RDG: Red Data Girl – Series Exploration and Review

Movie Bunker Score:

The Unique Ending of Red Data Girl

A Different Kind of Finale

Red Data Girl (RDG) was never a series that followed a conventional path, so it’s no surprise that its ending was also far from typical. Instead of providing a satisfying conclusion, the show left viewers with a sense of ambiguity and an unfinished story. The message seemed to be, “Go read the novels,” which may be frustrating for non-Japanese speakers as the novels were not translated into English. Despite this, we should still appreciate the fact that the series was created and explore its unconventional storytelling.

A Comparison with Shin Sekai Yori

It is interesting to compare RDG with another critically acclaimed series, Shin Sekai Yori. Both shows had unusual source material and faced challenges in their adaptations. However, while RDG condensed the story into 12 episodes, A-1 Pictures effectively brought Shin Sekai Yori to life with its 25 episodes, providing a definitive ending that satisfied fans. The contrast in these adaptations highlights the risks and difficulties faced by studios when funding ambitious, unorthodox anime. Unfortunately, the lack of commercial success may discourage future investments in similar thought-provoking projects.

An Expanding Plot and Unresolved Mysteries

RDG continued to expand its plot until the very end, leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions. Despite the incredible amount of exposition and character development, the series managed to avoid feeling rushed. However, this resulted in a vast amount of unresolved plot points. While the Souda triplets’ personal storyline received a somewhat concrete resolution, the larger plot itself was left largely untouched. Viewers are left with a desire to know more about the intriguing elements introduced throughout the series, despite the likelihood of never obtaining those answers.

The Final Episode’s Modest Goals

The Aftermath of Goddess Mode

The final episode of RDG primarily focused on concluding the ongoing Sengoku Festival arc. The episode picks up right after Izumiko unexpectedly enters Goddess mode, causing chaos and disabling all technology in her vicinity. She and Masumi disappear, leaving behind a panicked school. Meanwhile, Takayanagi and his henchmen find themselves phased into another dimension, further adding to Takayanagi’s humiliation of being turned into a dog.

Nonomura-san arrives amidst the chaos and hands Miyuki a staff, revealing that this is the day when Izumiko is fated to transform into the Himegami. Miyuki uses the staff to bring Takayanagi and the others back to their dimension, but he needs Wamiya’s assistance to find Izumiko. Nonomura-san hints at a “strong enemy” awaiting Miyuki. The circumstances behind Izumiko and Masumi’s presence in this new plane remain unclear, but it is evident that Masumi sees this as an opportunity. His possessive feelings towards Izumiko surface, and he manipulates the situation to entice her into staying hidden in her pocket dimension forever.

Proving Determination and Love

Miyuki’s journey in the series parallels the challenges he faces in this alternate dimension. Symbolically, he must confront the ghosts of Hachijouji Castle that threaten to overpower him. Through these trials, Miyuki’s unwavering commitment to Izumiko is tested. He desires more than just being her manservant or a mere Yamabushi. Instead, he wants to stand beside her as a friend and lover. Despite Masumi’s best efforts, Miyuki’s determination prevails, proving that his love for Izumiko runs deep. While their relationship remains open-ended, Izumiko’s feelings are apparent, and the future holds countless possibilities for their connection.

Looking Back at Red Data Girl

An Unresolved Story with Beautiful Animation

Overall, RDG fulfilled its potential as one of the standout shows of its season but faced limitations due to time constraints. Nevertheless, it showed continuous improvement throughout its run, captivating viewers with its evolving plot and well-developed characters. Paired with the exquisite animation by P.A. Works, which beautifully captured the essence of mono no aware, RDG was a visual delight. It is regrettable that broadcasting on Niconico before television release compromised the visual quality and fragmented the fanbase. Nonetheless, RDG remains a unique series that deserves recognition for its unconventional storytelling and representation of Shugendou and Shinto, breathing life into these aspects of Japanese culture.

The Financial Challenges and the Importance of Supporting Ambitious Projects

Sadly, RDG’s commercial success appears bleak, raising concerns about the future of similar thought-provoking anime. The risks associated with producing complex narratives often dissuade studios from funding such projects. However, it is crucial for studios to continue