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Old 2013-05-15, 21:47   Link #101
DragoonKain3
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Bah, with my shipping glasses, I can't help but think the reason for Manatsu's suicidal tendencies is because he was aware of incestual feelings towards his sister. All this talk of "can't be together forever" and "each other's most important person" reeks too much of incest angst (well to be fair, osananajimi sometimes faces the same angsts in other stories, with the difference in the couple just being blood related or not XD).

Heck, maybe Masumi was the same as well. Wasn't able to wake up one afternoon? Sounds like the same poison that was injected to Tabi for me, and can't help but speculate he did it to himself after being aware of his feelings to Mayura.
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Old 2013-05-16, 09:34   Link #102
Kanon
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I have no clue what Manatsu is thinking. Maybe DragoonKain3 is right about the incest angst, but I was under the impression his feelings are more (less?) complex and related to Mayura's future position. They probably won't be able to stay together after she becomes whatever it is she intends to become. He's afraid to be separated from his remaining sibling, so he wants to join Masumi instead...? I don't know. This is confusing.

Oh, and poor horsey. He died before we even got to see him even though he's got a spot in the OP. Kinda cool that he can be summoned as a ghost though.
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Old 2013-05-16, 10:07   Link #103
Repelsteeltju
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So far, what's bothering me is the similarity between Manatsu and Masumi. In his first appearance Masumi looked like he looks in the OP but lately he's been appearing as Manatsu all the time and I can't help but find this ill-ominous.

Also why would a normal kid that died of heart failure become a high ranking spirit and one that's empowered by mt. Togakushi at that? Fine, there are tons of reasons why that could happen, but I'd say this reeks of a shared imaginary friend that wants to become unimaginary at the imaginors' expense plot. Or he might be a mountain God, like Wamiya, that can take form due to their shared images of their lost brother.

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Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
Heck, maybe Masumi was the same as well. Wasn't able to wake up one afternoon? Sounds like the same poison that was injected to Tabi for me, and can't help but speculate he did it to himself after being aware of his feelings to Mayura.
I doubt that because coupled with Masumi's stated ability to look into the past of the siblings at a glance it would mean that Masumi knows about and is OK with his own murder. I think you're on to something with the lethal injection though. The symtoms are surprisingly similar.
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Old 2013-05-16, 21:21   Link #104
Triple_R
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I don't know if an anime has ever left me in more confusion than what RDG has. But after this latest episode, I think that what Guardian Enzo wrote earlier on the thread might be correct.

I feel like there's two levels of interpretation that the viewer must pass through to kind of "get" what's going on, and what's motivating the characters.

First of all, I do get the impression that these characters like to play their cards close to their vests, and so you have to sort of read between the lines to get the true meaning/motivation behind their dialogue and their actions. This alone may well be to Red Data Girl's credit, as it gives the characters a certain sense of depth, nuance, and sophistication.

But there is a 2nd level of interpretation here that I think is particularly problematic for non-Japanese viewers - And that's all of this mysticism, dead spirits, ghosts of brothers and horses that sometimes materialize and act like they're totally real. To the Japanese, this might be a commonly known aspect of their cultural/spiritual heritage. But for myself, it's really weird and hard to get a handle of.

So having these two levels of interpretation - People don't tend to express their motivations clearly and plainly, and there's an air of Japanese mysticism to almost every scene - Makes this plot difficult to penetrate and understand, at least for me. If it was just one level or the other, it may not be so confusing, but having both makes it hard to understand the characters, imo.

I do think that the protagonists are generally nice, good-natured people, so I'm inclined to like them, but I certainly don't get them, and that is unfortunate.
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Old 2013-05-17, 01:53   Link #105
ookamigirl
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I like this anime because it's relaxing.
The drama and their relationships are interesting to watch as well.
New episode had a nice balance between happy & sad.
In the end the whole Tabi thing kinda weighed over on the sad side.
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Old 2013-05-17, 02:06   Link #106
Reckoner
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Woah, this episode was confusing, does anyone have a better idea of what's going on here ? This is the first time I think the pacing has left me high and dry on this show. It's too bad this wasn't more than 1 cour, so much intrigue around.
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Old 2013-05-17, 04:16   Link #107
kuromitsu
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As for the horse randomly materializing out of nowhere, I've been thinking about it and I think it was Masumi.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But there is a 2nd level of interpretation here that I think is particularly problematic for non-Japanese viewers - And that's all of this mysticism, dead spirits, ghosts of brothers and horses that sometimes materialize and act like they're totally real. To the Japanese, this might be a commonly known aspect of their cultural/spiritual heritage. But for myself, it's really weird and hard to get a handle of.
Frankly, it baffles me to see this. Of course if you think so then it must be so for you, but... I can only speak for myself, but I'm not Japanese, not even Asian in any way. I have no Japanese cultural heritage, I was born and I still live in a European country, I grew up reading and watching predominantly Western cultural products, in a predominantly Christian country. And yet I have no problem whatsoever following, accepting and understanding the spiritual layer. I've never felt it was alien or impenetrable. And I don't think that's because I'm exceptionally attuned to ~Japanese spirituality~ or anything...
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Old 2013-05-17, 05:33   Link #108
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
As for the horse randomly materializing out of nowhere, I've been thinking about it and I think it was Masumi.


Frankly, it baffles me to see this. Of course if you think so then it must be so for you, but... I can only speak for myself, but I'm not Japanese, not even Asian in any way. I have no Japanese cultural heritage, I was born and I still live in a European country, I grew up reading and watching predominantly Western cultural products, in a predominantly Christian country. And yet I have no problem whatsoever following, accepting and understanding the spiritual layer. I've never felt it was alien or impenetrable. And I don't think that's because I'm exceptionally attuned to ~Japanese spirituality~ or anything...
Then perhaps you'll be kind enough to explain some things to me...

1. What exactly was being tested at the beginning of this episode? From what Mayura was saying, it sounded like she was testing Sagara's ability to find off non-human spirits in order to reach the true culprit (i.e. Masumi). And yet, all of those mask-wearing attackers were actual humans (i.e. members of Mayura's fan club wearing masks). Was she testing Sagara's spiritual/exorcising powers, was she testing his basic fighting capabilities, or was she testing both?

2. Why is it such a big, freakin' deal for Manatsu and Masumi to spend a couple days switched and apart? Is Mayura worried that this will result in Masumi permanently replacing Manatsu? If not, does she simply suspect that Manatsu is suicidal over Tabi's death? If you ask me, there's nothing at all strange about a guy cutting short a student camping trip because an animal he loved died. I'm sure many kids have done such things upon hearing of the severe illness of a beloved pet dog. But Mayura acts like Manatsu wanting to leave early is hugely bad news and unacceptable. Why?

3. What was the Student Council President trying to accomplish with her dance there? Does she somehow know that Manatsu and Masumi have switched places? Can she sense a ghost there? Or is it that she senses that "I'm going to destroy humanity" spirit inside of Izumiko?


Where exactly does reality end and the mysticism begin? In other words, where is the concern completely naturalistic ("Manatsu is going to be suicidal after Tabi's death so I can't let him outside of my sight!") and where is it not ("Manatsu will permanently get replaced with Masumi if this switch is allowed to continue for long!")?

I look forward to your answers, kuromitsu, since this apparently is all so easy to follow, accept, and understand to you.
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Old 2013-05-17, 06:33   Link #109
don_Durandal
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I've got to be thankful to Triple_R for wording these questions, as I've been wondering that too. Some of the cast's reaction has left me puzzled. I don't really understand the implication of these spiritual and mysticism topics.
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Old 2013-05-17, 08:46   Link #110
kuromitsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
1. What exactly was being tested at the beginning of this episode? From what Mayura was saying, it sounded like she was testing Sagara's ability to find off non-human spirits in order to reach the true culprit (i.e. Masumi). And yet, all of those mask-wearing attackers were actual humans (i.e. members of Mayura's fan club wearing masks). Was she testing Sagara's spiritual/exorcising powers, was she testing his basic fighting capabilities, or was she testing both?
She was pretty obviously testing his spiritual powers? It was explained pretty well I think. Mayura finds Miyuki suspicious, so she decides to drive him into a corner to force him to reveal his cards. That's why she had those guys attack him. If Miyuki doesn't want to get hurt he should reveal his true powers asap: either by identifying Masumi, or by breaking down the barrier. The attackers were humans (with a little help from Masumi) partly so that whatever Miyuki tried to throw at them wouldn't work, and partly because siccing actual spirits on Miyuki would've been way too dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
2. Why is it such a big, freakin' deal for Manatsu and Masumi to spend a couple days switched and apart? Is Mayura worried that this will result in Masumi permanently replacing Manatsu? If not, does she simply suspect that Manatsu is suicidal over Tabi's death? If you ask me, there's nothing at all strange about a guy cutting short a student camping trip because an animal he loved died. I'm sure many kids have done such things upon hearing of the severe illness of a beloved pet dog. But Mayura acts like Manatsu wanting to leave early is hugely bad news and unacceptable. Why?
About the Souda triplets, let's just wait for the next episode.

By the way, I totally agree that there's nothing wrong with leaving the camp to take care of a beloved pet, but 1) not everyone thinks this way? for many people a sick horse is just a sick horse. This is not a simple summer camp, it's a Very Serious student council camp, and the kids are not small children anymore, a member leaving for anything less than a sick human is probably frowned on; and 2) I think it was obvious that Mayura wasn't upset because Manatsu wanted to leave, it was because he wanted to leave and face a very upsetting situation alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
3. What was the Student Council President trying to accomplish with her dance there? Does she somehow know that Manatsu and Masumi have switched places? Can she sense a ghost there? Or is it that she senses that "I'm going to destroy humanity" spirit inside of Izumiko?
She sensed Masumi's presence.* She didn't know what or who it was, just that there was something that shouldn't be there. She wanted to exorcise it, if you wish, also make it clear that she doesn't want any funny business in their supposedly neutral group.

*(Perhaps something else as well.)

I think all of these have more to do with the plot than with any spirituality and mysticism, but you don't have to agree.

ETA, just to make things clear: my issue is not people not understanding where the plot is going - although as Enzo said below, just because there are no answers right away doesn't mean there are no answers whatsoever, so I don't agree with all the complaining. The show is not incomprehensible just because it doesn't shove the answers down the viewers' throat. In some ways the viewer is meant to be confused and eager to finally learn the truth. (And in some other ways the writing is not perfect.)

My issue is with people claiming that you have to be well-versed in various Japanese religious spirituality and mysticism to be able to follow and appreciate the show, otherwise it's impenetrable due to cultural barriers. Frankly, I don't agree with this, and I honestly don't understand why anyone would think so. Sure, you're expected to be familiar with some very basic concepts like "kami" and such, but if you're watching anime and have even a passing interest in Japanese culture you should already know enough to navigate the show. Yes, there will be some moments in future eps where it helps if you know a bit of Japanese folklore and/or Shinto mythology, but it's not something that's true for the entire show. And if you're watching anime at all, you should be used to these things. (Also: Google holds the answers to every question.)

Last edited by kuromitsu; 2013-05-17 at 13:16.
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Old 2013-05-17, 10:32   Link #111
Guardian Enzo
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I'm not a "Viewer waiting for HDTV broadcast" (though definitely watching it), so I really feel it would be wrong to wade in here - though I'm sorely tempted. I guess I'll only say that just because something isn't explained in a specific episode, doesn't mean no explanations are forthcoming. It would be a shame for anyone to drop out at this point because they haven't gotten the answers they were looking for.

Last edited by Guardian Enzo; 2013-05-17 at 10:43.
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Old 2013-05-17, 18:37   Link #112
Triple_R
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@kuromitsu Reckoner, Kanon, and I are all very well-versed anime fans. Each of us have watched plenty of anime shows. I think it's fair to say that none of us are typically slow on the uptake (Kanon, in particular, tends to be exceptionally good at "reading" anime shows and rapidly understanding them, imo). And all three of us have expressed confusion over one aspect or another of this latest episode (and for Reckoner and I, we were both very confused by it).

So I find your defense of this show to be a bit heavy-handed, bordering on unwarranted insult of those confused by the show. What might seem self-evident or "obvious" to you isn't that for all of us. This narrative isn't as clear as you think it is, or you wouldn't get multiple well-versed anime fans expressing confusion over it.

But to be clear - I'm not saying I intend to drop the show. I'm not saying I hate the show. I think the show has a lot of positives, and I intend to keep watching it.


Anyway, thank for your answers. Your first answer in particular was helpful.
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Old 2013-05-18, 04:30   Link #113
Haak
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Yeah, I'd have the chime in with the rest and say that it's all very difficult to follow. On paper it's not too difficult to work out what's happening once you have the time to analyse it but the pacing of the show makes it extraordinarily difficult to take the time to truly understand weight of the situation and the emotions involved before moving on to the next new piece that throws new things at you. You sort of get swept along by the pace, unable to quite keep up with it. You can sort of understand what it is happening but not quite understand the why of it and it can have unfortunate consequences on your engagement, imo.

That's not to say i don't like this show either. I really do like this show and I can see the real moments of greatness such as Manatsu's palpable grief over the loss of his horse. I just wish I could fully understand those moments.
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Old 2013-05-18, 15:52   Link #114
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With the whole "viewers not really sure what's going on"

Keep in mind, even the characters in the show don't know what's going on.
The whole student counsel and the shadow student counsel been going on "we're the judges"
Then the hime comes out and goes "no, izumiko is the judge"

Many of the ones in the show that see themselves in a strong position don't really know the specifics of what kind of form their goal is, just that its something that seems powerful and worthy enough to fight over. Right now, whole thing almost seems like a farce or trick. But the "what if it was true" gets the better of them, and they're willing to fight for it.
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Old 2013-05-18, 17:35   Link #115
kuromitsu
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Oh dear, there seems to be a misunderstanding here...

>Triple_R
Again: what I was trying to get across is that 1) I think the spirituality aspect of the story is not difficult to follow so if the show is difficult to understand it's not because of any impenetrable cultural barriers and weird Japanese spiritual heritage, it's because the issues in question are not necessarily made crystal clear by the writing (all your questions above involved writing and plot - sure, the one about the Soudas have spirituality in it by virtue of Masumi's involvement, but that involves spoilers); and 2) I think that while the writing has its flaws, the show is, overall, not incomprehensible.

I wasn't trying to imply that anyone who doesn't understand this part or that part is not intelligent enough or whatever (I certainly don't think I'm exceptionally intelligent or anything...), I was just trying to point out that some things people are complaining about as "confusing" and "making no sense" are in fact meant to be mysterious both for the viewers and the characters themselves. Some other things can be deduced by thinking about them - and then sometimes things seem to remain not wholly explained and viewers are left wondering and guessing, but this doesn't happen all that often.

By the way, I don't have any special love for this show (though I've become interested in the Souda triplets so I think I'll read the novels when the anime is over), so I'm not "defending" it because I'm overly invested in it.
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Old 2013-05-19, 11:04   Link #116
Kanon
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Triple_R complimented me

I think Guardian Enzo, HandofFate and kuromitsu are right: it is meant to be as confusing. They're trying to put us into Izumiko's shoes. I'm confident we'll get answers sooner or later. Of course, that doesn't make the show any easier to follow in the meantime and that can be quite frustrating, so the complaints are warranted. For now, I'd say we just need to be patient and hope we will be rewarded in the end.
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Old 2013-05-19, 12:30   Link #117
FlareKnight
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All I can say is if they are trying to leave us confused for the present....good job it's working .

Will just keep watching and try to figure out what is happening as I go.
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Old 2013-05-19, 12:39   Link #118
Reckoner
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I think the problem is more fundamental than simply being "it hasn't been revealed yet." My problem is that I am not sure what I am supposed to be confused about. The plot keeps rushing along very rapidly at this point, and I am unsure about the questions I should even be asking. If I really slow down and take in the details, I can make sense of it, but I think the confusion for me is caused more by the rapid pacing than the story itself.
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Old 2013-05-19, 14:06   Link #119
Haak
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I do understand that our confusion of the situation is meant to mirror Izumiko's so we understand her POV more but the unfortunate thing is that whilst she may reflect our confusion, I certainly don't think she reflects our reaction to the confusion. A lot of us are keen to ask a lot of questions which unfortunately doesn't seem to be the case for Izumiko who generally seems content most of the time and this kind of kills it for me. I could probably stand the mystery if there was at least one character who wasn't a mystery so there was one POV I could engage with but other that Izumiko's crush on Sagara and Masumi, almost every other character element feels steeped in mystery.
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Old 2013-05-19, 14:59   Link #120
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So right, I started this a few days ago when I found non-i-pod-sized screens of this show playing. So far it's quite nice, I'll likely catch up by today.
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