After watching Red Data Girl 2 and 3, I can see that I was hasty about dismissing it. I’m not sold on the series as a whole yet, but there’s more to like than I had thought.
In episode two, one of the biggest problems I had with episode one, Miyuki being an asshole, was mitigated by his not being quite as big an asshole. His anger towards her for being useless, coupled with his frustration at having to serve her, has turned to exasperation. He’s still an asshole, mind you, but at least we don’t have to watch Izumiko shrink back from him in every scene. And things start to happen. They go off on a school trip to the big city where Miyuki misreads Izumiko’s frightened mood as fear of crowds but is in reality something nastier. First noticed on the plane full of electrical devices, where Izumiko could cause all sorts of mayhem if she loses control, she later spots the black blobs nearly everywhere. And it’s pretty damn scary, even if we don’t know what’s going on.
The two kids try to reach a rendezvous point with Izumiko’s mother (I forget why) but they’re being tailed and have to take cover. Later, when the immediate danger has passed, we get a great moment when the spirit who’s to reside in Izumiko takes her for a test drive, so to speak. It’s Izumiko’s body, but its movements are like that of a expertly-handled puppet, moving slowly and gracefully, beautiful but with a sense of great power and possible menace. The music, as striking as the image, and the fact that she’s glowing a little certainly help. That and the robe. And when she speaks we get finally get some exposition that we can understand.
Episode three presents us with a quandry. We got Wamiya, childhood friend, kind of distant and weird, suddenly getting all dangerous. He possesses some schoolboys who are trying to rough Miyuki up so that the fistfight almost gets deadly, telling Izumiko that she’s impure now, causing their car to crash, that sort of jealous middle-schooler rage. I don’t want to give it all away, but watching this episode made me scratch my head. Did we just lose one of the main characters this early in the show? If Wamiya had been created and wasn’t on the school roster and all that, how come the girls all knew him? And where did she pull this dance stuff from? On the other hand we get Miyuki acting like a wuss at one point and Izumiko calling him out on it. That was satisfying. Anyway, it seems that all the events we’ve seen so far were a prelude for the real story, whatever that is. It’s hard to tell where it will go next because the show likes to tease us with little backstory bits. But at least now I’m looking forward to the next episode.