Kakumeiki Valvrave – 23

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Another impressive episode of Kakumeiki Valvrave, but boy – they’ve sure left themselves a lot to do in just a week.

There are myriad timeless expressions that fit the master plan L-Elf came up with to strike back at the rotten core of Dorssia.  Hoist by their petard, turnabout is fair play, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…  Take your pick – the point is that the truth is a powerful weapon no matter whose hands its in, as long as that person knows how to use it.  But for all that, the singular moment of the episode is surely the singularly Valvrave expression of sibling affection – “You can eat me if you want.”

Now that we’re on the eve of the final episode, I’ve come around to quite liking the unusual but not unheard of ploy Okouchi Ichiro used in giving us a glimpse of the distant future to tease is about the way the series might end.  Because of the unique nature of the plot it leaves seemingly endless possibilities open to consideration – it even struck me this week to wonder what might happen if one of the characters’ bodies died while they were in the midst of a switch with another (think about the possibilities for the Coffee and Sugar end).  It’s Valvrave and you can’t count that sort of thing out – anyone can see what those flash-forwards are hinting at, but in the final analysis I don’t expect this of all shows to do what’s predictable in the end.

Obvious or not, there’s no denying things are looking pretty grim for Haruto (although not as grim as they could, considering the fate of his friends).  There’s certainly no such thing as plot armor with Valvrave, and his memories are disappearing fasteven Pino is getting concerned, not wanting her buffet to give out on her just yet.  It doesn’t help matters that Shouko is still holding onto her now irrational belief that he might be a threat to the students, even after her crying apology in the Valvrave cockpit last week.  As Haruto tearfully says once freed of the need to put on a brave face, the two of them just can’t get a break – but if he’s going to die, I’d hate to see it happen before he and Shouko have a full reconciliation at the very least.

The truth is, even if Haruto were to survive he’s probably a better match with Saki at this point, given all that both of them have seen.  Not to mention they’re the same species, and have a pinky swear between them (among other things).  That said I like the notion that he views L-Elf’s plan as a way to show the truth especially to Shouko, not just to the world at-large – as statements of devotion go it’s not a bad one.  As plans go, too – and here’s one instance in which Valvrave does do what’s predictable.  L-Elf finally teams up with A-Drei and X-Eins, and Q-Vier is left on the outside looking in.  In the process we find out what H-Neun’s earrings were for, and seemingly get the proof that he really is dead.

As A-Drei’s reformed mini-squad works to sabotage from the inside, the lynchpin of L-11’s plan is for the 4 surviving Valvraves to get Akira to Module 77 so she can hack the satellite broadcasting the summit between the Feuhrer and the ARUS president.  After Dog was put down last week, it always seemed likely that Thunder was soon to follow – the death flags were flying high and proud – and giving up his life to buy Akira hacking time was a classic mecha pilot exit.  And in classic fashion it wasn’t in vain – now the world knows the truth of who’s really running the show in Dorssia, and predictably the Magius are in a panic.

The question is of course, what is the world to do with that information?  Revealing Amadeus to be an inhuman monster doesn’t make the Valvampires any less inhuman monsters.  Outing Amadeus may have removed a significant obstacle to Coffee and Sugar’s dream of a world where inhuman monsters can live in peace, but plenty remain.  The flash-forwards seem to irrefutably suggest they were surmounted one way or the other, and that world was established on Module 77 – perhaps a union of Dorssian royalists and Sakimori refugees.  But a great many things would need to happen first, and how do you show all that in 22 minutes while still leaving some time for what’s a very complicated personal story to play out?  A third season is certainly not an impossibility – Valvrave isn’t a bad seller – but I haven’t heard even a whisper of solid evidence that it’s under consideration.  Assuming we aren’t headed in that direction the series finale promises to be anything but low-key and reflective – but given the sort of show Kakumeiki Valvrave has been, that somehow seems fitting.

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  1. J

    As Amadeus was never outed by name as a Magius by name in H-Neun's parting gift, wouldn't it have been hilarious if L-Elf slit his neck before discovering that he was only a collaborator? It's not a plot hole, but it is one of those conveniences the plot seems to run on lately.

  2. J

    Oh huh, rewatching the scene in episode 17 seems like H-Neun does meet Amadeus. My mistake.

    I'd have liked a little scene saying that Haruto and L-Elf were in contact though. From what was shown, it seems everything just happened to work out right

  3. s

    the pinky promise was most likely the promise Saki was referring to in first 200 year-time skip scene shown in season 1

  4. s

    And in regards to Shoko; her actions in this ep are more of her trying to distance herself from Haruto because; one, she now realizes what fate is in store for Haruto, and two, she regrets what she had done to him; for even thinking for a second that the guy she loved would ever betray her. This is punishment for herself and again while I strongly believe this goes against everything that was built up towards Shoko's character, I guess if this is the way they are going to go about it at this point for the finale, it's the most tactful way to go about it.

  5. K

    Shouko is just trying to put on a brave face. She knew it wouldn't sit well with some students so that's why she's restraining herself. Poor girl- she's such a mess.


  6. s

    exactly; she is aware of the instability it would cause the students if she just excepted haruto and the gang so she's acting cruelly regardless of how much it pains her and haruto realizes that after his talk with pino.

  7. a

    Agreed with both of you there ;). I really feel sorry for shoko and haruto because despite loving each other so much, the world that they lives in is trying to separate them. I feel that both shoko and haruto are easily misunderstood characters among the viewers which is why they have lots of haters. 🙁

  8. I definitely don't hate either of them, though I am irritated with Shouko at the moment. I actually rather like them both and think they deserve better than what fate has vomited all over them so far.

  9. S

    Has there ever been a show that pulled a surprise season 2 (or in this case 3) on us? I can't say I've been following anime for too long, but it's hard to think of any. I think that Suisei no Gargantia got a second season, iirc, but Gargantia also ended I think fairly conclusively– it was basically a fulfilled sequel tease, more than a show that had much to tell and was running out of time and was miraculously granted another set of episodes to tell its story.

    Granted, I'm not sure if another thirteen episodes of Valvrave would truly be a good thing. The first season was weird, as if it was going in several different directions at once with a veneer of self-awareness and parody, the second season has been just flat out great, but it feels like a carriage that's speeding down a hill with its wheels about to fall off. I'm not sure if this frenetic pace– or at least what feels chaotic and frenetic on screen– can hold up. Regardless, Valvrave was a surprise hit for me and I appreciate it greatly for what it is.

  10. I'm inclined to think Valvrave could carry off another cour pretty easily. And I certainly think there have been other shows that ended pretty conclusively that ended up getting sequels – Symphogear is a recent example.

  11. T

    I wouldn't be surprised if they did a movie announcement at the end of the next episode. I don't know if they could get a whole cour out of the material left (though it wouldn't surprise me if they could) but it seems to me that a movie would be just the right amount of time to wrap it all up.

  12. A

    After reading your review, I immediately went and searched up who this Okouchi Ichiro is. And it appears that he's been screen writing for several shows that were famous for their intricate story-telling. Needless to say, Guilty Crown, Code Geass and Eureka Seven were some of the more famous works of his. But it's shows like Planetes, Shigofumi, Gundam 8th MS Team that caught my attention. This guy's a treasure of the anime & manga industry!

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