That new season is so near and yet so far. I have to sit back and impatiently wait for the first episodes to roll around so I finally have something to write abou-wait, what’s that? A first episode pre-air on Nico with shoddy web-rip quality of an anime that nobody seems to care about? Great! I’m back in my element. Let me just dust off my snark.
Red Data Girl tells the story of a girl with crippling social shyness problems and her attempts to overcome them. Think something like Kids on the Slope except instead of meeting a brash likable youth who encourages her to break out of her shell, she instead meets the worlds biggest asshole who causes her to regress deeper inside her shell as he mentally abuses her for the entire episode. There’s also some side story about the girl being a magical pixie lady who can make electronics break down, so maybe we should call this Red Ring of Death Girl do ho ho I’m so witty.
OK that wasn’t funny, but that’s fine because it’s already one more joke than Red Data Girl tried to do. One thing I quite liked about previous PA Works anime is they always had a sense of humour. Hanasaku Iroha had an episode where they re-imagined everyone as mermaids, including making the granny look like a sort of underwater posher version of Jabba the Hutt. Even if the drama didn’t interest me in stuff like Tari Tari, it was at least fun to watch the characters go about their daily lives. Red Data Girl has none of that. It’s incredibly self-serious about really boring standard school life scenes. This does come as part of the girl being so shy, but shyness can in itself be a form of comedy.
The primary complaint here is that the show is simply boring. The plot is too standard to stand out on its lonesome, and it doesn’t stand out in particular area to make it worth recommending. That said, the story of this girl struggling to overcome her social anxiety may be interesting if developed well. The show starts with her cutting her hair as a symbol of her determination to change herself, and I do want to see her change. Her shyness might be annoying to some people who want their characters to be perfect flawless boring twats, but I like me some flawed characters who show the potential to develop. She is an OK example of a flawed character.
The male lead is a nice example of how to make your character too flawed. Some asshole characters make you want to punch them in the face because they are meant to be the villains. That is a job well done. Other asshole characters you sort of want to applaud their actions because an asshole was exactly what that situation needed. Again, congratulations on a job well done. There are asshole characters who you want to punch in the face again, but it’s because you want them to stop being an asshole and you will enjoy the experience of seeing them stop being an asshole because you can sense that there is a good person in them.
The male character in Red Data Girl is the kind of asshole you want to push off a cliff and never see again, and yet the show seems to be saying “look at this poor troubled individual, now I demand you call him attractive and ship him with the main girl”. No Red Data Girl. I will not. I wish he had fallen off that cliff and that had been the end of it. That may be harsh, but fuck that guy. I don’t want to see him angst over his problems with being made to stay with this girl as he learns to accept her. I’d like as asshole like that to just spend the entire show falling off cliffs. Please call me if the entire show does literally become just Asshole Falls Off Cliffs.