Being Vivid Is Suffering?

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.

10 Responses to “Being Vivid Is Suffering?”

  • SmithCB

    I’m waiting for a REALLY bad Alone to show up because I’m wondering what happens when two ‘adult’ Vivids dock. Since you have four girls, then red/blue and green/yellow would produce . . . what? Can’t get over the wicked-cute adult Vivids, though. Woof!!!

  • Restia

    From this, I guess Vandread is sort of like Aquarion? Haven’t watched Evol so I don’t know if it also includes orgasmic-mechafusion sequences. I’ll have to watch it soon.

    I thought Vividred would be sort of like Strike Witches but it disappointed me, ep 1 was practically the same as the first ep of SW, and in return for having epic mahou shoujo transformations, it become a lot cheesier, that it made me laugh as if I was watching Shugo Chara. I actually quite enjoy Shugo Chara, I have it on hold at ep 60 or something, but Vividred doesn’t seem to be directed at kids, because it seems more violent than usual Mahou Shoujo series (not to mention 14 year old ass-shots every five seconds) but the show honestlty feels like a kids show. I mean, if docking depends on your friendship and bonds, how can Akane and Wakaba JUST MEET and dock immediately?

    Not that Vividred is a bad show though, I guess I’ve only been talking about the bad parts. But the henshin sequences “docking” have me screaming every time XD two little girls fusing into one bishoujo is just XD But despite that, I guess it still is pretty much my Strike Witches 3, so I’ll continue to watch it unless it gets unbearable.

    Mainly I’m watching for the blonde dandere now =w= Henshin sequences are epic, fusions are hilarious (to me), animation seems quite good, and little mechamahou shoujos fighting aliens. Seems like an alright show °v°

    Professor Isshiki is a stuffed ferret now XD I’ve heard him get called tons of things, am I the only one who remembers? Anywho, that Vividred sign looks like the power button on a windows PC to me. Or is that the power button for everything?

    Hmm ah. I think I’m trying to think of something more to say about Vividred, but I can’t remember right now. Wonderful post as always Omo, always interesting stuff ^v^

    • DarkFireBlade25

      This series so far reminds me of the magical girl genre’s olden days where you look the other way in the face of iffy plot and character development. The show must be catering towards an older audience that would be reminded back in the day when anime wasn’t so well thought out. The fact that Wakabe knew how to dock just by looking at instructions for 2 seconds kinda takes the cake. There is definitely some kind of meta element they’re pulling here.

    • Restia

      lol ikr we didn’t even see Wakaba’s weapon, and BAM yuri fusion into Hatsune Miku

      Old school Mahou Shoujo? Huu, still abit too much like a kids show to me. Definately Shugo Chara vibes to me just because it’s like “Oh, transformation. Okay, I know how to fight automatically!” Honestly, Wakaba was the end line. Randomly knows how to control Iron Man mahou shoujo suit perfectly, knows how to dock immediately, IS PERFECTLY FINE WITH SHARING HER MEMORIES AND SECRETS WITH A GIRL SHE JUST MET YESTERDAY ಠ_ಠ what.

      Feels like a kids show, yet more violent than normal children’s shows, and again. ASS-SHOTS EVERYWHERE. People are joking that the studio is full of lolicons XD

    • omo

      The docking mechanics in Aquarion is like Vandread, yes, but Vandread doesn’t have the gattai orgasm.

    • RestiaBlade

      After watching ep 5 (and getting over fusions) Vividred is getting better imo ^v^ atleast I’m liking it alot more than I did the first few eps. Hopefully it continues to do a good job.

    • Dycize

      On the topic of Aquarion, yes, EVOL still has the mecha-soul-orgasm gattai (don’t watch it just for this though, because the plot is pretty horrid… and I mean it).

      The whole fusion feels like one of things that won’t really get explained. They probably “pilot” the body because because they are on the same wavelength or something, so it comes naturally and they just think of the same thing to do (which reminds me of that one power up in Kamen Rider Den-O where the main character just moved awkwardly when the 4 people in his body acted on their own).

      I also think the show is being cheesy on purpose, and it’s not a bad thing. Being cheesy doesn’t make a show bad, it’s the way it handles things. I also laugh during transformation sequences, the thing is so over the top and teenage butts fan service. It’s entertaining (in the same way Takuto turning into the Galactic Pretty Boy in Star Driver was).

      And so far, Vividred isn’t bad at all, the plot moves at a decent pace, the animation quality is quite good too. It’s not something that has never been seen before, but it’s not handled too badly (aside from the Wakaba goof where they rushed the scene in favor of the battle bonding that came before).

    • omo

      I think the show is misleadingly cheesy. It’s probably not that cheesy.

    • Dycize

      True. I expect things to get more serious once the plot ball gets rolling (like it has in ep.5) and my comment does make it sound more cheesy than I mean, it all depends on how this plays. There’s still many stuff about the Manifestor engine left to learn after all (Akane’s flashbacks, Rei’s story, Alones etc).

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