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「光と影と」 (Hikari to Kage to)
“Light and Shadow”

As Vividred rolls into what one assumes are its final episodes, things continue their upward trend in terms of seriousness — well, at least… as serious as one can get considering the mayo explosions and bath scenes. To say the least, it was quite… something — seeing how there was both quite a bit of fan service and serious movement of the story this week. There just ain’t nothing like going from scenes with epic censors to ones like this one. But hey, I ain’t complainin,’ though the episode did have quite the lack of all the other Vivid cast as a result.

In any case, the episode itself in general felt kind of like something you’d normally expect to see around now. We get both sides getting closer and closer to the truth in terms of finding each others identities (and ultimately doing so), as well as some revelations regarding the promise to resurrect Rei’s world should she succeed and the events of seven years ago. As it turns out, Kenjirou encountered a being of a higher plane during the incident, who proceeded to question humanity’s ability to harness and properly use a power that can tip the balance of the universe. This ultimately explains what Kenjirou meant about predicting the arrival of the Alones and also combines with the above to give us a more concrete reason for why Rei does what she does (and what will happen to her after the last arrow is fired too).

Pretty straight forward if I do say so myself, though I do wonder if the people giving Rei orders are not merely testing her as well. I find it highly unlikely that she’ll just “disappear” following her last arrow, considering how the crow seemed to have less control over Rei than even Rei herself expected… though this, as well as the fact that she fails in her mission to fire all her arrows at the Alone, makes me really wonder if the end is really coming — despite the other signs present that it is. I mean, with only two episodes left… it doesn’t seem like we’re going to properly get a resolution on the Alones and the test by the higher power and Akane and Rei’s relationship. I suppose it’s possible that they’ll make it so that Rei’s lack of involvement leads to the defeat of all the remaining Alones — assuming there’s a limit to them — and Rei subsequently realizes she was mistaken in her presumption… but part of me wonders if it work out so simply. There’s just a lot of signs that there could be another season coming up with Rei as a Vivid team member, especially when you consider they’re starting to break out new songs from the OST even now. Guess we’ll see.

Author’s Note: I’ll be at PAX East next week, so I will be unable to cover Vividred per usual. Stilts has graciously accepted the role of covering episode 11 in my stead though, so there will still be coverage next week.

March 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm
43 comments »
  • March 14, 2013 at 9:53 pmAkarin

    had alot more nudity then I was prepared for… though I really wished that Rei had a different reaction to discovering Akane :c that made me sad *sniffle* haha good ep though :c

  • March 14, 2013 at 9:53 pm†Croos†

    • March 15, 2013 at 12:55 pmexiatrapsite

      how come, another laser

  • March 14, 2013 at 10:07 pmJack

    An Alone that looks like a bacteriophage this time?

  • March 14, 2013 at 10:13 pmfragb85

    Poor Rei. She finally opens up to Akane and acknowledges her as a girlfriend then the inevitable reveal happens. Nothing stings more than the feeling of heartbreak betrayal even when neither one of them is at fault. Here’s hoping that Akane will be able to convince her that their love friendship isn’t a lie and get VividBlack soon.

    Also its finally revealed that there is some inter-dimensional plot at work with the mentions of Rei being from a parallel world and the Alone’s origins. That certainly opens up the setting to something even bigger. If there ever is a second season that would be an interesting world to explore.

  • March 14, 2013 at 10:37 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Definitely feels like there will be a Second Season or else the resolution to everything will probably feel rushed unless pulled off just right. Aside from the above mentioned points, there’s also just what connection the “higher beings” have to the Manifest Energy and what gives them the right to test our own dimension on our readiness to use, despite the fact that, as far as we knew, there wasn’t any problems and the world was said to be at peace.

    It makes me wonder if Rei came from a dimension that failed a similar test since, IIRC, she seemed to imply that there was a Manifest Engine in her dimension that was destroyed.

    • March 15, 2013 at 11:39 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      I also wouldn’t be surprised if Akane’s birthmark is shaped like a key, lol.

  • March 14, 2013 at 11:34 pminfo600

    I expect one of us is going to eat his/her words soon…

    in the mean time, cliche-ville… (I’m not complaining or anything)

  • March 14, 2013 at 11:50 pmDa5id

    Speaking of PAX, would anyone in Randomc be willing to blog RWBY? It’s not anime, but it certainly takes a lot of influence from it and is a really hyped up series.

  • March 15, 2013 at 2:10 amAngelus

    Second season or not? Well, Rei’s role as antagonist could be pretty much over now. OK, she might escape from custody, but even if she does, she only has 2 arrows left. If she joins the Vivids and a second season builds on that, then it will have a very different feel from the first because it will be a straight 1-on-1 humans-vs-Alones setup rather than the somewhat ambiguous 3-way one we have right now. That’s not to say it couldn’t work, after all, Strike Witches added some extra tension by introducing various machinations within the military command, and there was also the ongoing plotline of what exactly had happened to Yoshika’s father. Anyway, as long as there is a satisfying ending to this season of Vividred, I won’t be too upset if there isn’t another one.

  • March 15, 2013 at 3:24 am@steve

    That crow looks remarkably similar to Nemesis from To Love Ru Darkness…

  • March 15, 2013 at 4:21 amAnanas

    • March 15, 2013 at 4:46 amScruffy

      No, Instead a closeup is required to see what her mark is as well! :))

  • March 15, 2013 at 4:31 amWanderer

    If ever there was an episode where they should have found something else to use for the ending theme, THIS WAS THAT EPISODE. The mood whiplash from that is probably going to break someone’s neck.

    • March 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm7godeohs

      Sometime watch episode 16 of Clannad: After Story. If this ep gaves you neck-breaking mood whiplash, that episode of Clannad: After Story will slice your head clean off.

      • March 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm7godeohs

        gaves = gave. (wtf are ‘gaves’? :) )

  • March 15, 2013 at 5:15 amgraves

    rei in shower her thinking give destroy the engine of akane’s world then her world is fixed then crow appear with if rei feather neck arrow are gone rei will be “gone” as well.

    while yellow & weasel-grandpa found power-up arrow of alone so find who support of alone as for rei she meet with akane with sorry for tomato give all fine now dinner with akane.

    also more why weasel grandpa know about alone cause years ago see a sign from another world message the alone is coming.

    & oops mayo device that akane’s grandpa made got boom goes the mayo cue bath & “birthmarks” talks with nap talks all fine patch up.

    then alone attack appear give rei go full arrow blast power-up got busted then alone goes boom & yea finally up-close see akane is vivid rangers?

    with both akane & rei going why this happen with rei feel backstab then caught with feel akane is a liar while the crow is watching it all.

  • March 15, 2013 at 6:03 amdaikama

    For some reason I get the feeling this episode’s BD sales will be the highest. Not sure what to say for this shot. Too bad Zephyr is taking the next week off or we could have a “caption” contest for it :D.

    I’m curious to know how this show is fairing in terms of ranking this season. If I had to guess, I’d say we get a definitive conclusion in episode 12 rather than a second season.

  • March 15, 2013 at 6:25 ammac65

    BD volume 4 — just sayin’

    Even though things (IMHO) were expected to happen as played out in this episode, I can’t help saying that they were
    done well. I mean, of course Rei was going to get caught, and of course by none other than Akane. But it’s Akane who
    is feeling the most pain because of it. Having your true feelings deceived is a very painful pill to swallow.

    Rei shows no remorse but she’s not evil, neither is she easily swayed; there was no apology and let’s be friends now
    which I’m really glad that it didn’t turn into that cliché end, and I could feel the seriousness in the story-telling. Bravo.

    Rei is just a tool for whom ever the bird represents. This is good and there’s much we haven’t been told. I’m hoping
    that this season will resolve things with Rei and provide some insight into the Alone‘s purpose for a 2nd season.

    Plus, we have to see Akane’s birth mark – I’m thinking it somehow comes into play, somehow… What, you don’t agree??!

    • March 15, 2013 at 8:06 amGiorno Giovanna

      That birth mark is clearly the symbol of the Galactic Pretty Boy, a status that surpasses the concept of gender.
      Dazzling the stage! NAKED OPERATION, VIVID RED!
      AKANEEEE!

      I mean, Muginami’s mark was in a rather.. interesting spot too.

    • March 15, 2013 at 10:03 amewok40k

      Rei is more than a tool, she is smart enough to not believe into having “happy ending” with Alones and Crow, and shows stirring defiance to the latter, despite pain it brings her. She is willing to sacrifice BOTH herself and our world to restore hers… (My country, right or wrong?). She is a tragic antagonist who set out to defy fate itself.
      One thing makes me wonder if the TRUE test to the Mankind is not if we defeat the Alones but if we manage a way to reconcile with Rei, and possibly abandon the engine peacefully. It would mean hardship and pain, but definitely show maturity of human civilization. Do we risk the fate of Rei’s world to satisfy out hunger for cheap energy? (Anti-nuclear aesop?).
      One more thing dawned to me – what if Rei is not from another world but from our own future gone wrong due to Engine? (Damn that would be copying Homura TOO MUCH!)

      • March 16, 2013 at 3:06 ammac65

        Agree, but I was thinking more in terms of how the Alone sees Rei.

  • March 15, 2013 at 8:27 amSeedStriker

    Cheap drama at it’s fullest this week, coutesy of a way to emo-charged Rei. Now, let me be the first to say “HYPOCRITAL BITCH!” to her. Teling Akane that she’s a lier when she’s the one working with aliens that seems too centered in destroy human civilization across parallel universes (one have to wonder if they are the real responsibles of the demise of Rei’s world), and using the Alone and the survivors of those same universes without any remorse at all. That and the fact that she herself went to Akane house a couple of eps earlier to find out a way to destroy the engine. Now, who’s the lier here?
    Worst of all? Akane is way too pure that she will believe that Rei’s right about her being a lier and the next ep she will be the one to be in EmoVille.
    As for the explanation of the arrows, they’re just like energy conduits that absorb the Engine’s power, supercharge it, and are transferred to the Alone. Now, that IS a dangerous way to use the power.

    • March 15, 2013 at 9:55 amGermanguy

      Both are fighting for their Worlds, that was about to happen. Like in old Samurai films, both Samurai’s have honor, but both must fight.. Hope here in Vivid, we see a solution, and a happy one

      • March 15, 2013 at 4:48 pmSeedStriker

        In jiraimono, the samurais recognize the fight of their peers. They know that the other are not particulary evil, but must fight for their lords and own beliefs. That parallel I could give for Rei… if her master were human at least. Pitching a human to destroy a whole civilization of humans is pity, even for a higher authority (and no, the master of the Baltimore Ravens’ reject is not God or whatsoever) This is not a clash of beliefs, because Rei “thinks” that this higher authority can restore her world, but there’s nothing to prove that. The only thing this so-called intelligent being has shown is that is manipulative, and don’t hesitate to sent it’s pawns to do the dirty job of destroying something that it not like.
        The oly thing that I feel for Rei right now is pity, because when the Crow tells the whole truth (and it will be Vivitold Operation moment for her), the guilt of the lives she took for nothing will mentally kill her.

      • March 16, 2013 at 6:10 amGermanguy

        Well, as a Spectator (Viewer). We can see the full Story behind this. But Rei or Akane, dont know this.Rei wants her Parents back, Akane want to protect Te “Engine”.So, how is more right, and how is Wrong? Its like a RPG, where the Game Master guide Story. We are the Shadow of this Game Master, we are still above the “RPG Figures”. But we dont know what the Real Game Master lead the Story

        Game Master = Producer, Writer
        Shadow of GM = Spectators, Anime Viewer
        RPG Figures = Rei, Akane and other Persons in the Anime

        Hope, your understand my Gist. I try to give some Examples

  • March 15, 2013 at 9:16 amScardigne

    • March 15, 2013 at 9:55 amewok40k

      Backstory is strong with this one…

  • March 15, 2013 at 10:13 amdangerism

    If the law on energy conservation applies, perhaps the Engine drew energy from Rei’s world and caused its destruction, hence why it is required for her to destroy the Engine to stop the imbalance. But how that ends up in resurrecting everyone in her world is beyond me. :P

    • March 15, 2013 at 11:37 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      Hopefully, it won’t be something cliched like all the energy taken just magically returns or something. Which would then throw this world into chaos given it’s the energy being used to keep things running now and if it just leaves…yeah…we got problems, lol.

  • March 15, 2013 at 11:32 ammingus

    Watch, it’s going to end up with Rei becoming Vivid Purple(or black) and the crow being the ultimate villain.

    • March 16, 2013 at 6:14 amGermanguy

      Well, at last it MUST Explain the first Seconds in the Opening of Episode 1. Is Akane going to the “Final” Battle. But what Side? Black or White is not enough to explain. I hope we get an Gray “Finale”

      • March 16, 2013 at 6:14 amGermanguy

        Akane = Rei

        Of course…

  • March 15, 2013 at 12:02 pmTre

    I’m still hoping for a situation where Rei succeeds in destroying the Manifestor Engine, thus bringing back her own world. But the crow and its masters decide to keep Akane alive and place her in the same situation that they had placed Rei, where she must destroy Rei’s world to bring her own back.

    This would mean the crow is pitting both worlds against each other to see who is more worthy of surviving. It would be interesting to see Akane’s reaction to this.

    • March 15, 2013 at 1:05 pmHelvetica Standard

      That’s a very interesting plotline. Mucho surrealistic nightmare xD
      If the show’s mood was different, then maybe…

    • March 15, 2013 at 3:00 pmDvalinn

      That would actually be pretty awesome, I’m getting Bokurano vibes from it.

      Also, are those guard robots made of explodium or what? All Rei had to do was smash one to the ground, and the moment it hit the floor it went up in flames. Also, I think the Alones kind of have a good point…this power can apparently warp the entire universe, so I’d feel uncomfortable leaving it in the hands of a bunch of humans as well. You’d think it’d be more constructive to explain that to them, much like the first one did, or at least come up with something better instead of monster of the week tactics, but hey, apparently coming from a higher plane doesn’t mean you’re actually smarter too.

      • March 16, 2013 at 6:16 amGermanguy

        Perhaps the Alone see the Humans like Apes, playing with Fire.

        Fire can Warm you, but it can also Burn you

  • March 15, 2013 at 5:04 pmYuhsaku

    The background music used in the battle scene in this episode is like a style of Hans Zimmer. :-)

  • March 16, 2013 at 6:00 amTheMoondoggie

    Dat censoring, dat Strike Witches feel… Blu-Ray and DVD when?

    So now the fight gets even more serious. I wonder how much are the chances Rei becomes a member of the Vivid team?

    • March 16, 2013 at 6:18 amGermanguy

      I think, she will became an VIP Friend of the Entire Team. So much for my own “Black Ranger” suggestion… But the story so far, let me see this

  • March 16, 2013 at 7:32 amNekomimimeido

    being Homurun expy is suffering

  • March 22, 2013 at 12:33 amAnsatsu-shi

    … i know that this maybe kinda late to say…
    but was anyone reminded of HIV/AIDS from this?
    http://randomc.net/image/Vividred%20Operation/Vividred%20Operation%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2028.jpg

    • March 22, 2013 at 9:46 amGermanguy

      …um….

      Angel Virus?.. You know, the Designer seems to like Evangelion :)