Tuesday 15 January 2013

First Impressions: Vividred Operation

Vividred Operation

After Strike Witches came and gave a new spin on the world of magical girls, A-1 Pictures have gone and created their own series where trousers on the main characters may or may not be entirely optional. This is of course Vividred Operation, a new 12-episode series that will be airing over the next few months.

In the near future, humanity's energy crisis has been solved by a giant generator known as the Manifestation Engine. It's creator's granddaughter, Akane Isshiki, lives a peaceful life until one day the generator is attacked by an alien lifeform her grandfather identifies as the Alone. After having his consciousness accidentally transported into a stuffed animal, he presents Akane with a strange key and the two race off toward the Engine, leaving her younger sister in charge of the house. When Akane's friend Aoi gets caught up in the battle, Akane uses the key to unlock a special battle suit known as the Vivid System.

As far as first episodes go, Vividred Operation isn't something to write home about. The majority of what's written above happened at the tail end of the episode, the rest made up of needless fluff and a buttload of fanservice (pun intended). Akane isn't particularly interesting as a heroine just yet, but her cackling grandfather has shades of Shin Mazinger Z's Juzo Kabuto which is never a bad thing. However the rest of it doesn't feel like anything new. The series just looks and feels a lot like Strike Witches, albeit in a futuristic setting rather than an alternate WW2. The flashy magical girl transformation sequence didn't really add much, and our first glimpse of the Alone just gives the impression that they are going to be another Evangelion Angel rip-off.

So not really a great start. Had I not already decided that I would be seeing this series through to the end, this episode would not have convinced me to continue. Maybe next week will shed a bit more light on what this show has to offer, but my first impression is this is going to be another magical girl series that just can't keep up with the competition.

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