Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song: It Was So Close!
Every new season, I observe the same ritual: The Selecting of the Shows. I’m not alone in this, of course. Other bloggers have even shared their decision-making process. GEATSXSHOGUN at Fortress William posted about how he chooses what series to review. Irina at I Drink and Watch Anime posted about what she looks for in an episode. I haven’t said a lot about how I chose which series to review because it’s embarrassingly simple. But it looks like I’m going to have to share it in spite of that. That’s because a series just debuted that made me rethink my process. More specifically, it made me realize that there are some shows I just can’t review. Like Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song. And it really bums me out.
What I Look for in a Series
I’m about to tell you the two things I look for in a series. I can’t ask you not to laugh, though I really want to! But if you’re expecting some kind of complex work-flow with multiple decision points, please do be prepared for disappointment.
The first thing I look for? Beauty. I’d like to say it’s nothing “shallow” like that. But, I’d be lying. I look for a beautiful character. That beauty could strike me because of an expression, like Tohru’s face when she looked at Kyou as he handed her a flower in the final season, episode 2. It could simply be that I find a character very attractive, like Miia from Monster Musume. Or, it might be beauty in motion, like Diamond from Land of the Lustrous in episode 3.
Or it could be a combination, like Vivy, Matsumoto perched on her shoulder, as she leapt from a falling building in Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song, episode 2. Vivy is beautiful. The shot was breathtaking. But by that point in the episode, I knew there was no way I could not review the show.
This moment should have been everything I love about anime. It almost was. Capture from the Funimation stream.
The second thing I look for is some indication, however faint, that the story might be interesting. Sometimes that takes the form of a studio or writer’s reputation. Or, it might take the form of apparent production values. Both are just indicators, but they help. Another great source is reviews from fellow bloggers, like this post from Karandi from 100 Word Anime called Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song Episode 1 Impressions. Again, Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song looked strong. Even after watching the first three episodes, I think Karandi’s review nailed it. The show has significant promise.
Yet, I can’t review it.
Why I Can’t Review Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song
It’s Dr. Stone’s fault. Well, not really. But Dr. Stone represents the antithesis of why I can’t review Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song. Instead of a long explanation about why that’s the case, let me give you the instant in which I knew I could not review this series.
In episode one, Matsumoto summed up the mission: (12:02): “My objective is… long story short… Over the next 100 years, I want you to join me in destroying the AIs.”
Here’s the problem: The Genie’s out of the bottle. The toothpaste’s out of the tube. Ain’t neither of them going back in. It’s like trying to erase knowledge. That’s not how real life works. A show basing its entire premise on an impossibility means right out of the gate, my suspension of disbelief is hosed.
Look at the quality of the art here! It’s killing me that I can’t review such a beautiful science fiction series! But I can’t lie to myself. I’d eventually catch me. Capture from the Funimation stream.
Do you think that maybe it is actually possible to discard knowledge? Well, then I have to invoke Dr. Stone. The answer isn’t to hide from knowledge. The answer is never to suppress knowledge. It’s to push through knowledge and see what’s on the other side. Scared of AIs? Fine! Then let’s fine a way to channel our new creation’s energies in a positive way. Fix the problem; don’t suppress it.
Not buying it? Or maybe it’s not a persuasive argument? Then here’s my bottom line. This is my “Thus Sayeth the Me” statement: The way forward is through knowledge. Every step away from learning is a step back towards the cave. Worse, it’s a step away from the stars. And I ain’t going to accept that.
Turns out I can’t review series that conflicts fundamentally with my philosophy of life.
It Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Feel Regret
I really wanted to review this show. I liked practically everything about it: the costumes, the concept, the characters, and some of the themes. But with the core mission being to destroy the AIs… Any attempt on my part to celebrate this series would be dishonest. I might think my writing sucks, but it sucks honestly. In every post, I’m going to give you my authentic perspective. You’re going to get the best I can give. You could tell I wasn’t being honest. I don’t want to put you through that.
Now, there’s a chance that the mission is a feint. Vivy’s heart might rewrite the mission. She might succeed not only in saving humanity, but AIs as well. If she does that, I’ll write a special series review in honor of her achievement. That would be kinda cool, wouldn’t it? Her saving both species; not necessarily my series review, though I’ll make it as cool as possible!
Have you wanted to review a series, but found you couldn’t? I’d love to hear about your experience! Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments!