and may have been better if a few episodes were cut. The very end is strong and touching and feels complete. The relationship between Saiga and Kagura is well handled with the right amount of tension and affection. The strongest aspect of this show is the theme of how money can buy anything, even the life of another human being and how pleasure and base desires are more important to some people than their humanity.

There are a few nice twists and the villains (Kagura's mother and club manager Suitengu Chouji) are well developed and given good backgrounds. Even the reason for the strange powers is strangely plausible.

Rated R for sexual situations and violence. Recommended for adults who can stomach strange perversions.