Anyone waiting for Vivid Homu will have to wait a while longer…
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.
Rei Kuroki: one of the girls in Akane’s class at school – quiet, distant from the others, and the sort of person who doesn’t believe she needs things like friends. She’s also the girl whose arrows have been providing power to the Alone – although she doesn’t seem to be carrying out that particular task entirely willingly. Akane’s initial attempts to befriend her are quickly rebuffed, but – unaware of Rei’s connection to the Alone – she’s not one to give up so easily…
I’ll start by mentioning the unmentionable – I’ve seen a couple of Twitter posts through the week, bemoaning anyone who would dare mention Vividred Operation and Madoka Magica in the same sentence. To a point, that’s fair comment – the two shows are very different beasts, with one demanding to be taken deadly seriously and the other clearly realising that only a fool ever would. No prizes for guessing which one’s which. But when it comes to Rei, and the revelation of her backstory – of a girl from a destroyed world, trying to act on the one chance she has to get her world back – and you’d need to be blind not to see the parallels with Homura. And that’s before you get to character designs.
This, then, is the week where Vividred gets serious, because the loss of a world is no laughing matter – especially when there’s the suggestion thrown in that the Manifestation Engine may have been responsible. In turn a hint as to where the Engine, and in turn Akane and her friends, are drawing their power from, perhaps, and something the series is looking certain to cover in more detail.
In the meantime, though, we’re in the strange situation where the show that I’ve been praising for being the one most guaranteed to raise a smile this season… doesn’t. As with last week, the pacing is rather on the slow side; the subject matter leaves little time for diversions into fun for fun’s sake; and, with this week’s battle being devoid of new transformations and over in “blink and you’ll miss it” timescales.. it’s Vividred, Jim, but not as we know it. And yet I wasn’t disappointed.
As with everything else in this series, it’s drawing heavily from other things and lacking on the originality front, but in presentation and execution it continues to hit all the sweet spots – apart from that slightly off-putting over-reliance on fanservice. But that’s just one blemish on an otherwise fine piece of entertainment.
Content Grade: B+
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8.2