First Impressions: Vividred Operation

3

Original Anime by A-1
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: A girl who lives in a scientifically created utopia must become a magical girl and save her home.

Lifesong’s Verdict: The best of Magical Girl Anime

And the worst. It’s safe to say that if you have seen any amount of magical girl anime you will understand what this is. Vividred brings everything the magical girl genre has and puts it on the table. Fan-service that is sure to send a chill down the spine of some and thrill others. This anime most closely resembles Nanoha with it’s mecha like equipment and overall atmosphere. The grandfather even turns himself into a stuffed Ferret, paying homage to Nanoha in case the connection wasn’t obvious enough already.

Vividred doesn’t exactly cover much in the way of new ground with this first episode, but it does put the best of the genre to good use. No time is wasted in explaining the setup for us and by the end of the episode we have already seen our first magical transformation. Friendships are also clearly established which as any magical girl fan knows is surely important to the plot of this anime. Perhaps the most iconic thing about this first episode is the way a girls butt-cheeks frame the sun early on in the episode. I am sure that whoever came up with that idea is very proud of it.

This pilot is already my favorite character.

This pilot is already my favorite character.

I can’t really ask for more from a first episode. I was not particularly thrilled with this introduction but it was fun. There is something to say for sticking to the basics and that is exactly where Vividred has decided to start things off. Hopefully as we get a bit further in Vividred will manage to sell itself as it’s own thing instead of just relying on the cliches of the genre for it’s storytelling.

Zigg’s Verdict: Own Worst Enemy

I am desperately divided on this show. There’ so much to enjoy, from the smart, snappy visual design, well directed action and the lingering-techno-magical vibe that so enhanced my appreciation for Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. The cast is a little predictable but they’re also inoffensive and in Kenjiro Isshiki, the fearsomely eccentric inventor who’s marvelously transplanted into the body of a stuffed ferret, I may just have found my favourite character of the season. There’s a badass hoverbike chase across water and down the side of a building, lots of crap blows up and the enemies look like giant disco light machines. What’s not to like?

At least the ferret isn't telepathic.

At least the ferret isn’t telepathic.

Well, the creepy, nasty and entirely inappropriate fanservice of course. I’m sure some people can appreciate the artistic beauty of a sunrise gratuitously shot through the legs of a young girl, but I’m not one of those people. Every time I begin to develop a little affection for Vividred it sabotages itself with a lovingly detailed close up of middle-school butt (you’d never guess this is from the director of Strike Witches right?). Oh and to complete the Nanoha comparison we’ve also got a fantastic transformation scene that jsut happens to put our heroine in her underwear and swoop the camera past her repeatedly. Ugh.  I’m going to give this more chances because there is some very cool stuff here, but honestly, I wish shows could just stop shooting themselves in the foot like this.

Jel’s Verdict: Nanoha: The Lost Middle School Years

As Life mentioned, this pretty much sticks to the basic Magical Girl formula, except in this case the magic is SCIENCE. They even brought the yuri bait and talking ferret for good measure. Really the only distinguishable elements are the well designed mecha elements and the girls’ lovingly crafted posteriors. I imagine the structure will be a “Defend the Base from the Monster (Robot) of the Week” type of deal, but give the show’s production values I wouldn’t be surprised if it got a little more ambitious than that either. I don’t particularly care for Nanoha or magical girl shows in general, but if that’s what you’re looking for this seems to be this season’s best bet.

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