「呪いの絆」 (Noroi no Kizuna)
“Bonds of Curse”
“I’m going to feed on no one but you, L-elf” – I am not at all sure what was Haruto smoking, but I don’t think anyone in the right mind would have chosen L-elf over Saki! As far as I’m concerned, it wasn’t even a coin toss, and the answer that Haruto should have picked was pure and simple. Saki has made her intent as palpable as she could – the beautiful idol is deeply in love with Haruto and she was, no doubt, all ready to throw herself at him should he gave the nod. What Haruto did was impertinent, unjustifiable and borderline blasphemous – of course, my harsh criticism is nothing more than a jest and all joking aside, Haruto’s steadfast resolution was perfectly in character and what we have witnessed thus far does point to a continuation of their never-ending predicaments! Yes, Kakumeiki Valvrave is, indeed, back in full force – and you can be sure Okouchi Ichiro’s presence (of Code Geass’ fame) was felt early and throughout. The premiere of its second season was chockfull of drama, bombast and action-packed thrills – it was theatrics at its very best and this series is most certainly second to none when it comes to the notion of straight-up entertainment value! I had an absolute blast out of every second of its 25 minutes and the sentimental side of the story was for sure moving ahead at full speed. The emotional roller-coaster ride continues to beleaguer all of our main characters and it sure as hell doesn’t look like their excruciation is coming to an end any time soon. Tokishima Haruto (Ohsaka Ryota) is suffering from an incessant string of “vampire-attacks” – he is constantly mired in an inward battle between his animate desires and the rectitude of his conscience. Rukino Saki (Tomatsu Haruka) and Sashinami Shouko (Seto Asami) also have a fair share of anguish and plights – the former want to lend Haruto a hand but she is not sure how to go about it, while the latter is slowly but surely drifting away from her childhood sweetheart. The secrets and mendacities continue to pile up – it’s hardly a pretty picture and you can be almost certain that this is merely the beginning of their many adversities.
Okouchi sensei is playing his cards very close to his vest, and there were definitely more questions than answers in this episode. For starters, L-elf Karlstein (Kimura Ryouhei) is pretty much still a closed book and his true intention has yet to be spelled out in the whole. He is firmly sticking by Haruto’s side for now – splitting both their fortunes and infelicities in half! But there’s also a need to keep a close eye on the prodigious Dorssian soldier and nothing is ever set in concrete when we’re dealing with L-elf – his loyalty lies with no one but himself, and I’m sure he’ll be all set to switch sides in a heartbeat should the situation calls for it! The big-picture narratives might be shrouded in enigma – but there are bits and pieces of its secrets that are gradually coming to light as well. The various commentaries that surround the Runes – and by extension, Haruto’s deteriorating health, was quite an eye-opener to say the least. Runes, the elementary building blocks of information, are consumed as a source of power for the Valvraves, and the periodical “vampire attacks” are, in fact, withdrawal symptoms of an alimentary depletion of such Runes. It is not entirely clear if anyone other than Haruto has gone through the same experience and the brief explication doesn’t quite explain how the delicate notion of sexual intercourse comes into play! Haruto has made up his mind on what needs to be done – the pilot of Hito (Valvrave I) intends to have the Valvrave’s curse end with the current few, and he’s hoping the creators of the mysterious mecha – and perhaps a certain Tokishima sensei, will have some answers to all of his dilemmas. Something tells me this is not going to work out as seamlessly as he had hoped – and the multiple time-skips that we have perceived certainly allude to a curse that remained ubiquitous well into the distant future! The second half of Kakumeiki Valvrave officially kicks off with the beginning of a brand new journey – the five Valvraves are making their way to Earth in a recon mission, a voyage that is bound to be plagued by mayhem, obstacles and most importantly, a foreshadowing of more revelations to come!
Their new expedition has obvious implications across a wide range of characters, and the many conjectures that have insofar prevailed might need some form of recalibration in the near future. The “love triangle” is going to come across a whole slew of upheavals – Saki appears to have an upper hand for now, and their latest mission is set to exacerbate the seeming estrangement between Haruto and Shouko even further. Haruto has made a confidante out of Saki and there’s increasingly a sense that he has come to see her as more than just that – his deep affection for Saki is beyond doubt, and the biggest question at hand is whether he can eventually move on from his childhood sweetheart and make Saki his one-and-only! The Magius, true to its mystifying origins, continues to remain a thoroughgoing enigma. Colonel Cain (Ono Daisuke) has been a long-time associate of the mysterious organization and it looks like he has gotten a new accomplice in the form of Mirko (Koyasu Takehito – Zechs in Gundam Wing) – an obscure being who has apparently taken control of the Dorssian Chancellor’s body! There’s not a whole lot that we can say about them at this stage – both Prue (Yonaga Tsubasa) and Pino (Kayano Ai – RIP Sakurai Aina) appear to be right at the forefront of these mysteries, and the Magius has certainly taken quite an interest in the two sentient entities that exist within the Valvrave’s operating system! Nobody knows for sure what the Magius or Colonel Cain is plotting – it seems like they are in the process of creating a legion of mecha armies, or better known as the Valvrave’s kodomotachi (children) in this context. As a myriad of conspiracies slowly but surely emerged from the grand layout, there’s noticeably an internecine struggle that is brewing behind the scenes as well. H-neun (Miyano Mamoru) and Kriemhild (Mizuki Nana) have good reasons to be distrustful of their superiors – they probably have an agenda of their own mapped out and Colonel Cain could very well be facing a fair share of impediments in his course of action! I am infinitely impressed with the premiere of its second season – the cluster of conundrums and their ensuing personalities are quickly shaping up to be a very interesting combo. I can’t wait to see what Okouchi sensei has in store for us in the coming weeks – the stars are aligned for an extravaganza of adventures, and what’s looming ahead can only be all the more brazen, dramatic, and riveting!
- T.M.Revolution x Mizuki Nana might have just outdone themselves with “Kakumei Dualism”! I gotta say, I’m really loving its second OP – perhaps even more so than “Preserved Roses”.
- Saki’s single became an instant bestseller – I really do hope there’s an actual release of her character song! Tomatsu Haruka is an excellent singer – she’s Sakana chan who sang Star Driver’s “Monochrome”.
- “The beast within you will awaken. Beast High!” – That scene had me laughing out loud, gotta give Yamada Raizou (Nakamura Yuuichi) some props for totally acing the “Beast High!” commercial!
- Haruto is going to feed on no one but L-elf – Is that how L-elf Jr. from the finale of Season One came into being? Fujoshi rejoice! – Adultery is A-okay as long as you’re not cheating with another girl… wait what?
- The outlook is looking increasingly promising for Team Saki – she knows about Haruto’s secrets, and the growing distance between Haruto and Shouko is a great boon for her ship. Interestingly enough, Saki was also the first one that came to Haruto’s mind when he thought about those who are important to him!
- “You’re worried about me?” – L-elf was being such a tsundere to Shouko. He likes her cooking and a new ship could be in the making over here.
- Gosh, Kriemhild is so damn hot and the fact that she’s voiced by Mizuki Nana only makes her all the more attractive! I’m shipping H-neun and Kreimhild as the one-true-pair! X-eins (Hosoya Yoshimasa) is tripping on some serious death flags – I suspect he’s going to be the first one to go.
- It doesn’t look like Prue and Pino are getting any sex this week! “Now you’ve made me angry” – Tekka (Valvrave II) has some pretty impressive regenerative power, and it was only by a stroke of luck that Haruto made it out alive! Hito can equip Hikaminari’s (Valvrave III) Armstronger Cannons – that was quite a badass, if I may say so! Hiasobi (Valvrave VI) packs some pretty awesome Fan Talons – what’s up with the box fetish? Is Akira (Yuuki Aoi) taking a cue from High School DxD’s Gasper?
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – Kakumeiki #Valvrave – 13: “I’m going to feed on no one but you, L-elf” – I am not sure what was Haruto smoking, but I don’t think anyone in the right mind would have chosen L-elf over the beautiful Saki! #Anime
Full-length images: 01, 02, 04, 07, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, Prologue 01, Epilogue 03, OP 01.
OP2: 「革命デュアリズム」 (Kakumei Dualism) by T.M.Revolution×水樹奈々 (T.M.Revolution x Mizuki Nana)