The truths of the world finally begin to be exposed!
What They Say:
After Marie pilots Unit 01, the sacrifices and consequences that come with piloting the powerful Valvrave become clear. H-neun begins to act on his suspicions of Captain Cain to protect X-eins, and Haruto must face his nightmares or give up piloting.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Although Valvrave has been pretty good with its character exploration lately, it’s also caused that nagging concern: there’s a lot to be dealt with in this story, and while these character moments may be more valuable, an original series should really be planned to pace all the plot progression well. That concern starts to be answered in this episode, perhaps to the possibly inevitable detriment of the deep territory we were diving into just before.
So instead of spending much time on Marie, the matter is acknowledged and largely moved on from for the time being; the events of last episode play directly into this one at least for the parts from the protagonists’ perspective, but it’s not the “part 2” it could’ve been. While I wouldn’t have minded another episode to look more closely at Marie’s situation and give more time to the matters covered in this episode regarding how these new revelations affect the rest of the cast, what we get is basically what I’ve been asking for, and the latter of those issues will almost certainly be addressed in greater detail as these next few episodes play out. The big plot is definitely rearing its head now, although we see this mostly from our increasingly more ambiguous antagonists for now.
For much of the series thus far, the Karlstein group, sans L-elf for obvious reasons, has been a fairly singular unit, with few cases of any specific member distinguishing himself. The second season has been looking to change that from pretty early on (A-drei’s words to Saki’s body-on-loan has been particularly telling of this in recent episodes), and this episode is the real kicker in that regard as it gives H-neun, already arguably the most interesting character of the bunch, the point of view for much of the episode, and even turning him into a bit of a hero by the end of it. While they were always soldiers who simply carried out their missions faithfully, with their potential for sympathetic elements suggested most prominently by their initial defector L-elf, the end of the first season made it clear that they were most definitely not the ones to direct the villain radar at, as the real baddies operate on a far higher level, treating them as nothing but pawns.
While I may not find the protagonist side of things the most interesting in this episode, H-neun’s journey is a very different story, and the developments covered on both sides is setting things up for some very exciting things to come in the probably very near future. Now I care a great deal more about the Karlstein boys (except maybe Q-vier, but he still has a chance), and I greatly anticipate seeing how the two – now three counting A-drei and Saki – groups of characters come together for the main event.
Something about the pacing in this show always makes sacrifices feel a little forgettable after the fact, no matter how successfully climactic they were at the time, which is a shame. But as I’ve been saying for a while, this show does have a lot of ground to cover, and this episode made great leaps on that front. Most of the Karlstein agents now feel unique and important, and things are setting up for some hopefully very exciting developments in the next few episodes.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.