Valvrave ep14: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Justified in Hating Me
I will admit that this isn’t nearly as bad as slogging through Rinne no Lagrange, but sometimes an episode just wears on me. I mean, there’s just stuff that can make you like an episode, like having a character you like get more screentime, or an episode that is more focused on an aspect of the plot or setting that you find interesting. But then again sometimes stuff is just kinda stupid and fails to capture your imagination. That’s this episode.
I will give Valvrave credit for finally addressing the problems and history behind Satomi and Akira’s relationship. They are siblings (though even by anime standards they look NOTHING alike), so at some point this was going to have to be addressed. It just so happens that it’s done during one of those intense “decent through the Earth’s atmosphere” episodes that Gundam made so famous.
Basically, the whole reason Akira is a reclusive mess is because she has massive issues with trust, family and just human nature in general. Befriending her is almost like befriending a wild animal. She has a basic nature behind her that just doesn’t want to change because it’s her survival instinct. And all this of course stems from childhood trauma. Basically what happens is that a very young Satomi is stressing out over a very hard test that he needs to help him get into a high quality school. Their parents have put a ridiculous amount of pressure on him to make something of himself, saying that it all starts with, and depends on this test. It’s just a shame that he sucks at his education at the moment. Akira sees this, and seeing a sibling suffer like that, she goes and hacks the school’s security to peak at the entrance exam questions. Unfortunately, the young hacker was back-hacked, and had the authorities at the door as soon as she was able to get the info she needed. With the entire family placed into an interrogation room, the authorities ask her brother if he asked her to hack the system for him, and by the looks on their faces it looks like he did. But he flat denies her and throws her under the bus for punishment and ridicule. And apparently after that word got out that she got caught trying to cheat on a test and was labeled and treated harshly. All that abuse taking place right in front of her brother who always refused to help. It certainly explains her horrible attitude towards her brother and family.
The key to this episode is that after all that, they’re both on a shuttle attempting re-entry into Earth. And while defending the shuttle from a Dorssian attack, she ends up overheating and her Valvrave shuts down.
My brain, that’s when we get the whole flashback involving the siblings’ past. Satomi begs L-Elf to save her. L-Elf rightfully tells him to FUCK OFF (I’m paraphrasing). Haruto does something stupid, forcing L-Elf to reconsider, because he can’t possibly just let his boyfriend die. And Akria hacks the flight control communications because PLOT. That’s not a typo. I just shoved the word “plot” in there because thinking of the “what”, the “how” and the “why” of this shit causes me physical pain! Satomi uses his “skill” of picking out stuff out of noise to help guide them safely to Earth while simultaneously saving the wayward Valvraves and their pilots. But of course this leads the ship off course, and where do they land? In the middle of f*cking Dorssian territory of course!
Oh and before I forget, there’s a little side plot going on with H-Neun and the female lieutenant who used to always be with Cain.
End of episode.
AAARGH! This show. I like Akira, I really do! But her brother is so lame, such a coward, and has such a stupid way of contributing to the group that it just sucks this whole thing down for me. If I were to give this show credit for anything, it’s something it does overall. At almost no point do the Valvraves or their pilots feel overpowered. The damn things overheat so often, quickly and regularly that they almost seem to be ridiculously impractical because of their extremely short sortie times. If it wasn’t for terrible, storm trooper-esque plot aiming, then all of them should already be dead.
Man. Someone help me. I might not make it through this show.
Oh! I almost forgot, I did really enjoy the scenes with Akira and Shouko’s friend, Marie. It was good that Akira met someone who wasn’t intimidating, it allowed her to relax and talk to someone for the first time since leaving Shouko’s side.
Note: this episode did not have nearly enough Saki. F*ck you guys!