Saturday, December 28, 2013

Valvrave 24

Where the Hell is my Moon Festival?

Hazard wanted to review this right away, but he waited.

My rage needed to be cold.


The Magius (Magiuses?) have been exposed. Panic flares up all over the world. The troops are confused. Someone obviously needs to step up.

Cain Time!

In the remodeled VVV2, Cain shows up, attacks Akira and stops the broadcast. Cue the Magius controlling the media to make people think the video was fake. No matter, the seeds have been planted.

I got to say the fight was really cool. Cain is badass and he shows it by taking on everyone. The Dorssian kids show up to provide backup, but even that is not enough. Haruto gets knocked back into the module and X-Eins suicide attack only manages to take out VVV2’s weapon.

Also, A-Drei kills Q-Vier.


Finish it!

L-Elf arrives and tells Haruto to jack his body. Haruto is not bad, but L-Elf’s body is the only one with the skills necessary for the job.

The final battle starts: Haruto and L-Elf vs Cain.

This means a lot of talking. Cain explains the Council of the 101 isn’t some evil organization. If anything they are the ones who keep the world in order. The tried that coexistence crap back in the day. Humans tried to kill them; so screw that. The Magius control form the shadows and everything’s all right with the world.

In other worlds, the real bad guys are the VVV pilots who are messing with the world's order.

Haruto says screw that. Cue, rune overloading with more and more of his memories disappearing as he delivers an epic beating.

VVV2 never had a chance.

God, this was sad.
Later, L-Elf wakes up and sees Haruto sleeping. He wakes him up.

Only, Haruto doesn’t remember.


I got to admit this was so sad. Even L-elf was sad. Seeing him tear up and finally calling Haruto his friend was the best moment of the episode.

Meanwhile, the Royalist faction has used this as an opportunity to rise up. War erupts all over the world. Even ARUS’s president wants to get in on the Magius killing action.

We go back to the future where Akira is just finishing up narrating. That year would be known as the year 0 of the Galactic Empire.

Oh, and Shoko is alive and currently immortal what with being the new pilot of VVV-1 and all.

Damn it, Sunrise!


Can you feel the nail being hammered on the coffin?
Well, Valvrave was certainly a ride. The show managed to be unique in spite (or maybe because) of how non-unique it was. The action good, and it always kept you guessing what will happen next. Haruto, Saki, L-Elf and Shoko were all good characters in their own right and they had plenty of potential to be explored.

More importantly, Valvrave was fun.

At least the first season was.

What went wrong?

Sunrise, curse your obvious but inevitable betrayal
I guess I could saw the last few minutes when a ton of questions went unanswered and Haruto’s death had served to make the most hated character immortal, but let’s be fair. 

The problems started before that.

The second season had quite a few problems, not the least of which was the pacing. There is a lot of wasted time in Valvrave. The more I think on it, the more convinced I become they wanted something longer than 24 episodes for this show. Even so the spotlight shines on things we could have done without.

Like Satomi.

I like the guy but one full episode dedicated to the siblings was a bit too much. Satomi had a lot of character development this season, but was it really needed for the main plot?

I’m going to say no. Also, the time spent in Dorssia really slowed things down, and the spotlight on our favorite members of the Hitler Youth took up too much time for what they ended up doing with them.

Worse, the spotlight wasn’t on the characters we needed. Shoko and Saki were criminally underused this season. Thunder and Kyuuma, despite being pilots, don’t get much in the way of character development.

Now, poor pacing and lack of development for key characters is not the main problem. The key issue is that Valvrave departed from what made it good in favor of heavy doses of Suffering.

See? Suffering.
And at some point suffering just loses its meaning and becomes annoying.

Let’s take Haruto.

For some reason, he is the one powering up all the VVVs and no matter how he feeds he’s apparently going to reach a point where he loses his memories and die the more he pilots.

For some reason the other pilots never have the problem of having to supply Runes to their machines which makes little sense, because why are they Space Vampires in the first place then?

Anyway, this lose-lose situation takes up the entirety of Haruto’s character for the season. Season 1 Haruto was alright. He didn't start as the most confident guy around, but when the push came to shove he was willing to jump into a giant robot and go into a roaring rampage of revenge for his best friend. 

Even after, he wasn’t unwilling to kill unlike many other mecha anime protagonists, and the last episode of the first season showed he was determined enough to shoot an unarmed combatant with his giant robot in order to protect the country.

Basically, there is a lot that can be done with this kid.

Even the bad guys suffer.
But no, Haruto gets heavy doses of suffering this season. His characterization is dominated by that fear and doubt, and he chases after a goal we all know is never going to happen because the VVVs are alive and well 200 years in the future. 

So yeah, guy on a doomed quest. At least until the last 2 episodes. Not really all that entertaining.

This goes beyond Haruto. There are no more of L-Elf’s cartoonishly good plans. Shoko doesn’t make horrible, good food or burst into song randomly. Saki doesn’t get time to shine other than a few spots.

Also, H-Neun died before he could score with Kriemhild and that’s just unforgivable.

Seriously. Look at her!

VVV was an anime that could have been something but messed it up halfway.

And as we all know, you can’t split a good thing by half.

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