「Fluorite Eye’s Song」

Episode Review

This episode was by no means a ‘surprise’ and didn’t offer a twist ending. It’s what we all expected would happen. Vivy would save the world and sing her song, as herself, finally. Yet, even with no twist and turns, even with the story unfolding just as it should have, this series finale was great to watch.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks throughout Vivy. We saw her conquer her own mind, learn about the future, become a museum relic, but also connect with Osamu, the man who started it all, from the moment he was a child right into the future where he finally turned back time. She’s evolved so much since the first episode, having experienced everything from love, grief, death, betrayal, pain, and sadness which have all contributed to this ‘heart’ she’s finally found.

There aren’t many questions left unanswered which is always something great when it comes to a series like this, especially one that plays with time. It went around full circle nicely as well, which usually leaves the audience feeling as though the story is ‘complete’. Bringing Vivy back to her first stage, jolting Momoka back into the midst, and seeing Vivy perform on NiaLand’s main stage were simple and effective ways to tie any loose ends. The only true question I have revolves around the Archive’s logic. Why would this super AI want to offer an opt-out option of the massacre it’d been planning for a hundred years? That definitely didn’t happen in ‘I Robot’. Did it have a soft spot for Vivy and her journey? I can’t imagine why the creation (song) of a fellow AI would influence such an enormous objective. Technically, AIs could have continued to evolve just like Vivy regardless if humans had been around or not.

Just to be clear, I’m not advocating for the mass murder of humans. But it was an interesting choice to include this point in the plot that I wish I understood a little more.

Another question I have, which is slightly more rhetorical, is: Why did we put Vivy through so much, gaining so much to lose it all in the end? This is perhaps the only bit of frustration I have towards the series. She was unique and a gem in so many ways and now this world is left without it. Interesting concept. The heart will be your downfall.

On that note, the altruistic approach to the series finale felt a little overdone. But, I did appreciate the foreshadowing of their imminent end which gave us one final moment between our key characters. Seeing Matsumoto and Vivy’s bond one final time really pulled at the heartstrings. It’s in that moment that I said to myself, and to the creators of this show: ‘Thank you for having introduced us to their relationship.’ It’s definitely a contributing factor in why I think the series is successful.

Final Impressions

This series was beautiful from the beginning through to the very end. Watching Vivy experience different people, AIs, and their individual stories was like watching a child experience life for the first time. When you think back of your first memory of grief, or pain, or sadness, even joy, laughter, there’s something that remains engrained, embedded in your mind, your body even. The way Vivy collects her memories is the same way we do our own, and it’s from there that we learn how to navigate the world. It’s from these instances and moments that we become the versions of ourselves that we are today.

The message in this series isn’t a new one. But it’s retold in such a way that feels fresh. We’ve all seen or heard the story of AI destroying the planet in the future, we’ve all seen or heard about an AI having to discover what is a heart (A.I. Artificial Intelligence), yet Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song still managed to tell the story in a unique way, using the device of time travel to impact and change the future. The combination of all three plot points offered a really well-balanced story that was hard to pull away from. Each week, we’re left with “What will happen next in Vivy 100 year journey?” and that thought pulled me, and probably you, right back to the screen.

I wouldn’t necessarily name this my favorite series of the spring 2021 season but it’s up there with a few others. It’s definitely rekindled a joy I used to have with sci-fi anime genres and I might be looking to rewatch some old classics or find some new gems. If you have any recommendations, feel free to jot them down below in the comments.

So there you have it. My thoughts about Vivy. She’s had a rough journey but she came out as pristine as a diamond at the end. Right?

15 Comments

  1. Overall i feel that the plot about the war with the AI was the less interesting aspect of the series and i have hunch that the author feels the same and relegated it to the role of a mere narrative device to spark the events. What mattered was the development of Vivy, starting from a single phrase indicating her purpose, until she finally understood what it means. It’s that understanding that separates a machine executing a program from a true sentient being. The series never stated that her goal was to “became human” like many stories about AI, but to reach her purpose in life. I found this refreshing, because i think that a true artificial intelligence can’t just be a copy of humanity and must find his own way.
    As an anime original this series is quite an achievement, with multiple satisfying mini story arcs and a lot of interesting characters that leave a lasting impression despite their limited screen time. I’ll definitely miss her and Matsumoto.

    Lambdalith
    1. This is really insightful. I think that’s what gives this story a new approach. The fact that it isn’t about becoming human but about finding her purpose. The mini-arcs also fueled the success of the series! They were very nicely executed. Some mini-arcs, especially in short series like these ones, can come off as unnecessary and may not have offered much. But we saw right away, during the arc, that Vivy was evolving in a sense. Great comment. Got me thinking some more about the series. I keep recommending it to people I chat to! Hope you are too 🙂

      MissSimplice
      1. Yeah, i am always partial to anime originals (luckily we are past the stage in which they were almost an endangerment species), but Vivy didn’t even need special favor to get to my personal favorites of the season.

        Lambdalith
  2. the Archive admits that AI are lacking in the free will aspect. despite their 100 years of advancement, they’re still mostly stuck to following their mission, even with the very broad freedom afforded to them in regards to fulfilling that mission

    so part of the Archive sees that Vivy was only really able to achieve this level of free will (choosing to write a song on her own initiative) by interacting with humans. thus, it’s worth keeping humans alive for AI’s sake at the very least. even if the Archive has given up on the human side of humanity, I think it isn’t completely confident that AI would be able to continually evolve on their own as the new humanity. if AI are just going to stagnate because it can’t solve that problem, it results in the same bad end in the end

    GoXDS
  3. This week on Vivy:
    final battle to save mankind from rogue AI attack,
    and more importantly, Vivy sings from the heart, finally…
    in the end, “heart” is what everyone makes it out to be!

    definitely a series to be remembered…

    ewok40k
  4. This was quite frankly, highly entertaining. I enjoyed every minute of this show and it ended definitively. Considering this was original material, I was surprised how well it ended up. Definitely not the best this year, or even this season, but I enjoyed it from start to finish. Of course, I would agree with the post that some motivations of the Archive were questionable, and I would like to see how they are going to avoid repeating such incident moving forward since I assume, there would be another version of the archive to replace the existing homicidal one. BUT, I consider this story as good as finished.

    WavePlus
  5. MissSimplice: “Why would this super AI want to offer an opt-out option of the massacre it’d been planning for a hundred years?”

    Vivy explained in this final episode that only a small part of Archive wanted to give Vivy a choice in saving humanity, which is why she explained that Archive must be shut down even though she’d shut down the AIs that were parts of Archive by singing. The main collective consciousness of Archive wanted to destroy humans, and that’s why in Episode 12, it made tons of satellites fall down to Earth even though that small part of Archive that Vivy spoke to only indicated it would drop one satellite down on Earth, which shows that Archive’s being, although it had reached a consensus, still had a small part of it that wanted to give Vivy a choice to save humanity due to Vivy’s act of creation. It was revealed in Episode 12 that it did that because the one aspect that AIs are clearly lacking in compared to humans is creativity, and Vivy had made a breakthrough, being the closest to what that part of Archive deemed a new human.

    Vance
    1. Right! That’s pretty clear from the episode that the Archive was intrigued at the very least by Vivy’s growth/innovation. But she’s one AI out of so many. What are the chances of this kind of self-evolution successfully happening with the rest of the autonomous AIs?

      If I were a super AI, I feel like I’d have measured that chance as quite minimal and not opted to offer an ‘abort’ button. Logic over emotions I guess. The other thing is, without Matsumoto and the Singularity project, I don’t know that she would have evolved in the same way. She’d still be in Nierland wondering what it is to sing from the heart. So for other AIs, they’d need a similar catalyst (human or not) to push them to explore outside their core mission. Again, not advocating that humans shouldn’t remain alive but I feel like there’s a blip in the Archive’s reasoning. It doesn’t seem like enough.

      But thinking about it… alternatively…Vivy is in fact connected to the Archive, so could it be that her own development/growth/’heart’ seeped into the Archive’s? Rather than having the Archive influence her code, her own code changed the Archive’s overall programming?

      Just food for thought…

      MissSimplice
      1. I think that is an interesting line of thought that Vivy influenced Archive given that all the AIs that have connected to Archive become a part of Archive. Vivy probably influenced Archive in a way that a small part of it developed a seed of compassion given it had observed Vivy for 100 years, leading to it doubting whether its initial conclusion that humanity must be destroyed has to happen no matter what, and that is why it chose to offer an “abort” button to show mercy to humans out of deference to Vivy, who is compassionate towards humans.

        Vance
  6. I know there has been awesome art here, but I would like to discuss the subliminal message: postwar trauma.

    I guess it really goes back to history that on the Japanese perspective just forgive everything, what their AI’s did to humanity is what they did to the world as part of the Axis.

    I guess they want people post war to forgive them for their sins.

    Loose Ends Tied
    1. Are you sure about that? I cant’ find anything about it and the finale, while open to some interpretations, doesn’t seem to need additional clarifications.

      Lambdalith

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