「起動する異端者」 (Kidō suru itansha)
“Rise of the Heretic”
There’s something to be said about ending a season with your best material ever – we have non-stop action, eye-opening revelations, intense character drama and yet another glimpse into the future! The show hit just about every high note in this episode, and it’s hard for me to pick and choose from such embarrassment of riches. One thing that really jumps out, though, is just how great it was to see Saki stepped up for herself and her rejection of Haruto’s guilt-driven proposal was hardly a surprise – not to mention very much in character! Say what you will about the fallen idol, but Saki is, first and foremost, a fiercely independent person. While her self-denial and abnegation are more than apparent, I don’t think there’s a snowball chance in hell she’ll take the easy way out in this romantic subplot – not when she might harbor true feelings for Haruto! What lies ahead for this complicated “love triangle” is anyone’s guess and I’m certainly not going to write off Saki just yet. The only thing that I’m remotely assured of at this juncture is that Saki is not going to take any half-hearted wisecrack as a resolution and Haruto most certainly has a tough choice to make when his day of reckoning comes – an answer that I am eagerly awaiting!
Needless to say, Saki and Shouko are both unique in their own ways, and I have utmost respect for the both of them. While the stark contrast between those two is nothing short of conspicuous, there are also certain similarities that the two female leads share – first, their unfailing love for Haruto, and second, the supreme fortitude that they have displayed in the face of difficulties. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Shouko has no interest to play the finger-pointing game and the fact that she intends to hide her father’s unfortunate demise from Haruto was hardly unexpected – no doubt, Haruto would never forgive himself if he learned about the truth! Shouko’s interaction with reclusive Renbokouji was another highlight of this episode and the emergence of Akira as the next Valvrave pilot was pretty much set in stone the moment her wretched past was revealed. As it turns out, Akira is the victim of bullying as a kid and the severe trauma that she experienced has regrettably made her into a misanthrope. The brief insight into her past was unpleasant to say the least and I don’t think anyone could blame her for having such intense antipathy for the human race – or “fleas”, as she calls them! No question, it was Shouko’s inexhaustible faith in Akira that gave her the courage she needs to confront the dilemma head-on and her reputation as a genius hacker is certainly a perfect fit for “Hiasobi” (Valvrave VI) – which, of course, has the ability to control other machines using its picaroon-like “Hummingbird Equipment”! The unforeseen intervention of Akira could mark the turn of tide for this crucial battle and if there’s the slightest chance the remaining survivors can make it out alive, I suspect Hiasobi would be the one that makes it happen – hopefully, this would also put a cap on the death toll, which has been shooting up in a nerve-racking manner!
Speaking of the Dorssian’s most recent carnage, there was certainly more than a whiff in the air of anguish and despair for Module 77 – especially when three of the five Valvrave are already out-of-commission! It appears there’s life in the old dog yet and Colonel Cain has proven to be a more than capable a match for L-elf – the Dorssian war hero not only outwitted “The Prophet” easily, he also manhandled L-elf like a toddler in a physical scuffle. To say Cain has a few tricks up his sleeve would be an understatement and he certainly knows more about the Valvrave than he is letting on. His access to magical powers and the ability to activate a supposedly defunct Valvrave is merely a testament to his enigmatic origins – one that points to a certain connection with the mysterious organization known as the Magius! What the latest revelations mean for the overall narrative is hard to tell and your guess is probably as good as anyone’s at this stage – but it does seem like the Magius would be the ultimate antagonist of this series and we know for sure their presence remained ubiquitous well into the future! I stand by my belief that there’s bound to be more curve balls on the horizon and it’s hardly an exaggeration to say there are many questions that remained unanswered – not least of which is the nut-cracking cliffhanger that left the entire fate of Module 77 hanging in midair and perhaps more importantly, the romantic subplot that is far from being resolved!
- How can you say no to Saki when she makes such an adorable face – If Haruto doesn’t want to marry her, I will!
- Saki’s future-self looks absolutely stunning and while I’m at it, those are some pretty delicious thighs – Yes, I know perfectly well I have some pretty weird fetish. The “Valvrave imprint” makes them all the more suggestive!
- Yuuki Aoi‘s doing a bang-up job voicing Akira – the high pitch of her voice captures Akira’s intense anxiety and franticness extremely well!
- “Supermarket” charge! – and thus Akira’s days as a “Hikikomori” come to an end, with her dog shack completely in tatters!
- “I’ll win at all cost” – little did Haruto know that includes killing Shouko’s father. This world is truly a harsh place!
- “All I did was punch it!” – Hikaminari’s Machine Gun Punch was quite a sight to behold. He would make E.Honda proud!
- “Let your blood boil!” – I must say, the iron/sandwich attack is a pretty hot idea! Presumably, Akira’s Hiasobi will play a part in getting the trapped Valvrave out of this predicament!
- “Ouch!” – That’s not quite the graduation ceremony that L-elf had in mind!
- I’m so glad the first ED theme – angela’s “Boku Janai”, was played in this episode. As much as I like ELISA’s “Soba ni Iru yo”, the second ED is not nearly as catchy and it certainly doesn’t pack the same oomph!
- The finale of Season One was superb in just about every way. The only thing that’s missing is A-drei (Fukuyama Jun) screaming at the top of his lungs – “Eru Erufu”!
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – #Valvrave 12: There’s something to be said about ending a season with your best material ever – we have non-stop action, eye-opening revelations, intense character drama and yet another glimpse into the future! #Anime
Full-length images: 01, 02, 03, 06, 10, 13, 25, 33, 37, 41.
Epilogue/First Season Impressions:
Kakumeiki Valvrave is not like any other series that’s airing this season and you wouldn’t expect it to end like one – in fact, the events in the epilogue were much more dramatic than the finale itself! If Season One was merely a set-up for the forthcoming confrontations, it’s safe to say the next season is going to be ever more intense, action-packed and mind-blowing! An incoming time-skip is probably inevitable and based on what we heard from Saki’s future-self this week, it seems like cross-planetary journeys might also be in the cards – one that spans across galaxies at that. To my greatest delight, the entire main cast has made it out of the first season pretty much unscathed – even Shouko, who has tripped on more death flags than I could count, managed to survive the latest ordeal. I suspect her role in the second half could be as important as the first, but it remains to be seen whether she’ll turn out to be next Valvrave pilot. If L-elf’s monologues in the final few seconds are any indication, there are indeed, seven of them – which means there’s either one or two spots that needs to be filled! My gut says she’s not going to become one – as a matter of fact, I am almost certain Haruto would not want her to tread down the same path, especially after the ill-fated incident that happened in Episode 10.
This, of course, brings me to the point at issue and the biggest question that remained unresolved is how will the “love triangle” evolved from here. Saki is obviously at the center of attention – her role in the second season could become even more prominent than it already is and it seems like she might find herself entangled with the Magius’ affairs – and by extension, the ever-so-imposing Colonel Cain! While it might seem like a long shot at this juncture, I wouldn’t be too surprise if the current triangle developed into a “love square” – after all, the kid that Saki’s future-self was in company with looks very much like a younger version of L-elf! Speaking of L-elf, the latest occurrence has certainly put a dent on his reputation as “The Prophet” – the fact that he failed to land a single hit on his former mentor is a sign of weakness and the prodigious soldier might not be as bulletproof as we once thought. Even with his extensive screen time, L-elf’s motives and agendas remained pretty much obscured – his affiliation with the Dorssian princess has been vaguely hinted at in Episode 8, but we still have no idea how their enigmatic relationship fit into the overall discourse. Then there’s A-drei whose complicated history with L-elf, will no doubt, be brought to forefront again in the second season. Similar to the fallen “Prophet”, A-drei seems intent to pursue a Dorssian revolution of his own and his connection with the pink-hair maiden could also have a part to play in this story – I suspect there’s more to that than meets the eyes, perhaps even a blood kinship!
Clearly, the Magius will be playing a role of utmost importance in the coming season, but there’s not a whole lot that we can say about them at this stage. Their association with Colonel Cain has been made apparent, and it looks like both ARUS and Dorssia might have a hand to play in this conspiracy. Kriemhild and H-neun evidently know more than they’re letting on and it seems likely that their characters could carry a more significant weight in the second half – the teaser that featured a blood-bathed H-neun certainly points to that direction! What comes next for Kakumeiki Valvrave is hard to call, but being a two-cour series, the creators has the time and opportunity to roll out the narratives in a seamless manner. I expect the character exposition to continue in the similar grand fashion, and there’s bound to be waves of drama and commotion before all the dust is finally settled.
For those of you who have read my walls of texts in the past eleven weeks, you would have figured out by now that I hold Kakumeiki Valvrave in very high regards – so much so that I wouldn’t think twice about calling it the best show in Spring 2013. Just like Okouchi Ichiro’s previous work – Code Geass, there’s noticeably a wide divergence in the verdict of this series – some rejoice at its complete lack of restraint, while others are genuinely perturbed by its sheer farcicality. As for me, all I can say is that the show is second to none when it comes to straight-up entertainment value, and this is truly a testament to what can happen when you go into a series with an open mind. I’m sure Okouchi sensei still has a trick or two up his sleeves and the day when the second season makes its splashing premiere can’t come soon enough. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to seeing the many facets of Kakumeiki Valvrave again and I hope all of you will stick around for the next season, which I assure you, will receive the attention it deserves at Random Curiosity – from none other than yours truly, of course!
- Kakumeiki Valvrave is the second series that I’ve completed as a writer of RandomC – the first was Hyakka Ryouran. I would like give myself a pat on the back for a job well done!
- Episode 10 of Kakumeiki Valvrave is currently the most-viewed episodic post in June – I can never figure out why.
- I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you – yes, even those who just look at the screen caps. My blogging experience wouldn’t be complete without your input and nothing gets me more excited than to hear from all of you!