Sep 3, 2023
If my review of the anime adaptation of ViVid being BEFORE I read the manga is anything to go by, it should be stated I'd feel a lot differently if I'd known the manga essentially answered all my flaws. In essence, the manga's pacing and continuing storyline didn't have to follow a strict airing time necessarily, which gives it a LOT more time to flesh out the story. The only real flaw that I can even stick the series for is its length. Even here however, the length is required to fully flesh out the story without completely rushing it. As such, I should mention
that the manga is one of the best series I've read in a while.
One of my main complaints with the anime was that Einhart's character development was stunted, with the anime's decision to not make the best use of her past life of Klaus. At the time, I'd even mentioned there should have been some tie up with her past, even in passing. Thankfully, this is a far cry from the manga's case: the manga not only develops Einhart in detail, but ties other characters to her in meaningful ways. This gives the battles shown a double edge: the physical battle itself, and the internal battle as we all embrace Einhart and her desire to succeed as our own. It's extremely easy to get absorbed in the battles and forget you're honestly looking at a manga panel; the fight scenes (unlike others even, such as in fellow impressive manga Tsubasa Chronicles) pop to life, the action taking place clear and cleverly displayed. The manga is also wonderful in that it primarily focuses on solely the action, not burdening itself (apart from a few rare occasions) with internal monologues or thoughts. Thus, the pace of the action is consistent and flows naturally.
ViVid also excels at non battle scenes. It's true that in a black and white manga, several of the characters blend in and look similar, making them difficult to make out (especially when their names aren't mentioned). However, I can give ViVid some slack for this; the cast was cut back from the back-breaking amount of characters previously shown to a meager approximate 15. This is a welcome change, since it streamlines Einhart and Vivio's roles as the protagonists to the forefront (unlike StrikerS, which suffered to balance Caro and Erio along with Tea and Subaru). Another welcome change is that the wealth of challengers to Team Nakajima actually have a somewhat important role, Micaiah even becoming a major character in her own story in Lufen for a part of the manga.
ViVid also perfectly nails emotion, not making scenes too dramatic needlessly or creating unnecessary sob stories; all of the characters' emotions feel raw and genuine, which helps create impressive levels of empathy and also guides us to understand their motives better. The only area that ViVid really suffers in is "filler" chapters, where the characters mostly sit around and talk, becoming human exposition machines at times. Even at worst, these only border on being boring and fail to significantly decrease ViVid's score. The manga also fulfills its goal of merging Einhart's past into her present, Vivio's future, and several other positive traits. This manga is absolutely worth a read. 10/10.
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