Thursday, May 23, 2013

Valvrave The Liberator 1

The season is already half way done. Not a good time to start a blog I guess. Of course, that didn't stop me from doing so. Now, I could hold off a day and only start reviewing the newer episodes or I could talk about whatever the hell I want.

If you have to wonder which I am going to choose, then you really need to learn what this Blog’s name is. I'll begin with the anime with the highest entertainment value for me this season. Valvrave The Liberator Episode 1, Start!

The Not so Quick Summary,

The Future. Space. Humans have somehow build a Dyson Sphere and now live on it. Never mind that a real Dyson Sphere would need more material than you could find in the solar system. Please just roll with it.

Once introduced to the setting we quickly go to the best place to start a mecha anime, High School. We meet our fearless protagonist, Haruto, who obviously belongs to Neutral Country, because the Neutral Country is always Japan.

We are then quickly introduced to several members of the school via use of Space Facebook (Hazard makes fun of it but this was kind of smart). This is also used to introduce the three weirdly named countries: Dorssia (The Empire/The Nazi), JIOR (Neutral Guys), and ARUS (The Federation). I’m unsure if the last two are actually acronyms but Hazard admits they do look better capitalized.

Anyway, it also becomes clear Haruto has a crush on his childhood friend, Shoko. 

Yep, Someone actually made that T-Shirt

Now while all this high school stuff is going on, Nazi have been invading! A squad of four weirdly-named, good-looking teenage soldiers (henceforth referred to as Yaoi Bait) has infiltrated the school!  As exchange students!  See, there is a giant mecha underneath the school and they are going to steal it.

Back to Haruto, in a surprising display of decisiveness he decides to confess. Guy is just about to blurt out the words when, well, we all know how this plot goes.

Sure enough, Nazi army attacks Neutral Country. Neutral Country promptly gets its ass kicked. The students flee for safety. The scientists working on giant robot get killed by Yaoi Bait Squad. Giant robot is then launched to the surface to prevent its capture. The usual.

Haruto and Shoko are escaping when she... dies… Okay, not dies. A blast from a robot gets way too close to her and by the time the dust fades she’s nowhere to be found. Obviously, that’s the same as if she had bumped her head. Hazard's Number One Rule: No body, no death.

Haruto doesn’t take it nicely. Kid snaps and decides that there is a conveniently close giant robot. It’s payback time!

Once he finally figures out he needed to answer yes to the give up your humanity question, Haruto proceeds to kick ass.

So yeah, the usua-wait there’s more?

Haruto goes out of the mecha and meets Yaoi Bait Squad Member #1, L-Elf…

Yeah, let’s just roll with that name. Easy jokes are no fun unless they are Nazi jokes.

L-Elf stabs him in the chest!

Right through the heart!

And shoots him!


Don’t drop your jaw just yet, Haruto is not done. Bastard stands up and BITES L-Elf on the neck.

Haruto is a fucking Vampire!

Hazard’s Thoughts,

Valvrave Ep.1 looks like it is going through a checklist of standard First Mecha episode. High school boy. Mysterious Robot. Neutral Colony. Evil Empire. Crush. Invasion.  Cool first battle where the opposition is totally crushed by newbie pilot. Were it not for the fact that Hazard likes his cliches, he would be insulted. 

Then things get turned on their head with the stinger.

First of all, there is some weird degree of genre savviness in just killing the guy when he is out of the giant robot. Credit to Legolas there. Further credit for shooting him for good measure. Talk about overkill. Lastly, there is Haruto’s own transformation into something else, which clearly shows the question asked to pilot the Valvrave was quite literal.

I am curious on the repercussion this will have on Haruto, but I will save the speculation for another time. Now, Haruto himself is an interesting case. Haruto at the beginning is non-competitive to almost a worrying degree.

“I’d prefer a world where we didn’t have to compete like that.”

Dude, really? This isn't just a matter of being a spineless mean lead. This is thinking competition is genuinely bad. Come on, winning is awesome!

Hazard is disappointed.

As is L-Elf.  Guy quickly drops his pretense at being stealthy to tell Haruto how things are. You don’t share your ham and egg sandwiches!

Silly examples aside, I can agree with the gist of it. You just have to fight to win sometimes.

Besides would it really be fair if everyone got an equal result even if one side clearly did better? Competition may not be fair sometimes, but it is better than no competition at all.

Now, I fully expected to be subjected to a full season of Haruto going “To Fight or not to Fight. That is the question” (Yes, Hazard knows what the original quote is). Imagine my surprise with his lines to L-Elf after he gets out of the Valvrave.

“You’re right there is no world without competition.”

Shoko’s apparent death is the best thing that could have happened to Valvrave. Yes, even better than vampires. Haruto fully accepts what has taken many other MC many episodes to process. I like my cliches as much or maybe more than the next guy, but this one I can do without. Whether Haruto keeps up or not is unknown, but good going for now kid. Hazard is so proud.

As for the other characters, they didn't leave much of an impression for now. L-Elf looks interesting, but we don’t know much about him other than Haruto having pushed one of his buttons (Hell, even now at ep. 6 we don’t know much about him). Shoko… is a Genki Girl.

Hazard does not like Genki Girls.

Final thing, Haruto’s entire first fight is shown through Space Facebook by Mysterious Cute Hacker Girl.  Yep. All of it. Including him getting out of the mecha but not him getting shot and stabbed for some reason. Probably Vampires. In any case, everyone knows who pilots the Valvrave. Should be interesting to see how this develops.

Final Final Thing, Preserved Roses is an awesome song.

Final Final Final Thing, I will so try to do a shorter summary next time or maybe skip it entirely. 

Final Final Final Thing, Anime I will likely talk about this season:

Valvrave (Obviously)
Hataraku Maou-sama!
Maybe Attack on Titan. I am a Manga reader; so I really don't want to spoil things.


  1. So, I heard you got a blog now- a veritable playhouse even.

    Excellent work.

    Now, I have a question for you.

    Why the dislike of the Genki?

    1. Can I get away with saying I hate human happiness?

      No? Already taken?

      Anyway, basically, most of the time, they are happy because they are happy.

      I have nothing against someone who can be happy in spite of all the bad things may happen to him/her/it. I don't particularly hate a genki girl if her character can go beyond just being a very energic happy girl.

      Happy for the sake of happy can get annoying for me though. I'm like "Yeah, you're happy we get it. Now do something else already."