Vividred Operation Episode 10: Light and Shadow
“Isshiki-san…it was you? From the beginning?”
“You’ve always stood in my way…you’re my enemy! You lied about not knowing who I am! How can I trust you?”
We all knew this was coming. Himawari noticing footage of Rei’s arrow acting as an energy boost coupled with Kenjirou’s realisation that there was an external influence powering up all the Alone pretty much cemented what was already the inevitable. With the government actually making an explicit attempt to trace the source of these arrows in line with their effect on the Manifestation Engine, it was fairly obvious that the Vividteam would be having their first direct encounter with Rei this episode. I was hoping any angst would be cushioned with Himawari and Aoi going to the source of the arrow, while Akane and Wakaba became Vividgreen and easily cut down the +1 powered Alone – which turned out to be hardly any problem at all despite Rei’s claims that she’d bet everything on this one Alone, knowing both its spawning time and place. Anyway, Akane just had to be the closest one, didn’t she? And with impeccable timing (as these events usually are) this had to happen right after their friendship bonding session, in which Rei actually opened up to Akane and became proper friends with her. The shock faces were already painful enough, yet now Rei thinks that Akane’s attempts at befriending her were all fake, in order to keep an eye on her – which we know is completely untrue. Someone that happy can’t possibly have underhanded intentions…but Rei doesn’t know that, and to lose the first friendship she’s forged (after losing everything in the past) must have completely crushed her. Oh, and she’s captured too.
NotHomu Rei has finally opened up to Akane this episode, and there was a lot of cute friendship bonding ^_^ Unlike the last time she visited, I don’t think her objective was to find out more about Kenjirou and the Engine, but instead to properly apologize to Akane for the tomato she crushed. Despite the cold exterior she’s put up for most of the show, she finally gave in to Akane’s persistence and she’s clearly very happy about doing so – it’s not like she’s an emotionless girl at heart, after all. Eating together, taking a bath together or even sleeping over are things that Rei’s probably wanted to do with friends for a long time, yet never got the chance to because of what happened to her home world. Looking back at it, that promise to come over to Akane’s house again really was quite bittersweet…and as for her statement that she doesn’t care who’s standing in her way any more – is that really true? Even if that person is your only real friend?
We also got more pieces of the puzzle handed to us over the whole concept of the Alones – their origin is from a far higher dimension compared to Earth, one that has intellect to the point where it can use telepathy and surpass the laws of time and space to spawn on Earth. With the Alones presumably not being the dominant species there, there’s a higher, unknown intellect sending the Alones, testing mankind to see whether it’s fit for using the Manifestation Engine. It’s true that there’s a lot of potential with the Engine, and in a Zetsuen no Tempest style move, they’d rather reset civilization and destroy the Engine rather than let mankind run amok as a dominant force with the power held by the Engine. That same intellect is the one offering to recreate the parallel world Rei lived in – at this point it doesn’t seem like a promise that they’ll keep, as Rei’s world will still have its own Engine, and pose the same threats to the higher intellect that mankind does in Akane’s world now. Anyway, Rei has more pressing problems first – aside from being captured, she’s only got 3 arrows left, meaning she can only power up an Alone twice now as she’ll die if she uses up the last one. I’m hoping for a future turn-around where an arrow gets used on Akane, powering her up to Vividred and thwarting any plans the evil bird has for Akane’s world.