Recap: As Akane and her friends continue to fight the forces of evil, a mysterious young girl watches their battles. She even goes so far as hacking into classified military data.
Himawari is the name of the mysterious girl and we saw her camera in Akane’s classroom last episode. Akane breaks this camera while playing baseball. After apologizing, Akane and friends drag Himawari out to see one of the energy transmitter stations. While there they are attacked by an Alone. Himawari shuts down the plant to keep it from exploding before becoming a magical girl herself and destroying the Alone for good.
Lifesong’s Thoughts: Aside from the dark magical girl, who I assume will join later, our magical girl team is fully assembled now. As much as I enjoyed last weeks episode I think I liked this intro even more. Himawari is an easily relatable character and her nervous hikikomori personality helps rounds out this cast of earnest sincerity with a bit of nerdy skepticism. Also, her affection for the tech of this word is quite cute.
In talking with others at glorioblog who find this anime uncomfortable, I find I am often on the defensive for Vividred Operation and this episode that seems to be particularly true. With this episode I think it really all comes down to the transformation scene. While the rest of the girls look to be fourteen, Himawari kind of looks significantly older. It’s an old joke for anime with young girls to have one girl look five to ten years older than the rest. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve heard one of my friends ask how old the characters are supposed to be. In this case fourteen is the answer, but is that really accurate?
Himawari has the personality and skills of a thirty five year old ex-security expert who has gone into hiding, paranoid of the world. That is not her role in this story, but that is the way she comes across. My own personal morality is satisfied at this is all fiction. I don’t really need to come up with an excuse for enjoying this anime, but I see my peers struggling with it and feel compelled to say something about this topic. I could write a ton on this topic, but I will try to keep this brief and relevant to the episode.
When I watch Vididred,I see actors and writers, fictional characters are just containers for their ideas. I look at the ages of the cast as part of the setting. Perhaps it is backwards to see it this way, but the characters are fourteen because that setting best fits the story. It’s okay to be young and idealistic but an older character implies maturity. It comes with baggage that a younger character won’t have. If you did below the surface of Vividred you will find that there are no real fourteen year old girls to be found.
So is it wrong to find these transformation scenes hot? Your morality is your own, I will only try to share my own perspective. You don’t necessarily have to feel as shameless about all this as the presentation implies the staff do to enjoy it. Personally I don’t find any of this to be particularly hot but the topic seems worthy of attention. As a network engineer myself, I do find Himawari’s skills admirable, it makes her a relatable character; however, my ability to believe she is fourteen is only stretched even more by said ability. Her theme of loneliness and trust is not handled the way fourteen year old girls would deal with them either. As I see it these are not fourteen year old girls, they are the fantasies of Kazuhiro Takamura a 38 year old man. And hey if nothing else, keeping that in mind might keep these girls from looking so hot in the first place…
On a lighter note I can’t wait to see what the figure companies do with Himawari. If Alter gets their hands on her we might even have something that can rival their Nanoha stuff.