Oh Jesus where to start with this show…
This is one those series that relied on its heavily serialized nature to keep the audience interested. Now did these plot twists actually make itself more engaging? The results were hit and miss. Some were disappointing, such as the handling of a rape scene, while others left me scratching my head afterwords like Cain having magic powers/part of an Illuminati type organization. Strip that away and you are left with characters that aren’t very compelling but very fun to watch. There are the good ones such as Shoko and L-Elf, however the cast is mostly dominated by people like Haruto, Akira, and Thunder who either are boring or piss you off to no end.
When Valvrave introduces itself, it does so as balls to the wall camp. You aren’t supposed to take it seriously at all and just enjoy the ride, especially with a character named L-Elf (Why you name a character with letters you can’t even pronounce correctly is beyond me Japan.) However as the show progress it integrates more serious elements culminating with a controversial rape* scene. It’s not necessarily bad it came more serious but now Valvrave actually has to be good because they can’t go back to how the show was previously in the first half. I’m going to make my point clear that I don’t think Valvrave has the writing needed to be a great series.
Giving a “score” to an anime like Valvrave is kind of difficult due to its polarizing nature. I don’t think Valvrave is a bad show per se. In fact, I was thoroughly entertained this first cour by its audacity to do whatever the hell it wants. However on the flip side of that token, I can’t say it’s good either since it didn’t always hit the mark it intended.
Looking in the grand scheme of things, what does Valvrave bring to the table? Not much I haven’t seen already, especially from a science fiction viewpoint. There were times I found Valvrave unironically charming but those moments were often overshadowed by the repetitive episode structure, its writing, and inconsistent tone
* My opinion on rape in entertainment has always been that it’s not a taboo topic to explore as long as it is handled with sensitivity. You see it in theater, movies, and books. Why should anime be exempt from that?