Question: How do you like your coffee? Some of you like your coffee black and bitter, and some of you like it with one or two teaspoons of coffee, and some of you like Starbucks. Of course, I’m not here to talk about latte, or Americano or your choice of coffee, but one thing baffles me: Who on Earth will eat just sugar? I’m not talking about sugar water or isotonic drinks or pop soda or whatever, I’m talking about pure, granulated sugar, in it’s purest and solid form. I mean, will you eat three teaspoons of sugar? Or will you drink two gulps of condensed milk? No? Yes? If your answer is Yes, then you must be an ant. Get it? I mean, ants like sweet stuff, right? But even ants don’t eat only sweet stuff all the time, right?
But what does that have to do with Kakumeiki Valvrave? First, let me go on with the summary.
In the near future, space colonisation has become possible and humans have conquered pretty much all the far corners of the solar system and beyond. And two superpower country-like organisations have emerged: the military based Dorssian Federation and the trade federation ARUS. The two superpowers spar off regularly however, amidst the two, there was a small nation that was neutral that flourished amidst the fighting of the duo, JIOR. Of course, that was before the Dorssian Federation decided to attack JIOR and conquered it with it’s supreme military power.
Enter Tokishima Haruto, a normal highschool student in JIOR (don’t we just love highschools?). When the Dorssian military attacked the school, he witnessed his childhood friend, Sashinami Shouko’s death in a blast and swore vengeance on the Dorssian Army who was responsible for Shouko’s death. Incidentally, a mysterious robot rose from the school swimming pool (coincidentally) and mad with rage, he got into the cockpit and piloted the robot and destroyed the Dorssian army fleet. By himself.
Typical mecha plot, right? But what made it special?
One, when he got into the cockpit, the robot’s internal computer system asks him something:
In case you can’t read the translated text, it’s:
“Is this sexual intercourse?”
No, no, no, I’m just joking. But due to that something something that computer system asked, Haruto was transformed into something else. Something not entirely human. Something immortal. And so, the anime transformed into vampirical-harem-mecha genre where the main focus became on Haruto and his harem. The harem came to be after his sex drive skyrocketed after turning into *********.
Then the things go from stereotypically mecha to “WTF-is-this-anime-trying-to-do” kind of stupid.
I’ll give you an example.
When you’re under pressure and someone is bullying your friend, you:
When you’re being surrounded by a hostile army fleet ready to BLAST YOU TO KINGDOM COME, you stop people from picking up weapons to fight and defend themselves, citing reasons like this:
Then, things crank up from “cringe-worthy” to just plain stupid in the first six episodes where you just laugh at the characters for being so damned stupid. I mean, which Gundam series stop the action scenes halfway to transform into Love Life??!! (refer below)
Only Kakumeiki Valvrave does that. One and only. This is exactly what I mean by pure, granulated sugar. They crank up the silliness so high that every viewer just starts to cringe. Man, I cringed so much that I think that I grew a few wrinkles on my faces. Not to mention, everyone’s just so optimistic. I mean, you’re being targeted by the two largest federations in the entire world, even in the entire solar system and they can still play and indulge themselves in lewd relationships with the local hero. And try to be the local school idol. Really???
Two, the last six episodes. Well, the last few, to be precise. That is when the anime changes it’s pace to transform into something totally different. Simply put, perfect. Suddenly, everything ranging from the plot twists to the action sequences to the character development seemed perfectly executed. And the setting? In the first six episodes, everyone seem to be so optimistic to the point of stupidity and the whole thing just looks surreal, for example, the above said stupid nonsense. But after that, things just got better and better, to the point where everything was just perfect. Perfect, with a capital ‘P’. But what caused this sudden transformation?
It could the reintroduction of L-Elf, an exiled Dorssian soldier who is helping Haruto and JIOR for his own hidden motives and purposes. Or it could be the death of one of the students in the school that jolted those good-for-nothing, lazy bastards into their senses. Or it could be the introduction of a mysterious pact with the former JIOR prime minister with a mysterious organisation, the Magius. Or it could be the revelation of the robots, the Valvraves are actually something far more sinister than originally thought. (Poor Shouko…)
Never mind what caused the series to suddenly click into gear, the fact that it did was really unexpected and surprising. The first half of the series reminded me of Love Life with mecha and crazy students who can’t think straight and the second half, especially the final 3 episodes, reminds me of Gundam 00, where the odds were so heavily stacked against the main characters and the ending reminds me ATTACK ON TITAN!
Well, the ending part of the series is not exactly very perfect, the characters are still one-dimensional as they are made out to be in the first place but through the turn of events, you actually start to feel for them. And the series also make up for it’s characters’ lack of logic in the first half of the series by putting the characters’ mentality and course of action straight, unlike during the first half of the series where they seem to have no logic.
Anyway, I’ve already forgiven the series for the ridiculous first six episodes and looking forward to the second season but others are not so forgiving. Bloggers pan it, critics tore into this series like hungry wolves and viewers got so pissed off at this series that they stopped somewhere at the third episode, all for the sake of the stupidity.
Well, I can’t blame them. I mean, I would have quit if I hadn’t need to write this blog but thank goodness I didn’t because this is seriously the best mecha anime I’ve watched in years! Excluding the first six episodes, of course… But that’s not what I’m trying to say.
What I’m trying to say is that I hope you anime fans out there will actually give this anime series a second chance. Even if you don’t, I understand but here’s to hoping that you would. And also that you would turn a blind eye to the ensuing stupidity in the first six episodes and laugh along like I did.
I would like to close and conclude this anime review with the following metaphor:
Kakumeiki Valvrave is like coffee and sugar.
In the beginning, the cup is filled with only two teaspoons of sugar so it was awfully sweet,
But as the times went by, hot coffee was poured into the cup,
Although still too sweet at first, but later on, the coffee still tastes like shit,
‘CAUSE I HATE MY COFFEE WITH SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I LIKE IT WITH CONDENSED MILK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(WHAT THE HECK???!!!!)
Anyway, what do you get when you add 10 and 5 then divide it by 2? 7.5? Well, that’s my rating for Kakumeiki Valvrave.
Well, until my next post, Adios!
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