I didn’t think it was possible, but Red Data Girl proves that there’s still anime that can surprise me.
Most of the time, I find myself looking at a new series, watching the OP, and pretty much figuring out what’s going to happen within five minutes of the show. I think most of us have learned to develop this skill; when there’s just too much information bombarding you from all sides, you need a quick way to edit and focus on what’s most important and to discard or ignore things that are not. In a season where there’s at least ten new shows to watch, separating the wheat from the chaff is a necessary way to preserve one’s sanity.
One of the main reasons why I’m continuing Red Data Girl for now is because I still haven’t figured it out. I remember reading one aniblogger saying that s/he thought that the series was going to be a reverse harem based on the opening. I lol’ed at that, but at the same time, I could see where they’re coming from. It’s not really all supernatural, or a mystery, or a romance — yet it seems to be touching on all those. I think I really do enjoy series that don’t really fit in any specific genre category; in letting the narrative take its time and due course, the anime feels less contrived. Sometimes a story could take a meandering path before it reaches its end, and it’s in the unexpected turns that makes it memorable.
Another reason why I’m sticking with this show is Izumiko herself. Maybe it’s a bit of cheating since I am getting two characters in one… maybe I just like scenarios where internal conflict is dramatized in the trope of two souls inhabiting one body. I know I loved it in Yurara/Rasetsu. It’s interesting to watch Izumiko become the Himegami (and maybe vice-versa, I don’t know, I haven’t seen enough yet) but still she insists on her own personal autonomy. For me, Izumiko is a ganbare girl, except she does it all without really saying all the slogans and self-affirmations. She’s not fully confident, but she’s making all these tentative steps in that direction, with the abilities that she’s currently capable with. I like that about her. Very much.
Decision: Sticking around for the long haul. Though I do wish Funimation’s release wasn’t so behind; it’s getting a little tricky avoiding spoilers for episodes that have already aired.