• 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 does have some stunning eyes

Production

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.

I actually only took pretty screencaps so you’ll have to take my word for it…

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.

giant kitties rock but giant puppies? WTF

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.

you don’t know, maybe she was kicking a puppy right before…

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.

to that flair isn’t important

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.

love this guy

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)

Suggested drink:

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
admittedly this is a damn cool Matrix reference

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.

20 thoughts

  1. I loved this show so much ! It was a nice breath of fresh air for me as new sci fi anime is hard to come by. There were many scenes that were beautifully animated and made me remember watching really older scifi shows like Ghost in the Shell (original movie) Apple Seed , and I loved it . The story was also pretty good even though for me the ending was very bittersweet for me . I may have cried , and my fiancé was pretty sad too .

    1. You find? I just started watching EWureka Seven, now that has some impressive amounts of exposition. If you haven’t seen it you might like it

          1. Oh, good memories. I really loved the Renton – Holland dynamic. And there’s some cracking music. Although the show lost me in its last stretch.

            Whatever, hope you enjoy the rest!

            1. I hope it lost you because it was too happy and saccharine for you… I love the names in this show. Both Renton and Holland are fantastic names.

            2. Too true. I have a soft spot for Stoner, as a fellow comrade. And Moondoggie is the kind of name I’d randomly remember on my deathbed, to add some levity to my inevitable demise. Funnily enough, my favorite characters were blessed with the most boilerplate names — Ray & Charles. On the flip side, a link with the eponymous soul legend may have endowed them with great musical taste.

      1. Y’know, I’m jealous of folks who dish out 3s & 9s with the same ease as they do 6s… Whereas the large majority of my ratings hover around 6. Mild satisfaction seems a signature of sorts.

        Your average lies in the 7-8 range, do you consider these shows good, or merely middling?

        1. well I give anime 2 points for being anime because I simply find that just about any story and show I instantly enjoy more in that format. So if you translate it my average probably is 5-6. I also have a very bad habit of trying to match the curve .

  2. I’d have given it an avarage rating, too. In terms of SF, neither the time travelling nor the AI aspect were anything to write home about. The time travel story line is really straightforward; I kept expecting a twist, but none came. And the AI aspect? It felt like a regular Pinnochio story to me. The anime version goes like this: you make memories until the switch flips and you find you’ve had a heart all along. It’s the song in this case, that demonstrates the moment it comes together. The plot was fast paced and entertaining, so it was – in the end – an okay watch. (I agree with you about the show’s look, too.)

    I didn’t love it, but I liked it well enough while it lasted.

  3. I personally liked Vivy and when reviewing this show thought it was one of the better shows of the spring 2021 anime season. Saying that I will say admit that Vivy defintely had a stronger start than finish. The show had a lot of early promise but there is a point when things got too bogged down on self exposition that did not serve a lot of purpose. Moreover the final resolutions was not the greatest so it did leave something to desired there also. If you want a recommendation I would say watch Odd Taxi. That was a really good show.

    Back to Vivy, the other disappointing point was the level of animation which hit extra hard when you consider the past exploits of Wit Studio. If this was better it really would have elevated the enjoyment of the show considering the sci-fi backdrop. On the whole though I found it was a strong series but it had its flaws which prevented me from rating this as a classic. Still a worthwhile watch especially if sci-fi is your thing. It is not like we get a ton of good sci-fi these days.

    Also Vivy is a very likeable character. Her empathy and will to do her best is admirable and inspiring. She may not get things right and even got confused at one point but she had a strong will, does not take s*it and will do what she thinks is best. I like girls like that and she is easily relateable. In fact I would say she was a big reason I wanted to watch this show. If it wasn’t for Vivy I would have rated this as an average series. Got to give props to Vivy!

    1. I think that was the review consensus. Like I said, most of what I read was fairly glowing which is why I had such high expectations. I have to admit Vivy herself was a bit flat for me, I thought she could have used more complexity but then again, there’s nothing wrong with a Deku type good guy either

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