Kakumeiki Valvrave – 03

Valvrave - 03-4 Valvrave - 03-10 Valvrave - 03-14

Yeah, still Sunrise all right.

If you’re expecting me to defend the inexplicable occurrences and general outlandishness of Kakumeiki Valvrave, you’ll be disappointed because I have no intention of doing so.  In spite of that, though, I still find the show a very fun watch.  Check your credulity at the door.

  • An entire light fixture blown out with the force of one screw?  Check.
  • No emergency lighting?  Check.
  • A character producing missiles to shoot down fighters from… where?  Check.
  • Said character predicting the exact nature and timing of his escape down to the second?  Check.

Yep, Valvrave is a pretty far-fetched piece of work.  It definitely employs the carpet-bombing narrative strategy, but I think it does so rather effectively – enough of all that non-stop nonsense is interesting that the overall experience is very watchable.  This episode was actually a bit less batshit crazy than the first two – until the amped last five minutes anyway, it was practically contemplative by Valvrave standards, but still managed a fair bit of exposition to support what was already a fairly intriguing premise.

The headlines for the week would seem to start with Haruto having another vampiric attack, this time nearly taking a bite out of Kyuuma’s neck before Rukino slapped him back to humanity.  Meanwhile the ARUS army has arrived in force, along with Senator Figaro, who plays the role of slimy politician to a T.  He encourages Haruto to bask in his celebrity status, acting as the focal point of the full-on retreat he urges as the only possible course of action.  Obviously JIOR and its people are of interest to ARUS primarily as a strategic hedge against Dorssia, but I suppose when you’ve just been invaded by one side they look like a pretty sane alternative.

Much of the second half of the ep centers on the exploits of “One-man Army” L-Elf, which seem to have come straight out of First Blood and are just as credible.  He earned the nickname by “wiping out an army of 5000” on his own, and shows why here, single-handedly killing the squad holding him prisoner, shooting down ARUS fighters and putting the kibosh on their nascent evacuation.  His most interesting moment comes at the end, however, when he stalks Haruto to an abandoned classroom, disposes of the annoying Raizou and proposes a “contract” to Haruto.  A contract to, as he says, “bring revolution to Dorssia”, whatever that means.

Your mileage may vary, but there’s enough meat on these bones to keep me interested for now.  L-Elf is fairly convincing as a full-on badass (I like him better without his backup singers, but they’re on their way back to retrieve him and the Valvrave), the love triangle isn’t the worst I’ve seen, and the political side of the story is quite interesting.  We also have the matter of the mysterious “Rainbow“, who in addition to uploading film from the battle to the net and possibly being some sort of intelligence agent, also appears to be the sister of the Student Council President.  With all that going on, there should be plenty of fuel to keep the outlandishness burning for quite a while.

Valvrave - 03-6 Valvrave - 03-7 Valvrave - 03-8
Valvrave - 03-9 Valvrave - 03-11 Valvrave - 03-12
Valvrave - 03-13 Valvrave - 03-15 Valvrave - 03-16
Valvrave - 03-17 Valvrave - 03-18 Valvrave - 03-19
Valvrave - 03-20 Valvrave - 03-21 Valvrave - 03-22
Valvrave - 03-23 Valvrave - 03-24 Valvrave - 03-25


  1. H

    I'm not as on board with this series, because I'm having a hard time putting the dumbness of the characters aside and just watching it. The "one-man army" who wiped out the entire side by himself shows up? You shoot him. I felt like Scott Evil in Austin Powers "What, you're feeding him?" Basically, you're keeping the guy around so he can kill all of you, high security ropes (hah) be damned!

    This episode may have been better for me, tho, because it didn't have Haruto button-mashing inside Valvrave yet managing to be super effective when he has no clue what he's doing. He actually seemed like less of a dope outside the mech. I actually find the possible revolution intriguing, more so than the Russian Empire Building Invasion storyline.

  2. Russian? 😉

    I think, to be fair, the reason Valvrave worked as well as it did with Haruto controlling it was because of the blood link. But hey, I'm certainly not going to defend this series from a logistical standpoint when the one-man army clearly has missiles stockpiled in his ass.

  3. h

    A stockpile of missiles in his ass explains some of his earlier behavioral characteristics. Now that he's metaphorically unloaded, he's bound to become more likable.

    "Russian" probably because they're the main military component of the Dorssian forces. The political blurb at the beginning clarified the players and their relationships within and between each other, from which it is easy to take away that "the various military treaties" radiating from Russia southward imply neo-Russian conquest (cue 'ye olde Sovietski' and anime's seeming fascination with neo-USSR themes). Indeed, all evidence points to Dorssia as the new USSR, which has picked up the reigns from its old counterpart and snatched up all of the same satellites and alliances it once had.

  4. E

    Not to mention a huge ass mothership is stalled by some smokescreen, heh. Logic has been flushed down the toilet when it comes to this anime.

  5. And I enjoy it, even knowing that. I think Beckett is right – if you care to try and enjoy Valvrave, it has to be as one of those Hollywood popcorn flicks where logic isn't a big part of the equation. If it doesn't work for you, that's fine. So far I'm having fun with it.

  6. H

    Yeah, it seemed to me the whole setup was pretty much explained as NATO (ARUS) / Warsaw Pact (Dorssia) redux, with JIOR as the plucky independents who don't want to be dominated, but I'll bet they end up not caring to be 'puppets' of the ARUS, or some other reasoning.

    The problem that I'm really having is that I *don't* find it ludicrous. If I did, I'd have no problem (I mean, really, I think Girls und Panzer may be the best anime ever). But to me it really seems like they're trying to be serious with this 70's Bond movie plot. And if they're trying to be serious, it's just bad.

  7. Z

    I was even okay with the preposterous "one man army" thing until L-Elf pulled those missiles out of thin air. Suspension of belief surely has its limits Sunrise!

  8. s

    oh valvare….as hilariously bombastic and nonsensical at times that you can be sometimes i cant deny that you're an enjoyable watch. I laughed when L-elf jumped down the facility as explosives where going off and then he kicks off the wall to safety just in time. At the same time i did think it was pretty bad ass; the fact that valvare can still do that to me as a viewer is a testament that its doing SOMETHING right???? whatever the hell it is

  9. B

    Basically I think anyone's enjoyment of this show is going to come down to whether or not they can turn their brain off while watching it and just enjoy the ride. So far I have been able to, so I've been enjoying the show. This is Die Hard: The Anime. Don't think about it. Just watch it and be entertained. Anyone who can't do that won't be able to like this show.

  10. l

    So over-the-top ridiculously improbable. Jettisons all logic. Mindless drivel. Looks like I'm watching. Just to find out how ridiculous, illogical and downright gaudy inane this show is going to be. I felt I could still give it the benefit of doubt after the 1st 2 episodes but this episode just destroys all doubt.

  11. M

    It's great you have your personal tastes for commending this schlock, but it certainly leaves a questionable mark on your credibility when worthier shows like Majestic Prince are relegated to Weekly Digests.

    This is sunrise so it's destined to get undue attention.

  12. Said about the site which never covered Horizon while most of the net was slobbering all over it…

  13. M

    Never heard of it, so I'll take your word for it.

  14. Yeah, that's credible.

  15. M

    Petty for an online voice so privileged to even make that an issue
    (assuming I wasn't being sarcastic).

  16. v

    but to not know Horizon in the middle of nowhere, the anime where one guy gets a harem of buxom girls. I haven't even watched one, the sheer ridiculousness made such an impression on me. I wish the script writer goes back to writing charming series like Azumanga Daioh or something than a mecha melodrama. I know the latter sells more but still.

  17. G

    Pretty enjoyable episode, executed in the typical Sunrise fashion. I never expected anything low-key, so the lack of sound logic doesn't really bother me, I mean CG was pretty ridiculous too and it turned out to be an exhilarating ride. L-Elf is still a more interesting character than Haruto by a wide margin and it would be interesting to have him and Haruto switch roles – L-Elf being the hero and Haruto the antagonist. You never know, it could happen haha.

  18. Z

    Well if we are going to compare them.

    Off the bat, Code Geass has a more interesting setup. Lelouch is the underdog of a privileged family living in exile in a foreign colony. Haruto is a stock schoolboy with little drive until his girlfriend supposedly "dies".

    Even the depiction of special "powers" is done better in Code Geass. The geass power is depicted with one eye changing colour accompanied by an animated bird silhouette sequence. The vampirism powers are depicted as a slash graffiti layer over his face.

  19. f

    Theyre getting pretty close to setting the premise for the rest of the series (which i'm all for). The fleshed out storyline between drossia and arus takes on more of a reminiscent form as the cold war between the US and Soviet Union. It was an interesting twist when L-Elf stated he wanted to form a contract to spark revolution in Drossia (though still I cant, for the life of me, figure out what changed between the first ep and now to motivate this)

    The characters are still a bit lacking for me so far. There are so many character dynamics to keep track of, much like code geass. The only problem here, is that none of them are very well defined. I can't totally agree with enzo's premise that valvrave is an anime not to be taken seriously in the same vein as majestic prince; it just has too much of a melodramatic tone, only with a ton of plot holes.

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