Red Data Girl – 12 [END]

Red Data Girl 003

Series reboot: Red Data Dog

I should be packing for my trip now, but I’m writing this post instead. I figure all I really need is money, some books, and a 3DS anyways. Who needs clothes or toiletries or all that other stuff that takes ages to pack? Idiots, that’s who. So here’s my last post before I leave for New York for a mini vacation. I’m glad RDG ended just in time!

To be fair, that last episode was actually quite good given the immense amount of loose ends they had to wrap up in 20 minutes. They could have tried to solve all of these issues at once in a terribly rushed finale, but thankfully things slowed down and the scope of the show narrowed down. It was smarter to focus on just one simple thing: getting Izumiko back and restoring the status quo. She still has the Himegami inside her, which essentially leaves the fate of the world as a cliffhanger. I’ll get to why that’s not so great later, but I have to say this episode by itself did a much better job finishing off the series than I thought it would. If they had kept the focus on the show more…well..focused then it would have been a much better series.

Red Data Girl 005Red Data Girl 008

For example, Yukimasa seems almost entirely superfluous. He never did anything except irritate Miyuki every now and then. It would have been enough to see him beat up Miyuki in that first episode so we understand why the boy is so prickly, and then never have him appear again. The whole destroying electronics thing also got barely any screen time, to the point where it seemed to just pop up as a gimmick towards the end of the series. Of course, the biggest letdown was that absolutely nothing was done regarding the Himegami. Nothing. She dicked around a bit and became a bit more prominent, but all in all she’s still there and still has to worry about destroying all of mankind. That’s kind of an important issue to just let slide and never resolve for a show that’s supposed to be about a Goddess, don’t you think? If they just wanted to do a romance story, they shouldn’t have thrown in all these elements. It’s like they thought no one would pay attention to a love story between a country girl and a city boy, so they threw in some nonsense to try and spice it up. Everything is so muddled I honestly don’t know where they were trying to go with this show.

The finale, thankfully, doesn’t focus on the meandering plot and instead just kind of pelts you with emotions. It’s mostly a lot of dramatic speeches and symbolic battles with Miyuki against some ghosts. It’s full of action and suspense, which was a rather nice way to finish things off. Some visceral action and heart-warming romance was enough for me to ignore how weird the story was. I was admittedly rather touched to see Izumiko and Miyuki reunited after Miyuki pushed on through all of those vicious ghosts just for her. I had wanted the attempt to save Masumi a few episodes back to involve that much of a struggle as well, but it was over really quickly and without much resolution. I feels good to see someone fight so hard and then get rewarded afterward. That’s how you really know they care about the person they’re trying to save.

Red Data Girl 006

Whoa, wait, I hear someone hotter than you over there.

While the episode was overall fun and looked stunning (as per usual), it still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Takayanagi becomes a dog because lol why not? Masumi gives up trying to spirit away Izumiko without a fight and then returns without anyone even remotely scolding him. Masumi has tried to steal people away from the land of the living twice now, and the triplets are still totally okay with that. Don’t you think that’s kind of…a problem? Especially since it keeps happening and no one is teaching him that it’s wrong? On a side note, let’s not forget that Takayanagi had a balloon full of drugs that he casually mentioned when asked. How did he obtain hallucinogenic drugs? Why does he need drugs when he’s supposed to be using magic?

All in all, RDG was far too ambitious. I thought it was going to actually go somewhere with all of these tempting plot threads, but it just dropped them abruptly. There were some genuinely interesting episodes near the beginning, and I loved watching Izumiko slowly blossom into an outspoken girl. That makes me kind of sad that so much was simply ignored when it could have potentially been used to create a multi-layered, comprehensive story. It didn’t hit me until episode 11 that none of this was going to be explained, and boy, it hit me like a ton of bricks. What a bitter feeling to have for the end of a series. I know it wasn’t a horrible show either! It was just convoluted at times. This show was a big mess…but at least it was pretty.

Red Data Girl 009

I like to imagine that Izumiko secretly turned him into a weredog as a prank.  He turns into a shiba-inu whenever the moon is full


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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20 Responses to “Red Data Girl – 12 [END]”

  1. skylion says:

    I cannot help but feel that RDG was not intended for us; a Western audience. No anime really is, just as television in any country isn’t really made for outside sensibilities. But RDG even moreso.

    It always felt very expansive, as if another layer was happening in the background. While I have an understanding and certain bookish knowledge of Shinto and Buddhism, I am not acculturated to it. And I think that is the missing piece. I would have appreciated better had I been Japanese. As it is, I found the emotional story much easier to follow than the politics. A young lady just wants to be normal.

    • zztop says:

      From what I’ve heard, the RDG series only covers material from vol 1-5 of the original RDG novel series by Noriko Ogiwara, and leaves out the 6th and final novel.

      Spoilers re the Goddess from vol 6, courtesy of minuetto from myanimelist:

      Show ▼

      • skylion says:

        Wasn’t that explained in one of the earlier episodes? It kinda feels like what happens in Higurashi…

  2. Liza says:

    Well this was a very cute series overall. However I agree that the ending was a bit…lacking. There were SO many plot threads left open(and I doubt there will be a second season…).

    However, even with all of those faults at the same time I can say I genuinely enjoyed the series. I loved seeing Izumiko grow and develop over the course of the series along with the growing relationshio between her and Miyuki,

    • BlackBriar says:

      The possibilities of second seasons these days are determine by the sale of merchandise. And since the story is the way that it is, it’s chances are slim to none in my opinion.

  3. zztop says:

    Spoilers re Yukimasa, courtesy of minuetto of myanimelist:
    Show ▼

  4. zztop says:

    Spoilers for the Goddess in vol 6 of the RDG novel series, the final vol not adapted for the series:

    Show ▼

    More explanations can be found here at post #115 by user minuetto:

    • Liza says:

      That summary actually helped a lot in understanding the loose ends and why the situation is as it is. I really wish that could have been expressed in the anime.

  5. joojoobees says:

    I think most of the concerns expressed (both by OC and commenters above) can be boiled down to, “This was not the sort of story you try to pack into a 12 episode series”. So, yeah, they still have another chunk to deal with the Goddess that is leftover.

    OC: “How did he obtain hallucinogenic drugs?”

    Takayanagi is the head of the chemistry club. Apparently they made LSD or something.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I think four more episodes or a movie would show enough material to give enough closure. She may have the Goddess’ power but that could mean it’s just one step to her being taken over.

  6. Highway says:

    I thought the ending was good. But then, I also thought the whole series was good. I thought there was significant progress throughout the series, and that while questions weren’t answered, they were almost all left in a way that means “and so the story continues”.

    I thought the big revelation that was most important was Izumiko realizing not that she’s the vessel for the Himegami, or that the Himegami is inside her, but that she IS the Himegami. There’s such a significant difference between those three states. And yes, there wasn’t much finality about what happens next, but that doesn’t mean it’s cut off in the future, or that there’s no hope for finding out.

    I really don’t have any regrets or complaints about the show. I don’t know how much they could have done differently (I could complain again about the rigid 12/13 episode cour system, but nah). I don’t know if this would have worked well in a two-cour series, because one of the good things about it was the large amount of progress it made every episode. Perhaps diluting that to 60% would have made it seem plodding and less interesting.

  7. Foshizzel says:

    I love you PA Works but damn you dropped the ball on this series and put me to sleep! I would give this a 5/10 for MAL because it was confusing as hell to me even though I know some didn’t find it that way? I know I did maybe its just too advanced for me LOL


    • BlackBriar says:

      True that the story was mostly confusing. Based on how you described the series, giving it 5/10 actually sounds generous. I’d imagine other people would give a lower rating than that.

  8. BlackBriar says:

    Spring really is coming to an end with its shows making their curtain call. There were too many elements going about to call this a love story. If anything can be said, it’s that a relationship has blossomed.

    As a whole, RDG was a brilliant piece of eye candy with animation done by PA Works, a definite strong point. In the details, 90% of the story was slow and hard to comprehend at times but what always drew me in was its otherwordly premise like the use of shintoism. Since watching Hayao Miyazaki movies as a kid (Princess Mononoke and Howl’s Moving Castle being personal favorites), I’ve come to enjoy mystical animes like this.

    The finale was very open ended so there’s a possibility of continuation. The only reasons I’d consider following another season of this would be for more of PA Works flawless animation and the fact it would bother me if I don’t because I’m already this far into the story so there would be a nagging need for closure. It’s an insatiable curse of mine, really.

    By the way, congratulations on your comment count, OC. It’s over 4000!!!

  9. Ceyrai says:

    It was a beautiful visual treat, RDG. Adaptation-wise? Ugh. I’m pretty sure that the novel wasn’t meant to turn out that way. I hate that they tried to fit in so much detail in 12 episodes when it would have done twice a well in 24. What, did they blow all the budget via the stunning nature backgrounds which I quite enjoyed at the seeming expense of the plot? I mean, I love me my convoluted plots, but at least answer my questions somehow!

    And why did they leave out the last novel? Are they going to turn it to a movie like they did with Hanasaku Iroha’s epilogue? I’m sure that a movie of going to be a moneymaker but I don’t think the events of ep 12 was the best stopping point. They really, really could’ve rounded it up better.

    Ugh. I’m so pissed at how they handled this. They better have an epilogue movie.

  10. Gecko says:

    I feel like this plot had a lot of potential in novel form. Especially a series, since then the length can go on forever if wanted. But for this short of an anime, they almost needed to fit together the important stuff and drop the other things, and call it “inspired by” or something. I would have cut out most of the triplet drama and made them just roommates who helped out every now and then. The entire Takayanagi versus Mayura thing could have been dropped out completely. Then they could have focused on the Himegami, what the heck she was doing, what was going to happen to Izumiko in the future, any romance questions, ect.

    That’s what I would have done. Then there could have been more detail in the monks, the magic, and what exactly happened to the Himegami through the passing of time. (Heck, I would have watched a show solely about the Himegami going through history three times to try and stop the destruction of the world. That could have been really cool.) I didn’t really like the triplets/twins that much, I felt like they pulled away from the main point.

    I think this was an alright anime. Not amazing, but not downright horrible. Some of the episodes were nice. The world was pretty. The character development was done pretty well. A lot of the underlying magic elements were cool, too bad we didn’t know that much about them. The plot just had too many loose ends and was probably too ambitious.

    • skylion says:

      It felt like, to me, that the supporting cast was meant to reflect the struggle she was going thru. It’s just that those parts didn’t feel very effective.

      But then I was the guy that thought Date A Live could have used less characters too.

      • Highway says:

        You’re not the only guy who thought that last. I think we just maybe disagree on who they could get rid of. 🙂

        I think that the supporting cast was necessary because without the rest of those people, Izumiko has no chance to have so much growth. She wouldn’t have become herself without her exposure to Miyuki, to Mayura and Manatsu and Masumi, even Takayanagi. I agree that it could use a wrap up small series, or movie. That might be the best thing for it. But I also really don’t think it left the series in a bad spot.

        • Gecko says:

          I understand she got a lot of growth from them, I’m just not sure they needed so much time. The triplets could have had their own series with all that drama, and it didn’t even really get fully explained after all that time we spent on them.

  11. Kyokai says:

    Like everyone, I was disappointed with the treatment of the story. Definitely one cour was not enough to highlight all the plot points and characters. This had potential but just never met them. I hope the summer PA works anime doesn’t face the same problem. >>

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