Magical girl anime has long since been a genre aimed at little kids and people with strange tastes. Its collective absence of plot and corny attack names that the heroines shout have made most people cringe in pain. Factor in the nonsensical transformation scenes where the heroines are scantily clad, or not at all, and it’s basically a recipe for those with certain “fantasies” to have something to stare at.
Well, “Vividred Operation” is a bit different but also shares a lot of those same elements. It even adds more than a few of its own that basically leave sensible people scratching their heads and wondering where about half an hour of their life went.
“Vividred Operation” follows the story of Isshiki Akane and her friends as they fight the mysterious Alone by transforming into a multi-colored band of super-powered mecha-magical girls. Produced by A-1 Pictures, the scenery and character animation is spectacular. Unlike other titles of the same genre, “Vivid” is extremely pleasing to look at and A-1 spares no expense to bring the viewer stunning visual effects and fluid animation.
A-1 Pictures is the same studio that produced the widely successful “Sword Art Online” series, which aired in 2012. In addition to “Vivid,” A-1 also has other series airing this season, such as “Magi,” which is continuing from the Fall 2012 season, and “Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru,” or “OreShua” for short, which started airing this season. Upcoming projects include another widely successful series, “Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.” Known as “OreImo” for short, it was originally animated by AIC Build but the sequel will be animated by A-1 Pictures and is slated for the Spring 2013 season.
Getting back on topic, “Vivid” breathes a new life into a genre that is plagued by overacting, excessive moe traits, cliché lines and a depressing lack of meaningful plot lines. However, it’s not all multi-colored roses and glittering beam attacks. Despite the amazing animation and the series actually having a decent plot, that’s about where the good times stop. The opening sequence in the first episode pretty much says it all.
In the first place, it seems like this series is trying to be ecchi without actually crossing the line. Let’s start with the school uniforms. Girls wear a pseudo-sailor style top but, instead of a skirt, they wear bloomers. That’s right. Bloomers. Seriously. Not kidding. Due to this, they take every advantage to take a camera angle from behind the girls every chance they get. I mean, I know it’s supposed to be futuristic and all but I don’t think real girls would consent to wearing bloomers as part of their normal uniform.
But wait! There’s more! When these girls transform into their mecha-magical girl mode the first time, they somehow already know what to do. Of course, they lose all their clothes and wind up in their underwear. Whether they still have their underwear on the Blu-ray release has yet to be seen. After the transformation sequence, and during the fight, they naturally call out their move names. That’s normal, and to be expected, but all of their moved are preceded with “Naked.” Why naked? I mean, there’s nothing naked about them.
Here comes the best part: When an enemy is too powerful, which in this monster-of-the-week style series, they always are, the girls can go through “Docking” to get a power-up. How is this done? Why, by kissing each other on the forehead! When this is done, the two girls transform into an older, hotter girl with mega-powers that can apparently one-shot any enemy. Of course, the look of the girl changes depending on who “docks” with who.
Now, this is where the usual fallacy of magical girl anime comes in: If they can just one-shot the monster by “docking,” why don’t they just do that from the start? Fans of the genre will argue that they wouldn’t have a story otherwise and the bonds of friendship and love will conquer all. Well, perhaps they’re right.
Even though this series is basically a yuri-mecha-magical girl series, it is still worlds different than its peers. Despite the monologue above, and the usual bad points inherent across all series of this genre, A-1 has managed to keep these to a minimum and tries to focus on making sure the story is the main focus. The series is quite comedic and has the potential to evolve into something greater than the initial impression may lead you to believe.
So, the verdict? If you’re feeling adventurous and want to go outside your comfort zone, give “Vividred Operation” a try. Much how “Love Live!” can change your mind about school idol anime, “Vividred” could very well change your mind about magical girl anime.
- Airs: Friday, 01:30 JST (GMT +9)
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
- Genre(s): Magical Girl
- First Aired: 11 Jan 2013
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.
It is a peaceful future, just like everyone dreamed of: one where everyone can smile and be happy. Suddenly, the world is visited by danger. An unknown enemy – the Alone – appear, targeting the Manifestation Engine. As none of their weapons worked and they fell into despair, a lone girl takes a stand wearing a red ‘Pallet Suit’ which wields a great, hidden power. Before long, allies gather around her to fight. And their friendship becomes the only hope for saving the world![Source: Aniplex]