Valvrave ep2: monsters don’t have feelings?
Hmph! I wanna say monsters at least feel pain, anger, and pleasure at devouring their prey. Buck up Haruto! Your predicament isn’t so bad, and neither is your show. Valvrave has caught my interest!
So here I was thinking that Shouko was now a vampire of sorts and that he was gonna suck the “life force” out of L-Elf and make him a vampire, too. I was wrong, I think. Thankfully it seems to be a slightly different twist, as he’s taken control of L-Elf’s body. Aside from the viewers, this leads to a fair amount of confusion among Haruto’s friends at the scene, and L-Elf’s allies who have just shown up as well. Haruto takes the opportunity to fire on the Dorssian boy band, and take out A-Drei’s (I have a feeling I’m going to hate some of these names) eye. What a jerk! A-Drei’s not too pleased to lose an eye to a supposed ally, and I’m guessing he’s going to be getting the vengeful rival treatment, a la Yzak Joule (Gundam SEED). I mean, the pained scream into the black night was a good hint.
Somehow, Haruto is able to convince his friends of his identity through a friendly game of rock-paper-scissors. And I’m with Haruto in not understanding how any of that made sense. Meanwhile, it is apparent that the Dorssian military has thoroughly occupied the country, we know this by all the scenes of them pointing guns at citizens. Sheesh! We get it, Sunrise! The entire country is literally being held at gunpoint! We’re also left to see the aftermath from the last episode and the beginning of this one. Word has spread fast that L-Elf is a big giant traitor. Which I find funny, because the show wastes no time showing Haruto in his body as he appears before two soldiers who were just looking at his picture! Regardless, Haruto kills some soldiers, his pacifist friends give him lip about it, he states the usual, “this is war” statement (which actually makes sense) and we move on without much repercussions.
My memory gets a little fuzzy after this because of a scene where one of Haruto’s friends appears flying a helicopter and b*tches about it not controlling anything like a motorcycle.
Haruto gets his body back (which is conveniently close to the Valvrave), and shoves it in there. The chick he doesn’t like tags along too. Why? She’s curious and stubborn and woman, and this is an anime so that’s all the reason we need. Oh and she is getting fired on, too. Thank goodness and lazy writing for that storm trooper aim. The girl Haruto doesn’t like convinces him to try whatever it was that made him lose his body, which was biting the neck of the other person. Voila! It works! Now instead of a vacant body of Haruto’s taking up the cockpit, we have L-Elf feigning unconsciousness as he fidgets his way out of his restraints (this ends up being hilariously pointless later).
The Valvrave takes off, is attacked by the Dorssian space fleet and seems to overheat and shut down. Meanwhile, it seems that L-Elf has escaped his restraints and taken girl Haruto doesn’t like hostage (I promise I’ll learn her name next episode). Which ends up being a completely pointless and dumbass move, because he already blew the kid away and it ended up getting him in this position.
Up to this point, the show has been steadily showing us the counter that keeps going up on the Valvrave. Haruto knows that the machine freezes once it reaches 100,but that’s it. When it happens a second time, he assumes the same thing. But L-Elf (while still pointing a gun at Haruto for no G0ddam reason) clues him into the design of the machine, somehow cluing him in to a new counter that maxes out at 666 (oh my!). When this happens, the Valvrave goes absolutely nuts! It’s really nice to look at and pretty impressive. It fends off L-Elf’s former allies, who are now attacking him because of his uncontrolled actions. Though the battle only officially ends once the ARUS (the Dorssian nation’s rivals) fleet shows up.
I think I forgot to mention something important… oh yeah! Apparently, Shouko is alive and Haruto blows his chance to tell her he loves her because he believes he’s a monster, an unlovable monster without feelings. Which I would understand – IF HE WASN’T CRYING!
Despite me making constant fun of this episode and some of the decisions behind it, I really enjoyed my viewing of Valvrave. And it reflects positively on the first episode I watched. Things moved briskly, the show so far has been wonderful to look at, whether it be animation quality of special effects. The twist of Haruto being able to being able to switch bodies after biting someone comes out of left field, but it’s at least something I didn’t see coming. I wouldn’t exactly compare it to Code Geass just yet, but I think those comparisons can be understood. He does appear to have a special ability outside of piloting a mech that will help him in the plot. But the shows aren’t a one to one comparison.
I was annoyed at the whiny scene at the end where Haruto blows Shouko off in an incredibly dumb way, just because he’s afraid that he’s a monster. I feel as though he could at least have said he was happy to see her alive, or something. The end just struck me as gross melodrama. But let me say again, I’m enjoying this show! Valvrave is trying to be unique, even though it’s doing so by mixing elements of different shows together to do it. I can at least enjoy their effort. Any other potential plot points, love triangles or hypotheses I have swimming in my head will wait until next episode. I feel I need to see more before I start guessing at stuff. But so far, so good!