Can an AI save the world from other AI’s in the span of 100 years?
I’m going to get the two things that bothered me about this first episode out of the way because I actually really enjoyed this premiere. It drew me right into the story by the end and honestly there’s a lot that they can do with their set up so I’m fairly optimistic going forward. Of course it could also all derail or fall apart but let’s start the season with a positive attitude.
Okay, the first thing that is kind of bothering me about Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song is the title. I cannot for the life of me figure out what that is supposed to mean. I get Vivy, given it is a name one character actually calls the AI singer who actually has the nick-name Diva and no official name at all because the law giving AIs names hasn’t passed yet… Anyway. The Song part also makes sense given she’s a singer. However, unless a Fluorite Eye ends up being something significant in the story that just isn’t mentioned in episode one, and I’m not sure what a fluorite eye would be unless it is just a reference to the colour of the girl’s eyes, and then that’s just awkward, I’m not really sure how it all comes together.
The second thing that kind of bothered me about this anime is the same thing that kind of bugs me about any story that relies on time travel as the central gimmick. I just have to ask what the people in the future were thinking. Honestly, Terminator is a great movie but rather than trying to save Sarah and John Connor, why not just send someone back to the year they first started developing computers and execute anyone working on electronics? Sure, the humanity wouldn’t develop along the same path but ultimately we wouldn’t create an artificial intelligence that decided to eradicate us and so one could count that a mission success.
Equally, why send a floating cube program back to Vivy to recruit her, a singing AI to save the future? I’m sure they’ll come up with some reason given they heavily implied the guy responsible knew Vivy, but ultimately if the goal is to stop the massacre we see at the start of this episode sending the same message and information back to the government of the time or literally anyone else, would probably be more successful than sending it to Vivy. Maybe it wouldn’t be as fun a story but it would absolutely make a lot more sense.
Now that I’m done being petty I will get onto the actual episode review.
From the very beginning, this episode definitely draws you in. We have this happy song about smiling and bringing people together being performed while over the top we’re hearing the sound of heavy footsteps, explosions, and so on. We cut between the stage performance and the rest of the park (I think) where humans are running or cowering and being mercilessly killed by the various automatons around them. The juxtaposition of the song with the violence creates something that is perfectly horrific and it is solidly done. By the time we see this one injured guy desperately programming a futuristic looking computer to try to change the past the audience is pretty well drawn into this story.
We then cut to Vivy completing a performance to practically no audience and get some basic establishing dialogue between her, a human, and another machine which sets a bit of a scene and Vivy’s character. It’s a little roughly done but works and things rapidly improve after Vivy steps out for her next performance and falls off the stage. We meet Matsumoto, who is technically a program but soon takes over a stuffed bear character so guess who is representing the mascot merchandising opportunity for this anime, and he essentially charges Vivy with helping to change the future of the world and to stop the massacre.
Despite both Vivy and Matsumoto being programs and having some odd ways of communicating at times, there is some real chemistry between them and Vivy’s constant attempts to make Matsumoto leave her alone and go away and his constant refusal to do so is actually pretty entertaining. They could have dragged it on longer and killed the amusement factor here but instead Matsumoto drops some future knowledge on Vivy and she moves to protect a human and in the process makes a small change to future events.
Basically, this episode moves through the set up in the future, establishes Vivy’s starting point, connects Vivy with Matsumoto and has a bit of a mission by the end of the episode and does it without feeling rushed. We just flow naturally from one point to the next and the audience is swept along for the ride. The great sound design for this anime probably helps with that.
While there’s a lot that could go wrong here, and they may very well end up just treading over the same tired plot points that we’ve seen in other movies and anime that have dealt with AI rights and future technology, but this first episode is solid and sets the stage for what might be a fairly entertaining story. Fortunately the second episode is already available so I’ll check that one out soon.
Images used for review from: Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song. Dir. S Ezaki. Wit Studio. 2021.
supporting 100 Word Anime.
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