Red Data Girl – 03

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A goddess so powerful that NO ONE (with pollen allergies) will stand a chance against her.

….Well would you look at that – Izumiko is already starting to prove her worth! She’s finally ceased to be the frumpy-looking girl Miyuki yells at all the time. He might still get mad at her, but for now he’s playing nice. Maybe it’s because he realizes she has magical powers now? I’d be pretty impressed if my friend used magic to make flowers bloom too.

As much as I like how Miyuki and Izumiko stopped having a bully-victim relationship, I feel like something is missing in that transition. I feel like the events of last week’s episode are barely enough of a catalyst for Miyuki to just toss his grudge into the garbage and suddenly act like Izumiko’s new buddy. It would have been an easy pill to swallow if we had gotten at least a peek into his head and what he was thinking after seeing the Himegami and dragging Izumiko around all day. What I got from watching that episode was that he couldn’t be more pissed dragging around a borderline-asthmatic girl around. Even his reaction to the Himegami is a bit of a mystery, as it’s hard to read someone with a deer-in-headlights look on their face. What did he feel about these events that lead him to change his mind so quickly?

There’s so much focus on what Izumiko is feeling that Miyuki just seems like a mystery box. We see the input and the output, but have no idea how the hell it happens. It’s weird that someone whose entire personality for their life has been ANGRY YELLING MAN (or ANGRY YELLING BRAT as a kid) would ease up so easily. If you have anger issues, you can’t just waive them away because you suddenly like someone. If you’re always angry, you hurt your friends too. I’m sure a lot of people felt it was time for him to get over his childish anger. I just wish it happened more slowly, as I thought it would. In the end, he’s a much better character when he’s not blindly reacting to things with rage. By no means am I begging them to bring back the old Miyuki, because jesus christ was he ever an asshole.

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Now that Miyuki is nicer, he is able to hold actual conversations with Izumiko. I would count their heart-to-heart while looking at the ocean to be their first genuine conversation. It’s a much nicer dynamic because it allows for them to bounce ideas off of each other and learn what the other is thinking. I don’t think Miyuki even realized that Izumiko was capable of having feelings before – he just saw her as some nondescript entity he had to devote his life to. When Miyuki explains not being particularly attached to any one school, Izumiko realizes she was being stubborn by refusing to transfer to Tokyo. She did it for the sake of disagreeing because she thought it would prove that she wouldn’t let others control her life. In reality, she’s no more attached to her home school than Miyuki is. It’s kind of like when your parents like rap music so you try desperately not to in order to rebel and prove yourself as an individual…even if you secretly don’t think it’s so bad. But that’s not acting on your own, that’s still using other people’s behaviour as a guide for your own.

I really liked seeing how their conversation had such a lasting effect on Izumiko and the way she mulled over it all day. Now that they’re on good terms, Miyuki is much more capable of changing her. However, as we’ve been learning, change can be dangerous as well. Wamiya reacts negatively to this change in Izumiko and tries to stop any further “damage” by controlling some students and getting them to attack Miyuki. Even worse, he threatens to destroy the entire shrine grounds with a thunderstorm if she transfers to Tokyo.

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“HEY! No one threatens Izumiko but ME, so back off chickenlegs!”

There are multiple forces in Izumiko’s life that seem to either promote her desire to change or challenge it. Wamiya challenges it, and Izumiko is forced to either go back to how she was or press on. You can tell she had really made up her mind because she refuses to just obey Wamiya.  Instead, she stands by her choice to move to Tokyo and reasons with Wamiya instead. By recognizing him as a familiar, he has no choice but to obey her and let her do what she wants.

What I find funny is that although he tries to kill her for changing, it is only due to her changing that he exists. If she had never cut her hair, he would never appear to her in that form. It’s interesting that the message of the show isn’t “change is good” or “change is bad” but “well, change is complicated.” Izumiko is such an important person that all of her choices have a severe impact on everyone around her. What she decides could determine what the Himegami does, what other lesser Gods do, and who gets hurt just by being around her. She has a ton of responsibilities, and she’s handling them amazingly well.

She dances later on to release him, because she has no need for someone to be her friend. Wamiya says he became her familiar because Izumiko was lonely and wanted a friend, so he filled that void. It’s a bit like Sasami-san@Ganabarani where Sasami had to be careful about befriending others because if she simply desired to be friends would someone, her godly influence could automatically make that happen. In that case, how would she be able to distinguish between real friendships and the one’s her powers created? Izumiko doesn’t seem to have this effect on humans, but the fact remains that her actions and desires can affect lesser gods and make them unruly.

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The glorious moment you realize you have a fetish for shrine maiden cosplay…

We’re finally beginning to see Izumiko’s true powers. She not only has the Himegami possessing her, but she can make flowers bloom, tame familiars, and see shadow monsters. Miyuki can….well, I guess he can do some ineffectual chanting and isn’t too bad at schoolyard fights. I was surprised that after all this hemming and hawing how useless Miyuki was in the face of danger. His training must be extremely limited or just incomplete. I wonder if he’ll really be able to protect her when he can’t even see her pursuers and can’t exorcise for beans. Nonetheless, his strong resolve to protect her is promising. He cares about Izumiko while Yukimasa (presumably) only cares about the Himegami. Miyuki wants to stick around to make sure he doesn’t abuse her in any way.

Preview: Izumiko and Miyuki get used to their new life in Tokyo. It looks like we get introduced to a boatload of new characters, including the aesthetic “cool guy” version of Wamiya.

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Following the OP and what happened with Wamiya, this guy is an Inugami

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A mad scientist with a third degree black belt in karate. She uses her Neuroscience degree to run experiments on humans and you just might be next. :3
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21 Responses to “Red Data Girl – 03”

  1. Liza says:

    I agree with the transition between Miyuki’s yelling at Izumiko and then his okay-ness with her seems very jarring. Maybe a couple of scenes with him treating her a bit better but still yelling at her would help? Or maybe some thoughts in his head? Something. This transition made me feel like the Kirito/Asuna relationship…

    Anyway, I’m guessing Miyuki has never had to deal with monsters and such in real life. He probably has the basic training but no experience. Which explains why he stinks so much at doing his job…

    • Highway says:

      I thought we got that kind of scene when they were in Tokyo. Basically, what that was showing was that there ARE reasons for her to be timid and scared, and he finally realized that they are true things. I got the feeling that a lot of his resistance toward her was that he had to defer to her and treat her nicely just ‘because someone said to’, and she never actually *did* anything to deserve better treatment.

      • Overcooled says:

        Yes, but I feel like that’s something we have to piece together to make his actions make sense. It doesn’t feel as natural having to come up with reasons why he would change his attitude so much instead of seeing it happen naturally on screen.

    • joojoobees says:

      Having seen some of the later webcasts, I’ll just say that you seem to be assuming the transition is over.

    • akagami says:

      I dunno, I’ve seen friends who were like enemies at the beginning, and one day they just started getting along. I’ve also seen cases where it gradually changes. Doesn’t seem that odd to me.

      I’m curious as to what it was Yukimasa was doing to frighten Izumiko so.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Izumiko sure is attracting the wrong kind of guys. If one’s not being a jackass, the other’s totally possessive for his sake to remain with a purpose. Things can be understood through point of view. And I guess in Wamiya’s case, existing without a reason is the same as being dead though killing her is would have been counterproductive.

    It’s a 50/50 thing with me concerning Izumiko. While her being overly shy tends to be annoying, I like to see characters like gradually opening up and leaving their shell and a considerable amount of progress has been made even trading places with Miyuki by looking down on and yelling at him when he wanted to try the easy way out.

    P.A Works does it again with its lush visuals and color. It was so beautiful that Izumiko’s dance was enchanting. It’s funny that a maiden’s dance had enough influence to snare a god’s familiar. I think that’s the beauty with shintoism in anime, it’s mysterious and there’s no way to know what to expect.

    • Overcooled says:

      I like the development for her as well, but I’m also a bit turned off by how meek she is. I just want to scream “GET OVER IT” at her. This is what happens when you raise a kid to be sheltered and tell them nothing about their special powers. She’s getting better though.

      P.A. Works always makes nature look stunning – and I’m not even a nature-lover.

  3. Highway says:

    I still think it might be a little unfair to Miyuki to judge him based on the total of maybe an hour’s worth of his life that we’ve seen, especially considering the circumstances of that hour. He’s someone who’s been dominated by Yukimasa for his entire life, and basically told “you have to go do this and be subservient and deferential and I don’t care what you want”. So all the interactions we’ve seen have to be viewed through that filter, I think. Maybe he was a fine kid any other time, and just felt so stifled by what he had to do with Izumiko that he reacted that way, but upon finding out more about her, and about her trying to change the way she has been, more of his natural self comes out. It’s a theory, anyway.

    That may be the first time in history someone says “I could do this in a tracksuit, but these big billowy sleeves make it easier…”

    • Karakuri says:

      That may be the first time in history someone says “I could do this in a tracksuit, but these big billowy sleeves make it easier…”

      Maybe it’s easier to feel movement of the dance…? She feels more comfortable in the uniform?

    • akagami says:

      I do that all the time.

      “I could wear jeans, but dress clothes look so much cooler (and more comfortable)” ^ ^

      Running in a half-marathon soon, and doing it in costume. Why? Just because it looks like fun. I might end up regretting it after I’m finished, haha. It’s the tough mudder (look it up if you’re interested).

    • Gecko says:

      My guess is that Izumiko wanted to dress up to say goodbye to Wamiya. She probably does it in her sweats/tracksuit normally, but since she has a better idea of what the dance is now, she wanted to make it feel more special.
      And hey it looked cooler than a tracksuit.

    • Overcooled says:

      His past is actually more interesting to me than Izumiko’s. I think Yukimasa’s dominance counts as severe child abuse, and that’s enough to kinda mess someone up. I feel like a lot of things happened to him that could explain why he’s so angry and bitter. However, we don’t see much of that, so we have nothing else to judge him with aside from one instance of him bullying Izumiko as a kid and this entire servant thing.

  4. skylion says:

    The only explanation I could possit: He always felt rather inclined toward her in a nice way. It just the other stuff got in the way, and made him Angry Yelly Thing (Little Mister Pissy Britches?).
    I think he realized that his life is tough, he didn’t ask for it, but this girl has more stuff on her plate, that it is a weird plate, and he might want to stop being such a turd. Call it a survival mechanism?

    • Overcooled says:

      I lament not referring to Miyuki as Little Mister Pissy Britches sooner! Anyways, I’m glad he got over himself and all his emotional baggage so he could help her.

  5. akagami says:

    Damn you spammy! Rawr! Give me back my comments.

    I really want to put some contacts in her eyes and un-braid her hair… my hands are just itching…

  6. Gecko says:

    I have to say, for this kind of plot, I’m strangely addicted. This has a strange cute charm to it.
    Izumiko, while being rather shy, is making steps to being more open. I hope that by the end of the show she manages to confront the largest problems on her own, without the aid of anyone.
    Miyuki is goofy and seems to keep changing, from being annoyed to helping her, to practically giving up. I wonder if he isn’t that really stable with his personality.
    Onto the boatload of new characters!

    • Overcooled says:

      I love Izumiko’s development from a shy girl into a more proactive…god…thing. I feel like they’re holding back with Miyuki though. He’s such a potentially interesting character, yet we never know what he’s thinking. I get the feeling he’s secretly just as insecure as Izumiko, but he covers it up with anger. When a seemingly insurmountable challenge appears (i.e. a crow God threatening them) he loses that fake confidence. He might also just be unstable since he goes from disliking Izumiko to helping her so quickly.

      • Gecko says:

        “god…thing” yep, that’s what she totally is. Not quite a god, although maybe she can become something similar.

        I’m hoping Miyuki gets some help with his insecurities later on. But I was so, so happy that Izumiko got to handle Wamiya on her own, rather than Miyuki covering for her. Perhaps Izumiko took a hint from Akane Tsunemori.

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