Speed Grapher
Volume Two

Starring (voice): Yuuji Takada, Kei Satou, Takako Honda and Naoki Makishima
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 18 June 2007

Ex-war photographer Saiga has been reduced to selling his artistic soul as a tabloid photojournalist in the near-future dystopian city of Tokyo. Saiga, and the beautiful teenage Goddess, Kagura, continue to evade the never-ending parade of The Club's genetically mutated super-assassins led by the overlord Suitengo and his right-hand lackey Tsujido. As Saiga continues to seek a safe place to hide Kagura, another gifted Euphoric is called upon to join the hunt for the Goddess and her would-be protector. Literally fuelled by a diet of priceless diamonds, Madame Koganie possesses the ability to turn her body into solid crystal. Saiga takes Kagura to visit his old friend, Doctor Ryogoku, hoping he can provide a medical explanation for their strange Euphoric powers...

Speed Grapher is a gritty science-fantasy animated series for mature viewers. A potent and provocative cocktail of forbidden sex, blood-spattered violence, conspiracy and intrigue. Add to that mix an ultra-cool anti-hero, a beautiful teenage Goddess, a fetishistic female detective and an ever-expanding line-up of genetically mutated super-assassins and you get a pretty good idea what you are letting yourself in for.

Volume Two contains the episodes:

Whore Of Diamonds: Saiga is trying to find a safe house to hide Kagura. The two finally find a small night club in the seedy entertainment district that takes them in. Saiga works as a barman, but hasn't counted on the ruthlessness of their enemies. Another oddly gifted Euphoric is employed to track down and return Kagura to her home. Madam Koganei is a high-class woman who fuels her power by swallowing priceless diamonds.

Out Of Focus: By swallowing diamond pieces, Madam Koganei has the ability to turn her body into solid diamond making her impervious to Saiga's attacks. Not only is she virtually indestructible, but the diamond's reflective quality makes it impossible for Saiga's camera to focus on her. How can Saiga possibly win against such a formidable opponent?

The Big Picture: Saiga and Kagura make their way out of Tokyo's city limits. They make a stop at Saiga's old friend, Doctor Ryogoku, asking him for a medical explanation for these strange Euphoric powers. What the doctor discovers is not what everyone was expecting - and is a bit of a slap in the face for Saiga and his quest to keep Kagura alive.

Dentophobia: Saiga is left with a most difficult dilemma, whether or not to tell Kagura what he has discovered. Before he has time to decide what to do he receives an unexpected house call from a dentist who is not what he seems. As the dentist attacks, Saiga needs to pull himself together and use all his photographic skills to ensure that the dentist doesn't capture Kagura.

Extras include Character Cast Auditions (8 minute audio featurette with Christopher Bevins (voice director and line producer) as he explains the audition process and lets us listen to the auditions of Christopher Ayres (Chouji Suitengu) and Greg Ayres (Tsujido)); textless opening and closing titles; and trailers for other anime releases.

Another strong collection of quality episodes, which moves the narrative on in leaps and bounds.

Pete Boomer

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