Vivy: Fluoride Eye’s Song is a sci-fi, action/thriller with musical elements. It is an anime orignal story which was produced by Wit Studio. Wit Studio previous works have included great anime series such as Attack on Titan, Vinland Saga and Owari No Sereph. As a result of Wit Studio’s previous works I was keen on giving this a go hoping this would be another hidden gem and for the most part I was not disappointed.
The basic premise for Vivy Fluoride is that in 100 years’ time an advanced form of AI will destroy humanity and it is Vivy’s mission to save this apocalyptic future from occurring. Whilst this may sound cliché there is a twist to this basic formula. Instead of this series typically involving a human protagonist the creators have opted to make the saviours an AI and robot.
The anime starts with us briefly seeing the apocalyptic events before it brings us back 100 years in the past. Here it is up to Vivy and her aide Matsumoto to stop these future events from transpiring by changing events at key moments throughout history. What makes this series enjoyable and engaging is two-fold; during each major arc we get significant character developments in Vivy's personality who is always questioning her role, motivations and what her true desires are. It is her desires and her subsequent conflicts in goals that largely dictate her later actions. That may sound contrived but it is all handled well.
The second pull of this series is that there are often unintended consequences to actions both good and bad with the decisions Vivy and Matsumoto make. What transpires in one major arc often has repercussions in future events and the series makes it a thing to highlight that noble or less noble acts can lead to unexpected outcomes. To add to all this the differing, and often conflicting, attitudes of a kind hearted Vivy and the more pragmatic Matsumoto makes the audience ponder who is the character with the correct attitude. Throughout the series I was conflicted, sometimes siding with Vivy other times with Matsumoto. This character dynamic as well as the overall nature of the plot does a good job of keeping viewers engaged as we are always left guessing what will happen next both with the characters and the overall story.
With that said there are points in this series that will deter some viewers. There are downer episodes where despite the best efforts of our main protagonists events still transpire into bad, sometimes tragic outcomes. Whilst one may argue that these setbacks maybe seen to heighten the drama of later episodes, I think the nature and magnitude is sufficient that I could see people becoming upset particularly as there is a point in the series where it seems there is one bad event after another. Also, whilst the ending did have a clear resolution; I could see the end being problematic to some. I found it good but it is not a fairy tale type ending so if you like Disney endings, umm walk away?
This being a sci-fi series I can also see people being disappointed in the fact this series does not delve too deeply in how this future society runs and what its societal norms are. It does deal with the overall relationship of AI and man but again this could have been explored in more detail so if you are looking at this series to produce some kind of societal commentary like Psycho Pass you will be left wanting. After viewing this whole series, I see this as ultimately a 100-year journey of Vivy and how she develops as an AI during those years. If you want to get the maximum enjoyment out of this series, I feel this is the lens on which to view Vivy Fluoride.
Looking at the more technical aspects of the series I would have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with the overall animation particularly as it was made by Wit Studio who have done some fantastically anime series like Attack on Titan, Kabaneri and Great Pretender. The notable exception here would be the various still shots placed throughout the series that always conveyed the mood of the scenes well.
OP is good and a few episodes even incorporated into the episodes themselves. Seeing as a big theme is music the OP could leave some viewers slightly disappointed however there are numerous tracks throughout this anime and most of them are of a good quality. It is just somewhat unfortunate the ending is very forgettable.
To summarise, I would recommend this series; it has a sound plot, Vivy is a character you can easily root for and with further character developments found throughout you will always be left wondering what will happen next to the plot and characters. The main stumbling blocks I see is due to the nature of the time jumping plot the cast is limited and we see relatively little outside the main cast. Because of these limitations this ultimately becomes a tale about Vivy's journey through time and the various events and characters that occur serve as a prop for Vivy's character development. That can be taken as a positive or negative depending on your viewpoint but to me the overall series was written well so I saw this direction in a more positive light. Animation wise it is a mixed bag so if you are expecting stunning visuals you will be underwhelmed. Vivy is one of the better series in the spring season and 2021 so far.
Story 8 – Plot is strong for the most part. It starts strong and gets better at the beginning but there are downers and a relative lull before the final conclusion. Ending was good not great and will likely put some people off.
Characters 9 – Vivy is a strong protagonist with likeable traits that is developed in a good and believable way. The contrast between her view and Matsumoto only serve to heighten the tension and drama throughout the series. Secondary characters do not get the same treatment but still pretty solid.
Animation 6 – Main weakness of the series. Fairly average for the most part with some good stills inserted here and there. Opening is good but ending is forgettable.
Overall 8.5 – A hit for the most part and is a series I would recommend. Most anime viewers will like this and it could appeal to an audience even outside the anime community. Not the best in terms of Wit Studio but a solid entry nonetheless.