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Old 2013-05-09, 13:44   Link #81
Haak
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That was a fun episode and I get the feeling there's a lot being built up now. It's still hard to fully make sense of everything but I like the internal politics and gameplay that's emerging between the students. I'm glad Izumiko is finally showing signs of being curious about the same things I am but I wish I could understand the answers that were given to her because I can't be sure if they're full answers or only part of the answer. I don't know for sure if the show is obfuscating things deliberately or not. Like Kanon, I'm also surprised Takayanagi is seen as such a threat considering how easily he was dealt with before.

And yes, drunk Izumiko is very fun.

Next episode is going to be lots of fun since it's going to show us more of Sagara's character. I guess I have something in common with Mayura in that I'm curious of what Sagara is capable of.
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Old 2013-05-09, 15:54   Link #82
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There's a lot of little things to like about Red Data Girl, but honestly, the storytelling is a bit weak.

Case in point...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
I thought Takayanagi was already out of the picture after the complete humiliation he suffered at the hand of Masumi, however it seems like that wasn't enough to make him give up on the power struggle. I have a hard time viewing him as a threat after that, but since Mayura sees him as such, I'll have to roll with that.
This isn't something that people should have to roll with. It's very questionable writing. Why the heck would you build somebody up as this threatening, major antagonist, only to have him get total 'mid-boss' treatment while he's getting built up like that?

Perhaps there is some sleight of hand going on here, but barring that, I find this an odd and self-defeating approach for the narrative to take.

Red Data Girl can be intriguing, but sometimes it goes too far with it, making it a bit of an inscrutable mess. It's mysterious, yes, but not always for good reasons. Contrast this with the somewhat similar but much tighter Hyouka, and RDG's weaknesses become very apparent, imo.


It's a shame, because the characters are great, the settings are nice, the overall visuals are of course gorgeous. But I find it a hard show to really get emotionally engaged in due to the way the plot unfolds. I'll give Episode 6 some credit, though; that was a very nice cliffhanger.
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Old 2013-05-09, 16:13   Link #83
kuromitsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Contrast this with the somewhat similar but much tighter Hyouka, and RDG's weaknesses become very apparent, imo.
For what it's worth, RDG is a one-cour anime based on a 6 volume novel series, as opposed to Hyouka which was based on what is basically a short story (Amazon says it's 217 pages long, RDG is more than six times this length given that the volumes are longer). I think we can safely assume that a ton of stuff is cut and streamlined away, and I think that if we take that into account, they're doing a great job not letting this show in the actual anime and making it pretty smooth.

And I really don't think it's as incomprehensible as many people think. I mean, just because it doesn't give answers and resolutions right away doesn't mean the answers and resolutions don't exist.

That said, I also find it difficult to be emotionally engaged in this show, but for me it's simply because it feels kind of, I don't know, generic? empty? (I still don't know exactly what word I'm looking for here.) I don't know if it's the fault of the source material or the anime, but it's taken me 6-7 episodes to really get interested in what's going on and to care about some characters.
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Old 2013-05-09, 17:16   Link #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
This isn't something that people should have to roll with. It's very questionable writing. Why the heck would you build somebody up as this threatening, major antagonist, only to have him get total 'mid-boss' treatment while he's getting built up like that?
I agree this is very puzzling writing but there's not much we can do about it. The show tells us Takayanagi is still a strong contender, we have to accept it for now or the story falls apart. I want to keep enjoying this show so I'll just roll with it, hoping his treatment will make more sense later on. There could be any number of explanations.
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Old 2013-05-09, 18:29   Link #85
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I officially have no idea what's going on anymore, or what is at stake. Everyone's respective faction is given a proper noun, but I have absolutely no frame of reference for what any of these groups stand for, or what they are capable of, nor can I ascertain which (if any) of them are at odds with or aligned with one another. I also cannot identify what they're fighting(?) over, assuming that there is anything specific at all.

I readily admit that to some extent it is on me to pay closer attention.

To RDG's credit, this has yet to frustrate me to the point of not enjoying the show, and I still looking forward to it. Though that is in spite of these things, and certainly not because of them.
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Old 2013-05-09, 19:09   Link #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
There's a lot of little things to like about Red Data Girl, but honestly, the storytelling is a bit weak.

Case in point...



This isn't something that people should have to roll with. It's very questionable writing. Why the heck would you build somebody up as this threatening, major antagonist, only to have him get total 'mid-boss' treatment while he's getting built up like that?

Perhaps there is some sleight of hand going on here, but barring that, I find this an odd and self-defeating approach for the narrative to take.

Red Data Girl can be intriguing, but sometimes it goes too far with it, making it a bit of an inscrutable mess. It's mysterious, yes, but not always for good reasons. Contrast this with the somewhat similar but much tighter Hyouka, and RDG's weaknesses become very apparent, imo.


It's a shame, because the characters are great, the settings are nice, the overall visuals are of course gorgeous. But I find it a hard show to really get emotionally engaged in due to the way the plot unfolds. I'll give Episode 6 some credit, though; that was a very nice cliffhanger.
Speaking for myself, I never thought for a minute Takayanagi was finished as a threat. I assumed he was licking his wounds and plotting his counterattack.
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Old 2013-05-09, 19:13   Link #87
kuromitsu
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I think the problem with Takayanagi is that he got his ass kicked so swiftly and thoroughly, that people didn't expect him to turn out to be a major force to be reckoned with.
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Old 2013-05-09, 19:44   Link #88
Guardian Enzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
I think the problem with Takayanagi is that he got his ass kicked so swiftly and thoroughly, that people didn't expect him to turn out to be a major force to be reckoned with.
I think there are two main issues at work here. The first has been touched on - this is a long, involved source material being condensed down into 12 episodes. Things like Takayanagi's swift initial downfall are likely a casualty of that. Given how rushed this adaptation is, I think it's remarkable it's been as coherent as it has.

The other thing is, RDG seems to be an especially tough series for a non-Japanese audience. This show is highly integrated with Shinto and Shugendo, and I think it doesn't bother to explain some things a Japanese audience will pick up on, but a non-Japanese audience (unless they're serious Shinto buffs) won't.
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Old 2013-05-09, 19:59   Link #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
For what it's worth, RDG is a one-cour anime based on a 6 volume novel series, as opposed to Hyouka which was based on what is basically a short story (Amazon says it's 217 pages long, RDG is more than six times this length given that the volumes are longer). I think we can safely assume that a ton of stuff is cut and streamlined away, and I think that if we take that into account, they're doing a great job not letting this show in the actual anime and making it pretty smooth.
Up through the first four episodes, I agree with you. But in the last couple of episodes, something felt "off" to me. Now that I know what you mentioned here, I can see why.

Although I am curious - Does P.A. Works intend to adapt all six volumes into an one cour anime?


Quote:
And I really don't think it's as incomprehensible as many people think. I mean, just because it doesn't give answers and resolutions right away doesn't mean the answers and resolutions don't exist.
RDG sometimes has this aimless feel to me, like it doesn't even know what the questions are, let alone the answers.

I was glad that the question of "What the heck is this school even for, anyway?" was more thoroughly delved into in this episode. Unfortunately, one of the possible answers was just short of "so bad its good" to me. More on that in a bit.


Quote:
That said, I also find it difficult to be emotionally engaged in this show, but for me it's simply because it feels kind of, I don't know, generic? empty? (I still don't know exactly what word I'm looking for here.)
"Empty" and "Aimless" can be pretty similar, so maybe we're getting the same sense there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ThereminVox View Post
I officially have no idea what's going on anymore, or what is at stake. Everyone's respective faction is given a proper noun, but I have absolutely no frame of reference for what any of these groups stand for, or what they are capable of, nor can I ascertain which (if any) of them are at odds with or aligned with one another. I also cannot identify what they're fighting(?) over, assuming that there is anything specific at all.
After Episode 6, the most I can gather is that there's (at least) two factions vying for power, and the Student Council is supposed to be neutral between them. The two (primary?) factions are Mayura and her fan club, and Takayanagi and his numerous supporters. Mayura and Takayanagi are two rivals gunning for the same prestigious position (I forget the name of it, off-hand).

I think that the Student Council is pissed with Mayura because they didn't think she'd tacitly support her fan club when the Student Council is supposed to be neutral (given that Mayura is now on the Student Council). In other words, the Student Council is concerned that Mayura may tarnish their neutral image, which would undermine their standing as judges.

Mind you, how the whole "Izumiko will destroy humanity if I possess her!" fits into all of this is beyond me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
I think the problem with Takayanagi is that he got his ass kicked so swiftly and thoroughly, that people didn't expect him to turn out to be a major force to be reckoned with.
Exactly. I don't have a problem with recurring villains who get more threatening with each new appearance (after all, I'm a superhero comic book fan, lol).

But Takayanagi's defeat was so swift and humiliating that I feel like I'm being asked to view Team Rocket's Jesse and James as these impressively threatening villains.

To be fair, I could have rolled with it, like Kanon did, except when Mayura openly theorized (and without a touch of irony in her voice) that the entire reason this school exists is to test Takayanagi. That... was a bit much to me after how Takayanagi was earlier defeated.

But oh well. Maybe something nerfed his abilities back when he got totally owned by the Souda brothers. Maybe he'll seem more impressive next time out. I certainly hope so.
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Old 2013-05-09, 20:34   Link #90
Guardian Enzo
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I wonder, though, if something of what you feel the series lacks - "heart" or whatever - might feel less lacking with a broader familiarity with the concepts behind it...
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Old 2013-05-09, 20:40   Link #91
kuromitsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I wonder, though, if something of what you feel the series lacks - "heart" or whatever - might feel less lacking with a broader familiarity with the concepts behind it...
Perhaps, but I've been feeling like this about the show since episode 2, so...

ETA

I thought the "spoiler" I wrote in my post above was innocuous and non-spoiling, but apparently I was mistaken...

Anyway, I'll just repost (rewrite) the rest of the post if that's OK...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I think there are two main issues at work here. The first has been touched on - this is a long, involved source material being condensed down into 12 episodes. Things like Takayanagi's swift initial downfall are likely a casualty of that. Given how rushed this adaptation is, I think it's remarkable it's been as coherent as it has.

The other thing is, RDG seems to be an especially tough series for a non-Japanese audience. This show is highly integrated with Shinto and Shugendo, and I think it doesn't bother to explain some things a Japanese audience will pick up on, but a non-Japanese audience (unless they're serious Shinto buffs) won't.
With Takayanagi, what bothered me wasn't really how fast he went down, but as Triple_R also said, how thoroughly he was defeated. I mean, we saw him whine helplessly as Masumi was bitchslapping him, after that it was a surprise to learn that he's supposed to be this hugely powerful person who is a real force to be reckoned with.

As for Shinto, I'm not a Shinto buff (of course I'm not entirely ignorant in the topic either) but I have no trouble following the spiritual side of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Although I am curious - Does P.A. Works intend to adapt all six volumes into an one cour anime?
Apparently, yes. Going by the novel titles, episode 8 corresponded to the end of volume 3. It seems that the six volumes form a continuous story, so there would be no point in stopping midway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
"Empty" and "Aimless" can be pretty similar, so maybe we're getting the same sense there.
My feeling of emptiness is not similar to what you described with "aimless" though. I just feel that the show in general lacks something. The closest I've managed to come up with is that it lacks heart. (Or perhaps personality?)

Last edited by kuromitsu; 2013-05-10 at 04:32.
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Old 2013-05-10, 08:34   Link #92
Gohan78
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Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
For what it's worth, RDG is a one-cour anime based on a 6 volume novel series, as opposed to Hyouka which was based on what is basically a short story (Amazon says it's 217 pages long, RDG is more than six times this length given that the volumes are longer).
Are you sure, Kuromitsu? AFAIK "Hyouka" is the title of the first novel in the Kotenbu series by Honobu Yonezawa. There are currently 5 books published, of which Kyoto Animation adapted the first four (plus some anime original material). They just kept "Hyouka" as the title of the whole anime.

Quote:
That said, I also find it difficult to be emotionally engaged in this show, but for me it's simply because it feels kind of, I don't know, generic? empty?
I agree with you. I find the story interesting but I can't connect with the characters on an emotional level. The only character I feel something for is poor Izumiko. Miyuki is too much of a jerk (though his father is worse...) and the other students are bland.

Maybe it's a lack of tension. Despite the ominous advice from the Himegami in episode 5, the characters don't look very worried. This petty school battle seems lackluster compared to the threat of humanity's extinction. Like others, I also find it difficult to take Takayanagi as a credible antagonist now.
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Old 2013-05-10, 09:07   Link #93
kuromitsu
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Are you sure, Kuromitsu? AFAIK "Hyouka" is the title of the first novel in the Kotenbu series by Honobu Yonezawa. There are currently 5 books published, of which Kyoto Animation adapted the first four (plus some anime original material). They just kept "Hyouka" as the title of the whole anime.
Could be - I read somewhere that it was just the first book, but my memory can't be trusted nowadays, and in any case I haven't seen the anime.
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Old 2013-05-10, 14:12   Link #94
Haak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I think there are two main issues at work here. The first has been touched on - this is a long, involved source material being condensed down into 12 episodes. Things like Takayanagi's swift initial downfall are likely a casualty of that. Given how rushed this adaptation is, I think it's remarkable it's been as coherent as it has.
This is actually the first I've heard of this and I'm honestly surprised because I've felt that although Wamiya's arc came to a quick conclusion, everything else has been very well paced.

Quote:
The other thing is, RDG seems to be an especially tough series for a non-Japanese audience. This show is highly integrated with Shinto and Shugendo, and I think it doesn't bother to explain some things a Japanese audience will pick up on, but a non-Japanese audience (unless they're serious Shinto buffs) won't.
Ah, so that's what's going on..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I wonder, though, if something of what you feel the series lacks - "heart" or whatever - might feel less lacking with a broader familiarity with the concepts behind it...
I don't feel it lacks heart. I felt there was plenty of heart in it when, for example, Izumiko got drunk.

But I do feel the lack of context can sometimes kill emotional engagement. For example, I didn't even know Mayura was making some power struggle moves until that student council girl supposedly "slapped her in the face" with it. But instead of just telling it, it would've been better if we had the context to feel that "slap in the face". It would make us more emotionally engaged with what the characters are having to deal with and thus the characters themselves.
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Old 2013-05-10, 18:51   Link #95
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I'm a bit late with this show, so I hadn't much time trying to connects the dots, but I agree about this undefined feeling about it. I like the mood, it's smooth and relaxing, but definitely something is missing. Probably the characters are a bit bland, despite I like them, so connecting with them is not immediate. The storytelling is also disconnected at times. I still don't understand Sagara initial so strong harshness toward Izumiko, for one thing.

Anyways, talking about Takayanagi, I also felt confused about the recent revelation about his still high position in the school politic dynamics.
Probably, I'm guessing, the show failed emphasizing enough the fact that he got defeated by a non-human. That means basically that there wasn't a real match between them in the first place. In fact the "human students" didn't butt in, as they said, they were just viewers. Like when you call your big bro, ghost bro in this case, to take revenge from your bully schoolmate. From this perspective his humiliating defeat is less significant in the magic-school-contest context they are in. Because basically it was unfair.
But it's hard to get the real power of each faction in play, inside and outside the school, so it's confusing.
It's like they are prioritising the mood (pace) of the show over everything else. And I can't say yet if it's a better approach than filling-up the episodes with informations as much as they can.
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Old 2013-05-11, 02:44   Link #96
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So from what I gather from reading the past replies, whoever wins gets the Book of Friends equivalent in this show. That's a pretty good stake to use.

I didn't catch that at all while watching though.
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Old 2013-05-11, 06:57   Link #97
Dop
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I'm still watching this show (only in the HD version) and I'm still enjoying it, but never really have much to say about it. it still intrigues me enough to carry on watching, and as it's one cour I'm in for the rest of the series now.

Really Izumiko should have been warned about the booze in the punch, because I've had fruit punch which you'd never guess had any alcohol in but had over half a bottle of Vodka in it.
When she started helping herself to more I did think "well this won't end wel!".
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Old 2013-05-11, 09:38   Link #98
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Oh, I disagree - I think it ended beautifully!
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Old 2013-05-13, 14:19   Link #99
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The first two drinks, I thought Izumiko was just being happy. Her third helping made me saw her fun side .

As for the series, They do cram a lot of information, but so far I've manage to keep up with it, so it's still enjoyable for me to watch.
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Old 2013-05-15, 19:43   Link #100
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Oy oy, Manatsu, there is something wrong with you. Your sister has a right to consider you important to her. She has a right to try to keep you from killing yourself. Moreover, I have yet to see a reason why you think you need to kill yourself.
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