Saturday, 19 January 2013

Vividred Operation - Episode 2

Considering the marauding giant mechanical "Alone" that seems dead set upon destroying the Mainfestor Engine upon which humanity is so reliant, there could be no better time for the introduction of the "Vivid System", aka "use the power of science to make magical girls!"

It'll take more than just the energetic Akane's transformation to put paid to this mechanical menace however, and thus best friend Aoi is also co-opted into the Vivid System to make for a powerful combination as they look to protect the military forces engaging the Alone while providing some additional attacking firepower of their own.  Once it becomes clear that these girls are fighting on the side of justice, using the power of the Manifestor Engine under the direction of Isshiki, these forces combine to seemingly put an end to this particular battle.

Or have they?  The arrival of a mysterious girl who is Akane's equal in terms of backside pertness if nothing else signals the reactivation of the machine with even more power at its disposal - particularly bad news as Akane and Aoi's attempt at "docking" (no sniggering at the back) has failed due to one of them keeping a secret from the other.  Thankfully, this is eventually ironed out - nobody wants the world to be thrown into chaos over the taste of tomatoes - and our two heroines do indeed dock with one another (I said stop giggling) to form a single, uber-powerful girl who destroys their enemy in seconds.  All's well that ends well then - at least, until we see the swathe cut through the nearby town, demolishing the girl's school in the process.

It might still lack the overall charm of Strike Witches, and its similarities can be difficult to avoid (that robot might as well be a Neuroi, let's face it), but there's no faulting this week's Vividred Operation in terms of its ability to provide action and spectacular transformation sequences - the whole thing looked jaw-droppingly good from start to finish, to make this episode well worth watching for its visuals alone.  Whether the series can find its footing in its slower moments and in terms of building its broader narrative remains to be seen, but my reticence from its opener has at least partially lifted for now.

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