Valvrave the Liberator (REVIEW)

Valvrave logo
666/10

666/10? Why? Because Valvrave is VALVRAVE.
Valvrave the Liberator (REVIEW)
Kakumeiki Valvrave (REVIEW)
(THERE ARE NO SPOILERS)
Note: If you are planning to watch this, avoid spoilers from elsewhere at all costs or it’ll all be for naught.

NOTE: This review does not meet my standards any longer and will be updated sometime in the future.

With exquisite delicacy and intense precision this masterpiece achieves its effects through the means of being complex enough through a divergent amount of integration such as the portrayal of numerous critical elements in the story, and the influx of monumental emotional impacts. This is not limited to the fantastical exclusion of all sane ideas, and it is most definitely a miraculous piece of work that breaks the stratosphere in terms of the elegance of it’s design. With the audience in mind, this anime brings to us something truly miraculous and groundbreaking that will forever change the landscape and will be the epitome of excellence for all future anime- no, not just anime, but for all future entertainment to follow. Indeed, it may be blasphemous for me to even try to review this sacred relic, but for the sake of future generations, and for the preservation of mankind’s magnum opus, I am willing to become a martyr so that not only our children will be able to taste the forbidden fruit, but also because when we one day perish, extra-terrestrial life will be able to recreate the cycle. What is this? THIS IS KAKUMEIKI VALVRAVE. THIS IS VALVRAVE THE LIBERATOR. THE SYSTEM THAT UNVEILS THE WORLD.

L-Elf looking confused

You see this guy? He’s a fucking badass.

If you’ve seen any of my reviews about Valvrave (careful of spoilers), you should know how I feel about it. Well, I’m not sure if there are many who diverge in the Valvrave following, but the heretics will one day realize their faults and convert to the true cause. Hell, that’s what this review is for in the first place, right? Alright, alright, so I know you’re already overwhelmed by this introduction so I’ll tone it down a bit so people who have not yet witnessed the glory that is Valvrave will be able to comprehend. But first, let’s talk a bit about the viewpoint one should take when watching this anime, and the criticism that has been put upon this anime since pretty much the first episode.

Takahi Ninomiya bitch slap

Now this is someone who is not badass.

Plebian 1: “Lol the characters suck.”
Retard 2: “This anime is so generic.”
Young one 3: “WTF this anime makes no sense.”
Misled person 4: “It’s just a gundam clone, move on.”
Almighty prophet AKA Child of ERU ERUFU 5: “hmmm, i might drop this series cause the story line is very very predictable…. they could have done it better imo :/”
Non-redeemable plebian 6 (Like seriously, Majestic Prince over VALVRAVE? Is this guy for fucking real?): “This show was such shit. I can’t name any really good or stand out things about it, and it’ll probably be standard sunrise garbage everybody leave and watch Majestic Prince and/or Gargantia instead.”

These are just some of the complaints I’ve found in a short period of time. When looked at the perspective of the innocent viewer who has no idea what he or she is getting into, it’s quite obvious why confusion ensues. From the five complaints above, the one who understands the anime the best would probably be “Young one 3” for he or she hasn’t quite switched to the proper mindset yet. Think of it like this, do you watch Death Note or Fate/Zero for humor? Do you watch Fullmetal Alchemist for the romance? Heck, I wouldn’t base my review on those anime for those reasons. That’s not to say the anime I mentioned are completely devoid of such elements, but those elements are supplementals and are not the primary reasons why people watch the aforementioned anime. More importantly, that’s not even what the writer(s) made each anime for. So what about Valvrave? People talk about characters, plot, story, mecha, and so on, what do we watch Valvrave for?

Valvrave I Hito

L-Elf prophet keikaku doori

KEIKAKU DOORI.

Now some people would like to say Valvrave is “over the top” or a “trainwreck,” and while I agree with the former, I definitely don’t agree with the latter. Well, the idea of a “trainwreck” has really been trainwrecked with how it’s been said in the anime community and now it’s meaning has been less and less clear. However, what I define to be a “trainwreck” would be to imply the idea that it’s “so bad, it’s good.” If one looks at Valvrave in the perspective of having a profound story, developing, and so on, then of course it’ll be “bad,” but that’s not the point. The problem that arises is when the anime is made on purpose to be absurdly enjoyable. Saying that it’s “bad” would imply that the over the top elements, and not the characters, story and so on, are done poorly which is not the case for Valvrave. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. So while it may be accurate to state that Valvrave is indeed insane, absurd, crazy, and “over the top,” it is certainly not bad when you take the intended purpose of the anime in mind.

L-Elf bloody

Because ERU ERUFU.

Because ERU ERUFU.

However, I completely understand the fact that some people just don’t like these types of shows. Now, I could go on with some more doublespeak or be pretentious like I was before about the whole deal with Valvrave and people not “getting it,” but some people do, and they just don’t appreciate it. They want the profound stories, they want the developed characters, they want these elements and Valvrave honestly doesn’t offer that nearly as much as other anime. I can perfectly accept someone not watching it for those reasons. However, saying that it’s “bad” when it’s not even geared towards that is different. That’s like saying Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is below average because the humor is below average. It’s not about the humor in FMA:B that makes it enjoyable or good and the same concept applies to Valvrave.

Because Shoko.

Because Shoko.

Valvrave vampire eyes

Dazzling right? That’s seeing into this anime.

Oh, you might want a bit of a premise for the story. Well, without spoiling too much, it’s basically about, as one person puts it, “BIBLICAL SPACE VAMPIRES PLOTTING MULTIPLE COMPETING COUP D’ETATS THROUGH THE USE OF SHINING FINGER MECHS THAT SEEM TO RUN ON NVIDIA AND ARE PILOTED BY VAMPIRIC IMMORTAL TEENAGERS WITH GOD COMPLEXES WHO ARE FACING OFF AGAINST SPACE NAZI CHARLES VI DORSSIA THE FIFTH.” Confused? Shocked? I don’t blame you. I actually had to edit some of it to make less spoilerish because that would ruin all the fun. By the way, this is just scratching the surface. I could add just about twice that since this was said before the anime finished airing.

L-Elf Karlstein opening theme

Valvrave cain

CAAAAIIIIIIIIIINNNNNN!!!

Firstly, when you’re going into this anime, please do not watch it with a serious mindset. Please just turn your brain off, and enjoy the ride. This isn’t going to be an anime with the same depth of storytelling like Shin Sekai Yori, and this isn’t an anime with fantastic character progression. Although, ERU ERUFU, and a certain someone by the end of the anime pick up the slack in the characters department. However, this is all done with a switch in mindset. Not all people are willing to do this and are criticizing it because of story, characters, and whatever, but why don’t they criticize it based on what it’s actually trying to portray? What about the FUCKING ABSURD, and INSANELY ENJOYABLE AWESOMENESS? Seriously, whenever I see a super serious review about this anime targeting the wrong facets of the show I just cringe at the missed opportunity for some very enjoyable absurdities that will make you smile, laugh, and sometimes cringe really hard. But hey, the different feelings that this anime will take you through is part of the fun.

Valvrave moses

Meet Moses. I don’t know any supporting character that’s more obnoxiously amazing.

Valvrave hito I 1

Rukino Saki completely broken desolated

Don’t worry about it.

Of course, that’s not to say that pulling off random events would automatically get a 666/10 rating. Sunrise is quite skilled when it comes to these kinds of shows, and their experience with previous anime that’s similar to Valvrave, like Code Geass, really helps shape the absurdities into something that people can still find enjoyable and not plain ridiculous. Personally, I’m not exactly sure what makes Valvrave so enjoyable. It could be because my friends also understand the perspective and share a similar mindset and we talk about it. Still, a lot of it has to do with how Sunrise excecutes the absurdities. While it may seem easy to put in random things, Sunrise goes a bit further and puts in lines, such as the incredible Moses part, that make the absurdities that much more amazing. Some parts even use juxtaposition nicely for emphasis. Even some plot points that don’t make sense are filled up later on with some twists. But in the end, I guess Valvrave is just VALVRAVE. That’s honestly the best way I’ve found to explain it. There’s no need to say “over the top” or anything like that because in a way, Valvrave found it’s own way. Once you watch Valvrave, you’ll understand.

Valvrave the Liberator Review Recommendation

If you’re into Code Geass’ random absurdities, and are perhaps looking for an enjoyable shut-your-brain-off ride, then Kakumeiki Valvrave / Valvrave the Liberator may just be for you. If you are the type of person who takes things more seriously and just don’t like nonsensical things or cannot switch to this kind of perspective, then I would say just don’t bother with this anime as you’ll probably hate it. However, if you’re not sure if you should, just take a deep breath, say bye bye to logic, switch your perspective, and have fun RAVING. Try a couple of episodes, if you can’t get into the mood after 3 episodes, just don’t bother with it. If you are able to get into the mood, I WELCOME YOU TO THE VALVRAVE 666/10 CLUB. Oh and once you’re in, you’ll never come out.

valvrave-the-liberator-VVV-tan-girl-anime

Valvrave the Liberator Review Conclusion

While this has been quite a lengthy review (probably the longest review I’ve done), I’m sure there are points that I’ve missed and things I’ll later find out that I wanted to talk about. Ultimately, I’d say Valvrave just comes down to one thing, entertainment. I haven’t been reviewing for long, but I have more fun reviewing for Valvrave more than any other anime, and that shows in my episodic reviews (careful of spoilers). Even this general review is no different. Sure, there are moments that made me cringe in a bad way, but even then, the myriad of random emotions felt refreshing. It’s not often we get shows like this that just deliver quality entertainment when you get into the right mindset.

I’m sure that while I may be screaming 666/10 every time someone mentions the very name of the anime, another will be disparaging the anime on the basis of elements like well developed characters, and so on that ultimately do not affect the enjoyment value greatly. Hopefully, this review will assist you getting the maximum amount of enjoyment possible and maybe even change some of your minds about the anime so you can give it another try. Of course, some people will find that it’s not their thing, and I’m fine with that. There’ll also be people who are haters who don’t understand, but hey, it’s their loss. We’ll be flying in space in glorious space vampire mechs and they can be trampled to the ground by Waffes. At the end of the day, who wins?

kakumeiki-valvrave-ending

NO SPOILERS PLEASE!

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  • Porokichin

    Keikaku Doori… dufufu~

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      ERU ERUFU. That is all.

  • xxbabaxx

    GO TO KEEP VALRAVING MAN

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      KEEP UP THE VALVRAVING XXBABAXX. OUR VALVRAVE 666/10 COALITION WILL NEVER WAVER.

      • Crazycolorz5

        VALVRAVE 666/0!

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          I decided to make it a little bit more fair and rate it out of 10 like other people do for other anime. Not that I ever rate anime out of 10, but VALVRAVE is an exception. Otherwise, this anime wouldn’t even be able to be rated due to it’s pure amazingness. But yes, you’re right about VALVRAVE having an infinite score. Yep.

          FOR THE VALVRAVE COALITION!!!

          • xxbabaxx

            WHAT IF I TELL YOU THERES BEYOND 666. no seriously i actually don’t know, but is sunrise and shit so … quite likely. VALVRATE normal rating just don’t cut it.

          • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

            Haruto: “What’s beyond 666?”
            ERU ERUFU: “Kanosei (Possibility)”

            YEP. ERU ERUFU says it best. We really don’t know what else Sunrise could pull up, and it’s certainly not the last we’ve seen of 666. We’re already seeing some possibilities. Next time, those possibilities will blow our minds even more.

  • James Du

    You did NOT use the Saki post-[redacted] scene picture and subtitle it “Don’t worry about it.”

    Not cool.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      BRO BRO BRO. Don’t worry about it…

      You’re NOT supposed to be telling them anything about it. Jeez. I’m trying to make people who haven’t watched this not worry so they’ll worry when they need to. RIGHT GUYZ? RIGHT. OK.

      • James Du

        GO. AWAY. TROLL.

        SRSLY UNCOOL. TAKING AWAY YOUR BRO CARD.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          D: NONONONO ANYTHING BUT THE BRO CARD. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

          • Drig

            *stealthily flings a spare bro card for Entrav’s use*

          • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

            MWAHAHAHAHA. MY BRO CARD IS BACK. WHAT NOW JAMES DU?!?! Can’t stop the VALVRAVE COALITION.

  • Capcah

    VALVRAVE Motherfucker, do you speak it? That resumes valvrave for me.
    A bit more serious, seems to me that sunrise is trying to do with valvrave what something similar to the works of Tarantino. Well, they’re being successful.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Yep, I think Sunrise has done a great job of making things absurdly interesting for this whole season. I had my doubts, but none of them matter now as I’ve been proven totally wrong with their creativity on how they approach storytelling.

  • http://bmdimension.blogspot.com/ Cassandra@Book&Movie Dimension

    “The heretics will one day realize their faults and convert to the true cause”-Valvrave the Liberator!

    So true. Valvrave truly needs to be given breathing room from large amounts of judgment and be given a chance. It really is a special anime series. So wonderful.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      All some people need to do is to get into the right mindset. The rest just flows naturally. I guess people are too used to watching anime in certain ways which doesn’t allow them to flexibly change their perspectives. Still, I think some extremely valuable entertainment is to be had here. I just hope they give it another shot.

  • Onomarchus

    Valvrave is the only anime ever made.

    That’s how I’ve taken to putting it.

    I want keep to the no spoilers policy, so if I want to gush about the series at length I’ll go back to comment on the episode 12 review. Still, I have to say there are certain statements in this review here I could take issue with; however, the comments indicate these statements were made intentionally with my concerns taken into account (or dismissed), and you apparently knew what you were doing. Discussing them would be too revealing, so I’ll just try to leave it at that.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      I never thought about it like that. That’s a nice way of putting it to say the least.

      If you have any problems with the statements, you can definitely comment on episode 12, message me on Facebook, or something like that. I’m sure I made mistakes in this review, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are things I could fix. Any criticism or help is greatly appreciated.

  • Angela Moseley

    Heh. Valvrave is a strange but entertaining beast. I agree with your review but I’m reserving my final judgement until the entire show has been aired. That said, I’m definitely looking forward to season 2. For my own blog I summed why the show appeals to me. Here’s a small part of what I wrote:

    “Ohkouchi used the kitchen sink approach when deciding which elements to add to Valvrave. We have everything from musicals to murder in this completely self-aware dark parody of a giant robot show. Enjoying Valvrave does require a suspension of disbelief (or a hardy sense of humor). It also feels like Sunrise could be a little too ambitious for its own good. If the studio succeeds Valvrave the Liberator could be one of the most entertaining anime series in recent years. If the
    series falls apart it’ll be nothing short of a spectacular disaster.”

    I still firmly believe part of the fun with Valvrave is that it feels like the show could fall apart at any moment. I believe this all part of the spectacle and Ohkouchi is manipulating our emotions. As long as the show continues to be extremely entertaining I don’t care.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      I read some of your thoughts on your blog. It’s especially nice that you mention the “kitchen sink approach” as I forgot about that in my review. I have to agree with you about Okouchi doing this to incite the nature of the anime to another level of ridiculousness. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting one that feels, like you mentioned, that one false move could mean a swift decline in the series’ success.

      I have to give it to Sunrise, or Okouchi for that matter, for keeping everything up well enough to be extremely entertaining, interesting, and mind blowing all at the same time. It rarely makes me cringe really hard without relieving that with some greatly entertaining moments. It still maintains this level that’s just manageable enough for people to barely swallow which is actually quite skillful.

      My final judgements are just for this season alone. The review for the second season will be for that season alone. Though, I think I should tie them both together somehow, but I’m at a loss for how to really accomplish that.

      • Angela Moseley

        Much thanks!

        That approach also makes sense. I have an idea how I’d want to review both seasons as one but we need to see where the show goes. Either way, I look forward to reading your future thoughts (and your current thoughts). ^_^

  • Kshitiz

    should i watch sub or dub?

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      This anime just came out last season, there’s no way there are dubs out yet. You don’t have a choice in this regard.

  • mokona4396

    I loved the heck out of valvrave.

    I would definitely rewatch it dubbed(in about a year or a couple months or so I guess).

    ….And while were on the topic of dubs, I think Chris patton would be a perfect choice of the voice Of ERU ERUFU, as well as getting Johnny Yong Bosch as the voice of A-drei(come on junfuku , bosch, it’s like were watching lelouch all over again, now).

    Definitely looking forward to season 2, it’s probably going to focus more on the valvrave pilots and the Dorssian unit side of things.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Personally, I am not a fan of dubs mainly because I do understand a bit of Japanese and the fact that they are just phenomenal at voice acting. They have schools dedicated to voice acting and successful voice actors are quite famous. However, there are some decent dubs out there, but once you watch it in Japanese, it’s hard to accept the English version as it does sound out of place.

      Some things would just not work in English as well as it does in Japanese and vice versa. In this case, I’m not sure anyone would be as amazing as Ono Daisuke voicing Cain in this respect. Not to mention FukuJun is just… FukuJun though the English dub for Code Geass is one of the better dubs out there though.

      In the end, North America just isn’t as dedicated to voice acting as Japan is, but if anime does get popular enough, you never know. Though, I can understand that some people do not want to read the subtitles and resort to dubs instead. That’s perfectly understandable. I actually can’t watch without subs anymore because I’m so used to it now.

      • KoalaZub

        Theres that and the script for the dub versions are usually altered to make it more suitable for children…

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          Well, that only happens to certain shows as for a lot of anime the translation itself is fine. It’s just that, plenty of times the Japanese voice actors are just a level beyond most voice actors we have in North America or other countries.

  • skillet_of_fate

    Gota say thanks for this review if I hadn’t saw this I probably would have just skipped over this show but 6 hours later mind blown….when dose season 2 drop?

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      No problem!

      Season 2 is in the Fall season or in October. Exact date is yet to be announced.

  • gustave154

    Why didn’t i watch this epic mecha anime masterpiece when it aired… FML

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      It’s okay, we all miss out on some great things in life. What matters is that you did watch it :)

  • A Person

    I ran into this review and decided to give this series a shot, and I’m glad I did. I thought it was a little weird at first but it turned out to be a really, really good series. It made me so mad reading the negative comments, though haha

  • Sp12er

    I love Code Geass Series and now looking for something else to watch… Well this one might be the one!!!

  • animefreakhq

    I’ve watch the first episode and was disappointed with the plot driven sequences. First of all, I could see the female protagonist dying (Even wishing it would happen) to see a badass revenge character driven. I had too many face palms to even count. It felt so rushed since they never explain to us his psychological mindset on deciding to pilot the gundam. Can anyone tell me the reason for continuing this?

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Do you like Code Geass? Do you enjoy the absurd aspects of that show? Do you like crazy shit happening? Can you suspend your disbelief? Can you turn your brain off? Can you just sit back and enjoy the ride instead of looking at Valvrave like you would with just any other show and instead enjoy the craziness? Mind you that it does get far better in the second half, but if you absolutely hate it right now, then I’m not sure if you should continue. This show is for entertainment. Do not expect a profound story or a completely well thought out and coherent storyline. It’s crazy, it’s absurd, and it’s fucking awesome that way.

      • animefreakhq

        Code Geass main storyline had suspence, unpredictable plot twist. It didn’t suffered from the generic cliche’s characters either. I know this series isn’t suppose to be taken seriously, but the whole science fiction concept in a war driven era really had me interested. Clearly I can’t enjoy this because it has too many plot-holes. I wanted a ‘completely well thought out and coherent storyline’ but this isn’t for me. If you have any other recommendations, please reply.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          Plot holes? You didn’t even finish the series and you say there are plot holes? Come on, that’s like saying Shingeki no Kyojin has plot holes because in the first episode they didn’t explain what the Titans are, what the Wall is, and so on. Can you point out examples of plot holes in the first episode? I will agree with the cliches, and while they remain there, it’s basically completely taken over by the unpredictability of the series later on.

          • animefreakhq

            First one I can think of is when the main character suddenly decides to pilot the robot. While I may have exaggerated, this series doesn’t seem to be something I would be interested in. I’ve watch too many anime series to notice the small things that turn me off. I will give the second episode a try,

      • some dude

        Geh coming to this site because I want spoiler so I didn’t need to watch this crap turn out the reviewer itself so biased.

        First of all you must be crazy comparing this to code geass(even thou both coming from same person), this anime is full of face palm moment if you can actually sit back and enjoy there is something wrong with your brain. either it was populated with crap show such as this one or pretty much gone since beginning. there’s no craziness only unexplained bullshit, hero suddenly super good driving, hero suddenly super bad at driving, hero suddenly super angry, hero suddenly depressed. It feel like the main character is some emo girly character that change a lot.

        anyway since there’s some positive review I’ll save it for some other time, maybe because I watch this after I watch daganropa and no game no life, this anime feel like crap compared to them.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          First of all, you still didn’t get the point of my review. For Valvrave, it’s all about the random absurdities. If you think Code Geass didn’t have them, I suggest you go back and watch it again. I’m really only comparing it to that. You can read the last few paragraphs again for confirmation. There’s nothing bad with comparing shows that have similar elements but are different if you consider the two shows in their entirety.

          You are in the camp that doesn’t like these types of shows. You can’t turn your brain off and just enjoy whatever random absurdities come your way. That’s fine. But you’re saying people who can sit back and enjoy have something wrong with their brain. That’s not fine. I could hold the same extreme perspective as you and say that people who can’t turn their brain off and enjoy this ride have something wrong with their brains. I highly doubt you’d enjoy reading that.

          If you can’t get used to this type of show. I’d just say drop it. There’s simply no point of continuing. It’s just not your kind of thing. There are plenty of people who enjoy this absurdly awesome ride that is Valvrave and my episodic reviews for it are proof of that.

          It’s fairly interesting how you criticize Valvrave for its “unexplained bullshit” and yet stand right beside No Game No Life that also has a ton of “unexplained bullshit.” Valvrave is just more blatantly obvious with them, and NGNL is just more subtle with them. They both have them, and NGNL didn’t exactly intend to be downright absurd for entertainment purposes like Valvrave. Regardless, from your comment I’d suggest you don’t watch it. It’s not your type of show, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just move on.

          • some dude

            What is unexplained here is not in story theory or explanation regarding the idea of the story, but more on small stuff like how shoko can actually survive from that big blast unscratched, that is just face palming viewer, when haruto came out of vavlvre there’s camera spectating but not when he got shot, survive, and bite eruferu, like when haruto can’t figure thing like need to bite directly, did he seriously think if he bite valvre he able to switch to pilot inside(absurd example how his brain didn’t work ;P). seriously there’s something wrong with this hero.

            While I enjoy gundam seed destiny, fafner, macross, majestic prince, it really hard to bring me to watch this, maybe I’ll save this up for later but I guess you’re right that this is not my thing.

          • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

            That’s the thing though. The very things you mention, the fact that Shoko came out of the ground unscathed and all the other absurdities later on are what make people go “Fuck yes, Valvrave too gud.” It’s random bullshit like that that are interesting to see because you hardly ever see shows that are so unreserved with their absurdities.

            It’s a type of show that a lot of people will not like at all. That’s perfectly understandable since not everyone can look at the things that happen as awesome comedy rather than bullshit that’s difficult to swallow. I just think that if you are on the side that can enjoy this type of show, this can be a really, really entertaining anime to watch. It’s not in the same leagues as shows like Seed, Majestic Prince or Macross at all. It’s made it’s own genre. The fucking crazy absurdities that is VALVRAAAAAAAVE.