Valkyrie Drive -Mermaid- at a Glance

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I gazed with misty eyes at the miracle of Christmas the anime gracing my computer screen, and murmured, “Dreams really do come true…!”

Valkyrie Drive was everything I had hoped for and more, and since popping out of bed this morning to watch it right away, I’ve been struggling to figure out how to tackle it in post form. How to talk about something that filled me with such glee – by which I really mean, how to discuss this in a relatively intelligent manner? But the other problem has been that while there is the surface trashiness and the absurdities, there is some stuff in the episode that could be dug into a bit. How, reader, HOW to encompass both in as simple a post as my ones for first episodes are?

I will say firstly that I was rather shocked that this was almost completely uncensored. After having watched¬†Prison School this summer, which also aired on AT-X, I was not anticipating fully uncensored nipples bursting across my screen. Even MORE shockingly, while one set was ridiculously large, these nipples actually more or less resembled human nipples! I am still truly, genuinely shocked! (Although, while the nipples have a relation to reality, the jiggly-jiggly jello physics of breasts does not quite; I suppose we can’t have it all, after all – all those anti-feminist screeds have been right all along!)

Actually, speaking of feminism, Valkyrie Drive might be stealthily bringing us a feminist tale, given that its a story that has the power of the female orgasm at its center, and a female orgasm that is nearly devoid of phallocentrism. I say “nearly” because while there is no phallic object/imagery involved in the bringing of young women to orgasm, the girls who become weapons upon orgasming do turn into guns and swords. Arguably, this somewhat undercuts any potentially feminist message, as so far the ones who utilize the weaponry are the more masculine of the pairs of girls, playing into the same old ideas about someone “playing the man” in female homosexual relationships. On the other hand, that the “butch” girls fight each other with swords and guns gives an additional potentially queer twist on the whole thing, as now we’ve managed to work our way around into masculine-coded female characters wielding phalluses against each other. (Did you know that both ‘phalluses’ and ‘phalli’ are accepted spelling of the plural for ‘phallus’? I didn’t until I wrote this post!)

I say all that, but I do have to confess that I’m inclined to think that the presence of these themes is unintentional on the part of the folks working on it. Of course, something being unintentional doesn’t mean its not worth considering or mulling over, and it can be interesting to considering what unintended things in a work may say about those who worked on it.

But, those considerations aside, I did really enjoy this first episode. It’s basically Hayate x Blade with the fanservice turned up by a factor of roughly fifty, which is as to be expected from ARMS. This sort of visual anime fanservice isn’t my thing, but I would so much rather watch something like this than something with cutesy-cutesy shy girls being shy and useless because their delicate little limbs couldn’t even bear the weight of a textbook. Of course, Momori, our nervous and soft-spoken lead, isn’t too terribly far off of that herself, but she also turns into at least a sword AND a metal fist, so she’s obviously not useless.

By the way, when I say the fanservice is intense and that this is trashy, I REALLY do mean it. We have scenes where in girls rub their erect nipples together and the camera zooms in so that the only thing on the screen is erect nipples rubbing together. And when I say ‘orgasm’, I’m not talking something like Aquarion’s whole ‘GATTAI’ thing, either – nope, these girls are cumming on-screen as we watch. But, the nice thing about it is that, for all the skeeviness of it, most of the characters are pretty happy about the whole thing. There’s a slightly unsavory sequence involving Momori being afraid of snakes, as we stare up at her butt while a snake slithers up to check it out, but a bullet is dodged as it simply ends with Mirei dashing out of the jungle while carrying her. So, still not really my thing, but, you know what is so entirely not my thing and would’ve made me want to drop this show? Molestation! So, yes, please, characters who are enjoying themselves, thank you!

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Anyway, I feel pretty comfortable saying that if you already think Valkyrie Drive is up your alley, you will in all likelihood find that that is the case with this episode. What a useless thing for someone reviewing an episode to say! But it’s true. In closing, I’ve come to the conclusion that the girl below¬†is either Char’s cousin, Chara Soon’s great-great-grandmother, or a female version of Cyclops.

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