Kakumeiki Valvrave – 04

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L-elf wants Haruto to team up with him and aid in “bringing revolution to Dorssia.” Haruto refuses, but L-elf predicts they’ll contract, and tells him he’ll flash a peace sign when its time. While with Akira, Shouko overhears Senator Figaro planning to abandon the students and run, then manages to convince the student council without telling them about Akira. The students distract Figaro and the guards while Shouko, Izunuka, and Otamaya rescue Haruto, who boards Valvrave, preventing Figaro from escaping. L-elf flashes a sign, but Shouko gets Haruto’s attention first, and comes up with a bold plan to ensure Sakimori Academy’s survival.

Last week was mostly set-up, outlining L-elf’s seemingly precognitive abilities and introducing an ARUS force that looked on its surface to be the school’s savior. But once the Dorssian fleet regroups and takes it to the far smaller ARUS force, and Figaro’s back is against the wall, he decides to turn tail and run, leaving the students behind to suffer subjugation and internment by ruthless Dorssia. This week he shows his true colors, and shows that the students of Sakimori cannot rely on anyone but themselves, including their classmate Haruto, his childhood friend Shouko, and his awesome robot Valvrave, which, by the way, kills anyone who isn’t Haruto who tries to pilot her.

At the beginning of the episode, Haruto sees his new power a curse, and by the end probably still does, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to use it. It’s just a matter of to what ends. L-elf is the first to suggest the two of them take on Dorssia together, suggesting he may have been a malcontent even before the misunderstanding that got him labelled a deserter. But it’s Shouko who gets to Haruto first, and both he and the school take to her idea with enthusiasm. It’s a sudden, drastic, and unusual step – turning the academy into its own independent state, but with Valvrave on their side, anything’s possible.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We like Shoko’s nervous habit of clutching the hem of her skirt when she’s in a spot.
  • While it seems a bit ludicrous to literally break the entire Sakimori module off from the rest of JIOR, but as the rest of JIOR is already occupied, it’s not like they have a lot of choices.
  • Akira looks cool and collected enough while alone, but as soon as she’s in the presence of another human being she totally freaks out. Her cave fort is awesome, though.
  • Haruto seemingly says “fuck you” to everyone in this episode. Not Shoko though…that would be uncouth.
  • Wild card Yamada blocks Figaro’s truck – and gets shot in the arm for it. We doubt he’s okay with Haruto and Shoko saving him.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince – 05

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After some shaky supplemental training on Earth, Team Rabbits’ suits are repaired and they are paired up with Team Doberman for a new mission to destroy a Wulgaru base. Doberman’s leader Randy gives Izuru some tips about how to be a hero, and lends him what turns out to be a sex tape. When they arrive at the planetoid, a fleet of Wulgaru enemies swarms over the base. Dobermans distract them while Izuru, Kei and Suruga infiltrate the base and Asagi and Tamaki guard their exit. The bomb they brought is damaged, but Izuru gives Suruga the time he needs to repair it. It explodes, and Tamaki saves them from the blast wave.

After a string of morale-busting failures, the Majestic Princes are given another chance to prove themselves to their superiors, their peers, and the world, after being labeled fuck-ups and one-hit-wonders. The Dobermans’ leader Randy, while possibly a pervert and a cad, nevertheless inspires Izuru and provides sound advice: there’s more to being a hero than simply saving the day on your own. Izuru has to learn to trust his comrades, project and air of confidence, make quick decisions, and never give up. Randy also advises him to enjoy life, meet people, and make memories, as every mission could be his last.

This mission isn’t Izuru’s last, nor is it anyone elses’, as they score a decisive victory despite having to deal with a whole Wulgaru task force in addition to the base’s defenses. This was the best-looking and most exciting battle since the first one, and we’re relieved that the quality of these sequences has been maintained. The Dobermans, initially thought to be taking the lead on the mission, end up playing a supporting role; it’s Izuru and the Rabbits’ show, and they don’t disappoint, ending their losing streak and proving that when properly motivated, the Fail Five can succeed with style and authority.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • The Rabbits’ individual reactions to the sex tape were worth a chuckle, particularly the fact Izuru and Asagi didn’t stop watching until the end…
  • Tamaki’s always complaining about her weight, but it’s her Rose’s width that keeps her from entering the base.
  • Izuru sees a small group of ships escaping from the blown-up base. Who could they be…just Wulgaru, or …someone else?

RDG: Red Data Girl – 05

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With his late brother Masumi’s help, Souda Manatsu is able to cow Takayanagi and his homonculi to avenge Mayura’s injury. Takayanagi takes down the website and withdraws from the council president eleciton, which is won by Kisaragi Jean Honoka. When Yukimasa joins the school’s faculty to protect Izumiko, Miyuki is angered and separates himself from her. But when Izumiko falls in with the “shadow student council” led by former president Murakami Hodaka, Miyuki comes for her right before she performs a dance for them. The Himegami speaks through her, imploring Miyuki not to let her come to life, or it may spell humanity’s extinction.

Thanks to Yukimasa, Izumiko learns the truth about where she is and why: she, like the other students at Houjou Academy, are members of an “endangered species” of humans who can communicate with the gods. If such humans were to become extinct, some say the human race would die out with them. We kind of like this concept: it certainly amplifies the importance of both Izumiko and her classmates. All are one of, and the last of, their kind. They must never forget who they are or what they’re capable of. Unfortunately, Yukimasa’s mere presence threatens Miyuki and Izumiko’s bond, at least until Izumiko is in potential danger and Yukimasa isn’t there to save her.

RDG is putting forth some of the trappings of an unlikely romance between Miyuki and Izumiko. It certainly hasn’t progressed very far, but it has progressed, and in a very organic and elegant way. One reason Miyuki likely hates Yukimasa is that he reminds him how weak and inexperienced and full of doubt he himself is. He hates himself because he doesn’t know what he should do or if he can do it, and Yukimasa showing up is almost a confirmation that he can’t be trusted with Izumiko’s safety. Yet his fondness and personal duty to Izumiko proves stronger than both hate for Yukimasa and doubt in himself. Regardless of any other considerations, he’ll stand with Izumiko. And she wants him by her side. Sounds like the makings of love to us.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Souda Masumi threw us for a loop: he’s a he who was just happening to assume the form of a girl.
  • When she sees Miyuki speaking to Mayura, and Mayura’s hand on his shoulder, Izumiko seems to experience jealousy for the first time.
  • Himegami’s warning to Miyuki sounds like a call for him to possibly go against Yukimasa’s plan, if Yukimasa plans to revive Himegami, that is. We don’t know yet.
  • Her lips were really red.