First Impressions – Kakumeiki Valvrave

Will this be less Gundam SEED or more like Gundam Unicorn? Find out now!

The final mecha series of the spring anime season has officially premiered and I have just one major question to ask, how does it fair against the likes of Majestic Prince and Gargantia? I certainly hope it does something amazing to get everyone excited! Joining me for this first impression of Kakumeiki Valvrave is another new blood aka Sumairii, which is exciting because I have already tagged with Highway.
Spring season brings us three mecha shows. And honestly, I wouldn’t consider Gargantia a mecha show, so it’s down to just MJP and Valvrave. And boy, there is no competition. Valvrave is much more intriguing than MJP by far. Especially if the first episode leaves off with the main character going all bloodthirsty on a baddie.

Super advanced stories?

Valvravee (2)

Akira-“Whoa cool story bro and trolololol.”

Valvravee (4)

Behold! The super awesome samurai Valvrave

Fosh // When people talk about Sunrise, most of us automatically think Gundam, but why am I mentioning that long running series? For starters the story of Kakumeiki Valvrave follows the basic setup of any traditional Gundam series aka a small group of soldiers sneak into a space colony and attempt to steal the giant robot that is hidden. This usual setup ends up pushing the main character into the robot resulting in him saving the day. So, for me this new series feels like a mixture of one part Gundam SEED and Code Geass together because of the really CRAZY ending that you just have to see for yourself after the end credits to have your mind completely blown. Aside from the really easy to follow story there are plenty of different things like killing off certain characters in the first freaking episode? WHAT? WHY? Just kidding! I kind of enjoyed that part for the shock value and I know some people will be like wait that idea isn’t anything “new” because it has been done before. Now for the topic of CGI! Usually CGI in mecha anime looks terrible, but for the first episode it was really amazing, even though looking at the other mecha offered this season I feel that Valvrave is way better than Majestic Prince or Gargantia; however, I suppose that is something we should talk about when each series has run through five or ten episodes?

Sumairii loves robots

Valvravee (6)

Damn I really love this mecha design!

Valvravee (8)

Mecha deaths are so pretty in high definition.

Sumairii // As Fosh mentions, Valvrave has some very heavy Gundam themes in its premiere. There’s the attempted theft of a prototype mech. There’s the loss of a love interest providing the main character with his raison d’etre. And of course, there’s the appearance of a rival for the main character to struggle against and overcome/befriend. I’m pretty sure that killing off the hero and resurrecting him as a bloodsucker isn’t part of the package though. But I admittedly haven’t seen all too much Gundam, so what do I know? Maybe this will become a new thing in Gundams to come! Seriously though, I’m very impressed with Valvrave’s premiere. The shocking epilogue does feel like a bit of a cheap way to keep us watching, but I am genuinely curious as to the situation with poor Shouko, who got absolutely obliterated. Is she really gone for good? She is featured in the OP (played at the end instead this time), but that’s no guarantee that she’ll show up alive again. And while I’m a little taken aback by her sudden death, I do understand that bringing her back would pretty much eliminate Haruto’s resolve and driving force. Although he might be more driven by the blood of his enemies than anything else at this point. Maybe we’ll get something cheesy like him becoming a demon of vengeance or something along those lines.

Fun with raves

val fun (2)

All that food is going to eventually kill you…oh…wait…

val fun (3)

Fun for all the girls.

val fun (4)

Haruto-“OH MY GOD MY BRAIN IS ON FIRE, BUT I LOVE IT!”

val fun (1)

I am in love…

bonus excitement from the true ending

Show ▼

End thoughts

So how did you enjoy the first episode of Kakumeiki Valvrave? Was it exciting for you or were you rolling your eyes because it felt like every other Gundam plot? I certainly have no problems overlooking such things; however most mecha based anime follows this geneneric set up of boy meets robot and becomes a hero of justice, with Valvrave I feel they are going for something else I mean the ending still makes me go WHAT THE HELL? I guess there will be a hint of supernatural elements thrown in for extra AWESOME or are they appealing to a certain crowd? I could see that, but I have to know how that plays into the overall story. While I loved just about everything in this first episode the only thing I can complain against might be the horrible death flags that were triggered? Yeah I guess every weak main character needs some type of motivation to fight the power!

Did anyone notice the voice cast? Holy crap we have Ryouhei Kimura, Jun Fukuyama, Mamoru Miyano, Yuki Kaji, Daisuke Ono, Yui Horie, Misato Fukuen, Ai Kayano and Asami Seto! I swear the only one missing is Hanazawa Kana or Miyuki Sawashiro who is starring in lame Majestic Prince. Oh yeah season two of Valvrave has been announced for October? Is this going to be like how Fate/Zero split the first and second seasons? I guess we shall wait and see.

Valvrave has me hooked right now. It’s really impossible to not be intrigued by such unexpected events. I know I personally didn’t take that ominous choice offered to Haruto seriously at first. It seemed like one of those cheesy activation sequences that only machines in fiction would have. Which, I will add, generally have no real consequences and serve only to make a point (see Prototype of Halo Legends) or to sound cool. And then the epilogue hits us. But I guess I should have seen this coming, given how long Haruto decided to ignore the question posed in front of his face. Obviously, the longer you ignore something, the more important it becomes. I will concede that he had a lot on his mind at the time, but you would think it’s pretty difficult to ignore the screen right in front of you for as long as he did (a whopping 2 minutes). This, and a few other odd moments aside, Valvrave is still looking to be a jolly good show, so I’m excited for more.

Preview

Valvravee (13)

L-elf-“Seriously I demand more freaking screen time.”

MORE FIGHTING ROBOTS!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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59 Responses to “First Impressions – Kakumeiki Valvrave”

  1. Liza says:

    Dang that ending. Obviously when a screen asks you whether to not be human anymore…it is a real decision and should not be taken lightly at all.

    For Shouko…I wonder if she really is dead. There was no body(although everything was obliterated…). Maybe she was saved somehow and comes back later to be vampire/zombie Haruto’s crutch to keep him sane or make him go, “what have I done?” sort of thing.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Hell ya that ending was so damn crazy along with his choice to give up being human? What is up with that? I guess heat of the moment choice right there.

      Yeah either she got killed off or she managed to survive somehow? I have no idea what to really think, but zombie mode Shouko might work…maybe the MC should bite her next? Then again, all those friend requests at the end might get him a new love interest xD

    • akagami says:

      It’s Sunrise. Even if there was a body, she’s still going to come back as German with a *mask*. With a faaaaabulous pose!

      • Foshizzel says:

        Oh god yes I hope there is some fantastic guy with blond hair and a mask appearing in Valvrave ahahaha

    • akagami says:

      And they’ll have an epic battle, and then he’ll realize its her and stop, and she’ll bring him to near-death, recover her memories, and then live happily ever after. In an apple cart.

  2. Irenesharda says:

    When I first read the summary for this show, it basically had “Gundam Clone” written all over it. However I really like Gundam (though somehow I absolutely HATE the Gundam series that everyone for some reason loves…*cough*Zeta*cough*)and so I knew I would give it a chance anyway. However, would it be closer to the awesomeness of SEED, or the blahness of SEED Destiny?

    Well, while it leans more towards SEED, Valrave somehow was able to make something new all their own.

    WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?

    I am a Gundam veteran, and this had the Gundam clone formula down to science. As the episode started, I just went down my checklist of mecha staples and checked them off one by one as they appeared. It had the two warring sides (The Atlantic Rim United States (ARUS) and the Dorssia Military Pact Federation (the Space Nazis)) with the neutral nation (JIOR) stuck in the middle thinking it’s safe. You have the tech scientists who are developing the experimental OP mech in the neutral nation, that of course one side knows about and is going to take down said nation to get. It had the children soldier spies infiltrating the school just to take the newly advanced mech. It had the pacifist MC who doesn’t want to get involved but is dragged in anyway. This had the Char clone arriving right on time with his infiltration units. It had the personal tragedy that spurs the MC to get in the new top of the line OP mech. It had the young rival that will challenge the MC both in and out of battle. It even had a T.M. Revolution OP, for goodness sake!

    Yep, this was a through and through a formulaic, but a very nicely done, Gundam clone. Nice animation, nice music, nice fight scenes.

    But that after credits ending? What the heck was that?! WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT??!!

    My mouth was literally on the floor. This has definitely gotten my attention I will be so following this one. I don’t mind Gundam clones if they are done right, but with this twist in there, I really want to see what they do with this. For there are so many questions that need answering! Such as:

    What is the nature of this Faustian deal that Haruto has made? Who is behind it?
    What will be the relationship between L-elf (or as I simply call him, L-11) and Haruto?
    Why does L-11 hate the world “half” so much? What’s his backstory?
    And what of A-3, H-9, X-1, and Q-4? Who are they and why do they have names that sound like the coordinates in a game of Battleship?
    Why is L-11 the only one of his team not shown piloting a mech?
    What’s going on with the Valvraves? We see there are 5 models in all: Valvrave 1 (red),3 (gold),4 (green),5 (blue), and 6 (violet). What happened to Valvrave 2?
    Who will be their pilots?
    Will those pilots become like Haruto?

    I had to give this a 10/10 just for that ending. There are just so many things I need to know and this show has totally captured my interest. I will be following this one very closely. It is my second favorite mecha of the season so far. Following closely behind Gargantia and way above Majestic Prince, Valvrave the Liberator is looking very awesome.

    Also, minor note here:
    According to quite a few other translators, the original fansub mistranslated what L-11 said in the stinger at the end. Instead of saying “D-Zero” which wouldn’t have made much sense anyway given the German motif of the Dorssians,instead he spoke the name of a woman at the end named “Lieselotte”. So who is Lieselotte? And why is L-11 so competitive toward her?

    Oh, the questions again!!

    • akagami says:

      Gaaaahhhh!!!

      And I was wondering why people were likening it to Geass, I didnt watched the part after the ED because I thought it was the next preview!!! orz

      But biting someone to use your geass is pretty handicapped. Won’t be too many enemies that you can get into lick-your-neck range.

  3. Bonk says:

    For all the decent drama the episod created, that bite in the last scene sent me rolling on the floor laughing. The guy was just shot to death and I was already thinking he’s a decoy protagonist… and then he stands up and AAARGH NOM.

    • skylion says:

      …yeah, I can see the laughter, comedy is built on the unexpected. Some folk laugh, some folk go the Dude McAwesome route. I did both in that order.

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, like I said in the podcast, Haruto got stabbed and shot and I was thinking “Oh well, so much for him.” There’s no way he could have plot armor, especially after they killed his prospective girlfriend, right? Right?

    • Foshizzel says:

      SPACE VAMPIRES! Woooooooooo!

      I kind of wished the MC died and white haired kun became the main hero! Now that would have been a refreshing change hahaha

    • BlackBriar says:

      A new species of vampire has been discovered. Please excuse me while I start my analysis. Hopefully I won’t have to resort to dissect them for information like a certain doctor in an anime that I know. :)

      • Irenesharda says:

        No! You can’t dissect Haruto-kun! He’s the only space vamp we’ve got!
        That is of course, unless he turned L-11-kun into a space vamp too…then, you can have him. I’d rather have the white-haired bishie vamp than the ordinary-schoolboy vamp.
        ROFL 😛

        • Foshizzel says:

          Another case of space vampires = check out Macross 7! There are a few in that old school series.

      • Liza says:

        You can’t dissect him because he might be an endangered species. Due to the chance that there’s only one giant robot that can create this condition, cutting apart the only “living” member of this species would be counterproductive!

  4. skylion says:

    I am not a mecha program watcher. I enjoyed (for what it was worth) the Eureka series, but those always pitched the politics and world building much higher than the mechs.
    Robotics; Notes was a proto-mech thriller
    Rinne was pretty much a yuri laugh fest for me.

    So I decided to get in on the ground with a new one. I like this Valvrave. Like the reviews mentioned, it ticks of all the boxes nicely (plus random boob gropage), and has a rather surprising price for the MC to pay. I heard you like vampires, I heard you like mechs. We put the vampires in your mechs and got mechavamps, yo.

    • Sumairii says:

      Lol mechavamp. Is that a mech that preys on the fluids of less fortunate mechs?

      • skylion says:

        Oh, you know how to turn my crank! You’ve watched Rika from Haganai…

      • BlackBriar says:

        Ah, man. More research for me to do. And here I thought I covered all types of vampires. I have a reputation to uphold!! :)

        • skylion says:

          I will gladly hand over my notes. You know my price, BB.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Not gonna happen. It’s a price that is too steep for my blood. I’ll have to find other means to get them.

            • skylion says:

              They’ve been well hidden, my esteemed rival. Well, well, hidden.

      • Irenesharda says:

        LOL “mechavamp”, the thought is hilarious, and yet…just so cool.

        As long as the MC doesn’t start sparkling and/or consume generous helpings of really bad melodrama, we should be just fine…

    • Highway says:

      I didn’t think I was a mecha watcher either, and probably wouldn’t be considered one. I’ve never seen so much as a single episode of a Gundam series, nor Macross / Robotech. Does Voltron and Transformers dubbed count? I watched 4 episodes of Sousei no Aquarion (and it suuuucked). I watched Evangelion years ago, and got really bored with it. But when there’s mechs as kind of a side story, that seems to do better with me: R;N as mentioned, Rinne no Lagrange as mentioned which was ‘girls doing badass things and oh there’s some robots’. I even watched Muv-Luv, which wasn’t totally terrible, just super uneven.

      And now I’m watching some more. I like Valvrave, although I’m not nearly as smitten by the mech designs of either Valvrave or those Go-Bots that were attacking. I really like Chamber in Gargantia, that’s a design I really like. And I’m still watching Staaaaar Driver!!!! (and you have to say it like they do in the bumper), which is faaabulous. So maybe I’m not that anti-mecha anymore.

      • skylion says:

        Now, I have to check out STAAAAAAAR DRIVER!

        Chamber is such a dude/bro.

        • skylion says:

          It’s when mechs are the thing or the whole of the thing, that I find I cannot watch much of. But as you said, make other elements of the story proper and put in cool robots, and I’m pretty much there…

        • Highway says:

          Yes, you totally do!

        • Foshizzel says:

          Stardriver is the best thing ever! Bones knocked that one out of the park, but there are a few episodes where it gets a bit PreCure in terms of mecha battle of the week instead of monster of the week, that said I LOVED IT!

          Stardriver movie where are you? I need you in my life T___T

          • akagami says:

            Seconded! I’ve been patiently waiting for the BluRay release.

            I also like the new theme song colorful (both the instrumental and single)! 9nine ^ ^

        • skylion says:

          I’m having a sick day today, no work, to tired to play. Sitting back watching this Star Driver.

          I’m very impressed with the pacing, and how they block the story. Passages from one character are layering on top of others. The choice to make Tomato-chan a storyteller is tops in my book as I could listen to her all day long.

          Good stuff, thanks for the recommendation.

          • Highway says:

            You’ll end up ahead of me, I think I’m finished with ep 10. They don’t spare the new characters, that’s for sure.

          • Highway says:

            My only problem with Star Driver is that it’s a bit Voltron-y, in that they have the same transformation (even though it’s awesome, and they change the backgrounds and BGM, it’s exactly the same sequence, so it starts to feel like “Ok, that’s one minute we don’t have to animate…”) and that his finishing move is always the same. I give them credit that Takuto doesn’t hang around doing useless other stuff, he just finishes people off, but it gets a little repetitive.

            • skylion says:

              I can live with that kinda stuff, the school life/secret society politics stuff is what is maintaining my interest.

      • Sumairii says:

        KIRABOSHI☆

    • Foshizzel says:

      I will turn you into a mechavamp in no time Skylion! Stick with me <3

  5. HannoX says:

    Well, my take on this is different from everybody else’s. While I’ve watched mecha, I’m not a mecha fan (I’ve never seen any Gundam). Haruto is the kind of character I hate (though I suppose his character will change now), the way he just goes and jumps into the giant robot that mysteriously appears and ignores for so long what is obviously a startup protocol on the screen while screaming at it for not working, then when he does get it to work he effortlessly takes out the bad guys without having had any training at all is just ridiculous. At least the Fail Five have had training! And don’t say he didn’t need training because the mecha did it all. If that’s the case, why was a pilot needed at all?

    Even the twist ending seemed ludicrous and a cop-out to me. However, it is good-looking so I will give Valvrave another episode. For my money Gargantia is the best mecha show this season. That could change, but I don’t think so based on what I’ve seen so far.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Welcome to the world of sunrise mecha where the plot doesn’t matter and the mecha fighting is over the top insane, but yeah the plot is fairly easy to follow and agreed at least our MC can avoid training missions >.>

      Yes continue with Gargantis and Valvrave! I dunno about Majestic prince, but I will probably continue to watch that series for the few laughs it provides me every episode.

      • skylion says:

        OMG don’t stop watching Majestic. The Fail Whale is swimming the Derpy seas. And it’s awesome that way.

        • HannoX says:

          Never fear, I plan to continue watching Majestic Prince. The art and animation aren’t nearly as good as Valvrave, but parts of it are funny and those will keep me around. I like a mecha show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and that’s part of the reason I loved Rinne and have it on pre-order.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Yeah, the mecha world is one of those “love or hate” things. You kinda have to get used to the “falling into the cockpit” and “instant expert” tropes, since a lot of times Sunrise mech shows especially, they never can nor do take the time to really train the pilots. Usually the pilots either learn as they go, have a real natural talent, or are some sort of advanced human that can operate or learn faster than regular humans.

      But you are right, usually, unless the MC has been pre-trained before the start of the show, he usually does fumble a bit when first getting in the machine and either needs to read the manual or get outside help/advice. Haruto here doesn’t and actually, my theory was that whatever was injected into him that made him a space vamp (my bet’s on nanomachines) also gave him the knowledge on how to work Valvrave. He did look like he had a mind-meltdown in there, and then instantly looked dead-eyed and knew exactly what to do.

      Well, they’ll hopefully answer questions in the episodes to come.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    The first half was slow and school life but enjoyable because of the sudden violence that ensued when those spies showed up. The twist? Yuki Kaji is in this and he isn’t playing the weak hearted lead but instead some severely disturbed nut job. “He’s still alive!” *shoots the guy repeatedly*. Something tells me Shoko is still alive though wounded. A tragic story this does not seem to be.

    At the beginning, I thought this was going to be another space mecha anime until that ending blew me away, all the warning bells went off. I figured Haruto would somehow get back up even after being severely wounded because he’s lead and things like don’t happen just when the story starts. The ending made me replay that part several times. Gets back up, sneaks up on the guy without a word and… CHOMP! Didn’t expect him to come back as some vampire-like creature. Well, we should have paid closer attention to the “Do you resign as a human being” question and that his neck was pierced on both sides before the machine became fully operational.

    You have no idea how surprised I was. Possible vampire elements in a mecha anime? This demands my undivided attention. I’m in!!

    • HannoX says:

      That ending was one of the things that really turned me off. It was like the creative team was sitting around and one of them suddenly said, “I know! Let’s blow everybody away by killing off the hero at the end of the first episode! Then let’s throw in another twist by having him come back as some sort of vampire! A vampire piloting a mecha! How cool would that be!” Oh, please.

    • D-LaN says:

      Lol I was wondering why tht redhead sounds like OHMA Shoe. Not bad I guess.

      Haruto is pretty Shoe though. Hope he gets better soon.

  7. Overcooled says:

    Whoa, this one really took me off guard. I think this is my second favourite first episode of the season (after Attack on Titan). I haven’t seen ANYTHING Gundam so I don’t care either way if it’s copying the formula. Awesome mecha fights with robots and someone kicking the bucket right away? Ahh, I love it.

    I think we’re all eager to see how this immortal vampire thing comes into play in future episodes. And as Sumairii noted, Shoko appearing in the OP felt like it could be foreshadowing. Ahhh, so much could happen from here~

  8. D-LaN says:

    Why do I have a feeling Shoko will either go mana OHMA on us or will keep popping up in flashback like Aika?

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