Red Data Girl – 11

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A few inches away from being a new pairing.

RDG is almost done! I’m kind of shocked at how quickly this season went by. It feels like it was all a blur of demons flipping burgers, space vampires, ninjas dancing in maid costumes and ghosts hitting on people. I hope you’ve enjoyed this season’s shows (and Metanorn’s coverage of it, of course).

Red Data Girl has spent a lot of time transforming Izumiko from a meek, country bumpkin into a rather outgoing and popular girl. I love character development that doesn’t rely on sudden personality shifts, but almost imperceptibly alters the character episode by episode as they experience new things. I feel like the former can be a cheap, easy way to make a character go from one extreme to another. However, Izumiko’s growth is steady and very believable. I feel like this is the strong point of the show: her character development. Not just how she wants to be less shy, but how she’s struggling with the desire for a normal life. That one aspect has been consistently very good for the entire series, and some of the other characters (Miyuki, Mayura and Masumi) have gotten some nice attention as well.

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Everything else has been superficial to the point where it’s comparable to the shallow end of a kiddie pool. It’s only now that I realize all of these concepts and ideas that haven’t been fleshed out are never really going to come to a conclusive end. There’s only one episode left after this and I feel like nothing has happened during the entire show except for Izumiko becoming less shy. There are so many components to the story that I thought would be important or meaningful later on, but they simply weren’t. At this rate, it is impossible for this show to have a satisfying ending, and it makes me sad that RDG failed by biting off more than it could chew.

I did not enjoy this episode very much at all. It was like suddenly realizing the delicious apple you bit into had a worm in it. Izumiko’s inability to use electronics was a really cool feature they showed in episode 1 and generally abandoned until now. Using electronics has not been an issue for her at all, yet they decide to bring it up as if she was mourning her inability to tweet on the go without a phone this whole time. She never mentioned phones or computers once. Despite this, her call to Miyuki was framed as a dramatic and special moment. How is it special if we’ve only seen her struggle a handful of times? There’s not a lot of weight in seeing someone try something once or twice and see them succeed. I’m not impressed until they’ve tried multiple times and felt frustrated in the process before finally reaching their goal. I really wish the whole mucking with machines thing was more of a thing for this show. Why include it at all when you’re only going to use it a couple of times?

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The scene gets even worse from there. Just as we realize how much Izumiko has changed from breaking computers to being able to confidently use a phone, she ruins the moment. I thought she had better control over her powers and was getting used to Ghost School. Nope. After all that she’s convinced she’s a normal girl. I would understand her saying “Gee, that was nice, I wish I could be a normal girl and just play Animal Crossing and shop online for neat stuff!” but she honestly is deluded enough to think she can just shuck off her responsibilities and be normal again. Because of one phonecall. Based off of a problem she never even cared about until now. I was beyond frustrated seeing things go in that direction. She has a goddess inside her. She should know what that means. She can dream of being normal all she wants, but the girl is smart enough to know the Himegami can easily prevent that. If anything, things have been worse recently since she’s been appearing more.

Again, things get worse when she’s wooed by Takayanagi. How can I take him seriously when he’s dressed thrice as ridiculously as a court jester? Also, remember that time Masumi slapped him around and he bawled like a baby? I’m not sure how bowlcut-kun is supposed to strike fear into our hearts, but he really doesn’t. Not for me. It’s also really random that he was able to persuade Izumiko (using some magic, I suppose) and seems just like a convenient way for her to get really mad all of a sudden. Takayanagi’s plan wasn’t even all that evil. He just summoned some creepy ghosts who didn’t want to be there and bossed them around a bit. I thought all this understated stuff at the cultural festival was paving the way for a really sinister plot to suddenly appear, but no…this is really the best they could think of. This is the highest point of intensity for their battle. Crying ghosts, a weather balloon, and tall foreigners.

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My expectations for this show have not been met. This show simply tried to do too much, and as a result it became a jack of all trades. The romance development is practically nonexistent, and I fear a couple will suddenly blossom in the last episode without much rhyme or reason. The “villainous plot” is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of and I’m ashamed for even getting my hopes up for this stupid battle where the highlight is playing a board game. Yukimasa still hasn’t done anything interesting other than tease Miyuki, making his character seem useless unless he suddenly summons the dark lord Satan in episode 12 or something. The Himegami only just explained what she is, providing too little too late to the story. Now they will somehow save the world in one episode during the school festival and I want to bang my head against a wall.

I don’t hate RDG…I’ve had some fun with the series and there were a lot of good moments I can fondly recall. However, as a whole it fails to execute a number of things in terms of how the story is laid out. There were just too many plot elements, and none of them ever came to light aside from Izumiko’s development. The triplet arc was nice (although once again, it ended too quickly without any deep revelations or consequences for anyone involved) and I liked the first few episodes quite a bit. Once the student council got involved, things just got…bad. I’m really sad that this show is going to end on a bitter note, but there’s nothing much I can do when a show just has a stupid story for the final arc.

Preview: Miyuki reaches out to Izumiko and tries to save her from her outburst.

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About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things lead to blog posts combining a love for anime, psychology, and watching boys cry.
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12 Responses to “Red Data Girl – 11”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Yeah, I’m really enjoying this season and it felt very quick. Hataraku Maou-sama gave me a new opinion on demon characters, Samurai Bride showed me that even animals can become Master Samurais and Valvrave corrupted my views on mecha anime (Seriously, space vampires? You can’t believe how stunned I was the first time I saw and heard that). I won’t be able to see shows of the same genre the same way again. And if you haven’t yet, you should give Mushibugyo a shot. It’s a good shounen I’d easily recommend.

    RDG is a good show if you’re looking for an anime to kill some time and admire the beautiful animation. Its strong points are that and well handled character development. While the story isn’t something to make a big deal of, it’s mysterious and intriguing with surprises at every turn and nothing cliché to dull its style. It’s 50/50 on success and failure in some areas.

    I knew something was wrong when Izumiko start blushing and acting friendly towards Takayanagi. She both gained and lost points here. Gained for catching on to the spell but lost for forgetting she’s out in public. Among other things, what could save her secret is a long range memory erasing spell. I’m curious as to how things will wrap up in the last episode.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, there are lots of pretty good shows this season! All of them are kinda whacky, but that’s totally up my alley. Space vampires, indeed!

      It’s got a lot of ups and downs, that’s for sure. We’ll see how they end Izumiko’s sudden outburst and the impending doom of the entire human race. <_<

  2. Highway says:

    Hmm, I’ve had a totally different reaction. This for me has been one of those shows to revel in the lushness, the stories, the (for want of a better word) lore. I like that it hasn’t been about actual battles and super action and cliffhangers and stuff. I think a proxy battle with backgammon as the game of choice, but relying on the momentum and luck and power of the leader, is pretty neat.

    And I’m really interested to see what will come of Izumiko making a big scene after getting pissed off at Takayanagi. Whose power is she using? The Himegami’s? Or is it her own power? And Mayura seemed less freaked out at the idea of Izumiko being the vessel for the himegami than she could have been, so what will she think of the disruption of the battle?

    • zztop says:

      I agree with you. I’ve enjoyed the lushness, lore and general beauty of RDG.

      It’s a good break from the flashy excess of Valvrave, the dramaticness of Gargantia and the boobfest of Samurai Bride.

      • Overcooled says:

        I don’t see much lore, and what I do see doesn’t catch my interest very much. I really am one of those girls who loves flashy shows the most, so I tend to be really critical of shows that are more in the shoujo/melodrama range.

        Just one more episode to go. I somehow doubt they’ll answer everything.

        • Highway says:

          Yep, I recall you didn’t really care for the episode which featured a lot of Mayura and Izumiko walking around at Tagakushi explaining a lot of things, but not really doing much besides talking. That’s the kind of lore stuff that I am talking about.

          I don’t mind flashy, but as you can tell from my criticisms of Valvrave and Shingeki no Kyojin, flashy’s not enough for me to paper over when there are big plot or mechanics holes. :)

    • BlackBriar says:

      I guess for a possible ending, Izumiko and the Himegami share the same consciousness as much as the same body and the Himegami’s power gets sealed away. Both females carry personality traits that the other one lacks so having them together might be good for balance.

      • Gecko says:

        That sounds like a good idea, especially since one of the lines from the preview is something about Izumiko carrying the weight of the Himegami on her own…

  3. Gecko says:

    I think for me, the highlight of this episode was seeing Izumiko get so worked up. I suppose she has felt used in some way, but obviously the show hasn’t gotten into enough detail for us to understand how she has felt used- by the Himegami? Yukimasa? Who knows. Or maybe if the contrast between getting to act normal versus having the Himegami waiting around to take over her body was a bit more pronounced and focused on throughout the show…

    And I guess the one thing that bothered me was that Izumiko completely forgot all of her development along with Miyuki’s existence. Like, really? Gah. So we had to wait right until the end to see her erupt.

    Clearly, the romantic build up happened off screen. As well as any strange Yukimasa stuff. I mean, that funky collar Takayanagi has on is worse than Yukimasa.

    This show has been overall nice for me. I do wish they had fleshed more out with the mysterious stuff, and I also wish this weird festival was something else. It feels so awkward. I was expecting a battle, but so much was left unsaid, I had no clue what they were going to do. And now it’s backgammon and some games. Where’s the magic there?

    I suppose next week we’ll see if anything else gets solved. Probably just Izumiko and Miyuki’s relationship issues…

    • Overcooled says:

      She has never had a big outburst because she was afraid of being constantly possessed. It seemed like she hardly even cared. I wish they had shown us more of her struggles between living the double life of a normal girl and a frisky goddess too. Too much stuff regarding the plot happened offscreen…

      RDG is a really…empty show but it does have good moments. It was solidly “okay.”

  4. Joojoobees says:

    I am not as disappointed as you are. I have also been watching Arata Katanagatari since it comes out on Mondays, when I have nothing else to watch. Frankly that show sucks. Maybe it is a low bar for comparison, but the world of RDG is much more interesting, it has more depth, and it certainly has more internal consistency. It also looks way better.

    I’m not saying RDG is my favorite show of all time, but it has been one of the shows that really held my attention his season.

    • Overcooled says:

      Haha, I’m glad I didn’t choose to blog that show then. RDG certainly isn’t the worst show, but it isn’t the best either. Of course, no one can deny that it looks really, really good at the end of the day.

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