Woah. Toto, we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore

I’m flabbergasted. Really, I am. I’ve just seen the first episode of “Red Garden” and think I’ve stumbled onto something interesting this season. I heard about this show from an anime fan (who else?) and agree that the show is unusual to say the least.

You wouldn’t know what it was from the intro song which sucked big time. Some Jpop songs just need to go away. Far far away. Maybe to another galaxy.

The episode begins with men in suits driving several teenage girls to their homes I suppose since you see them being put to bed. But another car rams one of the vehicles. Two men break into the car and kill the men in suits escorting an unconscious girl with long orange hair. A man in white looks at the prone girl and smirks.

The next time we see the girl she is dead and her body has been dumped in a wooded area in New Jersey. The cops are swarming about the place and we hear that this is the fifth girl found like this. They don’t know yet if it’s a suicide or a murder.
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The four other girls we saw earlier, Rachel, Claire, Rose and Kate, have no memory of what happened that night.They’re groggy. One is nauseous. Another falls asleep while standing up. Turns out they all go to this New York school where the hall monitors are called “Grace” and are led by this little Miss Perfect called Paula. Kate appears to be a new member of “Grace” favored by Paula.

The dead girl was Lisa and she also was a student here. School gets dismissed early because of the terrible news. Kate is devastated. It seems Lisa was her friend and told Kate recently of landing a boyfriend she met in Coney Island. Now here is where things take a weird turn. A weeping Kate wanders the school grounds and sings a mournful tune. I didn’t know if I had been dropped into the middle of a musical. She stops warbling and then the episode continues. Eh? At least no dancers gyrate around Kate.

Instead, a horde of black butterflies surround her. Rachel who is walking along with her posse sees them too. The butterflies, which are only visible to the four girls, lure them to a park. Claire asks the others if they also don’t remember last night. They get creeped out.

A man and a woman appear from the shadows.The woman introduces herself as their teacher and says the girls died last night. She tells them that a man is approaching and orders the girls to kill him with their bare hands. The man runs at them on all fours. They scream.

I was hooked despite the terrible songs used for the intro and the ending. The ending song was a Jrock tune with terrible lyrics and a horrible beat. The character designs are well, unique too. OK, I’ll be honest. The people in this show are ugly. I don’t have a problem about the characters being long and lanky but they sport really big noses. You don’t notice the exaggerated noses until you see them in profile. Poor Rachel looks like a clown because she has a bulbous nose. Other than that, they look fine when not in profile.

But the storyline is very promising. There’s murder, mystery and weird messenger butterflies. Woohoo! I hope “Red Garden” doesn’t disappoint later on. But for now I think I kinda like this weird place. Move over Toto and don’t hog the Pocky.

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