Before end of semester, I got hooked in by an interesting anime that looked a tad (and when I say a tad I mean like the smallest grain of salt) like Sailor Moon. In my endeavour to procrastinate study, I watched Vividred Operation but it wasn’t entirely what I was expecting.
“Enjoyable but not groundbreaking, dull in some parts, extremely cringe worthy, filled with anime boobs, butts and a lot of what happens doesn’t make sense.”
If you’re into sci-fi and technological advancements which typically lead to nothingness then this is the anime for you! With a magical girltype feel set in a utopian world with vast technological advancements, the pilot sets up the groundwork for an enjoyable 12 series anime. However, what eventuated was extremely lack luster with what seemed like recycled characters with no personality, plot and story development which didn’t make sense and a series of events which left me wondering what the fuck was going on.
It all crumbles down to the poor plot development. Vividred Operation is lacking in one area due to it’s character motivations falling short and characters acting upon events without explanation or clarity. It really hinders the connections we can create and relate to with these characters as they are quite likable in most circumstances and sets the show up for failure. Each girl is so similar in their interests, likes and dislikes that after watching I truly cannot remember their individual names or qualities, it feels rushed.
The animation and character designs were extremely good, I enjoyed the ‘docking’ sequences (apart from the nudity which was not necessary) and fight scenes were action packed to the brim. These magical girl style battle scenes are BADASS.
While the slice of life sequences (such as episode eight) were appreciated, they felt like wasted episodes and didn’t really add anything due to the poor plot devices and character development. These episodes which tried to construct connections between the characters could have been done in a more effective way without detracting from the main point of the show.
Although the plot, characters and motivations were lack luster in my opinion, one thing this anime effectively delivers is extreme fan service. There are anime babe boobs and butts galore with their school uniforms leaving nothing to the imagination. Watching, I felt a conflict of interest. Vividred Operation feels like a children’s television show with easily constructed characters with no depth, however has these themes of nudity and sexualisation. Which audience are they trying to appeal to. I believe if this anime had more focus on the characters and less on jiggle physics, we would have had an interesting story.
The main hurdle that this anime fails to overcome is the idea of the enemy and where they come from. We aren’t introduced to the ‘alone’ until the final few episodes as well as Dr Isshiki’s whole relationship with them being left out without clarity or expression. Without these details, we really don’t sympathise with him or really understand whats going on with the girls in these ‘serious’ last few episodes.
Furthermore, I really didn’t care about the world they lived in. I was rooting for Rei in the end, I wanted the alone to destroy their world because she was the only character with depth in my opinion (maybe it’s because I’m opposed to the whole ‘yay teamwork!’ kind of ideology but whatever). The anime felt rushed in parts where it needed to slow down and too slow in parts where events should have been skipped over.
Arguably was my favourite part of this show, the aesthetic of each girl when docking was quite beautiful and the transformation was also intriguing (minus the immediate fan service). Near the end, they kind of become needlessly repetitive, however, I’m one for always loving these Sailor Moon style sequences.
- Interesting, multidimensional character with a diverse backstory.
- Backstory isn’t very fleshed out, her aesthetic is refreshing from the other bright and colourful characters. The weapon that she wields is super cool and the fact that she is the catalyst causing the world’s destruction is completely bad ass.
- As the token ‘bad guy’, her presence is somewhat jaded by this mysterious past that we are not clearly introduced to.
- She is the most relatable out of all the girls with a motivation which is intriguing and satisfying to watch.
- Most relatable to me. I embrace everything Himawari stands for and wish that she was my computer nerd waifu.
- Her laid back and nonchalant personality is intriguing when compared to the bigger personalities in this anime.
- My favourite colour is yellow.
- Her weapons are extremely cool when compared to a sword, hammer and boomerang and reflect her personality quite well.
- She proves herself to be a useful member of the team with her hacking skills as well as her prowess in combat, her docking sequence is my favourite.
- Competely over the top character even for an anime like this. Her motivation is unclear and really doesn’t make sense (apart from this ‘friendship’ stuff).
- I don’t like the colour green.
- Just an unlikable character with very little going for her, I don’t really understand where Wakaba stands within the group which makes her feel like an add on for the hell of it.
- Why is he a rat.
- Leaves everyone in the dark until the end without enlightening them about his connection to the alone which could have assisted them from the start.
- Why is he a fucking rat.
The Rei Rant
We are introduced to Rei too late in the series, she is an interesting character with multiple layers to her personality, motivation and values when compared to the other characters who are all quite cliche.
Because Rei does eventually go back to her own world, we don’t even get a pang of disappointment or sadness when she does. This is due to the relationship between herself and the other characters being left untouched until the last few episodes, it isn’t explored well enough. It could have been so much more powerful seeing Rei happily going back to her world, however, it’s more like a ‘see ya’ kind of situation.
The ending scene is kind of funny when the other girls say goodbye and Rei doesn’t really care. They all had their time with her, however it didn’t feel meaningful to any part of the story. They honestly feel like add ons who are just hollow shells with one or two values but predictable personalities.
Because of this lack of character development, we didn’t really feel happy when we saw Rei again. I was kind of like ‘oh yay, she’s back’ but I wasn’t stoked, we didn’t even find out how she got back and why she was even back! Did he world get destroyed again? Who knows. We didn’t even get enough info on how Rei’s world got destroyed and why! We were just told that it was.
I’m frustrated because she is such a multidimensional character, however is flawed by the anime’s story telling. An example of this is when Rei glances towards Akane’s dead father’s shrine, she recognises grief as a state which can be shared. She is awesome, the anime is not.
End of rant. It was a good fan service anime. Is not nearly perfect. Magical girl feel gives it two extra points. Appreciate the Sailor Moon transformation pieces, they were pretty cool. Great visuals, resonating with a magical girl aesthetic.
I went into this anime thinking there was going to be an intriguing story, I was wrong. If I had to watch it again, I wouldn’t be so critical and would just enjoy myself, it’s a mind-numbing show but a decent ride for twelve episodes.
Rating: 4/10 butts and boobs.