This was an anime that almost completely slipped under my radar. I had heard a bit about it, but most of the conversations this season didn’t surrounded it. Does that mean it is a possible sleeper hit, or people didn’t like it? Well I was in the market for another anime to watch and I came across this one. After the cut let’s take a dive into original anime series: Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song-
Anime original series, meaning shows that do not have source material to draw from are a pretty mixed bag in the industry. While you do have some industry defining, genre setting classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop, there are also a lot that have fallen to the wayside. Just in the last few years, we’ve seen anime that had either reached too high (Wonder Egg Priority), are too derivative of previous work (Darling in the Franxx) or simply didn’t know what they wanted to be (Yasuke). As great and legendary as some of the home-runs have been, there have been just as many, if not more, shows that didn’t cut it. And while the jury is still out on Fluorite Eye’s Song , but what I can say is that it is probably the strongest anime original I’ve seen in years.
If you have ever watched any science fiction involving robots, either anime or regular film, then you’ve see the broad strokes of what Fluorite Eye’s Song is trying to do. Set in the near distance future, the titular Diva, or Vivy if you go by the name a little girls gives her, is the first human-looking A.I who is giving the mission to make the world happy with her singing. Starting off small on a theme park stage, Vivy’s peaceful prime directive is upended when she is visited by Matsumoto, another A.I who tells her that she has to help prevent events that will lead to a war between humans and A.I. Armed with this knowledge and determined to changed the future, we follow Vivy over the course of one-hundred years as she attempts to fix the future over and over again, and also find out what it means to ‘sing from the heart.’
Now again, what is on display has been done to death multiple times. Pick any famous robot vs human story, and themes and ideas in Fluorite Eye’s Song have been shown there. Throughout the thirteen episodes, we see ideas like A.I suicide, A.I and human marriage, A.I’s saving the world, and how the public reacts to all of that. All of the usual trigger points that would make things end going full Terminator. What makes this show stand out though is how just how complete everything feels. One of the problems of adapted anime material, regardless of its quality is that there is a real possibility that you’ll never get the full story adapted. Waiting for a second season that may never come, whether due to money, or low Blu-ray sales, has been the death-knell for many popular anime, and often viewers are resorted to buying the light novels or manga to see the rest (kinda as they intend). Fluorite Eye’s Song does not have that problem being an anime original. Despite being penned by the author of ReZero, It is a complete and total story, with a beginning, middle, and conclusion. It is a wholly finished work, and by the time you reach the final scenes, you feel that you’ve watched that story, and won’t be scouring the internet to see what happens next. That is a wonderful feeling, especially for myself whose anime watching mostly consists of the aforementioned adaptational work. But what really made this show stand out, was the feeling that everyone on staff was giving it their all.
Everything about this show, the animation, the voice acting, the action, the story. All of it feels that the entire staff was on board. That they showed up, gave 110% of their effort, left everything on the table, and then threw it out on the world. Fluorite Eye’s Song has the markings of passion project and one that was able to impress the powers that be to give it the time and space it needs. I didn’t see or feel any sense of cut corners, rushed sense of pacing (except perhaps near the conclusion), or that anyone on board was slacking off. Such high level works are often reserved for top shelf adaptations, but to see it on display for something like this was damn impressive, and really went a long way to endear what is at heart, a very straight forward robot story.
If I could sum up Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- then it would be simply this: it’s good science fiction. A wonderfully told story that doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel, but instead uses what has been done before to craft an anime that has been polished and shined to the highest quality. Like with Kakeguri before, once I started this show, I literally couldn’t put it down, and I was swept up in the adventure of Vivy and Matsumoto in a way I haven’t felt since Steins;Gate or YU-NO. There is just something here that will pull a viewer in and not let you go, and best of all, by the time it is over, you will feel wholly and completely satisfied that you’ve watched a complete story. I don’t know if it will end up winning anime of the year, but right now Fluorite Eye’s Song is the only one that has a real chance to take the crown away from Jobless Reincarnation. Time will tell of course, but for now, if you are looking for a good science fiction story that does what it needs to do and looks great doing it, you can’t go wrong with this. You may think differently, but you should make the time to watch it so you can reach that conclusion.
It’s just good science fiction.