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.
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.
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.
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.
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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