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Vividred Operation – 08

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「今日よりも鮮やかに」 (Kyō Yori mo Azayaka ni)
“Even More Colorful Than Today”

Continuing off from last episode, the Vivid team ends up in some pretty dire straits as Akane ends up being too injured to fight the Alone this week. Things work out in the end after the girls decide to put everything in an all or nothing plan… and interestingly enough, this episode turned out quite good as a result. That’s not to say the previous episodes were bad or anything, but there was a lot more here this episode than the usual. In the end it’s kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what, but I don’t know… there was just something quite solid about this episode and how it played out. Things didn’t really feel rushed at all, the emotional aspect of the grim situation was portrayed fairly well — I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad when seeing Momo run in like that — and well, there was just a lot more here this week than the usual elements of enjoyment, a notion assisted in no small part by the great soundtrack.

In the end though, I gotta say… I can’t help but see more and more Evangelion vibes/references as each episode goes by. I discussed this a bit last week already, but this week really took the cake. For one, the whole impenetrable barrier + epic laser offense combination was quite reminiscent of some of the Angels fights in Evangelion. This was then hammered in further by the whole use of a special bomb (SGE in Vividred, N2 Bomb in EVA) in an attempt to win, as well as the whole “need to work in unison” aspect too, which also was a key element in one of the anti-Angel operations. Of course, there ain’t anything else particularly similar — especially considering Vividred doesn’t have any of the religious symbols or overall grimdark atmosphere — but it’s particularly notable nonetheless.

Looking forward, it’s interesting to note that Rei’s attempt to destroy the Manifestor Engine will destroy the world either way… which makes you wonder if she’s entirely aware of what her mission objective entails. We also find out this week that there’s no alternative docking pairings allowed that don’t include Akane as well, which while quite sad when you think about it, at least is reasonable in terms of why this can’t happen. Regardless, with the end is nearing for the series and Rei still actually not on the Vivid team’s side (quite surprisingly)… one does wonder how things are going to work out for Vividred — specifically whether they’ll be able to wrap things up with some kind of proper conclusion, if they’re going to continue the shift into a more serious/grim atmosphere, and if maybe there might be a sequel in store. Guess we’ll see.

Full-length images: 06, 22.

February 28, 2013 at 7:09 pm
52 comments »
  • February 28, 2013 at 8:04 pmKarmafan

    I expect they are planning for more then 1 season. Wonder how the DVDs are selling?

    • February 28, 2013 at 8:11 pminfo600

      I just can’t see a second season happening when Rei has only … what, three? Four shots left? (and she’s getting more desperate now, more so than that raven)

      • March 1, 2013 at 5:09 amKarmafan

        She could easily become the 5th girl by the end of the season and the crow come back next season with another “assistant”.

      • March 1, 2013 at 3:50 pmqwert

        It’s not as if the entire premise of the series depends on Rei though. She’s just a convenient medium being used by whatever force is also sending the Alone.

        Assuming she gets her own key before the end of the series saying that’s the end, and I’m probably dating myself, is like saying the original power rangers should have ended when the green ranger became a good guy.

    • February 28, 2013 at 10:14 pmR

      First BD is out later this month, but wouldn’t be surprised if it sells well enough that they announce another season later on.

    • March 1, 2013 at 11:17 amGermanguy

      Well, there are Plans for a PS3 Game….

  • February 28, 2013 at 8:05 pmsali

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • March 1, 2013 at 1:55 amyeahair

      Sorry, but WTF?
      It doesnt help that it’s really difficult to understand what you’re writing, but this is a whole summary.
      Why arent you posting your OPINION?

      As for the series, I initially dropped it after the first 3 eps due to the generic nature but still followed the blog posts and will have to pick it up again after reading about this episode.

  • February 28, 2013 at 8:12 pmBear

    My problem is that at this point you can’t really say she doesn’t have blood on her hands since the Alone she powered up took out all the tanks. How many feathers/arrows does she have vs the number of episodes left? Up till now she hasn’t shot more than one an episode. Doesn’t look like she’s going to be part of the Vivid project unless she’s going to turn around in the last episode and save the day.

    So Doc gave up all his patents and pauperized his granddaughters out of guilt? Smart move.

    • February 28, 2013 at 9:33 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      12 feathers for 12 episodes, lol.

      Then she’ll “die” at the end, only to be brought back as one of the team for a second season, maybe.

    • March 1, 2013 at 1:23 amfragb85

      Nobody died on those tanks since they were drones. They clearly stated that they were UCV (Unmanned Combat Vehicles) unless I mixed my military jargon up.

      • March 4, 2013 at 12:38 amc2710

        That’s a FREAKING HUGE AND EXPENSIVE Unmanned Combat Vehicle. Just how rich Japan is in VRO universe?

        Plus can we now assume that all military vehicles destroyed are UCVs?

    • March 1, 2013 at 4:14 amnsana

      I’ve lost hope with Rei as VividBlack.

      The only possible last Vivid is Momo, as she can Dock with her sister Akane to from the true VividRed (I remember she wear mostly Red clothing).

  • February 28, 2013 at 8:26 pmDualash

    So… how does Akane’s grandfather urinate since he was drinking in the episode?

    • March 1, 2013 at 6:21 amFuzzy

      • March 1, 2013 at 6:22 amFuzzy

        patent pending!

        (my first post got messed up because I used brackets, sorry)

    • March 1, 2013 at 11:20 amGermanguy

      He sweet it out :)

  • February 28, 2013 at 8:32 pmAndmeuths

    The pauperization of the Doctor’s Granddaughters is indeed a huge head scratcher. Yes, you want to atone, but why are you punishing your kin? Perhaps he had failed to think things through.

    And yes, the lack of alternate… ahem docking points is one huge oversight in the Vivid system. I can imagine that the lesson of AAR is to develop additional docking points in the Vivid system, incase the person holding the first docking point, in this case, Akane get’s incapacitated in some way,

    Some parts of the first half of this episode reminded me of the desperation in the later half of Madoka Magica- more than Evangelions. The Alones are very Evangelion-esque though. Still, it’s easy to make this series darker- take a leaf out of Bokurano and make the suits drain the life of it’s users slowly with every use.

    Of course, this could also be as dark as the authors are willing to go – but there are many ways to easily make Vivid-red a grim-dark anime.

  • February 28, 2013 at 8:36 pmMCAL

    Not content to rip of Evangelion, Vivid Red Panties (See what I did there) rips off Tokyo Mew Mew (Remember that) with the big cocoon.

    • March 2, 2013 at 3:36 amDvalinn

      I felt it was more like Mothra or something, what with it going from larva-cocoon-giant moth thing and clinging to a tower in Tokyo (the Skytree in this case).

  • February 28, 2013 at 9:06 pmWanderer

    Looking forward, it’s interesting to note that Rei’s attempt to destroy the Manifestor Engine will destroy the world either way… which makes you wonder if she’s entirely aware of what her mission objective entails.

    She’s trying to destroy the girls’ world for the promise that either the crow or the Alones or some other ambiguous allies of the crow will recreate her world afterwards. Given that the description of what happened to her world sounds almost exactly like what she’s trying to make happen to this one, I rather doubt Rei is going to find her “allies” living up to their end of the bargain when all is said and done. It seems far more likely to me that they destroyed her world as well.

    Of course, the crow caught her at her most vulnerable moment: when she had just seen everything she knew and everyone she loved burned away in front of her, leaving her completely and utterly alone. Of course she agreed to do anything to bring everyone back!

    Once the bargain was made, of course, it would have been far too late to ask questions.

    • February 28, 2013 at 9:10 pmWanderer

      Bleh, lost my train of thought and forgot to finish what I was trying to say. Rei certainly knows in general what she’s doing. The crow has stated it plainly. I suspect she spends a lot more time thinking about the “bring back my world” part than the “destroy this world” part, though. And I very much doubt she’s spent much (if any) time thinking about how what she’s trying to do parallels what was done to her.

  • February 28, 2013 at 9:41 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    So Akane, the “head wife”, is allowed to “dock” with other girls, but none of the “mistresses” can. lol

    I just head-desked when Kenjirou brought that up. It’s just…WHY? And not in any ecchi sense either, but reall, WHY? (lol) I mean, SURELY he couldn’t have been SO blind/overconfident to assume that Akane just might NOT end up taken out of action for some reason, leaving the others to fight without her. I mean, if the chances of defeating the Alone fall to less than ONE PERCENT SOLELY because of Akane not being there to Dock (and leaving the only immediate alternative being to wipe out the WHOLE CITY AND the Manifestor Engine with it and causing world chaos, which itself was only a FOUR PERCENT chance of success)…yeah…I don’t know what to say to that…x_x

    • February 28, 2013 at 9:47 pmWanderer

      Odds are it has something to do with Akane having the original key. That key was the only key that Kenjiro actually made: all the others were formed out of it. So it can link to any of the sub-keys, and they can link to it, but they can’t cross-link to each other.

      • March 2, 2013 at 7:16 amHighway

        I’d actually like to see them subvert that later in the series. We heard from Ojii-Weasel-san that the friendship bond between Akane and Aoi was the enabling effect for their docking early in the series. And I can see that the ‘Master key’ and ‘sub key’ designation would be a reason for it, but I think

      • March 2, 2013 at 7:21 amHighway

        Ahh, crap, fat-fingered the keyboard and submitted…

        …I think the friendship links also have a lot to do with it. Right now, all the girls basically center around Akane, and don’t really have those strong bonds to the others. Seeing those grow enough that, for instance, Himawari and Wakaba could become a pair that docks (even though Green+Yellow doesn’t really turn into a good color) as well as Akane and Aoi would be an interesting change, especially if Kenjiro thinks it’s not possible.

  • February 28, 2013 at 9:45 pmneckzor

    Can’t be the only one who thought of tokyo mew mew with that battle too XDD

  • February 28, 2013 at 9:55 pmdaikama

    Perhaps a stretch, but this episode made me think of Strike Witches Season 1 again with the way the three girls talked about Yoshika Akane being the center of the team and her positive influence on them. Nothing wrong with that – just something that came to mind. In fact, I liked seeing the other three work together and rise above the loss of their leader to still defeat the Alone. Character development is always good.

    With the season 2/3 done, not much has changed IMO. It’s still a fun show to watch with several positive qualities, but at the same time, a few negative ones persists as well – particularly plot holes IMO. I still have one or more “Huh?” type moments each episode, and Episode 08 grandly carries on the tradition. Just like wave after wave of fighters were pointlessly sent to attack in earlier episodes, we now see a highway overpass lined with modern tanks. Sure tank shells proved harmless the 1st, 2nd, 3rd (keep going…) time, but the XXXXXXXth time they should work, right?

    Actually, the real solution appears to be simply encasing the entire Manifestor Engine in whatever material is used for highway overpass construction. Sixty ton tanks vaporized in an instant, but the overpass seems just fine as far as I can tell. Compare that to a show like Girls und Panzer where attention to detail was so great, they showed bits of dirt falling on top of a tank each time a shell hit close by. Was it really too expensive/too much effort to illustrate some damage to the overpass as well? Not a big deal on its own, but it adds the cumulative effect IMO.

    Time and time again we are told no matter what, the Manifestor Engine engine must survive/continue to function. Okay, got that. Just ONE of the “so dangerous they must be sealed away for the sake of mankind” “SGE” bombs is this powerful. Yet the “best” plan (approved by the “President”), other than the Vividred girls attacking, called for the detonation of One Hundred And Nine (109) SGE bombs simultaneously a paltry 500m away from the Alone and the Manifestor Engine itself. The resulting explosion was expected to be so destructive that it mandated the evacuation of Tokyo. Yet, not only is the Manifestor Engine expected to survive, but survive in working order? Huh? If it was that tough, they wouldn’t have to worry about the Alones in the first place.

    I wish I could be more positive because there are things I like about the show, but I just can’t. Sadly, a few episodes later and the “it could have been better” feeling remains stronger than ever. Of course, that could be said about almost every anime show – even all (nothing’s truly perfect after all). For me, the difference with Vividred is that more than any show in quite some time, it’s not that the show could have been better, but should have been better – frustratingly so.

    tl:dr – Not much has changed for me. Decent show that, IMO, could and should have been a lot better without much additional effort by the script writers.

    • March 4, 2013 at 12:47 amc2710

      Thoughthe detailing of F35, Ageis cruiser and Ami-chuou tanks are on par with GuP, this ain’t GuP bro

  • February 28, 2013 at 10:19 pmZhelot

    Was it just me, or when Akane’s Ghost hand gave Aoi a push and the boomerang activated, did anyone else think, “Oh Shit! Akane’s dead!”?

    Morbid as it is, I kinda would have preferred it that way.

    • March 1, 2013 at 2:56 amAngelus

      Well, I wouldn’t want to see her dead, but I really have my doubts about someone crash-landing from several hundred feet, needing emergency surgery, and then sitting up smiling in bed afterwards. Maybe the Vivid System can still do things like that even when it’s all shorted out, but the grimdark side of me wonders if Akane’s grandfather had something more than a little sinister to do with her apparently miraculous recovery.

      Anyway, I’m still looking forward to more docking! Can all 4 of them dock and become VividWhite to face the final boss? Or will we see VividBlack instead???

  • February 28, 2013 at 10:32 pmR

    Solid episode. I was gradually losing interest the past couple weeks, but this one reeled me back in. The soundtrack helped, but all the character interactions paid off really well. I can only hope the rest of the episodes continue to be as excellent as this one. The voice acting was top-notch, too. Aoi at the end really tugged at my heartstrings.

    There were a couple things in this that gave me major Madoka Magica vibes: Himawari’s near exact quote of Kyouko’s famous “It’s lonely by yourself” (「ひとりぼっちは寂しいもんな」) line, then Akane’s hand pushing Aoi reminding me of Madoka in the final scene of the series. Sure, Madoka says 「がんばって」, but it still gave me the same sense of how strongly Aoi feels for Akane.

  • March 1, 2013 at 12:57 amSuomynona

    Tokyo Tower finally breaths a sigh of relief that it is no longer the target of choice for giant extra-terrestrial creatures attacking Tokyo.

    These last two episodes now has more of that Evangelion vibes, what with the Alone’s AT Field like defenses you can basically hear this song playing as the girls walk on the airfield tarmac preparing for their last stand in Akane’s absence.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONStCG_5Zx0

    Nothing better like good old fashioned faith in your companions to win the day.

  • March 1, 2013 at 1:20 amfragb85

    The yuri was strong this episode. The moments with Aoi were pure fodder for the RedxBlue Ship. There was quite a bit with GreenxYellow with the way they hold each other.

    I enjoyed the more serious tone this episode, dramatic but not too dark that it strayed from the series upbeat tone. Its nice to see that the girls have alternative measures for victory even without all the fancy powers with a bit of assistance from the military. Poor Rei though wasted two arrows for nothing. Hurry up an save her Akane!

  • March 1, 2013 at 4:39 amYoukai

    If I were an Alone, I’d rather get killed by anything other than an Aoi related finishing blow, they always looked so painful.

  • March 1, 2013 at 6:07 am7godeohs

    Man, this episode had it all:

    - tanks (which have shown to be entirely ineffective) being used again to, with no effect again.
    - evacuation of entire city in about half a day
    - decision to destroy Tokyo to defeat a creature – creatures love towers for some reason
    - hangin’ onto jets with one hand (like a boss)
    - quasi-nuclear warheads strapped to a sword-ish weapon
    - hatching alien creature that is now called ‘unbeatable’
    - last minute ‘ghost’ help with the power of ‘friendship’ (or something)
    - bombs detonating over cities that seem to have no ill effect beyond blowing off half the tower
    - standing inside an absolutely massive explosion and coming out without a scratch

    This is the trope-iest show that ever troped. Thumbs up.

    • March 1, 2013 at 10:21 amSteelman

      - tanks (which have shown to be entirely ineffective): Tanks for Nothing
      
- decision to destroy Tokyo to defeat a creature: The Tokyo Fireball
      
- hangin’ onto jets with one hand (like a boss): Outside Ride
      
- quasi-nuclear warheads: Nuclear Weapons Taboo
      
- hatching alien creature: Egg MacGuffin
      
- last minute ‘ghost’ help with the power of ‘friendship’ (or something): The Power Of Friendship
      
- bombs detonating over cities that seem to have no ill effect beyond blowing off half the tower: No Endor Holocaust
      
- standing inside an absolutely massive explosion and coming out without a scratch: That’s just Plot Armor

      On an unrelated topic, I am extremely sad to hear that only Akane can start the Yuri Fusion Dance… I was hoping for more lesbian combinations. I guess we will still see all the girls merging with Akane to form the eponymous VividRed in the last episode.

      • March 2, 2013 at 12:35 amStilts

        +20 internets to the both of you for naming out the tropes! \o/

      • March 2, 2013 at 2:32 amewok40k

        it was simply TROPErrific?

  • March 1, 2013 at 7:17 ammac65

    Rei reminds me a little of Orihara from Ultra Maniac.
    I wonder if this series would have been better (it’s good already) if we
    hadn’t known Rei’s situation?

    Probably one of my bigger gripes is this fairly recent trend about exposing
    pretty much everything about the antagonist early on in a series/movie/etc.
    This leaves the audience less engaged as they witness the crash-and-burn or
    the dramatic turn-around at the end. This is not isolated to Anime. Anyway…

    I think Rei is close to breaking down – that scene at the end was pretty strong
    with her crying at her failure. I have to admit, I thought Rei would become
    part of the group earlier, and now I’m wondering if that’ll happen at all.

    Next episode should be pivotal, IMHO.

    • March 1, 2013 at 7:45 amSeedStriker

      The main issue with Rei is that she’s knowingly helping the enemy to destroy the whole world. She even wanted to finish Akane and the rest in this ep (when she realize that they are the Vivid’s, she’ll lose it) and have no qualms in letting monsters from another world-reality destroy us. Aside from Akane forviging her, once the Alone are defeated, I gladly put her on prison (or worst) for crimes against humanity. Her “let the world burn so I can gain something normally unattainable” will be her doom. She’s like a certain Setsuna F. Seiei child mode (brainwashed to do the dirty job of bastards)
      Besides, by the look of the Crow, the feathered bastard will enter Kyubey-mode and select another fool to help them against the Vivids only for the lulz

  • March 1, 2013 at 9:58 amewok40k

    I think that I’ll have to pick up this series after all…

    • March 2, 2013 at 1:58 pmewok40k

      edit: marathoned all 8 episodes today… Some overdoses of fanservice aside, great series. Trope-ladden, but fun nevertheless! Magical girls meet Evangelion – why not?
      Of all the girls, I must admit Rei picks my curiosity the most – she’s surely a tragic antagonist, seeking a rescue for her world at the price of destroying ours… And she might end up being swindled by the mysterious Raven and whoever (Alone’s don’t have to be only enemies) is she representing.
      I have 2 alternative tropes for Rei’s immediate future:
      -redemption equals death (she fails to destroy the engine with her remaining arrows, and is killed by Raven for failing to do so – or even she rebels against the Raven’s commands, with the same result)
      -defeat means friendship (she is defeated by TeamVivid (TM) but at the same time rescued by them from the clutches of that bastard bird)
      Needless to say I’d prefer for her to live, even though this probably would mean that her world remains destroyed…

  • March 1, 2013 at 11:44 amCal

    Looks kinda neat. I originally skimmed over this series because I wasn’t expecting much out of it. I may have been wrong.

  • March 1, 2013 at 2:52 pmCrunchie

    I’m still under the impression the “incident” with Akane’s family seven years ago is the same “incident” Rei is fighting so hard to change from her world.

    Parallels~~~~

  • March 2, 2013 at 1:50 amDigid

    Bits of Evangelion + the Alone’s metamorphosis reminded me of the Maguar from Figure 17, which incidentally was also about two girls joining as one to beat up alien / other-worldly creatures

    Speaking of other-worldy… man, Holy Eldritch Abomination, Batman! http://randomc.net/image/Vividred%20Operation/Vividred%20Operation%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2033.jpg
    … well, abstract quantum life forms would be more accurate, but still… ugly XP
    Now we all know what the love child would’ve looked like of the Angels Ramiel + Sahaquiel

    And lastly, for such a genius that was quite an oversight for Professor Isshiki. Making it that only Akane + another girl could combine.. hopefully after this episode he’ll do some tinkering and try to correct this mistake (if not… go Himawari! ^^)

  • March 2, 2013 at 12:33 pmGermanguy

    Evangelion? This Episode reminds me of the one Episode, where the Angel drop from outer Space to Earth. And they were send out to “interfere”. One Unit hold the Angel, another Angel open his “Barrier” with Force, and the Third Unit put the “One Hit Death Blow” to his Eye… You mind this Episode? it is fragmented in my Memories with Fog of the Past…

  • March 2, 2013 at 3:37 pmYuhsaku

    Could Rei be the 5th girl to unlock the Akane’s Vividred Operation? We already have Vividblue, Vividgreen and Vividyellow.

  • March 3, 2013 at 8:59 pmGetchman

    I hope gramps, and maybe Himawari, spend some time trying to fix that docking problem. Two docked pairs would be pretty damn sweet and can you imagine what the transformation sequence would look like if they all docked as one.

  • March 4, 2013 at 12:51 amc2710

    They should rename this episode to You are (not) alone

  • April 8, 2013 at 10:07 amiron2000

    SGE…Samsung Galaxy Exynos :P