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Valvrave The Liberator Episode #24 Anime Review

We’ve finally come to that fateful day when Valvrave wraps up once and for all. There’s still a lot to be done, and with the way the previous episode ended, there was no chance of a breather before getting right into it all. There are again a few different scenes playing out simultaneously which to be expected since, although a good number of major characters have died (and will continue to do so), this is the last chance for anyone to get some time in the spotlight, and so quite a few characters do. For the finale, it’s appropriate that the main duo finally work together more cohesively than ever to defeat the final boss, but there are important things going on elsewhere as well. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #23 Anime Review

We’re already at the penultimate episode of the Valvrave series, and while it feels like there’s been a lot leading up to this point, there’s still so much to cover that it’s a little surprising to have only two episodes left. The previous episode took more time than expected for exposition considering this, but it served its role, and there’s clearly nothing holding this show back from completely cutting loose and speeding toward its finish line, without it feeling like as much of a rush job as that sounds. Fortunately, it does so quite well, spending an appropriate amount of time on each of two main plot threads and working in minor ones to touch upon all the characters we’ve formed any attachment to, all building toward a climax that was in no way unexpected but also works very well to allow for what looks likely to be a more satisfying finale than I would’ve expected at any point in the series. Even with as much as this episode accomplishes, there’s still a great deal more for the finale to sort out before we can realistically reach the epilogue we’ve seen flashes of throughout the series, but this episode was a good indicator that it should work out pretty well. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #22 Anime Review

With everything that happened in the last episode of Valvrave, there was basically no chance that this one could measure up to it. At the same time, it probably would’ve been overkill if this one continued to go to the same extremes without any sort of mental relief, so it’s probably for the best that this episode is far less eventful. In fact, very little happens comparatively, especially considering how few episodes are left, but that’s not necessarily a terrible thing in the grand scheme. While it’s easy to criticize much of this series, especially events of this episode and other recent developments, for being overly melodramatic, I do have to point out some appreciation for the portrayal of the students who narrowly survived the massacre. It might seem a little too heavy-handed and there might be some truth to that, but I think in a lot of ways it’s one of the more realistic ways of conveying just how an immense tragedy like this could affect the bystanders who don’t have anything to do with it, and who get caught between life and death in the most pitiful of ways. I think that’s something that Valvrave has struggled with in its earlier moments and often didn’t seem to pay much mind to at all, so I’m glad to see the progression now that everything has to be treated very seriously. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #21 Anime Review

We’re really in the thick of it now. Dorssia has executed a multilayered plan to reveal everything about the Kamitsuki that they don’t want the world to know, and skew the facts to paint them as absolute villains, their equally ignorant classmates included. Their dramatic display was only the tip of the iceberg, though, and by the end of this episode, there’s really no telling how big that iceberg is. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #20 Anime Review

Although this episode of Valvrave has a very major event, there’s really not all that much to say about it. Most of it is spent catching up with the characters we haven’t seen for much of this season, and giving the warrior types a chance to have a little breather, although not all choose to take it. It turns out Shoko has been working at getting an immense amount of connections and publicity for them, resulting in a TV crew and a meeting with JIOR and a great number of other countries. However, the Magiuses aren’t going to let them get off that easily, and with Saki in their grasp, they can do something about it. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #19 Anime Review

As we inch closer and closer to the climactic moments of the Valvrave series, the revelations have been coming in greater and greater quantities. This time, the one person L-elf truly cares about, which he expresses in a more open and honest way than we’ve ever seen from him, reveals that she’s not the person she appears to be, and as with most of the other info dumps of sorts, the writing manages to wrangle it into some sort of a cohesive plot worth following as the story continues. Although it’s not the most prominent focus of the episode, the level of sympathy for L-elf that it suggests is possibly the most notable thing about it. Lieselotte’s reveal is obviously most important because she uses it to finally explain to the main protagonist (and the audience) what the Magiuses are, which paints the current paradigm with a bit of a grayer brush than it might have appeared. And while we don’t have much of a reason to care about her character specifically, the circumstances she finds herself in do affect L-elf on a level we rarely see from him, and considering he’s one of the two main characters, that’s very valuable exploration at this point. Having that connection to the Magiuses may be even more important in how the group, particularly the real planner L-elf himself, deal with their clear final opponents going forward. There’s no doubt more to be told about everyone involved, the protagonists maybe more than anyone, and the preview indicates that the next episode will be dealing a bit more with that. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #18 Anime Review

Compared to the past few, I’d say this is a fairly straightforward episode of Valvrave. The gang heads on their merry way, with a split occurring as the two leads each have someone to see for the first time in three years, and save. For Haruto it’s his father, while for L-elf— well come on, who else would L-elf possibly care about? That’s right, it’s Liselotte, and L-elf is as determined to save her as ever. On Haruto’s side, the big appeal is another heaping helping of information. We’ve learned quite a bit about the genesis of the Valvrave system and the pilot candidates, but there’s still plenty left untouched. Haruto’s father realizes that the series is in its home stretch, at least compared to how much left there is to reveal, so he gets right down to business. It’s all very interesting and good to learn, much like other similar developments in recent episodes, but the character of Haruto’s father is so ridiculous that it causes Valvrave to again slip into trying to be serious but being way too over-the-top and silly for it to really deliver on that front. Still, what was important was taken away from it, so assuming there won’t be much more time spent dwelling on the mad doctor, that shouldn’t pose too great an issue in the future. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #17 Anime Review

Although Valvrave has been pretty good with its character exploration lately, it’s also caused that nagging concern: there’s a lot to be dealt with in this story, and while these character moments may be more valuable, an original series should really be planned to pace all the plot progression well. That concern starts to be answered in this episode, perhaps to the possibly inevitable detriment of the deep territory we were diving into just before. So instead of spending much time on Marie, the matter is acknowledged and largely moved on from for the time being; the events of last episode play directly into this one at least for the parts from the protagonists’ perspective, but it’s not the "part 2" it could’ve been. While I wouldn’t have minded another episode to look more closely at Marie’s situation and give more time to the matters covered in this episode regarding how these new revelations affect the rest of the cast, what we get is basically what I’ve been asking for, and the latter of those issues will almost certainly be addressed in greater detail as these next few episodes play out. The big plot is definitely rearing its head now, although we see this mostly from our increasingly more ambiguous antagonists for now. READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #16 Anime Review

There’s a lot going on in the world of Valvrave right now. The team has crash-landed onto grounds fortunately very familiar to L-elf, but also crawling with Dorssians such as L-elf’s former teammates, who throw a monkey wrench into the plan he’s laid out for our two female Kamitsuki to carry out. But while all of that is going down and major conflicts are imminent, it appears that maybe there’s another female Kamitsuki in the group after all? Marie is recognized by the Valvrave AI Pino, and seems to take a bullet to the head pretty well. What was Marie’s past like, and how will the show manage to show that to us while dealing with the issues at hand? READ MORE...

Valvrave The Liberator Episode #15 Anime Review

As with several others in the latter part of the first season, this episode opens up with a look to the future, giving some hints as to how some of our characters and the main plot will end up, serving only to further tease us to speculate how exactly that point will be reached in this at times both formulaic and wildly unpredictable series. And of course, as always, this doesn’t last long, as drops us right back into the "present" (in terms of the main storyline) before we have time to think too much about it. I’ve always found these moments to be among the most interesting, but without any real foundation, they seem a little lazy and manipulative in this intention; it really won’t be until we see everything come to pass that any real judgment can be done on them. READ MORE...