Talking Points: Red Data Girl – Episode 5

Talking Points: Red Data Girl - Episode 5

Sometimes a series makes you ask why a certain decision was made. The current episode made me ask such question… Why does the student council president look like a guy? When she appears later on in the episode I wouldn’t have recognized her if it weren’t for the reintroduction… The incongruity of the identity and image of the character just creates confusion for the viewer. Making her look a bit more like a traditional girl could have prevented any possible incertitude. That small annoyance aside let’s take a look at what some folks had to say about the show.

@hypnospuppy#RDG Stop being so cold to her, Miyuki!

Dealing with jealousy, especially when you’re a teenager, can be a difficult thing. During our adolescence we often lean on our defensive mechanisms to protect us from the emotion. Jealousy acts like a lens, revealing our inner most insecurities. The same holds true for Miyuki whose jealousy stems from feeling inadequate compared to his father. He is the page to his father’s shining knight, lesser in every way imaginable. Considering his dislike for his old man, it’s natural that he’s envious of his parent’s greater skill and knowledge.

Shining Knight

But how does Izumiko factor in between the two? At first blush, it might seem like he’s afraid of losing the girl to his father. To shield himself from any future dejection he distances himself from her. Except this is only one explanation for his cold atitude. Looking deeper though, Izumiko represents so much more. She is a palpable manifestation of his inadequacies.

When Miyuki’s father forcibly takes over her guardianship in this episode, Miyuki becomes unimportant. He starts to realize how up until this point he has been unable to protect his charge. In the previous two incidents, the problems were handled by Izumiko and Masumi respectively. His father arrival at Hojou just solidifies this self-doubt. If he distances himself from Izumiko, he avoids even the possibility of failing her again in the future and being reminded how far out of his father league he truly is.

‏@SherryFai: How is Izumiko’s hair so straight when her hair is on braids all the time? Logic! #RDG #RedDataGirl

I’m not going to rag on this tweet but use it as a jump off point for the importance of visual cues in Anime. Izumiko’s hair throughout the series has been vital in showing the her change in character. In the first episode she cuts her bangs to symbolically represent her independence. She’s shedding the chains of her father, who has asked her to go to Hojou Academy. Instead she opts to go to a more local school. There is no scorn or resentment in the way she trims away the strands. Izumiko innocently looks into the mirror, unsure of her way with the scissors. But after its all said and done she is pleased with the results, proud of the choice she has made.

The Himegami

Later on in the series, her hair also represents a deeper spiritual transformation of Izumiko into the Himegami. Her unwinding braids stand for a separation from the physical realm. The Himegami isn’t bound by earthy rules. She transcends existence. Izumiko’s hair not only helps the audience differentiate between the two characters but denotes important characteristics in them as well.

Red Data Girl is a good show that has a surprising amount of suspense in spite of its slow pacing. Make sure to follow us on our social media and to comment below!

3 thoughts on “Talking Points: Red Data Girl – Episode 5

  1. At this point I’m only really continuing to watch RDG because I’m over halfway through a 12-episode series and the art is pretty. I didn’t particularly mind the slow pacing at first and the anime has plenty of interesting points as far as story and characters go, but I feel like the last couple of episodes have been fairly disappointing. What with the plot being reduced mainly to dialogue, I’m not sure whether RDG has time to actually tell the rest of its story coherently and intelligently without the ending seeming incredibly rushed.

    • Well what you have to remember is that the goal has been set: make sure the Himegami isn’t resurrected. The narrative delves into negative space, making sure that a certain event doesn’t take place rather than actively trying to reach a specific plot point. I feel like this fits RDG’s slice of life framework quite nicely

      • That’s just it though – I don’t view RDG as a slice-of-life anime. It certainly has some slice-of-life elements but before anything else it’s a
        supernatural/fantasy show with what’s actually quite an ambitious plot (or rather, several plots now). Negative space or no, there’s an awful lot here that needs to be dealt with in order for RDG to wrap up as a complete and coherent story, and I just don’t think there’ll be time for that in only 5 more episodes. (Of course, there could simply be a season 2, although I’m not sure the series is popular enough for that to happen.)

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