This is review number one hundred and eighty one. It’s part of the Winter 2013 anime and it’s a good one. The anime I’ll be reviewing is “Vividred Operation”. I think you read it as Vivid Red Operation but who the hell cares at this point. This is a twelve episode anime about girls transforming into magical girls beating up floating monsters and exposing their legs and other things. Yeah. Let’s read on.
The anime is about Akane Isshiki, an energetic young girl who loves her friends. One day, while waiting for her friend to come back home, she witness the appearance of a giant monster called an “alone” that threatens to destroy the Manifestation Engine that supplies the world with all of its energy. Her grandfather gave her ability to fight the monsters that gives her tremendous power. No other weapon can hurt an alone so it is up to Akane and her friends to save the world from destruction.
Taking the Pants Off
Vividred Operation is basically Strike Witches repackaged and released at 2013. I’ve never seen Strike Witches but the comparison is really there. The amount of legs in both shows is prominent and I guess the only difference is the addition of the magical genre on Vividred. This is also the reason why the anime is so intriguing. It has a modern approach to the genre. Its proof that little girls are no longer just the target audience of the genre and it seemingly loves playing both sides. The addition of stock footages and cute girls just being cute kind of made the whole package a pretty nice one to watch. This show has a lot of flaws to it but its strengths are definitely strong. Are the positives good enough to outweigh the negatives? I think it does. At the end of the day, a flashy show that stays flashy till the end is something worth praising.
The premise of the show is pretty simple. It’s about ordinary girls fighting bad guys and saving the world. Using their power of friendship, they can get through anything and come out on top. It’s a bit cringe worthy but the magical girl genre is all about friendship so expect some here. The show will easily hook you though because of its impressive animation and the simple fact that the girls are great eye candy. There are also a lot of legs and short shorts for some odd reason.
The anime has three plot points. The story had a lot of stuff attached to it so it only makes sense to split the main focus of it. The first one is obviously about the girls and the monsters called “alone”. There are not a lot of things covered on this one, actually. It’s just as simple story of every episode, a monster appears and the girls try to beat it up. As the anime progresses, we slowly discover the mastermind behind the monsters and what exactly they are after.
The second plot point is actually about the bad guy. I’d say it’s one of the minions of the bad guy. The anime has given the villain an equal amount of exposure telling how it became a villain and the reasons why it is doing those bad things. There’s nothing remarkable about this one. It’s just a simple story of how the bad guy isn’t actually bad because the reason for the villain’s evil way is actually pretty understandable. It was even a bit fun seeing the villain falter with its convictions about destroying the Manifestation Engine and it eventually builds up as the anime progresses.
The third plot point is simply about the girls of the anime. The anime was very heavy about their relationship and their friendship to one another. It was a bit odd that the anime showcased “gurl power” when it had a rich premise to start with already. Anyways, the anime explored a lot of the girl’s relationships and how they treasure one another. Their bonding moments and their playful times together was focused a lot because it does translate to some of their battles with the Alones.
The first half of the anime was pretty straight forward. It laid the groundwork of the story and it had some episodes introducing the main characters of the anime. You also have this much time to adjust to the rather fan service attack of the anime. The amount of legs and short shorts in the anime is overwhelming. The second half is where the story got a bit more serious as it intensified the plot points and prepared for the initial climax of the anime. The story was decent if you don’t let certain things bother you. I actually like how all three plot points had a decent development and they were able to progress together. There are a lot of blemishes in the anime though.
First of all, you have to suspend your disbelief when watching the anime. The show itself pointed it out that the premise is a bit ridiculous. If you’ve seen how magical girl shows work then you’d have an easier time adjusting to the idea of the anime. Girls saving the world aren’t really that fun of a premise on paper. Secondly, the anime had a lot of plot holes. There are some things that are just too vital not to ignore. How did Akane’s grandfather create vividred system? What exactly are the specifications for it to work and how does one be able to operate it? Who exactly are the bad guys and why do they send a vulnerable little kitten to do their dirty jobs for them? What are the alones and how did they obtain such strong powers? How was the Manifestation Engine able to support 95% of the energy of the world using the power of the sun? What about during cloudy days? How did a shut in like Himawari able to stay so goddamn sexy?! You would think that these questions are important enough for the anime to cover it. I mean, I’m a forgiving guy and I let most things slide but important details about the show are often ignored. It eventually gets all screwed up during the later parts of the anime. So many questions and not enough answers.
The anime actually had time to answer these questions but it decided not to because it was too busy showcasing girl power among other things. The friendship of the girls was just too pivotal to not explore for some apparent reason. I guess the viewers is just asked to simply focus on the girls flying in the sky with their awesome suits, enjoy the stock footage transformations and just have fun watching the girls fight a giant monster. This would be a bad thing on any other show but, this show is really flashy that you just can’t simply look away. It’s too awesome not to watch.
The characters are pretty great. The main girls have their own unique personality among them that makes them stand out. It’s not the most original personalities but there is enough contrast among them to make the interactions pretty great. Akane is the typical super positive main character that believes that determination is enough to defeat a hoard of monsters. She does get annoying at times but she also has her moments. She is the ideal hero who is concern over her friends and doesn’t think twice about helping them out. There is Aoi Futaba, her best friend who is the shy rich girl that does her best to overcome her inferiority complex. There is Wakaba Saegusa who is a strict girl but does care a lot for her friends. She is the typical strong girl in the anime but is actually very fragile inside. There is the shut in Himawari Shinomiya who is the shut in and the antisocial. I am very much in love with this girl though. Something about her whole…thing just appeals to me. Lastly, there is Rei Kuroki, who is the distant type but actually wants friends of her won but certain circumstances won’t let her have even one.
The rest of the cast is pretty decent. They are good enough to progress the story but they don’t do much. The military is the one that stands out to me because people die in this anime with all the planes and tanks being blown up and the military is always the sheep offered before the girls retaliate. It’s a bit funny to me. There is also the grandfather who is in a weasel stuff toy that also had some decent role in the anime. He should’ve been more important to the story but the anime was more focused on girl power than the basic rundown of the Alones and the girl’s powers. He is good enough to explain the basics of the Sci Fi aspects of the anime but the anime doesn’t want to go that route. The other characters are pretty simple and all they do is make the main characters look great.
I’d have to watch Strike Witches to see just how much the two compares but as it stands, this is a pretty great show. Story wise it isn’t that strong but it hits hard with other things like the characters and the overall animation. Something designed by redjuice can never be bad. The anime experience is pretty great. There are enough magical girl elements to make the show fluffy and cute but also enough fan service to truly question the intention of the anime. It’s a great show with the things it presents.
Sight and Sound
Character design is pretty amazing. The girls have a nice touch of cuteness to them and a bit of sexiness to make them great eye candy. You can never tire staring at the girls and the anime had enough to scenes to bring out their great looks. The nice colorful eyes and the little blush on their cheeks was a nice addition to really make the characters standout. Their choice of outfit was also pretty great. It greatly matches their personality and again, enough to make them great eye candy. I also love the nice design of their school uniform. The short shorts were too much but the overall look was pretty sweet. Of course, the designs of the vividred costumes of the girls were also pretty awesome. It had a great look for a magical girl costume and it had nice elements for the sci fi as well. The colorful designs also make the girls massive eye candy. Your eyes can never be bored, that is for sure.
The designs of the “alones” are also pretty nice. They don’t speak but they have a nice menacing aura to them. I love how every alone was different and it makes the fight scenes pretty great because you’ll never know how the enemies will fight back. They remind me of those great battles you experience in RPG which is pretty great. The fight scenes are pretty linear though but it was flashy enough to make both the girls and the monsters look great.
The anime has a strange way of utilizing the camera angle. Let’s call them…crotch shots, I guess. That shot which has a lot of ass and the girl’s crotch in it was weird that the anime kept using it again and again. It loves to focus on the girl’s ass and their short shorts yet there aren’t any panty shots in the anime. It’s just some blatant ass and all that stuff. It was weird and it’s safe to say I don’t share the same sick fascination over bloomers and short shorts. I’m more of a boob guy that anything else.
The animation is pretty awesome. The movements are outstanding and the fight scenes just really stand out. The anime was really flashy that it doesn’t matter if the fights are one sided, because it just looks very cool. The way the girls dance in the sky while they fight and the way the use their weapons are really fun to watch. The stock footage is also pretty flashy and the animation is outstanding. It has the appeal of a magical girl transformation but it is also very cyberpunk in a way that I really admire. The simple scenes are also nicely animated. The movements of the girls were decent even when the quality drops and the facial expressions are nicely presented.
The anime’s OP is “ENERGY” by earthmind. It’s a decent song. The singer’s voice was a nice standout and the instrumentals complement it well. The song itself was very nice and energetic for the anime. The OP sequence features the amazing animation of the show. The great looks of the girls and the slightly perverted fanservice stock footage transformations are in the sequence. The flashy fight scenes and the simple summary of the anime are also in the OP. If you have doubts about the show then just watch the OP sequence because it pretty much captures the show’s main appeal.
The anime had a lot of ED songs. The first half had five different ED sang by the girls when they are featured in the episode. The anime had a single ED on the second half. The individual songs are really cute and the voices of the girls are really nice. The songs had great personality and the singer’s voice was the main showcase of it. It was really well done. The ED song of the second half is really amazing. It features the voices of the girls in a nice and upbeat song. It’s a very catchy dong and the way the voices blend is really nice. It’s a very lovely song for the anime. The sequence features still poses of the girls and a pan up shot as the girls sing the song. It’s pretty nice.
7/10 “It has great visuals but a missed opportunity to excel the story as well.”
This is a great anime. Story wise, the anime is a bit weak. In terms of the visuals and the fanservice then the show was pretty amazing. It was good enough to make the story not enough of a bother because you’ll be showed by countless scenes of the girls beautiful faces and a lot of crotch shots. The flashy animation is also a great plus. If you enjoyed Strike Witches then you should try this one. If you love the magical girl genre mixed with some nice Sci Fi then you’ll love this anime. I recommend it.