Kakumeiki Valvrave – 02
OP:「Preserved Roses」by T.M.Revolution×水樹奈々 (T.M.Revolution x Nana Mizuki)
「666を超えて」 (Roppyaku-rokujū-roku o Koe te)
Kakumeiki Valvrave might be keeping most of its secrets close at hand, but there’s one thing for sure – it’s an exceptionally entertaining show. Similar to Okouchi Ichiro’s previous work – Code Geass, there appears to be a fascinating dichotomy developing in the viewer’s reactions to Valvrave. Some rejoice at its complete lack of restraint and over-the-top storyline, while others are genuinely perturbed by its sheer farcicality and imprudence of its scene-building. I have no intention to discredit either sides, and there are certainly merits for both arguments. As for me, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am a huge fan of second episode and I am now thoroughly immersed in the Valvrave experience, both intellectually and emotionally.
Sunrise’s latest mecha effort is a multi-faceted show, starting with the most obvious – the body-switching. It was an interesting twist that I wasn’t expecting and admittedly, I had my fair share of concerns about how the concept would be applied in this context. However, once it became clear just what Okouchi-san intends to do with the characters, any doubts I had quickly dissipated and I’ve come to fully embrace the outlandish plot device that Valvrave has presented. There’s certainly a fascinating dynamic of role reversal that is being explored here. Haruto, the alleged pacifist of the two leads has become the aggressor, hungry for blood and revenge. No doubt, such a dramatic change in his personality was empowered by the physical prowess and perhaps even the killing techniques of L-elf’s body. But judging from the violence he displayed in this episode, it has also been made evident that Haruto is a complex and somewhat puzzling individual. He’s definitely not one of your standard gutless male leads who are typically associated with such a role, but to what extent his body or character has changed due to the Valvrave will for now remain a mystery. What’s clear is that Haruto will continue to suffer through an identity crisis, both physically and psychologically, and the revelation that Shouko is in fact alive merely complicates the matter further.
Then there’s L-elf, who exists as one of the most fascinating element in the mix. The string of bizarre events has unquestionably boxed him into an extremely adverse situation and while I suspect his ultimate loyalty lies with Dorssia, he’s presently seen as an enemy from both sides. Hopeless as his current situation is, it’s also undeniable that L-elf’s keen survival instinct has served him very well, and I certainly wouldn’t be taken aback if he somehow pulls off a miracle and turns the strategic advantage in his favor. There’s so much more to discover with these characters and so far, the director has kept the intricacy and subtlety of the character development well-balanced. Rukino Saki (Tomatsu Haruka) is a character that stands out in that respect. For all her apathetic and dispassionate demeanor, she is not just a pretty face – not as smart as L-elf, but intelligent enough to figure out a way to reverse the body-switching. She has clearly shown an interest in Haruto and if the opening theme is any indication, she’ll represent the third point of the inevitable love triangle that is slowly brewing in the backdrop.
Say what you will about Kakumeiki Valvrave, but no question, the way the pieces of the puzzle are being fit together is truly remarkable. I have no doubt the bad blood between Haruto and L-elf has only intensified with the recent developments, and it’s only a matter of time before their paths clash again in a similar grand fashion. Needless to say, one of the key attractions of Valvrave is its fast-moving action scenes and the space combats of this episode certainly got my adrenaline pumping fast. The sight of the Valvrave wiping out his enemies with a huge beam saber that rivals that of SRX’s “Heaven and Earth Psychic Exploding Sword” is truly an amazing spectacle to behold. While I’m fully aware Super Robot-like abilities might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is part of the package deal of Valvrave and I am certain this will not be the last time we see such extravagant display of mecha capabilities.
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – Extravagant Super Robot action, body-switching and a brewing love triangle in the mix. Very Entertaining indeed! #Valvrave #Anime
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ED: 「僕じゃない」 (Boku Janai) by angela