「犬と雷」 (Inu to kaminari)
“Dog and Thunder”
There’s no other way to say this – the latest episode of Kakumeiki Valvrave was simply astounding. It’s almost a shame that many of the anime critics have precipitately branded the show as a “train wreck” before giving it a fair chance. As it turns out, the first nine episodes have been a remarkably interesting take on the mecha genre and it’s truly a testament to what can happen when you go into a series with an open mind. In terms of sheer entertainment value, the thrills and mysteries presented here are probably second to none in this season and no question, the ubiquity of L-elf “Badass” Karlstein is the key underpinning for its recent run of excellence. It can’t come as a huge surprise to anyone that the prodigy has gotten his own way once again and every living soul on Module 77 has now been drafted into his army of amateur soldiers. L-elf’s prodigious intellect is more than apparent, but the fact that he was acceded to a leadership position that promptly shows just how capricious the human dynamics are in the face of war and terror. Aptly pointed out by the prophet himself, the death of Sakurai Aina was instrumental in pushing the passage of his mandatory conscription and L-elf was certainly not blind to the pronounced impact it had on Inuzuka Kyuuma – which in turn, made the love-crossed adolescent a prime candidate as the next Valvrave pilot.
The emergence of Inuzuka sempai as the man behind “Hiuchiba” (Valvrave-V) didn’t hit me like a curveball – after all, the stars were swiftly aligned to his favor the moment Aina’s demise was set in stone. It was, however, the revealing of the fourth pilot that caught me off guard and even with the spoiler-heavy preview last week, to witness the introduction of two brand new Valvraves in a mere episode was nothing less than spectacular! There’s no denying it – Kakumeiki Valvrave is hard to beat when it goes all-in with the action-packed thrills and the sight of “Hikaminari” (Valvrave-III) working side by side with its blue counterpart certainly got my adrenaline pumping hard. I’m sure it’s to his own great delight that Yamada “Thunder” Raizou is now officially part of the front line and whether it was intentional or not, the stark contrast between the characterization of the newcomers could hardly be greater. Thunder is the wild child – fiery and reckless, but ultimately predictable – his desires are straightforward and he meant every word he said when he vowed revenge on the Dorssians, including staining his hands with bloodshed. Kyuuma, by comparison, is all about regrets and contemplations – he’s wary of the consequence of surrendering his humanity to the mysterious machine and perhaps more importantly, what would Aina think of him if she was still alive. But no matter how far apart their individual disposition is, they do share a common goal – that is to safeguard Module 77 from further carnage – and such objectives should mark the beginning of what looks like a fascinating correspondence and comradeship.
Of course, no one should be taken aback by the fact that it was L-elf’s plan all along that Kyuuma and Raizou would turn out to be the next Valvrave pilots. His brazenly manipulative ways has never been more conspicuous and such exploitation is obviously not going to sit well with Haruto. It remains to be seen how this uneasy partnership will evolve over time and while L-elf has been given the benefit of the doubt for now, their personal ideologies could not be further apart and I’m certain this will not be the last time we see an ensuing strife between those two. Then there’s the latest bombshells that were unveiled this week – the fact that the entire module 77 and almost everyone on board were created as part of the Valvrave project – and it goes without saying that Kibukawa Takumi is at the forefront of this conspiracy. What we were told this week was bang-on in line with L-elf’s prediction in episode six, but I suspect we’re merely scratching the surface of the unknowns and mysteries at hand. Who is this enigmatic Tokishima sensei and how does Colonel Cain fit into the picture – those are just some of the questions that have yet to be answered and as the first half of the series draws to a close, I have a certain suspicion we’ll be in for a roller-coaster ride of action and revelation in the next few weeks!
- Is it just me or does “Hiuchiba” seem way too powerful. The IMP wing of shields is pretty much indestructible, not to mention the fact that it has multiple laser spamming weapons for long-range attacks!
- I really like the mecha design for “Hikaminari”. The Armstronger Cannon, which can be split into eight arms, is somewhat similar to that of Gundam 00’s Seravee Gundam.
- “I can’t take my eyes off you” – I don’t blame the kids for staring at Nanami sensei’s boobs. It’s an exquisitely fine pair!
- “I’m hungry!” – You shouldn’t starve your pet, Haruto. It’s time to feed her!
- Once again, Shouko showed us just why she’s the perfect “waifu”. Those youkan were so delicious that it managed to evoke L-elf’s dere dere side for a split second!
- “Keikaku Doori!” – It’s too bad L-elf didn’t mutter those words out loud. He certainly has it written all over his face!
- Just like Aina, I’m not a fan shiitake mushrooms. I can’t even bear the smell of it, keep them poles away from me!
- Three hits and one miss – Haruto totally blew it with the last one. Then again, there’s nothing you can do when you’re up against L-elf!
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – #Valvrave 09: There’s no denying it – Kakumeiki Valvrave is hard to beat when it goes all-in with the action-packed thrills and to witness the introduction of two brand new Valvraves in a mere episode was nothing less than spectacular! #Anime