There’s a bit of spoiler for Madoka and Vandred in this post, but it’s actually about speculating Vividred Operation. Go figure.
So, let’s talk about Vandread for a bit. In that show, the potato-kun “gattai” with a girl (out of 3, for the most part) to form some badass spaceship that beats up the bad guys. Except, it was the ships doing the combining and the pilots just end up piloting the ship together (sharing a seat). It’s all very symbolic and all very sexy, and if it wasn’t for the large quantity of starchy potato-kuns in the show, it would’ve been some deep sexy space spinoff of FLCL. In other words, Vandread definitely felt short of its potential.
Back to 2013, there’s this show called Vividred Operation where you have these girls with seemingly magical powers that transforms into these marching-band-lookalikes except they fly around like Strike Witches and using weapons you can probably find in Nanoha’s universe (tho they do not talk). That’s not all. At the point of their climatic combat experiences, two of these girls do this “DOCKING” thing in which they further combine to form a “Vivid[insert color].” If you watch the show you know what I mean, but basically the two people literally become one person, and this new person seems to speak in both minds of her (its?) predecessors. The new person is, symbolically, an adult version of the two teenagers, and can fight much better than either or both of the teenager predecessors, combined. Well, they’re really now combined, you know what I mean.
The comparison between Vividred and Vandread, as I hear them in the wild, are basically just a matter of mechanics: two units form one sharing that vortex of emotions and will and consciousness, when things work. But another matter of mechanics is about the philosophy of body and soul. We know from episode one that the two are very separate things by Vividred Operation’s framework on that. (What happened to Grandpa Isshiki’s body anyway? Peacefully coexisting with Momo’s groceries?) The badger-thing that now passes for Kenjiro Isshiki is Kenjiro Isshiki, right? Just like how Vividgreen is more about how she really looks like Miku in a sexy 21st century kimono and not so much about Wakaba and Akane piloting their newfound body in a skirmish with the Alone.
How do you pilot your flesh anyway? Is this like the same logic Kyubey used to explain itself in Madoka Magica, after a dramatic egg drop? In Strike Witches, magically-powered little girls fight a war that only they have chances at winning. In Vividred Operation, little girls fight battles that only they have chances at winning because only they can pilot the only effective “weapons” against their enemies. It makes me wonder if we cut open Vividblue, do we see little Akane and Aoi-chan going all like Noriko in miniature cockpits? I guess piloting our own bodies is as natural as it gets.
I guess given the concession of Vividred Operation’s science-fiction world, they have a lot to explain. All that manifestation engine stuff makes sense, but Miss Black Ranger and her crowish overlord is that ever-present curveball to an otherwise neat universe about how technology transforms life for the better. What will next episode’s transhumanist magical-sentai anime tell us? I guess we’ll find out.