Kakumeiki Valvrave – Episode 1

Valvrave. Honestly, this one’s a little borderline for me. Code Geass was a very fun ride, but never more than that – and this show seems more interested in how super awesome giant robots are in and of themselves, whereas they were basically treated just as useful forces of brutality from Lelouch’s perspective (I think my favorite line of that whole show was his “fucking jocks!” as he failed to sprint up the bell tower). But these people can polish, and these people can entertain. Let’s see what else they can do.

Kakumeiki Valvrave – Episode 1

1:03 – Dear lord this show looks expensive.

6:57 – This has all been rote setup so far, but here’s an actual line.

“Happiness isn’t something you can divide in half.”

It’s a bold and provocative stance, reflective of more than a few very pressing global conflicts, and makes me think this show might actually be about something. They had my curiosity before, but, for the moment, they now have my attention.

8:17 – I hope this girl doesn’t get the Shirley treatment. Partially because Shirley was an awful presence who seemed almost designed to be wished dead by the audience, but also partially because she was pretty indicative of the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach to Code Geass which resulted in a whole student council’s worth of pointless side characters. Ooh, and also because love triangles are just cheaper, less realistic drama than two characters actually working out their disagreements with each other, not just being divided for artificial drama’s sake.

11:13 – Tshaaaaw! Pew pew!

14:42 – Maaaan. Why did I have to jinx her by invoking Shirley? Goddamn fridged love interests.

19:00 – Eh. On the one hand, the Neo surgical-training thing sure is plot-convenient. On the other, the process of learning this stuff is generally pretty compelling material. Hopefully they’re skipping this because the plot has bigger fish to fry, not because someone being good at roboting is more awesome than someone being terrible at it.

21:01 – Okay, now this is a really interesting idea. Have him go public immediately, and actually integrate the social media sphere’s response and perspective on him into the main narrative of the show. Lots of interesting, unexplored potential there. Compelling Idea #2.

24:11 – HAH! Now that THAT’s how you write an end tag. Tune in next time, fuckers!

And Done

Alright then! That episode was pretty much on the borderline of interest for me to keep watching – most of its elements were pretty rote (concept, characters, plotting, dialogue), and budget honestly does nothing for me, but there were a couple nuggets of interesting ideas stuck in there, and enough hints at the way the elements of the world are going to start working together that I’m definitely intrigued. I feel a show like this really needs a few episodes for the many characters and factions to actually click into place anyway; it doesn’t have that Geass spark yet, but I’m willing to give it a chance to get there.