This series is starting to confuse me. Not in a way that makes me not understand the story, but in a way that makes me question the direction that this series is taking. We started out with the classic war scenario that took a lot of stuff from Gundam Seed. Neutral nation, oddly advanced mechs, and a bunch of teenage soldiers that are fighting a war that should not rely on their young shoulders. I wasn’t entirely thrilled by that, but the two things that got stressed in this episode really threw me off. The first was the focus on social media. That was introduced back when that one girl uploaded the video of Haruto to the internet, but they took it a step further today. Haruto commented on the video at the request of the senator from ARUS and they showed the reactions of people everywhere. It was dominated by people who were happy to see him alive, but the scene at the soccer match is what caught my attention. When the captain of the team responded with an invitation for Haruto to watch a match, I thought that this series was going to try to give us a satirical view of media trends. I live in the United States where we like to care about major issues for about a week. How many people changed their avatars to an equals sign when the marriage equality stuff was up for debate? Do we have marriage equality now? No. Then why did ninety-nine percent of those people change their avatars back to normal pictures? Did you suddenly stop caring about marriage equality or was it just no longer cool to care about it? That is what I am getting from Valvrave. There is a major war going on and a colony was just attacked. No one knew if this school full of teenagers had been spared or not and shallow words from a sports figure were the only distractions from a normal day on the pitch. I can see this hitting on the issue of media trends not successfully helping those in need, but I don’t trust the writing quality enough to see it being handled well. On the other hand, you have the one man army. L-elf escaped his interrogation and successfully disrupted the evacuation process. The episode ends with Haruto being approached by L-elf. The dude asks Haruto to make a contract with him so that they can bring a revolution to Dorssia. I was fine with the obvious Gundam Seed parallels, but did they really have to go Code Geass on us like that? Don’t tell me that two dudes taking down a nation with contracts, odd powers, and mechs doesn’t scream Code Geass. I honestly don’t know why they have chosen to throw all of this out at us like this. Is anyone else tired of the one character that can take on the world concept? I know that asking for realism in a series like this is stupid, but there is no way all of that one kid could be ready to take down a military dispatch in fifteen minutes. Realism aside, it wasn’t even as awesome as it needed to be. This episode left me with way too many questions. Is ARUS really trying to help JIOR? Is L-elf a traitor? Will Haruto ever not be a bitch?
Current Opinion of the Show:
I don’t know what to think of this series at the moment. I am very skeptical regarding the quality of the writing and I think that makes for a bad foundation when it comes to what they seem to be trying to accomplish. I guess you could say that they want to use the power of the One Man Army and Haruto’s monster mech to take down a corrupt nation in the time of war, but we have twelve episodes to accomplish that. There could be more seasons, but twelve episodes are all that is guaranteed. Time constraints aside, I find it difficult to get on board with all of this when I really don’t like the main character. Haruto just seems like kind of a bitch to me. You can be a pacifist, but this guy reacts to everything like a scared little boy who has to look back at his mom before he makes a decision. Also, that stupid smile that he has in the opening theme pisses me off. I just want to punch him in the face. I think that the story so far has been shaky enough for me to doubt that they can properly handle the satire that I think they are trying to cover. It seems like it will hurt the series because they have way too much going on for something that doesn’t get at least twenty-four episodes. You have the social media thing, the war with a secret revolution thrown in, the main character that can’t compose himself, and the love triangle that will all eat away at your time. Did I mention that there are way too many characters that have been exposed enough to warrant more development? What do I like about this series? It looks nice. I am not a bird, but the visuals and sounds are pretty damn good which is something that you can expect from Sunrise. I want this series to be good, but I have a lot of doubts. Pessimism aside, I do want to see more of this revolution talk.