Revenge is on the mind of Haruto after the events of last week’s episode. With body switching, surprise appearances, and a demonstration of the Valvrave’s might, can this episode keep Kakumeiki Valvrave’s momentum going?
This episode picks right up where the last one left off, with Haruto biting L-elf, an act that temporarily switches their bodies, though it isn’t fully explained, at least, not yet. But once he finds his way back into his own body, Haruto immediately switches focus to avenging Shoko’s death, until it is revealed that she isn’t exactly dead, as he had thought. The realization that he had mindlessly been seeking revenge for Shoko, with no thoughts of the ramifications is something that hits Haruto hard and forces him to question his own actions and morality.
There is something about watching Kakumeiki Valvrave and just taking in the visuals and action that is immensely satisfying, in its own way, despite the cliched narrative. In an odd way, these plot deficiencies seem to add to the whole experience, as it’s clear that Ichiro is having some fun with the show and isn’t terribly focused on how everything ties together. Instead, his intention is clearly to entertain, and entertain he does.
With the reveal that Shoko was still alive, and Haruto’s subsequent breakdown, Kakumeiki Valvrave brings the conflict of the loss of humanity into full view and puts it squarely at the forefront of the plot. Haruto describes himself as a monster, not only for his physical changes, but also for the fact that his mindset is no longer that of a normal high school student, but instead, one of a cold blooded killer. At the same time, he pushes Shoko away, again showcasing the conflicts that will arise from his decision to pilot the Valvrave. The kind of moral dilemmas that the show presents are interesting enough to keep the plot from being stale, as constant political drudgery can sometimes become.
Last week, I applauded Kakumeiki Valvrave for taking a chance and killing off Shoko, so as to provide some future internal conflicts for Haruto. However, with the events of this week, my hopes for that have been erased, and instead, the beginnings of a love triangle have begun to take root. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, as I love romantic developments as much as the next viewer. However, the series really had a chance to focus on some serious content, like the kind of irrevocable actions that are caused by war. But instead, it threw all of that possible development out of the window to focus on a romance between Haruto, Shoko, and Saki.
Maybe this will be explained later, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around why the Valvrave would commit hari-kari for its “finishing move.” Isn’t its core the power source for the mecha? So why would Haruto think to stab through his power source? It just doesn’t seem logical, but then again, this show isn’t built on sound science, so who am I to complain?
All in all, Kakumeiki Valvrave’s second episode didn’t really add anything special that made it the must see show of the season. However, it’s still was an entertaining half hour of television, and that’s not a terrible thing to be. At the least, this series has proved itself to be insanely watchable, with strong animation and action sequences mixed with a plot that is currently up in the air in regards to where it will go. Much like another Sunrise series that similarly utilized fridge logic and was wildly inconsistent,like Code Geass, Kakumeiki Valvrave continues to be an interesting ride that can only improve with each passing week.