Final Review: Vividred Operation

Vividred Operation is an original work by Strike Witches’ Kazuhiro Takamura. It is set in a futuristic world where everything is powered by the Manifestation/Incarnate Engine. However, that peace does not last forever: An unknown species known as the Alone begins to attack the society with its priority of the Incarnate Engine’s destruction. Akane Isshiki is given a special key by her grandfather, granting access to the Vivid System to help in fending off the Alone. Akane is later joined by a group of friends: Aoi Futaba, Wakaba Saegusa, and Himawari Shinomiya. Vividred Operation premiered during the Winter 2012/2013 anime season, was simulcasted by CrunchyRoll, and licensed by Aniplex USA.

Vividred Operation is arguably one of those shows that is obviously a knock off of a previous title yet pretends that it isn’t, namely Strike Witches. It’s first episode is nearly identical in scene for scene to Strike Witches, which made it very difficult to enjoy in terms of originality. Knowing that it is by the same creator only hurt it more as it emphasized that this director may be a one trick pony. Putting the set up aside, the show drags itself for about 4 episodes to introduce the four main girls of the series who will help protect the island, almost like a magical girl show. The rest of it was like a “monster of the week” type series up until the final couple episodes where the “ultimate” villain is revealed. Unfortunately, the show falls into a very simple deus ex trap and raises the question of who was actually the intended target audience for this title?

Art is generally decent with character designs that are a cross between Strike Witches and Smile Precure! Animation is good for about half the series but incredibly lazy elsewhere, which really shouldn’t be surprising given it was by A-1 Pictures. A-1 Pictures clearly poured a lot of budget in this show but considering they were doing about 6 titles in the last season, including Shin Sekai Yori, Fairy Tail, Magi, Uchuu Kyoudai, and Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru, this was the show that people likely cared the least about and felt like a waste of budget. Vividred Operation is also unsurprisingly heavy with CGI.

OP is pretty decent by earthmind. ED are basically a mix of seiyuu singers. All are fitting with the series but long-term memorability is a different issue. Background music is quite good in this show, particularly with the transformation sequences. Sound effects are decent as well. Seiyuu is mostly new members in the industry and I generally didn’t have any complaints. Maaya Uchida is definitely rising fast though.

Enjoyment? Not particularly. The show plays on the idea of friendship, which I’m okay with as titles such as Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha have done this successfully, but it’s the lack of a strong antagonist and “reasonable” world destruction plan that really hurts this theme in the show. There’s just too much fluff in this show for it’s own good. If you want a better “deus ex” friendship title, Rinne no Lagrange is a far more amusing watch. Obviously Strike Witches is the biggest competitor to this title with Sky Girls and Nanoha coming in as distant seconds.

Overall, Vividred Operation along with Maoyuu were supposedly the most hyped title among Japanese otaku coming into the season. Of course, the result of the former is far from what it deserved. Vividred Operation is not a complete failure but it’s certainly not a memorable or valuable title either. If the show had at least tried to be original maybe it would have received more attention, but considering it’s a clear knock off of numerous other titles, it’s better to really just stay away from this.

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Completely unoriginal
  • Character Personalities (0.5/1): Cheery?
  • Character Development (1/2): Certainly there.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1.5/2): Small memorable cast.
  • Pacing: (0.5/1): Spends too much time on introductions. Random character episodes that don’t seem to impact the plot.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1/2): Could be more believable.
  • Conclusion (0/1): Unresolved plot elements. Deus ex.
  • Total: 4.5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1.5/2): Decent
  • Character Designs (1/2): Fair
  • Fluidity (1.5/2): Good but has inconsistencies
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (2/2): Very
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1/2): A-1 poured a lot of budget into this but 6 titles in a season really hurts consistencies, especially when the budget could be used better elsewhere.
  • Total: 7/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (1.5/3): Fitting with series.
  • Background Music (2/2): Very good.
  • Sound Effects (1.5/2): Decent
  • Seiyuu (2/3): Mostly new seiyuus. Pretty decent overall even though it could get annoying at times.
  • Total: 7/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (0/2): None
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (0/2): None
  • Presentation: (1/2): Feels episodic but at the same time not. Pretty straightforward series.
  • Re-watchable (0/1): Nope
  • Recommendation (0/2): Strike Witches, Sky Girls, Nanoha.
  • Value (0/1): Above recommendations exist and are significantly better.
  • Total: 1/10

Preliminary Score: 6/10

Final Score: 5/10

Comments are closed.