Kakumeiki Valvrave [Overall Review]
Animation Company: SUNRISE
Genre: Action, Mecha
Trailer: PV 1,
Summary: True Calendar (T.C.) 71 – A new age where 70% of the human population lives in space thanks to the development of “Dyson Sphere”, a city in space. The world is divided into two main powers: The Dorssia Military Pact Federation, a power which grew out of a military alliance, and the Atlantic Rim United States (ARUS), which grew in power as it expanded its trade agreements. The minor nation of JIOR has declared neutrality between these two forces and maintains its peace through economic prosperity. Within the JIOR’s Sphere, Haruto Tokishima lived an ordinary life as a high school student in the division known as “Module 77″—until the Dorssian military begins their sudden invasion! But the whole world will be shaken when Haruto meets the mysterious humanoid weapon, Valvrave! – MAL
Throughout the show, the actual plot was difficult to pin-point since the only thing we knew was that it was going to revolve around the Valvraves. However it wasn’t until the end when it really kicked things off- by setting the stage for season 2 where things will be a whole lot more serious. In this season, Kakumeiki Valvrave was admittedly quite light-hearted and fluffy at times but it didn’t last for long as the dark aspect of the show eventually swallowed it whole. The story’s set up is awfully similar to how we’d see things set up for Gundam series and such, but the flow reminded most of people about the infamous Guilty Crown streak.
Now here’s the thing about Kakumeiki Valvrave. It’s a lot like Guilty Crown, reputation-wise and how things unfolded for some people, such as the first half being good and then bombing the second half while others either loved it as whole or not at all. However bare in mind Kakumeiki Valvrave is not over yet. This is only he first season, the second part of the series comes out in the fall. This season was merely a kick-starter to what’s yet to come, so naturally it’s going to be a bit rocky and at times feeling slow. On the other hand I know there’s a handful of people who just watch this show for the laughs because it’s so ridiculous. For me, I didn’t find it ridiculous, but it is definitely a tad different than what we’re used to seeing for mecha series (despite all the Gundam and Guilty Crown vibes), which is for most part why I enjoyed watching it thus rating this an 8/10.
Characters & Development: 7.5/10
Before the finale, it was honestly hard for me to understand how I truly felt about the majority of the main cast, but it was thanks to that episode that I was able to confirm how I felt about certain characters.
The entire main cast though do undergo a brutal development spree as their innocence are stripped from them and were suddenly dragged into a war. However it’s thanks to this element that makes their development so strong. In order to survive, they can’t be naive and whether they like it or not- must learn to fend themselves from the enemy’s attacks. When you look at our main cast, they are all pretty darn strong characters- especially with how they cope and adapt to the circumstances. However it is ultimately up to your preference whether their ‘characters’ appeal to you or not, which is why the cast in general can either be a hit or a miss. The fandom is quite divided about their opinions on the characters such as many either hate Shouko or Saki- usually it’s one or the other. For me, I love both girls and admittedly at times they did annoy me, but I didn’t let that character flaw (since every character needs a flaw!) bother me too much. As for Haruto the main, I have mixed opinions about him. On the other hand, you are guaranteed to love L-Elf and Akira.
Animation Quality: 9/10
I gotta hand it to SUNRISE. Typically I really dislike CG-Mobile Suits, but you know what- you can just tell that they learned a lot from Tiger & Bunny, because I really feel that you can see some of the finishing touches that we all saw in back then. First of all, all of the Valvraves have EPIC designs, I absolutely love them- the purple one being my favorite. The animation quality was extremely consistent and for most part- flawless. In fact, I don’t recall seeing any noticeable blunders. I hope they will continue this streak into the second season.
The OP and two ED themes were addictive to listen to so naturally I always watched the Opening and Ending. It’s unfortunate though to say I was quite disappointed with the first ED theme’s full version, that I actually enjoy the TV-Size Version better- probably because the song itself is incredibly repetitive. Both ED themes on the other hand I have been listening to on repeat forever ever since they’ve come out.
As for the Orignal Soundtrack, I found that it wasn’t as noticeable as some of the other series I watched this season so I’ll be rating this a seven. (However I might boost it higher after I get the chance to hear the OST from the CD itself once it comes out).
Overall Score: 8/10
You know there’s a lot of mixed opinions about this, and that was before episode 10 happened which had triggered people to decide to stop watching this show altogether. Honestly speaking I was on the fence about how I truly felt about Kakumeiki Valvrave, but the finale really did it’s job of reminding me why I came to love it in the first place. In the beginning it was awesome because it had that Gundam vibe and it made it it’s own rather than turn out as a “Gundam-Wanna-be”. In fact, a lot of people describe the show’s case of popularity turned out like Guilty Crown that too also had mixed opinions- such as one side of the fandom enjoyed the show as whole, others only liked the first half and felt it had crashed and burned during the second half- and then there are those who thought it sucked altogether. However this story is far from over as it will be continuing in the FALL 2013 Season, so hang on tight to see what on earth will happen!
Recommendation: Yes, but it ultimately depends on your preference
Kakumeiki Valvrave can definitely appear (believe it or not) light-hearted and fluffy and times, but make no mistake that this series is in fact quite dark. The first episode is something that most Gundam fans are used to seeing (frankly it’s almost like a routine each series), but then there’s a much darker aspect that had made some people extremely uncomfortable/upset to the extent they dropped the series altogether. There was quite an uproar about it too, but for your sake- if you would prefer to skip it rest assure it only happens once in this series which is in Episode 10.
The second part/season will be coming out this Fall in October.
I shall be hibernating until then.