April 07, 2013

Vividred Operation Ep11

Hello, greetings, and welcome to this, the writeup for the eleventh episode of Vividred Operation!  I'm Wonderduck, your host and tour guide through this example of the art of anime.  I have a feeling that this will be an important and exciting adventure in episodic recapping, so please grab a beverage of your choice, settle into a comfy chair, relax and enjoy, won't you?  As you may remember, in the last episode the antagonist, known to us as Hot Dark Girl Rei, had been caught in her attempt to super-dooper-power-up an attacking Alone.  When she realized that those opposing her were people she thought were friends, namely the RHF and the rest of Team Aquos, she kinda went a little bugnutty.  The episode ended with the screen going black and the sound of a gunshot, leading us to believe that the marines had just shot her in the head.  Quite the conundrum!  So where does Episode 11 begin?

From pretty much the same place, except the rest of Team Aquos has joined the party, and they're just as mind-blown as RHF.  Hot Dark Captive Girl Rei has it allllllllll worked out: they really were just playing her for a fool.  Actually, I'm fairly sure it was the Production Staff doing that, but that's just me. 

Anyway, she's bundled onto a waiting tiltrotor and taken away, and while I've been kinda hard on this show in a lot of ways, the one aspect that has rarely disappointed has been the animation quality.  Even on this little throwaway shot of the plane taking off and flying away, they made sure to have heat distortion from the engine exhausts.  I mean, they're no Production I.G. or anything, but A-1 Pictures has absolutely nothing to be ashamed about with this show.

I mean, other than camera angles that would make pedobear blush.  At least we haven't had a "sunrise between the legs" shot in a while.  Thankfully.

But then, it wouldn't be Vividred Operation without them, would it?  I leave it as a study for the viewer to decide if that's a good thing or not.

I have my own opinion, though.  The Phlebotinum Engine Defense Forces take Hot Dark Captive Girl Rei and put her in a high-tech cell, but not before giving her a thorough examination.

The test results are... unexpected.  Every one of those green/red arrows reads "Unexpected Value" (in English!), meaning that nothing is as it seems.  Or they're using Apple products, one of the two.  She's human... but not exactly.  She's an anomaly... kinda like an Alone, actually.  Huh, funny how that works.  Still, she's got a kickarse scarf, and that makes up for a lot.  Meanwhile, in some other part of the detention center...

...Team Aquos is being told that they can't see their friend until interrogation is over, and maybe not even afterwards.  After all, she tried to destroy the Phlebotinum Engine, a crime against all of Humanity.  As a result, she's likely to be punished to the full extent of the law and then some, even though she's just 14 years old.  And an alien.  And she doesn't exist... all of her data was faked.  The question on everybody's mind is "why?"  To which I answer, "watch your damn show sometime," but that's not possible, is it?  It's amazing how many plot problems in anime would be solved if the cast of a series could watch their own show.  Not all of them, but most.  Some time later...

...Our *ahem* Heroes visit Hot Dark Prisoner Girl Rei's barren apartment and wonder at her motives.  Then, being 14 year old girls, they put it out of their minds and go shopping.  No, no, they're actually serious... they each had individual contact with She of the kickarse scarf, where they all learned she had something to do, for reasons of her own.  They all realize that it was important to her, but why?  That's what they want to know.  They need to know.  They MUST know.

Oh.  So then they go for a latte.  Rei is put to death, the threat to the world is ended, and Team Aquos disbands, no longer needed in this time of peace.  For the rest of their lives, they will remember the good times they had, but the memory of the Dark Girl with the nice scarf will fade until they don't even remember her at all.  Like she never existed.  The end.

As it turns out, that's exactly the scenario the military and political leaders want to have happen.  Her very existence draws Alones to her, according to Gendo Plushyferret.  So, get rid of her say the people in charge... and Gendo doesn't really have an answer to that.  Except for one thing: while she's a normal human girl (other than being from a parallel world), she does have abilities beyond those of normal humans.  Look at her athletic exploits, like when she climbed the Phlebotinum Engine while fighting off flying robots.  Though this isn't mentioned in the episode... yet... it may be that they literally CAN'T kill her.  Actually, her physical abilities seem... familiar.  RHF, anybody?  Oh, did I say that?  Meanwhile, back at the empty apartment...

...Team Aquos, after some more angsting, decides that they want to see their friend again, and they have the ability to do it whenever they want.  And therein lies the problem with giving superpowers to emotionally unstable teenagers.  They suit up, zip off to Defense HQ, and are immediately branded as intruders... and the guards ain't holding back.

The Other Three play rear-guard to stop the flying robots while RHF gets to fly on to see Rei.  I would think Himawari and her Naked Collider power would be enough, but hey, whatever... wouldn't want to make any one of them more powerful than than the others, would we?  Except for RHF... she's the featured attraction of this little party, so she flies on alone.

To find Hot Dark Prisoner Girl Rei in what looks like for all the world as a S.H.I.E.L.D. Hulk Containment Unit.  I kept expecting them to drop it out of the Helicarrier at 35000 feet or something.  Why, yes, yes, I did just watch The Avengers a couple of nights ago, why do you ask?  If you haven't seen it, do so immediately.  It's a fun, fun flick.  Directed by Joss Whedon, who also did the screenplay, which means you know it's going to be clever, and the action scenes (their name is Legion) are top-notch.  The Hulk in particular steals the show, though the best line belongs to the Black Widow, in my opinion.  I seem to have gone astray.  Like the Hulk Containment Unit, Rei's little home away from home is also pretty much impenetrable...

...but The Power Of Friendship conquers all.  Well, that and Hitting It Really Hard conquers all.  There are tears of joy, friends are reunited, the warm and fuzzy is palpable.  Then Gendo Plushyferret shows up, as does the rest of Team Aquos, and just as he asks Hot Dark Escapee Rei if she has any ties to the events of seven years ago, when RHF's mom was injured and the first Alone appeared...

...Croooow! shows up.  There is much palaver, but it all comes down to one thing: the bird never meant to return Rei's world to her, it was all a test for our world, and when they didn't kill her, we failed.  But then, the test was rigged, because if they had killed her, we failed too.  So, the world is going to end no matter what, because The Powers Beyond don't want humans to have the Power of the Phlebotinum.  Does that sound convoluted to you?  It does to me, and I watched the entire scene... and I'm still confused by it.  The one thing I did get out of it, however, is that Croooow! blames it all on Rei for not destroying the Phlebotinum Engine.  She must be punished.  And, after dealing with Team Aquos...

...I haven't laughed so hard in weeks.  I suspect that wasn't what the Production Staff was going for, but it's what they got outta me.  As I giggled myself into state of hypoxia, suddenly Croooow!'s power level goes over 9000, and everybody heads for the hills.

Oh dear.  But there's no similarity to Evangelion's Angels at all, no indeed.  Cold cut to black, roll credits.  If they get Rei back, will she be covered in bird vomit?

One more to go!

Next episode: more zombies!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:43 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 1425 words, total size 11 kb.

1 I didn't laugh at that bit, instead I said to myself, "Well THAT was a little bit dark, wasn't it?"

I don't regret watching this series, but it's not going into permanent storage for later re-viewing, either. Sigh.

Posted by: GreyDuck at April 08, 2013 07:29 AM (xbP2x)

2 I VERY briefly thought of Tony Millionaire's Drinky Crow.  Musta been the big head.

I can't think of Black Widow's line, but to me the most hilarious bit was Hulk vs. Loki.

Posted by: Mauser at April 09, 2013 04:04 AM (cZPoz)

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 09, 2013 06:37 AM (9jITs)

4 Shortly after that scene, where they circle the camera around the crew, Black Widow's little pistol looks especially small....

Posted by: Mauser at April 10, 2013 04:49 AM (cZPoz)

5 How Joss scaled the movie to encompass "skilled normals" and "physical gods" without completely writing the weak ones out of the action was one of its strong points.

I'm gonna have to side with Mauser, though.  "Puny" was the best line.  And the sideways punch was the best bit of physical comedy.  Hulk won the movie.

I watched Buffy back in the day, too... "Puny" totally reminded me of the end of the "Fear, Itself" episode:

Posted by: Mikeski at April 10, 2013 03:54 PM (DU6Ja)

6 "Puny" wasn't even the best line in that scene!  It all falls apart without Loki's soliloquy after "Puny."

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 10, 2013 08:43 PM (9jITs)

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