Raised up in the same orphanage, Fuuka and Rinne were once close friends but parted company after a quarrel ended up with Rinne overwhelmed Fuuka with her martial art skills. Fuuka has a life in poverty after leaving the orphanage. An accidental encounter with renowned martial arts champion Einhald Stratos discovered Fuuka's hidden talent in fighting; Einhald offered Fuuka a job and coaching, encouraging her to meet up with Rinne again—in a ring.
Vivid Srike was the latest addition to the Nanoha franchise and can come across as kind of jarring for those viewers coming straight off from Nanoha Vivid expecting a direct continuation of the story as Vivid Strike is a side-story of Vivid's narrative taking place a year after the events of said show. Upon watching this show, it could also be kind of confusing since there was just a general lack of information surrounding this show anyway so trying to piece it together can perhaps be a little distracting upon your first viewing. However, despite being a side-story, the newly introduced characters are decently integrated
into the narrative and fleshed out.
This season has a greater focus on two new characters in the franchise rather than Vivio or Einhald. If you were expecting Nanoha or Fate to make an appearance than you'll be disappointed. While Vivio and Einhald do have moments of development and some time to shine in their own fights and the such the narrative is, at its core, a tale of two orphan children called Fuuka and Rinne. After Fuuka is adopted by a couple she lives out a brief and happy period with her newly found Grandfather but runs into trouble with bullies at school who push her to her limits resulting in a situation in which she misses the passing of her Grandfather. She then beats the ever lasting SHIT out of the bullies and trains vigorously to become stronger and stronger. Her orphan friend, Fuuka, trains with the previously established characters from Vivid in order to defeat her friend and beat some sense into her. The story is a basic fighting tournament with the main focus of training hard to gain new abilities and using your fists in order to communicate with your opponent. While it is basic in plot structure, it's the characters that shine through an otherwise generic story.
There is a decent amount of time invested in both Fuuka and Rinne to make them feel more human and their backstories and motivations are both believable and have enough attachment to the narrative to make the narrative have more stakes and impact. Rinne's backstory was easily the most entertaining part of the anime and is given a decent amount of time to breath and spread its wings. You're able to easily understand why she behaves the way she does which makes her fights feel more real and emotionally heavier too. Fuuka, on the other hand, doesn't feel as fleshed out while still having a decent amount of personal engagement with the narrative. Fuuka doesn't go through the same amount of focus or development in the show aside from her power level increase. However, as a character it is easy to feel the emotional attachment she has with the narrative and thus easier to root for as an audience. It's the effective drama between these characters is the main thing that keeps the show entertaining and helps it to stand on its two feet.
While the plot does a decent job at fleshing out character back-stories and personalities it's still not something you've seen before to some better effect. This doesn't necessarily make Vivid Strike's story bad; just forgettable after you've finished watching it and the plot points are also rather easy to predict while you're watching it and you can pretty much guess which direction the show is going to go in. This can make your viewing experience of this show rather tedious as you already know what is going to happen as it follows a basic formula.
However, one thing the show did pretty well were the fight sequences. There is a lot of emotion poured into each of the fights which makes them feel as if there is more narrative stakes but it also makes them feel more exciting. The animation and fights themselves were pretty solid, my favorite being between Vivio and Rinne which does a decent job at developing both characters throughout the fight. The final fight between Fuuka and Rinne was also pretty good for both thematics and a good end product for a season of tension building between the two. However, there are some secondary fights which are glossed over entirely and the final fight between Rienhald and Fuuka may have left you kind of disappointed if you did want to see it. A first for the Nanoha franchise, I believe, is the inclusion of blood and teeth being knocked out during the fights. This not only makes the fights feel more realistic and gritty but it can perhaps come across as jarring for any veteran fans of the show although this was never a problem for me. It never gets to the point where it becomes stupid shock factor either, which I liked.
As for overall music it was fine. The opening is generic catchy pop that you'll forget after you've heard something similar and the battle OST does a fine job. Overall Vivid Strike is a decent addition to the Nanoha series with some good action, decently fleshed out cast but the series also remains fun. It doesn't take too much to feel the emotional weight of the narrative and the character's involvement in said narrative. This series works because of the boat loads of heart the characters have in the Nanoha franchise. If you're a Nanoha fan you'll get a kick out of it.
We all have dreams. We decide what we want and we take it. But life will always get in the way and make it harder or even deny you your dream. Such is our tale.
The story is about two orphan girls separated by the adoption of one of them. The time spent apart makes them treat each other with coldness and eventually they fight and separate. Our protagonist is determined not to let this be the end of their relationship and trains to get her friend back.
Artwork is a nice splice show of color. A lot of the characters have differently colored eyes which I
personally don't see why the need.. but nevertheless they are pretty to watch. The environment is pretty much in the near future with buildings looking the same plus the holograph video calls and the miraculous medical technology.
I have never been much of a fan of music behind a story however this series plays some nice songs that enhance the suspense of the moments.
Overall if you like some nice kickboxing between chicks with a really touching story behind it all, then this is a series for you.
Vivid Strike has been one of the best shows of the Fall season. The story was extremely well done and kept me engaged. It never once lets up and in fact gets better and better.
One of the problems I have about shows with massive hype battles/fights, is that the last fight isn't as great as one of the previous ones. It leads to a decline in expectations and a sour taste in a "not as great as it could have been" ending. Vivid Strike is the exception to this problem. Not once was I disappointing in the plot, in fact I loved the way
the writers kept the suspense and unpredictability. For a show that deals in pseudo MMA, I was constantly kept on my toes and wishing for more. The way they kept the plot from growing stale or weak was extraordinary, in which it was both stupid yet so brilliantly executed. No time was wasted, the entire story was fast paced, and as someone who wants as much story, it delivered hard.
The real gem of the show is that I've never seen a show tackle and challenge depression and self-worth as well as Vivid Strike has. A lot of shows that aim to include the theme of depression all end up in a shallow implementation, in which the story progresses just barely to make the character "deep" in being able to relate to the viewer. Vivid Strike goes way beyond surface level dialogue on depression and kept the viewer in the reality of things in regards to how the characters were actually feeling. "Humanization" is hard and rarely can a story understand the full requirements needed to utilize the plot to make both the character and theme better and more crisp. The characters were without a doubt the best part of the show, and the incorporation of the themes into them was brilliant.
The other large theme was the idea of "nature v nurture". With characters on both sides of that spectrum. While Vivid Strike doesn't necessarily answer the question of which one is better, the character development and subsequent payoff regarding this theme was something to note. It shows what it means to be successful, despite losing or deposit not actual being successful.
I hope you watch Vivid Strike, as this is one of the shows that doesn't buckle under pressure from itself, and often times surprised me with how good it was.
The story for Vivid strike takes place in the near future where mixed martial arts that uses magic that is enhanced by a device is fought in national level sports tournaments. The story follows the main character of Fuuka as she joins a MMA gym in order to get stronger and bring her friend back from the edge that she has got to.
Being a mix of both a sports anime and a fighting anime and at the same time featuring magic that allows the characters to change to a adult form i thought that this anime looked interesting and im glad to say that
i was right.
Fuuka Reventon is one of the main characters of the show and is voiced by Inori Minase one of my favorite seiyuu singers of all time. Fuuka like Rinne is an orphan that lived together in the same orphanage. However unlike Rinne who was take in by a foster family Fuuka wasn't and after leaving it went out into the world of work to survive. Fuuka struggled with dealing with thugs and other hooligans as she did and as a result developing strong skills in martial arts. This got her into trouble many times but as luck would have it she was discovered by Eins who saw the potential in her after taking one of her punches.
The central point in this story is to become strong and in Fuuka's case is also to find Rinne who she has a deep friendship with. After discovering that the Rinne she knew was now a much more horrible and merciless person and not the sweet and innocent Rinne that she knew Fuuka decided to join Eins offer and become a martial artist. Training under Eins herself Fuuka's hard work and training paid off and she become a powerful Martial artist who was determined to beat Rinne and rid her of that false personality that she had now.
Fuuka is a hard working, diligent and a determined person whose goal is to beat Rinne and drag her true personality back into the light a goal that i actually respect and admire. To do that she has to beat a lot of strong opponents and then face Rinne herself. I felt that the character of Fuuka was a strong character whose goal was a really noble one and a worthy one. Her seiyuu Inori Minase really did a great job portraying her.
Rinne is one of the main characters of the show and is voiced by veteran seiyuu Yui Ogura. Rinne is Fuuka's oldest friend having grown up in the same Orphanage though they entered it at different times. Rinne and Fuuka were best of friends and both enjoyed their time their. However this changed after Rinne was take by the Berlinnetta family. Though the family treated her like a daughter to them Rinne was heavily bullied in school and this combined with her adapted grandfathers death provoked some changes into her that made her both cold and merciless and started her journey to become strong. As a result when inside the ring she is merciless towards her opponents even being harsh towards them in their defeat as well. Outside of battle Rinne appears to be conflicted not caring about friends and trying to appear strong to others while inside she cracks.
Rinne's only goal until her match with Fuuka was to get stronger so that she will will not feel the humiliation of being bullied again which in itself is admirable but the method of doing so is not so. After her defeat Rinne's personality actually reverts back to her original one to which im glad to see and she has found meaning to both her practice of martial arts and to her life as well.
I felt that Yui Ogura who portrayed Rinne did an excellent job in playing Rinne as there were different facets to Rinne's personality that meant that only veterans were able to portray them effectively.
Eins is one of the main characters of the anime and is played by veteran seiyuu Mamiko Noto. Eins is the current champion of the national level MMA tournament that Fuuka and Rinne fight in. Within the story Eins fills the role of Fukka's master and teaches her the basics of MMA fighting and ending up reaching Fuuka her style of fighting that she uses after being impressed by Fuuka's skills and determination. Being a champion Eins is a very capable fighter and watching her deck Fuuka countless times proves this. Despite being senior Eins can be mischievousness sometimes but she has a well rounded personality being a determined, hard working person that is also clear headed. Her seuyuu Mamiko Noto did a fantastic job as ever portraying Eins.
Vivio is one of the main characters of the show and is played by veteran seiyuu Kaori Mizuhashi. A fellow athlete of Fuuka and Eins that trains in the same gym Vivio is the only person that has managed to beat Eins before. Vivio is a positive, competitive and determined person and in a way is the opposite of Rinne. Despite having a weak body Vivio didn't let up and trained relentless to be stronger and as such was able to get to where she is today. It is with this skill and determination that she was able to get so far in the winter championships and manage a victory against her dream opponent despite suffering heavy injuries.
Nove voiced by veteran seiyuu Chiwa Saito is the owner of the Gym that Eins, Fuuka and Vivio and Miura train at. While appearing to be rather laid back Nove actually cares about each of her fighters and will always try and support them with whatever she has. Nove believes that all fighters should be given the chance to shine irrespective of their skills and lack of them. This is complete contrast to her friend Jill.
Gill voiced by veteran seiyuu of Charlotte and Unlimited Fafnir and Trinity seven fame is Rinne's couch. Partly because of her desire to win and seeing Rinne's ability in martial arts Gill trained Rinne relentlessly while ignoring what Rinne's heart really wanted and as such changed Rinne into the person that she later become. It wasn't until much later that she discovered what these had done to Rinne that she saw how wrong she was and how by putting what she felt as a athlete into her that she was dooming Rinne to the same path. This was however averted with Fuuka's match against Rinne and both Gill and Rinne were able to reconcile and find the true path together.
Miura voiced by veteran seuyuu Kanae Ito of Sword art online fame is a fellow athlete of Fuuka, Eins and Vivio that train at Nove's gym. A capable fighter that is equally powerful in both kicks and punches Miura is best described as the peoples person as she can both fight and take care of household chores like cleaning and cooking. Like the rest of the cast Miura aspires to become a professional athlete and aims to graduate from the under 15 cat that she belongs to and join the upper tiers where she hopes to fight Vivio. This is an attitude that i respect a lot as humans should always aspire to get better and improve ones skills and climb ever higher.
Arts and animation
I felt that the art style that was used in the anime was very well designed with character designs being especially good. Individual scenes were also well designed and colored. The fight scenes for which is extremely important as this is a fighting anime was beautifully designed and the audio behind them was done well.
The music for the anime was really well done especially the opening and ending themes that were sung by Yui Ogura who was the seiyuu for Rinne and Inori Minase who was the seiyuu for Fuuka respectively.
Voice acting i felt was top notch with praise going to Inori Minase who played Fuuka, Yui Ogura for Rinne and Mamiko Noto for Eins. Additionally Kaori Mizuhashi who voiced Vivio and Kanae Ito who voiced Miura also did a excellent job portraying their characters.
In conclusion i have to say that i quite enjoyed Vivid strike as i felt that it had an interesting story, great cast of characters, great voice cast and a great setting and most importantly for a fighting anime some really good fight scenes. Fuuka's determination to save her friend from the edge of despair and bring back her old positive personality i felt was a worthy goal and i was glad that see that it worked out in the end. One aspect that i felt could have been done better was the final fight between Eins and Fuuka as they spent so much time in the lead up only to end the fight like that. But otherwise this was a great anime that i enjoyed.