If it's our mission to serve humankind, then for me, the only member of humankind is Master!Elizabeth
As a regular consumer of media featuring themes of robots or anything related to AI in general, I must say Vivy Flourite took me by surprise through the sheer amount of ballsiness it has in store. I mean, from a logical perspective, there sure as hell are a ton of problems regarding plot coherency.
However, the trade-off here is that it has managed to set the bar so high to the point that I was virtually forced to overlook all of the implausible developments throughout the show and be occupied by the thematic value and atmospheric deliverables that it offers.
Episode 4, in particular, truly is the one shining example of what embodies a "kino" anime episode, for it has:
- Great pacing
- Superb character interaction and development (Vivy 😔)
- Subtle and effective side characters polishing (Estella/Elizabeth)
- Extremely tangible execution (the directing is really good ngl)
- Eye-popping action sequences (the hype was real 🔥🔥)
- Magnificent sound design (BLADE RUNNER 2049 VIBE)
- Insane voice acting (and effects)
- And a very, very fitting conclusion that both captured the heart of the core theme in this story arc and, through the help of a banging soundtrack (AAAAAAA), further accentuated the dramatic overtone which has already engulfed the entire episode from the start
While Vivy is no doubt the best character of this anime so far (though I doubt there'll be any newcomers in later episodes that can topple her), the Estella/Elizabeth sisters stomped this episode for me.
For one thing, the theme presented in this episode isn't anything new nor groundbreaking.
That said, I have to give it to the creator for going out of their way to experiment rarely seen concepts in anime, let alone in this time and age where all we get every season is Isekai and light novel adaptations (not to trash on them but I just prefer original anime in general).
Anyhow, the main idea behind Estella and Elizabeth might seem trivial on the surface but, personally, I find it to be very thought-provoking in the setting of Vivy Flourite.
Sure, robots are made with a programmatic purpose set in stone, nothing more, nothing less.
But what if there's something else behind that?
It might sound like hack and shit because, well, no way AI can have a mind of their own, right? Still, I beg to differ, as it's not far-fetched for them to make "question", or at the least, re-validate their original purpose, which is to have a mission.
That is exactly when Elizabeth the "defective" comes to shine after crawling out of the scrapyard which had long severed her from true freedom.
The way she bent the amendment for robots to her own "belief" is just simply mind-blowing and a daring move from the creator.
On top of that, it gives her the adequate substance to blur the line between a boring/disposable villain to a compelling tragic anti-hero of the story.
As for Estella, what can I say apart from being too pure for this mildly depressing series?
I mean, she might haven't done much throughout this arc, but I legit can't get enough of her interaction with the other sisters, especially Vivy.
The way she stood firm to her "ideal" and sent her sister off without hesitation just simply radiates that strong sisterhood energy, which is also a very rarely seen trope in anime.
In the end, what really hits home here is the fact that both Estella and Elizabeth got to do the things that they wanted to do.
Again, humanizing AI or robots is a rather overused trope but regardless, it's just indescribably melancholic to see them taking off the stage like that.
One can argue that the lack of explosive flashbacks or screentime for the two sisters might render them nothing more than plot devices for the story, but I digress.
Not everything necessarily needs to be laid out in front of our screen to have actual meaning. With the excellent use of eye and facial expression or even a simple gesture, much can be deciphered regarding certain characters as the story continues.
Apart from that, there're always callbacks from previous scenes at pivotal moments to give them actual purpose and meaning, which is a major plus to me since I hate random throwback and pointless build-up the most.
It still gives goosebumps when I think about what happened at the endgame of this episode.
Even though everything accelerated at pretty ridiculous pacing, I could not help but feel overwhelmed by the constant shower of well-handled expositions and revelations, which all add up to the grand scheme of things.
And god f***ing dammit, I gotta get all of the OST and BGM after all of them are released because I swear I kept getting chills from even just a casual chatting scene lel.