WARNING THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE IS ONE GIANT SPOILER, WATCH EPISODE 9 OF VALVERAVE THE LIBERATOR BEFORE READING!
Valvrave the Liberator Episode 9 was very satisfying to watch. In the previous episode a student Aiana Nubo, a character that fits the “shy girl” trope, died senselessly. Episode 9 opens with the characters paying tribute to her and posting RIP on the equivalent of Twitter. The students of module 77 are so moved by her loss that decide to willingly accept L-Elf’s leadership (something I considered a bit of a stretch), and engage in military training to help defend module77.
This episode marks a turning point between L-Elf and Haruto, as the latter finally decides that trusting L-Elf will ensure the best chance of everyone’s survival. Inzuka and Thunder are particularly effected in this episode and compelled to want to avenge Aina using the Valvrave’s. Both are equally committed in their own ways and prove it throughout the episode despite being told they are in over their heads and can’t use the machines.
We find out that Inzuka was in love with Aina and wanted to confess to her and that he has a strong will to fight now because of her loss. Both Inzuka and Thunder end up piloting Valverave and protect the module from attack.
Valvrave is a great anime in and of itself, but it seems to be partly owed to borrowing a lot from other successful series, mostly: Gundam, Evangellion and Robotech/Macross. In this episode we see a fairly blatant copy of the “Pinpoint Barrier System” used in Robotech. We see a multi-armed Valverave with similar qualities to the Seraphim Gundam from Gundam 00, and we also get more in site to Module 77 essentially being ORB from Gundam Seed. The setup for all the students in the school to be compatible with giant robots, and teachers that are actually soldiers or scientist, not to mention the robots seem to be powered by human souls reeks of Evangellion. The birthing chamber for the Valvrave even looks just like the cloning chamber for Rei in Eva, and so does the holding area for the Valvraves.
Valvrave episode 9 delivers on intense emotionally conflict as do most of its episodes, but balances it with stunning action sequences and visuals we’ve come to expect from the series.
The music in this episode was a treat, and I can’t wait for the release of the soundtrack for this show. The stunning visuals will also make for great posters and if they ever make a game franchise I will be buying. I’ve made some complaints about the show and how much it borrows from other shows, but I will say that what it borrows it makes its own and executes more effectively.
For example I think the show accomplishes many things Eva fails to. It doesn’t take too long in dragging out some of its mysterious and in doing so it is much less far fetched and confusing. The decisions and conclusions the characters make are more realistic given their situation and they accept the weight of the outcomes, which was exactly what was lacking in Eva.
Unlike Gundam Valvrave is not a story of “us vs them” or the “other”, its about a group of people caught in the middle and going to extremes to maintain their freedoms rather than become victims of their circumstances. I think that is one the strongest appeals of the show.
Episode 9 of Valvare gets a 9/10 for delivering a balance of strong action and character performances while moving the plot along and delivering on its standard of beautiful battle sequences and artwork.
SIDE NOTE: Valvrave vs Gundam
There has been some debate as the whether or not the overpowered Valverave’s would stand up against Gundams. In my opinion this episode answers that very well. The Valverave’s are just to OVER POWERED, the only Gundam that would stand much of a chance is the Gundam 00 Raiser with Setsuna in his full Innovator state.
Founding Member of Anime Arsenal. Outlaw Rave writes reviews for Anime and Manga primarily as well as reviews of AMVs while also doing most of the photohop editing and composites for the site as well as original Anime Music Videos. Favorite Anime(s): Escaflowne, Sword Art Online, Gundam 00, Cowboy Beebop, Fate Stay/Nite, Fate Zero, Air TV, Attack on Titan, Mirai Nikki, Hellsing Ultimate.