The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Vividred Operation Episode 3

Akane, Aoi and Momo begin their first day to New Oshima Academy. En route to school, Akane’s bike breaks down, forcing her to use the Vivid System in an effort to arrive on time. She ends up meeting kendo club member Wakaba Saegusa, who becomes shocked when Akane counters her attack. After Akane and Aoi officially transfer into Wakaba’s class, Wakaba chases after Akane with the intent of demanding a rematch. She collides with Momo and decides to take her to the nurse’s office. As Wakaba and Momo get acquainted, Akane overhears how Wakaba wanted a rematch to prove she’s the strongest. After her father tells her to consider what ‘true strength’ is, Wakaba formally challenges Akane to a serious kendo match, which reminds Wakaba of how fun kendo used to be for her. Just then, their match is interrupted by the appearance of a serpent-like Alone. As Wakaba comes to realise what true strength is from watching Akane and Aoi fight, she asks to fight alongside them and is granted her own ignition key. Despite Rei’s intervention, Akane and Wakaba dock to become Vivid Green and effortlessly defeat the Alone.

  • What happens when your ride breaks down half-way to school? Akane’s response is to transform into Ironman and fly there, being sighted by Wakaba in the process.

  • The Vivid system allows Akane to effortlessly repel Wakaba’s sword skills. This discussion comes late because I’ve been preoccupied with a journal publication and grant applications. The irony here is that I’ve a little more time on a weeknight to put in this episode discussion. As soon as this discussion is done, it’s time to put a presentation together >.<

  • The classic concept of transfer students is one that many anime fans are familiar with and is used as a classic plot device in many anime. With that in mind, it gives Akane and Aoi the uniforms we’ve seen much of in the promotional materials.

  • Wakaba is voiced by Yuka Outsubo, who also supplied the voice for Toshinou Kyouko! from Yuru Yuri. While their personalities are rather different, traces of similarity can be heard.

  • The most amusing part of the episode is clearly the chase through the school. Akane demonstrates that her athletic abilities are in fact real, pulling off stunts that would make the average ODST look slow-footed.

  • Wakaba has a strong sense of honour and looks after Momo after they collide. It is here she finds out more about Akane, and her resolve to the duel strengthens. I do not know if this view is shared by other viewers, but Wakaba definitely has similar character to Graham Aker; both are exceedingly good at what they do and challenge worthy opponents to duels for the sole reason of duelling.

  • The visual quality in episode three has not dropped at all: this episode ultimately ends up being more of a character-building one, and I image the trend to hold until Himawari shows up.

  • Akane’s overwhelming speed makes her seem op’d: despite not having any formal training in kendo whatsoever, Akane is able to hold her own surprisingly well against Wakaba. In fact, I would argue that Akane’s style mirrors Kirito’s from Sword Art Online. In both cases, they are able to defeat or match superior opponents on the sheer virtue of determination.

  • The only exception I have with this episode is how easily Akane and Wakaba dock, as well as how quickly all the sequences happen. I’ve become accustomed to seeing the first transformation sequence take longer, with the length decreasing as the series progresses.

  • Vivid Green wields a buster sword of some kind. This third episode continues on with the trend of simple, light-hearted fun. If the creators intended on making a concise, enjoyable series in place of a story-driven one, they’ve succeeded. Many anime critics out there would decry this series for its lack of story and complexity, but I digress: this series’ intrigue comes from its re-visitation of the magical girl genre and comes across as a satire of the genre, illustrating (in-universe) that some of the things may not have to make sense, but can happen anyways.

Episode three formally introduces us to Wakaba, the third of the four girls with the Vivid System. Thus, I’m likely to do one more episode discussion for episode four as Himawari Shinomiya is introduced. With respect to the episode itself, Vividred Operation continues to impress with both its spectacular visuals: it seems the island is always nice and clear, a sharp contrast to the snowstorm brewing outside as this post is being generated. Akane’s introduction to Wakaba is a rather amusing one, with the latter mistaking the former for a scoundrel and challenging her on the spot, only to get wiped out (think “regular ODST goes up against Master Chief). Thus, we are immediately familiarised with Wakaba’s personality as a competitive but fun person. Naturally, the chase through the school adds to the notion that, despite the threat that the Alone pose to humanity, this is still a show about middle-school girls. The combat sequences in this episode are fewer, with one hastily executed one at the episodes’ end: otherwise, the bulk of the episode is on character development. I’m rather curious to see how Himawari will be integrated onto the team, and perhaps more so, what role Rei will play in the future.

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