RDG: Red Data Girl – 01

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One morning, the shy, passive Suzuhara Izumiko decides to cut her bangs. At school, it gets mixed reviews, and when her class must gather info on the net using computers, she ends up using them as a conduit to video-chat with her father in America, then disables power to the whole school with her mind. A helicopter lands and Izumiko is taken away by Sagara, who turns out to be a mountain monk charged with protecting her. She learns that she is the “Himegami”. Sagara orders “reinforcements” in the person of his son Miyuki, who isn’t keen on hanging out with the dull Izumiko.

This episode starts off establishing the beautiful environs of a village in the Kumano mountains. We found out this was directed by Shinohara Toshiya, who also helmed The Book of Bantorra, but while that series was awesome, it was a bit lacking in production values; not so here. Like Tari Tari and the excellent Another, this series not only looks, but sounds and feels fantastic. Despite all the natural beauty, there’s a deep melancholy about the beautiful but unpopular Izumiko (appropriately voiced by Hayami Saori), which stems partially from her never having made a decision for herself. If her life is like the river in her village, she’s never once paddled against the current…until she decides to cut her hair and makes a stand about where she wants to go to high school.

What’s also engrossing about this series so far is that it doesn’t come out and explain exactly what makes her so special. We see an awesome sequence where she finds herself underwater in the computer lab, and then she knocks out the power in said lab when she snaps out of it, and we hear a lot from Sagara, but not too much. Like Izumiko herself, we’re still mostly in the dark about who the Himegami is and why she must be isolated and protected. But we certainly feel her pain. Sure, she has nice friends who defend her from bullying, but they don’t even have her phone number, and she doesn’t even have a phone. She wants to take control of her life, but isn’t sure how. Her dubious “manservant” Miyuki doesn’t have high hopes for her, but who knows: she may just surprise him, herself, and a lot of others when all’s said and done.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Car Cameos:

 

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Spring 2013 Season Preview

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You know the drill. If you don’t, here it is: around halfway through the current season we take a quick look forward at the next season’s batch of anime, usually by skimming through Moetron’s always-helpful charts. Sequels to Railgun and Oreimo are coming, if you’re into that. We are, so they make the list. We’ve amazingly never seen anything from the Space Battleship Yamato franchise, so we’ll be taking our first stab at it with 2199.

Carryover-wise, the only Winter series continuing into the spring is Chihayafuru 2 (unless MAL is lying to us). Girls und Panzer only has two more episodes, so that doesn’t count. We suspect one or two may continue either in the spring or summer, but we’ll decide what to stick with on a case-by-case basis. We don’t usually enjoy being surprised at the last minute with second cours.

With only one confirmed carryover, we have a pretty clear schedule to populate with brand-new series. Still, we’d like to stick to ten total series or under. As always, if you know of a series not listed here that you think we should watch, let us know and we’ll consider it. We currently have three “definitelys” and four “probablys”, so there’s room for two or three of the five maybes.

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Definitely Watching

1. Chihayafuru 2
(episodes 14-25)

2. Girls und Panzer
(episodes 11-12)

3. Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.
Aniplex, A-1 (Comedy, Slice of Life, Seinen) – 7 Apr

Probably Watching

4. Aku no Hana
(The Flowers of Evil)
Starchild, Zexcs (Drama, Romance, School, Psychological) – 20 Mar

5. RDG: Red Data Girl
Lantis, P.A. Works (Fantasy) – 16 Mar

6. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S
J.C. Staff (Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super Power) – Apr

7. Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199
(Space Battleship Yamato 2199)
Xebec, AIC (Sci-Fi) – 7 Apr

Maybe Pile

8. Ginga Kikoutai: Majestic Prince
Dogakobo (Action, Mecha, School, Sci-Fi, Seinen) – Apr

9. Hataraku Maou-sama!
Lantis, Pony Canyon, White Fox (Comedy, Demons, Romance, Shounen) – Apr

10. Shingeki no Kyojin
(Attack on Titan)
Production I.G., others (Action, Drama, Fantasy, Super Power) – Apr

11. Suisei no Gargantia
(Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet)
Production I.G., Lantis (Sci-Fi) – 9 Feb

12. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru.
(My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected.)
Brains Base, TBS (Comedy, Romance, School) – 5 Apr