If there’s one thing Valvrave has reminded me after these two eps, it’s that they always bring you back after a big mess. As you know, I found ep 2 to be a decent, but pointless backstory that padded out time that could’ve been used for the main plot. Well we still have a backstory this time, but thankfully it plays a huge part in the story while possibly triggering new drama. It’s a good choice indeed.
Ironically the story progression is based on returning to an old, sidelined character. Marie has only been shown so far as Shouko’s friend and the standard dandere role. Keep in mind this is a character that hasn’t received screentime until now, so we don’t have as much investment for her as we would with the main leads. And suddenly having her entire character arc shoved in feels pretty clumsy when put in context of the battle at hand.
Speaking of sidelined, it seems every other character AND plot point got that treatment in exchange for Marie’s spotlight. The whole plan for escaping Dorssian ground forces is completely interrupted all because Haruto has to deal with Marie knowing the truth of Valvrave pilots being space vampires. L-elf and his ex-comrades get some time basking in the dark memories of their home, but the only thing the main characters get as a twist is the reveal of new Dorssian Valvrave imitators. They’re formidable, but don’t do much considering they spontaneously retreat when the plot calls for them again.
Having said that, the backstory and development we DO get in this short time is enough for me to care. And like I’ve mentioned before, it actually plays a part in the story. Marie’s past as the first valvrave test subject gives us more info on the runes and epitomizes the risk of piloting one, as Marie sacrifices all her memories in exchange for piloting it one last time. Whether we knew her long enough or not, it’s still sad to see Marie lose her humanity while seeing her memories slowly dissappear.
Valvrave has proven to be one of those shows that leave me pumped regardless of quality. It’s got significant problems, but it knows how to keep the action and drama going. And considering that the goofing around present in season 1 is mostly gone, the experience is that much more epic. Till next time, RIP Marie.