This week features a heavy dose of slice-of-life while introducing a new villain. Red Data Girl knows how to mix the supernatural with everyday life into a satisfying blend.
Apparently Izumiko is going to Hogwarts. Every other student seems to have some sort of spiritual power. The appearance of these magical classmates helps secure Red Data Girl’s supernatural underpinnings while expanding its slice-of-life elements. Up until this outing, it felt like Sagara and Izumiko were on an distant island, isolated from the ‘normal’ world around them until the new band of supporting characters washed ashore. New faces are important for Izumiko’s growth, especially those that can partake in both halves of her life. It doesn’t hurt that they’re an interesting bunch as well.
Not having any of the cast excluded from the arcane events that surround Izumiko consequently smooths out the pacing for the show. The episode fluidly transitions between slice-of-life and fantasy elements, weaving them together seamlessly and giving the show strong sense of setting. Red Data Girl’s world might be different from our own but doesn’t feel like a foreign place at all. Maybe even at our own high schools there could be a rag tag group of magically inclined teenagers doing battle with dark forces, hidden in the shadows of our backs. It’s just another strength for a series that has been using mystery to string its audience along until this point.
Speaking of mystery, who exactly is Takayanagi? After his attempt to curse Mayura, Izumiko’s roomate, it’s easy to dislike the guy. Him being a nearly identical twin to Wamiya just seals the deal. It’s apparent that he’s targeting Izumiko, but the question still begging to be answered is why. Hopefully he reveals his plans next week when Sagara and the gang go to confront the student-cum-sorcerer.
I only have one minor annoyance with the show as a whole and that is Saori Hayami’s voice acting. Her nasaly voice suits Izumiko well, but I still find it incredibly annoying. I feel like it’s a godsend that the character she plays is shy because it gives her less lines of dialogue in the script. It might be incredibly petty of me but this just might be a deal breaker going down the line. Maybe my will can withstand the grating in my eardrums for eight more episodes…
My concerns from last week still stand. A third of the way into the series and still there doesn’t seem to be any direction. A lack of focus in the storytelling is endemic to the slice-of-life genre but my gut says that Red Data Girl can overcome that hurdle. Luckily the show looks like its finally picking up some steam with the appearance of Takayanagi, but it’s still too soon to say how much of an impact he’ll have on the plot as whole.