Vividred Operation Episode 8: Even More Colorful than Today
“If any of us misses our timing, we’re all as good as dead.”
With Akane shot down, both the Alone and the Vividteam have retreated, with the former morphing into an egg-shaped cocoon in order to undergo healing while the Vividteam and the army contemplate on their next course of action. With the only alternative option being to detonate a large number of army bombs in order to destroy Tokyo, hopefully taking the Alone with it, the Vividteam decide to mount a second assault on the cocoon, taking advantage of a small gap in its defences to carry out their plan.
They left everything pretty open-ended last week, so I did consider the thought that the remaining girls would try to revenge-kill the Alone after Akane was shot down, but it seems like they retreated immediately afterwards, which is the first time the girls have actually lost to an Alone in battle. Akane was admitted into hospital and was carted straight towards the operating room, and rightly so – even if most of her injuries were taken in by the Palette Suit, there’s no way someone can be directly hit by a beam powerful enough to destroy tanks and not sustain many injuries, especially as it was a beam powered up by one of Rei’s arrows.
The range of forms the different types of Alones can take continues to expand each week, and now it’s assumed a creepy egg-shaped form, presumably regenerating from the damage it sustained during the last battle, as well as evolving into something far more monstrous inside. It must be shocking for the Vividteam to sustain a casualty like Akane, especially when everything’s been going peachy so far – an Alone shows up, the Vividteam take it out, and perform a Docking if Rei happens to be around to power it up. That’s been the standard progression of all the battles so far, and even my dark, twisted mind didn’t really consider the thought of the girls losing – and evidently, neither did Kenjirou. Now without Akane, Docking becomes impossible, and the Vividteam’s chances of success get even lower than they were already. Things were going too well, they got complacent, and now the army resort to requesting the large-scale detonation of all 109 of their special bombs outside the 500m electromagnetic radius, which has a dismally low chance of killing the Alone yet will guarantee the destruction of an area as wide as Tokyo. As devastating as this seems, I have to admit that it’s preferable to the Alone reaching the Manifestation Engine and releasing all its energy in an instant, causing even more desruction as well as cutting off the entire world’s energy source. Problems like these are exactly the reason why it’s not preferable to rely on a single generator source when dealing with something as vital as energy – even a small problem like the accident 7 years ago can have really adverse effects.
I’m trying my best to sympathise with Rei, who seems to still be in conflict with her feelings yet isn’t outwardly guilty at indirectly shooting down Akane – the one person who’s stretched out her hand to Rei more than anyone else has. I’m disappointed that she hasn’t shown much remorse, though part of the reason why she’s so fixated on succeeding, apart from the bird’s constant pressure might be that she’s now one step closer to destroying the Manifestation Engine than she ever was, and wants to grasp at that opportunity all she can – to the point that she’d use up a second arrow on the same Alone to prevent the Vividteam from destroying it. That battle was actually pretty tense, and despite the background music hinting at victory, I was aware that this particular Alone had gotten one over the Vividteam in the past, and that everyone was taking the danger risk very seriously, with Himawari-chan in particular being vulnerable while having to hold open the gap needed for Wakaba to stuff the bomb inside. Though this is no Urobuchi Gen work, both of them would have died had Aoi not activated Akane’s weapon, and brought to life her continued desire to fight. Aoi seems to be taking a more central role in the plot, as it was her that both received Akane’s wings and encountered Rei outside the hospital, where they had a decent conversation without revealing too much about themselves. At this point they might be encouraging each other on (oh, the irony) but how far will that go once the Vividteam discover an increasingly desperate Rei’s identity and role in the Alone attacks?