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.
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?
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.
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.