Vividred Operation

September 7, 2013

A group of lolis armed with some sort of high technological armour suits-cum-weapon fighting against unknown enemies that pose a threat to mankind. Don’t forget the loli fanservice too. If you think I’m talking about Strike Witches, you might be forgiven since there is quite a familiar resemblance in Vividred Operation. Well, I have never seen Strike Witches before so I can’t compare. But there is a connection between both series. The director who helmed the Strike Witches series directed Vividred Operation as well. Ah, so there is your connection. And as I read in many comments on the series, the most obvious thing about this series is… Butts. Behind. Ass. Mmm… Nothing better these days than to watch lolis’ ass, eh? I guess having too many big boing-boing shows going around has become too ubiquitous and boring. If you like your animes as described in the first sentence of this paragraph, then do check out the ass series.

Episode 1
Akane Isshiki narrates how science has solved many of the world’s problems as everything is powered by energy from the sky. All thanks to Incarnate Engine perfected 5 years ago built by her grandpa, Kenjirou. It sits on an artificial island called Blue Island. Kenjirou also made the only flying bike in the world for Akane that she names Puppy. Back on her home island close by, Izu Ooshima, after praying at her late father’s alter, Akane ‘disrupts’ grandpa from his research work to eat with her sister, Momo. I guess spending so much on research has made them somewhat poor too. At school, Momo tries to help put a baby bird back up in its nest but she froze since she is afraid of heights. Eventually the teacher did it. Meanwhile, Akane’s friend, Aoi Futaba prepares to make her return to Blue Island as she departs in a civilian aircraft. A distance away from Blue Island, a mysterious mechanical monster is shooting down Blue Island Defence Force jets with its beams. The Admin Bureau Chief, Yuuri Shijou speaks to the Prime Minister who believes it is the work of a terrorist. Humans who want to steal their technology. But she thinks it may be those beings called Alone as termed by Kenjirou. Because nobody paid heed 7 years ago, he was blamed for the accident and was forced into exile. Kenjirou believes the incoming threat is from Alone so as he is about to complete his greatest invention, BOOM! The entire room blows up. It may look like a funny cliché scene but it may not because he is dead!!! OMG! Akane and Momo tearing up! But wait again. It may turn into a funny scene because Kenjirou’s consciousness is now in a weasel doll that Akane gave him! WTF. I don’t understand that mumbo-jumbo how this happened. I suppose this series needs a mascot too. Kenjirou is proud to show them the fruits of half his research life: A key.

Suddenly the announcement has the islanders evacuate immediately as possible. Momo as tasked to take care of the house so Akane and grandpa head out over to Blue Island. They see the Defence Force trying to fight Alone. Kenjirou remembers 7 years ago when the some plant went into meltdown. Akane was hanging on to her mom Mashiro. Mommy couldn’t hold on any longer and let go. Kenjirou knows Incarnate Engine is its target. For whatever reasons, it must not fall into its hands or Earth will be doomed. As the Defence Force continues to fire, a civilian aircraft flies into the war zone. It got slightly hit but a jet piloted by Lieutenant Mizuha Amagi covered for it. The aircraft is out of control and is in risk of crashing into Incarnate Engine. Akane rushes to the building top and though it is good the building didn’t suffer any damage, the aircraft is sitting on the ledge. Akane’s trauma and fear of heights prevent her from getting closer to save Aoi. However when the plane starts falling off, Akane dives down to save her without second thoughts. That is when the key activates and transforms her into an outfit called Palette Suit that I think looks like a military orchestra symphony. Kenjirou explains this is the power of his ultimate invention called Vivid System. This is the only power in the world that can stand against Alone. He will have them dock now.

Episode 2
Aoi is given her own key. Now it’s her turn to transform. The girls are able to fight on par with Alone. Akane has her Naked Rang (boomerang) that can deflect Alone’s beams to save jet fighters in the beam’s path and put some damage on the metal while Aoi’s Naked Impact (hammer) allows her to play baseball and do a homerun. If you don’t get that, it means deflect beams far away in a single swing. Kenjirou contacts Shijou and needs her cooperation. She informs all the Defence Force personnel to lend their support to the girls. They finally deactivate Alone by hitting its weak spot. The most obvious and vulnerable spot right in between its four legs… Kenjirou wants the girls to dock and this has them the need to kiss each other. Yuri fans will be disappointed because they aren’t going to kiss on the lips but the forehead. The operation begins as they are able to see each other’s memories. However an error shows up. Kenjirou sums up the failed operation as one of them unconsciously rejects the other. Akane doesn’t believe him and thinks the error on his part. After all, she believes their friendship is foolproof. How come Aoi doesn’t look so sure? Flashback two years ago sees Akane and Aoi first met when the former almost hit the latter with her newspaper delivery. Akane gave her a delicious tomato. Aoi was a frail and weak girl and was mostly confined to her room but that didn’t stop Akane from visiting her from the outside.

Rei Kuroki shoots her arrow at Alone to reactivate it. Now it is meaner, more powerful and redder. Well, its beams can blast away an entire mountain! Naked Rang cannot even dent it. Naked Impact may do the job but its scattered parts explode. That’s when Aoi apologizes to Akane that she is the cause of the docking’s failure. Because they both entered each other’s minds, she was afraid she would find out about that fact. The fact that she hates tomatoes! She pretended to like it because she wanted to be friends with her. Akane of course knew she hated it because she was having a hard time trying to eat it. She knew Aoi was trying hard because she doesn’t want to disappoint her. She believed they could be best friends. With that, Aoi’s hesitation clears up as she kisses Akane’s forehead. Hey both combine into one body and with cooler suits and weapon. Vividblue Operation is what this is called? They whack and destroy Alone with their Final Operation via Vivid Impact hammer. Crisis over for now. Next morning, Momo is worried about Akane going off to fight such monsters. I guess for now she is the only one with such powers to stand up against Alone. When they arrive at school, they are very surprised because there is no school! I think it was destroyed in the path of the beam. Conveniently, Mizuha tells them they’ll be transferring to a new one.

Episode 3
Akane is running late on her first day at her new school. Nothing like a little power abuse to use her Palette Suit to cross the sea, eh? Arriving the beach side of National New Ooshima School, she catches a glimpse of kendo girl, Wakaba Saegusa. The distraction causes Akane to crash into the shed and Wakaba thinking she looked like a familiar person goes to attack her. To her astonishment, Wakaba failed to land any hit on her as Akane escapes. She is devastated her Tengen Rishin style lost. Meanwhile Shijou talks to Kenjirou about Alone. It was difficult to hide the events from the press but at least the girls’ identities aren’t found out. As for Alone, it is unknown whether their goal is to steal the energy or destroy Incarnate Engine since they are drawn by its energy. They can’t afford to let Incarnate Engine fall into their hands as it operates 95% of the world’s energy. Homeroom teacher Mizuha reprimands Akane for using her power in public since she’s supposed to keep it a secret. However Akane mentions that Wakaba has already seen it. Guess what? Akane and Aoi will be the new transfer student in her class. And so… Wakaba couldn’t keep her piercing stares off Akane for the entire duration… Akane notices a camera robot next to her desk and was being told it is Himawari Shinomiya who rarely comes to school. During recess, Wakaba challenges Akane to a fight. Her reply? Run away! Wakaba gives chase and notices how athletic and flexible she is. Till Wakaba bumps into Momo. Feeling guilty for causing the accident, she rushes her to the infirmary. Akane thought her sister got kidnapped! Learning Momo’s sister is Akane, she requests to send a message to fight. She feels the need to fight because the reputation of Tengen Rishin rests on her shoulders and cannot let this end in defeat.

Back home, Wakaba practises rigorously till her father had to advice her that winning all the time isn’t true strength. Knowing when to use it is what makes a person strong. Next day, Akane is resigned to the fate she’ll be chased all over again. Then she sees a very beautiful love letter in her shoe locker. Actually it is a challenge letter to face Wakaba at the beach. Akane takes up the challenge and duels with her. Akane uses her crazy style of flipping and even wielding 2 swords to fight off Wakaba. But Wakaba loves it. This feeling of kendo she had forgotten when she started out as a child. Akane is also having fun with her match but it’s to be put on hold when an Alone emerges from the sea. Akane and Aoi immediately transform to go fight it. Wakaba isn’t sure if they can beat that monster but Momo is confident they can because they’re fighting for everyone’s sake. The words of Wakaba’s father rings through her mind. This is true strength. Because Wakaba also wants to fight, Kenjirou (where did he pop up from?) gives a key to her. Convenient. How the heck does Wakaba know what to do and say to transform? Like she’s a natural. With Wakaba now in the fray, Rei fires another arrow to turn Alone stronger. It’s docking time. Akane + Wakaba = Vividgreen Operation! In one slash, Vivid Blade is enough to put the Final Operation in the monster. Wakaba is glad to be part of the team and views Momo as cute. Sorry Kenjirou, not you the weasel.

Episode 4
As the trio fights off another Alone, Himawari watches the action from her multiple monitor screens back home. She sees young girls fighting it. Kenjirou is called to the Bureau because there are signs that a hacker has been accessing their classified date on Alone and hopes he could trace it out. He tracks it to Akane’s class and is suspicious about the camera robot. Himawari too is surprised to see the weasel. Before she could get a closer look, all signals go off. You can thank Akane for that baseball pitch. The trio decide to return the broken camera to Himawari and apologize. Inside her room, it is close to freezing since she needs the air-conditioners to keep her computers running. Himawari will forgive Akane about the camera in exchange she lets her examine the weasel. Serious? The mention about the word ‘friend’, this causes Himawari to assert she doesn’t need one. Trying to change the subject, they see a picture of a building on her wall. She explains the outflow plant that transmits energy from Incarnate Energy all over the world. The girls think they should go visit it and help Himawari dress up. While outside the outflow plant that is fully automated, Himawari thinks they don’t understand the significance of Incarnate Engine. Akane believes their feelings are the same since science and technology are meant to make people happy. Kenjirou confirms Himawari as the hacker though he notes she isn’t as good as him. Suddenly an evacuation order is given at the outflow plant. An Alone appears and starts rampaging. Himawari knows if it breaks down, energy to the world to will be stopped. She laments she knows how to fix it but can’t get inside it. That’s when Akane and the rest transform and do their usual stuff. Akane carries Himawari into the plant so she can do her hacking. Himawari realizes they are the ones fighting Alone all this while.  This Alone seems tough because the Nakedness of it all can’t even stop it (Naked Rang + Naked Impact + Naked Blade).

Himawari manages to fix the system but the roof crumbles. She remembers how a bully victim pleaded her help to stop the bullies. In the end, the victim deflected the accusations at her. That’s why Himawari didn’t believe in friends or promises. She thinks Akane is no different. But surprise. Here she is saving her ass. Akane then gives Himawari her own key. You can pretty much guess what happens. Now they’ve got a new teammate whose Naked Collider acts as a shield to prevent Alone’s beams from destroying Blue Island. You could have also guessed this pattern. Rei fires her arrow at Alone, it powers up more than before, time for another docking. Yeah, I knew it would be this pattern this time: Akane + Himawari = Vividyellow Operation. Hey! Did I just see Mami from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica?! Vivid Collider may look like a power up version of Naked Collider but doesn’t Vivid Engine acts like a familiar gun weapon from Mami? The awesome blasts destroy Alone. Nothing can survive that. Back on the ground, Himawari can’t believe Akane is Kenjirou’s granddaughter. Well, at least she is certain genius isn’t hereditary. Because Akane can’t fix her camera. Can any normal person? As for the camera, she doesn’t need it anymore because she’ll be going to school from now onwards. When the weasel makes his appearance, Himawari goes into ecstasy, claiming she is his number one fan and wants him to sign an autograph. And then all the jargons and terminologies of his theories start shooting out from this eager beaver’s mouth. What did she say? Catch all that?

Episode 5
Akane thought she saw Rei at the dock. Her distraction almost had her crash into the forklift. By the time she looked again, Rei is gone. The quartet have plans for the summer school. Akane notices Rei alone and invites her to join their group. She refuses of course. When Akane asks about this morning, Rei doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Meanwhile Kenjirou and Shijou do more research on Alone and from their observation and analysis over their random pattern, it seems a third party is controlling them. Rei returns to her empty home and only has a parrot she talks to as company. Sad? Suddenly Crow flies in. Earlier today, she saw Rei saving a kid from a falling metal beam. She was not to interfere. Since she is hesitant in destroying this world, she activates the feathers mark on her neck which causes her excruciating pain. Crow reminds her that her heart transforms Alone. The stronger her emotions, the more powerful the reborn Alone will be. Crow lets her off with a warning to keep her mission in mind unless she doesn’t want to see her world revived. As heard from Rei herself, destroying Incarnate Engine is her mission but using Alone isn’t the only way. She tries to infiltrate Blue Island but the security robots spot her. She makes her death defying escape and dives back into the sea. Next morning, Akane spots Rei unconscious on the beach. Rei wakes up in Akane’s home as the bubbly girl nurses her wounds. Thinking Akane is lonely, she replies although her father died when she was 7 years old and her mother recuperating in hospital after an accident, she has Momo, grandpa and her friends, that’s why she won’t feel lonely. Rei asks if she would take the chance to revive her parents. Akane would love it but only if it is not at the expense of others. She will always treasure those around her.

Rei starts to panic when she realizes her key is missing. She calms down when Akane’s phone rings. It is grandpa and she is needed on scene since another Alone has appeared. At the same time, Crow sees Rei and tells her she is needed for a duty. Akane joins her friends to fight Alone. Their shape gets weirder and weirder, huh? I don’t know. This one looks like a coffee maker… Rei dreams whereby her family and everyone she knew were obliterated. Then Crow appeared before her and offers her to change her fate with their help as they exist in the gaps between beginnings and endings.  They have the ability to resurrect her world. Rei wants all those she knows to be revived. Of course there is a condition for that. Weakened Rei tries to fire another arrow at the Alone but she is too weak and passes out. Again she finds herself back in Akane’s house. She sees the key beside her and is happy. She learns Akane and her friends went searching by the beach she was found unconscious, thinking she may have dropped it there. Akane once more invites her to join her group for the summer school but Rei pushes her away. Though she is grateful, she doesn’t want her to be nice to her anymore. Later Akane visits mommy at hospital and tells her about her attempts with Rei. Mommy says if she isn’t giving up on being friends with her, as long she never forgets her affection for her, she’ll come around someday.

Episode 6
Akane and her friends leave for Shikinejima for their summer school. Of course grandpa has his own plans and drags Momo into it too. Mizuha has the quartet surrender their keys because it will be a pain if they lose it in the deep ocean. So, she too is part of Kenjirou’s plan to strengthen the girls’ friendship power. Akane and co pick up garbage on the beach but as usual, Rei snubs Akane’s call to join them. Because Rei saw Kenjirou’s secret submarine, he had to knock her out or else she will jeopardize their plan. He will have her play a role in the girls’ training. Himawari sees a “Don’t push” button on the butt of Akane’s swimsuit. Pressing it initiates a countdown in which her swimsuit bloats up into a ball. It’s some invention created by Kenjirou as a tent. But the girls don’t want to enter it because she is stark naked underneath… Suddenly they get a ransom video from Alone. Do they talk? It wants them to come to their base or else it can’t guarantee what will happen to Rei. It sounds fishy. Trap or no trap, they’re going to rescue Rei. So fishy this Alone that there are signs to point where the base is! Kenjirou starts off by unleashing an easy robot. Wakaba easily takes care of it with her Tengen Rishin style. Himawari sees a “Don’t push” button on the robot and it unleashes lots of bugs, something Wakaba is afraid of. Of course Himawari knows they are insect scout robots but Wakaba continues to panic and brings Himawari along with her. The girls are separated. Rei wakes up in the cabin and wonders if her identity is discovered. She needs to get out.

Kenjirou activates traps for the girls. Akane and Aoi are running away from a boulder. It suddenly pops like a balloon courtesy of mysterious girl (Rei in a poor disguise). Rei also disables all the cameras around the island. Then she saves Wakaba and Himawari who are running against the conveyor belt flow. Otherwise they’ll be plunging several hundred feet below! Of course everyone except Akane knows who this mysterious girl is. The frustrated weasel unleashes his ultimate bear robot but to his dismay it is easily destroyed when Aoi drops a rock over its head! The mad weasel now wants to show he means business and rides his own mecha to confront the girls. Going overboard? Anyway all his missiles are made out of balloons… Akane sees the mysterious girl. The latter tells them to escape but Akane won’t because they are here to rescue a friend. Before Kenjirou could fire his ultimate cannon, Akane has Aoi press her swimsuit button to bloat up. She jumps into the cannon and causes the mecha to explode. Apart from being totally naked, she’s alright. Back at the beach, Momo reveals to the girls about grandpa’s plan and is very sorry about it. Aoi, Wakaba and Himawari go apologize and thank Rei for what she did but as usual she feigns not knowing what they’re talking about. Kenjirou is proud as he justifies to Mizuha that his plan to bring the girls closer worked. Their bonds are closer than ever thanks to this training. Sure, pal. Whatever. Mizuha hands him the bill for the training expenses. Can weasels take a loan?

Episode 7
Mizuha reprimands Akane for sleeping in class. Can’t help it since she’s been fighting Alones late at night. The test is coming up and if Akane doesn’t buck up, she will have to undergo remedial classes. This might affect her part time job in Team Vivid, something which they can’t afford. Since Akane doesn’t want the military to cheat and revise her score, she’ll have to work hard the old fashion way. It is decided that everyone will gather at Akane’s house for a group study. The other girls think of inviting Rei but as usual, she gives excuse she is busy. Asking once was fine, twice was annoying but by the third time… Yeah, she’s talking to her parrot about her woes when Crow shows up to remind her mission to destroy Incarnate Engine. Rei doesn’t understand why she needs to attend school but Crow tells her to do her part of the agreement and it’s not her place to question their decision. Rei laments that she can’t depend on Alone to destroy Incarnate Engine. If she only knew about its weakness. Then she stumbles upon an article that makes her realize Akane is Kenjirou’s granddaughter. This means she is forced to join the group study. Actually while excusing herself to go to the toilet, she snoops around to find Kenjirou’s laboratory. The odd looking fridge caught her attention and she freaks out upon seeing Kenjirou’s frozen body inside! Somebody’s got to preserve the body while he currently occupies the weasel, right? Instantly Rei is knocked out by Wakaba. When she wakes up, she finds only a watermelon inside. Was she seeing things? Everyone takes a break at Akane’s little farm. She lets them taste their cucumber with mayonnaise. I think I’ll pass on that. Rei finds her odd so Aoi explains that tingling feeling when Akane wants to make friends. She didn’t understand it at first but soon did after meeting Wakaba and Himawari. It’s like Akane is the centre of their solar system. Aoi bites the tomato and doesn’t hate it. Rei notices a twin tomato as Akane believes it is some sign of good luck. When she asks about Rei’s wish, she suddenly remembers her past and crushes the tomato! Don’t waste food please. She remembers she has something to do and leaves. At the same time, Team Vivid is being called into duty (coincidently, Rei too) because another Alone has appeared on the mainland. This one is knocking out anything electrical in its path causing it to malfunction. Its path is clearly towards Blue Island but look at the wake of the blackout it leaves. It will destroy Japan at this rate. The girls go into action and easily destroy this weak Alone. Vividyellow finishes the job with Vivid Collider. However the Alone resurrects because Rei fired her arrow at the last minute right before it was destroyed. More powerful than before, it takes Akane out by blasting her out of the sky.

Episode 8
Akane is rushed to the emergency room for immediate surgery. Thanks to her Palette Suit, she is still alive but her condition is not safe. Can the other girls afford to be by her side? Because what about that Alone? As of now, it seems to be clinging on to Skytree and regenerating in some cocoon. Even though it is protected by its own barrier, it can retaliate by unleashing a devastating beam upon anyone attacking it. The army found that out the hard way. The girls are told to rest since staying up would make Akane worry about them too. Their morale at all-time low, Kenjirou wonders if he has gotten arrogant. Despite holding many invention patents, they’re still poor and Akane is forced to support the family with her part time job. It’s his selfish satisfaction to toss abandon everything and atone for that accident 7 years ago. Everyone is briefed on the situation and how to tackle the Alone. Kenjirou says their Palette Suit can only protect them so much and even though Vivid System is the only effective weapon against Alone, without docking, they don’t stand even 1% chance of defeating it. And it seems Akane is the only one who has this docking ability. In view of this risky mission, he can’t send the girls to take on this Alone, predicted to hatch tomorrow morning. Shijou has no choice but to see the Prime Minister to seek his approval to use a saturated attack using the very powerful SGE bomb. They know the massive destruction it will cause. There is no other choice left. They need to abandon Tokyo for the sake of the world. If that thing reaches Blue Island and takes out Incarnate Engine, the world will be done for. So what is just one city? Tokyo undergoes massive evacuation as Aoi spots Rei alone (she is looking for the other Team Vivid members because Crow warns her not to rest on her laurels after taking out just one of them). Rei is surprised everyone was worried about her after she left. Even surprised to learn that Akane will forgive her no matter the reason for crushing the tomato since she believed she had her reasons.

Dawn arrives and before Mizuha sets out on her fighter jet, the trio of Team Vivid decide to join in the fight because of that friendship thingy. The plan is simple but needs to be perfectly timed or they’ll be doomed. Aoi distracts the cocoon with her Naked Impact. When the beam starts shooting at her, she must avoid at all cost. Then Himawari will use Naked Collider to keep that beam hole open for a few seconds before Wakaba’s Naked Blade sticks the SGE bomb into the Alone. Rei fires another arrow at the cocoon despite Crow’s advice she should do it after Alone emerges from the cocoon for it to be stronger. Better do it now than later, no? Things are going as plan till Wakaba can’t nail it deep enough and gets flung away with Himawari. Alone emerges from the cocoon and is about to fire at Wakaba and Himawari. Aoi can’t reach them when she hears Akane’s voice. The Naked Rang that she brought with her activates and it gives her the much needed booster and speed to hammer the bomb deep. It explodes, Alone is destroyed and more importantly our girls are safe. But not everywhere is good news because Rei weeps at yet again another failure. Since we’re not ending it with such sad news, the most important good news of all is that Akane has recovered and doing well in hospital. Back to her spiffy self. Aoi is so happy that she breaks down in tears. Glad to have her back.

Episode 9
Wakaba helps clean Himawari’s room. Since Himawari wants to see some factory in person, Wakaba agrees to take her there this Sunday in exchange she puts on this really cute dress. As they walk around town, everyone can’t take their eyes off this cutie. Yeah, even several guys try to ask Himawari out! Thankfully Wakaba the bodyguard keeps them away with her piercing stares that speaks “Don’t you dare think about it you mother f*ckers!”. Along the way they pass by a shopping mall owned by Aoi’s dad. They see Aoi and Akane in mascot outfit (is that a lavatory?) handing out balloons to kids. Continuing their walk, Wakaba is surprised to bump into a scouting model. As you’ve guessed it, they want to test shoot Himawari. Though Himawari isn’t interested, Wakaba gladly gives her permission. Since when did the bodyguard become her agent? The photographers shoot Himawari but Wakaba notices she could’ve been cuter if she smiles. Next day in school, Himawari is tired from the shoot and isn’t interested any further. But eager beaver Wakaba tells her the editors loved her photos and want her to model for a full shoot. She even gave her details and it will be this Sunday. This doesn’t sit well with Himawari so she calls Wakaba stupid and runs away. Then it hits Wakaba. This Sunday is supposed to be the factory tour. She goes to apologize to her and will tell the editors to cancel the shoot. She was happy when everyone thought she was cute. But Himawari will go to the shoot so as not to make Wakaba look bad. But not for free of course. In exchange, Wakaba becomes her personal servant for the day. And she happily obliges every whims and fancies. Wow. This girl is almost everything. A kendo master, a superhero, a bodyguard, an agent and now a servant. Hehehe…

While Himawari sleeps during the break, the staffs switch her hairpin with a more matching one. Wakaba sees the hairpins lying in the sands and picks it up. The rain has the beach shot called off so they end it in the shopping mall. Himawari realizes her hairpins are missing and rushes back to the beach to search them. She has no time to talk to Rei standing there. However the tide is high but she continues to look for it. Seeing this, Rei notes she too won’t give up her dream and leaves. Wakaba finally finds and catches hold of frantic Himawari. She shows her the hairpins, much to her relief. Himawari treasures those hairpins because it was a gift from Wakaba. She thought she would hate her if she loses it. Of course not, silly. Since this series won’t be complete without an Alone invasion, the girls scramble to action when they get the signal. This Alone is now diving down from the orbit straight to Blue Island. Vividblue is having a tough time handling this one but with Wakaba and Himawari arriving at reinforcements, Final Operation is no sweat. Rei is left to rue yet another letdown. Crow blames her for wasting time. Himawari shows Wakaba the factory tour schedule. They’re going through all that? What’s more, here is a year’s worth of factory tours she intends to visit. Say goodbye to her Sundays!

Episode 10
Rei reminds us of her mission to destroy Incarnate Engine. Because her world ended at the hands of a berserk Incarnate Energy, she is tasked to destroy Incarnate Engine in this parallel world. Crow visits her again and notices the more this drags on, the more disobedient she becomes. She puts on some pain for her so Rei dares her to kill her. She backs off. This makes Rei confirm she can’t kill her and is just a pawn to them. Also, Crow has no clue when or what kind of Alone will appear. Crow will not reveal any more details despite her attempts to make her angry. If Rei knows the next Alone’s appearance, she will use multiple arrows on it to make it grow stronger. Crow cautious her that firing the last one means the end of her life. It will be the same too if she fails to destroy Incarnate Engine. Apparently the feather mark on her neck indicates how many more times she can fire the arrow and it looks like she has 4 chances left. Himawari’s hacking manages to get a visual of that arrow. She reports it to Kenjirou who now has a chance to trace the third party firing it. He then talks to Shijou who wants him to reveal what actually happened 7 years that led him to predict Alone’s coming. During that accident, he saw a much intelligent and higher being. It projected its thoughts into him. Seems they wanted to know if humans are fit to use Incarnate Energy because this form of energy is powerful enough to upset the balance of the universe. So you can say those entity sent Alones to test whether humans deserve to have a future. Rei visits Akane to apologize for crushing her tomato. Of course she forgives her but if she really wants to make it up, stay for dinner. Akane runs out of her mayonnaise so she uses Kenjirou’s invention but it goes boom. The place is messed up but this causes Rei to laugh so hard. As they bath together, Akane is curious about her feather mark. Then she herself proudly shows off her birthmark at her butt! Too bad we won’t get to see it.

Akane also wants Rei to stay for the night. Rei asks Akane if she knows anything about Incarnate Engine. Not the slightest bit. Then she wonders why she wanted to be friends with her. Akane replies she knows her secrets (gasp!). She saw her happily playing with birds and helped saved a kid once. She got this tingling feeling and knew she wanted to be her friend. Not just her, everybody else too. Rei felt very happy. When she first arrived, she tried not to make friends and distanced herself. Despite that, they reached out to her. That itself made her happy. Akane wants her to make a promise to come back here again. Even if Rei did, she knows it won’t happen since she knows tomorrow evening the next Alone will appear. She plans to stake everything on it and this will be the last time they’ll see each other. Next morning after Akane returns from her part time job, Rei has already left. Also, Rei is absent from class. Team Vivid is called to the Bureau after school as Kenjirou points out Himawari’s effort has allowed him to trace who the culprit is. The next time the culprit fires, they’ll be able to track it down. Soon the alert goes off with the appearance of Alone. Of course Rei already knew before hand and is on scene early and fires and arrow to power it up. Before she could fire the next, the security robots discover her and chase her. This allows Vividgreen to destroy the Alone and then look for the culprit. Too late for Rei to fire another arrow. As she tackles the droids, she finally comes face to face with Akane (she is closes to the culprit). Though Akane is shocked, not as shock as Rei who thinks Akane knew her identity from the start. She believes Akane approached her to be her friend to keep an eye on her. She accuses her of the one meddling in her plans all along. Akane dismisses all that but Rei is not buying it. More heartbreaking was the tears in Rei’s eyes and how she really felt happy when she said she wanted to be her friend. Now she feels betrayed and calls Akane a liar as she gets restrained by the guards.

Episode 11
More shocking when Rei thinks all 4 of them are in cahoots from the beginning. Rei is taken to the Defence Force headquarters’ lowest chamber for interrogation. Analysis over her physical composition reveals that despite looking like human, she isn’t really one. In other words, an alien. Team Vivid are not allowed to see Rei till the interrogation is over. As she is the greatest threat to Earth, they cannot let their guard down. Plus, it is uncertain if this girl is really Rei because all her documents are forged. With nowhere else to go, the quartet visit her apartment and finds it lonely (Rei freed her parrot in the last episode). Her room has a magnificent view of Incarnate Engine. The girls discuss their conversations with Rei and try to piece the puzzle of the thing that she wants to retrieve so badly. Kenjirou is in discussion with the other generals and he points out that Rei is somewhat like beacon to guide Alone to Earth. Think about it. They are unable to detect Alone till they’re close to Incarnate Engine. They don’t just approach but suddenly appear. Plus, Rei’s wavelength seems to be the same as Alone. The generals believe that as long Rei continues to live, more Alone invasions will occur. They want to execute her now! Akane and co don’t know what to do if Rei is on Alone’s side. But they know they want to talk to her again and clear up the misunderstanding that they are liars. Only one way to do it. Yup. So the girls get into their Palette Suit, fly across town and barge into the headquarters, destroying all thick walls and doors, knocking out army personnel who get in their way. Seems like they’re through playing cute good girls. Mizuha knows they’re coming but will close an eye on this. Likewise, Kenjirou knew this was coming. Just that Akane took longer than usual. Akane heads down first while her friends keep the security company. Rei continues to shun Akane as she tries to break the glass with her Naked Rang. She tells her that tingling feeling she got when she first met her and her earnest feelings to be friends with her. She’ll tell her all about herself if that is what it takes to know more about her. Still can’t believe why she go this far? Because they’re friends. That good enough for you?

So when the gang assemble, Kenjirou questions Rei about her mission to destroy Incarnate Engine via Alone by those beings. Rei couldn’t answer so Crow responds on her behalf. She introduces herself as a speaker for the supreme beings who rule over time and space in all dimensions. Something like God, eh? But why are such ‘supreme beings’ afraid of Incarnate Engine then? They believe low beings are toying with powers beyond their capability and this can upset universal balance. Rei reveals her world was destroyed when Incarnate Energy went berserk. If she followed their orders, her world would be restored. Though her friends pity her, Crow is disappointed in Rei for letting her down. Even more so the rest of them for letting her live. Had they kill her, the Alone invasions would have stopped. Kenjirou reveals that during the heated discussion with the generals, he will not allow Rei’s execution due to friendship and compassion. Something other than air, water, food, etc that humans need to continue living. He vows to find a way to prevent Alone from detecting her. Kenjirou believes if they throw away friendship, they lose their right to live. This is proven in the bonds of Team Vivid through their battles. But Crow is not convinced. Rei who controls Alone is set as the greatest pitfall of this test. Had Rei been killed, this universe would have automatically failed. However she doesn’t consider them passing this test yet. Crow is proud that she has brought many worlds to their doom and since they do not wish for lowly beings to access Incarnate Energy, no world must ever pass this test. Then what the hell all this is for?! Isn’t this just indiscriminate destruction?! More absurdly, Crow considers herself fair and neutral because she must correct this improper conclusion. Oh great. The bird is talking nonsense. She wants to take Rei’s arrows but she won’t let her since she will lose her world forever. Crow believes there is no need to bring it back and cannot imagine that they wished for its return. It’s her duty to make the future they desire into reality and. So the agreement was all a lie? Crow swallows Rei whole. It looks like a comical scene how she devoured Rei but at the same time feels creepy! Crow then swells into a humongous being.

Episode 12
Akane, no use regretting you couldn’t save Rei. That’s because this fallen angel Alone is so powerful that it’s taking out the army in a single swipe! Kenjirou’s gadget allows him to analyze Crow and finds Rei is still alive within her. Crow tells Rei how she has obtained so much power due to Rei’s arrows. It’s like she has ascended to another higher form, close to those supreme beings. See how power corrupts even the most intelligent beings? Now that she has no use for Rei, she wants her to enjoy the show of how she will bring apocalypse to Earth. To do that, she is going to suck all the power from Incarnate Engine. Akane picks up Rei’s key amidst the rubble. I know it’s good to try again and never give up but the army should have gotten it when firing all they got again didn’t even scratch Crow one bit. Not even when the release all the SGE bombs. I guess this is it. Kenjirou has resigned to his fate that the world is coming to an end. The Incarnate Engine he created backfired on him. Crow sucks all the energy Incarnate Engine as the world’s energy quickly reduces. How does it feel like to regress back to the dark ages? Even Rei has a heart. She doesn’t care about reviving her world and at least wants this one to be spared. But noooooo. Crow had to remind her how a world gets destroyed just like hers. So if technology power won’t work and military power doesn’t have any effect, what else is there left? The power of friendship! Remember that?! Yeah, Team Vivid is going to take down Crow with that power. So we get to see Akane docking with everybody to unleash their Vivid powers. First, Vividyellow’s Vivid Collider puts some real damage over Crow’s body. Next, Vividgreen’s Vivid Blade slashes across her body. Finally Vividblue’s Vivid Impact whacks open a hole so Akane can fly inside and reach Rei. Once she does, they dock. Akane + Rei = Vividred Operation! Hey! Shouldn’t it be Vividblack or something? Oh hell, who cares?! Just kick some Alone ass!

Vividred powers up so much that Crow is starting to shiver at the kind of power they’re producing. It’s the kind that is the dawn of the universe! Woah! And they manage to do it with the power of friendship!!! Not to be cowed, Crow summons all the energy enough to destroy the energy. Both sides are on collision course that will determine the fate of the other. And the result between Vivid Punch and super-duper-power-that-can-destroy-the-entire-universe is… Drum roll please… Of course Vivid Punch wins! OMG! Is this the true power of friendship?! So great that Crow is even destroyed! Unbelievable! The girls happily reunite while Kenjirou notes he has lots to learn and is going to restart his research back from square one. Because Akane and Rei dock, they saw each other’s memories and feelings and understood. Safe to say all misunderstanding has been casted away. Suddenly the supreme being appears before them. To show us they are fair and not jerks, it decides to restore Rei’s world. Eh?! What?! Can meh?! Oh yeah. They’re supreme beings. A door to her world appears before Rei as Akane passes her the key. I guess this is farewell, huh? However Rei gives Akane her scarf and says this isn’t farewell. Because she’ll definitely come back to see them again. In the aftermath, Team Vivid girls continue their ordinary daily life, Kenjirou has returned to his original grandpa body and Mashiro is released from hospital. One morning when Akane goes about her newspaper delivery job, a talking parrot lands on Puppy’s handle. Then it flies off to a very familiar looking girl. Guess who is back?

Vivid Ass, Naked Butt Operation!
ALL HAIL THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!!! Don’t you just love a good ending? Don’t you just love it when you get to see a group of cute girls defeat the mightiest of the mightiest beings in the universe solely motivated by the power of friendship? Yeah, it’s something that no amount of money can buy. It’s something that all the research in the world can never uncover. All lo and behold! The power of friendship is the most powerful weapon against enemies! Oh yeah. And after beating the crap out of them, you can use that same power to hang out with your friends and have a jolly good time. Oh wow. The power of friendship. So great. Don’t even underestimate it. Embrace it. Overall, I guess this show is really okay despite the imposing theme of friendship but I suppose this is good since it motivates you to cheer on the girls to kick Alone butt. At least that is what it did to me. Although I know Team Vivid will always prevail at the end, even one or two desperate situations, I was confident that they will emerge and make a comeback simply because of their close-knit friendship. So when they go into action together as a team, or more accurately as friends, you can’t help but cheer and support for them no matter how absurdly powerful the enemy is or how outrageously exaggerated the power (theirs and the enemy’s) or situation is.

The characters are typical and nothing that deep. With Akane as the ‘leader’ of the pack, her liveliness and simple ways is what glues the gang together. As evident, when she was knocked out and put in ICU, we can see the friends’ morale sinking lower and lower. But it’s good that they are independent too because they manage to get themselves out of the rut and get back to serious Alone bashing duty. This is what Akane would have wanted, right? And yes, attribute it all to the power of friendship. Each of the girls has their little quirks but the characterization isn’t deep enough for you to connect with them, although they do learn a thing or two after becoming friends with Akane. Akane ‘s other quirky bit is she likes mayonnaise. She could give Gintama’s Hijikata a run for his money the way she eats everything with them. Aoi isn’t that very shy and weak girl anymore and doesn’t hate tomatoes. Wakaba has finally understood the meaning of true strength. Though, I feel she has a thing for Momo. Or perhaps cute girls because she loves the idea of dressing up Himawari in cute clothes. Himawari the great hacker may still sound monotonous and sometimes the way she calls Rei a weird girl makes me wonder if it’s the case of the pot calling the kettle black. They’re both weird, right? I think Himawari’s obsession with buildings is the first ever character that I know who is infatuated with structures. She should have been an architect. Rei’s character is confused and caught in between what she truly desires. She wanted to revive her world but the more she lingers about and fails in her mission, the more attached she has grown to this world. It is so evident despite hearing from her own mouth that she will get the job done. You can see her hesitate and it tells us that she is not willing to destroy Earth. So when she finally learns the value of friendship, because true friendship don’t make you yearn the destruction of others, that’s when she begins to wake up and see things with her own eyes. If not for this twisted mission of hers (how can destroy something bring another back?), Rei loves plants and animals (especially birds – except Crow). You can see her smile and love for it. She is at ease whenever she is with them. You can say they keep her sanity in check.

The action of this series might be exaggerated with lots of power, but who wouldn’t when you have cute girls in cute suits that could be as destructive as a weapon. It’s fun to see them flying around and unleashing their Naked and Vivid powers, though it is practically pretty much the same move and it lacks variation. I mean, to finish off an Alone, you either see them use some Naked weapon individually first, then Akane docks with somebody to unleash their combined Vivid weapon for a Final Operation. Speaking of Naked and Vivid, some of the naming terms that Kenjirou or the girls give can be quite funny. Especially the Naked weapon. Why the hell Naked? I don’t see it naked or anything close to that? Maybe it lacks the final power up for that final oomph so that’s why it is ‘naked’. I don’t even know what I’m saying. Thankfully there is no Naked Butt weapon… If they turn this into a hentai series, then maybe there is such a ‘weapon’. And if you are wondering about the Vivid term, perhaps it is also a play on the Japanese word, ‘bibite’ which is as well a sound effect to mean tingling. A vivid girl like Akane aptly has this spider-sense-like tingling feeling when she finds a person interesting.

There are some mind boggling things that I find about the series. Such as how the first few episodes see Akane went on a ‘recruiting spree’ and her friends easily becoming part of Team Vivid. It makes me wonder how can they easily convert and engage the system so fluently. I mean, Akane conveniently has a key for them to transform and then wahlah. Here they are in a certain coloured suit with powers. If Rei had joined the group, I think they could also double as Power Rangers. Haha! And it also feels like a magical girl series especially when they transform. How can you pack so much metal into that Palette Suit and still make them look cute and great? Another eyebrow raiser is the fact that Kenjirou became ‘stuck’ in a weasel stuffed doll for almost the entire duration. Let me guess. Many would felt it would be better to see a weasel ranting rather than an old crazy dude, right? Yeah, there’s your cute mascot factor. You need one to complete the cute girls line-up. Kenjirou might be a brilliant scientist. So brilliant that it makes me wonder how he can come up with inventions that scans the Alone’s attributes and such. It’s like he almost understands those creatures. If he can make his Vivid System as the only weapon against Alone, why not equip the entire military with such power? Oh right. The cost. The poor bugger hasn’t got a penny for a decent meal. Or maybe Vivid System only works on lolis… I think I’ll buy this argument. Shijou and Mizuha don’t seem to have any major impact in the series and are quite forgettable. It feels like that they are just there to support the main characters and to prevent the weasel as seen from talking to himself when he explains things.

On to Alone and supreme beings. Those mysterious beings might be powerful but I just can’t help wonder whenever they pop up, they have to be at such a distance. Shouldn’t they pop up closer to Blue Island? I know it’s to give time to the girls to suit up and attack. Enough time for them to destroy and win the day. Well, it is confirmed that Rei acts like their beacon. Even so, shouldn’t they just have appeared closer? Their designs, well… All I can say is that they come in all shapes and abilities. Some look okay, some look typical and some funny (that coffee maker one…). As for the supreme beings, the way they are being described as if they are gods. Look at this, Rei’s world was finally resurrected! What does this tell you? They’re gods, no? I am not sure if Crow is acting on her own or on their behalf when her job is to see that lower beings never use the Incarnate Energy. I know we are lowly beings so we don’t understand what higher intelligent beings meant when they won’t allow us to use such energy. So we just call them prejudicial killers since assuming they’re at the top of the food chain, then nobody else below them gets to use them, right? So why bother to test worlds that they know they’re going to fail or make them fail eventually? Just keep it to yourselves, stupid! Not so intelligent after all, eh? As far as this anime is concerned, Incarnate Energy seems to be doing a good job. And yet, Crow doesn’t think it is so. I speculate on this part that she is acting on her own. And just like I have said, even the most intelligent beings get corrupted by power. Not so intelligent after all, eh? Maybe their definition of justice is different. Can’t argue since we’re low life beings. If Crow really wanted to destroy Earth, she should have done it herself instead of using Rei. Of course, she’s just following orders from the supreme beings. But really, if she really desired that, she would have done so a long time ago. In the end, the power of friendship even surpasses the power of the supreme beings. To say, that if you got unwavering friendship power, you can even stand up to the power of God! Gasp! No, this is not illogical. This is the power of friendship as I have told you!

No blog or review on this series would be really complete if I do not mention the ass fanservice. I think. Yeah. Asses. Although you won’t see those butts popping up in your face every 5 seconds, rest be assured that there will be butt shots in every episode, whether it is a close zoom up from their behind or at a distance. And those tight shorts and hot pants make them look even hotter, no? There’s your dose of butts to get your motivation up for the day. Not like this is going to serve as the butt of any jokes. Because of those shorts underneath their skirts that all the girls wear, don’t expect to see any shima pantsu or animal prints. A real bummer for those who loves this type of fanservice. Only the transformation scene there is a little fanservice scene whereby you get to see the girls in their underwear. But it is nothing much fanciful. Just boring plain white shorts/hot pants underneath…

The opening theme is Energy by Earthmind and sounds like your usual lively anime pop. The kind that gives you the motivation to cheer on Team Vivid with the power of friendship. There are several ending themes. A total of five of them and six if you include the opening theme that served as the ending theme for the first and last episode. I feel the ending themes being played out reminded me of how they did it for GJ-Bu anime. For the first half, we have ending songs that reflect a certain character or two before the second half becomes a fix theme for all. It is no different for this series either. Except that they only last for 1 stinking episode. But most of them are duets between Akane and the rest of her teammates. It begins with We Are One is between Akane and Aoi, followed by Stereo Colors by Akane and Wakaba, and finally Akane and Himawari for Stray Sheep Story. The only song which is not a duet and Akane doesn’t have a hand in it is Arifureta Shiawase by Rei. This lyrics of this slow ballad aptly reflects the loneliness and desire of Rei’s heart. The final and fixed ending theme that involves all the girls (Team Vivid + Rei) is Vivid Shining Sky. The liveliness is similar to the opening theme, just that you turn it into an all-girls group.

I think we’ve learnt our lesson here. The next time some unknown aliens attack us or even higher beings that decide to test us in the name of some twisted reasoning to eliminate our existence from the face of this universe, never ever and do not depend on the military might. After all the spending and budgets on military firepower, they amount to nothing when they take on something that is so un-human. When our butts are on the line, all you need to do is to put your faith in a group of little girls with the tenacity to kick ass and believe in the power of friendship! Yeah. That is the word of the series. Word of the day. No buts about it! Bun not intended. Oops, I mean pun not intended.