Two episodes in, it looks like Red Data Girl is starting to show off its pedigree.
Goddess (Rie Tanaka) to descend to Earth. Yukimasa's statement that "only women are capable of this power" was the tipoff that Shugendou themes were going to dominate the mythology here, and it'll be interesting to see how far the novelist Ogiwara Noriko is willing to go with this theme - Shugendou was banned during the Meiji Restoration as primitive superstition in an effort to make Japan appear more modern, and many Shugendou holy places were forcibly converted to State Shrines. While no longer illegal Shugendou still has a slight whiff of the forbidden about it for many Japanese.
stalking her when she gets to Tokyo - dark, shadowy figures with a sinister presence that only she is able to detect. P.A. Works is proving themselves quite adept at handling creepy suspense and this episode is another example - director Shinohara-sensei makes great use of crowds to hide shadows and street lights clicking on and off, and as with Another the sound design is stellar and does wonders to heighten the mood of tension. As she and Miyyuki make their way across Tokyo in an attempt to meet her mother that's seemingly destined to fail, the shadows move ever closer - finally catching up to the children as they shelter from a thunderstorm in the foyer of a modern apartment. It might seem a stretch to suggest that Izumiko would turn to Miyuki for comfort after the way he's treated her, but under the circumstances it makes a good deal of sense - through no fault of her own she's a sheltered girl with little in the way of coping skills or independence, and for all his negativity Miyuki does project a good deal of strength. It's the first step on what looks to be a long - and hopefully not too predictable - journey towards a close relationship between the two of them. We've seen it countless times before so it won't be original, but hopefully it will at least feel fresh.
Wamiya (who's obviously interested in Izumiko as more than just a friend). The novels have all the time in the world to sift through them - P.A. Works has one cour. That's worrying to say the least, but it's already obvious that Red Data Girl is a different animal than the herd of formula series that make up most of the schedule this season.