Valvrave ep3: hackers, killers and vampires
Things in the world of Valvrave aren’t as heroic as they seem, ever. But that could be a good thing, as episode three seems to want the characters and the viewers to look at all sides of the coin… or die. And don’t get the wrong impression, I won’t be saying this show is deep, or good. At this point, I’m laughing and enjoying myself.
While episode one seemed content to set things up and then knock them down quickly, and with fireworks for accompaniment. And episode two was happy throw its characters around in the aftermath (ruining reputations along the way). Episode three is content to lay out the framework for the world. This is very evident with the opening scenes, showing the viewers the structure of the world. The totalitarian (maybe) Dorssia is composed of Europe, all of Russia, the Middle East and a significant portion of Africa. ARUS, with its democratic, trade based alliance is composed of the North and South American continents. And J.I.O.R. (don’t know what it stands for so I won’t explain) is comprised of China, Korea (all of it), Japan, Australia, India and a bunch of smaller Asian countries in the immediate area. I don’t prefer it to the more stereotypical way that Gundam 00 divided the world, but I’ll get used to it. Apparently, JIOR (I’m taking out the periods because it’s easier to write and its my blog) is supposed to be the small neutral alliance. Though I find that hard to believe with so much of the population of the world being in China and India. Bah! I guess I’ll leave my real world prejudices aside. This could always be the nicer, emperor governed and ruled China, before communism. It’s just gonna take some getting used to seeing China, Korea and Japan in an alliance together that isn’t predicated by force.
Back to the story, we see Haruto, a bunch of soon to obviously be dead ARUS agents, and L-Elf together in an area for L-Elf’s interrogation. Amazingly, these guys didn’t know L-Elf’s name, and freak out when they hear it. This guy is pretty infamous. Somehow this kid is a deadly weapon of biological uniqueness, capable of killing five THOUSAND soldiers on his own. It’s pretty laughable until you see how good he is, and how inept his opponents are. Before they drag him off for a more intimate interrogation, he gives Haruto a warning mentioning a loudspeaker/microphone, an earthquake (in space?), an panic (that would go without saying if there’s an earthquake in space) and the time 3:14.
The ARUS military that came in and saved everyone last episode touches down in the colony, and a politician (BOOOOO!) by the name of Figaro steps out. He’s a politician, so I immediately think he’s a slimy jerk hiding his true agenda. And his agenda turns out to be (for now) Haruto. Haruto’s celebrity just continues to grow, as this time the crowd around him seemed to be in such a frenzy that I thought he was gonna have a pair of panties thrown at him!
We then get a scene where L-Elf is being interrogated. It’s obvious there’s gonna be significant blood shed. So I’m moving on…
Then there’s a scene where Shouko and hacker girl kinda talk about Haruto. I hate love triangles! Moving! ON!
Here we go, a scene where sh*t actually happens!
For some reason Haruto, the girl he doesn’t like and two of their friends are giving Haruto a checkup with the ARUS equipment. First, I’m at a loss as to why the ARUS military isn’t looking over this kid already. I assume they’re either nice guys who actually respect his freedom and autonomy (not likely), they’re completely ignorant of the Valvrave and any of its capabilities (doubt it) or they’re preoccupied morons. Unfortunately for his friends, Haruto suddenly gets another case of the munchies and tries to put his teeth to one of the classmates’ necks. He doesn’t succeed, but this gives me the feeling he’s a ticking time bomb somehow. That moment just seemed so random that it had to be disturbing to them. I’m guessing his fits, and what causes them is gonna be a huge plot point.
Haruto is then awkwardly presented to Senator Figaro (probably less than five minutes after trying to munch his friend). Haruto is coerced into answering on a Twitter-like internet services (it seems this will be an important part of the show, because it keeps coming up). The internet goes crazy after his message and spurs excitement and reassurance to those wondering about him and the colony. A good deed for now, but when will it be punished? In a bit of a surprise, Senator Figaro is a very pragmatic man. He straight up tells Haruto to run away with the rest of his classmates, as neither he in Valvrave, nor the meager force sent by ARUS could hold back the armada hovering around JIOR currently. After this scene, things start to kick into high gear.
L-Elf escapes in spectacular fashion. The students at Haruto’s school begin set up for evacuation with the ARUS troops. And everything L-Elf mentioned to Haruto comes true. Along the way several hundred soldiers are slaughtered, a massive ship and near a dozen fighters are ruined, and a school bully is probably also dead. I was tempted to clap when that idiot went down. He was actually going to attempt to try and beat up Haruto for the Valvrave. What an ass.
At the end of the episode, Shouko finds herself next to the hacker girl as the colony is getting shook to hell. And L-Elf is standing in front of Haruto, speaking of a revolution.
I was pretty damned entertained. None of this seemed to go too slow, though the parts I mentioned previously were almost completely useless. Those scenes seeming to serve no purpose other than build atmosphere, give fanservice, or give what will probably be a very large cast early screen time.
I loathe this love triangle. It’s the kind of tortured crap that usually makes me quit a shoujo series, or other genres that force feeds the viewers this crap. I don’t know or care about the any of the characters in it enough to give a damn whether they care about each other, or acknowledge each other’s feelings at all before they die. This may be a stickler in the future, so hope Valvrave does address this issue.
The rest of the episode for me was decent dialogue, decent character interaction, and decent non-mecha action full of military fail. L-Elf is a complete badass on a ridiculous level, even for most anime. The seeming proposal of alliance between L-Elf and Haruto does definitely give me a Code Geass vibe. Though I don’t get the impression that L-Elf hates Dorssia for what has happened, and I’m not sure how much, or if he hates Haruto. And he should really, really hate Haruto. So that makes this show rather unpredictable for me, and I love that! Now then Valvrave, I’m gonna need more combat, especially in space. I’m gonna need more emotions from your characters besides confusion and hatred. And not those awkward hormonal responses I’m getting from this love triangle. And I’m gonna need to see more mecha. A lot more mecha!