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.