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Valvrave the Liberator - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 13 April 2013 21:04
True Calendar (T.C.) 71 - a new age where, triggered by the completion of a Dyson Sphere around the Sun, 70% of the human population lives in space. Haruto Tokishima lived an ordinary life as a high school student in the division known as "Module 77" — until the Dorssian military invaded their module, looking for a weapon of immense power that was hidden away there. When one of Haruto's close friends is killed in the attack, he's driven by rage to find a way to fight back - which make it very convenient for the experimental mech Valvrave to be almost dropped into his lap. But taking control of Valvrave comes at a very high price...

It's a Sunrise mecha show. Where could you go wrong? (Well, apart from Gundam, which I've never been able to get into. But I'll admit I seem to be in a minority on that.) Boy finds himself caught in an invasion, boy's love interest is killed, boy finds giant mech and kicks arse by way of vengeance - probably been done over a hundred times before. The 'twist' this time around is the effect that this will have on Haruto - a effect hinted at when he first activates Valvrave, his modules top-secret mech. "Do you resign as a human being? YES/NO" - that's not an ominous system prompt at all, when tapping 'YES' is a pre-requisite.

The best thing about this, though, was being left genuinely surprised at a few points. The joys of remaining unspoilt for an episode. Sure, the basic idea isn't anything original, but there are a couple of twists in the detail that add an extra level of interest, that make the series something a little different.

THE GOOD: Serious mech action, with a few twists on the theme to keep it from being another Gundam.

THE BAD: THEY KILLED <spoiler>. You bastards. Although that would be pretty much it for downsides.

Didn't know what to expect from this one, but came away from it largely pretty pleased with how it turned out. This season's turning out to be heavy on the science fiction, which suits me just fine, and this is another entry in the 'hell yeah' pile.

Valvrave the Liberator is streamed by Crunchyroll.

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