Vividred Operation, Episode #02
You want docking? We got docking.
What They Say:
That is everyone’s wish. Here in a world where science has solved all questions. This story is set in Oshima. The happy, carefree 14 year old Akane Isshiki lived a poor, but well loved life together with her reliable little sister, Momo, who does all the housework, and her grandfather, Kenjirou, a genius inventor who only cre-ated useless devices. When the weather is clear, they can see the artificial is-land, Blue Island, across the sea. In the center of that island rises the revolution-ary Manifestation Engine, a discovery that solved the world’s energy problems.
Talk of ‘docking’ is all very well, but Akane and Aoi have to figure out how that all works, first. After using the power of Akane’s ‘key’ to the Vivid System to transform, Akane and Aoi take over for the National Guard, whose attacks are proving unable to deal effective damage to the Alone – but when, after they’d thought they’d defeated their enemy, it’s mysteriously reactivated in an even more powerful form, they turn to another of the Vivid System’s tricks…
There’s been a quite unreasonable amount of anticipation since last week’s episode over Akane and Aoi’s impending ‘docking’. As it should, Vividred keeps you waiting for a while before following through on that particular promise – but keeps you entertained in the interim with an air battle that produced a mile-wide grin on my face that refused to leave until the battle was over. Not just because of the visual flair, which is beginning to become a welcome Vividred trademark, but because of the way in which a) the series has no qualms about being downright stupid in the way that its plot unfolds, and b) it’s full self-aware of that, and even calls it out. Several times, members of the military stand slack-jawed, watching themselves being out-gunned and out-performed by two kids in frilly dresses.
”What does this look like to you?”
“Uh, like little girls, sir…”
Which pretty much sets the tone for the show, really. This is not something that you can watch if you demand adherence to logic or reality, or like storylines to be slowly unfolded and allowed to display true depth. Primarily because there’s no logic, reality or depth here – Vividred is quite up-front about what it is and what it’s trying to do: have fun with its idea, and entertain. For the most part, this episode delivers on that, but it’s not without a few flaws: most notably, the brief flashback scene that begins to explain why Akane and Aoi’s first attempt at ‘docking’ didn’t go as planned. The cut from present to past is so sudden that for a moment I thought we’d flashed forward to after the battle, and it took a few seconds of mental gear-grinding to realise what had happened and pick up the storyline again. But with the episode largely dealing with one major event, such incidents are rare, and the rest of the episode is damned near flawless when set against what the series sets out to do.
To be clear, Vividred Operation isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea – you’ll know very quickly if this isn’t for you. If this is the sort of thing that floats your boat, though, it’s top-class fun almost all the way, with this episode continuing the flying start we got last week. More, please.
Content Grade: A-
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8.2