While technically not the worst anime to come out this season by a long shot, it was easily the most boring to watch.
It's extremely slow and mellow to a fault. The segments supposed to be touching scenes, decisive alliances or meaningful climaxes feel like any other average, uneventful conversation between characters in a relaxed moment of an anime arc.
Red Data Girl starts off with an interesting premise enveloped in mystery and subtle hints, and a promise at a compelling coming of age story for characters in less than ideal family situations. The problem is, it doesn't really do anything noteworthy with all that basis and my interest for it wore thin very quickly.
A good chunk of the show is then dedicated to arcs for characters that were supposed to be a strong supporting cast and yet felt anything but. Izumiko, the female lead, hardly develops at all in this whole part, and what little there is to her development towards the end of the show feels underwhelming and irrelevant. Just like everything about the plot, I took a conditional liking to Izumiko from the start and I progressively lost all interest I could have harbored before. She never truly felt to me as though she actually came out of her shell of awkward isolation, and this being the main point of a coming of age story for a timid teenager that wants to change herself and live like a normal girl, is pretty much a failure in execution.
The rest of characters aren't fun to follow and I'll forget about them all soon enough. The second half of the show is built around some kind of SERIUZ BIZNESS festival event they're all involved with, and of course yet again nothing of special impact happens with any of them. It's like they're all there to say their one or two ''conspiracy'' lines, make iddle chat with Izumiko, and then fade into the background as the credits are about to roll.
The final scenes of the series are supposed to be the climax of the whole story, yet at best it feels like what I'd expect to be the closure to an average minor arc and, yet again, nothing seems to have changed importantly for the characters. The ''romance development'' you have there is pretty much at the same level as what you'd get after a shonen/harem lead rescues the damsel in distress and tells her how important she is. Namely, almost nothing, because they do nothing and you feel nothing.
I found the character designs and general mood of the show to be bland. There were two or three scenes with very memorable ambience near the beginning, but nothing that could save my overall impression of its technical values.
If I had to mention a very good point, that'd be the ending theme, Yokan. Beautifully produced from Masumi Ito's angelical vocal chords, I felt it soothed my heart and cleansed my soul every time I listened to it after an episode. Unfortunately, though, this is not Haibane Renmei, so this theme is only beautiful in itself and not because it also works as a complement to evoke the beauty of the very show it's closing, like Blue Flow did.
I'm glad this is over. Monks, exorcisms and spirits are not my cup of tea to begin with, and if you present these to me with dull, mediocre writing, you know I'm not going to be a happy customer.
RDG: Red Data Girl: the story of a shy girl with a goddess living inside of her. Suzuhara wants nothing more than to be normal, but the goddess' powers keep making that difficult to achieve. And she has a crush on her protector, who only seems to dislike her.
Story: As you can see from the above synopsis, the plot isn't terribly interesting. With more interesting characters, there would be plenty of potential here, but the characters were timid and more willing to hide their emotions than give in to them.
Animation & Sound: Pretty standard, and the pretty art enhances the light-on-content feel of the show.
Characters: All motivated more by fear than by willingness to overcome their fear, including the side characters. None of them had particularly vivid personalities, especially the MC. And there's not really any comedic interaction between them to keep things interesting.
Overall: If you like slow-moving plots where nothing much is accomplished, you might enjoy this show a lot. There's a distinct lack of substance which ultimately made it come off as completely average, but it manages to be pleasant nonetheless. I came away without many strong feelings for or against it, which is a feat in its own way.
If you dislike slow plots, shows without comedy, characters without much depth, or shoujo in general, I would venture a guess that this won't be a good watch for you.
This anime had more holes in it than swiss cheese on top of a donut. I really wanted to like this anime, but, the entire thing, save for the animation itself fell incredibly short.
I have four words to sum up the plot. All Over The Place. . .
I kept thinking I was missing an episode for some reason and "Why is this happening? and "I don't get why this (insert object, person, episode) is relevent?!!?"
All of the of the plot lines never quite connected. I feel like this could have been resolved by there being at least 20 episodes instead of 12.
The one thing that kept me watching was the overall quality of the animation. It was quite good. I kept hoping that the storyline would match up with the quality of the animation but sadly it never did.
Not really noteworthy. There wasn't enough effort put into developing them. I did not feel very strongly about a single charachter.
Average overall. The intro and outro songs were nice which is why I gave it a 7 instead of a 5.
I feel that this show was pretty much a waste of my time. It had a lot of potential and in the right hands could have been a really amazing anime. So many things were left unexplained. . .
Secret Santa Review
Before I start, I would like to mention that this review will most likely contain spoilers. If you do not want this show to be spoiled for you, then read no further.
There, now that that's out of the way, let's start the review proper. This supernatural slice of life drama had been on my radar since it aired, but I never got around to watching it until I got it recommended by my Secret Santa.
It starts out quaint enough, introducing us to the female lead, Izumiko, that lives on a very pretty mountan with her odd guardians, what with her parents being else where most of the time. She is immediately set apart from the rest of her peers, not just only by her sheltered upbringing but also the fact that she has odd powers. Shortly after that, we get introduced to a new character: Miyuki, Izumiko's new companion – or manservant, as they say – with severe attitude problems. The show got way less fun to watch when his bratty teenage moping got way more screentime than I felt it warranted. I am glad that phase of his it ended after a few episodes because any more of that and I would have rated this show much lower than I did.
After a few episodes, they transfer to a new school. Of course, there is more going on under the surface than what a momentary glance will reveal, and this school is trapped up in a power struggle between two factions. This is pretty much kept on the backburner for most of the show's run, and there's a lot of other smaller arcs happening as well. Sadly, none is very entertaining to watch, and the mixture of slice of life and small drama arcs makes the show feel like it lacks coherence and a sense of direction, even though the arcs are never outright bad or left without a proper conclusion.
There is never a sense of urgency to the conflict because so little is outright said or explained, nor does the show tell us why we should actually root for the protagonists – simply being protagonists is really not enough – until the very end. The antagonists are also pretty loosely defined, without any clear and defined motivations. Because of that, I found myself lacking interest throughout. It felt like it tried to be suspenseful, but in the end it was just tedious and unengaging.
The characters are thankfully way more consistent than the plot, but they're still very unremarkable – forgettable even – especially the secondary characters. Izumiko and Miyuki are the only ones that I would actually call rounded, developed characters, and even they are nothing to write home about. Miyuki goes from being an annoying, callous and self-centred brat to a more understanding and tolerable person in the first few episodes, but he is otherwise pretty static.
Izumiko is the most human of the bunch, and yet I can't really bring myself to like her as a character because she doesn't really stand out and I really can't emphasize with her struggle to become normal, mainly because the anime treats it in a rather off-hand way most of the time. It's a real shame too, since it's a great concept, but there is little done to actually utilize it in a good way.
The soundtrack is good, which some really nice moody tracks in the OST. The opening and ending songs are above average as well, and more importantly: they are very good at setting the mood. With their mellow and slightly ethereal moods, they're pretty much a perfect fit for this show.
As for what I think of the show as a whole, it left me feeling very ambivalent throughout. Every good thing about it was tempered with parts that were not very entertaining, but most of the time it was as dull as dishwater to me, with a lot of episodes feeling like they were thrice their actual runtime. The plot and setting showed promise but it never delivered, so instead it ended up being just a waste of great production values for the most part. The show really could not decide what to be and did never really play to its strengths, which is a crying shame. I really wanted to like this more than I did, but it just ended up feeling like an average watch. The setting was good, the animation was stellar and the soundtrack was great, but it lacked character and staying power. Furthermore, the ending was rather by-the-numbers and felt really unsatisfying to me.
Spring 2013 Anime Review - Red Data Girl
- Lewl dropped after forcing myself through three episodes
- Just not interesting enough to slug through just so I can rate it low
UPDATE: Anime-Planet has removed the Blog feature where this post was originally published on March 23, 2014. I pulled the scores from my ratings, although this is NOT a formal review. Think of it more as “thoughts on…<anime title>”. I wrote my thoughts out as I progressed through the series, so contradictions may occur as my opinion shifts. To shorten the post I took excerpts from the original. Sorry for any inconvenience and please leave your thoughts below! :)
2013 Spring Anime Reviews: