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Vividred Operation - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 14 January 2013 00:46
Welcome to the island of Izu Oshima, where Akane Isshiki has been living an impoverished (financially) yet rich (in quality) life with her little sister, Momo, and their grandfather, Kenjiro - the creator of the Manifestation Engine, a device which has changed life on Earth. But her idyllic life is threatened when a gigantic flying object suddenly appears out of nowhere - the first wave of an alien invasion...

Two things I knew about Vividred before sitting down to watch it: one, that it was probably going to be the closest I got to a mecha show this season, and two, there would be a strong focus on the rears of its characters - in no small part thanks to sharing a number of key personnel with Strike Witches. While the adventures of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing never quite got me overly excited, though, from the opening scenes of this episode Vividred Operation had its hooks in very quickly - there aren’t as many characters to get your head around, and the setting and sense of fun that permeates the series brings back happy memories of watching Lagrange. With the added bonus of instead of sitting around having fun for most of the series, Akane gets thrown right into the deep end from the beginning. It’s an impressive start.

The technological twist on magical girls is also novel (to me - there are probably shows that have played with the idea before, I just haven’t seen them) and a draw in its own right. Add in some top-class visuals, some good action scenes with appropriate levels of excitement and tension, and characters that are just downright likeable, and there’s a lot here to like. Okay, so there are some parts that will have you going “what??”. Every ass-shot in the episode is gratuitous and unnecessary. The breakneck pace of the episode leaves quite a few questions asked but unanswered. But you know what? I was having too much fun watching it - brain firmly in neutral, admittedly - to really care. It’s simply good entertainment, which is just what I’m looking for.

THE GOOD: Lots of fun, very pretty to look at (and I'm not just talking about Akane's rear there), fast-paced, and lots of potential.

THE BAD: Akane's how old? Stop making me look at her arse, already. Will probably also apply to Aoi from next week.

It’s lightweight, it panders, it won’t tax your braincells. But it’s got an appealing setting, some enjoyable characters, and some ideas that carry plenty of potential for the rest of the series. Vividred Operation is off to a flyer of a start, and I hope it can keep this up.

Vividred Operation is streamed by Crunchyroll.

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