Vividred Operation Episode 4: Promise
“You said you’d come back for me…promises really are worthless…”
After Akane accidentally breaks Himawari’s camera, she goes along with Aoi and Wakaba to Himawari’s house to apologize, where they find out about her love for factories and engineering. After managing to persuade Himawari to watch the sunset with them at the Manifestation Engine’s streamer plant, an Alone attacks, causing Himawari to attempt to save the collapsing plant.
Ahh, I’d forgotten how much fun watching Vividred Operation was, after holding off watching it until today. We were properly introduced to the fourth and final girl of our mahou shoujo cast – Shinomiya Himawari, who is a genius with electronics and a hikikomori who shuts herself in at home all day. Why she ended up becoming a recluse wasn’t really explored, though after the flashback incident from this episode I can guess why she doesn’t value relationships and interacting with people that much. All Himawari did was help someone else out of genuine kindness, and she ended up losing out because of it, and was probably ostracised from her classmates at school. While we all know that Akane is a perfectly nice person and would never go back on a promise if she could help it, Akane returning to help Himawari out of the rubble must have really meant a lot to her, and proved that she’s a true friend, instead of a superficial one.
Himawari had already found out about Akane, Aoi and Wakaba’s secret, so it was kind of inevitable that she’d eventually join the cast, after hacking into all that confidential information on the Alones and the various attacks they’ve been carrying out. I do approve of her genuine desire to fight – perhaps the key that appeared this time is properly justified in the wider context of the episode, as Himawari’s beloved streamer plant was being attacked by the Alone. She actually really loves factories, engineering and anything to do with the Manifestation Engine, and fighting along with the other girls in a Palette Suit will allow her to protect what she considers precious to her. With that in mind, the weapon that she generates really suits her – the Naked Collider, which seems to be a sort of reflecting shield. That’s the first real shield-type device we’ve seen in the show – while Strike Witches had a natural ability for witches to generate shields, Akane, Aoi and Wakaba either deflect beams directly with their weapons or just dodge.
I’m wondering where all these Alones are coming from, and what their motive behind destroying the Manifestation Engine is. The fact that Kuroki Rei is powering them up already provides more of a human contact with the Alones than we’ve ever gotten in other shows where an alien life-form attacks Earth (take Freezing, or Muv-Luv Alternative for example). Rei will probably directly run into Akane and her friends soon, especially as the cast is now complete. Chances are, we’re heading for a nasty childhood flashback or some sort of incident in the past surrounding Rei, that eventually led her to want to aid the Alones and destroy the Engine.
Also, now that we’ve been introduced to all of the cast, Yellow is definitely the best ^_^