When it comes to science fiction, I have two favorite genres: Time Travel and Artificial Intelligence. Oddly, I actually missed this show when looking over what to watch for the spring anime season. Either I accidentally glossed over it or it was added to the lineup after I had made my choices on what to watch. Had I spied it, I would have watched it from week one; however, I ended up having to marathon the first ten episodes because thats how deep into the show it had gotten before I realized it was a thing.
Am I glad that I took the time to get caught up and finish this series?
A.I.s have gone insane and are in the process of destroying mankind. An unknown scientist sends a program 100 years into the past to convince one of the worlds first A.I.s, Diva, to take part in what is called the Singularity Project a plan to rewrite history over the course of the next hundred years and to prevent judgment day.
This program takes the form of an A.I. that calls itself Matsumoto. It is a very fast-talking and snarky program but it eventually gets through to Diva and convinces her that she should embark on this journey to rewrite the future. From here, Diva (also known as Vivy due to a nickname a young girl named Momoka gave her) moves from point to point in time, only waking up when she is needed. Matsumoto has already bookmarked every major event for the next 100 years that led to the A.I.s going insane.
One by one, Matsumoto and Vivy tackle these events; however, the results never seem to matter. They begin to wonder if the future can be changed; however, after enough events transpire, the results of the Singularity Project are revealed.
One of the major hooks of this story is the fact that Diva/Vivys main mission as an A.I. is to sing for humans. She is programmed to entertain all humans through song which makes her question why she was chosen for this project and why The Archive, a huge tower in the middle of the city that links all A.I.s to its database, hasnt done anything to thwart her attempts at rewriting history even though The Archive is behind it all. (I dont consider that a spoiler as its pretty obvious from the start like painfully obvious.)
The whole music thing was something I didnt really expect but aside from the occasional reference to it, the show mainly focuses on stopping a bleak and dismal future all while questioning whether or not humans and A.I.s can co-exist. This is done through a rogue faction named Toak that believes all A.I.s should be eradicated. Over the years and through leadership changes, their mission changes as well. What once was a group that wanted to hunt down and destroy A.I.s now wants to see them co-exist.
Its things like these that show that no matter how much The Archive tries to prevent it, the future can and has changed. All of this makes for a compelling story that sci-fi fans are sure to love!
The thing about Vivy Flourite Eyes Song is that there are a lot of characters but there isnt a lot of them at the same time. The show heavily focuses on Vivy and Matsumoto. In the later episodes we get some characters like Osamu and Elizabeth which play some vital roles, and then we end up with small characters like Momoka and Ophelia which dont stick around long but they do play their parts. For the sake of focusing on the main story and not really spoiling the sub-stories told, I will just focus on the major characters.
As mentioned in the story section, she is an A.I. that is programmed to sing and entertain humans through her music. She was chosen by an unknown scientist (later revealed in the back half of the series) to take part in the Singularity Project and rewrite history.
For an A.I., Vivy is very self-aware and seems to be able to make her own decisions. Despite being chosen for this project, she doesnt know how to fight that is until Matsumoto gives her a combat program Matrix-style. Suddenly, just like Neo, she knows Kung-Fu! When shes not rewriting history, she is carrying out her main mission of providing entertainment. Her personality seems very righteous towards the end but, in the beginning, she was very skeptical, thinking that she shouldnt deviate from her mission.
The fact that she decides to deviate of her own free will shows just how special of an A.I. she truly is and its pretty clear as to why this unknown scientist chose her for the job. As a main character, she excels in almost every fact. She makes you feel a connection to her, her doubts are very justified, and her actions are heroic. In the final episode, you even get to experience the same pain she does which completes that connection to the character. I believe she is very well-balanced one of the better main characters Ive seen in a while. There are so many sides to her that she feels anything but one-dimensional which is something good main characters need.
Oh boy, where do I begin with this little spitfire? Matsumoto is an acquired taste and while he does mellow out towards the end of the show, he can be a bit annoying and unbearable in the beginning. Youd think that if you were an A.I. that was created to be sent back in time to help prevent the destruction of the human race, you wouldnt be some snarky, fast-talking, pile of code that berates your every action questions your every judgment, and goes out of its way to play the bad cop role. Its not exactly the best way to convince someone to save the world but, somehow, his persistence paid off and he got Vivy to come around.
The more the two of them work together, you can tell that Matsumoto is developing a certain level of respect for her. Because of the data he has, everything he does, as annoying as it is, is calculated and for a reason. There are times where you might even question his true motives but the thing is, his true motives are very black and white: save the planet. There is no mystery to Matsumoto but the way he acts and behaves, it constantly makes you question whether or not there is something more than meets the eye with him.
By the end of the show, hes still a bit snarky but youve gotten used to him. Youve even come to understand and appreciate him. Heck, you might even be thankful that he came along for the ride. As a secondary main character, Matsumoto was interesting to say the least but I will say that if you plan on watching this show tough it out with him. He will make you want to punch your monitor for the first few episodes but after a while, youll be wondering where you can buy your very own Matsumoto cube (or stuffed bear)!
WIT Studio handled the art and animation this time and all I have to say is THANK GOD THIS DOESNT LOOK LIKE ATTACK ON TITAN! I swear, between Attack on Titan, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, and Vinland Saga, I was starting to think WIT Studio had devolved into a single, solitary art style.
Vivy Flourite Eyes Song proves that they can do something different and still have it look good. The backgrounds that paint the picture of a futuristic setting are very well-done, the designs are really creative, and even the CG seems to all fit into place.
I loved the character designs for the androids and the symbols on their necks going from white to blue to red in times of stress reminded me a lot of the game Detroit: Become Human. Makes me wonder if thats where they drew some inspiration from? Either way, there were a ton of hits here on the art side and only a couple of misses. One of which was that really awkward run animation they gave Vivy when she was jumping off the rooftop at the beginning of the series. The fact that they replayed that a few times throughout the show made me cringe.
As far as sound goes, I cant really say that the OST was impressive. Nothing really stuck out. A lot of it was really just background noise and pretty forgettable. The insert song in the final episode was pretty good and the show did cycle through a few openings until (if I recall) episode three where they stuck with one for the remainder of the series.
The opening, Sing My Pleasure falls into the same problems a lot of Japanese anime opens experience. They hook you with a good opening riff, the first verse sounds cool and engaging, and then the chorus hits and it devolves into generic J-pop rock. I absolutely hate that. You get this nice serious feel with the verse and it just jumps into a more happy and upbeat chorus that just ruins the experience. Some people may like the song but I didnt care for it because of that.
I wouldnt go and say Vivy Flourite Eyes Song is as good as Steins;Gate but I will say that for a show that mixes artificial intelligence and time travel, it did a pretty banger job. The two main characters hold your attention and the plethora of side characters that Vivy meets on her 100-year journey to save the world all impact the story and Vivy in one form or another.
One of the things that the show does that might be a little offputting (at least in the beginning) is that it uses a lot of jump cuts that take you to a completely different scenario, leaving you to question just what the hell happened.
For example, Vivy and Matsumoto are having a conversation. The very next second, Matsumoto is in a giant piece of construction equipment where he bitch-slaps Vivy into a wall and then a plane in the sky explodes. Very, very random; however, if you stick with it, the show will explain just what in the name of Gods green Earth is going on. Still, those jump cuts can be a bit jarring and Im quite happy that they cut that stuff out in the back half of the show.
With interesting and relatable characters, great art and animation, and a thrilling story, Vivy Flourite Eyes Song should be on your To Watch list. Even if you just want a good sci-fi show to indulge in, I dont believe you will find a bad choice here.
If you enjoyed this review, consider following me on Twitter @JJPiedraOELN
Until next time,
Vivy - Flourite Eye's Song
Vivy Flourite Eyes Song tells an interesting and engaging tale of humans trying to co-exist with artificial intelligence only to see their world go up in smoke. While already a sci-fi show, it goes deeper by delving into time travel that takes our well-developed and interesting main characters on a journey to prevent an apocalyptic future.
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