By dapperfex on May 25, 2013No comments
As one could easily guess from the events of last episode, this week’s episode focuses on Rukino Saki - and a fairly interesting persona she is. While she at first seems completely one dimensional, merely using her charms and sob stories to worm her way closer to Haruto in order to become more famous, it’s shown later in the episode that there’s something darker lurking under the surface. Her ‘lying’ to Haruto about parental abuse and needing to become famous to escape a tortured past was, in itself, a lie. The flashbacks shown during her fight against the Dorssian forces make clear that she had faced many demons in her past. An alcoholic father, jealous peers, and rejection from idol companies, all compounds into one thought for her: I must etch my existence into the world, or I’ll cease to exist. While pretty dramatic, it shows quite clearly how greatly her past has damaged her, and by using it to pull her through the terrors of live combat it displays how strongly this need burns within her.
Shoko, once again, displays both her brilliance as a leader as well as some insight into just how deeply she knows Haruto. Starting with the latter, after Rukino’s shenanigans in Haruto’s body she immediately assumes it was some sort of hacker or imposter using him to say things on the network.
Hopefully this closeness to Haruto will both push him to reconsider his feelings for her, as well as put pressure on Rukino and her fame-mongering.
It was good to see her leadership skills once again play a role in the show. That, despite Rukino’s prodding towards her about being jealous of her ‘relationship’ with Haruto, seeing that Rukino was about to bite it out on the battlefield sent her immediately into action. Putting aside her possible personal problems with her and placing the wellbeing of those under her wing as the priority speaks volumes of her devotion to helping others. Seeing these skills tested in the coming episodes as the conflict escalates will be truly riveting.
L-Elf also makes quite the interesting discovery in the margins of this episode. Namely, that the proximity of the Valvraves to the School was no accident. That somehow, through the curriculum, the students were being conditioned to be compatible with the Valvrave machines.
This starts to chip away at the typical cliché of ‘high school student SOMEHOW finds giant robots’, but it’s quite clear that there’s still a lot to be revealed. We’re not completely out of the trope woods just yet.
Case in point, even this show can’t get away from PROMOTIONS.
The action in this week’s episode is, thankfully, higher than last weeks but not by much. Rukino, of course, steals the show by taking center stage and trying to show off the capabilities of the green Valvrave she’s dubbed ‘Carmilla’. Of particular note is that after fully realizing that out in space, with real weapons and real soldiers, she’s not exactly the invincible vampire she claims to be. That, like any normal highschooler, she freezes up and becomes afraid.
Being an ‘immortal vampire’ isn’t going to help you if you get blown to smithereens and then sucked out into the vacuum of space.
After getting her confidence up, though, we get to see Rukino rev ‘Carmilla’ up into action. Its primary weapons appear to be a pair of great spinning Chakrams reminiscent of some Super Robot Wars mecha.
They seem pretty powerful, putting down the Waffe torso bots and advanced Dorssian fighters in one hit. When she really got going, the Chakrams even cut a swath through a whole platoon of enemies.
However, it can be seen that Carmilla’s true power lies in its interesting multi-‘legged’ propulsion system. The spider-like jittering around of its many back legs allows it to shoot itself around in a virtually infinite number of directions while still maintaining forward thrust.
Once fully powered on it also shares the same trait of Valvrave One, shooting out a strong jet of ‘light’ that can be utilized as a weapon as well as providing more thrust.
As Rukino becomes a more skilled pilot it will be quite exciting to see how she brings out the full potential of this system and the Valvrave it belongs to.
Haruto’s performance, however, is…less than stellar. Despite being equipped with a new energy rifle, which might have helped even out the range advantage the Dorrsian’s had, he instead only serves to demonstrate his poor aim.
Two things are done pretty effectively here by doing this. Firstly, it shows that while Haruto is adapting to being a robot pilot he’s no expert by any stretch of the imagination. Secondly, his failures set the stage for Rukino to shine brighter when she busts out Carmilla’s big guns.
Speaking of Senator Figaro, he seemingly bites the big one in this episode. Shoots at highschoolers for selfish reasons, and gets killed by a psychotic ‘highschooler’. Karma’s a bitch, huh?
A lot of doors remain open by the end of this episode, many of which were opened in previous episodes. We still don’t know how L-Elf plans to reach his ultimate goal, or the nature of the mysterious Valvraves. Along with these persistent mysteries new questions crop up. What are A-Drei’s plans on Module 77? What will the Dorssians do now that they know there’s more than just one Valvrave? The plot thickens and the stakes continue to rise! Looking forward to next week’s episode: Haruto under the Ruins!