Let's just get one thing clear: I am a Strike Witches fanboy. BUT that will not affect my review of Vividred Operation. I can guarantee that, because in my opinion, Strike Witches is 100000000000000000 times better than this show. Thus, you can be assured that this review will remain as objective as possible.
As this show was made by the same director as Strike Witches and Sky Girls, I expected very little in terms of plot. My expectations were fulfilled. Of these three works, I have to say Sky Girls has the best plot development (and ironically it is the least well known). Vividred Operation, from hereon referred to as Vivid, takes 5 episodes to introduce 4 heroines, color coded like magical girls. Around the middle of the first cour, the story attempts to add drama, by creating a tragic past for the antagonist, yet this utterly fails because the flashbacks lack too much context for the viewer to relate. Some more episodes pass. The girls take out alien enemies called "Alones." Some slice of life type stories take place (in other words filler)(yes, there is a beach episode). Finally, from episode 10, the plot begins to exist. Unfortunately, the dramatic build up that should have started from around episode 6 is not there, thus, the climax of episode 10 is not all that climactic. In fact, one could say it was predictable.
Vivid is beautiful to look at. It's like a eyegasm. There are sparkles everywhere, motions are smooth and swift, and colors are...well...vivid. You can tell they really went all out on the visuals.
The character designs mostly fit into your typical stereotypes. The tomboy is flat chested, the rich girl is pale, etc. I'll get more into that in the characters section.
The opening theme is pretty catchy. It's an upbeat song that fits the mood of the series. The first few episodes have different endings, until it finally settles on one song around episode 5. While I appreciate the effort to make the endings unique, none of them were that good in my opinion.
The background music was fitting and there was a large varaiety of sound tracks.
The voices generally fit the characters, and I have to say the VA's did a pretty good job.
We have the bright and cheerful girl, the sheltered, kind, rich girl, the tomboyish, flat chested girl, and the quiet, loner girl. The only one who I can't put into a single mold is Himawari, the 4th girl to be introduced. It's not like I expected anything other than stereotypes, so I'm not too disappointed by that.
There isn't any character development. Again, I didn't really expect any.
The development of the close friendship between the four girls seems extremely rushed. The first two girls are fine, since they're childhood friends, but the other two seem to become close friends in a matter of days. Well, I guess cooperating with them while fighting giant aliens to protect the world might have that effect, but still...
Vivid is surprisingly similar to a magical girl show. In fact, it's more magical girl than mecha musume imo. Vivid is just one of those anime where you have to turn your brain off, and stop thinking about logic, plotholes, and physics. If you're looking for something deep and philosophical, don't watch this. If you want a solid plot with relatable characters, don't watch this. If you want an extremely superficial plot with likeable characters, you might like this. If you want a superficial story with light themes of friendship, mixed with unnecessary butt shots, then look no further (assuming you've already seen Strike Witches and Sky Girls). On that note, I feel obligated to say that they toned down the fanservice considerably from Strike Witches. So much, that an uncensored version BD version of the series likely wouldn't exist (assuming they don't add scenes).