The focus of the story remains largely on the school and the students as the forces of Dorssia (and the rival nation of ARUS) attempt to gain control of the Valvrave. L-elf, the silver-haired “transfer student” that gets left behind when he goes rogue, is back on his own mission – not quite what ANYONE was expecting. By the end of episode 4, a new nation enters the fray, and politics starts moving to the forefront of the series. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess.
Valvrave isn’t a very good roller coaster. It’s a buffet of sorts, a smattering of servings of different tropes and themes, and the chef preparing the feast is only good at one or two of the offerings. There’s isn’t a really good sense of whether or not this is a mech show, a school drama show, a politics show, or a mysterious powers show. Of course, it’s all of the above, but Code Geass in Space this is not, unfortunately. At least not yet.
The plots for the episodes are incredibly weak, wandering aimlessly from genre to genre with no real sense of direction, at least not yet. While this does feel like the setup for something big (mostly because the OP promises mysterious girls and more mech action that we just aren’t seeing yet), there’s no way to connect the dot from where we are now to where this show is apparently going to go. The characters are also weak. Haruto does have flashes of personality, which is nice, but they’re just flashes. Shoko – Haruto’s dead love interest from the first episode – gets a little development as well, and one other character – the girl with the long black hair (only way to describe her, really) – seems to have some kind of Secret lurking in her Past.
It’s hard to get any good sense of where this series is going – or why. I’m sure time will tell, and as much as I’d like to think the seeds planted here – whatever they are – will be worth it eventually, without a fan of the show telling me “YOU’VE GOT TO WATCH THIS” or, you know, watching it to share my thoughts on it with you, I probably would have dropped this already.
All-in-all not terrible, but it has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.
Episode 1 Score: 7.75/10
Episode 4 Score: 7.25/10