Red Data Girl

Red Data Girl        Red Data Girl Poster

Director: Toshiya Shinohara, Series Composition: Michiko Yokote

Voice Actors: Saori Hayami, Kouki Uchiyama, Jun Fukuyama, Kaito Ishikawa, Rie Kugimiya, Akira Ishida, Kazuhiko Inoue

Studio: P.A. Works

My last First Impression for Spring 2013 post rambles on about my one supernatural mystery anime of the season which is based on a series of light novels by Noriko Ogiwara. I reported about this for AUKN over Christmas in 2011 and was rather intrigued by the use of Shinto mythology.

The story starts at Tamakura shrine deep in the Kumano Mountains. It is a sacred and beautiful place and a World Heritage site in real life.

 Red Data Girl Tamakura Shrine

Who resides at this peaceful place? Izumiko Suzuhara, a 15-year-old girl who has been raised at the shrine for nearly all of her life.

 Red Data Girl Izumiko at the Shrine

Her father works in America while her mother, who she has not seen in many years, is somewhere in Tokyo. She is under the care of her grandparents who work at the shrine, and her guardian Yukimasa Sagara, a man who is close to her mother. Izumiko is something of an oddity at school due to the sheltered nature of her life which has left her behind modern styles and technology. She is also the focal point of spiritual energy.

She is on the verge of a momentous change since she will be leaving her small town to attend Houjou Academy in Tokyo, a place where students from all over Japan and the world at large with supernatural abilities have gathered so they can be tested for their powers and then whittled down so that the person with the greatest power can be given special privileges.

 Red Data Girl Houjou Academy

What supernatural ability does Izumiko have?

Like her mother, she is a shrine maiden who has the ability to be the spirit vessel for an ancient goddess with great power.

 Her guardian Yukimasa Sagara has placed his son Miyuki as her servant.

 Red Data Girl Miyuki's Rebellion

Miyuki is not too happy about this. Miyuki hates his father and doesn’t want to listen to his orders. He isn’t too fond of Izumiko who he views as too weak.

However during a supernatural encounter on a school trip a mysterious entity known as a Himegami reveals to Miyuki the true potential of Izumiko. She will be the last representative (yorishiro) of the Himegami goddess and he will be a guardian (yamabushi).

Red Data Girl Izumiko is Possessed!!!

Because of this shared fate and the importance Izumiko now has the two become close and so they stick together as they meet the new students at Houjou Academy, some of whom are determined to come top of class and get the privileges given to those with the most power.

In a season full of action, drama, and comedy I was hoping for something different, something along the lines of Another, a series that took its time and allowed me to indulge in watching some world building. Red Data Girl is definitely similar because it is a slow-burn tale placing the supernatural in a realistic arena. Six episodes in and there is a mounting supernatural atmosphere with a central mystery that is slowly unravelling. Nothing I find scary, just sinister and it is thanks to the anime being atmospheric and its use of Shinto Mythology which means that it has some new, unfamiliar ground where everything is a surprise.

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Zombideo, I Don’t Want to Go to School, Blue Exorcist Trailer and the Japanese Movie Box Office Chart

old boy endChristmas came and went a little too quickly for my taste this year. The big day happened, I ate heartily gave out a lot of presents and received a lot and before I knew it I was back in work! Over the Christmas period I watched some low-budget J-horror films and a lot of giallo titles including the gloriously titled Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key. Seriously, that is an awesome title. I thought the movie was equally awesome. Anyway, it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2012 but this week I got a lot done including a review of The Voice and my Best Of string of posts including best video game, best film and best film/anime. Tomorrow I look forward to some of the far eastern titles getting a release in the UK next year and on New Year’s Eve I use my last post of the year to babble about stuff and thank people and other things. I promise plenty of great images! 

What does the Japanese box office look like today?

  1. One Piece Film Z
  2. Les Miserables
  3. Love for Beginners
  4. Skyfall
  5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  6. Kamen Rider X Kamen Rider Wizard & Fourze: Movie War Ultimatum
  7. Humanoid Monster Bem
  8. The Castle of Crossed Destinies
  9. Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo
  10. Frankenweenie
  11. The Floating Castle

One Piece still dominates the charts and only one of last week’s releases, The Castle of Crossed Destinies, breaks into the top ten. Skyfall climbs back up the chart and The Hobbit has a major fall.

What was released yesterday and what is released today in Japan?

Blue Exorcist                Blue Exorcist Film Poster

Japanese Title: 劇場版 青の祓魔師

Romaji:  Gekijouban Ao no Exorcist 

Release Date: 28th December 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Atsushi Takahashi

Writer: Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay), Kazue Katō (Original Creator

Starring: Nobuhiko Okamoto (Rin Okumura), Jun Fukuyama (Yukio Okumura), Tetsuya Kakihara (Amaimon), Rie Kugimiya (Usamaro) 

I cannot really drum up any enthusiasm for this because I have no watched the TV anime. I do know the staff and cast behind it. The movie is animated by A-1 Pictures who are behind one of my favourite anime shows of the summer season, Sword Art Online. The director is Atsushi Takahashi who was assistant director on Spirited Away, one of my all-time favourite cinema experiences. Reiko Yoshida is responsible for the screenplay and she wrote the screenplay for The Cat Return, an anime I really like. Music is provided by Hiroyuki Sawano (Guilty Crown), Shinji Kimura is art director and he has worked on a huge array of films including Akira, Project A-Ko, Spriggan, Steamboy, Tekkonkinkreet which all have distinctive and brilliant animation and art. Keigo Sasaki, who worked on the rather good Le Chevalier D’Eon, is providing the character designs.

 

 

Zombideo                                                      Zombideo Film Poster

Japanese Title: ゾンビデオ

Romaji: Zombideo

Release Date: 29th December 2012 (Japan)

Running Time: N/A

Director: Kenji Murakami

Writer: Katsuo Kawai (Screenplay),

Starring: Mami Yajima, Miyuki Torii, Takashi Nakajima, Jouichi Ohori

Ah… zombies. I have had my fill of zombies this year what with The Walking Dead. Originally made in 2011, this horror comedy stars Mami Yajima who is a member of the idol group “°C-ute”. There have been quite a few films like this made over the past year. This one looks like low-budget fun with plenty of fights, bizarre characters and cheap make-up. As it is the end of the year, I do not think I would go out my way to see this.

Aiko (Yajima) works for a TV production company and discovers a video called “Introduction to Science”, a “how to” video which features a guide on dealing with zombies. Good timing really because a zombie army floods Japan and it is up to Aiko to beat back the ravenous hoards.

 

I do not Want to Go to School – Chrysalis                   Sanagi Film Poster

Japanese Title: さなぎ 学校に行きたくない

Romaji: Sanagi Gakkou ni Ikitakunai

Release Date: 29th December 2012 (Japan)

Running Time:103 mins.

Director: Junko Miura

Writer: N/A

Starring: N/A

This documentary follows Ai Kinoshita, a school girl who lives in Ina Valley in Nagano Prefecture, a place full of beautiful nature. When Ai refuses to go to school, her family are upset and have to explore alternative forms of education and simply spending time with friends and family in order to get Ai back into school again.

Kyousogiga Anime

There are some anime films that I can watch every year. There are some television shows, not many, that I can watch more than once. There are many many more anime that have an interesting concept or look great and then they bore me to tears and I bail out after a few episodes. This 25 minute OVA has caught my attention and I feel like I can watch it over and over and over again.

Kyousogiga

The story takes place in a mirror world version of Kyoto where humans and spirits are thrown together. An incident causes a young girl named Koto to wander into this world where she meets a mysterious monk, gets chased by tech-obsessed girls and uncovers a mysterious plot.

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