Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song-
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Vivy -Fluorite Eye's Song- ?
It's odd when you think about it, but this is probably the most straightforward episode of Vivy we've gotten so far. It's focused almost solely on the plot—i.e., figuring out what the hell triggered the robot apocalypse and what our heroes can do, if anything, to stop it. What this means in practice, however, is a lot of scenes of AI murdering people in brutal ways followed by a lot of dialogue.
We also get introduced to Yui, Yugo's granddaughter and the head of a Toak splinter faction. Yui's faction doesn't seem to follow the “All AI must be destroyed” creed but rather a principle of “Let's see if we can talk it out and then go for the AI genocide option if that doesn't work out." While the distinction between the two ideals may seem moot with the robot apocalypse upon them, it allows Yui's group to work with an AI we've met before: Elizabeth.
This Elizabeth isn't quite the one we met on the Sunrise space station; rather, she is a backup made just before that mission. While restoring backups like this was certainly impossible back then, 85 years of technological advancement have allowed her to be put in a new body.
What little character development we get this episode is centered around her. The Elizabeth we knew before was willing to not only kill thousands of humans for the sake of her master but even attack him to save his life. This Elizabeth, despite retaining all the fanaticism, never faced that moment of truth. Rather, upon waking up, her deceased master redefined her mission, instructing her to protect the others in Toak. However, given Elizabeth's established personality, it's no surprise she has interpreted this as protecting Yui first and foremost.
It's interesting that Vivy chooses to sidestep the truth about what happened on Sunrise. If she wanted, she could have simply shared her memories of the incident directly with Elizabeth. The fact that Vivy does not do this—opting instead for a vague-yet-optimistic explanation—shows that she has grown far more than she thinks she has. She may worry that she doesn't know how to sing with all her heart, but she certainly knows how to protect the hearts of those like her.
Near the end of the episode, we finally get around to the elephant in the room—or rather, the three elephants in the room. Vivy, Elizabeth, and Matsumoto have not been affected by whatever has caused AI around the world to go all genocidal. As for Elizabeth, she hasn't gotten updates from Archive's server at all since her resurrection. One quick search reveals that other AI who are the same have likewise not gone berserk, and at that very moment, Vivy feels herself pulled into Archive and told that the system has decided it's time for human extinction.
Dun! Dun! DUUUUUUUN!
• I guess we can assume that Matsumoto is sane because he has kept Archive from seeing him when he talks to Vivy.
• I'm wondering if Vivy is immune because she is an AI who has chosen her own mission, thus preventing Archive from simply replacing it with “kill all humans”...or perhaps Archive simply doesn't want to control Vivy like the others.
• Another question is why the AI tried to kill Vivy after she saved that random human guy. I guess there is no “AI must not kill AI” rule. Also if Archive was waiting for Vivy, maybe a “no kill” order would have been a good idea.
• So all the AI are singing Vivy's song after all—though I think it's in a minor key to make it all creepy. (I still think her singing it will save the day in the end.)
• I'm glad we got a few shots of the surviving humans who had managed to hide away from the death bots.
• What really got my attention this episode is that Osamu didn't send his newly-built Matsumoto back in time. This is probably for the best as the next episode preview implies that Archive has been watching Vivy and Matsumoto's actions over the past 100 years—and perhaps reading Vivy's memories each time she has connected to Archive. Who knows what Archive could have done in a timeline where Vivy and Matsumoto's actions were already a known variable.
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