L-elf is back, and ready to destroy Cain.
SO MUCH FEELINGS for episode 23. Screengrabs first.
Actually I think that it was the old Cain that rescued Plue, perhaps?
So… like most people, I vehemently hated Shoko after episode 22. She had always been Haruto’s pillar of support, unwavering even in the toughest of times. She should have known him and his intentions best, yet after seeing the half-assed truth about the immortality and feeding habits of the pilots, she intentionally hurt Haruto with the harshest words that inflicted huge damage on him– and us, for her betrayal.
But I guess being a Prime Minister gave her tremendous pressure. Shoko was forced to be the support of hundreds of tense students who would only care about their own safety first, whose suspicion ran high even against those who protected them. Who can blame her for turning her back on Haruto, when the masses were telling her that he was a monster? He had always been fighting, and she with her entire faith, worrying. She hadn’t talked to him properly in a long while and with such a crazy revelation, Shoko probably felt betrayed that Haruto hadn’t told her anything.
Tl;dr Prime Minister Shoko can’t do whatever she wants, since her voice has to reflect the wishes of the students. She gets caught up in a highly tense and emotional situation after the ‘truth’ was revealed, reaches her breaking point, and decided to get upset with Haruto for not trusting her the way she did with him.
In retrospection, that whole conflict was actually a pretty good move. Shoko was no Mary Sue, able to shut up the selfish masses and jump to Haruto’s side to support him. She has her own dilemmas and troubles, and she has decided to live up to her responsibilities. Her personal testimonial to Haruto being a good guy would never convince the frenzied students (STUPID IORI), yet she can’t abandon them. This actually makes Shoko a even cooler character who wouldn’t just run to Prince Charming’s side even after knowing that Haruto became a Kamitsuki for her; she would stay with the students who depended on her.
Man, when Haruto started losing his precious memories, that really hurt.
SO MUCH FEELS.
and then… Yamada’s death. WTF Inuzaka’s death was heartbreaking enough, and then you have this tough, reckless, energetic guy dying too. There’s always so much action and plot and drama in Valvrave which is precisely why I never get bored of it. But this was still painful :(
The reunion of the lovely Dorssian team (with H-Neun in spirit and without bratty Q-Vier). I like how Valvrave works– how the supposed villains actually have minds and morals. Their loyalty lies in their ideology of a country– they don’t serve Dorssia blindly when it starts being unreasonably aggressive. KAKUMEI WO LET’S SHOUT!!!
HAHA, slo-mo effect + majestic music was perfect as L-elf went about slicing the Magius’ throat. A true rebellion.
Like always, I feel the need to reiterate how much I love Valvrave and its stellar cast of really, really good characters. From Season 1, Punchbag Haruto had been the underdog. The typical prim and proper, morally right protagonist who wouldn’t confess to the girl he loved because he wasn’t human anymore, and also killed people. He seemed like the type of self-righteous character who would go emo-ing when things went wrong and blame himself, while recklessly rescuing his friends regardless of the danger. Well, Haruto did do all those, but there was more to him– a resolute and genuinely kind heart. Morally-right protagonists only get irritating when they drown and wallow in their self-pity while thinking that they have the power to make everything right.
Haruto has a more subtle approach to that– he knows he can’t make everything right on his own, and he puts his faith in L-elf whom he acknowledges as the real strategist. More like a good, rounded shounen hero, he resolves to take the first step always. Haruto gets horribly discouraged when he realizes that he is facing the entire world as an enemy, and L-elf was in a total slump. But still he manages to establish himself as a worthy protagonist who wouldn’t give up even after being punched 10000 times by L-elf– he was totally overwhelmed and helpless then, and even being weak he decides to just do whatever he could.
Haruto’s foil is obviously our ever-popular L-elf. Everyone loves a capable and handsome man. Seemingly unbeatable, ruthless, and perfect, his entire driving force was actually for love, for Liesolette. Cold but passionate, invincible yet vulnerable, he has everything in control, but his desperation to save Liesolette while watching her die was really heartbreaking. I guess even in his slump, he wanted to die since he had no reason to live without Liesolette– but he couldn’t help but keep recalling what she said; her hopes and wishes for a world where the humans and the Kamitsuki could coexist. Love haunted him, and because he loved her he was determined to create such a world for her. L-elf wanted to create what Liesolette wanted to see. Urgh, it’s no wonder everyone loves him. So passionate. Plus his camaraderie with A-drei and Haruto… the trust they put in each other is so much more than what it looks like.
About Saki and Shoko… I’d still vote for Shoko X Haruto. Saki is certainly a fighter and deeply in love with Haruto, whom she thinks is the first to understand her and her vulnerabilities. But both she and Haruto are clear on who he truly loves. Haruto and Shoko have been together since childhood, and their playful and gentle personalities match so well.
But, my god. Haruto is losing his memories rapidly. He’d better not pull a Marie move on us.
With that, all that is left of Valvrave is one final episode to wrap up the revolution, and show us which characters remain in the future. I don’t see Haruto and L-elf being a part of it, but maybe that is the most perfect ending that they get– a well-deserved eternal rest.