Since I watched Red Data Girl #1-3 in preview format, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. Episode 4, though fairly low key (apart from the homunculus and the computer blowing up), sucked me back in without much effort. Now things shift from the rustic and pastoral to a rich kids’ school. I expected a lot of class snobbery, but there isn’t much. Instead, all the petty hatreds of high school seem to be shifted to the otherworldly. The super rich and smart and snobby Takayanagi is set up as the enemy when Ricardo, Brazilian exchange student and homunculus (not much class snobbery, but the show here relies on “other people” as threats, even while taking pains to deny it by showing a couple others who are perfectly normal), is spotted as such by Izumiko. Still, it’s an effective threatening sequence overall. The end is marred by people stepping out of shadows (or through windows) to reveal themselves as more than they seem, but I’ll let that slide.
Then I watched episode four, where not only do more people step out of shadows but they have a lot of confusing things to talk about. We start with the confrontation between Manatsu and Takayanagi … some confrontation. Manatsu whips out a third version of himself (his sister Mayuma is the second) and we get an explanation which confused the hell out of me, especially the guy wearing the dress, while he wipes out Ricardo the homunculus and some flying glowing things to boot. I had to resort to Wikipedia to figure out what had just happened. It’s nice that the show is trying so hard to keep us informed, but it kind of makes the events lag …
We get something to latch onto after that, as the other Sagara joins the school as a lecturer and tells Miyuki to basically piss off. Miyuki goes into a snit, joins the student council (why?) and tells Izumiko to stay away, until he learns that Izumiko is meeting some other characters who have secret powers and their own stories to tell, whereupon he forgets his snit, and goes off to save the day, only to have Izumiko go into himegami mode and not need the help. It gets confusing here again; I think the new guys thought Izumiko was some sort of performance god, but Izumiko/Himegami tells them emphatically NO, even if she has her own light show.
Miyuki’s in a tough position. No one there (well, the list is getting longer) knows about Izumiko’s potential and Miyuki is partly saddled with helping her keep the secret (while Izumiko doesn’t feel like she should keep secrets from her friends, and that list is growing, too), but as the older Sagara’s arrival suggests, he’s not really powerful enough to do much on his own. On the other hand, the himegami wants him to keep Izumiko from taking on this role, which goes against everything he’s been trying to do and turns the plot on its head as well. I think so, anyway. A lot of this episode just made me scratch my head.