Thursday, 25 April 2013

Red Data Girl - Episode 4

It's off to high school we go for this fourth episode of Red Data Girl, and even before classes begin at Houjou Academy it seems as if Izumiko has made herself some friends in the form of twin siblings (and two of three triplets, the other being deceased) Mayura and Manatsu Souda.

However, it seems that not everybody at the academy is quite so friendly - although top student Takayanagi seems aloof but otherwise harmless, Izumiko soon finds herself noticing those tell-tale menacing black shadows which are always a sign of trouble in her eyes, and as a result she struggles to keep her composure in their presence, especially when one of them is situated in her very class.

When the foreign transfer student who is the "owner" of this sinister black figure (which even Izumiko knowingly worries is simply her own prejudices coming through) tells our protagonist to meet him after school, it's clear that this isn't going to be some kind of love confession, and luckily for her Sagara tags along to protect his charge when things go south.  With the two Souda siblings also revealed as having powers of their own which fit into this world's supernatural elements, it seems that Takayanagi might be about to get his comeuppance.

Even four episodes in, I continue to be unsure in my feelings for Red Data Girl - I appreciate some of what it's trying to do, and it continues to build up some reasonably interesting constructs around its broader narrative, but that doesn't really stop the execution of those constructs from being kind of bland.  All of the characters are so matter of fact, and take everything so seriously (exploding web sites and all), that there's no feeling of joy to be had while watching the show, while conversely and moments of tension are quickly drained before gaining any real power.  Thus, the potential remains for Red Data Girl to explore some interesting avenues, but for now it seems to be doing so in a forgettable and mediocre fashion.

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