Vividred Operation Episode 4
February 2, 2013
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Akane, Aoi and Wakaba’s latest fight against the Alone are observed by Himawari Shinomiya, a girl who spends her days confined to her room and participates in classes through a camera. Following the battle, Wakaba begins training Akane and Aoi so they can safely dock in battle. The next day, Kenjirou discusses a recent security breach on their network and resolves to identify the responsible party: making his way to Akane’s classroom, his investigation is cut short when Akane’s misplaced baseball shatters the window and destroys Himawari’s camera. The girls go to Himawari’s apartment to apologise, and meet Himawari for the first time. Following a brief conversation, the girls decide to bring Himawari to see the sunset at a local power distribution facility, but the sudden reappearance of the Alone forces the girls transform to defeat it. Akane delivers Himawari into the facility to shut it down, but the latter finds herself barricaded when a part of the structure collapses. In a flashback, Himawari recalls how she was betrayed by her previous friend, leading to her aversions towards friendship. However, Himawari is rescued by Akane, who kept her promise to come back for her. Touched by this gesture, Himawari is granted an ignition key and joins the girls in their fight. After the Rei powers up the alone again, Akane docks with Himawari to become Vivid Yellow and defeat the Alone. Following the battle, Himawari decides to start attending classes before asking Kenjirou for his autograph.
- Aoi is wiped out after her and Akane’s training session with Wakaba. In the foreground is Himawari’s custom camera, which distinctly has WALL-e like attributes. I’m guessing the two camera lenses allow for stereoscopic vision, but considering the signal goes through to a computer screen, that’s quite unnecessary.
- Akane is noted to be holding the baseball bat incorrectly. That said, it’s still less incorrect than Lan’s attempts in Rinne no Lagrange.
- In 1080p Akane’s reaction to totally wrecking Himawari’s camera is rather amusing. I get Yoshika Miyafuji vibes when I see this picture.
- I get the nagging feeling that this episode is primarily about how trust amongst friends work: through their overwhelmingly positive attitides, Akane et al. are able to convince Himawari of the value of friendship.
- The Alone that show up in this episode take on more alien forms than previously shown and can even regenerate after total destruction, unlike the Neuroi.
- I find myself with less to say about Vividred Operation at this stage, primarily because the anime keeps me entertained but simultaneously does not possess any elements that might give me the opportunity to drive discussion in a different direction.
- Vividred Operation has a unique take on the whole magical girl genre that, coupled with its resemblance to Ironman, make the series immensely fun to watch. I don’t watch other magical girl anime because they fall outside the scope of my interest.
- Himawari’s Vivid System confers awesome funnel-like weapons that can be used as shields. While her appearance completes the Vivid team, her backstory feels a little rushed and appears almost trivial. However, this does nothing to detract from the anime’s execution and visuals.
- The highlight of this episode has to be Vivid Yellow’s appearance. Compared to the sleeker, more modern appearance of Vivid Blue and Vivid Green, Vivid Yellow sports an elegant Victorian-era dress and wields an awesome Forerunner-like particle weapon.
- Himawari’s sudden change of heart perhaps demonstrates how friendship and the confidence it brings is a powerful force. She expresses pure joy at meeting Kenjirou and asks for an autograph. Her innate familiarity with the Vivid System through her hacking means that it is less surprising when she uses the commands, compared to Wakaba, who is able to wield the system without any effort.
The whole episode bears direct resemblance to the previous ones, bringing to the table the fourth member of the Vivid team. Similar to Wakaba, Himawari is again granted a key a little too quickly, but this is being nit-picking here: the episode itself was just as fun to watch as the previous ones for the transformation sequences, although they’ve cut back on combat scenes (as with episode three). Now that the entire cast is more or less present, minus Rei, whose story is expected to be explored in the next episode, things will get under way for real now and there will hopefully be more combat to showcase the visuals in this series. Of course, now that the fourth episode is out and as per my original intention, this means that the next Vividred Operation post I make will be at the half-way mark of the season, and the finale.