- Titles: Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-
- Genre: Sci-Fi, action, drama, time, music?
- Episodes: 13
- Studio: Wit Studio
Diva (or Vivy to her friends) is an AI with a simple goal. To make all the world smile through her songs. Becoming an idol isn’t easy for anyone though, not even an AI entirely created for that purpose. And bringing joy to the hearts of people through music becomes even harder when they’ve all been exterminated in a violent machine takeover. What’s a little artificial intelligence to do? I guess Vivy has no choice but to try to change the future with the help of her time travelling, smart-talking frenemy Matsumoto. But you know what’s even trickier than making it to the top of the pop charts? Trying to change the flow of time. Just watch any time travel show ever. That stuff is always bad news.
Fluorite is purple you guys…
I remember a few of my fellow bloggers reviewing this series as it aired and being pleasantly surprised by it. In fact, that’s the reason I added it to my list as it had not originally caught my eye. And I figured I was due for a good old fashion bit of science fiction!
Vivy is produced by Wit Studio. I recently watched Great Pretender by the same studio and was blown away. So it’s a shame that Vivy seems to have been made by the budget department. It’s not a horrendous production but, to be honest, I didn’t like it.
The storyline was perfect for over-the-top breathtaking visuals and I don’t feel like the studio took advantage of that in any way. Maybe they just didn’t have the resources. In any case, what we are left with is a visually run-of-the-mill anime. It’s not broken, but not interesting. The character models are pretty average and they lack consistency, becoming slightly melted versions of themselves during busier scenes.
There’s also a log of CG in this show that might rub some people the wrong way. I personally didn’t find it particularly offensive but it’s very obvious. I guess that’s sort of on-brand for a Sci-Fi show about AI.
Story & Characters
Ok so here is where the actual debate is going to take place. I guess I should tell you what I’m talking about. I had been following a few bloggers that actually enjoyed the series or at least the beginning of it, and I was under the impression that Vivy was generally well-liked by viewers. I stopped reading the episode reviews fairly early on when I decided I would be watching the series and didn’t want to spoil it. Especially as the time-travelling shenanigans seemed poised to drop some twists into the plot.
Now that I have seen it, I went back to my AniList and noticed that opinions were actually pretty split. A lot of the people I follow on Anilist gave it excellent, occasionally near-perfect scores, but a few who usually love the genre rated it unusually low. Only one person gave it an average rating. That’s fairly uncommon in my experience but I think I understand why.
I personally gave it an average rating as well but not because I thought the experience was overall average, rather I thought part of it was really good and part of it was not good at all.
For me, Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- was a good premise and a really interesting presentation. The whole, man vs machine thing isn’t exactly new and fresh, but to a classic sci-fi fan like myself, it’s the sort of premise that feels comfortable and I’m always willing to give it a chance. And I thought the presentation and pacing were fantastic.
The first episode basically demanded attention starting off with an enormous bang. The rest of the series is a step back in time, leading us back to those first horrific moments, or hopefully not. The story happens over a series of time jumps which give us a real sense of history and the passage of time both in the grand scheme and from Vivy’s personal view. A century’s worth of living. I truly enjoyed that format.
Moreover, the framing is awesome. We follow Vivy as she attempts to save mankind from the AI. Narratively, man=good, machine= evil (other). And that’s the story we expect. It’s the story we’ve seen dozens of times already. However, with only a few exceptions, humans are shown to be selfish, cruel and needlessly mean, while AI are self-sacrificing, altruistic and generally righteous. And this is right up to the end. The after-credit sequence even has scenes of people being just horrible.
And although it’s not always executed well, I do believe that dissonance is there on purpose. And I love it. It forces the audience to reexamine traditional science fiction tropes while embracing them at the same time. It also manages to pose a bunch of meaningful moral questions about the sanctity of life vs the sanctity of existence and the responsibility each implies without ever spelling them out. Letting each viewer basically think up their own questions, which is amazing and a big part of what’s so great about science fiction in the first place.
On the other hand, the characters are mostly surface-level and often fodder. I had a hard time caring about any of them which is a huge downside for this type of story. I actually only cared about the cube and mostly because he was a troll. At least I’m true to myself.
There are some breadcrumbs here and there that amount to nothing. Hints of grandfather paradox that just get dropped or Matsumoto calling an operation that is supposed to prevent AUI from gaining independence the singularity project… That’s weird… that’s suspicious. But it also just doesn’t lead anywhere. It felt at times like the writers were adding in sci-fi buzzwords for flair rather than anything of substance.
But what was the biggest impediment to my personal enjoyment was the dialogue. Vivy does get a lot of the story across through the visuals, and that story is pretty cool classic sci-fi stuff. However, when the show goes into dialogue exposition it’s more often than not, trite or saccharine to the point making the experience feel cheap to me. I will now remind you of my lack of patience for the dramatic.
I understand the split score. If you are a viewer that is more likely to enjoy a series for the ideas it invokes or for the structure of it, then Vivy is really a great show. If you are all about memorable characters and great dialogue, you are going to have a really tough time with it.
At the end of the day, I was happy I watched Vivy but I can’t say I want to see more.
You might like this anime if:
You really want to see all the classic sci-fi anime. You actually haven’t watched much classic sci-fi and this will be a chance to expose yourself to new tropes (in which case Vivy will be awesome!)
My favourite character:
Matsumoto the cube (or Teddy)
Fluorescent Dream (it makes sense in my head…)
- Every time Matsumoto reveals future events – tsk
- Every time anyone says “AI” – take a breath
- Every time we see blue blood – gasp!
- Every time an AI’s insignia changes colour – worry
- Every time Matsumoto and Vivy bicker – take a sip – finally
- Every time any AI talks about their mission – take a sip
- Every time we see Earth from space – wow
- Every time Vuvy performs – clap
- Every time anyone mentions TOAK – take a small sip
- Every time Vivy meets one of her sisters – take a sip
- Every time Vivy saves that ame guy, you know the one – take a sip
- Every time anyone mentions the singularity project – hmmmm
- Every time there’s a close-up of Vivy’s eyes – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.