First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

I am not really much of a fan of anime which involves politics, wars and or mechs in short; I am not a fan of any Gundam-esque anime. To be fair, I did enjoy most of the Gundam series that I’ve watched in my lifetime with Gundam Wing being the first of them, followed by G Gundam which were all televised locally and dubbed in Filipino. I must say that dubbing done by the voice actors here are decent as compared to their western counterparts.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

Gundam Wing and Gundam G. Space Limitations.

It took a very long time before I found myself watching an anime which involves politics, wars and mechs and coincidentally, an anime made by Sunrise, the same company who brought us the Gundam series. So what do we have going for this anime? For one, it’s not another one of those Gundam-esque series and though the series still sports the usual students or young-uns as protagonists,  they aren’t like Heero Yuy or Setsuna F Seiei who’re extensively trained in the arts of combat and war.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“These boys will surely whip your sorry asses if you don’t behave girls”

And that in itself is actually a bit of my issue regarding the anime. The story takes place in an unknown future which is referred to as the 71st year of the True Era where countless human beings have migrated from Earth to live in various space colonies and planets (Sounds familiar right?). Two superpowers dominate the world namely the Dorssia Military Pact Federation and the Atlantic Ring United States or what’s referred in the anime as ARUS. Amidst these two factions is Japan and Islands of Oceanian Republic or JIOR which is located in the Dyson Sphere which acts as a colony of some sort and is a neutral faction.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“And that my girl is where Hitler died. ‘Nuff said.”

And the protagonist, Tokishima Haruto, gets to pilot a mech, called the Valvrave, the first time and was able to deal with the Dorssian forces that invaded their home, JIOR, efficiently without any training or background in piloting robots. Yes, I find it unrealistic as compared to Amuro Ray who’s more familiar with different mechanisms when he first piloted a Gundam. I do however appreciate how the anime was able to incorporate the concept of vampirism in such a setting.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“I am pretty sure that cheerful face of Haruto wouldn’t save his sorry ass”

It’s rare for the concept of vampirism to be integrated or used in a sci-fi or mech genre anime and as far as I remember (though correct me if I am wrong), this is the first anime I’ve watched that was able to utilize the concept fluidly. I also figured that this is Sunrise’s attempt in toning down the more mature content that most Gundam anime have and made this anime to appeal to the younger audience in particular. And I guess they’re successful in doing so since I didn’t have any difficulty in understanding the plot of the whole series but that’s for another article.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“School girls. Never leave home without ’em”

The artwork is of course, reminiscent of what you usually see in most of Sunrise’s works so it’s good. I do appreciate the tragedy in the first episode and it would’ve been great if they kept it that way but oh well. Then again, I realized that Sunrise put the concept of highly-trained super soldiers in the form of these Dorssian boys, not to mention, the bishounen appeal that were apparent in Gundam Wing.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“They’re the goddamn meisters. Not.”

Overall, Kakumeiki Valvrave is a decent watch especially if you enjoy watching anime having mechs and politics mixed together. Just expect a number of inconsistencies as the story go on and if you’re someone who’s particular about realism then I wouldn’t recommend this. That aside, the anime is enjoyable to watch.

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

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