Vividred Operation – 06

When Akane and the girls go to Shikine Island for summer camp, Kenjirou has Mizuha confiscate their keys so he can subject them to a convoluted friendship-building operation that will strengthen them for future Alone battles. He kidnaps Rei (unaware of her connection to the Alones) and takes on a villainous persona, daring the girls to rescue her. Rei escapes captivity and helps defeat the mechanical foes Kenjirou sends at the girls, and Akane in turn saves Rei from the “final boss”, Kenjirou himself piloting a mecha.

As soon as we saw the very literal title, “The Story of How Kenjirou Tries to Strengthen the Power of Friendship Between Akane and the Girls and How It Ends Up a Total Mess”, the thought occurred to us that this would be a bit of a slow one. Indeed, there is not only a scene in which the girls compare their boob sizes, but a scene where the other girls enter Akane’s massive inflatable swimsuit and are mortified that she’s naked from the waist down in there (okay, that was kinda funny). The youngest character, Momo (who doesn’t get a bikini), is the voice of reason, repeatedly pleading with her gramps to quit torturing the girls.

It also features Wakaba asking “what was that sound” when the source of that sound – a giant mechanical teddy bear felled by Aoi with a big rock – is right in front of her face, and Akane (though thankfully not the others) being fooled by Kuroki’s pathetic disguise (i.e., covering her face with the scarf she always wears, even when she’s wearing a bikini). The only moment of significant interest is when Rei briefly fears she’s been detained because they’ve found out about her pro-Alone activities, but alas; it’s just a coincidence. Nothing really moves forward this week, aside from the power of the  friendship of the girls. Allegedly.

Rating: 5 (Average)

Vividred Operation – 03


Akane is late for her first day of school, so she uses her Vivid power to fly to school. She comes afoul of the school’s pride and kendo ace, Saegusa Wakaba, who attacks Akane as an intruder – and loses. When Wakaba and Aoi end up in Saegusa’s class, Wakaba challenges Akane to a duel on the beach. It is interrupted by a new Alone emerging from the sea. Watching Akane and Aoi fight, Wakaba wants to join them. Akane gives her a key, and they dock to exeute the Vividgreen Operation, defeating the Alone.

In this third episode we are introduced to the third member of the Vivid girls, and she’s an interesting addition. She’s good at everything…except losing. And she’s a very very bad loser. So bad that when she decides to attack someone who turned out to be faster and stronger than her (Akane in Vivid mode), she essentially throws a tantrum and chase Akane around the school. Fair enough; when you’re as accomplished as she is, and not accustomed to defeat, you’re bound to make mistakes. But by the episode’s climax, when an Alone appears, she watches Akane and Aoi run toward – not away – from the danger.

It’s then that Wakaba realizes what her father was trying to tell her about true strength. Being strong isn’t just about winning; it’s about knowing when and how to use the power, when not to, and when to accept that things won’t always go your way…because they won’t. Simple, but good advice. This episode was full of some very nice combat and chase animation, and once the Alone comes, wastes no time bringing Wakaba into the fold. The wooden sword duel between Akane and Wakaba was very slickly done. Again the mysterious girl shot a berserk arrow into the Alone; perhaps she’s testing Akane & Co.?

Rating: 7 (Very Good)