Check-in Station: Red Data Girl ep1 (what have you done?! what the hell have you done?!)
I have spent quite a bit of time diversifying myself attempting to watch every genre and style of any I can muster. But some things still remain a mystery to me. And its how people can enjoy something that I find predictable and boring. I’m not saying Red Data Girl is one of those shows exactly. I’m just saying that even with me not totally understanding the main character’s powers, I can kinda see where this is going. And I’m not terribly excited.
The story starts plainly enough, with our main character, Izumiko cutting off a portion of her hair. As I understand it, it’s very often a big decision for any girl. Especially when they take on the task themselves. Often enough, people take this action as a sign of drastic change. If anybody remembers when Britney Spears shaved her head, then they may remember that the rest of the world (the part that cares) was wondering if her next step was the insane asylum or a graveyard. Hair for a woman I’ve learned is often a big deal.
All that I said is merely to temper you though. To give you a sense of perspective, because those changes are usually huge changes. Long to short or bald; blonde to something else; anything else died blonde, these are all drastic changes. What Izumiko does is snip off a portion of her bangs, anot terribly significant portion. It’s the kind of portion that most boyfriends or husbands might miss and get in trouble for. Yet once Izumiko makes this decision, it seems to be the start of the anime in earnest and no one can seem to shut up about it. Her mother worries, her driver worries, she does get some form of encouragement from her close friends, but that’s it. I was honestly quite excited when something happened that didn’t involve her hair. By that I mean, the chick seems to be computer illiterate like an old lady (she really does remind me of an old lady), but actually she’s just weirdly incompatible. I mean the computers work with her, but in a weird way. Somehow she’s able to communicate with her father who is in front of a PC in America. Though I don’t think she used software for it. It was kinda weird. She does take that opportunity to talk to her father about why she snipped her hair. And he took it well before Izumiko’s powers went haywire and she shorted out the entire school.
We are then introduced to a new character, Yukimasa. He’s apparently Izumiko’s guardian while her dad is perpetually away. He whisks her away in the family helicopter, and then talks to her about…. her hair! She’s sent to the hospital for tests and then sent home where she then meets Yukimasa again, this time with his son, Miyuki. Ugh! And here’s where the crap starts. Apparently, Miyuki has a nice life in Tokyo, but because Izumiko isn’t comfortable moving, and Miyuki was supposed to be a guardian of sorts for her, he’s forced to leave Tokyo and go to her hick school. Now I can understand Miyuki’s frustrations, especially as a teenager with a lot of selfish and individualistic ideals. That’s totally normal. His possible loss of contact with friends from home? That sucks. I understand. I can even understand his frustrations with being told by his father that his life’s job is to watch and protect this dinky, milquetoast little girl. But the vitriol that shoots from his mouth every time he talks to her is just ridiculous. Even with the background showing that he’s kinda naturally a bully, it still does explain the pure hate. It’s really his father I’d expect most of the anger to go towards. It felt like the show was trying way too hard to make us not like this character, and to make Izumiko a big victim. I found that a tad annoying.
It doesn’t take much to realize that these characters are contrasted so starkly, so that they can have an even more stunning mutual character development,as they learn to understand and open up to each other. These are all nit-picky things, but overall I didn’t find anything compelling to keep me going. Just some basic world building and characters that I didn’t find well… compelling or interesting. And for a anime fan such as myself, I’d at least like to understand if there’s any combat and if it’s good? I’m not naturally a big fantasy/shoujo fan, so something really has to draw me in, whether it be romance/shipping, combat, sob stories, or a love of the characters. If Red Data Girl gets enough buzz, or draws me in with one of the things I mentioned before, then I may pick it up. But for now I’m gonna skip Red Data Girl. There are many more anime that have wooed me with what they have, which this show has not.