Red Data Girl: Knowing Japanese Legends is a Necessity

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I just watched Red Data Girl and I have to admit, I am super confused. I had high hopes for this anime. It had potential but unfortunately, it is really bad at worldbuilding. I think that’s the main flaw of the series.

First off we have our main character, Suzuhara Izumiko who for some reason can’t interact with any electrical devices because if she does, all the electrical devices within the diameter of about one class will malfunction. She also has many other ‘spiritual’ abilities such as being able to detect shikigami disguised as a human effortlessly. She is later revealed to be half Goddess. Because of this, two mountain monks by the name of Sagara Yukimasa and his son Sagara Miyuki are tasked to guard her from any harm especially from the shikigami. The story starts for real after Izumiko and Miyuki are also forced to enroll in a school full of students that are spiritually talented for reasons that I honestly forgot or just don’t understand from the beginning.

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Let’s start with the things that I like about this show first. I really like the relationship between Izumiko and Miyuki especially at the start. They express genuine dislike towards each other. It’s a really good way to build up their relationship from negative and for them to understand each other better throughout the series. However, the conflict between these two characters is so short, they practically become best friends by the end of episode three. It’s too sudden for me, I’d love to see the series tackle their hatred in more detail.

The main flaw about this anime is its world building. The show is completely terrible at explaining the mechanics of the world to the audience. However, all the characters act like all the things they talk about; the sorcerer’s, the mountain monks, the Goddess, and pretty much everything that’s related to their fantasy world as if it’s common knowledge. It makes you feel disconnected to the characters because you don’t know enough about their world but treats you as if you are the ones at fault for not knowing. I believe this is one of the main reasons why people drop the show altogether after a few episodes.

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This series is also very bad at explaining the motivations of the characters and the meaning of certain status. You are told that attaining the status of top student in the school is really important to the students but you are never told why it is important. You just have to basically blindly believe that it is important to the characters. All of the characters are chasing and striving for something but you’re never told what they are or why they are important. It is honestly really confusing. You follow the characters without exactly knowing why you’re following them in the first place.

But since this is PA works, it managed to subdue the flaws a little bit, making you somehow care for the characters, or at least care enough to follow their journey until the end. While you don’t know why some things or events are important to them, the anime at least lets you know that it is in fact important to them so you just inadvertently care for them. Or at least I did. Maybe I’m just biased but PA Works tend to be really good at making the characters extremely likable in order for the audience to be sympathetic towards the characters.

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Overall, I personally find that this anime can be quite entertaining if I just ignore all the details of the world in the show. But with the worldbuilding so bad and characters’ motivations unknown, I honestly couldn’t ignore everything. After finishing the show, I was left with utter confusion of what the hell was going on. This series is clearly the lesser quality anime that PA Works can offer. You’re better off watching other shows produced by the same animation studio because most other are far better.

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