Valvrave The Liberator | Review: Ep. 13

Runes Are Science Now

Valvrave The Liberator is back with its second cour and I’m here to decide whether or not I was stupid for picking it back up. Having originally dropped the show after the infamous episode ten, I decided to give it a second try and finished the first cour earlier today in preparation. Now that I’ve seen episode thirteen I can easily say thatI have no clue if this was a good idea or a bad idea. But I had fun!

vlc 2013-10-10 23-57-59-52The thirteenth episode of Valvrave is split into two parts. The first part essentially finished the twelfth episode that originally kind of ended out of nowhere where as the second part kickstarts the story back up.

Haruto is being researched so we can learn more about the space vampires that all Valvrave pilots become and Shouko is busy trying to lead a nation when they’re living in fear of the Dorssians.

It’s important to note that the writing, for the most part, has taken a significant turn for the better this episode. One of my main complaints, and enjoyments when time called for it, with Valvrave was that the writing was goofy to the point where it was impossible to take things seriously when it wanted to be darker and more mature. This episode actually manages to deliver some really good darker content with the research being done on Haruto as a prime-example.

vlc 2013-10-10 23-45-17-45That’s not to say it’s perfect, there’s a scene where Saki that I specifically found pointless and tasteless in some regards that didn’t amount to anything that couldn’t have happened without her. I know I complained about female characters being underutilized in my review of the first cour, but if they’re only going to be used to push Haruto’s story forward without any development of their own, then I won’t praise them for it. But we’ll see how she develops throughout the series.

vlc 2013-10-10 23-48-20-48But it wouldn’t be Valvrave without laughably stupid plot devices and faux-science now, would it? Well, episode thirteen certainly does not disappoint with that regard. It’s as if they took all the silly aspects of the first twelve episodes and decided to out-do themselves tenfold with some of the stuff that’s revealed in this episode about the Valvrave Units, the space-vampires or even the politics of the series universe.

Oh and I know the space-vampires are called Kamitsuki.

Visually, the show did some pretty bad CG work this episode. Which is a shame as the actual fights themselves were cool and well directed. There’s not really much else to say about the art as it’s mostly identical to that of the previous episodes in terms of design and quality. But I do really like L-Elf’s new outfit, it’s neat. Hopefully the CG will look better in future episodes or not be used as much as it was here.

vlc 2013-10-10 23-50-50-47The new opening theme song, performed once again by T.M. Revolution and Nana Mizuki, is not close to as memorable as “Preserved Roses” was, but I have a good feeling it’ll grown on me eventually.

At least this song seems written to be more like a duet than the first opening theme was, but that doesn’t make either better or worse. The soundtrack itself was decent enough, but not really much to brag about.

So yeah, I rather enjoyed myself with the thirteenth episode of Valvrave The Liberator. While I’m still worried I’ll get burned in the end as the show goes on, this episode did give me some hope that I’ll end up enjoying the show in the end. Not sure it was worth picking up, but I’m not sad that I did.

Episode Rating: 4/5 – A New Hope.

Series available on Crunchyroll
Aniplex USA have licensed the Full Series for US distribution.
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