Many people couldn’t be bothered with Vision of Escaflowne because the character designs sported big noses. The almost-ignored Fantastic Children suffered from this same shallow discrimination. I dare say both of these are modern classics, and now Red Garden will face the exact same battle against a community that largely considers the likes of Kanon the epitome of animated beauty. What went wrong?
For me this is hands down the best looking show of the fall season. Alongside the vastly different but none the less outstanding Kemonozume, Red Garden makes an immediate impression with its angular character design and eye catching colour scheme. It is like watching a feminine art book in full motion; bursting with attitude and elegance, bridging the gap between the colourful teenage exuberance of FLCL and grandiose beauty of Paradise Kiss. However keeping in mind Red Garden is being produced by GONZO, whether they can maintain these high standards remains to be seen.
Unfortunately there is something seriously wrong with this episode; the insert song. Taking its magical girl influence to scary new extremes, a particularly tearful girl breaks out into the kind of spectacularly cringe inducing, brain melting song fit to grace hell. I’m all for experimental anime, but this girl can’t sing. Fact.
I haven’t seen a good magical girl anime since Mahou Shoujotai, but on this evidence Red Garden’s wonderful style and enthusiastic charisma may well win over my heart.