Red Garden – 3 – Theatrical heart break

Episode 3 of Red Garden is the best yet; the viewer leaves this instalment drenched in suspense, mystery and blood, and all the while we’re slowly beginning to understand what’s happened to the girls – or rather, how they died! There are still big question marks hanging over why they were all together on *that* night (since they were never friends before all this), and why must they fight the “dog men”? I’m desperate to know the answers.
This is a show that looks absolutely ravishing, but it can be absolutely brutal too. The death scenes in this episode are especially harrowing because of the voice acting – the way the victims scream; they sound genuinely terrified and desperate. We glimpse at another group of girls who, just like the main characters, have to fight the monsters to live – but they have given up hope and die in the throws of painful physical violence; we hear strangled throats buckle and bones break. I’m getting frustrated with characters running scared now though – the girls need to bring weapons. Swords. Anything!
I’ve also realised that Red Garden has a brilliant soundtrack. Composed by Akira Senju, the music in this episode was particularly compelling; full of dread, sadness and realisation. The style suggests a very emotional and sweeping opera, a worthy match for such an elegant series.
Having now taken in three episodes, I don’t hesitate to say that Red Garden is my favourite show of the season. Death Note is suspenseful and thrilling, but Red Garden combines such a theatrical and stylish art direction with a heart breakingly mysterious story that just begs to be watched. I need more!

6 replies on “Red Garden – 3 – Theatrical heart break”

I’m not sure who all noticed this either, but the art quality is taken up a notch this episode. Up until now, the noses for some of the characters have been exaggerated a bit too much (Rachel is the most glaring example of this, although pretty much every character, when viewed from the profile had some sort of problem). Luckily this has been corrected in this episode, so the art is even more stunning.

Yeah, I’d agree with that. The art (compared with other shows) has been remarkably consistent so far – especially for a Gonzo anime. But then, Red Garden looks like a very much "all or nothing" kind of show.

You mentioned that the last great magical girl anime you saw was Mahou Shoujotai … have you seen Princess Tutu already? That was the first magical girl series to surprise me with its dark and gloomy mood … it also has a nice sense of humor and a great soundtrack (if you like classical/orchestre music)
Apart from that i completely agree with your review about Red Garden so far ^^

Be fair. The protagonists have only been in one fight so far, and their predecessors did bring a gun to their execution, I assume just to establish for the protagonists that guns are a waste of time, only close-in combat will work on these things. And I’ve seen a group shot of the quartet with one of them carrying a bat over her shoulder.

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