For this weeks roundup, we have the second part of Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Valvrave the Liberator episode 22, Infinite Stratos 2 episode 11 and the first ten episodes of Walkure Romance.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia Eps. 6-12
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia started brightly, and by the end of it’s twelve episode run had become a lovely exercise in storytelling. It’s biggest strength, having watched through to the end of the series, was it’s characters. The revelation behind the reason Yuuko became a ghost was dealt with in such a way that you felt genuinely sympathetic towards her, enough so that when the show pulled a near-twist sad ending, you felt gutted about it.
I genuinely can’t recommend this series highly enough. If you ever enjoyed a good, traditional ghost story with a romantic twist, you’ll love this one. The first few episodes were a little fanservice heavy, but it was never out of context, and all of it fit neatly into Yuuko’s character – and her character was one of the reasons this series was so enjoyable.
Valvrave the Liberator Episode 22
Valvrave the Liberator backed off this week in terms of pace, but came out swinging for the emotional fences. After Haruto was betrayed by Shoko in last weeks episode, he and L-Elf have now been stranded on the moon, where they get all emotional with each other.
On the other side of the story, Shoko is off at the shuttle, finding out why Haruto started piloting the Valvrave, and getting all emotional.
It was a good episode for pushing the story forward, But I can’t help but think this point could have been reached about five episodes ago if they hadn’t spent eight episodes pointlessly dicking around on earth. L-Elf having to face the revelation of the woman he loved having originally being one of the bad guys was a great moment, but the whole episode felt mildly… lacking. At the moment, the most intriguing parts of this show are the cold opens that feature glimpses of a future where the Valvrave pilots look exactly the same. At the speed this show is going, I suspect there is either going to be a third series or the endgame is going to feel awfully rushed.
Infinite Stratos 2 Episode 11
Warning: A Wild Storyline Appeared!
We took a big leap forward this week in terms of IS2’s storyline, with the gang all taking a nice relaxing trip to plot device central, where the bad gals could attack them. That was pretty much the summation of how the episode played out, with surprisingly little fanservice and a lot of manoeuvring to get characters to where they need to be for the series finale. Like Valvrave, this episode has suffered by being put into a position where its necessary to rush – if they hadn’t spent last week cocking about showing how Cecilia can’t cook, we would have had more time to actually build this storyline. We shall see.
Admittedly, this show has never been big on plot, but with a girl who resembles Ichika and his sister/teacher Chifuyu showing up to attack them on different occassions, it would be nice if we’d had a bit more build.
Walkure Romanze Eps. 1-10
I will conceder, after episode one of Walkure Romanze, I nearly ditched it. To me, it looked like yet another mediocre Harem anime where one of the characters manages to find themselves thanks to the male protagonists skills, wisdom and penis. I was impressed that, thus far, it hasn’t turned out that way. A plot where a group of female knights compete against each other at a prestigious jousting academy, with one male character to spread between them could have very easily gone down the traditional harem anime route.
Yes, Walkure Romanze is appallingly fanservice heavy, with character losing their clothes for literally no reasons whatsoever. On top of that, in some episodes someone should really tell the writers that sexual innuendo hasn’t been funny since the Carry On movies.
Whilst all of the female characters are seeking to partner up with the main male character, with the exception of one there doesn’t seem to be any romantic intent at this point – instead they’re seeking his ability as a tactician in order to allow them to succeed in jousting. Mizuno, as a former successful jouster himself, isn’t the main focus of much of the story, with the relationships between the female leads taking centre stage. It’s refreshing to have an anime of this type where the characters aren’t simply after the male leads romantic attentions.
As this series is ongoing, it’s now going to be one of the weeklies, and I have to say, I’m genuinely enjoying it. Considering it’s from the same studio as Infinite Stratos 2. I’m rather surprised that it’s garnered this level of emotional investment from me, and whilst not the most plot-heavy show around, it makes up for it in honest fun.
Until next time!