Freelancer Michael Laboni gives us the lowdown on why you should be watching Vivy-Fluorite Eye’s Song-.
If you’ve ever watched The Terminator and thought “I wish Sarah Connor was also an AI and that the Terminator was actually a teddy bear”, then Vivy-Fluorite Eye’s Song- may be the anime for you.
A songstress AI, Vivy, teams with an AI occupying the body of a stuffed bear, Matsumoto, to stop an AI uprising 100 years in the future.
But despite my comical take on the premise, the anime does have the potential to be the sleeper hit of the year. It sprinkles moments where Vivy acts more human than AI. You see, AIs obey one mission, and for Vivy it’s singing to make people happy.
In the second episode she learns to fight via trial and terror and saves a member of Toak, an anti-AI terrorist organisation and our main antagonists, from falling debris of a collapsed building. Compare this with Toak’s single-minded mandate to destroy all AIs, nothing more, and you can hear the show screaming at you to consider who the real robots are.
Vivy does an outstanding job contrasting opening and closing images. The opening of the fourth episode shows two white birds trapped in a birdcage. The closing image of the same episode shows two white birds flying off into space.
Opening the fifth episode is a human and AI marrying in an abandoned church. The closing image of episode six shows Vivy kneeling over the human’s dead body in a pool of blood in the same abandoned church. Stories, at their core, are about change. Contrasting opening and closing images offers a feeling that events have come full-circle, but more-so that meaningful change, whether good or bad, occurred.
The sound department deserves respect too. Don’t read that like it’s a weird declaration, it’s true. During episode four’s midpoint fight sequence, they craft Beth’s synthesised voice to perfection. It shows more emotion and hurt than her screaming in her normal voice. A special shout-out to Kairi Yagi, Vivy’s voice actress, too. Her ability to mix robotic and warm, notably when Vivy sings, deserves nothing but praise.
In truth, all the vocal performances in the show are first-rate. Beth’s singing to the scared passengers at the end of a tense episode four brought them smiles but also cooled my own soul, and evoked catharsis in a slow buy manageable pace.
It’s hard to imagine Vivy-Fluorite Eye’s Song- losing control at this point in the series (as of this writing, episode seven). It’s not too late to start watching if you haven’t already. If it’s in your backlog, bring it to your front-log. It packs a lot of narrative goodness and philosophy into 20 minutes.
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