Are you ready to have a bad time? Because we're about to have a bad time.
THIS IS A FULL SPOILERS BREAKDOWN REVIEW BUT IT'S KIND OF HARD TO SPOIL A PLOT THAT DOESN'T EXIST BECAUSE THIS SERIES HAS NO PLOT. THERE'S NO PLOT AT ALL. HAHA, I LOST THE PLOT! WHERE DID IT GO? I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND IT...
Red Data Girl is a 2013 anime brought to us by P.A. Works and it is an adaptation of the light novel series by Noriko Ogiwara. But real quick before we get started, I just wanted to note that I do not have an inherent bias against P.A. Works.
If anything, the fact that I've done three (four, with this one) overwhelmingly negative reviews on their shows demonstrates that to some degree, I actually find their shows fascinating.
And also I did actually enjoy at least a couple of their other shows even if I didn't review them.
But anyways... Red Data Girl!
I think Red Data Girl is pretty horrible. And you may or may not have thought that Glasslip 2 jab I made is a bit harsh
and also erroneous as RDG was before Glasslip but I couldn't help but continuously compare this to Glasslip in my head as I kept watching it.
At the end of this series, I found myself asking the same exact questions I asked myself when I finished watching Glasslip. What was the point of it? What was I supposed to feel towards the show or the characters? What were their intentions? Did they think people would actually like this series?
Because you know, what little revelations there were presented within the show only led to further questions. The questions just kept on piling up and by the show's conclusion, almost none of them were answered. Nothing was really satisfactorily resolved, and if you asked me, I don't think I'd be able to explain the motivation for any character's actions.
Like even now, I'm still wondering what the fuck the closest thing RDG has to an antagonist was hoping to accomplish by summoning an army of dead samurai ghosts to the school festival at the end.
Was he going to use them to attack other students? Was he going to use them to somehow make himself more popular and thus more likely to be elected for student council? What the fuck was the purpose for summoning them?
They're only ever shown just hanging around, and the main girl chastises the antagonist guy for being evil and conjuring them, but never once is it stated or hinted what the fuck his GOAL was.
Since I've already brought up Glasslip...
In that particular review, I made a chart of sorts to try and map out the characters and their relations among themselves. I've attempted to do the same for Red Data Girl.
...I'm not sure if that even helps. Or even makes sense at all. But that is more or less the general gist of what I could gather of the characters (that matter) in Red Data Girl. Now… for the long version…
First off, we have our main female lead. Izumiko Suzuhara. She’s a high school girl who wants to be just that. A normal ordinary high school girl. There’s just one problem. Whenever she comes into contact with technology like computers or cell phones, it breaks. Unfortunately, this is the result of being the next primary vessel of a supernatural entity that possesses the capability of destroying all of humanity.
She is deeply deeply aware of the differences between her and “The Goddess” and fears that those around her see her not as Izumiko, but a vessel for an almighty supernatural entity.
Then there’s of course our main male lead, Miyuki Sagara.
He had to come along with Izumiko when she started high school in Tokyo because he is to serve as her protector since she houses a supernatural deity that can very well bring the entire world to ruin if she happens to let it run unchecked. But in actuality, Miyuki of course initially wanted nothing to do with Izumiko. If anything, his father kind of forced him into this and beat him when he expressed other wishes.
Like... took him to the woods and then violently assaulted him until he submitted. And then said with a straight face that "he fell down a hill."
And just coincidentally he's completely changed his attitude. He totally went back on everything he was saying before WILLINGLY AND NOT BECAUSE HE WAS VIOLENTLY BEATEN.
This of course leads to Izumiko and Miyuki’s relationship throughout the show to be a… rocky one. As Miyuki is forced into all sorts of dangerous events as a result of having to protect Izumiko and Izumiko feels guilty that Miyuki is literally forced into being her servant. I mean, that's a hell of a way to begin a "partnership." Your father tells you that you're supposed to serve this girl for the rest of your life, kicks the ever living shit out of you when you refuse, and you end up giving in because you're genuinely afraid that your father will outright kill you if you refuse any further. Yeah, what a great way to start them off on the right foot.
Literally FORCE them to be together.
In the perfect hypothetical version of this series that doesn’t exist, Izumiko and Miyuki would be the main focus of the series. Like, they’re the interesting ones. And believe it or not, despite the fact that Miyuki started out almost vehemently disliking or even hating Izumiko and then like in an episode or two that just being completely dropped…
I actually didn’t despise the relationship between Izumiko and Miyuki.
I mean I think that’s saying a lot for me as I found the primary romance in at least two of the other P.A. Works shows I’ve reviewed almost unbearable. Like for this one I could at least say yeah okay maybe if it was a bit more focused on or developed more.
...Oh. Speaking of, their relationship never actually progresses to that of a romantic nature within the actual show. I'm just referring to it as such because you know, the goddamned opening completely gives it away immediately. Because you know, you gotta have that to lure them in. Even if in the material this series is adapting they're not at that point yet.
But anyways, the show is of course not centered entirely around Izumiko and Miyuki. There’s another plot that’s happening as well and that’s where things really become a mess…
Okay, so apparently, the school
Izumiko decided she wanted to go to in Izumiko's family wants her to go to in Tokyo is in fact a nexus of people with supernatural ability, and the school is divided into two factions vying for control.
Ichijou Takayanagi is the head of one of the factions and… well. I guess the quickest and easiest way to put it is that he’s the closest thing to an antagonist that this series has. Like I already mentioned, I never caught a single whiff of what this guy’s goal was. He was just being an asshole to be an asshole I guess.
“Why’d you summon an army of ghosts?”
“Because I’m the bad guy, duh.”
And then… and then you have the Souda Alliance. Triplets!
Or rather twins because one of them died and became a supernatural entity/ghost monster that’s still capable of appearing in humanoid form to a very limited amount of people, or even taking limited control of his brother and sister.
To be honest, the Souda siblings were one of the primary sources of a lot of my frustrations with this series. There just seems to be so much time dedicated to them and they are just… number one, with the exception of their ghost sibling, they are WAY less interesting than the main characters.
Masumi is the ghost sibling. He just slaps the antagonist around while the other two Soudas are wasting their time with this weird stupid school politics crap.
Number two, there is a point where the show itself forced me to turn on the Souda Alliance entirely and permanently. Like they’re supposed to be friends with Izumiko and Miyuki but they lead them into the woods while on a trip to ambush and attack them because they want Izumiko and Miyuki to side with the Souda Alliance against Takayanagi. Mostly just Izumiko, though.
First of all, it’s literally an ambush. Secondly, that’s not how you go about trying to obtain somebody’s alliance. Thirdly, the Soudas were on friendly terms with them. I mean yeah, Izumiko and Miyuki basically voiced the opinion of wanting to stay out of the conflict, but… how did they think they would react to an ambush in the woods? It really comes off like the Soudas truly thought they weren’t doing anything wrong.
And if the characters actually made rational and logical decisions in this series, Izumiko and Miyuki would immediately cut ties with the Souda Alliance because sure, Takanayagi made a computer explode in one of the Souda’s faces and summons ghosts, but the Soudas aren’t very good either, it seems.
Because later near the very end of the show, one or more of the Soudas are finally showing a bit of remorse or thought about their actions and he almost verbatim says “maybe we should stop trying to take over the school.”
...That was your primary goal? I thought it was to stop Takanayagi because quite frankly, he’s a bit of an asshole, but the way it comes off is that they were gonna try and take over the school regardless and Takanayagi was just an obstacle that got in the way.
...Actually, the more I think about it, I guess it’s really just the female Souda I have problems with. Because also near the end of the show, she randomly floats to Miyuki the idea that they should have a fake political marriage for… some reason?
It really just completely came out of fucking nowhere. And like I just remembered a couple of episodes back where like she was in tears because she thought she was gonna lose her one remaining brother and end up alone.
But now here she is having to be reminded by Miyuki that a fake marriage, while fake, would likely deeply hurt the people around them. Because you know, the Souda trio had said various things throughout the whole show like: “one day, we three will be one.” and etc. And like when the ghost brother tries to confess his love to Izumiko and is then rejected, he tells his sister sorry for cheating on her?
...Is it still incest if the brother is dead and also possibly a magical CG ghost dragon? Is... is the implication here actually that the triplets love each other that way? Or are they talking about like some sort of spiritual love? Because yes even Izumiko makes a remark that Masumi's love is different to human love but was that what that was supposed to be? Because Masumi was gonna abandon his siblings to spend the rest of his existence with Izumiko in the
...So yeah to sum this section up, Red Data Girl’s quirky cast of characters are really just normal high school teens. Nothing strange about any of them at all… ha-ha…
I’m just going to apologize in advance. As I’m actively making the decision that I’m just gonna let this section… be whatever it ends up being. I spend very little time in revising my reviews if at all, but I do tend to typically prefer for them to be orderly.
But as I’ve made it very clear, I view the plot or the actual meat of the show to just be… complete and utter fucking nonsense. Like if I can’t even get clear character motivations, relationships to other characters, or goals then what in the hell am I supposed to hope for as far as plot goes?
It starts relatively sanely. Izumiko cuts her hair one day because she wants to change.
From this point, this series could have went in any direction.
Miyuki is forced to transfer to be with Izumiko against his will and all that stuff happens. But then it’s quickly revealed that there’s something odd about Izumiko, and oh hey, one of Izumiko’s classmates is acting weird and oddly obsessive towards Izumiko.
Well, that’s because he’s in fact not a human being at all, but in fact a familiar who Izumiko subconsciously created and he wants to prevent Izumiko going to Tokyo with Miyuki so he and Miyuki fight and Miyuki wins and then that’s over and they go to Tokyo and Wamiya is gone for a good portion of the show until he’s back as a crow and sometimes he can give Miyuki crow wings for some reason???
With that arc being over and done they do in fact go to Tokyo and start going to high school but oh no the high school they are going to is crazy supernatural high school although there are apparently also normal people there too (???). Izumiko sees a guy but with her glasses off she sees him as a spooky shadow guy and that’s because it turns out he is in fact not a human being at all but an entity known as a spirit agent created by the guy running for student council president.
Takanayagi shows up irritated that his magic spy has been seen through and immediately pelts Izumiko with salt because he sees the truth of her identity. She is in fact the Red Data Girl the ancient legends speak of who is destined to rise up and bring the world to an end.
She will destroy all of technology and humanity shall sink into never ending despair as the time of the apocalypse approaches with every minute that passes the darkness will consume all the darkness the darkness the darkness
The Soudas seek to oppose Takanayagi so when rumors of his weird fortune telling website spread throughout the school, female Souda seeks to investigate and it just happens that she is in fact a master hacker so she attempts to infiltrate the website mad hacker style but Takanayagi being a master of the digital world senses this so therefore causes the computer she’s using to explode in her face using his powers.
Being trounced and having her hacker skills put to shame infuriates her brother so he goes to claim vengeance upon Takanayagi.
Then they proceed to the Souda homeland and the Soudas attempt to earn the allegiance of Izumiko and Miyuki by attacking them in the woods and then the living male Souda learns that his horse is in dire straits and immediately leaves, for he decided that the fate of his horse is far more important than his sister’s bullshit.
Yes, the horse is the key to all of this. We can save the universe from the Red Data Girl as long as we have the horse and its mystical powers to curb the coming apocalypse.
But unfortunately the horse flatlines.
It is dead. The horse is dead. THE HORSE IS DEAD. THIS TIMELINE IS DOOME
The living male Souda falls into depression and states that his horse’s death has made him realized that they are all going to die one day. And if they’re going to die one day anyways, he may as well as go right now.
He mounts the ghost of his now dead horse and rides off to another plane of existence where he plans on abandoning his sister once and for all to hang out with his dead brother for the rest of existence.
But the Red Data Girl cannot have this. The Soudas are integral to the plot. The balance shall be overthrown if one of them are gone, so Izumiko and Miyuki depart to forcibly drag the living Souda back to reality. But it’s revealed that Masumi is a magical spiritual CG dragon and he wishes to take the place of living Souda for being dead sucks apparently. They must contain the dragon if they wish to escape in one piece.
Thankfully, Red Data Woman arrives possessed by the Goddess and contains the CG dragon and they escape with their lives intact. The Souda homeland arc has truly been one of the most important stretches of the show and surely will play an important impact on the rest of the events to
Next up, the Goddess reveals to Miyuki after possessing Izumiko that she is in fact not actually a Goddess at all. No, in actuality, the Goddess is a dead human that is possessing Izumiko from beyond the grave, bypassing the boundaries of time itself. Or… something?
I guess she could just be meaning all the different people she’s possessed over the years but… no she definitely mentions destroying humanity once?
Then another time she was caught and was experimented by a secret society of scientist goblins?
What? What the fuck is this seri
But hey it’s cool because at the end Izumiko arrives at the revelation that the entire show has gradually been steering her towards and what everything has been building up to the whole time and totally wasn't just another link in a chain of nonsense. She is in fact not being possessed AT ALL throughout the entire series. She is the Goddess herself. She IS the Red Data Girl herself.
But... wait. Huh? No, that can't be right. The Goddess is still like its own... thing, right? Like sure Takanayagi made her mad and she finally used the Goddess' powers on her own without being possessed by her, but, that doesn't disprove the Goddess' existence right? But wouldn't her being able to use her powers mean that yeah she's fully become the Goddess???
Actually, hold the fuck on here, it's the final episode and the show just like fully went back to the school festival and Takanayagi vs Souda but like... WHAT ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE GODDESS IS TIME TRAVELING? OR THAT SHE'S JUST A DEAD HUMAN? THAT WAS JUST THREW OUT THERE SO CASUALLY AND IT'S KIND OF HUGE WHY HAVEN'T WE EXPANDED ON ANY OF THAT???
SHE SAID SHE'S DESTROYED HUMANITY ONCE. WHY ARE WE FOCUSING ON THIS STUPID GODDAMNED FESTIVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
None... none of this makes any sense...
This doesn't make any sense. Hello? Where am I? Why is it so dark? Hello? It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts it hurts it hurtshurtsithurtshurtshurtshurtshurtshurts
The machine’s monitor suddenly turns to garbled static as its speakers emit a high pitched screeching noise. The researchers scramble as they desperately attempt to correct the problem.
“I told you it was too early! The Data TGG couldn’t handle a P.A. Works!”
“Shut up! This is the future of our Goblin research! If we can manage to get an artificial intelligence to the point of being able to analyze these things, then we won’t need to have to procure so many subjects! Besides, this is a copy of a subject that’s survived several P.A. Works… so I’m sure it’s just a minor… ah, see? I found it! I’ll just… delete that and then… boom! There we go! I’ll show the Head Researcher yet!”
...That’s… odd. I felt as if I had just learned something that shook the very foundation of my being but… I can’t seem to remember what it was…
...Hm? Oh, yes… the review. I can’t believe we’re already at the conclusion! It feels like I only sat down to write the review just a moment ago. Blue Data Girl is not a very good series. What little fun supernatural stuff there is is undercut by how much of a boring slog the rest of the series is. You just want the Goddess to take over Izumiko already and the Souda siblings to just get off of the screen.
So much time was put into that stupid goddamned rivalry between the Soudas and Takanayagi and the Soudas didn’t even really do anything to best him. No, Izumiko gets angry and literally turns him into a dog, and then the adult magicians show up to handle the ghost army or something. And like yeah maybe I would have cared about Miyuki bravely taking on ghosts in another plane of existence to try and drag Izumiko back to the physical world if there had been more to their relationship.
It starts out with them hating each other, then Miyuki begrudgingly having to do all of the action shit, and then them both being annoyed or frustrated with each other but they don’t just fucking talk to each other to resolve it. Miyuki wants Izumiko to actually rely on him and Izumiko is fucking terrified of the entity that can destroy humanity within her and that Miyuki is just serving her rather than Izumiko.
And of course, since this is an adaptation of a novel series, there’s no conclusion. Just a flat out hint at a continuation that would have led into the next novel’s events that obviously never came. Miyuki and Izumiko’s relationship never reaches the point the opening just immediately gives away, the Souda vs Takanayagi thing is never fully resolved, and I guess Izumiko's accepted that she's the goddess but The Goddess may still end up taking her over one day and destroying humanity...???
Boring as all hell, nonsensical, and whatever the plot was never is satisfactorily completed. I give Blue Data Girl a 10 out of 100. And similar to its younger P.A. Works sibling Glasslip, I would say this is another show I can really only recommend to fellow masochists or those who wish to watch every single P.A. Works series.
Goodbye! And see you in the next review!