Home > Episode by Episode > Valvrave ep11: how deep is your bag of stupid?

Valvrave ep11: how deep is your bag of stupid?


…..

I believe the words intelligent and dumb both apply here. Though I’m loathe to admit that there’s a shred of intelligence in this bloody show. *sigh* Welcome to episode eleven of Valvrave.

It’s been said before, I guess I’ll continue to say it for as long as this show is airing, or until it proves otherwise. It’s very easy to compare Valvrave to Gundam, and it’s especially easy to compare it to the SEED franchise. Last week’s episode kinda made that unavoidable. Though I hate to admit it, I prefer SEED’s ability to keep things relatively subtle, as opposed to Valvrave’s more… over the top way of handling love geometry and sexual tension. This week, we move on rather quickly to another Gundam trope: the protagonist vessel making it tantalizingly close to safety before being cut off and thrown into a huge battle, or before that safety is shattered by overwhelming force. This episode is a combination of both.

The beginning of the episode shows us Shouko’s dad, the former prime minister of JIOR, being put before a military tribunal. A rather huge farce to be honest, capturing and trying the leader of a country before a military court that is populated solely by one faction/nation. The charge of feigning neutrality (though I hope that’s not a fansub translation mistake) when they were building weapons of “mass destruction” just makes me want to scream that they’re morons. Neutrality doesn’t mean you don’t field an army, do research and make weapons. That would only work if they were talking about pacifism. I suppose I’m going off on a tangent. These kind of things just really annoy me. Regardless, it’s obvious that he’ll become important later. I’m sure some people can guess how.

Back on New JIOR, there’s a combination of circumstances coming together. Akira (she really doesn’t get enough screentime) and Shouko are having a text conversation about the situation they’re in. Shouko goes on about how all the drama will be over and how everyone will be able to go back to the safety and comfort of their normal school lives again. The Moon is apparently a neutral nation or zone itself. So they assume they’re only hours from safety. The naive fool.

Meanwhile, we see Haruto meeting up with his victim/girlfriend/teammate/stalker Saki. And the show tries to show us that he’s still reeling from the knowledge that he raped her by showing him a woman in a bikini and having him crash down some stairs. I really have trouble figuring out if this is a date or an attempt at him apologizing because their meeting drags on for so long, and occurs in several different locations.

In regards to the Valvraves, which are the whole reason for this mess in the first place, it seems that the professor and some of the smarter students have figured out how to properly and efficiently cool the Valvarave units, thereby extending their sortie lengths. I would say the development is awesome, but its effectiveness obviously depends on how long the Valvraves can even survive in a fight, or if they can effectively protect that dock. They’ve beem outflanked on several occasions already. We’ll see why I say this later.

Inside the colony (I told you there was a lot going on), we see that the various representatives have been chosen among the student class. And we also get an interesting moment and freaky moment where Shouko tries to introduce Akira to everyone through a phone conversation. All the commotion and talk about bringing her out into the world outside her cubicle brings back some bad memories and makes her freak out. I mean really freak out! She looked rabid. It was borderline disturbing and funny.  Her brother scolds Shouko for trying to introduce Akira to the world, and says he’ll handle things from here.  I honestly don’t see how those two are related.  They act nothing alike, they look nothing alike.  He honestly just comes off as some creepy dude.  None of this matters for long though as the colony is thrown into one more battle.  Cain and his forces have arrived with significant backup, and a trump card.

L-Elf (who we haven’t seen the entire episode until now)  is not surprised at all by the attack, and has a plan set up in advance.  He leaves the school president a script to give him the ability to direct the defense while he goes off somewhere else.  Of course all of the Valvrave are deployed into battle.  L-Elf’s plan is to feign retreat to get the Dorssian military to drop their formation and give chase in a very linear fashion.  Once that’s been accomplished, they’ll use Haruto’s unit to wipe out most of the forces with the ridiculous harakiri attack.  While that goes on, there are some backroom deals to handle.  L-Elf leads Shouko to an office to talk to the head of the Dorssian military in the area.  The guy is quick to get to the point.    He wants her to surrender the Valvrave units, and he’ll spare the safety of the people of New JIOR and her father, who is in his ship and awaiting execution.  You can see that L-Elf has a pistol ready, and it’s clear to see that if she attempts to give in, he’ll likely blow her brains out and crush the deal.  Cleverly, Haruto’s countdown to unleashing the Harakiri blade is also the countdown for Shouko to make her decision, she just doesn’t know it.  It figures that she’s likely dead if she ever gives in to their demands, or takes too long.

While Shouko is crying and struggling with the decision to let her father die, her father manages to force out a few words, of course letting her know that her future is ahead of her, and not to worry about him.  At that moment, Haruto reaches critical mass and unleashes his attack,  destroying most of the Dorssian forces including the ship Shouko’s father is on.  Shouko is crushed, but the battle is over.  Or at least it appears to be over before Cain’s forces mount a surprise attack from below the battle’s flank (I told you the Valvraves were easily flanked).  The ship’s massive drill rips easily through the hangar dock and the colony rock, causing massive damage and killing many in on the way through.  Soldiers quickly begin blitzing the ship from within, and things are looking pretty bad.  Outside, we see the Valvraves attempt to double back.  Haruto is desperate to make it back, so Saki obliges him.  I’m sure Haruto’s thinking of using his abilities to hijack someone’s body and fight.  But just before heading in, he goes back to Saki… and proposes to her.

AAAARGH!

End of episode.

There wasn’t much I found surprising in this episode.  But when I was surprised, it was big!  Apparently Akira hasn’t had a fun childhood, despite her very high class upbringing.  Unfortunately, the show wasn’t very forthcoming with details about what exactly ruined and turned her into the hermit she is now.  We can only guess that it probably started when she was a young child.  And that her family probably didn’t help the situation.

The next big surprise was Cain’s little maneuver.  When he said that he was participating in the battle last episode, he wasn’t exaggerating a bit.  We already know that he’s likely like Haruto and the others who pilot Valvraves.  And now we see that he was a direct mentor to L-Elf.  The little super soldier isn’t surprised very often (aside for Shouko), so I’m on the fence as to whether he’s really been outmaneuvered already or not.  But whether that’s true or not, there are already enemy soldiers inside the colony shooting people up, so it’s already quite messy.

And the final surprise is… AAARGH!  I don’t even want to talk about it.  Haruto, you are the Charlie Brown of this show.  I’m somewhat at a loss for words after that.  I feel like such a hypocrite, too.  Just last week I was telling people how the ridiculous and stupid was common place in this show, but a marriage proposal floors me?  We’re officially in soap opera territory people.  Be prepared someone’s long lost brother or a dead person to come back to li– oh wait!

Note: I almost put Valvrape in as the title… wow, I really gotta let that go.

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