Diva, the first autonomous AI is set to perform on a stage. Her mission, her program is to “Sing from the Heart”. But she mightily struggles with this vague idea, as one imagines AI would. But still she sings, hoping to move to the biggest stage in the AI amusement park named NiaLand. Not everything is bleak for Diva, because she actually has a fan, a young girl named Momoka. It is Momoka who will give her the name Vivy, which will be henceforth her name.
Soon she collapses on stage and meets an AI from the future, 100 years in the future exact. This AI, named Matusmoto, has some dire news. More AI like Diva/Vivy will be created and keep improving, all until one day a war between the machines and the humans brings humanity to the brink of extinction. Vivy is reluctant at first, worrying more about fulfilling her mission of singing from the heart, but reluctantly agrees to join Matsumoto and help him change the future, event by event.
Throughout her long life Vivy becomes many things, but the most interesting aspect for me was her retirement. After becoming the biggest star in NiaLand, maybe even the whole world, she retires. But its not your usual star retirement, living in a huge villa in some exotic location. She becomes an exhibit in an AI Museum. Really reminded me of celebrities getting old. They become things you roll out every now and again on talk show or what not. Things that are sort of past their label date… But, Vivy is also different. It is in her retirement that she makes the shift from performer to artist. She realizes that to truly sing from the heart, one needs to create something of her own. She struggles mightily with it, with the creation of her first very own song. This song will become a milestone for AI’s everywhere, even a battle cry. Her struggle to create, but intense need to create are what makes her so human to me. She finally finds her “Will” and the song is supposed to become the “Representation” of her “Will”.
This is by far one of the best animated shows of the last decade or more. First off, every episode has a few scenes or shots where the animation changes. We go from your usual animation style and fuse it with what seems like porcelain. The jaw dropping beautiful closeup shots of Vivy or other AI crafted almost as Porcelain dolls are mesmerizing.
Secondly, the action scenes are top notch. The way the “camera moves” during fight scenes is superb, very similar to the way 3D Gear scenes in Attack on Titan are animated. The choreography and fluidity of movement are some of the best ever, and my favorite since the first season of Garou the animation. There is kinetic logic to the movements combined with wonderful choreography.
The ending of most episodes delivers quite the emotional gut punch. Director deserves so much praise here as well, combing music with equal lyrical and tonal music with some of the biggest on screen sacrifices.