The calendar says it's winter for another 4 days, but as far as anime is concerned this is the first day of spring.
OP: "Small worldrop (スモルワールドロップ)" by Annabel
romantic quality to it, an "art for art's sake" sensibility that strives for beauty over accuracy. Character designs are by Shiba Minako (off templates from HanaIro designer Kishida Mel), yet another longtime industry veteran in a staff full of them.
Suzuhara Izumiko (Hayami Saori) is indeed a Miko. But she's actually at one of the Kumano Shrines, which are deeply rooted in practices even older and are really more historically associated with Shugendou, an ancient religion of mountain worship that combines elements of Shinto, Taosim and especially esoteric Buddhism. That comes into play well into the episode with the introduction of Sagara Yukimasa (Fukuyama Jun), the man standing in as Izumiko's guardian while her father is in America and her mother is apparently wandering Japan permanently. Sagara is a Yamabushi, one of the mountain ascetics who practice the Shugendou faith - though he little resembles the stereotypical image.
Daisei (the great Inoue Kazuhiko), several schoolmates including kind but slightly creepy Wamiya Satoru (Rie Kugimiya, who really should stick to girls, prepubescent boys and cute animals) and most importantly Sagara Miyuki (Kouki Uchiyama). He's apparently Yukimasa's son despite referring to him by his given name, and his fate in life is to be the servant (and I'm assuming guardian-protector) of Izumiko. It's strongly implied that Izumiko is a Goddess (in Shugendou all mountain Kami are female, which is why women have historically been forbidden from holy mountains - they make the Kami jealous). Izumiko has the interesting trait of causing any electronics she touches to go haywire (although this seems not to apply to helicopters) which means she can't use computers or cell phones. Naturally this makes her a bit of an outcast from middle-school society, though there are clearly girls in her rural school sympathetic to her plight.
transfer in rather than have them attend school together in the city (he's none too thrilled). However, given the synopses, it seems clear that the two of them at least are going to end up in Tokyo anyway sooner or later (which will make me sad if it deprives us of P.A. Works' legendary bucolic scenery porn, very much on display in the premiere).
Yukimasa beating up Miyuki to compel him to play along with his plan (using the classic child abuser excuse "He fell down"). With the introductions out of the way I expect the premise to really take off, though I do worry that it seems to have too much scope for a one-cour adaptation. What will really tell the tale is whether the two leads emerge as interesting and original creations or stay safely inside well-defined cliches - I think that's what will determine whether Red Data Girl is a good series (the plot alone is enough to carry it that far, I'm guessing) or an exceptional one.
ED: "Yokan (予感)" by Masumi Itou