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This was the very last Fall 2018 anime that I watched episode one of, and I almost missed it altogether, but fortunately I didn't because it turned out to be a fairly intriguing and entertaining show. These girls are eccentric--especially main character Asuka--but they are not airheads by any means. You get the feeling that this is something perfectly rational teenagers in search of some excitement in their lives might just do. The originality of their oddness is refreshing. One day they have a freaky experience which briefly transports them to an alternate reality, and while there they meet a strange girl who looks a lot like Asuka and shares her name. I could not help but be intrigued; is this Asuka from a parallel universe? Or from the future, perhaps? I need to know. They next day I downloaded not just episode two but all available episodes of Akanesasu Shoujo.
In episode two the girls find themselves in another alternate reality, this one not nearly as bizarre as the first. In fact it is almost identical to modern day Japan except for one major difference. It was mostly fun, though there were some logical leaps--like, why were they so willing to risk another 'trip' after their first one was so harrowing? Why didn't anyone ask 'serious' Asuka why the difference between the two trips was so great? How did one of the girls fail to recognize that she was in an alternate reality (when the others quickly did), and why did she so quickly embrace this one (has she 'combined' with her alternate self rather than just replaced her?)? Still, this is a show which leaves you thinking and postulating possible explanations and outcomes (which is fun), rather than just going with the flow. I was amused how the situation in episode three transformed from a conventional wedding into a wild, supernatural martial arts contest. I wasn't sure what to make of Serious Asuka's explanation of what she has been doing and what the stakes are; but so far this was a fun show which I seriously looked forward to watching. Perhaps that's because, again, the girls have personalities, do some thinking, and the actions they choose make some sense.
I was a bit disappointed to realize that this show is going to be more about comedy than mystery, at least until the climax approached. The girls visit various alternate realities (including an old west one), and solve relatively minor problems there, but I didn't sense a big, overarching problem that would demand a search for clues--at least not a very good one. I remained confused by this threat to reality or whatever that is posed by these bad guys who jump between worlds like the girls do. When the situations they wind up in are largely played for laughs, wouldn't it be hard to take a major crisis seriously, assuming one ever happens? At least the wild fights that often result are well animated and entertaining. Episode one set a high standard which subsequent ones haven't managed to meet. It seemed back then that this would be mystery with a touch of humor, but it now seems to be the reverse. And the jokes aren't all that brilliant, so we basically have weak humor and weak mystery. People sometimes come up with intriguing premises, but then don't seem to know what to do with them.
In episode eight, however, things seem to get serious again. After an amusing but flippant episode, the appropriately named Serious Asuka reveals that she has a major problem she must solve in her own world (which is not a nice place), and the five girls decide to go help her despite the considerable risk that will be involved. It's encouraging that drama will seemingly get priority again, because that was what this show was best at early on. In the final episode Asuka takes on her evil counterpart from another Fragment, and does so in an unusual way. Instead of slugging it out, she attempts to persuade evil Asuka to stop what she has been up to, and she makes a convincing case. It might just have worked. So, in the end Akanesasu Shoujo was a show which began well, wandered from drama into comedy, then returned to drama for a conclusion. I don't regret watching it, but I also feel it could have been a little better than it was.
Last updated Saturday, January 05 2019. Created Saturday, November 03 2018.