Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 12 Impressions: Fears For The Collapse of Humanity?

Vivy Episode 12
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

Fair warning – Huge spoilers for this episode of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song below.

There was a point during episode 12 of Vivy where my brain kind of clicked that somehow we were going to have to have yet another do-over. The first time they tried to change the future didn’t work because the Archive simply kept correcting their course but now they know who the actual enemy is and more than that, they’ve told Vivy how to beat them.

As the human extras were rapidly cut down and failure after failure plagued the mission, it became clear we were either in for an ending of mass-extermination that cautioned us against AI or this story was about to use a known plot device, time travel to give Vivy one final chance. And it was pretty clear from the pro-human-AI cooperation messaging in these final episodes which way it was going to lean.

This is not the first time I've had Lylat Wars comparisons in my head while watching Vivy.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Seems like too much effort.

So episode 12 has Vivy back inside the Archive and finding out why all the crazed robots are singing the song she composed. This is where Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song pulled one of those scenes that is an absolute pet-peeve of mine. Mid-conversation they just cut the sound and we see the character mouth something. Later on we’ll find out what but it is a lousy technique for building tension and it is way overused in anime.

Outside of that mood-killing moment though the rest of this episode hits pretty much all the right notes. Doctor Matsumoto doesn’t participate in the raid, probably just as well, but the rest of the TOAK guys, Vivy and Elizabeth charge over to the tower and begin their attempt at shutting things down. Of course there’s a really big clock counting down just to make it seem like they are fighting against time.

Big clocks are always scary.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song.
Oh no, only 3 seconds left. What now?

There’s a lot of action strewn through this sequence as they fight against basic security robots and make their way up the tower. In true Vivy fashion the animation is a little messy and chaotic but it all adds to the overall feel of the scene and the movement remains very fluid.

As we lose more of the human members of the team and Elizabeth and Vivy take to the central column, the visuals get even messier and the screen is at time a riot of colour and light but it all fits with the visual aesthetic we’ve seen before in this show so you either appreciate it or find it an eye-sore.

Don't just steal the gun. Steal the whole arm and then shoot him with his own gun.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Still, this fight sequence was pretty intense.

I love that the struggle for these characters was real. They were desperately trying to achieve their goal and the sense of failure that landed on Vivy as the counter finished and the first of the satellites fell really had emotional weight, even if by that point it was kind of clear this isn’t where things would stand.

Vivy works really well here as a proxy for the audience. We’ve watched 100 years of time pass by now and seeing the satellites falling and realising that the project has utterly failed, and failed because of Vivy (a single person or AI having a single hesitation) the sense of despair is very real.

Then again, one has to wonder if the Archive is also having second thoughts given they’ve given Vivy a way to stop their version of the future coming to fruition.

The explosions begin.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song.
Goodbye city.

Finally though there’s nothing left to do. Matsumoto and Vivy simply acknowledge their failures. Which is when Doctor Matsumoto contacts them. He’s back at the computer where Vivy saved his life and where the whole story started and he’s got one last chance to send her data back to where the rebellion began. It isn’t much and it still might not be enough but it does get Vivy back on her feet.

It isn’t a foregone conclusion that we’ll get a happy ending and even if Vivy stops the satellites, she’s only going back to the point the rebellion started so thousands if not hundreds of thousands of humans will still die. But, I think in some ways that is even better.

The future is in your hands.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
No pressure.

Vivy’s never been perfect. As a singing robot she struggled to understand her mission of singing from the heart. She’s constantly failed to execute her missions as instructed and ultimately lost her ability to sing altogether. None of this has ever made her give up and she’s saved people along the way even if not everyone.

Perhaps that’s how it was always meant to be, but I guess we’ll find out in episode 13.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Karandi James


Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 11 Impressions of The Devastating AI War

Vivy Episode 11
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

Vivy’s long journey to prevent a war has ended in failure. Does she give up?

The comparison of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song and Terminator is more or less inevitable at this point. As it turns out is the war between AI’s and humans as despite 100 years of effort the war began at exactly the same time and more or less went through exactly the same progress as in the original timeline. The only difference is that the humans who had been working on the Singularity Project now know they already did that and it failed.

But you know, just because we’ve seen this kind of conflict before (Westworld) and with time travel (Terminator) doesn’t mean that Vivy doesn’t have something to offer us as see the war unfold before her. Even if Vivy isn’t a human protagonist, her reaction to this war, knowing she failed to stop it, makes her seem very human.

The kid is going to get it in a minute.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Trust me kid, you don’t want it.

For me, there’s little doubt at this point that nothing Matsumoto and Vivy could have done would have changed this outcome. It seems like the event itself is one of Doctor Who’s fixed points in time. What may change is the outcome of the war now that Vivy and Matsumoto have joined up with Matsumoto’s creator and the remnants of TOAK.

I’m really not surprised that they brought a connection back to the young terrorist that Vivy protected all those years before on her very first mission. The granddaughter trying to bring a moderate tone to TOAK and looking for ways for AI and humans to coexist fits within the narrative even if it makes little practical sense.

This is once again a situation where an anime simply acknowledging something makes little sense doesn’t make it any better. If the granddaughter wanted to walk that path she didn’t need to be inside a terrorist group and giving us a throw away explanation didn’t really help. It’s a minor point in an otherwise well done episode but it was perhaps the moment that took me out of the narrative for an instant.

Yui Kakitani
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021
Of course you are because everything has to come full circle in this story.

Basically, everything seems pretty much lost here with the AI wiping out all humans. Things get worse when the AI Archive announces it is dropping a satellite and essentially dooms the few humans left in the region because if they tried to evacuate they’d be killed by robots and if they stay where they are they’ll be destroyed once the satellite crashes.

But, by being so extreme and also by announcing their intention, the AI have essentially given Vivy a clue as to how to stop things. It is one of those moments that needed to happen so the story could continue but also made the AI overall seem less unstoppable.

Vivy taking care of the robots.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021
I love how these Robots all explode – why are they filled with materials that explode now?

The Archive isn’t a human villain that needs to be seen as smart. There’s no reason to announce its plans. We already know the AI can receive message without broadcasting them so it seems really suspicious that we’ve had this large scale announcement to humans and AI’s. I wonder if this is deliberate (as in is the AI trying to scare humans out of hiding) or is it just a weak plot point to keep us driving forward?

Regardless of whether that question gets answered next episode, Vivy has really done a great job in building up this final conflict. Given we’ve been heading toward it since episode one, seeing it unfold now and seeing the characters react to events is giving a great sense that this story has held itself together. Now we just need to see the characters somehow overcome all of this.

Vivy Episode 11 5
Human on human violence never helps.

Or maybe not. Maybe humans don’t win? Is there any winning? If they shut down the AI I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t work anymore for these humans. Coexistence sounds good but the only robots not on a rampage are those that haven’t updated. And of course, Vivy herself for reasons yet to be explained.

I’m pretty sure Vivy can stick its landing at this point which means I can comfortably wait for the final two episodes to bring this all to a close. Please don’t let me be wrong on that point.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Karandi James


Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 10 Impressions of an Amazing Character Journey

Vivy Episode 10
Ashley Capes sponsored Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song.
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

Losing Diva has meant Vivy has lost her purpose. Now what?

It is going to be really hard to discuss this episode of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song without wanting to discuss the sequence that occurs after the end credits. So I’m just going to say that while it feels like we’ve been waiting for something along those lines to occur, it was still a great way to end the episode, leave us wanting more, but not feeling like a cheap cliff-hanger.

It did leave plenty of room for discussion but honestly if you don’t want any spoilers you’d be better off just watching the show yourself and staying out of discussion boards and avoiding anything on YouTube to do with Vivy at this point.

Vivy - The singularity project is all I have.
Image from Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
What happens when you lose your mission?

So avoiding discussion of the ending, this episode is very much Vivy focused. Diva has well and truly left in that touching farewell sequence we watched at the end of episode 9 and now we are left with Vivy in a museum awaiting Matsumoto so that she can continue her work on the Singularity Project.

Why is she so keen?

Becuase she can no longer sing and that means her mission to make people through singing is officially dead in the water leaving Vivy at a loss.

Where this could have been quite the slow and dull episode with Vivy sitting in her case and moping at the museum, instead Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song demonstrated its strength in developing this character throughout the series. Sure she is moping to a point but she continues to interact with those visiting the museum and when left alone she’s hard to at work internally trying to find a new path.

Vivy composes.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song 2021.
Matsumoto might tell her it is the long way around but at least Vivy’s trying to move forward.

In this Matsumoto’s presence is interesting. He appears after 5 years only to tell Vivy that there will be no more missions for the singularity project. It makes sense given so much has changed and he couldn’t possibly know the future anymore however it seems strange he waited 5 years before telling her this.

It only begins to make sense when you realise Matsumoto is in his own way fulfilling his promise to Diva. He’s trying to force Vivy to find her own answer rather than waiting for another mission that isn’t coming.

Though it does raise another question of why Matsumoto is even still functioning if his purpose of fulfilling the project is complete. Maybe he also has doubts about the outcome of their changes? It is a curious thought.

Matsumoto eye's Vivy.
Image from Vivy Fluorite Eye's Songe 2021.
Matsumoto isn’t exactly nice.

However, the other element that holds this episode together as we traverse nearly twenty years, is in Osamu. Originally visiting Diva in the museum as part of a school trip, this young boy continues to come back and visit Vivy at intervals throughout the episode, aging to show the passage of time.

It is no surprise that it is through her interactions with Osamu and his family, tragedy, and birth, that Vivy finds the connection she needs. While we still don’t know if she can sing or not, she’s finally made progress after hitting a wall for so incredibly long.

All and all, this is a lovely bit of interaction between humans and AI’s and a beautiful throw back to the girl in episode one who also believed in Diva.

When we finally learn Osamu’s real connection with the overall story it isn’t overly surprising. It is more an ‘oh’ moment as everything kind of clicks into place for Vivy. Sure there are story holes if you go looking for them but there’s a real effort at cohesion and as we move toward the finale they really have made a genuine effort to connect us back to the events of episode one.

So ten episodes along, three to go, and Vivy still hasn’t really had a major misstep even if there have been a few moments that have been less than amazing. After seeing that after credits scene I am very keen to jump into the next episode.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Why Vivy May Become My Favourite Sci-Fi Anime

Vivy Feature
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In the spring 2021 season, Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song came out providing us with a new time travel, science fiction anime to enjoy (or not depending on which reviewer you are reading and what they want from the science fiction genre).

Time travel science fiction isn’t exactly new. While some stories take the notion of time travel very seriously (such as Primer) and others barely explain it other than using it as a plot device (such as Terminator) the genre is crowded with entries of varying qualities and I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a well told time-travel story even with the inherent paradoxes and inevitable loose ends or unanswerable questions that these sorts of plots tie themselves in.

Steins;Gate gave us a serious anime attempt at using time travel, albeit accidentally at first before the characters had to make an effort to use their own machines with precision to undo the ripples they’d created.

A story like Re:Zero explores a ground-hog day like phenomenon with the main character going back in time after his death with his memories in-tact. I can’t talk much about its success as a story (though it has got quite the following) given I’ve never made it very far due to an absolute hatred of the main character’s personality.

Vivy watching the plane explode because despite knowledge of the future wasn't allowed to intervene.

Vivy and Time Travel

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song has taken on the basic plot device of going back in time to change an unfavourable future and has combined it with the emotional journey of an AI looking for what it means to make people happy through singing and the overall evolution of technology and the ‘rights’ of artificial intelligence. It is almost as if the ideas in Terminator collided with A.I and then got fused into a cute anime girl’s story.

With less care and attention, this story would have ended up feeling derivative and could very easily have fallen flat and yet, despite a few missteps, for the most part Vivy has managed to be a pretty interesting viewing experience and it has some stellar moments along the way.

There’s a couple of things that I’ve really appreciated about how Vivy has come together that have elevated it beyond just kind of pop-corn viewing while at the same time it has stayed pretty easy watching.

Firstly, is the protagonist. Diva/Vivy has been interesting to see develop across the season so far. As Diva her mission is clear and she wants only to make people happy through singing. When we meet her in the beginning she isn’t very good at this as while she can sing the songs they lack warmth and heart and it is only in the later episodes where we see a confident Diva who has learned how to interact fairly fluidly with humans that her singing has become successful.

However, Diva is also needed for the mission (we’ll get to why later). Fortunately, she isn’t the kind of AI that can’t be reasoned with and an understanding that she can’t make people happy through singing if they end up dying in an AI rebellion ensures that Diva takes the necessary steps to support the mission of changing the future.

Vivy Ep1 7

The result of this is Vivy. While at first Vivy is a nickname given to Diva by a human girl, Vivy becomes the name Diva takes on when on missions to change the future. While Diva is a singing AI, Vivy has combat programs and a far wider view of the world than just singing to make people happy.

In episode 9 we see these two distinct personalities briefly converse and more or less concluding a fairly solid character arc for our main character as she prepares for the final episodes.

Changes in our protagonist are slow and small, kind of drip-feeding throughout each mission, but when she see the two back to back and leaning against the door inside the construct, you realise just how far they’ve brought Vivy over the course of the series. It was solid writing and a character journey that has felt pretty satisfying.

Vivy Ep7 3

Secondly, I have really liked the set-up with the time travel. Rather than Diva being a traveller from the future, she has instead been joined by a program from the future that goes by the name Matsumoto (presumably the name of the person who sent him). Matsumoto at first inhabits a toy bear and later a cube to interact with Vivy in the real world, though the two also interact inside Vivy’s mind.

Now, what really works with all of this is that Matsumoto hasn’t been sent 100 years into the past simply to alter one event and send the world on a different trajectory. Instead, there are a series of pivotal moments across the 100 years that they are working to change in order to create ripples that will send the future onto a different path.

Where the story gets really interesting is that as we jump to each event we do see that they have drifted from the original timeline, as shown in the diverging images of what should have happened in each event, however despite seemingly being successful, the overall goal of slowing AI development and preventing AI rights that lead to their rebellion seems to be failing spectacularly with some developments actually speeding up.

Vivy Ep6 8

I do like the idea that it wasn’t one single incident that lead to the future we saw in episode one but rather a series of events that cascaded in order to lead to the tragedy. I also like that because of that basic set-up instead of the story focusing on a single time and incident we have a couple of episodes dealing with one situation before we jump forward to the next pivotal moment, moving us ever closer to the future that they are trying to change.

The story also makes attempts to address some of the concerns that arise when you start thinking about the time-travel occurring here. Such as why Vivy and why send the program back 100 years? Even as I thought these questions in episode 1, the next few episodes provided some reasoning that made this at least plausible even if it wouldn’t probably hold up under deeper questioning.

We also have begun to see that Matsumoto, the seemingly infallible time-travelling program has been wrong more than once in his predictions and as the timeline skews further from the original things seem to get further out of his control.

Vivy Ep8 5

With the story making an effort to address viewer concerns almost before they become concerns, the the more obvious plot holes being dealt with, it is difficult to fault the writers for their efforts. Certainly, not everything ends up being overly brilliant and occasional moments definitely feel clunkier than others, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Finally, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song never gets to bogged down in its own premise. Vibrant musical interludes and dramatic, messy action sequences are dropped into episodes ensuring that things never feel too slow. Beautiful characters and scenery interact and leave a stunning impression. As each moment in time only lasts for a couple of episodes, the stories never feel like they are dragging before we move on to the next thing but nor do they feel particularly rushed (though one or two of them may have benefited from a little more time to establish themselves).

Basically, we have AI fights, internal conflicts, time travel, terrorism, and divas… What more could you want from an anime?

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 9 Impressions

Vivy Episode 9
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

Diva’s final song.

So many questions during this episode of Vivy and some of them aren’t overly helpful for the series. honestly, Antonio and Ophelia’s story, after two episodes of build up, was pretty underwhelming. The motive was kind of lame and while the fight sequence with Matsumoto on the roof was vibrant and energetic, overall it kind of became messy and was nowhere near as compelling as the story of Diva facing off with the TOAK guy. You know it is sad that after all these episodes I still haven’t really got his name.

Ophelia - Vivy Fluourite Eye's Song
And can I also just ask, who designed Ophelia’s outfit? Even without the lighting here, it is just not good.

What that means is that while Vivy, Fluorite Eye’s Song remains one of my favourite shows this season and so far this year, this episode was a bit on the messy side. We had the ordinary, Matsumoto fighting Antonio and Ophelia and the attempted tragedy of that story which mostly just kind of happened.

I’m still loving Vivy but that was a bit messy.

And then we had something that was a little bit over-dramatised as TOAK guy shouted his frustrations with the way AI’s and humans interact at Diva (a little weirdly considering he somehow became an AI in order to still be around in 40 years since their last encounter just to ask her a question) before the two fought it out resulting in a pretty awesome conclusion to the this particular three episode story.

Not because of the fight, though that was really fluid and the far more effective of the two conflicts this episode, but because of the internal discussion between Vivy and Diva. That was gold.

Vivy Ep9 6
Though watching Diva fighting was also pretty cool. I love how fluid the animation in this series has been.

Honestly, this episode review is messy and I’m jumping back and forth a lot, but that’s because ultimately my thoughts on this episode are messy. Part of me really loved this episode but I know a lot of that is good will because of the series so far and because they pulled off a fantastic final act giving Diva a beautiful character moment.

Part of it is also because we now know this show will have 13 episodes and I’m actually kind of hopeful that we will see the overall narrative conclude. However, the realist in me knows that this episode was very much hit and miss with some character beats landing and other flying wide off the mark and a lot of the run-time being taken up with some cool visuals that ultimately had little substance.

Vivy Ep9 2
Sparkly though.

One thing this episode did do well was make me intrigued about what is next. What will Vivy do after these events and how will Matsumoto change now that he knows his vision and knowledge of the future is not infallible? What are the implications of the TOAK guy having technology that shouldn’t exist and who was responsible for his revelation? Is there actually another AI from the future pushing things in a different direction, which of course would explain why every time Vivy and Matsumoto have succeeded something else happens to push AI technology forward?

From an individual episode point of view, this one is fairly ordinary, as was episode seven. When taken in the context of the series, so far I have little to complain about as Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song has remained pretty compelling viewing this season and so far any perceived failings or plot holes have at the very least had attempts at addressing them giving us a Sci-Fi story that while not mind-blowing remains intriguing and the action and animation have remained pretty gorgeous to watch even if at times they rely on being very bright and messy.

Vivy Ep9 7
The end – though if Ophelia is still dead, wouldn’t that mean the future didn’t change?

I’m looking forward to the next episode and the next stage of Vivy’s journey.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 8 Impressions

Vivy Episode 8 3
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

Who, me? Vivy asks the questions.

Vivy returns with episode 8 and in a surprising turn of events doesn’t resolve the current story with Ophelia and the potential for AI suicide. I will admit, I like the Diva we see in this particular time period. She’s got a lot of sass and she’s figured a few things out so she isn’t constantly wondering or relying on others to draw conclusions for her. While I’m not entirely sure that Diva is going to get out of this situation without her previous personality emerging again, I’m actually kind of enjoying her as she is and I’m loving that she’s managed to cause Matsumoto to rethink his own assumptions more than once.

Vivy calling Matsumoto out.
Given how far you’ve now diverged from the original timeline, one has to wonder how much it matters that Matsumoto is from the future at this point.

Ophelia gets a lot more time front and centre this week, which is nice given the story is apparently about her. In episode seven, we only really saw her as an up-and-coming songstress who seemed way too timid for the role. This episode fleshes her out and gives her back-story and motives. It really makes her feel like a complete character. Which makes the final sequence on the roof-top a fairly dramatic and interesting spin on everything that has come before it over the course of the two episodes (and no I’m not going to spoil it).

Part of me started questioning Matsumoto’s whole mission in this episode. He was sent back to stop the timeline from progressing to the point where AI’s declared war and essentially slaughtered the humans and initially he was doing this by trying to slow down AI advancement… however somewhere along the way that mission feels lost. Ophelia’s death in the original timeline certainly sparked a discussion about whether AI’s had souls and were feeling things, but even if humans determined AI’s did have rights would that necessarily lead to AI’s becoming more advanced? It seems that without the original ‘naming’ law that Vivy managed to head-off, they’ve advanced just fine. Actually faster than originally intended.

Vivy Ep8 2
The original timeline.

However, despite repeated failure at diverting the timeline away from advancing AI’s, Matsumoto remains convinced his path is the correct one. While I get that part of that is his programming and loyalty to the ‘mission’ it also makes little sense. Ultimately his mission was to stop the war but his current course doesn’t seem to be working and he isn’t considering alternatives. I really did like that the ending of this episode really did smack Matsumoto in the face with the fact that he isn’t the be all and end all and that his assumptions aren’t always right.

Vivy Ep8 3
And this is probably a good thing.

Finally, we get another close encounter with the mysterious man from last week. They seemed to indicate he was the guy that Vivy has saved a number of times, the terrorist guy, but he’s so much younger. We then get a flashback sequence where he’s learning piano from an AI who dies trying to save humans… It seems like they are trying to establish a back-story for his actions but it all felt a little weak compared with how other characters have been built up along the way. It wasn’t poorly done but it just lacked impact in amongst everything else this episode.

Vivy Ep8 6
Same guy? Different guy? Not sure.

What I do know is that the next episode is already out and I am definitely going to go watch it as soon as I proof-read this draft because to be honest, I want to know what happens next.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 7 Impressions

Vivy Episode 7
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

Vivy or Diva?

One of the interesting things that comes out of episodical anime reviews is that each episode ends up getting evaluated on its own strengths and weaknesses rather than when you review a whole season and you are looking at the overall flow of a narrative and the quality carried across an entire season. As a result we have an episode such as episode 7 of Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song that is still a decent episode but isn’t as compelling as the six previous episodes delivered by this series and the end result is I felt a little disappointed when it ended even though that is ridiculous and this anime remains a very solid watch.

Vivy Fluorite Eye's Song
Diva is focused.

Part of the problem comes from the fact that Diva/Vivy has had some kind of memory glitch and is firmly in Diva mode. She’s forgotten her previous missions with Matsumoto, outside of a few minor glimpses and her focus is firmly on her performance on the main stage. We’ve jumped again in time and she is now 60 years old but we’re only the briefest of glimpses into how her previous actions have affected the time-line.

The basic formula has been the first episode of a pair gives us the new context, establishes a mission and Vivy sets off before we end on some kind of surprise or obstacle and then the second episode resolves it. Here we lack the context other than Diva is really successful and there’s a concert happening and the reveal at the end of the episode seemed to come out of nowhere (unless of course you know what happens to Shakespeare’s characters in which case the name makes sense but it still seems like an out of context problem for Matsumoto to be involved with).

Whether this ultimately proves to be a weak link in an otherwise strong narrative will really be determined by the next episode and whether or not it brings all the threads together. I have confidence in this anime so far because it has given us six pretty solid episodes leading up to this one, but on its own, without the second part, honestly this one feels a little lacking.

Vivy Ep7 6
Good question and why does he keep changing size (or rather, how does he do it)?

However, while the narrative feels a little lacking in grounding and like it got a little lost or is meandering a bit, Diva/Vivy’s character was on full display this week. Since her first encounter with Matsumoto this AI has been going through small and subtle changes and these have definitely accumulated to the Diva we meet at the start of this episode some 60 years on from that first meeting.

While she is still definitely an AI and hasn’t just become an idol, her personality has very much expanded to feel more nuanced and fitting with her role as a performer. It is a really wonderful character evolution to watch and it will be interesting to see where the story takes this.

Vivy Ep7 3
Yeah, don’t call the mechanical girl heavy.

As usual, this episode looked really good. The opening song was fantastic to listen to and the visuals were spot on as always. The weakest point comes during the darker scenes where Vivy activates her combat program to avoid some falling debris, but even then the movement is pretty fluid. As much as I have said this episode is a weaker entry that is only comparably to the rest of this series. Vivy remains one of my favourite shows that I am watching this season and if it wasn’t for my fascination with Mars Red it would be my top pick for the season.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


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Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 6 Impressions

Vivy Episode 6 Review
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

That was an interesting twist in Vivy this week.

Vivy continues to be a fairly compelling viewing experience. Episode spoilers follow.

The story isn’t without it’s flaws – I mean there’s genuinely no reason for the AI at the end of this episode to still have its human torso and even less reason to believe that a single puncture would somehow shut the whole thing down so stopping and thinking about the climax here isn’t going to get you very far except to realise that they went for looks cool over practical or logical.

That said, these moments of ‘look aren’t we cool’ are offset by some genuinely clever story telling that mean the audience can follow the plot but at key points we are forced to question our own assumptions.

Vivy Ep6 5
Scientist and AI…

See, in episode 5, when this scenario was being set-up I made an assumption. The first time-line that lead to the massacre we saw in episode 1, had a pivotal moment where a scientist married an AI, the first marriage between human and AI and it was a big deal. I assumed based on how the visuals had run together plus the presence of scientist with cute robot housemate that the marriage had still happened in this time-line.

Turns out though that Vivy’s alterations to history have made bigger ripples than originally suspected.

I liked this reveal because unlike some anime that pull a plot twist out before their climax, this one felt earned. As I thought back over episodes 5 and 6 I realised it all actually made perfect sense and it was the missing piece that the audience needed to understand why things turned out the way they did in this episode. That’s a well constructed plot twist when it does catch the audience by surprise but it makes sense on reflection rather than feeling like it came out of nowhere.

If we throw in the fact that with the time-travel element the audience has been waiting for the moment where things got out of alignment to the point where even Matsumoto couldn’t predict where things were heading, it was a plot twist that fell within our expectations even if the specific details were a surprise.

Vivy Fluorite Eyes Song Episode 6
This still feels like a fairly forced emotional moment though. Have these guys never heard of copy and paste?

Additionally, we finally had an actual conversation between Vivy and the TOAK guy. Admittedly, he mostly threw suspicions at her, but surprisingly he ended up helping her to achieve her goal. it kind of leaves me wondering when their next encounter will be and whether he’ll listen first or just start shooting.

It is a bit weird because the TOAK guy is the only reoccurring character outside of Vivy and Matsumoto and he’s getting older in leaps and bounds between stories. I wonder if he’ll be a gray haired old man by the end or if once he gets too old to participate in battles anymore if he’ll dramatically sacrifice himself for the cause? Weird how a character I have no name for has made me this invested in what his future holds.

With all that said though, I do have to point out that the action animation in the climax of this episode took a definite hit. The sound didn’t. If you want a cool action sequence to pop-song moment Vivy continues to deliver on those. It would be nice if eventually we got a wider range of songs but at least it sounds cool. However, the visuals became very messy during this sequence.

I get part of it was to show speed and movement however thinking back to Attack on Titan and the sequence where Levy is fleeing through the town and how fluid and clean that looked despite the pace, Vivy isn’t even going to come close. What we get is a cacophony of colours and blurs with explosions without a lot of detail. Though, the final approach to the core took a very Star Fox turn.

Vivy Ep6 1
I’m just waiting for Andross to appear at the end of this tunnel.

Going forward I look forward to the next conflict Vivy is going to have to intervene in. I loved that in this arc she’s embraced the two sides of herself. Diva, the singing AI and Vivy, the one who fights to protect humans so that she can sing for them. It was a great character moment for her. The biggest flaw in this series remains Matsumoto as he still manages to pull out amazing technological solutions to things almost without effort at times and yet at others he’s pretty hopeless, depending on what the narrative needs him to be.

Still, if someone was to ask what shows they should check out from the Spring anime season, I’d definitely have Vivy on the list as so far it has been a pretty enjoyable ride.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 5 Impressions

Vivy Episode 5
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

History rewritten in Vivy, but why is AI technology accelerating?

The flaw in Matsumoto’s plan to rewrite history and slow the development of AI’s becomes very apparent in this episode. 5 years have passed since the space station fell and the AI onboard saved everyone, sacrificing herself. Rather than slowing AI development, AI development accelerated nearly twenty years with an autonomous island now being used to construct AI parts.

Then again, maybe this was all in Matsumoto’s original plan. While he has told Vivy they are trying to slow down AI development, every action they’ve so far taken has had the opposite effect. Or maybe I’m just paranoid because Matsumoto seems really shady. Either way, Vivy’s latest mission seems straight forward enough – turn off the island. What could go wrong with that?

Vivy views the increased use of technology.
Not entirely sure what all those structures are for given there are no people on the island, but okay.

Another interesting point in this episode is that a previously significant moment, a human marrying an AI for the first time, has been rendered less pivotal by the changes in the timeline. Vivy meets a man who is being chased by, I’m guessing TOAK, and saves him in a less than visually spectacular car chase before he essentially reveals his plan is the same as Vivy’s and he gives her a vial which apparently holds a computer program that will shut down the island.

There are so many things wrong with this plan and yet Vivy and Matsumoto just kind of nod and go, okay.

For instance, while Matsumoto apparently ‘tests’ the program, there is no guarantee it does what the guy has said it would do. More importantly, who makes an entire island that can be shut down by a single program? That seems like a serious design flaw. Also, why is the guy being chased? Plus, the chase ends because Matsumoto once again conveniently controls things like road safety devices but only when it is narratively convenient for him to do so. Which again makes me wonder why Vivy is even needed.

Vivy Ep5 5
Yes, Vivy. He’d like to know why you are here also.

Logical failings aside, I liked the episode. While at first it seemed that Vivy’s impact on the original timeline was minimal, as we move further along we see greater ripples forming and we’re moving further away from the original. I can’t imagine Matsumoto’s knowledge is going to be overly relevant if this trend continues given how far we seem to have already diverged. I also liked that previous pivotal moments are now simply an event that occurs.

Vivy Ep5 1
Previously historically significant moment, no longer deemed a turning point.

Vivy seeing the island and meeting the AI there was also interesting enough, however there was always a sense that something was about to go horribly wrong. It was just a matter of what the cause was going to be. Well, throw in a TOAK attack for reasons… I legitimately have no idea what they are trying to accomplish at this point. They are anti-AI but how does heading toward the island in a couple of tiny boats help? Then the obvious failure of the program Vivy was given to actually shut the island down and there we have a cliff-hanger for the next episode in what has become Vivy’s basic formula.

On the bright side, or maybe not, we might actually have an encounter between Vivy and the random terrorist she has continued to save since the first mission given she’s once again saved him from death after he nearly drowned. Then again, I doubt he’ll be grateful. He wasn’t the last time either.

Vivy Ep5 9
Do not expect a thank-you.

Vivy continues to be entertaining to watch. I like seeing the progression of her character through the various times and the plot continues to intrigue. Where it is probably going to fail is because of the time restrictions it has (trying to tell the story it seems to be aiming for in a single season – though maybe they intend to go longer, who knows) a lot of things just kind of have to happen leaving us with questions and moments that make us scratch our heads. Basically, you can’t pick at the minutia. On the surface, this story works well. Any detailed picking into the premise will unravel it so it is best to just suspend disbelief and go.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 4 Impressions

Vivy Episode 4
https://thereviewheap.home.blog/

Mission Accomplished? Vivy thinks not.

Four episodes along and I’m incredibly happy by Ashley’s pick here. While Vivy: Fluorite’s Eye Song had been on my list of anime to check out at some point, largely because of its sci-fi tag, it certainly hadn’t been high on my priority list for watching and that would have been a mistake. I’m really enjoying this story and I’m enjoying it episodically because it is giving me time to think about what has happened, the implications of events, and to speculate. What is a sci-fi without viewer speculation?

However, outside of the genre tag, I’m actually just enjoying this anime because it is clear there’s been a lot of love put into its production. It is truly beautiful to look at and most of the vocal performances (both the singing ones and just the dialogue) have been spot on. It elevates this beyond interesting and into something that is actually kind of captivating to watch even if the after episode nit-pick does undermine some of the plot points (always going to happen with time-travel sci-fi).

Vivy Ep 4 2
Discarded AI in the rain – still beautiful.

This fourth episode largely closes the hotel arc and kind of sets us up with an expectation for a pattern going forward. The first arc took two episodes then we had a time skip. We’ve had the hotel story play out over two episodes and the preview kind of indicates we’re jumping forward again in the next episode.

In another anime this might lead to the anime feeling disjointed but here we new from the beginning that the point was to alter 100 years of history and our main character is actually not alive so will still appear the same regardless of the time skip, changing arms with another AI, or even uploading additional programs.

Yes, Vivy did in fact let Matsumoto upload a combat program during this encounter. The end result of which leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it shows that Vivy has progressed despite being an AI. In order to accomplish the mission before her she needs to accept it and while in the previous mission she allowed her primary mission (to make people happy through singing) prevent her from adding programs that would distract from that, here she understands that to save the girl in front of her (and everyone else) her singing program won’t be enough.

Image from Vivy Fluourite Eye's Song
Vivy has become somewhat more expressive in the 15 years since she met Matsumoto.

This does however lead to the small problem of wondering where the challenge will be going forward for Vivy. If Matsumoto can simply upload whatever she needs how will they bring tension. While it was cool to see Vivy take direct action in the second half of this episode, things became significantly easier for her and the threat level definitely diminished.

Admittedly, there are other avenues to explore such as Vivy losing a sense of who she actually is if they keep just piling stuff on, not to mention there are other AI who are combat capable, but a lot of the thrill in the first arc was seeing Vivy fight through insane odds without the combat program.

Vivy Ep 4 8
The action was very cool to watch though.

I was also happy to see they did bring back the guy from the previous episode – you know, the young guy whose life Vivy saved and was angry about it. Well, he’s still angry and still working for a terrorist organisation working to turn people against AI’s. And he most definitely recognised Vivy.

I’m very curious as to what role he will play going forward in this anime given he’s now appeared in two arcs and so far is the only human character who knows about Vivy’s involvement in both situations. I did think he was a little underused here given his late appearance on the scene and then being knocked out and removed from the final conflict, but at least if he shows up in the next arc it won’t feel like he’s come out of nowhere.

Vivy Ep 4 7
Yep, it is a blast from the past.

Perhaps my biggest issue was the idea behind Estelle and Elizabeth and their backstory. It wasn’t really fleshed out enough to make sense and ultimately just felt like a cheap fix to make the current situation work. Thinking about the experiment they were initially a part of it didn’t make sense that Elizabeth was dumped at the end of it.

Surely simply wiping her program and starting over would have made far more sense rather than wasting the resources by discarding her. I really felt like they needed to either spend more time constructing that particular back-story or just needed a simpler explanation for how the terrorists intended to pull off this whole crashing the space-station plan. It was the one real road-block to this story feeling like it had thought its way through all the problems.

All and all this was another solid episode that resolved the current arc. Sure we’re left with questions, and ultimately still don’t know what impact this will have on future events. I did also feel that ultimately Vivy ‘won’ this round a little too easily, but it doesn’t take away from the episode ending which was both gorgeous and poignant as the credits played over yet another character song.

I am definitely looking forward to episode 5.

Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James