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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My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected First Impressions

My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected

Director: Ai Yoshimura, Series Composition: Shotaro Suga, Character Designer: My Youth Romantic Comedy PosterYuu Shindou, Original Creator: Wataru Watari

Voice Actors: Takuya Eguchi, Saori Hayami, Ami Koshimizu, Aoi Yūki, Mai Nakahara, Marina Inoue, Takashi Kondo

Studio: Brain Base

Ha, the second anime I viewed from my Spring Preview Picks turned out to be this one with an elaborate title My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru). It catches the attention of everyone I mention it too. I loved it so here is a long post full of images like Attack on Titan. I’m keeping it relatively simple with plenty of images to avoid boring you guys to death.

I totally underestimated how smart the show would be. Anybody who loves school-based anime and those cynical about such things (and life in general) will find something here.

Japanese writers and directors manage to capture how I feel as a person far better than anyone from a culture closer to my own. The comedy Fine, Totally Fine brought home to me everything I feel and some of the ways I act in my post-adolescent drift towards adulthood while the central character in the anime My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected was pretty much cynical me during high school… well a more extreme outsider version of me…

My Youth Rom Com SNAFU Hachibana Resentment

The anime follows Hikigaya Hachiman who is a pretty antisocial high school student with no friends or girlfriend and a very, very cynical view on life.  His thoughts on those fellow students taking part in clubs and activities and falling in love are not kind: The people who enjoy their youth will eventually fall apart.

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One Off OVA: New Trailer

When I heard news that the character designer for the anime Kino’s Journey was working on a a new project, an OVA named One Off, I was pretty excited. While I resisted the moé vibes given off by the first trailer I did enjoy the art. Now the Japanese movie studio Shochiku has started streaming a second trailer.

Synopsis

The story focusses on Haruno Shiozaki, a second-year high school student who lives with her parents at their remote country boarding house in the highlands. She finds life boring and longs to live in the city. Her only joy is brought to her by her scooter, Honda’s Giorno. This will all change after a fateful meeting at the boarding house.

One Off Group PoseHaruno is voiced by Saori Goto (Kukura in Joshiraku). She will be joined by Saori Hayami (Miho in Bakuman, Saki in Eden of the East), Eri Kitamura (Karen Araragi in Bakemonogatari/Nisemonogatari), Yu Kobayashi (Nice Holystone in Bacanno!), and Sayuri Yahagi (Akechi in Oda Nobuna’s Ambition).

The director is Junichi Sato who has been involved with anime as diverse as Aria the Natural, Gegege no Kitarō, Princess Tutu and Slayers Premium. Shigeru Kimiya (Master Keaton) is acting as chief director. Original character designs come from Kouhaku Kuroboshi who designed Kino’s Journey and Sky Girls. His designs will be adapted for the OVA by Atsuko Watanabe (Acchi Kocchi, GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class). Masashi Suzuki (Tactics and Hell Girl) is writing scripts. Kenichi Tajiri (tsuritama, Aria the Origination) is the art director while music is provided by Takashi Harada (A Tree of Palme). The theme song which can be heard in the trailer comes from Nino and Round Table who worked together on the magnificent opening for Welcome to the NHK. Production is by TYO Animations (Tamayura).

The OVA will be released in two volumes. The first volume will be released on the 28th of November and the second will be released on the 21st of December. The two will be linked together in a theatrical screening at Osaka’s Namba Park Cinema on the 5th of August.

Voice Actors: Saori Goto (Haruno Shiozaki),Eri Kitamura (Rie Maezono), Saori Hayami Kouhaku Kuroboshi designs for One Off(Sayo Kaburagi), Sayuri Yahagi (Anri Bessho), Yu Kobayashi (Cynthia B. Rogers

Staff: Junichi Sato (Director), Shigeru Kimiya (Chief Director), Masashi Suzuki (Script), Atsuko Watanabe (Character Design), Kouhaku Kuroboshi (Original Character Design), Nino & Round Table (Theme Song), Takashi Harada (Music), Kenichi Tajiri (Art Director)

Studio: TYO Animation

Release: 05th of August 2012