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.
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.
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.
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.
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