Episode 19

Episode 20

「悲しみは降る雪のごとく/ 曝かれたカミツキ](Kanashimi wa Furu Yuki no Gotoku/Abakareta Kamitsuki)
“Tears Like Falling Snow/The Holy Spirits Exposed”

Oh, Valvrave – it’s like I’m watching you grow up before my very eyes…

Episode 19

I’m pleased to be able to step in and shepherd Kakumeiki Valvrave to its conclusion here on RC. This series has been a wild ride, and I think the second season has been an upgrade over the first in every way. Thanks to O-Kairi for providing this week’s caps!

As I’m wont to do, let me get the niggling out of the way early so I can focus on the good stuff – and there was a ton of good stuff (and better) in this episode of Kakumeiki Valvrave. Why the hell didn’t L-Elf just shoot Q-Vier (note: I’ve wanted to do that since the first time he appeared on-screen)? It seemed like a perfect Raiders of the Lost Ark setup there – except L-Elf wouldn’t have even had to pull out his handgun as Indy did, he was already using it. I can only conclude that he actually took the time to put his gun away before taking out his knife to duel Q-Vier. Whaa?

That done, I can move on to the rest of the episode – which was one of the best in a season-and-a-half of Valvrave insanity. That gun incident wasn’t the only “Raiders” moment for me, because the ep struck me as a sort of combination of “Raiders”, Zetsuen no Tempest and Don Giovanni. I have a weakness for anime that have a sense of scope and grandiosity, it’s true, and Valvrave is proving itself to have a real operatic quality to it just as Zetsuen did. The soundtrack is even reflecting this more and more as the series progresses.

As I’ve said before Valvrave has exceeded the expectations I had for it – I knew it could be very entertaining but I didn’t expect it to hold together as well as it has. My track record with the second-split cour/sequel of shows I liked but didn’t love is pretty consistent – I almost never like them as much the second time around and often don’t find enough to even keep me watching to the finish. It’s been just the opposite here – Valvrave has grown up. It’s still absurdly expansive but now it (mostly) makes sense, and we’re getting some genuinely compelling character moments to boot.

This week featured the same nice balance of action progressing on several fronts while still being coherent and easy to follow. Cain has lamped out L-Elf’s plan (this conflict has increasingly cast itself as a battle of wits and wills between these two), forcing him to drop up Lieselotte with Haruto while he improvises an escape route using a drawbridge over the (I assume) Danube. Renbokouji has increasingly asserted himself as a surprisingly competent interim leader, holding the team together and issuing sensible commands while he waits for his Prince Charming to come save him. Saki has managed to de-shota herself and land back in her true body, but A-Drei catches her mid-bite, and is understandably anxious to know what he’s just witnessed.

The second half of the episode is a mix of pure adrenaline and heartbreak, as L-Elf goes on an Indiana Jones-like motorbike rampage to try and lower the drawbridge while the team inside the museum struggles to hold on until the Valvraves arrive for backup. As this is happening Lieselotte is giving Haruto her life story and in the process, valuable intel on just what he is and what the stakes of this battle are. She’s a Magius, a being without physical form who was part of a party that crashed on Earth (just as Pino and Plue. are) “hundreds of years” earlier (the whole thing with L-Elf would never have worked, given the age difference). While the others eventually formed the “Committee of 101” to secretly wield power and ensure a food supply of runes, she rebelled and tried to establish friendly relations with the humans – for which she was punished with the “Curse of Diffusion”, leaving her eternally on the edge of death from rune depletion.

At this point of the episode it’s already pretty clear that Lieselotte’s story is going to end tragically. In fact it’s only Haruto’s insistence that keeps her from staying behind to begin with (we actually get a rare Shouko – remember her? – sighting as Haruto internally compares his situation with that of L-Elf and Lieselotte), and it’s a good thing, as it’s her presence that allows the shuttle to escape. But it’s at the cost of her own life, as she expends her remaining runes in order to repair the damage Q-Vier’s “bigger knife” did to the hydrogen booster (no, I don’t really know how she does it) and goes the way of Marie. The body count is really starting to pile up – Marie, H-Neun, Lieselotte – not to be alarmist, but we’re pretty consistently losing one per episode now. My dominant thought here is that there’s going to be hell to pay for this – L-Elf seems to have been pushing himself forward entirely out of his obsession with Lieselotte and with that gone, I’m not sure who’s in more danger – his enemies or the “allies” who are actually stuck on the same ship with him.

Who’s next to go? Well, the flash-forwards tell us who it isn’t, and we can assume the likes of Haruto aren’t going anywhere this soon. There’s still plenty of drama – Saki is behind enemy lines with A-Drei (nary a mention of her on the fleeing shuttle, though they had plenty else to worry about in the moment). I must confess I love the way the man-crush for L-Elf on the part of Haruto and Renbokouji is depicted here – he’s like their knight in shining armor, despite all the shocking brutality they’ve witnessed from him. Is all this going to end well? I can’t imagine it will – the whole thing with the Valvraves just seems like a curse generally speaking, tainting anyone who touches it. We know who’ll be left standing, but I suspect the road to get there is going to be paved with tragedy – and I’m surprised at how much I’ve come to care about that.


Episode 20

All work and no play makes L-Elf a dull boy.

As we get closer to the end of this series one truth is certainly emerging – Valvrave is suffering. It doesn’t seem that any of the good guys are immune to it – dying, losing parents, being raped by friends in vampire mode, slowly getting your memories sucked dry by an alien Hoover until you expire, losing the love of your life who you’ve been chasing since childhood. Being a protagonist in this series isn’t a pretty job. I’ve opined before that this is the sort of show that could go full-on tragic for an its ending (writer Okouchi Ichiro certainly isn’t afraid of tragedy) and it seems more and more a realistic possibility with each passing week.

This was definitely a step-back episode in terms of action, but not in emotional gravity. L-Elf set the tone: rather than go off on a rage-induced spree of violence, he retreated literally and figuratively into a shell. He holed himself up inside a storage room and obsessively searched for where he’d gone wrong, what he could have done to save Lieselotte – and found nothing. It might seem out of character but generally speaking, Valvrave has been more thoughtful and restrained this season so I think it sort of fits. It certainly is the case that L-Elf’s motivation has almost entirely been driven by Lieselotte, and losing it has rendered him effectively useless to Sakimori Academy and its cause, for now anyway.

Again choosing the quiet and somber approach over bombast, Valvrave turned to politics as the battlefield this week. Shouko has been busy in the absence of the others, working behind the scenes to get Dorssia condemned internationally and try to force the world into helping take back JIOR. Politics is every bit the dangerous game warfare is, and even more treacherous – and it’s easy to see that this isn’t going to end well for Module 77’s plucky underdogs. Much of this is framed through the device of Barnet, a cynical journalist with the highest-rated new show on the net – thanks in no small part to his coverage of the Sakimori rebellion.

Barnet is an interesting character (and an excellent character design – as someone who grew up watching American TV news, I can say that Barnet really looks the part) – this series is very good at making characters without much screen-time interesting. Even as he exploits the students for his own career it’s clear he feels a certain sentimental attachment to them, though not at all clear that it’s enough to motivate him to do anything more than pity them. It’s his brief interview with Haruto that’s the most interesting – he asks if Haruto doesn’t see himself as Don Quixote, with Dorssia as one giant windmill to be tilted. If you’ve read Don Quixote (shame on you if you haven’t) you know how it ends, and judging from Haruto’s reaction he knows at least the gist of it. Then again, Barnet also says “All the successful revolutionaries I’ve known had one thing in common: they were naive.” Does he think Haruto is too naive, or not naive enough?

Things come to a head when Shouko manages to attract an international conference to Module 77 to address the JIOR problem. The first thing that struck me was that gathering all the free world’s leaders in one place was a very bad idea and I thought that’s where this was going, especially after we saw the Committee of 101 declare that they’d lost patience with those annoying kids and needed to silence them once and for all. This impression is further strengthened when Barnet tells his team (minus his young producer, who’s missing) to bug out because he’s gotten a tip that “this is going to get ugly”, and the rescued JIOR scientists mysteriously disappear.

But once again, Valvrave chooses quiet despair over spectacle – to a point. And the point is the blade that runs a shackled Saki clean through on the webcast that the Magius interrupts the conference with. This is an interesting approach – rather than attack head-on the Committee (via their Dorssian puppet Amadeus) strikes at the heart of public opinion by outing Saki as a Valvampire. It’s funny to hear one monster calling out another, but the point is made – and even the vast majority of Sakimori students (who weren’t in-the-know) are horrified. This would seem to undercut the JIOR cause politically to an almost total extent, but then there’s Saki herself – it seemed as if there was remarkably little concern over her when the others arrived back home (indeed, I never heard her name mentioned until she appeared on-screen), but she’s in a world of hurt. The only ray of light I see is A-Drei, who seems to have a certain sympathy for Saki – indeed, there are growing signs that the surviving members of Yama Arashi (minus the utterly vapid Q-Vier) are questioning their loyalties in light of H-Neun’s apparent murder and the clues he left behind. As the stirrings of revolution rumble through Dorssia, it may be that the hope to bring down the Magius comes not from the Quixotic outsiders, but from within.




  1. Poor Saki. Looking back on it, the future Saki seemed like a different person (and yes, I am aware of the 200-year time difference). Perhaps this is the event that will have a significant impact on her character, and her life altogether.

      1. Most of what ended up happening on Earth wasn’t expected. And while L-Elf was certainly affected by what happened to Liselotte and didn’t really care about anything else, presumably at least someone else would have noticed their primary source of PR was suddenly missing.

  2. My main concern is the arus president, I find it rather “weak” that they used something as cliche as “this is a monster” in a modern era. If this was the era of witch hunts then that is one story, but in a futuristic era…….not as much. But if the ARUS president uses this as an excuse then there is obvious trouble.

    I am a bit concerned about that boy Saki possessed. I feel we will see him again.

    Lastly is Michael. We know that he had sire a child. Evident in the future. Does that mean that someone will get him out of his slump or a certain someone is alive.

    1. The President’s case is that he (may most likely) know the Magius are involved in this(remember he saw the Magius possess Fuhrer Amadeus back in ep 13).

      He may choose to abandon New JIOR to the proverbial wolves because he knows the Magius are involving themselves with New JIOR, and he’ll have to keep out of Magius business if he knows what’s good for him.

    2. Where can I buy that innocent naivety?

      It doesn’t matter what era it is, people were always and will always be pissy about those that do not conform to their beleifs of what make a decent human. Historically, discrimination was something that grew with time.

    1. Am I the only one who isn’t impressed by it? They should admit the truth regarding the Valvrave and the use of those mechas was a necessity for the good of the colony. And THEN tell the public the truth on the magicians. And voila, Magician plan backfired.

      1. Not that easy, they’ve been keeping it a secret for too long. And now that Dorssia has revealed it and not they themselves, all suspicion is in their corner. People usually don’t trust what they don’t understand. And if people of futuristic SEED world had an entire war because of prejudice against genetically-engineered humans, imagine what this world will think of beings that are not longer human at all? It’s that anime logic, if you’re different and have powers beyond mortal men, 9 times out of 10, you’re going to be hated and despised by most of humanity.

      2. New Jior is not a bunch of inhumans nobody trusts.
        Magius on other hand has complete control of media and both World Powers and they will easily show New Jior worse than they are, any ugly truth will soon become a forgettable myth and history will be written by the winners.

    1. Spoilers for the Valvrave Undertaker LN, to my 2ndhand knowledge:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Another LN that novelises the TV series’s events confirms the ARUS President’s name as Jeffrey Anderson.

    1. Poor Q-vier is really a product of his upbringing. You take a 4 year-old and train him for 10 years on 101 ways to kill, and I assure you, you will end up with a similar psychopath. Plus Q-vier’s actually in the middle of his puberty years too, so you’ve got heightened emotions on top of all that.

      As to why didn’t L-11 shoot him? Interestingly, not even in his rethinking of his plan to save Lieselotte, did her ever consider killing Q-vier, and you must admit that as many times as he’s had a chance to kill his old comrades, he never does and instead just disables them.

      Weirdly, both L-elf and Q-vier were acting honorably in their duel. I might maybe expect it of L-elf, but definitely not of Q-vier. But think about it, both boys had guns (I’m sure Q4 had one on him somewhere), yet both never took it out and stayed with knives. Neither of them did any underhanded strikes which could have killed either one of them, they kept their fighting honorable too. I was actually waiting for Q-vier to do the cowardly thing and strike at Lieselotte, especially when he saw that she distracted L-elf from the fight and was his obvious weakness. However, strangely enough, he never goes for her and keeps his fight to L-elf. They also keep it to one knife at a time, when both had and could wield multiple knives at a time.

      All this makes me think that perhaps there’s some kind of honor code between the Karlstein grads when they face each other one on one? Because neither L-elf nor Q-vier usually pays attention to any sort of rules of chivalry, but they suddenly did here.

      Also, it really wasn’t Q-vier’s fault Lise died. There are several variable that were in place that led to her death, that’s what L-11 was figuring out in his depression stage.

      1. A-drei, L-elf, H-neun, and X-eins all came in around 6 or 7 and while that’s not a large age difference, there’s a lot of child development that goes on between a 4 year old and a 7 year old. Since Q-vier went in so young, I’m guessing he didn’t have much if any family before hand, which is different from the other 4 who all had lives before becoming Karlstein kids. At about 6 or 7 you at least know who you are and have an idea of where you come from, at 4, you are making the transition from toddler to preschooler, and it’s one of the times that you’re most impressionable.

        And really, none of them have shaped up that well as well-adjusted human beings, H-neun was probably the most “normal” one, and even he has issues.

      2. @EmD

        X-eins and H-neun joined a different Karlstein willingly. They were childhood friends too. When they were nine, the Magius jacked Cain and he became the new director of Karlstein and made it a death camp, where they would be killed if they don’t follow their standards. A-drei and L-Elf were taken to this place (aged 7) and were the only ones of their age group to pass the test (kill someone of the group). H-neun and X-eins buddies all died because they couldn’t resist the new place, they joined A-drei and L-Elf eventually.

        Yes, you CAN AND SHOULD blame this on upbringing. Take a child as young as Q-vier was and train him only with kill kill kill every single day, they would break. He was taken too young and impressionable. Outside battle, he’s a fairly normal kid who plays video games. He was devastated when he heard they had to kill F6, L11 had to do it for them and set a code of honor. He was agitated when A-drei disappeared, he has huge abandonment issues and needs a shrink. Look up child development and the characterizations and different levels of empathy the five present match exactly for the trauma they received. A-drei survived thanks to the willing sacrifice of a sick relative, so he brought upon himself to restore the royal family. L-Elf didn’t give anyone sacrificing their life for him (and he had come from what seemed to be a prison before Lieselotte got him), so he had to fight to survive. Nonetheless, they managed to forge damaged bonds. Q-vier as well, his ‘death to traitors’ (to their group) reveals a lot about his mind.

      3. @Durga

        Just a small correction there. Because the manga are kind of made seperately, there are some inconsistencies, and so because of that I consider the anime to be cannon and the manga semi-cannon. For instance in Saki’s manga, the VVV project didn’t contact her parents till she was a teen, however, in the anime they suggest that all this genetic manipulation was done to the children before they were born and all the parents agreed to it before they children were born.

        The same thing goes for X-eins and H-neun, when they were in the army. The manga says they came in around 9, however in the anime, from the words X-1 and H-9 say regarding their flashback scene, they were already in the military and had already been trained in weapons when they met Cain 12 years ago. They said they were “sent” to take out the terrorist group, and the way X-1 talks, they had time to prepare with proper weaponry, which means they already had access to it and already knew how to use it. The time they were sent out to take out the terrorists, they were 7 years old, and they were already in the military. At the point we see them with L-elf and A-drei and Q-vier, X-eins and H-neun had already been in a while, since they state they have their own class while A-drei and L-elf were of a younger cohort. Since L-elf and A-drei were 7 in that scene (the first year L-elf came into the institute), X-1 and H-9 are two years older, so they would have been 9, and Q-vier who is 3 years younger, would have been 4.

        So yeah…at 4 years old, Q-4 already knew how to kill people with a knife and a gun. Which means he had to learn beforehand. So, we can assume Q-vier has been in Karlstien since he was about 3 year old. And you’re wondering why he became a psycho? 🙁

      1. All the kamitsuki Valvrave pilots already have their Magius mark. As Kamitsuki, they’re artificially made Magius, so all of them carry the same mark. Haruto already has his, so it can be assumed that everyone else has theirs too. Saki’s just hasn’t been shown outside of the flashforward.

  3. with the things for now, aside from Haruto and others I think the person who can save Saki is A-Drei, though it’s likely not to happen, but I really like to see it. Who knows it maybe an Athrun x Cagalli confrontation, ….

    1. Saki’s only hope really is A-drei. She’s on Cain’s ship, and all of her teammates are going to be busy with the new reveal. A-drei is the only one who cares a least a little bit about her, who has access to her.

      I actually thought more of Miriallia X Dearka when looking at their relationship, but Athrun x Cagalli is close too.

      1. Not with that rune gathering facility they don’t. If Haruto and L-Elf were smart they would’ve taken photos of the facility. I reveal your secret you reveal mine.

        I think the Magius need those runes to live so they constantly need that supply.

    1. Our heroes didn’t know about the Magius until their race to get back in space, long after they already left the Phantom.

      Even if they did take pictures, what would it prove? That Dorssia was doing human experiments? Would that be enough to prevent the Council from getting Runes?

      How could they prove the whole thing about harvesting Runes? As far as I’ve seen, most people don’t even know what Runes are. How would showing these pictures be solid proof of the Magius’ existence? Would it even prove that the Fuhrer is one?

      1. Not just experimenting. They were harvesting.

        It doesn’t prove directly but people will be aware. Mostly here if things get any worse, VVV tech and Pino is revealed. Pino is directly related to a Magius. If Pino is revealed, runes are revealed.

        Also what happened to that Phantom which was headed for M77? Didn’t they stop that? Where is it?

    1. You do know that L-Elf was the one who shot their friend who was a traitor (or something) right? They had to kill him in order for them to live. Really the case here isn’t that different. Tactically speaking there is no reason for him to spare his old teammates. They will only serve to further hinder his plans and have been completely brainwashed by Cain to think what they are going is right.

      1. Rewatch the series and see how many times L-elf could have killed his teammates in battle, but instead simply disables them. He cares for his teammates, just like in subtle ways they care for each other (H-neun’s color-coded earrings is a good example). They are really the only family that each other has. As for the other boy who they had to kill, you could tell none of them wanted to do it, and L-elf probably didn’t either, but he’s the most removed of his comrades and does most of the dirty work. Also from the way their friend was smiling, I’m going to say that it was of a sacrifice than anything. There’s more behind that event than A-drei was telling.

      2. He only shot his friend when all their lives were at stake including the life of the said traitor: it was an extreme situation. Someone had to do it, so it was L-Elf’s duty because the rest weren’t able to. In a way, he was protecting them. That’s why he carved that message on the rock for his team mates. He also shot one after knowing them for a few years, now he’s spent 10 years with them.

        Like Irenesharda says, rewatch the show. L-Elf always lets them go. He even instructs explicitly to Haruto to not kill H-neun when he’s in his body. They aren’t simply footsoldiers, but Dorssia’s best squad: the Perfektion Armee. Sparing them meant his plans were indeed hindered in season 2 since the beginning, nonetheless that’s what he did. L-Elf’s sparing them do put his ‘plans’ on potential danger, but if you notice in his equations, he never even considers to kill Q-vier (that we know). He turns down the challenge but gets shoot (no knife equals to gun) when he tries to escape (risking open fire when looking for a way to escape).

        You’re seriously overlooking the unconscious attachment he probably has and how mutual that is. H-neun even kept the earring that represents L-Elf. Q-vier, for all his psychotic traits, wants to kill him because he betrayed them. It’s a childish overreaction of a kid who is mentally unsound and doesn’t know any better.

    1. Sure he brought it up this time, in fact Kyuma also brings it up at one point. However, the point being is that for a teammate that they called their friend, and a girl who’s an essential member of the pilot force, no one even seems to be realizing she’s even missing. Since she fell out of contact back in episode 15-16, she’s been mentioned by Haruto only three times, Yusuke once, Kyuma once, and L-elf once. That’s it. She’s seemed to have dropped off everyone’s radar all of a sudden, and definitely none of the other students even noticed she was missing. That’s really kind of sad, especially considering that Saki is a pilot and one of the main girl characters.

  4. Sad L-elf lost his princess he end up depress in stated of him saving her she save him which was sweet to save a love one, I hope L-elf get himself back they really need him & I think he could consider revenge. Only a few episode left & I wonder what kind of twist they will come up with base from the future we saw everything was alright but no confirmation that everyone was alive. On the other hand poor Saki has to go through that just to show point that was really cruel of them now let see how the public for see this they in a tight spot!

  5. Whats all this talk about Saki being forgotten? Did you guys miss the argument between Haruto and Otomaya about needing to rescue Saki but in the end they have no real way to do so currently?

  6. Damn… I hope there will be a 3rd seasson because it will be kind of hard to finish it in 3 episode. SO many thing gahhened and so many thing unanswered, somehow I cant imagine how they will make that galactic empire in the remaining time.

  7. ¿Saki forgotten? ¿Nobody even think about her? Such deus ex machina is a ***** fail! This show need to be called the “Valvrave: the kuro kamukeiki” With Haruto not being a girly asshole, killing Shouko with the golden flashy finisher and quicking some Magius asses… while enjoying Saki obviously… ¿why all the MC of this mecha shows are so…? So ****** annoying!!!

  8. Think this is just the first part of the series, on one of the previous ep, saki said something about the events of module 77.

    Likely they will just finish the first part of the story this season, and if fans demands it, we will get a another series focused on the 200years of the empire. tho… Haruto will prob be dead by the end of this season…


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