Valvrave ep6: beat the world!
This is pretty ridiculous. I’ve resigned myself to looking forward to this show on a weekly basis. Even massive holes in logic, nonsensical character choices or set up or cut & paste construction of this show have kept me from enjoying it. And to make matters worse, I believe the most flawed character in this show is my favorite. The more I understand of the characters, the less I care about understanding the show.
Episode six of Valvrave doesn’t waste anytime doing what it needs to do. With in moments of kissing Haruto, Saki is in a new Valvrave and tossing aside her humanity. And seemingly within moments of receiving the Valvrave and her new found powers, she’s causing mischief all over the place. She steals Haruto’s body and basically f*cks around all night (not literally, which is a tad surprising), and then just goes about her life the next morning like, “whatever”. She handles the whole situation like a child getting acquainted with a new toy.
A telling thing I get from this occurrence though, is that the love triangle that I assumed existed, may not actually exist. Saki seems to care more about her goals than a relationship with Haruto, but she’s still very grateful to him for the opportunity. I kinda share her opinion that Haruto and Shouko are a pair of simpletons, and perhaps she sees that maybe they’re suited for each other. Of course that’s when an alarm goes off, and things get a tad more interesting.
It looks like Dorssia has once again shown that they are much more competent than ARUS. Completely surrounding them and the newly independent colony. It seems their commander, Cain isn’t content with a stalemate, or negotiations with idiots.
The student council heads to the HQ, expecting to send Haruto out there to repel the threat. However, to their surprise it’s Saki who is prepping for colony launch. It’s amazing how flippant she is about the whole thing. She kinda brushes off everyone’s questions and goes into combat. Even for a show that doesn’t seem to care to keep any aspect of it grounded, this was a bit surreal.
Though Saki isn’t going into a regular attack. The Dorssians are taking a more calculated approach this time. With X-Eins in charge of the assault instead of the hot headed Yzak Joule wanna-be, the plan is adjusted quickly into a ranged battle. So while Saki was able to jump into battle and dispose of the grunts easily, the more advanced weapon platforms piloted by the elites have a seemingly infinite number of missiles to spam, forcing a machine that seems focused on close ranged battle into a disadvantage. Even when Haruto catches up and joins the battle (what took him so long to sortie anyway?), he’s unable to close the distance and they are picked apart slowly and with ease. Saki in her ineffectiveness freaks out and freezes up. Despite telling herself the whole time that she’s special and immortal, she still seems to fear death. Idiot. Or maybe that shows she’s smarter than she seems?
Meanwhile, at the school, everyone sees the battle and has noticed that Saki is just floating in space while Haruto is deeply engaged in the battle. Students start to jeer her and complain. Things are just bad for them, though. As the ARUS ship watches, they’re attacked and destroyed by one of the elites. Bye-bye Senator Figaro. No one will give a damn that you’re dead. No one!
The situation is progressively getting more bleak. And Saki remains frozen until one of the students mentions that everyone’s watching, and that she’s already on stage. That causes something in her to snap, and she pounces back into the battle. She instructs Akira to to broadcast the battle from her cockpit to the world and pulls off some silly maneuvers with her machine. Her technique acts as a sort of decoy for the missiles, allowing her to close in. Fueled by a sort of exibitionism that comes from knowing the world is watching her fight, and a flashback fueled rage and desire not to die a nobody, she is able to end the battle and make Dorssia retreat. Though the victory is made a tad suspect, as Cain has had a back up plan all along. One that involves A-Drei sneaking into the colony.
I swear, Saki has thrown her self into my heart somehow. The past two episodes have focused almost exclusively on her, and none of it was to the show’s detriment.
I’ve always felt that flawed characters were interesting, beautiful things. While perfect or exceptional characters are boring and unrelatable. It’s why I prefer Shinji’s annoying whiny ass to most other mecha pilots. It’s why I enjoy Tony Stark and Bennedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock so much. Your character doesn’t have to “normal” to be relatable. They don’t have to lose a family member or a lover to make you root for them. They just have to have some human aspect you can latch onto during the show’s run. They have to change. You have to see that character rise or fall, or both. And I can definitely understand Saki’s anger and desperation. She’s bitter at a world that has thrown her away. Previously, we were lead to believe that she was a “retired” idol. But through a flashback in this episode, we see that she was actually a dumped idol. The fire still burns in her to be great, to be recognized, and to make a lasting impression. And she’ll die to do that if she needs to.
So many of the characters in this show are just around to be around. They have no other motivation than survival. I’d like to find out that more of these characters had such good motivations.
As for some other characters, Cain is the one that sticks out the most to me. And at this point I consider him a very understated character. He strikes me as the clever and ambitious type, though not in the way L-Elf is. And through miniscule bits of dialogue throughout the series so far, he seems to know more about the Valvraves than most. Meanwhile, L-Elf spends another episode in the shadows, not killing. But he’s made some astute observations. He noticed how Valvraves have accepted two seemingly random students, while killing a soldier. He makes the observation that it’s because the students were part of the Valvrave plan all along. I say it was because the soldiers called the loli in the machines a slut.
Episode 6 of Valvrave was another fun piece of this series. I think it’s exceptionally comfortable in being just what it is, a show content in being over-the-top, fun and flashy without a ton of thought. And I believe that if a show knows what it wants to do and accomplishes that, then it’s done most of the needed work. I’m having way too much fun at this point in the show to be overly critical of it. I’m damn close to recommending it to other people. Ha!