RDG: Red Data Girl – 06

Suzuhara Izumiko

Izumiko and Miyuki accompany Mayura and Manatsu to their home in Nagano. Their family throws a big barbecue party where Izumiko gets drunk and passes out on fruit punch. She wakes up and meets a ghostly Masumi again. The next day the group heads to a shrine at Togakushi for a meeting of the student council’s executive committee. Mayura’s fanclub, the “Japanese History Club” in tow, but President Katsuragi and VP Akinokawa warn her the council will remain neutral in the fight between Mayura and Takayanagi, a fight which will decide who becomes a canidate for the World Heritage Collection. Mayura confronts Miyuki, insisting he choose a side, and then she decides to test the extent of his powers.

The more we learn about Souda Mayura, the more relieved we are that Izumiko is on her good side. As for Miyuki, well, Mayura thinks he’s hiding something, and isn’t as weak and useless as he says he is, and is determined to find that out, even if she has to use force. Meanwhile, Izumiko finds that school is not just a figurative battlefield, but a real one in which hearts and minds are won and lost and political maneuvering comes as naturally to her classmates as clapping erasers. It’s also great to see someone first established as a kind friend in Mayura suddenly put Miyuki’s back to the wall and even challenge him to a fight. It shakes up the status quo nicely.

Like Izumiko, we found ourselves a little overwhelmed by all these new concepts cropping up, but at least she and we know a bit more about what this series is going to be about: Houjou academy is little more than a crucible in which gifted students fight other gifted students for precedence  It’s apparent the neutral student council is composed of those who’ll judge the eventual victor, who will receive candidacy in the World Heritage Collection, the full benefits of which remain nebulous but are obviously very important. So we’ll see what roles Izumiko and Miyuki play in Houjou’s little war.

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Rating: 7
 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Izumiko’s blissful, carefree drunken scenes are lovely. Miyuki should have caught her, the ass!
  • Does Mayura truly consider Izumiko a friend…or just another high-level strategic asset?
  • The council’s leaders jealously protect both their positions and their neutral status, and even the mere hint of maneuvering on Mayura’s part compels them to air out all the laundry.
  • Welcome to the New-Look RABUJOI! We’re still tweaking things, and it will be a while before new Org Charts are set up, but a start’s a start.
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RDG: Red Data Girl – 03

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After her possession by Himegami has no ill effects, Izumiko and Miyuki return to the village. Her classmates ask her to deliver a souvenir to Wamiya, as an apology for them forgetting him. Wamiya asks her about Miyuki and gets upset when he learns she’s changed her mind about hating him. Using classmates as puppets, Wamiya has Miyuki attacked. Miyuki and Izumiko escape in a car driven by Nonomura, but Wamiya chases them in the form of a crow, and forces them off a cliff.

Wamiya gives Izumiko an ultimatum to stay in the village with him, demonstrating his power by creating a storm over the village. Miyuki doesn’t believe he’s capable of fighting Wamiya, but Izumiko stands up to him, and makes him submit to her. Izumiko decides to attend Houjou Academy with Miyuki, and performs a dance to release the crow god – Himegami’s familiar – from Wamiya Satoru. Later, Izumiko arrives at Houjou with her folks, and meets her roommate, Souda Mayura.

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Suzuhara Izumiko and Sagara Miyuki are weak beings, but by this episode’s conclusion, neither intend to stay that way for long. In fact, after Miyuki protected her last week (if only by staying by her side and taking her hand), this time it’s Izumiko who saves Miyuki (and Nonomura) from the wrath of a nasty crow god that is the embodiment her wish to make a friend who understood her. That friend – Wamiya Satoru – is really a familiar to Himegami, who if brought to heel by a confident Izumiko, will go out of control.

That doesn’t happen, and the harrowing experience Izumiko and Miyuki share strengthens their bond, as they’ll continue on a path together for some time. The dance Izumiko performs to release Wamiya is what pumped this up from a high 7 to an 8; it was a truly beautiful, lyrical sequence that reminded us of Yuna’s sending dance in FFX. Both it and her taming of the familiar showed both us and Miyuki that there’s more to Izumiko than meets the eye.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Stray Observations:

  • All episode titles contain the phrase “First [something]”, and each episode has thus far delivered on putting Izumiko in a new situation.
  • We like how far Izumiko and Miyuki have come in only three episodes. Miyuki’s naked contempt has evolved into cordiality and reverence, and he’s far more amenable to staying by her (and by extension the Himegami’s) side, since it will make him stronger. Also, her dance enchants the hell out of him.
  • That Lexus they went off a cliff in is really safe!