Once again, two anime that could scarcely be less alike.
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
Well that was fun, I wasn’t expecting that. These days, I prefer to go into new seasonal shows with as little info as possible – if the synopsis sounds like it could potentially be up my alley, I’ll likely give it a go, and only bother to look up the staff behind a show if I’m undecided on whether to bother with the premiere. While Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song isn’t exactly a title that rolls off the tongue, I was expecting something… well, a lot more music-y and a loss less dark. However, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t end up investigating further beforehand in this case, since having the director behind shows like Guilty Crown (man, what a mess) and some of Shingeki no Kyojin (nope) and the creator behind Re:Zero wouldn’t have filled me with an overwhelming sense of confidence.
Credit where it’s due though, the opening scene got my attention pretty much immediately, and while “saving the world from A.I.s gone rogue” isn’t exactly a new concept, this episode was executed with enough flair that I’m genuinely intrigued to see where things go. The violence, while definitely explicit enough to give me a jolt in the first couple of minutes especially, doesn’t go overboard for me into ‘purely for shock value’ territory (at least, not yet), and the pacing over the rest of the introduction to the story was fast enough to keep me invested while not giving me the impression of being rushed or slap-dash. Plus, there’s some really good voice acting going on, especially from our two main leads, both extremely talented veterans who clearly know precisely what beats to hit. If I have any particular complaint, it’s that I don’t especially care for the character designs – they’re just kind of there for me, without doing much in the way of making a big impression one way or another – but given how pleasantly surprised I was by the quality of the storytelling, this isn’t a biggie for me. Assuming Vivy doesn’t get bogged down in the music part of its genre (experience telling me that this is very rarely a good thing when it comes to anime, mostly because the music is nearly always fairly awful), I see plenty of potential here.
Note: As of this writing, I have not yet seen episode 2, which was released directly following episode 1.
Dragon, Ie wo Kau
I honestly don’t have a whole lot to say about this one. I mean, it’s fine and… well, that’s really about it. It’s a little cute and a little funny, but mostly just fine, in a “this could probably make a decent children’s book kind of way.” My primary reaction throughout most of the episode was polite boredom – I understood the jokes, and there wasn’t even anything wrong with their timing, but other than lampooning common high fantasy tropes, especially of JRPGs, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of material to work with here in the first place. As a result, while I did smile a couple of times, the jokes just didn’t strike me as all that funny – or if they were, they got old far too quickly for me to want to watch an entire 12 episodes of this. Assuming none of the comedy gets too raunchy, I would probably be happy recommending Dragon, Ie wo Kau as a mildly entertaining kid-friendly show, but as for appealing to an older target audience, I’m not sure it’s going to have all that much staying power.