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We finally see Kuroki Rei’s (aka Alone Cheerleader) side of the story. Handed a chance to save her parents and old life by a talking crow, she helps it in its attempts to destroy the Manifestor Engine. After a botched solo assault on the plant, she is stranded and rescued by Akane, who nurses her back to health while trying to befriend her. While rebuffed, Akane resolves to keep trying after some advice from her hospitalized mother.

Right After the Credits:

A very interesting episode for an antagonistic protagonist. I loved how they showed Kuroki’s different faces. The accompanying  music was also gut-wrenching at moments, setting a somber mood for the episode. Still, the ass shots are just as ridiculous as ever. The rationale behind stuffing a loaded pistol into one’s underwear eludes me…

Sad, sad Kuroki

Lucky guy......

Lucky guy……

Ass befitting her name, here comes our stock “dark” character for Vividred-Kuroki Rei! Besides bringing some pessimistic counterbalance to all the optimism, Kuroki also carries a dark past with her. It’s not spelt out, but her parents seemingly died in a fire. And if the soul-crushing solitude was not depressing enough, she has to contend with a sadistic crow while trying to bring them back. Kuroki’s plight and desperation really pulled at my heartstrings, but I’m with Akane on this one. Ignoring the contrived scenario, Akane’s advice is sound-no matter how noble or desperate your cause is, harming innocents is unacceptable.

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Still, there’s a lot of holes that this episode didn’t manage to fill completely. We know that Crow has the power to summon Alones, but has he shown his reality-altering powers at all? Without definite evidence, he could well be lying through his beak. Plus, there’s still a shroud hanging over Kuroki’s “unique” abilities. Unlike the tech-infused Vividred  squad, Kuroki relies on a (Crow) bow infused with what could be called “magic”. Is there some sort of link between her innate talents and that of the Vividred crew? I definitely think so; coincidences are next to impossible in anime. Watch out for a VividBlack Kuroki soon.

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Moving on with the mysteries, just what happens if the Alone “feathers” run out? I suspect that Kuroki might face a painful end, judging from the awful wringing Crow gave her. And why 10 feathers? Any thoughts on this?

On a less speculative note, I wonder how our moody maiden got all her weapons and training. In gun-strict Japan (assuming it hasn’t overhauled its laws), getting a gun and the training as a minor should be impossible! And without at least a background in gymnastics, hopping all over the security bots would end badly for her…..

It would've been more poignant if it had been a normal-looking key, but I guess the fancy design has its merits.

It would’ve been more poignant if it had been a normal-looking key, but I guess the fancy design has its merits.

Anyway, Vividred has benefited from this injection of pessimism from Kuroki. From this point onward, at least we know that something major is afoot. Whether there are more twists ahead or a ramp-up to the finale, we’ll just have to wait and watch. Well, tune in next week for the first true story arc of Vividred.

"Cold" characters getting flustered are the best!

“NO PREVIEW THIS WEEK!?”

Remarks, counter-arguments and alternative viewpoints-I’d love to hear what you think of this post, no matter how brief. And don’t worry, I’ll work hard to answer within 24 hours. =) Apologies in advance if I don’t. XD