Vividred is a bootylicious party with a mix of action porn and, well, softcore porn.
A-1 brings us the touching anime-original story of four shapely butts as they fight off aliens, or monsters, or something. Oh yeah, there are girls attached to these butts and they have characterization and stuff. And there’s a beach episode with boobs, but they give way back to butts. And then there’s a fifth butt, this one gets a close up within twenty seconds of the show starting, really setting the tone for the rest of the show.
Now seriously let’s have a review.
It isn’t entirely obvious, but you will notice
pretty quickly that this is a mahou shoujo. Even though the characters get their powers from technology and friendship rather than magic, it is pretty clearly mahou shoujo, and a pretty unoriginal one at that. Honestly, most people will have predicted the end within a few episodes. The stakes are high, but the power of friendship comes through in the end. The story adheres strongly to clichés of the genre.
The story is frankly not too important in this anime. You watch this anime to have a good time, not to hear a riveting story. It holds together well, and arguably this unoriginality is actually a plus. The story may not bring anything new to the table, but it pulls it off with great skill. The way it delivers such conventional mahou shoujo story is actually very satisfying. This may not be the most intellectual anime ever, but the story is never opaque. I never once had to guess why a character did what they did or what the hell was going on, making this a great anime to watch if you aren’t very smart, or are drunk.
Vividred operation is a very pretty anime. The sci-fi elements show excellent attention to detail. Characters and backgrounds are both attractively designed. There are very few parts that were lazily animated and although there were a couple of hiccups, the show was fairly consistent throughout. The action scenes are great and not padded with too much dialogue. The show in general does not shy away from difficult animation and provides plenty of excellent action.
There is a lot of fanservice. It doesn’t really detract from the show, but it will annoy some people.
The music is upbeat and fits the mood of the show perfectly. The OP and EDs are good, but not stellar. Voice actors adequately fill their roles.
The first thing you will notice about the characters (if you speak any Japanese) is that they are named after their hair color. Unfortunately, every single character is shamelessly copy/pasted from another anime. The worst offense is with not-Homura, I mean Rei. The characters do play off each other splendidly. Being an anime about the power of friendship, the friendships between the girls are well-developed, if a little too sunny. Like the story, there is nothing new to see here. Their personalities may not be nearly as molded as their glutes, but they manage not to be emotionless boards.
This brings me to the fanservice. If you are one of those people who can’t stand it, just skip this anime. There is a lot of fanservice, giving special attention to the posterior. A huge portion of Vividred is devoted to close-up shots of sweet, sweet booty.
Vividred is a high-octane, feel-good anime that is perfect if you just want to have a good time watching. Generous action and glorious ass shots make this one of the most fun animes I’ve seen in 2013. This category is necessarily subjective, but I would recommend this to anyone who wants an exciting, fun but not very intellectual show.
Vividred Operation is like going to a concert of a really good cover band, like the Strolling Bones. Sure it may be completely unoriginal, but it’s executed almost perfectly. You may not have done much thinking, but you leave with a smile on your face.
I am usually loath to dropping a series, but 6 episodes into Vividred Operation and I can't watch any more. I initially chose to watch this anime as it was an original and I love when visual media can put out something spectacular all on it's own. Unfortunately for me though, visual media has failed me this time.
Story - 3
An interesting initial concept but everything is very dull and predictable. The story plods along very straight forwardly without any twists or turns and you know exactly what is going to happen when the outline of the episode is shown in the opening minutes. I felt
as if my time had been wasted by the end of each episode.
Art - 8
The highlight of the series. The animation quality is up to the industry standard in this day and age however, the bright, vibrant sceneries and characters make every scene extremely pleasant to watch. If I had one issue it would be that the fight scenes with the Alone could have been more spectacular but they do still look good regardless.
Sound - 5
There's nothing to complain about but also nothing to praise. All the voice actors do their job adequately, however due to the simpleness of the plot, and thus dialogue, there is not really anything in particular to note. . The ending theme does change with each episode, depending what the episode is focused on, which is a nice touch. However, the opening theme doesn't stand out at all and don't get you pumped up and ready to watch the episode.The background music suits every scene but it doesn't really stand out or add anything to the scene.
Character - 3
There are no real stand out characters, all of our protagonists fit generic archetypes and have no progression. The only interesting character is Rei, a mysterious girl who is in Akane's class but seems to be helping the Alone's. However, when her story is explored in episode 5, you can pretty much map out what is going to happen to her for the rest of the series, making her just as dull as the others.
Enjoyment - 2
My main gripe with the show, other than the points above, is that for some reason, it is regulation for middle schools' female uniform to consist of hot pants. There seems to be no practicality to this other than to get as many butt shots of the girls in the show as possible. I was left laughing and sighing at some of the ridiculous shots that were either nothing but butt or included someone's butt at the side of the shot for no good reason. When a big breasted girl gets thrown into the fray the ridiculousness just gets worse. I feel as I've said butt way to many times in the paragraph, but hey, there's VO has a lot of butts!
Overall - 4
If you want to just sit and let your mind do nothing for 24 minutes and you don't mind seeing an abundant of ridiculous fan service, then you might be able to get some enjoyment out of this series. On my experience though, I cannot recommend Vividred Operation to anyone as, other than the visuals, there is nothing to recommend.
I've been a fan of Strike Witches so when Vividred Operation was announced, I was pretty excited. After all, this series is about saving the world without pants once again. In fact, the world that this series takes place in doesn't seem so ominous. As a matter of fact, Vividred Operation looks like one of those paradise worlds from the future and one that I would definitely want to live in. It looks like a paradise, it has some features of a paradise, and maybe it is a paradise. Rather though, I gave this series a shot and what I discovered it was from far
Vividred Operation is original anime series produced by A-1 pictures and handled by Kazuhiro Takamura, the same director involved with Strike Witches. Thus, expect some of the similar character designs and themes presented here. Among those themes include friendship which ties the main characters together. However, Vividred Operation doesn't pull everything together right and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Like its predecessor, Vividred Opreation takes the skies once again with its style of saving the world against unknown alien forces. From the surface though, the series looks clean and peaceful. In fact, it seems that the world is at peace, with a lack of global warming, and has advanced technology beyond our times. It definitely looks like a paradise. Set in Oshima, a powerful piece of technology known as the Manifestation Engine has made all of that possible. However, there's a problem now and they're threatening humanity:
The series involves a group of young girls that relies on battling the Alones and saving the world. With a little motivation and desire to protect what they cherish, the young girls of the series wishes to protect Oshima and the world that they reside in. It's a fairly simple and overused theme in many series. As a matter of fact, the same theme is present in Strike Witches, Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Freezing, etc where normal girls gains powers and abilities. For the girls though, they are tied together by a strong bond known as friendship. The girls are united by friendship and whether you believe it or not, it is one of the keys to prevent the destruction of their world. With science and a little genius behind the works, it must just seem so.
At least so, that's what it looks like.
The new enemy known as the Alone makes their presence well known by causing mass destruction with seemingly no purpose at first. Rather though, they are likely after the polar opposite of what the people living in Oshima wants: war. In fact, their attack on the Manifestation Engine proves this as even in the pilot episode, the Alone are single-mindingly bend on spreading their terror. It certainly kills that laid-back atmosphere and turns the series into more of a dramatic battlefield. It's something that almost no one wants in their world especially Akane, a friendly and outgoing girl.
From the surface, Akane seems like a normal, outgoing, and cute little girl. Her love for tomatoes seems to symbolize her happy personality and with that, she is easily able to get along with others. It's often shown where she cruises around the city on her scooter and joyfully enjoying the atmosphere of what the Manifestation Engine has bought to their world. Well, that was before the Alone made their grand entrances. And as things are present, Akane vows to put an end to this destruction especially after an event in the beginning that even involves her own family.
Luckily though, Akane doesn't seem to be alone. With her is Aoi Futaba, Akane's best friend who has came back to the peaceful city. Like Akane, Futaba presents herself as a a friendly girl who is helpful and caring to those around her. Despite her poor health, she has a strong heart and believes what needs to be protected in their world. On the other hand, there is Wakaba Saegusa, the captain of New Oshima Academy's Female Kendo Club as well as being a pro at kendo. She is also the president of her class and is highly respected among her peers. Finally, last but not least, there's Himawari Shinomiya who although lacks the brawns makes it up with her brilliance in technology. These four girls makes up the team and what humanity has hope for.
Outside of that cast though is a girl named Rei Kuroki. Her presence in the series is seen as more of a mystery because of her actions. Seemingly strange enough, Akane treats her as a friend but her actions tells much more of a different story. In fact, her actions is malevolent and considered a threat to society. Furthermore, it seems that she doesn't like society herself judging by the fondness of animals rather than with people. The "Alone" themselves may be a symbol of what she stands for because Rei always seems so alone, even though she has people who truly wants to be her friend. Talk about being the anti-Akane here.
Now, let's get to the action part because what else are those cool gear and gadgets used for? Of course, if you're thinking to kick some Alone butt, then that's the right answer. The action presented in Vividred Operation is somewhat entertaining but at times, just seems too cliched. It gets crazy at times too when the girls does spectacular aerial displays despite never ever having prior military experience. Even Aoi Futaba who is seen as physically weak pulls out the stops wit her jet catching and battle sequences. When did these girls get so talented? Among other things involving the battles are teamwork that is literally presented when they fuse together to bring out a stronger entity. Oh it's flashy but at many times, it just seems too forced. Furthermore, let's not forget about the outfits the girls are wearing. The way the young girls are dressed become a joke with the flashy outfits and transformations. It's like taking the 'let's save the world theme' and give it a more visual touch of crotches and ass.
On the other hand, the Alones are designed with the typical science fiction trope. They have strange shapes, strange attacks styles, and most of all, a strange mystery of their background with their origins. Well, at least they give off that science fiction feel. I mean, just look at them standing some hundred feet tall and roaming around not giving care about what happens to the peaceful world. They seemingly declare war on humanity and brings that feeling of terror to the people in Oshima as well as the rest of the world.
As mentioned before, friendship becomes a symbol and a major source of the girls' power. In fact, it is what ties them together in states of crisis (especially so in later episodes). Unfortunately, the deeper dynamics of their friendship is an unexplored territory. As a matter of fact, there is a lack of real development between the characters. It could of done so in one of the first few episodes but the producers instead throws in one of those fun/fillerish beach episode to give fans service. It just doesn't work out right and makes the friendship theme more weaker than it should be.
Furthermore, the character of Rei becomes the antithesis of friendship in this series. She seemingly has no real friends but rather a mysterious being that she often has conversations with. These conversations are also not very pleasant and among other things, she seems to have a dark past. Additionally, the potential friendship she has with Akane gets killed in a single episode. This lack of development destroys the mood of the series and makes it seem as if Rei is even worse than the Alone themselves.
Despite this though, I do find the series to be entertaining and cute at various instances. Most of this comes from Akane's cheerful mood and that energetic personality of hers. She is one of those girls where it's almost impossible for anyone to hate her. Besides her strong bond with her friends, she wishes to protect the world and an everlasting peace. She views Alone as a factor that stands in the way of this and something of an abomination to what she believes in.
Visually, the series is pleasant and A-1 pictures did their jobs right here. The sun reflects a cheerful atmosphere like a paradise across Oshima. The series also makes the usage of some of the technology through CGI to give the Alone their science fiction trope. However, at times, it lacks any real favor but rather fits into a more category of the 'alien design department'. Additionally, some of the designs of the Alone looks similar to Strike Witches although it doesn't come as a surprise given Kazuhiro Takamura's involvement in the series. And of course, who can forget about those outfits the characters wear?
In terms of music/soundtrack presentation, the series seems alright but becomes crispy at many instances. With 5 different ED songs, the series gives every character a chance for spotlight. However, the soundtrack is just medicore and nothing particularly stands out. The background music is typical and although the seiyu does their work right, I just feel like nothing really particularly stood out more than the others.
Overall, I found Vividred Operation to be a series of fun and entertaining but becomes frustrating to watch as the episodes passed on. The seemingly lack of story and weak character development/relationships makes watching the series feels like a chore. Additionally, some of the fan service are distracting and the Alone themselves seems to have no motivation rather than seeking endless destruction; their designs are also generic and doesn't stand out too much from my perspective. It serves just as a device to bring out the 'save the world theme' with no regards to making any lesson of morality. Ultimately, this show is more of a way to pass time for me, but it did have some of its fun moments. After all, who ever said you need pants to save the world.
Vividred Operation has become the butt of a lot of jokes since it aired. In a manner not dissimilar to its spiritual predecessor, Strike Witches, this anime has been dismissed as bottom-of-the-barrel pandering trash, an asinine attempt to cash in on the sexual obsessions of those gross otaku. This seems terribly unfair to me. What ought to be taken into account is how well Vividred Operation succeeds on its own terms when you more closely examine the contours of its plot and characters. It's unreasonable to hold Vividred responsible for not following conventions that it had no intent to follow in the first place.
is well produced. The visuals are soft, round and pleasing to the eye, and the animation has the glutes to pull off well-choreographed fight scenes. For a show with such a half-assed premise (a quasi-magical girl spin on the moe militarism trend in which middle school girls use powerful technology to fight giant enemies called Alones) and obvious use of stock characters (you'll peg Kuroki as the Fate/Homura of the show instantly), there's no expense spared on making the visuals nice and meaty. The music is dull but functional.
The main characters are cute moe archetypes who are characterized solidly enough for the purposes of the show. Their individual arcs are predictable but they're nonetheless consistent—well rounded and fleshed-out quite sufficiently. Of course, the hungry gaze of the otaku is omnipresent, pupils dilating as Akane squirts mayonnaise all over her food.
My major hump with this show is that while it succeeds completely in achieving what it so clearly set out to do, there's only so much value in that. If short shorts and explosions were the highest of high art, this would be a 10.
I am four episodes into Vividred Operation as I am writing this review so the scores might be subject to change but where this show is going I highly doubt it.
"Friendship is the key to protecting the world." From the show's tagline one already has a grasp what sort of plot are in store. Indeed this show is an amalgamation of the magical girl and sci-fi settings. You have your typical heroines fighting against alien invaders in power suits using all their powers of friendship at their disposal. Early episodes follow the pattern of "Monster appears, girl transforms, monster powers up and girls power
up and uses finishing move". It won't be anything new if you've been following anime recently (Strike Witches, Rinne no Lagrange), but hey, you are probably not watching this for the plot are you?
... and speaking of the real reason anyone would watch Vividred Operation, the art is of high quality by the 2013 standards. The staff working on this project have respectable track records in their resumes. We have studio A-1 pictures (Sword Art Online, Ao no Exorcist, Ano Hana), redjuice (Guilty Crown) as the concept artist and of course Kazuhiro Takamura of Strike Witches fame as the director. The colouring are vibrant and vivid as the title would suggest and the action scenes are smooth.
Given that Takamura is directing, the audience is also treated to a generous serving of pantyshots from the very first minute and throughout the whole series since well, panties (or hot pants depending on how you look at it) is part of the school uniform in the V.O. universe. In fact, by the end of series, you might be sick of seeing butts every two minutes...
The soundtracks in Vividred Operation suit the bright atmosphere of the anime. We have techno mixes for the fast-paced action scenes and in general cheerful BGMs. The ending themes change every episode from 1 to 4 as each girl is introduced, which is a bonus. While the music of Vividred Operation will not be too memorable, it gets the job done.
The characters of Vividred Operations unfortunately do not stand out as they fall under overused archetypes. It seems the protagonist in this type of magical girl genre is always the cheerful, energetic girl while you also have the pure, innocent type; the cool, strong girl and the introverted, smart girl. You even have the animal familiar that is ubiquitous in the magical girls genre.It seems that Vividred Operation also took a cue from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica by including a mysterious, gloomy girl who serves as an antagonist at first but will likely become an ally towards the end of the series.
The audience should have no difficulty distinguishing the characters as each is assigned a colour that matches her personality. Furthermore, the girls' last names contain a number in the order of appearance and first names which associate with their colour.
I won't lie, I started watching with low expectations for everything except for the fan-service department and to that end my expectations have been met. It is definitely a visual upgrade to the Strike Witches series and it won't disappoint anyone who is looking for some hot loli butt action. Now excuse me as I return to my guilty pleasure...
This is not the best Winter 2013 has offered so far. This is either a hit or miss: you will like it if you like watching magical girl shows or belong to the Roadside Observation Research Institute, otherwise it will probably be Vividredful.
I was going to write an introduction to slowly draw the reader in, and compel them to read my review. It was going to be full of evocative language and rhetorical flourishes. But you know what? This is going to be crazy long as it is. Let's just get started.
Awful plotting, awful continuity, and awful character motivations. Yeah. That about sums it up.
Vividred Operation is a decent series. It's about a young girl who, one day through strange happenstance, stumbles upon a threat that could wreak chaos upon the Earth, and takes up arms against a threat from another world.
Oh, sorry. That's Magical
Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Let me try again.
Vividred Operation isn't a bad show. It's about a few young girls who team up to become magical girls. However, the show is less about the plot itself, as it is about the relationships between the characters. Despite its flaws, it manages to be a memorable show with some solid characterization and interesting twists on the magical-girl formula throughout.
Oh, sorry. That's Puella Magi Madoka Magica. One more time.
The problem with Vividred Operation is that it doesn't really try to do much that was new. It doesn't try to put a spin on tired material. It doesn't... try to do much of anything. The story is just a mish-mash of tried tropes tossed into a blender by some uncreative writers that thought that whole silly "writing a creative story" nonsense would simply get in the way of their panty shots.
The amount of continuity glitches, plot holes, and ignorance of base human psychology run rampant. Characters know things they could only know through reading the script. The show's "science" is more or less a bunch of gobby-gook that the writers make up on the spot. The show doesn't bother to even try to keep its own continuity straight!
Yes, yes. I know the plot is goofy. I know that I'm probably not supposed to take it seriously. That's no excuse to not try. The show isn't even popcorn-movie level entertaining, because of the rampant continuity glitches and illogical and incoherent character behavior. It distracts you and pulls you out of the story even IF you're trying to do nothing but have a good time!
Oh, hey! Let's chat about the characters! They existed. Aside from Kuroki Rei, I'd say that we already have a solid candidate for the most boring cast of 2013.
I don't know what to say about most of Vividred Operation's cast. I thought about comparing them to cardboard cutouts, but then I realized exactly how cruel that was to cardboard cutouts. Here's your typical Vividred Character: They have a name. They have one or two defining character traits. In essence, that makes up their entire identity as a fictional being.
But what about character development? Nah. Almost all of them go through a minimal character arc, and really... don't do that much. The story really tries to make it look like the cast is developing, they really do. But we don't see it. The characters seem to go through experiences that should change their attitude towards other members of the cast, and then this is mostly disregarded and almost never talked about again. There is little self-reflection, and almost none of the characters even bother having any kind memorable backstory.
Notice that I kept using qualifiers. There is a single character of interest: Rei Kuroki. She's a dark magical girl (Well, Dark Sufficiently-Advanced-Technology Girl), who is working with the Alone and their mysterious benefactors for reasons unknown to the viewer. She's actually a rather compelling character- she has an interesting personality, she pretty much steals every scene that she's in, and when you learn her motivations, they actually make some degree of sense. (Okay, that's partially because she's a blatant rip-off of Fate from Nanoha. But I'll take what I can get.)
The villians are rather stock with unimpression motivations. There's really no reason to watch the entire show just to learn exactly why the Alone are coming to Earth: it isn't a plot twist of mind-bending proportions.
So congratulations Vividred. You managed to have one memorable character. In the long run? Doesn't amount to much.
Looks pretty, but ruined by the blatant fanservice.
The animation is smooth, the character designs are decent (although several of the characters are colored such that they look like they're blushing half the time, which annoyed me), and the backgrounds are fantastically done. The show definitely does look pretty. So why did this get such a low score? Because of the blatant fanservice shots. And are there plenty of blatant fanservice shots. The amount of fanservice in the show is simply obscene, and in the end there is no excuse for it.
Opening and Ending are pretty meh. Maaya Uchida is pretty much the only voice actress that even tries, and the sound is overall rather bland.
Really, there isn't much to say about the music in Vividred Operation. It's... okay? I guess? It's nothing particularly special, and rather easy to tune out. The opening theme and end theme aren't bad, but they're pretty generic, as far as openings and endings are concerned. Nothing separates them from the hundreds of competing OPs and EDs out there.
The seiyuu performances are... acceptable. They certainly are voices, and there certainly is acting, but pretty much none of them even try to go beyond their comfort zone and add personality to their performance. The except is Maaya Uchida, who voices Rei. She really does try to add some nuance to Rei's character, and you can tell that she's putting the effort in. It definitely adds to the show, and is probably a key part of what makes Rei a compelling character. It's just a shame her talent is wasted on this show.
So... what have we learned?:
Vividred Operation is a mess. Bad characterization, poor plotting, blatant pandering, and just poorly thought out on every level. There are plenty of shows that do exactly what Vividred tries to do, and do it better.
I found this anime pretty cool. Because it's about technology in the future not magics. One of the most interesting anime to watch in 2013. The story is really great, awesomely unpredictable. The future technology, action, sci-fi thingy is simply awesome. Although there's so much fanservice and yuri scenes in it (score: 9). The art is very beautiful, especially for the backgrounds, characters, and the mecha, love it (score: 8). The opening and ending are pretty good I think (score: 8). What I love the most are the characters. The characters personality are all unpredictable, especially Himawari. I thought she was the moe chara
with big oppai. But actually she's a techno addict, never go to school, live alone, character. That's really awesome and the other characters are not boring too (score: 10). Hopefully, I enjoy this anime until the last episode. Please make this anime more interesting with the sci-fi, mecha, and action from episode to episode! And please make it less fanservice and yuri! (Overall: 8)
Vividred Operation is an action/sci-fi anime brought to you by studio A-1 pictures and the creator of Strike Witches. Vividred Operation is an action anime that is very pleasing to the eyes. A-1 pictures went all out in the animation department, especially when it comes to the fight and transformation scenes. Unfortunately, its art and animation are the best part of the anime. The plot, themes, and characters are all very formulaic, containing nothing we haven’t already seen before in countless other anime.
The main character, Akane Isshiki lives with her sister and grandfather in a peaceful and lush world. Always cheerful and bursting with
limitless energy, she takes on every day with a smile, exuding positive vibes. But her peaceful world is soon threatened by a menacing alien threat known as the Alone. Using some high tech super suits built by her grandfather, Akane and her friends must eradicate the enemy threat to protect their peaceful world and the Manifestation engine, which provides the world with 95% of its energy.
And there’s a red flag right there. An engine that provides 95% of the world’s energy is stationed in an earthquake prone country on an island? It would make far more sense for multiple engines to be spread out across the world. But that’s just a small little gripe, and that is hardly the biggest thing wrong with the plot. The anime progresses with the “monster of the week” setup, occasionally broken up by the stereotypical beach episode or some downtime to show the viewer some forced melodrama.
The world is largely projected as a peaceful world devoid of any war or ugliness, thanks to the Manifestation engine. Also due to this, the world was able to avoid an energy crisis five years prior to the story. It would have been interesting to learn more about this crisis and how the Manifestation changed the world, but there’s no elaboration there. Nor is it even made clear exactly what the Alone are, where they came from, and why they want to destroy the engine. All we are given are bare bones explanations that open up a number of questions about the plausibility of various aspects of the plot.
Themes the anime projects are the power of love and friendship and how it conquers all. As if we haven’t already seen this theme a million times already. It makes the whole story pretty predictable. A blind man could have seen the outcome of the individual episodes and the ending coming from a mile away.
The characters don’t fare much better. They are mostly cookie cutter stereotypes that get very little character development. Akane Isshiki is a cheerful middle school girl who is bursting with boundless energy. She’s a hardworking yet ditzy girl who is almost instantly liked by all her friends and can pretty much do anything. Futaba Aoi is the quiet and proper little rich girl who is also Akane’s best friend. Kuroki Rei is initially cold and distant, but eventually warms up to Akane and the girl’s later. Saegusa Wakaba is the sporty tomboy. Shinomiya Himawari is the diminutive shut-in, who is also a superb hacker.
The little development that the girls get is largely predictable and their pasts are sparsely explained. It’s very hard to care about the characters as there just isn’t anything special about them. Akane in particular gets pretty obnoxious, border lining on Mary Sue. Not having any special skills (aside from some athletic skills that are only briefly hinted at), she overcomes everything using the power of love and friendship. With her positive attitude, she gains the trust and love of several girls instantly. The side characters are pretty much forgettable and contribute little to the plot. The main antagonist is presented as a mysterious and oppressive figure, yet doesn’t get any kind of fleshing out in terms of character. She is also forgettable, and we don’t even really find out what her motivations are or how she was able to do what she did.
Another thing worth mentioning is the fanservice. There’s nothing wrong with a little fanservice in anime, so long as it isn’t gratuitous, distracting, and doesn’t detract from the story. The fanservice in Vividred Operation does all three. A few seconds into the first episode, the viewers are showed the image of the sun rising between a 14 year old girl’s legs. In fact, candid butt shots and some occasional partial nudity are riddled throughout the anime. When the girls “dock” they are inexplicably shown in their underwear. The school uniforms are quite silly, consisting of a tight jacket and a pair of booty shorts. And then there’s the predictable beach episode where someone just has to lose their swimsuit. Considering how young the girls look and how little they even have, the fanservice isn’t even remotely titillating. It just makes the narrative and the anime as a whole look silly. As if the cheesy story wasn’t enough, the gratuitous and out of place fanservice makes it even harder to take seriously.
Now on to the best part of the anime: the art and animation. A-1 pictures did well in this department. The fight scenes are well choreographed, but the real treat is when the girls use their “docking” ability to combine their powers and bust out their ultimate attacks. Big, flashy, and gorgeous, they burst with vivid color. The transformations are given the same kind of treatment, being flashy, colorful, and dramatic. The fights with the Alone are the highlights of the series. But the final fight tops it all, with the most insane and over the top attack in the series. The soundtrack is also surprisingly good as well. Its tracks sound like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.
Overall, Vividred Operation is just an average anime on almost every count. Its characters are stereotypical and one dimensional. Its story is very cheesy and predictable. None of its characters or interesting plot points are fleshed out or elaborated on. The script honestly feels like something that was written for a children’s anime. But this belief is offset by its frequent fanservice that’s quite unfitting for a children’s anime. Its art and animation are superb, but it’s not enough to save the show. Vividred is only really good for its eye popping animation and fight scenes. Its mediocrity in every other department hardly make it an interesting watch.
I love the part with the mayonnaise in Vividred Operation, I felt like that was a very emotional part and a great representation of America. You start with rice, which represents a new land, unexplored by people other than the native residents. Then suddenly a vessel containing a foreign kind of edible substance arrives, and it begins to unload itself onto the barren rice, and soon the rice on the top is overwhelmed by the sudden flash of mayonnaise. Oh, but it doesn't stop there, nope, the mayonnaise just keeps on pouring, completely submerging the top layer of rice. The submerged rice is then dug
up and devoured, revealing the plain rice that was being protected by those on the surface. They are then, in turn, covered with mayonnaise and are consumed. The mayonnaise continues to pour as the rice is devoured, leaving nothing but mayonnaise in the rice bowl, thus the bowl is now a mayonnaise bowl. However it isn't long until the main protagonist of the show has to run off and perform the necessary tasks to continue the supposed plot that exists in the show. And once she leaves, the mayonnaise that took over the bowl is left unattended. Eventually, the mayonnaise will begin to spoil and rot from it's own developments, thus leading to the downfall of the mayonnaise and the bowl is left useless. Then the girl gets home and washes the bowl, only to put another serving of rice in it, thus beginning the circle of life all over again.
Watching this anime was painful in so many different ways, it's not all bad though so I'll try my best not to bash it too much...
STORY: The story....this anime is one drawn out lesson of friendship conquers all, so basically expect the basic magical girl formula but with technology and aliens thrown in. The story is so irrelevant that if you watch the episodes where the girls join you could skip to the end and still be able to follow the story. Basically it's power rangers meets the powerpuff girls except less awesome than that sounds and more likely to make you hate your computer/
ART: The art is pretty good, the designs for the alone particularly the speaker's final form and the girls' docking transformations were awesome; it has that bright slice of life kind of feel the CG was amazing
SOUND: The sound was pretty much average the opening and ending themes are nothing memorable and the voice actors do their jobs, nothing more, nothing less the background music does a good job of staying in the background.
CHARACTER: I have never hated a group of characters as much as the ones in this anime,the girls are all pallete swaps of each other with one or two character quirks added that attempt to make friends with anything on two legs that they come across. Every single character is an underdeveloped cliché cardboard cutout. The most interesting character was the villain of the series who in my opinion was too good for such a weak show.
ENJOYMENT: There was no joy here only suffering, I fell asleep more times than I could count and developed a newfound respect for the deep characterization and story telling that is power rangers, this show finally made me question my commitment to finish whatever I start and when I found I still had 7 episodes to go I came as close to existential despair as I ever have.
OVERALL: I'm not exactly sure who this anime is for, the bright colors and non-existent story tell me it's for 10 year old girls maybe but the little girl swallowing, universe breaking entity at the end says otherwise, I'm sure somebody in some dark remote corner of the universe will watch this and like it but unless you want to keep being beaten over the head with "friendship conquers all" for 12 episodes watch something else, hell the bad guys are even called the alone so yeah it was pretty bad
P.S: The so called ass-centric ecchi scenes aren't worth it
I'll just copy-and-paste (with slight clean-up) from my comments section out of my anime list:
Before watching: So I heard this was a spiritual successor to Strike Witches. When it's done airing I'm going to see if this is true.
After watching: That's a whole lotta action, fanservice, and cute-girls-doing-cute-things interactions with each other! Can definitely see how they can call it that, with much the same kind of plot, battles (though this time with a straight-up magical girls feel, despite being pure sci-fi), and ambiance 'n' aesthetics.
This is certainly one of the best-looking animes I've ever seen, though probably because I've never watched one so new
The whole "power of friendship" thing is lame and simplistic, but it works well here. The final battle and big bad were quite brutal, though! Color me impressed.
And now for comparisons. This does seem more mindless; e.g., in SW, girls wear panties by themselves because it's natural for everyone to emulate war heroes (just like American men, after the World Wars, shaving their beards to look like soldiers, even though they only needed to to wear gas masks) like the Witches who can't wear bulky pants because that'd interfere with equipping their Striker Units; whereas here, girls apparently wear 80's-style short-shorts "jus' cuz". Or to put on an alternate spin: VO is openly honest about their fanservice. Heh heh heh.
But likewise, Witches trained hard for battle, while the ladies here go from schoolgirls to suddenly kicking ass and taking names for no reason, not even "A wizard scientist did it" -- though the occasional mid-air pop-up holographic displays (reminds me of Dead Space, neat!) explains how they know how their new equipment works. Among a dozen other little things that make this feel more like a shallow [i]Akshun![/i] piece.
Ah well, guess it's not a big deal, 'tis what it is and still quite enjoyable; just a point in favor of SW, that's all. Not to imply that SW is "deep" in any way, mind you... but VO certainly took their on-the-surface qualities and ran hog-wild with 'em. Again, not saying that's a bad thing, but it DOES make it feel a bit like they're just playing follow-the-leader. But hey, not like they were ever going to make SW season 3...
On its own, as a magical girls show (but with the magic replaced by future tech approaching but not quite borderline cyberpunk), it's a fairly good but standard action piece starring pretty and likeable -- though for the most part archetypal -- schoolgirls of war, like so many animes. Neither original nor groundbreaking, but as I said above, it works well nevertheless.
...now where have I said all that before? I'm getting major deja vu here!
If I should describe this anime in a few words, I would say colourful and predictable fanservice. It’s not that there’s nothing else to it, it’s just the strongest and arguably the best or worst points of the whole anime. Really, enjoyment in this anime is as subjective as it gets. Do you like cliché and predictability? Do you like fanservice of underaged girls? Colourful cast with only as much depth as their fanservice scenes? Or simply want something simple with a hint of characters and story to watch? If so, this show is for you and you’d most likely enjoy it.
The plot isn’t
really a rocket science (even though it has hints of it, no, really). So, a genius that invented an infinite source of energy gets turned into a stuffed animal for mascot purposes just when weird creatures begun attacking the energy machine-thingy. So he sends his pre-teen granddaughter to fight them with cool effects and lots of ass in tight shorts, not by the mascot. Of course, she gets a colour matched (tight) dress with rockets and jets and a boomerang. ‘Cos they’re cool. Later she makes friends at school and gives them keys (the magical devices that turn them into mahou shoujo of science) as if they were manufactured. Why would anyone with a bit of sanity let a 12 year-old give out weapons of mass destruction in return for friendship is beyond me. But I guess stuffed animals aren’t made with a big brain. There’s also a mysterious girl that appears at the scene of attacks with not as much fanservice… I mean screen time. At first. She gets better. At both. Oh, and there are some yuri hints all over the place. That’s the plot. Intriguing, right?
Characters are as strong and unpredictable as the plot is. Every character is colour coded. Of course, Akane, the lead, stupid and naïve goody-two shoes is bright red. Her little sis (that serves as a hook for those that find pre-teens too old for their liking) is bright pink and looks like her copy. Blue, I mean Aoi (Oh, wait) is shy and cute goody-two shoes. Wakaba (green) is the goody-two shoes samurai (metaphorically speaking). Yellow, Himawari, is the goody-two shoes hikkikomori with stunning beauty and the last but not least; Kuroki , black as her name hints, the goody-two shoes mysterious girl. Pick your goody-two shoes… I mean colour… I mean character and you stick with it until the end because that’s as far as they go. Preferred fanservice doesn’t really matter because all of them get the same over and over. What can you expect when their school uniforms look like they were designed by a paedophile?
Don’t worry, fanservice isn’t the only thing this show is good at. Art is one of the points when the anime shines the most. But, really, have you seen the art? Those colours should be used for traffic lights in bad weather. Still, the character design is really amazing and fits the show perfectly (even the clothes design, those ass shots would be awkward with baggy jeans). I really liked it. It’s fresh, lively and sweet while it didn’t give me diabetes. So, it’s the good kind of sweet. Like a semi-dark chocolate. I don’t care if you like it or not, it’s chocolate!
All in all, this was an entertaining ride that I’ll forget I have ever watched in a week or so. The most memorable thing about this is the fanservice that makes me wonder if the animators ever felt awkward while working on this. Second most memorable thing would be the character design, which I really liked and the vivid colours. There’s really not as much fanservice as I keep implying. There’s more! So, before you start watching this make sure it won’t make you feel weird. And don’t watch it with you parents. Just don’t.
(This is a spoiler-free review adapted for this site)
[Synopsis]: In the future 95% of the world’s energy is supplied by the Manifestation Engine – a massive machine that purportedly harnesses the power of the sky. One day giant, mysterious entities known as ‘Alone’ appear and attempt to destroy the engine however it’s inventor, Kenjirou Isshiki (Terasoma, Masaki), creates the Vivid System in order to combat them. His granddaughter, Isshiki Akane (Sakura, Ayane) and her friends utilize the Vivid System to transform into mech-like warriors in order to fight back against the Alone and save both the Manifestation Engine and Earth.
The main characters in the
show are Isshiki Akane and her three friends who she gathers over the first few episodes in quick succession.
Because the show is essentially a mahou shoujo you can expect what Akane’s character is like – upbeat, cheery, enthusiastic, and friendly. She is quick to latch on to people and can become upset when she can’t help others or when she fails. I feel that, while Akane is a perfectly fine character within the context of the show, her character-type defines her to a T and at no point did I feel that she was a departure from the cute, friendly magical girl trope that she exhibits. Because she is what she appears to be and never anything more I felt pretty bored with her as a character.
The other characters are not much different unfortunately. As mahou shoujo are classically color oriented, Akane’s friends of course exhibited the characteristics more or less associated with their archetypes and become the blue, green, and yellow magical girls alongside Akane’s red. They aren't very complex characters and ultimately just want to be friends with each other like ‘all young girls’.
To explore the remaining characters – Akane’s grandfather is fairly present but is accidentally transformed into a plush sea otter thus fulfilling the show’s professed necessity in having the classic animal companion/guide for the magical girls. While the antagonist(s) of the show are the Alone that attempt to destroy the Manifestation Engine, there is of course the ‘dark magical girl’ who works against Akane and her companions. Kuroki, Rei (Uchida, Maaya) is more or less similar to everyone else in the show in that she exemplifies her archetype and behaves throughout the show accordingly. She is lonely and desperate but not beyond saving and this character trait, as always, serves as a good amount of tension within the show.
The art was on point and pretty high-quality in A-1 Studio’s fashion. The show used CG quite well and to good effect in the action sequences without making it look out of place or distracting. The character designs are pretty much what you would expect of a mahou shoujo – the girls are each somewhat oriented towards their magical girl color each other visible trait backs this up in different ways. Takamura Kazuhiro is responsible for both the character designs and directing and this feels incredibly similar in approach to one of his renowned shows Strike Witches. You can hardly go a few minutes without having multiple crotch and ass shots of the girls even in casual dialogue and while I would describe this approach as distracting and distasteful, other people gravitate to this style and so I simply want to prepare prospective watchers for this element of the show.
The other thing I feel that I need to touch upon is the transformation sequences. In classic mahou shoujo style each girl has a transformation sequence when they shift into their Vivid engine palette suit and additionally a transformation beyond this when any of the girls combine with Akane to create a more powerful mech-girl. The sequences themselves are really well animated and are some of the better transformation sequences I have seen and they aren't done to death each episode like they are in some shows (they are often more tastefully edited down so that they do not play the full sequence each time after the audience is acquainted with them). While they are very good sequences I wouldn't say they are reason enough to watch the show – only one strong element alongside the good animation and CG.
I want to be upfront with the fact that, Vividred Operation is not a show that borrows elements from mahou shoujo in order to create a new genre or explore the story differently – it feels most akin to a reskin of the genre itself, substituting ‘technology’ in place of explicit magic and trading away certain design points in similar fashion. The show sticks very closely to its premise in that the magical mech girls defend the engine from the invasive Alone and eventually reach a final conflict in which the fate of things are decided. It is not an original plot but it doesn't pretend to be one. The show is not comedic however the characters are moe and by product of this there are comedic elements within the show despite the fact that it lacks gags or even mild jokes – it is comedic in the same way that being cute is comedic.
Something I have to stress to prospective viewers of the show is that you cannot ask questions when it comes to the underlying logic of the show – Once you do, everything starts to unravel because hardly anything makes sense to begin with outside of the large picture conflict between a foreign entity and us, the human race. I say this because there is a great danger in what Vividred does when it trades away its aesthetic elements of magic for those of the technological. It is somewhat neat to have mech-girls instead of inexplicably magical ones however by making the show rely on technology, a purportedly explainable thing rather than magic, the typically incomprehensible element of the show – it begs explanation for each piece of ‘technology’ it utilizes. Now of course there is no explanation for why anything works the way it does and that is the slippery slope where the show is concerned.
Why does Akane’s grandfather make the ‘docking’ (the combination of two girls into one stronger girl) require a kiss to activate the Vivid Drive? Why is the Vivid System capable of self-replicating in the case of Akane’s friends however is not put to greater use in order to destroy the Alone? Why are the palette suits, which are empowered by means of the Manifestation Engine, immune to EMP’s while everything else in the world that runs off of the engine is treated normally? There are no enjoyable answers to these questions and there is nothing to read into – they are simple logical inconsistencies born out of poor writing and lazy implementation. You would be much better off treating the show as if they were just magical girls and frankly you’d have a hard time proving that they aren’t. Clarke’s third law has a place in all of this (that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic) however it is the fundamental reasoning behind the implantation and use of the technology rather than its actual existence that is called into question.
All of that aside, because the show relies so heavily on all of the tropes and elements of the classical mahou shoujo genre, it is highly predicable in the plot department and so needless to say this is probably the show’s weakest point.
The music was one of the better parts about the show. It was pretty good all things considered and my only gripes are that it didn't have much diversity in that most of the songs sounded the same (which worked fine for the show) and that occasionally the scene would demand more tense music but the score at the time was awkwardly upbeat and heroic which somewhat damaged the mood rarely.
[Final Thoughts and Rating]:
Vividred Operation is a show where you get what you expect. If you know going in that the show could be summed up as ‘well-animated fan-service put to pretty decent music’ then you would find just that and not much else outside of minor character quirks.
Because of the route the show took, in occupying all of the classic themes of majou shoujo and nothing else, it lacked the extra ‘something’ that made those shows work in their own way. Just as an example – there really is no ‘coming of age’ element in Vividred however it can commonly be found within the genre. Something like that would have greatly improved the show in my opinion because it would have given the show a sense of sentimentality and relatability – giving the show an ultimate meaning amongst the otherwise nonsensical things that transpire.
I give Vividred Operation a 4 because at the end of the day I can only think of it as unoriginal, nonsensical in the extreme, and hyper-sexualized to the point of being obnoxious. I like the animation and the music and the transformation sequences are really good however everything else fails pretty spectacularly. It over-acknowledges its genre and never tries to be anything more than what came before it.
Because of the nature of being a ‘4’ I probably wouldn't recommend Vividred to anyone because I feel like the genre is executed elsewhere far better. Its a perfectly fine show if your aim is to watch fan-service within a mahou shoujo
There may be an argument for Vividred being a decent gateway show into the genre of mahou shoujo, especially to those who are more skeptical of it, because it has decent action and the animation and music is on point. However I would say that even this is a dangerous sentiment as the show could also very easily turn people off of the genre entirely because of its negative aspects. If one can approach the show with this in mind, then it would probably be an alright thing to explore tentatively.
After watching the preview and first episode, the first thought in my mind was, "Huh, so is this Strike Witches plus Nanoha?" Visually, there's a lot of similarity with these 2 shows. A detailed and very fan-service-y transformation sequence is quintessential (well, more like cliche at this point) Nanoha. While the concept originated with Sailor Moon, the "high-tech" styling of the sequences clearly play to otakus rather than young girls, and the "key in the ignition" shot is a possible throwback to the tagline of Nanoha A's. The way Rei was portrayed also reminded me very strongly of Fate Testarossa. As for parallels with Strike
Witches (SW) other than the production staff, the tried-and-true formula of defending mankind from a powerful and mysterious threat with pubescent girls wielding implausibly powerful machines and weapons is a classic in anime.
It's possible that the Vividred Operation production staff wanted to address weaknesses in SW with this series, for example, "Just what are the Neuroi, anyway, and why are they attacking humanity?" In SW there was much more emphasis on the cast of characters, so while it is a rather glaring detail to have not addressed in 2 seasons, a movie, and several manga/novels, the only thing lost was an opportunity to add depth to the bad guys.
In Vividred Operation, we get to see a face and hear a voice to the Neuroi-- er, Alones attacking humanity. Additionally, the production staff tied together the Alones and the characters in a fantastic drama, and I believe this is the best part of the series, rivaling the Fate/Precia subplot in Nanoha.
The ultimate villain in the series is, in my view, one of the best-written villains in recent memory: arrogant, judgmental, unforgivingly perfectionist, sadistic, and ultimately hypocritical, it embodies many aspects of humanity that good people strive to avoid. This villain also serves as a reminder that everyone faces these demons and even suffers as a result, and that what matters is how we live in the face of them. Vividred's finale shows that a villain can be hopelessly "overpowered" and still be entertaining because of the strength of the writing, something that is far from easy to accomplish.
Alas, I wish that they had applied similar depth and drama to the four girls, who seem little more than rearrangements of anime stereotypes: the cheerful optimist, the quiet "iyashi" type, the straight-laced knight of justice, and the tsundere otaku. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind Yet Another Anime With Cliche Characters (TM), and to the writers' credit, these four are in fact developed into a respectable team of heroines. But since the theme is "friendship", I think the show could've been much stronger if their friendship were ultimately tested through the main conflict of the show, rather than just establish the relationship and test them through moments that would seem silly and trivial in retrospect. This is where similar shows like Strike Witches and Lagrange are stronger, because we feel the full impact of the bonds straining to the point breaking, and re-forming stronger than ever. In Vividred, the climax only tests Akane and Rei's budding friendship, and while this is a central development, it pretty much turns the other 3 girls into ornaments and robs some of the drama from the "there is still hope" scene-- you could do the last 2 episodes without them and get the same dramatic effect. While I believe this is the show's main character weakness, I also think this was an understandable tradeoff, and thus a very good effort for a 12-episode series.
The scene immediately following the climax clearly seemed to be a scene made to help fit the series into 12 episodes rather than 13. Considering all the seriousness the threat was treated with, wrapping it all up in a single scene with such simplicity requires not a suspension of belief, but a careless disregard of prior events. Had this been a 13-episode series, the writers would've had the space to properly address the last conflict left hanging in the balance: the justice demanded for threatening an entire world, versus the desire to restore a lost world.
There are a few minor details that I think could've been done better. In the climactic scene, the hero attacks the villain not with a rather obvious choice of weapon, but her fist. I know the "sword duel/clash of titans/banzai charge final attack" is a favorite of production crews in Japan, but it's seriously been done to death by this industry. There's also a scene where the girls somehow survive a massive explosion "with atmospheric and seismic effects" and pretty much shrug it off like it was a tiny firework-- I know anime's realism basically dwells in the realm of ridiculous, but this was stretching the limits of believability. There were some visual discrepancies in the finale's broadcast, almost as if the animators didn't have time to finish matching the consistency of all the shots. Again, these are minor issues that only distract from the experience at most.
Visually, I thought that other than the default setting of "no pants or skirts for girls", the animation and design were very well done, and restrained in terms of fan service-- believe me, the titillation in this show is tame compared to some other animes out there. The soundtrack was a wonderful match to the drama on screen, and the soaring theme when the girls combine is a fine heroic piece in its own right. The opening theme, "ENERGY", is one of the better theme songs of the season, but the ending theme songs didn't really float my boat. The voice cast's performance and direction is a good match to the writing, but honestly could have used a little originality.
Overall, an 8 out of 10, a good 12-episode series for fans of sci-fi. Some issues in plot and characterization, but nothing I would consider show-stoppers.
Vividred Operation is a show that has been on my list of shows to watch for a while now. Action anime with female casts are something I tend to usually enjoy and the director, writer and studio have all done work I've liked previously. The show was also being compared to Strike Witches, an anime which I've always thought did so much right and didn't get credit for it because of the girls flying around in their underwear. I wanted Vividred to be a repeat of that experience and shine as something undeniably great. In that respect, I was disappointed.
Vividred Operation is not a bad
anime. I gave it an 8 because I can't deny that I enjoyed it and I also can't deny that so much is technically great. Nevertheless, the show is kinda flat and often does come up short. It could be said that Vividred Operation does not have a lot of ambition. It almost makes me wonder if they didn't sit down while making this and ask themselves if they could make a good, memorable anime while bringing absolutely no new or original ideas whatsoever. If that was the challenge of the day, I might say A-1 Pictures actually somehow succeeded, if barely.
The trick is keeping the production values high. The animation is pretty throughout. The action, the characters, the vehicles, the transformations, the Alone, and yes the frequent fanservice shots, all of it looks very nice and eye catching. The music is good, with a cute catchy OP and a number of suitable if not overly memorable EDs. The voice acting is fine too. There is very little wrong with the presentation. A-1 went all out to keep it strong. Which is good, because if any corners had been cut it would have just made the shortcomings of the show all the more blaring.
The story is simply put, not very memorable. It's cliche magical girl cheese from the beginning. It has some high moments, it's all fluffy, comfortable fun, but it's not very high in suspense or intrigue. Revelations lack weight; motivations aren't defined properly, and you just never don't feel like the magic of friendship won't win the day. That said, I would not call it bad or incompetent, just lazy and routine. It plays to the tropes directly and only seldom pretends unconvincingly like it isn't. The setup isn't as strong as something like Strike Witches, and the threat just never seems as real. It's not without it's few rewarding moments though, I suppose, though it's definitely not for the cynics.
The characters for the show are as stock as can be. You got your energetic, optimistic idiot main character, her polite rich girl best friend, a kendo girl and your typical recovering hikkimori. The last, Hinamori, is in my opinion has the best design of the bunch and is also the best developed; having two great character development episodes. None of the four are very unique though and seem plucked straight out of other shows. Then there is the rival/antagonist girl who practically is Homura from Madoka Magica... which might actually be a good thing if her motivation wasn't kept obscure, the audience never clued into just what she lost as we eventually were with Homura. There's also the main character's grandfather who becomes a talking animal mascot in the first episode for no other reason than it seeming to be a requirement for the magical girl genre. There are a few other characters, but none of them are developed to the point where they matter so much.
But while horribly uninspired, the characters are still rather cute and can occasionally be fun. They interact well with each other. Their designs are nothing new, but aren't bad exactly. The magical girl outfits are well designed and the forms when they fuse together are especially beautiful. It just really kind of falls short of something like Strike Witches, which juggled more characters yet had an excellent and diverse cast that were developed smartly. This doesn't so much, which holds it back.
There's also the unavoidable subject of the fanservice. Of all the things that went into Strike Witches, this was not something I've ever thought was vital to it or it's success. It had, as I said, good characters and a good setting. The fight sequences were surprisingly well thought out and the show knew when to take itself seriously and when to have a good time. It was a good anime, panty shots or no. For me, throwing a bunch of teens in short pants in our faces doesn't make this show the new Strike Witches at all, as it's just not any of those things exactly. I don't personally mind fanservice in anime; there are some blatant fanservice anime I enjoy. Here though, mostly it's just kinda distracting, and for some people I can see it killing the experience entirely.
Despite all I said, there was fun to be had with this show. It wasn't the next Strike Witches by a long shot, but it was an enjoyable and overall fairly harmless take on the magical girl genre. While not particularly rife with good ideas, it made up for it through flash and charm. Perhaps I'm ultimately being over charitable, but I do feel an 8 is right for the show based on the merits I see. With the right mindset and the right expectations, I think someone could find a quite enjoyable experience with Vividred Operation.
An enjoyable girl adventure series that mixes four cute protagonists and girlfriend relationship problems in with science fiction and military battle action. Don't expect any deep sci-fi plot material here, but the underlying story is mildly interesting in that it follows the well-worn theme of battling invaders from parallel universes, with some general storyline similarities to the Mai-Hime, Yumeria or Noein series. The story was somewhat remarkable for what it didn't have: no boys or male love interests, almost no comedy or humor. All in all, Vividred was a pretty light feel-good series with more than a few fan service moments.
It was.. eh. It's alright by all means, but it just seemed to lack and kind of depth. It's completely obvious that it draws inspiration from other mahou shojo, and while it's able to pull off what its trying to be like, it does so in a very... lack luster way. I found myself completely confused at the antagonists motivations and modus operandi. Try to really think about why the antagonists does what it does and why it does it and you'll figure out what I mean. I feel like this tries too hard. It tries too hard to be deep. Perhaps it's just me
over thinking it, and perhaps this is something that isn't supposed to require much thought, but I couldn't help but judge it against others that had much deeper stories. The lewdness, while kinda cute overall kinda made no difference. It was just... there. It didn't have to be, but it was. It was kinda funny at times, but mostly I felt like it was put there to cater to a certain audience. The characters were pretty stock in personality. They were stereotypes of the character archetypes they belonged to. Overall, it was okay. And to me at least, that's all it'll be is okay.
I have a couple of animes I consider "guilty pleasures". I know they're below average, but I was sucked in by an interesting universe, premise, or art style, and became invested in what I was watching. Even when things become dull or predictable, I continue to plow through because I genuinely want to see what is next. I'm INVESTED.
Vividred Operation fails to invoke investment. At all. In any way.
The entire thing felt like magical girl paint-by-numbers constructed from the leftover scraps of Strike Witches. "Spiritual successor"? More like "shameless knock-off"!
The first 2 episodes were some of the most
painful I've ever experienced since Sword Art Online, and since Vividred was aired back in 2013, I have no problem giving you plenty of spoilers.
A list of complaints, given in mostly-chronological order (I refuse to go back and do research, it's not worth it):
Why is the genius scientist grandfather turned into a stuffed animal? Does it serve the plot? Will it lead to anything? Nope! We needed a cute animal mascot for our magical girl show without any magic, and he was the least important character, so he got the short straw. They literally throw out some science-y gobbledegook and handwave how he ended up transferring his consciousness. At least Lyrical Nanoha character Yuuno had a REASON for being a ferret (He was a mage, and injured, and transformed to conserve energy and later to remain incognito. It gets dropped once the plot picks up and we don't need a mascot anymore.).
The island is being destroyed! Planes are being shot down left and right! Entire ships are sinking, drowning thousands of sailors! What is your reaction, Akane?!
Do you mind not sounding like you're reading off your grocery list, Akane?!
This is a warzone, Akane! Put some actual EMOTION into it!
"Look, Aoi! You get to be a psuedoscience girl, too! Wow! Your outfit is so pretty, even though it's the exact same as mine in a different color!"
I DIDN'T MEAN LIKE THAT!
Say Akane, didn't you used to be afraid of heights?
"I got over it."
I know you just saved your friend from certain death and all, but trauma-born fears don't just-
"I GOT OVER IT."
Okay, okay, you got over it. Sheesh...
So the whole reason Akane and Aoi can't "dock" (basically fusion dance with double entendre name because FANSERVICE) is because of friendship troubles. What deep, dark secret is preventing them from fusing?
Well, when Akane first met Aoi, she decided to randomly give her a tomato pulled right out of her ass (including obligatory ass shot).
It's just like, BOOM HI I ALMOST HIT YOU WITH A NEWSPAPER WANT A ****ING TOMATO?!
And apparently this is enough to ruin their friendship because Aoi hates tomatoes! So she lies. This is not a big deal, but the show makes it out to be because FRIENDSHIP. Even Akane thinks her tomato-lying-friendship-crap is crap, and they transform into a cool-looking fusion. It's still kinda disappointing, but we needed more looking cool, and less being cool. We're cool like that.
This is all done with flashbacks in the middle of a ****ing warzone, by the way. So there's that.
Okay, so there's a lot of fanservice in this show. Unlike Kill la Kill, you can't ignore it in favor of the awesome. And unlike Strike Witches, there's no in-universe excuse for the butt shots.
You see, Strike Witches gets away with it by not only having lots of World War II paraphernalia, but by establishing a universe where magic meets science, and taking some refuge in audacity. At one point in the second season they test fly a JET version of the Striker units, and the girl using it carries FOUR 30 mm cannons and a FIFTY MILLIMETER CANNON that's THREE TIMES AS LONG AS SHE IS TALL! That's awesome, that's amazing, but it's even better because there are canon reasons behind all of it.
Strike Witches ensures its characters are always in their panties because they couldn't use their equipment otherwise. The Striker units are worn on the legs, so every time you get a butt shot, chances are you get a shot of something vaguely resembling a WW2 era plane. Not to mention that the show has military attitude. Butt shots aside, you will never see a Strike Witch gush over how cool they look or have friendship problems while battleships are sinking.
It's do or die, and that gives the show some much-needed investment, because if the CHARACTERS are invested, then the VIEWERS are invested. And it's hard to care about the fate of the world when the main characters are still squealing over their bright shiny new costumes and superpowers.
Overall, I couldn't watch this show. You want a show with mecha magical girls? Try Lyrical Nanoha for technomagic, plot, and character. Try Strike Witches for WW2, technomagic, and butt shots. Try Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill if you want mechas, plot, character, butt shots and HOTBLOOD. Try Gonna be the Twin-tail if you want mecha girls and genderflip.
Don't try Vividred Operation. The only thing you'll get is a nosebleed...no, not that kind! The kind you get after slamming your head against the wall!
The actual plot of the anime is quite unrealistic since it involves loli fighting evil aliens trying to destroy futuristic technology that the world runs on. Although the technologies aren't too impossible, most of them would be impractical in the real world. This anime is much more well-know for the fanservice than it is for its story.
The art and animation is the main attraction here. Everything from the character designs to the world layout are done quite well. Some of the villains look a bit generic, but they at least die in interesting ways. The school uniforms ditch the traditional skirt and instead go with
boy shorts in order to display the characters' beautiful asses. The lolis are all very adorable even when they're intended to be antagonists.
The voices all fit the characters with the intentional exception of the grandfather who looks like a stuffed animal, although this was in order to keep the "magical girl familiar/recruiter who looks like a stuffed animal" trope while also keeping the show sci-fi only without other magic. The aliens sounded generic, although not out of place, and the music was nice to listen to.
The characters personalities all fit fairly standard archetypes for the most part, but they were still fun to watch. Their feelings towards each other were surprisingly realistic considering their own mental ages. One of the girls has odd dietary habits and has tried to encourage the others to try it out.
Despite the mediocrity of the components of the show, this was extremely enjoyable to watch. The cute characters, the illogical lore, and unique transformation scenes all help to create an atmosphere that is fun to partake in even if it wouldn't be your first choice to recommend when someone asks for "good anime". It all depends on your taste, but if you're okay with nonsensical battles and constant fanservice then you'll probably like this show.
With all things considered the show itself may not be of any literary merit, but it's still unlikely to feel like wasted time. It's also great if you're a bit tired and can't take the effort to pay attention to an in-depth story but would rather just watch cute girls fight monsters. Don't expect to come out of this with a new favourite anime, but you also shouldn't pass it off just because it isn't well written. It's definitely worth a shot, but don't be afraid to drop it since the quality is pretty consistent throughout the show.