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Hmm.....I'll be needing another episode to decide if Red Data Girl is worth watching to completion.
After the first episode, I was left with mixed feelings. I was intrigued by what Red Data Girl could turn out to be, but at the same time there wasn't much that I was excited about. The setting seemed interesting, but the drama had me wonder if I'd enjoy the series. As of episode two, I'm still undecided.
It's primarily the plot that's keeping me interested, because the romance-drama isn't do much for me. The pseudo-love triangle set up with Izumiko, Miyuki and Wamiya feels like something out of any old shojo romance. Miyuki's current prickly attitude will most likely subside in later episodes and Izumiko will end up conflicted about who to choose. I may be wrong, but right now that's exactly what feels like and that'll be a potential reason for me to drop the series early on.
Still. I can't ignore the part of Red Data Girl's story that actually interests me. There is just mystery at every turn, and a supporting atmosphere that goes with it. Everyone from Wamiya to Izumiko herself has a mystery attached to them. What I mostly liked about the episode was the air mystery, which didn't disappear until the end; arguably bordering on the horror side of things, but just enough to not be off-putting. I suppose the mystery will be the central focus of the plot, as we have yet to uncover anything of value and are presented with a number of questions.
On another note, Red Data Girl is well-directed (so far). There is a charm to the episode that I'm betting is the work of both the director and P.A. Works' animation team, which is hard to explain. Because it captures the dramatic and fantastical atmosphere of the series, it adds to the viewing experience in an understated way. It's not animation that's stand out, but one that accompanies the series with ease. I'll give it another episode or two before making my final decision. I do want to like it but I still have my reservations about the story.
Final Note: Fansub issues (apparently)