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RDG: Red Data Girl

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Traditional Shinto mysticism, tradition and spirituality is an unsurprisingly oft-plunged source and inspiration for fiction in Japan, and as a result is frequent in anime as well. It’s hard to find series set in Japan that doesn’t incorporate Shinto or Shinto-Buddhist elements in some fashion, but usually it’s only through shrine visits for luck or some sort of festival. When it gets more involved with the story, when fantastical plots based on the beliefs and myths of the religion are created, I have a tendency to enjoy them. It’s a form and style of fantasy quite foreign to someone who’s only ever lived in a western, predominantly Christian-based society, so there’s always a level of unfamiliarity, of originality to be found for me within them. With that said, it’s not too difficult to pick up on the recurring themes, elements and devices amongst such pieces, and a certain amount of predictability and familiarity does result; despite being far removed from the culture and the traditional stories, if a series bases itself on that without attempting anything new or interesting with it, it will most likely strike me as unoriginal and possibly uninspired.

RDG: Red Data Girl does something new and interesting with it! Well, at least the premise does. Suzuhara Izumiko is a 15 year old girl, raised in a shrine in the mountains. Not only is she a little socially awkward for being so sheltered, she also has the habit of accidentally destroying any electrical devices she touches. Cue her coping and learning to live in the modern world as her guardian, Sagara Yukimasa, encourages her to go to a high-school in Tokyo and forces his son Miyuki to serve her for life, as she discovers her duty and fate. Well, you’d think it’d be like that.

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You’d be mistaken

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