Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Red Data Girl - Episode 1

Izumiko Suzuhara is a girl who wants to change, and understandably so - her looks her plain, she's teased and bullied and school, and her father who lives in America is insistent that she go to high school in Tokyo; exactly what a quiet girl such as she dreads.

No matter how clumsy and ordinary she might look from the outside, there is clearly something decidedly unique about Suzuhara - no, not just her wealthy background or a supposed inability to use the Internet, but the fact that when she does try to use a computer all sorts of weirdness ensues.  Thus, a normal lesson in the school computer lab turns into an underwater videoconference with her father which seems to be decidedly dreamlike, but ultimately proves not to be as the incident ends with all of the systems in the room blowing while the content of Izumiko's conversation with her dad turns out to be entirely accurate.

Although she might want to avoid attention, this proves rather difficult when her father sends someone to look after her who kicks things off by landing a helicopter on the school grounds.  What's more, the man in question - Yukimasa Sagara - has brought a boy with him; a sulky and incredibly rude boy who Izumiko remembers from his past.  It appears that time has changed the already fractious relationship between the two of them, as Miyuki Sagara is now to all intents and purposes introduced as Suzuhara's "manservant".  So just why does everyone tread on eggshells around Suzuhara and treat her like some kind of royalty?  That's a question we'll have to wait a little longer to see answered.

That's right everybody, it's new anime season time again, meaning that the circle of life, death and slumping in front of the TV every night has begun again.  As openers go, Red Data Girl just about gets its balance right - it doesn't dump huge gobs of exposition upon us, nor does it keep its powder completely dry, giving us just enough information to reel us in without telling us anything near all of the salient points we need to know to get a full grasp of the story.  This is an episode that is more a case of "not doing anything wrong" rather than explicitly doing anything particularly fantastic, and the result is an opening gambit that has left me suitably intrigued and wanting more to see how things develop - a clear case of "mission accomplished" at this point, in other words.

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