Vividred Operation

TV (12 eps)
2.867 out of 5 from 2,716 votes
Rank #7,146

That is everyone's wish. Here in a world where science has solved all questions. This story is set in Oshima. The happy, carefree 14 year old Akane Isshiki lived a poor, but well loved life together with her reliable little sister, Momo, who does all the housework, and her grandfather, Kenjirou, a genius inventor who only created useless devices. When the weather is clear, they can see the artificial island, Blue Island, across the sea. In the center of that island rises the revolutionary Manifestation Engine, a discovery that solved the world's energy problems.

Source: Crunchyroll

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Vividred Operation, although not a masterpiece from any standpoint, has more merit to it than many people assume. I've seen it hailed as a Strike Witches, or even Puella Magi Madoka Magica clone before, and that's about as far as I've seen anyone go to describe it. I personally would prefer to watch Vividred Operation to Madoka, and in many ways I think it exceeds Strike Witches as well. Vividred Operation beats out Strike Witches in nearly every way, which is not diffiult to do, and it doesn't have the pretentious hope vs. despair narrative or the shock value deaths of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Vividred Operation gives a nice blend of moe pandering and interesting plot devices. The story in Vividred is nothing new. Akane Isshiki is the granddaughter of a famed scientist who invented a generator which powers the entire planet. Otherdimensional beings come to destroy the generator, Akane does a flashy magical girl transformation into a marching band uniform and kills them with her friends. However, it introduces a cool concept that I wish it had delved into a bit more. Akane can "fuse" with her teammates (a la Steven Universe) to create a more powerful form. The process is nearly identical to that of Steven Universe - the girls fuse by kissing each other's foreheads, they turn into a more powerful combination of the two of them called Vivid [whatever color the second girl represents] and their weapons combine. I was really into this at first, but when it got closer to the end, the subject of two girls "docking" without one of them being the protagonist Akane came up. Akane was in the hospital, and one of her teammates asked if she could perform the fusion with a different teammate. Dr. Isshiki simply told her "no, it doesn't work like that" and that was the end of it. They never explained it any further and we never heard about it again. Other than that, the only time this anime's writing ever bothered me was the beach episode in which Akane's grandfather essentially spent the entire time trying to kill his granddaughter and all of her friends for the sake of strengthening their friendship. I feel like maybe one of the writers had a five-year-old around writing a little story and they accidentally grabbed it instead of the actual script and made it into this episode. I felt that the animation was very attractive. It's cute, and the overall aesthetic is fitting. It bears a strong resemblance to Strike Witches, if it'd had a vastly higher budget. The only negative thing I can say about it is that the characters have this sort of greasy, plasticy looking hair highlights similiar to the way hair looks in Love Live! School Idol Project. This didn't deter me at all but if you're an animation snob it might bother you. The characters, as in most magical girl anime, were all standard stereotypes. Energetic protagonist Akane, gentle heiress Aoi, headstrong swordswoman Wakaba and hikikomori Himawari. I did like that Wakaba and Himawari sort of pushed the limits of those types a little. Wakaba had a bit more femininity to her than the archetype usually allows for, and Himawari had actually withdrawn from society to the point that she refused to leave home to go to school rather than being the more common mildly awkward shy otaku who doesn't have many friends. I also felt that Rei was a nice contrast to the remainder of the cast. Usually in these moe series, even the character who is supposed to have a tragic backstory doesn't end up dwelling on it much and just behaves like any other moe character. Rei's past is actually her sole reason for actually existing in her situation and is the driving force behind her character. Overall, I would reccomend Vividred Operation to anybody, so long as they don't mind fanservice. While I can't remember any literal panty-shots, the girls' school uniforms feature skintight hot pants for some reason, which can be a source of discomfort for those not used to ecchi. It's an enjoyable watch and doesn't take too much brainpower to comprehend.


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. Story: 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.  Animation: 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. Sound: 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. Characters: 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... Overall: 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).

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