Home > Episode by Episode > Valvrave ep8: to many more bittersweet victories

Valvrave ep8: to many more bittersweet victories


While I can’t say I completely understand the overall view of Valvrave the Liberator, I can say that episode by episode, I can tell what message they’re trying to get across. The overall theme seem to be getting things to mix, or work well together. Which is a welcome theme for this show, because it has so many interesting elements that I’ve been waiting to see come together.

We begin the episode with a flashback for a character who certainly could use one. After the events of episode seven, I have been wondering who the cute little girl with way too much make on was? It turns out that she’s a princess. And it also turns out that L-Elf owes his continuing life to her. I’m sure that as he was escaping captivity, he was going to be shot no matter what, but somehow these events ended up turning out for the better for him.

Of course this is all a dream, and L-Elf wakes up strapped down on a table surrounded by the school’s “elites”, including Haruto. We get a nice little peek at how L-Elf sums up the situation post unconscious spell before he makes another declaration.

Six hours.

Six hours is the amount of time New JIOR has left before it falls. He gives Haruto plenty of time to think about his request. In the meantime, there is a lot of character interaction to go through. Though most of that character interaction seems to be panic, anger and lamentation. Saki feels like an anchor in comparison to Haruto’s skill at piloting a Valvrave. I’m sure her character will be forced to face up to her past memories as a dumped performer soon. She surely views her sorties in a Valvrave as a form of performance. Meanwhile, the rest of the student body is not so quietly freaking out now that one of their own has been killed.

Now I’ll say this, while watching the episode I initially thought these students were just a bunch of whiners and cowards, but honesty and forethought has to be given here. These students are on their own. And while it’s a miracle that more of them weren’t killed given the amount of firepower that was snuck inside, I don’t blame them on second thought for freaking out. If their vampire alien classmates don’t perform, they’re dead, or at least slaves. Though all this newly acquired emotional package doesn’t come without consequence in this nervous atmosphere. Several of the characters with knowledge of the Valvrave are now clamoring for it, demanding it even. Whether it be out of revenge, anger or fear, these machines are now acting as the greatest temptation, just as the first one did with Haruto.

As this goes on, we see a glimpse of the two adults left on this colony facing the fact that a child has died under their watch. I swear, these two are the farthest from leadership material possible, which makes them perfect choices to be stuck with all these students in such an impossible situation. I think most other adults would have taken the opportunity to exact their own measure of order or leadership over this situation, but I wonder if they’re just like the students who blurt out their titles. They’re just trying to keep some level of comfort or normalcy in this situation. Well good luck with that from now on, they have to clean Aina’s guts up off the floor of the hangar in which she died.

OK, I’m getting a little too serious. This is Valvrave after all, the show that I’ve dubbed “the height of ridiculousness” in my mind. If it’s not here in JIOR, then surely it’s among the homicidal boy band rejects in the Dorssian invasion fleet.

Hmmm, not so much.

A-Drei is in a personal meeting with the commander of the fleet, Cain. Cain makes it clear that he’s been willing to go along with A-Drei’s ridiculous plan to of trying to save L-Elf, but that he can no longer cover for A-Drei’s efforts. The next attempt will be his last attempt at saving the wayward serial killer/super soldier. The whole time this conversation is going on, there is this piece of jewlery chained inside a bird cage, shaking it the entire time. Creepy stuff. I’m sure A-Drei was so focused on getting his boy toy (bad DKJ! Bad! Gay jokes are not cool!)

*ahem*

I’m sure A-Drei was so focused on getting his bestie buddy L-Elf back, that he couldn’t care less about some freaky secret in Cain’s office. The rest of the homicidal boy band is in another part of the ship as tiniest member, Q-vier day dreams of slaughtering more people. X-Eins tries to convince H-I can’t remember his name so I’ll call him Douchebag, not to hit on Cain’s second in command. This guy is awfully cocky for someone who should’ve died last episode. Luckily for him, Cain’s second in command is only concerned with Cain’s puzzling inactivity in regards to reporting L-Elf’s defection. Something that I’m sure is more than a small issue. He’s practically like the British government losing James Bond, or the United States losing Rambo/John McClane.

None of the conversation really matters immediately though. A-Drei being the punctual go-getter he is, has taken no time formulating a plan and making his last attempt at subduing New JIOR. Man, it’s so nice to see Haruto and Saki piloting in actual pilot gear. I was so sick of seeing people in school clothes piloting super mechs. If you’re gonna bleed in the cockpit, at least do it in proper gear. It’s just a pet peeve of mine that I got from watching so much mecha anime. Not to mention, it actually looks kinda badass on Haruto. I’m far from in love with Saki’s XBOX green color scheme.

I’ll give Dorssia credit for this, for an anime military, they are some of the most deadly, organized and efficient bastards I’ve seen in an anime. They always come up with a plan that’s two-tiered and clever. It’s far from the crap you normally see of “WE HAVE GIANT/NEW WEAPON – THROW EVERYTHING AT THE ENEMY AND RELY SOLELY ON THIS WEAPON”. And they don’t disappoint here.

A-Drei uses the space fleet as a diversion for both Valvraves, so that he can sneak his commando forces inside and steal the naval equipment tucked away inside the colony. He then uses those ships to bombard the school grounds and give the students the ultimatum to surrender or die. Smooth, very smooth. To make matters worse, the silver filings that were used in the previous episode are back, and they’re just as effective this episode. The only difference in application this time is that they’re being used by two machines, not just one. It takes only a matter of minutes for the Dorssian forces to put all of New JIOR on the verge of total defeat/unconditional surrender.

L-Elf’s prediction is once again on the verge of coming true, and Haruto takes it upon himself to threw with the deal this time. There’s no nimrod Shoko to jump in and ruin it this time. But this deal apparently isn’t one made out of desperation, as he demands that L-Elf do his best and not just save New JIOR with sacrifices, he demands he do it without a single loss of life. The other students listening in wonder why Haruto is willing to go through with this, and responds by saying that not only has he already thrown away his soul, but that he trusts L-Elf. It’s a comment that even gets a stunned reaction out of L-Elf himself.

With negotiations out of the way, L-Elf wastes no time putting his plan into motion. He ingeniously uses one move to shed the magnetic fillings that are hampering the Valvraves performances, but also to get rid of the naval fleet bombarding the colony. He even hustles to the hangar, past Dorssian soldiers (who of course were slaughtered along the way), to grab a fighter and use it give the Valvraves more time and a better chance at winning. And to complete the miraculous comeback, Haruto uses the overheating Valvrave to summon a powerful energy attack that does massive, direct damage to the Dorssian invasion fleet. Cain is the only one who doesn’t seem shocked by this, hell, he looks pleased.

The episode ends very well, as we’re given a flashback showing how L-Elf survived his escape attempt and his encounter with the Dorssian princess. And we also see that Cain has that distinctive Valvrave mark. He says something about his race no being able to do something. Hmmm…

I’m pleased with this episode. The show is definitely still stringing some things along, but we are given some insight into how this world works. Cain and L-Elf come out as the clear stars of this episode. L-Elf shows once again how he’s a combination of Lelouch and Suzaku all in one, and it makes me wonder sometimes why we have some of these other characters when he can be so awesome. Then again, I can live with him being the costar of this show, as Haruto gives him a good contrast, and a perfect foil for his dour and rigid outlook on life. And Cain is proving to be the second biggest mystery of this show. It’s very clear that he’s a major player in this narrative, just waiting to pop out and make his move. Though Cain’s words at the end confuse me a little. I’m not totally sure if he speaks of the alien race that may have developed this technology, or of the people transformed by it when he makes his comments near the end.

We’re also given a hint as to who the next Valvrave pilots may be. Kyuuma is bent on avenging Aina’s death, and doing so through a Valvrave. I’m not sure sense will get to him before he decides to get into one of those things. Raizo just wants to be able to fight back, which I understand given his circumstances and his personality. But when you nickname yourself “Thunder” you can’t expect me to not hate you, or at least root for you to fail. And then maybe, just maybe the student council preside could get in one. But he’s such a pansy and a weak personality, that I think he’s more likely to be crushed by a Valvrave than pilot one.

Weird as it may be, I’ve settled into thinking that Valvrave is more than just entertaining. Perhaps this show may end up being “good” by the end. Then again, the concept of good can be quite subjective. If I’m watching this show week to week, shouldn’t I already consider it good?

Further Reading:

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  1. June 7, 2013 at 21:46

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