「ファーストオペレーション」 (Fasuto Opereshon)
“First Operation”

The series I was looking forward to the most is finally here, and the result is a fabulous mixture of science fiction and action—with a bit of fan-service on the side.

Beckoning to its original premise, Vividred Operation starts off things with a lighthearted introduction of the Manifestation Engine, the new peaceful world that has resulted from its creation, and a few of our main cast in Akane (Sakura Ayane), Aoi (Murakawa Rie), and Akane’s grandfather (and the scientist that created the engine) Kenjirou. Suffice to say, the resulting setting is akin to paradise for science fiction fans like myself, and it’s assisted greatly by some exceptionally crisp and gorgeous animation by A-1 Pictures. There were flying bikes (well, only one at the moment), F-22 Raptors, Tiltrotors for civilian use, and some darn futuristic looking screens in the first episode alone—and it’ll be nice to see just how much sci-fi we can get out of this series.

Regardless, the introduction’s just that, as the arrival of the Alone mid-way through the episode shifts the series into a higher gear. The sequence of events following this (conventional weaponry having no effect, our heroine finding and holding the key only she can use to protect humanity with) aren’t quite surprising considering the things we already knew from the premise and the typical format of series such as Vividred. however, if the action packed nature of the military’s clash with the Alone are signs of anything, it’s that the series will be entertaining to watch regardless of how original or unoriginal it ends up. Furthermore, it only helps that Fukasawa Hideyuki provides some superb compositions to highlight these scenes as well. Granted, I have yet to sample any of Fukasawa’s previous works, but it reasons that his work with CAPCOM fighting/shooter games in the past should at least allow him to maintain his current positive trend—at least for the action scenes.

Interestingly enough though, aside from the occasional blatant shot of the pantless rears of our heroines, that whole aspect didn’t actually play that big of a part in this first episode. Needless to say, it’s nice to see that it wasn’t anywhere near as prevalent as many seemed to have pointed out, and this should serve nicely in terms of not being something that detracts from the experience and entertaining nature of the series. Granted, the verdict’s still out on how long it’d take one to get used to a series where all the females wear “hotpants”… but there’s no denying that the series has quite the potential in terms of being fun to watch. There are some epic transformation scenes incoming after all, and if this first episode was any indication, there’s a nice presence of comedy (how about that hug scene… and that body swap… and that tossing of the body into the fridge?) and slice-of-life elements too.

In the end, I have to say that the verdict on this first episode was an overwhelmingly positive one. There’s a bit of a “suspension of disbelief” factor involved here, but the second it involved aliens and transforming gals using glowing power button keys, this was pretty much to be expected. The basic thing that one can conclude is this: Vividred probably won’t wow you with complex plot lines and epic stories of deception and betrayal. What it will do however, is provide something worth watching for entertainment.

Side Note: Gotta love Akane’s throwing skills.


OP Sequence

OP: 「ENERGY」 by earthmind



  1. What a lot of fun this show was. I thought the cameltoe shots might have been a little blatant (that opening sunrise? Really?), but it didn’t get as bad as I feared it might, with only a couple gratuitous ones. I think it’s a neat variation on the Mahou Shoujo idea, enabled by technology rather than magic.

    I wondered how many F-22J’s they were going to throw away sending them after the Alone. That was pretty expensive, although it was taking ships out the same way.

    And a bit of deja vu: long dark-haired hime cut quiet girl named Futaba Aoi?

    1. I guess it can depend on how far into the future this is supposed to be. Depending on inflation and all, the F-22 could be pretty cheap by this point in time (at least compared to now and/or other things).

    2. Considering the scientific advancement, it wouldn’t be too surprising that the Vividred world doesn’t need anywhere near as much money for the materials/tech that goes into building things like the F-22 / F-35, shrug*

      1. I think the setting is probably in the early 2020s. Let’s take the presence of the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) fielding a group of F-35 Lightning IIs during the second attack run on the Alone’s mechanical construct, for example.

        In real life, Japan announced its intent to have F-35’s to replace their outdated F-4 Phantom II planes. Delivery of the 42 F-35 Lightning IIs would begin in 2016 if everything goes to plan.

      2. The reason why you might still be using a F-35 or F-22 Raptors even in an advanced future, say 2080, is the same reason why all countries still use Combat Rifles that all are a variation of the M-16 and the AKM. At some point the Laws of Physics and the Tactical philosophy of use converge into one basic design. You can’t improve beyond that, maybe the F35 is the pinnacle of the concept of fighter-bomber jet and will be used well into the future.

        Actually even current fighter jets are all basically the same, the only differences arise from military policy choices of different countries.

  2. I was kind of unenthused with the show myself. I had a bad enough impression of it to not even wish to try the second episode.

    The general brightness and cheerfulness of it was getting to me, I think. I was getting ‘bad’ vibes of Madoka from that “Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne” anime, a series that had gotten unenjoyable by repeatedly battering my suspension of disbelief with the main character’s optimism, her sense of community and the whole girl power in it.

    I liked SkyGirls. Strike Witches was okay. but watching it all I felt was my Rin-ne annoyance.

    I guess maybe my taste in anime have moved to more serious ones, after seeing seasons upon seasons of similar genre and alike premises/concepts.

  3. Whoa. Beautiful screen shots! But…being a female, all these moe stuff dont do it for me.I mean moe is fine, but I need some other mixture. Ive been waiting for a mecha series. Should I still give this a try, or just wait for Valvrave?

  4. Looks interesting, I’m drawn by the F-22s, F-35s and V-22, but I have a general dislike for any show who’s cast is almost entirely of a single gender and I don’t want to be dragged through any yuri undertones. I’ll probably do what I’ve been doing a lot recently; follow the entries on this blog and watch it once its finished and I know I’ll like the ending.

    Spoiler ruining it is I’ll admit, but a small price to pay if it means I avoid wasting several hours of what little free time I have these days.

  5. This show could easily have been called Magical Girl Vivid Akane, with transformation sequence of cute girls being equipped in high-tech battle suits, and they even threw in a ferret sidekick to boot. (No guarantees whether this old ferret would swindle other girls in trying out his latest inventions with some devious “contract”. 😉 )

    Putting aside any yuri innuendo and fanservice the show is bound to throw, the first episode sure had all the blood-pumping moments that made Strike Witches so popular.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. Main character even has a twin-tail hairstyle, involvement of the purple-haired, purple-eyed mysterious girl…seems we got Nanoha, Madoka, and Strike Witches coming together? lol

  6. Definitely got the Strike Witches vibe with the dead father, the Alone (especially the black and red with the lasers, but looking a lot more mechanical though), and such. Still, definitely something I’ll stick with and see how it goes.

  7. Zephyr, the image you’ve linked to with the words “hug scene” is probably not the image you meant to link to.

    In other news, while the fanservice shots we did get were pretty blatant, I was pleased at how few of them there were. This is nowhere near Strike Witches level of fanservice, something I admit to having been worried about. Vividred is going to be compared to Strike Witches enough as it is. No need add yet another reason for people to accuse this of being a cheap knockoff (although people who aren’t going to bother to watch it already are doing so anyway, but what can you do).

    I actually quite enjoyed this episode. The fanservice was pretty light and not too objectionable, the characters were completely tolerable without anyone annoying me, the plot and worldsetting seemed fine from a first episode perspective. All in all, a decent start, and I’m good to watch more.

    This show has magical girls. Because science. That’s all you need to know.

  8. So, we got Tony Stark’s utopic future with Arc Reactors-free and clean energy to everyone, an unknown enemy that the UN can’t handle, and a (seemingly) magical girl (squad) with a battle armor POWERED BY 5 MINIATURIZED ARC REACTORS!! I’m sold.
    Fumikane does it again, and while there’s some vibes from SW, is not that excessive.

    1. Erm, Fumikane is not involved in this project.

      Character design for this show is the director Takamura Kazuhiro himself. The reason you find the characters similar to Strike Witches is because Takamura also did the character design for Strike Witches, which he directed, based on Fumikane’s original illustrations.

      One thing many people confuse is the original illustrator, who provides the original work, whether it is manga or light novels, and the character designer, who is part of the animation team and is tasked with adapting those illustrations for anime format. Sometimes both roles can be by the same person (OreImo being a prime example), but more often they’re different people.

      Which is why you sometimes see two animes which have similar characters though series A is an adapted work while series B is an original, but you cannot say series B’s design is based on the original author of series A.

      Kinny Riddle
    2. The transformation sequence did remind me of the scene in Iron Man where Tony used the suit inside the suitcase.

      So now it’s an enlarged, moefied version of Iron Man + Strike Witches + Nanoha…..

  9. The opening starts with this scene https://randomc.net/image/Vividred%20Operation/Vividred%20Operation%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2001.jpg I’m sold ^^

    Heh, you often hear the hero being told “the key to our future/lives/victory/etc lies in your hands” but certainly didn’t expect it to be so literally in the show.
    Hmm, love the Alone’s design, especially the Planetarium Projector-like head.

    Besides wondering why the Alone(s) would be targeting the Manfestor Engine, I can’t help but ponder as to how Akane + her mom survived that fall, what with the huge cloud o’ fire below as well as the sheer height.
    Perphaps grandpa is still hiding more secrets in his furry toy body?

    While the premise is Sci-fi, Akane’s transformation keeps making me want to call her a Tekunosaiensu Mahou Shoujo aka Techno-Science Magical Girl.

    Overall, besides feeling a bit brief, looking forward to seeing how this series will pan out *nod nod*
    Especially the Yuri-fan in me what with this scene https://randomc.net/image/Vividred%20Operation/Vividred%20Operation%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2036.jpg and the grandfather’s talk of kissing- er, I mean docking ^^;

    1. That was my thought

      A more super robot rather than real Nanoha – Space Police and + More Mazinger and Gao Gai Gar. Possibly seasoned with some Dragonauts or Bodacious Space Pirates.

      Akane’s similarities to Koji Kabuto are notable.

  10. Don’t know if it’s worth pointing out or not, but all the main characters have numbers and colors (or implied colors) in their names.

    Isshiki Akane – 一色あかね (1, red)
    Futaba Aoi – 二葉あおい (2, blue)
    Saegusa Wakaba – 三枝わかば (3, green)
    Shinomiya Himawari – 四宮ひまわり (4, yellow)

    And then the odd one out with the reversed name:

    Kuroki Rei – 黒騎れい (black, zero)

  11. I suppose I can agree with your conclusion; this is entertaining, if nothing else.

    Because looking objectively, this show basically starts like a gazillion other shows, but now in a world where every loli wears hotpants. There were also enough inconsistencies and weird stuff for me (the world will end if they destroy that reactor? That seems like a pretty big freaking design flaw!) to take the piss out off.

    Regardless, can’t say I was bored. It may not be stellar, but it sure was fun. Nice and easy friday-night entertainment, as kind of a replacement for Btooom!, really.

    1. Mmm I’m pretty sure the reactor won’t destroy the world with some kind of epic explosion or anything if it gets trashed.

      I took it more as a “the world is so reliant on that thing supplying energy that the sudden disappearance of it would leave a lot of things unpowered, leave people starving that would normally not be etc. –> end of the world from the chaos and destruction that come from that.”

      1. Even so, letting the world hinge on one single reactor? You’d think they’d build a back-up somewhere. Any terrorist loon can target that apparatus and plunge the world in chaos that way. You might as well paint a giant bullseye on the thing. Not to mention they do still have an army, so it’s not like they’ve grown lazy with peace or something that would stop them from realizing that. Also, didn’t that thing blow up once before, in those scenes with her mother? You’d think they’d have realized that it could go kaboom because of a fire or something.

        Though I guess this isn’t the type of show to overthink things with. This is a show where her grandpa turned into Kyubey a ferret, so hey. I’ll enjoy this for what it is, and I’m hoping the actual fights will look cool as well (as the rest of the animation looks pretty good so far).

    2. I thought it was more like “if the reactor is destroyed, mankind’s last line of defence will crumble and the unknown enemy will surely take over the world”. If the reactor is destroyed it will probably destroy a huge area (but it’s planted in the middle of the sea). Of course economy reliant on it as its basic energy supply will take a huge blow, but nothing should end the world except the incoming menace appeared from nowhere and inmune to everything.

  12. Nobody’s complained about the grandfather being transfered to a stuffed otter and his body dumped in the freezer. That was sooo dumb. The rest of it is generic (Techno Mahou Shoujo?)

    1. @bear: Your not the only who wasn’t thrilled with that as I commented below. When watching that scene, I kept thinking “they better get his body to a hospital ASAP before all his cells die from lack of oxygen.” When they dumped it in the freezer, I figured at that point it “just accept it and move on”. As for “Techno Mahou Shoujo”, that was my point. I think SF & Magic/Fantasy work better exclusively then a desultory blending of the two.

    2. So…. Grandpa’s an otter now. And they tossed his body in a fridge to keep it fresh. Interesting! I may give this another episode or two. Other than the quirky humor I’m not fond of the fanservice and I’m not big on magical girl shows– though Madoka was great.

      (Yeah, I should have looked at the previews for Vividred Operation instead of relying on a written series summary on Crunchyroll. I was not expecting so many crotch shots. -_-)

  13. Entertaining and crazy high budget. There’s some plot hidden behind all the fanservice, so I don’t mind them one bit. Besides, how can I overlook a show with such an amazing transformation sequence? I’m really looking forward to the rest of the crew’s introductions.

  14. Red and Blue are docking? That can only mean CHORYUJIN!

    Vividred is pretty much what I expected it to be. As much as I loved Madoka, I always prefer my Magical(Science?) Girl Series like this. It plays everything straight and by the book. The optimistic hero, evil aliens and perhaps one of the best transformation scenes I’ve seen yet. All done in a futuristic backdrop that’s nice to look at. Its bright, cheerful, awesome and most important of all its fun to watch. Its been awhile since I’ve had this much enjoyment since Nanoha.

  15. Immediately I was struck by the show’s visual quality – literately paused it to verify I DL the 720p version and not a 1080p version. Zephyr’s preview was dead on there. The BD release should look incredible.

    Definitely a noticeable similarity to Strike Witches. Not just the plot or “required” panty shots, but certain scenes as well. The scene where Akane tries to put the hatchling bird back in the nest reminded me of Yoshika rescuing the cat in SW Season 1 EP 01.

    The show turned out to be pretty much what I expected, and overall, I thought it was pretty good. However, certain scenes raised questions and ultimately left me with some what of a less favorable impression than what could have been made. A couple of examples:

    – Maybe it was already known, but I didn’t expect Kenjiro (the grandfather) transplanting his “mind” into the stuffed toy ferret. Aside from a stuffed toy ferret suddenly coming alive (IMO a “magic” type event rather than a SF), having Kenjiro as a talking ferret IMO negates to some extent the show’s underlying serious tone (the entire world is at risk). Cute, funny… perhaps, but for me too out of place for the setting. Clearly that’s not going to change anytime soon so I’ll have to accept the premise. Still,I would have preferred Kenjiro remaining human.

    – Akane has struggled with acrophobia for years due to a very traumatic event involving her mother. Yet not only does she overcome her fears in order to save Aoi, but she’s instantly and completely cured as well? Her condition is abruptly dismissed as almost an after thought. Just the fact she’s willing to power-dive off the top of a 950+ meter tall building on a floating moped during the middle of a battle in order to rescue Aoi clearly demonstrates the depth of her feelings for her friend. So what was the point of her acrophobia in the first place?

    All JMO, and it’s only the first episode. I still plan to watch to watch the show. I think it has the potential to distinguish itself in it’s own right despite the obvious SW & Sky Girls similarities. I hope that future episodes are more consistent with character development and plot lines so that it reaches that potential.

    1. I’m actually kind of hoping her acrophobia isn’t cured. In fact, I was thinking it would be rather interesting in a slightly twisted way if she’s only free of it when she’s transformed, implying that the device actually does something to her mind in some insidious way. Lacking that, having another panic attack while fighting the Alone would satisfy me.

      What it comes down to is just how simple this series decides to be. If it wants to be really simple and superficial, than a single crux point of needing to face her fears by rescuing Aoi from falling is all Akane needed to forever be completely free of her fear of heights. Personally, I’m hoping it’ll choose to be a little deeper than that. We can only wait and see.

      1. Great post!

        “I’m actually kind of hoping her acrophobia isn’t cured.”

        Agree 100%. My preference would be for Akane to gradually overcome her acrophobia. At times, it may inhibit her during battle – possibly with negative consequences. At other times (like this case), she is able to overcome her fear during a crucial situation with a positive result.

        “What it comes down to is just how simple this series decides to be.”

        Excellent way to state what is in IMO the critical issue confronting the show. There needs to be more than solely great visual quality with the occasional battle scene (i.e. good character development & consistent plot) for the show to ultimately rise above mediocrity into something memorable rather than “just a good looking SW/SG clone”. I’m with you in that I hope the director and writers choose to make an effort to do so.

      2. Yeah, somehow I think the device ‘eat’ her fear, so to be more powerful she needs to be even more fearful when transforming. Such as, she needs to fall from higher position than now to get a stonger power. Yet, she can’t lose that fear, she can’t overcome the fear, she must have the fear with her when transforming in order to get the most of her device.

        Like, she might have reach the highest mountain and fill her heart with ultimate fear, yet if she felt a glimps of hope such as ‘now I can save my friend’ and reduce her fear, the device won’t get the true potensial.

        Though with the light-hearted tone it presented, I doubt it will happen…

  16. The art style as far as characters go look generic.The fanservice was offputting and unnecessary moe moe bullshit.

    And this was one of the shows I was actually looking forward to ;/

  17. shoot, not sure why i feel so underwhelmed by this one. Maybe because of all the other fantastic first eps of this season…
    but yeah, hopefully this brings in some originality or i feel like i might drop this despite its great looks ;_;

  18. It’s kinda nice we have more mahou shoujo anime like this: rather than magic, our cute heroine uses the power of technology.


    And rather than Strike Witches I feel this show is closer to the Nanoha series(which uses magitek).

    1. Yes, this one. There are actually very few fanservice shots in this episode. While the few shots they do have are quite blatant, this doesn’t even begin to come anywhere close to being even a FRACTION of even 1/8th as bad as Strike Witches, for example. You’re letting yourself get fooled by the fact that it opens with a fanservice shot. They had a LOT more opportunities to give us such shots throughout the episode, and they did not take them.

      As a result, DESPITE that opening shot and the transformation scenes and the occasionaly butt shot we had, I am still rating this series as only having relatively mild fanservice. I have seen heavy fanservice, and this is not it.

      1. I counted 3 not intruding the transformation sequins because the camera not linger there. But for the most part it was all in the beginning, the first too just felt creepy as a female to watch. >_< reminded me of the pervert that take pictures up girls skirts and and the girls are in like in grade 8 right.

        Great start to a Mahou Shoujo series related on technology instead. I applaud Grandpa Kenjirou design sense!

  19. Grandpa Kenjirou is the best character IMO, just for having that PC room every gamer wants. XD

    What a waste that those F-22 Raptors and F-35 Lightnings didn’t even scratch the Alone’s mechanical construct. All that CGI wasted for nothing.

    1. Those projected screens seem to me a waste of technology. What you really need is see-through panels which preserve the touch function and add aesthetics. We are headed to a future where any screen you can touch is a touch screen – that sort of thing is just not possible with projected screens.

      1. Well, Hypersonic Layer disturbance. Well this “Projected Screens” need a Material for projecting a Image for our Eyes

        Wall of Water, smoke, Soap bubble.. So why not Hypersonic Air Molecule thing…

  20. Okay, we have:

    Grandpa. Now in a Ferret… Well, no need to Eat and stuff 🙂
    Mother. She is in Hospital
    Younger Sister. She running the “Cash” and Household
    Older Sister. The Heroine
    Friend. Aoi. Well i think Episode 2 will give more Background about her

    MMm, someone is still missing here….

    Oh i know, their father, whats with him? Not a singel Word or thought so far.

  21. I must say, the Transformation Sequenze felt like “Yeah, Awesome. She is going Full Speed to Kick some Ass!”, and then we just see a “Bubble floating in Air!”. That felt like steeping on the Brakes from High Acceleration with Smoke come out of the Brakes 🙂

    Well, it catch my Curiosity, and the Well Shaped Moons/Peaches, too

  22. Yes like most people I also saw the similarities between this and Strike Witches; however it seems they’ve skirted the issues of panties with hot shorts (see what I did there?). I don’t have a great deal of expectations for this show tbh but I love sci-fi and I’m interested to see where it goes as long as it doesn’t end up like Sky Girls.

  23. Yay obviously-stock-transformation-scene interrupting dramatic moment. A couple of the other blatant shots mentioned had me facepalming, as did the idea of “let’s ditch the scientist grandpa for a stuffed animal.”

    That lands this firmly in Magical Girl territory with a bit of sci-fi dressing. Not what I was hoping for to be honest.

  24. well um this a bit remind of strike witches but in future more bit difference.

    so akane give well give her dad is r.i.p. while mom is hospital & yea live her sister with grandpa who is inventor.

    yet one day cue some invasion attack which akane’s grandpa knew it coming so ready some project til boom he now in doll toy while body stuffed in fridge.

    give key to akane to key in save the world yet on the way oh akane has rescue her friend give fear of heights due 7yrs ago which got her & akane’s mom falling.

    give all charge to save her friend yet key is unlock a marching band outfit to ready save the day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *