|You Could Have Been So Much More!|
Welcome to the second in my series of three Valvrave the Liberator reviews. If you haven’t read my review of the first season, you can see it here. For me, Valvrave has been a very interesting series, because I find myself pulled in two different directions. On one hand I’m really enjoying myself and I’m finding myself immersed in Valvrave’s story, and on the other hand I am literally pulling my hair out from some of the plot decisions. It sure enough has me doing enough shameless advertising (speaking of which be sure to check out my next two following blogs on Valvrave! :P) So now that the anime has progressed onto the second season, does it improve upon the flaws of the first season, or does it wriggle and squirm as it attempts to cling to life? Let’s have a look shall we!
When the first season of Valvrave ended we were left with a lot of shocking revelations, and the future of the students of Sakimori Academy seemed a little uncertain. Season 2 picks up right where season one left off, and we see the that the Valvrave pilots, the Kamistuki, have decided to make a reconnaissance mission to earth. The plan is to sneak into JIOR’s Earth continents, and attempt to discover the truth about what has happened to the student’s families, and to possibly find out more about the Valvraves. What proceeds from this point is a very random assortment of events, resulting in a complete deviation from the initial plot line.
The reconnaissance team accidentally ends up crashing into Dorssain territory, conveniently close to the training camp where L-Elf and is Dorssian comrades were trained as children. The plot then proceeds to rush events as Dorssia’s new weapon to combat the Valvraves is introduced, and then the whole plan to sneak into JIOR territory is abandoned when they by chance stumble across a group of JIOR researchers, being held captive by Dorssia. This group just so happens to be led by Haruto’s father, and then we are finally given an explanation to what the Valvraves are in the most cliché and haphazard way imaginable: HUMAN EVOLUTION!!!
After this the team decides to say screw the rest of our country’s citizens here on earth, we’re going home. It was the most half brained plot decision ever, like the writers completely forgot what story they were trying to tell. Not to mention the entire first eight episodes of the series end up being one of the most boring parts and turn into a huge mess because absolutely nothing happens to advance the plot. It really felt like I was watching filler episodes the entire time, and I just found myself uninterested in what was going on, and much of that part of the second season was quite honestly forgettable.
One unique thing about the second season is that where the first season was one story, the second season is split into two story arcs. The first arc is the rather boring Earth Mission Arc, and the second is a complete and total SCREW EVERYTHING YOU’VE WATCHED story arc that spans the last four episodes of the series. I have to admit that the last four episodes were interesting to watch, because in four episodes a heck of a lot happened, and if you aren’t paying attention you’re going to have no idea what’s going on. To be honest, I did pay attention and I didn’t entirely get what the hell happened.
Upon their return to Sakimori Academy, the Valvrave pilots, minus one because she was pretty much forgotten by her allies, are reunited with their friends. Everything seems to be going well at first until a summit is held to announce an alliance between JIOR and ARUS. Talks are proceeding until all of a sudden the leader of Dorssia reveals that the Valvrave pilots are no longer human because they have a powerful healing factor and can survive mortal wounds. He does this by using the captured Saki Rukino as an example (I guess it was a really bad idea to leave her behind on Earth, eh guys?). The Chancellor of Dorssia then proceeds to tell the world that those like Saki survive by devouring humans (though this is not entirely false) and a reporter reveals a ship filled with humans with tubes stuck in their heads as “runes” are being drawn out of them. The people on the ship die, and it creates a big scene. All the students at Sakimori academy are labeled monsters, and a mass genocide is carried out by the ARUS army.
This is where the plot of Valvrave begins to fall apart. The entire world takes this one big “reveal” done by the Dorssian chancellor at his word, after having supported the students at Sakimori for more than a year. The entire world witnessed the death of students beforehand, but now they suddenly accept that they are all monsters because of this one incident. Nobody stops and asks the question if what they just witness was real. A random student is even shot right away, and he doesn’t get up from the fatal attack. You think this would be a dead (no pun intended) giveaway to everyone in the room that what the Dorssian chancellor says is not true. You would also think that some of the soldiers would actually question the action of killing kids. This heel face turn is the most ridiculous and unbelievable turn I have ever seen in an anime and it is just utterly frustrating.
From this point there are a whole lot of extremely unnecessary deaths, which are only put into place for the sake of being dramatic, and to tug at your heartstrings. This does succeed somewhat, but instead of the feelings being sadness or emotional fallout, what we experience is utter rage at witnessing what happens. The series finally ends on a bittersweet note as the heroes left manage to expose the chancellor of Dorssia, and manage to ignite a worldwide revolution, and there is an epilogue that leaves the viewers with unanswered questions as it fast forwards 200 plus years revealing a new world order and new enemies that we never learn about.
In the end the second season of Valvrave the Liberator is just a huge cluster of plot holes, boring story lines, unsupported actions, and unnecessary dramatic sequences. It falls so short of what the first season set up, and it left me wanting so much more.
The final verdict for Valvrave the Liberator Season 2 are 2 mindless husks out of 5 for its inconsistent storytelling, and downright disappointing plot development. I personally wish that Valvrave could have been more, but it looks like I will have to settle for what it is, or hope that there may be a movie made to fill in the blanks left by the ending of the series, but I won’t hold my breath; however, for me this is not the end of Valvrave the Liberator. I have no looked at both the first and second season individually, and coming soon I hope you will all tune in as I take on last comprehensive look that the entire series of Valvrave the Liberator as a whole. The truth that is Valvrave the Liberator has not yet been revealed to the world, and it must be before I finally put this great beast to rest.
See you all again soon