Kakumeiki Valvrave – 14

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I have a suspicion that sometime during Valvrave’s development, someone asked “What’s it about?”, and someone else answered “Yes.”

Well, somehow or another Valvrave the Liberator managed to find another plot thread that wasn’t in the blender yet – amnesia (it’s a good week for amnesia in anime).  One thing this show has always been pretty good at is finding ways to keep the subordinate characters involved – in fact, very often bringing to the point where they’re arguably not subordinate characters at all.  But Marie has been an exception to that rule, staying very much in the background and commenting on what was happening to everybody else while not much was happening to her.  Fukuen Misato being as interesting a seiyuu as she is it would be nice if Maria was more involved in the plot (not that there’s any shortage of characters that are) so if this amnesia gambit accomplishes the goal, so much the better.

This episode was, in fact, generally dedicated to the second-tier characters in the cast.  I never had much interest in Yama Arashi, L-Elf’s former boy band from Dorssia, but I’m sort of intrigued with where the show might be going with all these slice-of-life high-schooler montages we’re seeing.  H-neun has the most potential here, largely because if Miyano Mamoru gets something he can sink his teeth into he can chew the scenery with the best of them, and he might just here.  We get to see him hanging out with several girls at a cafe as he’s being spied on by a hot chick in a hot car.  Who knows, there might be an interesting side trail there somewhere.

Mostly, though, it’s about the dysfunction twins, those wacky Renbokouji siblings Satomi and Akira.  I’ve liked these two all along, not least of which because – again – I’m a big fan of the seiyuu.  Aoi Yuuki has always been a favorite of mine and we haven’t heard much of her lately, and as for Namikawa Daisuke I don’t think I need to say much.  Satomi was a slow starter but his unhinged, teetering on the edge of panic facade grew on me in a big way.  We’ve never gotten much background on how those two got the way they are before this week, only that she was a bullying victim with crippling social anxiety and he was disturbingly possessive and seemingly intent on keeping her that way.  Turns out that the seeds of her downfall were when she hacked into the National High School computer to try and tweak his entrance exam results – results which he was on the edge of panic about because their parents were putting enormous pressure on him to be accepted, or else.  It’s always the parents’ fault in anime.

I don’t know exactly how all that played out – I didn’t get the idea that Satomi asked Akira to do that, but at the very least he let her take the full rap – and worse, didn’t stand up to the bullies who tormented her once the truth came out.  The one thing the both of them have in common is that they blamed him for her downward spiral afterwards, but their reconciliation was played with the usual Valvrave bombast, complete with symbolically reaching across the stars to link hands.  The mechanics of the event were pretty standard stuff – Dorssians attacking while the shuttle was en-route to Earth, first Akira and then Haruto disregarding L-Elf’s orders, overheating Valvraves.  My favorite part of the episode, though, was Akira sneaking out of her cockpit and darting through the corridors of the shuttle with a box on her head and no pants, looking for snacks.

Plot detours aside, the upshot of all this is that the Valvraves and their support team made it to Earth, but their little detour to save the wayward pilots (which was necessary because Satomi screwed up and answered a call he shouldn’t have) means they’ve crash-landed in Dorssian territory.  Whether this will tie in directly with Marie’s amnesia angle (she could be a Dorssian herself for all we know) remains to be seen, but there should be ample opportunities for the coffee half of the dream couple to butt heads with his old allies for great dramatic effect.

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14 comments

  1. s

    In regards to Akira and Satomi, the impression i got was that when Akira witnessed satomi having a nervous breakdown from the pressures of studying, she figured she'd do something nice for her beloved onii-chan and hack his way into the school; he didnt ask her to do anything nor did he know of anything Akira was doing but she thought she was doing something nice for him. When she got caught n was being interrogated, when satomi was asked if he knew about the hacking, I feel like the ep was trying to imply that as a loving brother, he should have said yes he did tell her to hack into the school in order to take the heat of his sister but instead he threw her under the bus and then to add insult to injury, her neglected her when she was viciously bullied; At least that's the impression i got.

    On a side note, I dont know if anyone has noticed but the art style to this second season of valvare has been slightly tweeked; not to mention that although it is still sticking to its ridiculous guns, the tone of the series is shifting into more somber territory.

  2. I

    Actually from what I saw, he was not only freaking out under extreme pressure, but also his parents were so overbearing that he was struggling to complete his exam even though he was very sick with a high fever, that's why Akira came to his room with soup and was surprised that he was up. He was sweating and flushed and of course he couldn't think straight. He would have never been able to complete that test, much less to the satisfaction and unforgiving standards that his parents demanded. That's why Akira spent all night hacking the system for him.

    I don't think he should have lied for her, but he should have still stood up for her. Not say that he asked, her to do it, but say that he understands why she did and then apologized for any trouble she might have caused. Cause while she had a good reason, what she did was still wrong.

  3. H

    The "hot chick in the hot car' is that officer from Cain's ship, I seem to recall that she and Neun had a moment (not romantic) on the ship last season and I guess she's spying on him to figure out if he's going to be useful to her or not (since god only knows what her agenda is here, everyone has one at this rate). And what made me laugh about Akira going around looking for food was not only that she was using a box for it (which reminded me of some guy in the first season running around with a box that said GUNDAM on it) but that the box even said Sunrise, I felt like that was a joking poke at some of the fans/the studio itself.

  4. I

    Her name is Kriemhild, if that rings a bell.

  5. d

    "Eru-erufu's former boy band from Dorassia" This is genius.

  6. i

    Just curious are you going to do a post on Galilei Donna? Or Strike the Blood? The thing I like about the show is that it tries quite a bit to avoid LN cliches but does some anyway. That conflicted way of writing appeals to me on some level.

  7. Definitely not Strike the Blood – just didn't work for me. I thought the second ep of GD was OK, but it really didn't interest me enough to want to write a post on it. Pretty much a classic moe pandering show with plot holes big enough to drive a goldfish mecha through.

  8. i

    Cool then. I also didn't want to watch Galilei Donna until you made a post about it. Making you do my dirty work of sifting through anime but with midterms I'd like to spend my half hour breaks on something I like rather than something I won't. Thanks for the update.

  9. That's a lot of damn responsibility…

  10. Z

    I don't think GD is any more pandering than a typical Kyoto Animation Key adaptation, but whatever.

  11. M

    Well, that's kinda like comparing a goldfish to a deepsea creature.

  12. k

    I've always had a soft spot for Satomi, and later on for Akira as well, so this episode was very welcome. I don't quite understand why people say that Satomi comes off badly – sure, he should've stood up for Akira, especially since he's a big brother(TM) but what with his issues it's no wonder he never did, he can't even stand up for himself most of the time. It's clear that he's been feeling horribly guilty about the whole thing and that he was trying to protect Akira as well as he could – in a somewhat misguided way, but still, he tried. ^^;; And really, considering his general demeanor it's a big step forward that this time he didn't back down but pressed forward in order ot save Akira. D'awww.

    Seeing the Renboukouji parents makes me wonder, though. Satomi clearly takes after his mom, but Takahi looks more like as if she could be Satomi's sister than Akira.

  13. E

    I would like to see how the relationship between the playboy and the hot chick goes, but too bad, next episode seems to focus on our main characters' journey through enemy territory.

  14. R

    and so, marie turns out to be anya alstreim. and they just have to do that whole "straying off-course" plot.

    on the plus side, akira is really cute.

    looks like we're gonna see those "children of the valvrave" in action next week.

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