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Oct 12

Anime Review – Valkyrie Drive Mermaid Ep 1

Just some big melons, more natural than the ones in the show.

Just some big melons, more natural than the ones in the show.

In a world where bras are a rarity and breasts have been largely replaced with water balloons, one random spineless virgin girl must turn into an unimpressive sword to fight other girls who turn into much more imaginative weapons, for reasons that aren’t explained and are probably stupid. Yeah, it’s one of those anime.

Valkyrie Drive is a new multimedia franchise with a PlayStation Vita game (Bhikkhuni), an iOS game (Siren), and an anime (Mermaid), out this year. It’s part of the ecchi genre, aka the ‘overly fanservice heavy/just go watch real porn’ genre, and this series fits right in. Produced by Arms Corporation it’s a fine addition to their catalogue, which includes Ikkitousen, Queen’s Blade, and Elfen Lied (as well as some actual hentai), so if you’ve seen any of those you can guess this is a clothing optional anime.

The ‘plot’ is that there’s a school girl named “Virgin” who is infected with a special thing that’ll probably be elaborated on in episode 2 and is abducted to an island in the middle of the gym class. She wakes up on the beach still in her gym clothes and the island’s big boobed owners send two idiots, who I shall name ‘Small Boobs’ and ‘Huge Boobs’, to “test her.” After teasing Virgin for being a virgin Small Boobs starts feeling up Huge Boobs till Huge Boobs turns into a large gun for Small Boobs to shoot at Virgin. Then another girl explodes her way onto the island, who I’m naming Big Hair, she then saves Virgin and then Virgin is so happy she turns into a sword. Then there’s what allegedly qualifies as a fight scene between Big Hair and Small Boobs, though I’m not sure Big Hair swinging her Virgin and an explosion happening really counts as a fight scene. Then Big Hair carries Virgin through the woods. There’s a scene at the island school with some vague dialogue between Leader and Needs A Bra that amounts to a school girl Bookie overhearing they’re going to get new students and starts a betting pool with the other students extras. Big Hair and Virgin show up at the school and the area suddenly becomes a coliseum for them to fight Eyepatch and Masochist, who are into the Fifty Shades version of BDSM and not the actual BDSM from Sunstone, to gain admittance into the school. Masochist becomes an arm gauntlet thing for Eyepatch and after avoiding their attacks for a while Big Hair feels Virgin up till she becomes a sword again for them to finish the fight in one sword swing, again. The school then teases Virgin for being a virgin and it ends with the episode title “I’m Gonna Burst”

Cucumis_myriocarpus_-_Melons

To keep this blog SFW here’s a visual representation of the series main characters

The only thing I left out were the many multitudes of shots of girls breasts, asses, and the sheer length it goes to get the girls “aroused” enough to turn into weapons. Quite a surprising amount of nipples on display, though the vajayjay is covered at all times even when ‘Small Boobs’ and ‘Huge Boobs’ clothes are completely torn off at the end of their fight there’s still the tiniest of scraps clinging to their pussies. I wasn’t actually expecting the show to go as far as it does with the “arousing” scenes to turn them into weapons. So it’s almost porn, though with the porn parts replaced with rather lacklustre fighting.

This is all you get of the first fight scene

This is all you get of the first fight scene

And the fighting is indeed really, incredibly, boring. I can not overstate how mediocre these fights are. Here’s the entirety of both fights “bad girl fails to hit good girls, girl becomes sword, then the fight is over in one strike” it’s a curb-stomp with no tension or finesse. The main characters are obviously set up as being the bog standard “specially awesome chosen one who is a master the first time they do something” anime cliché. They don’t have to lose or anything, just make them struggle with it. If you’re going to do an ecchi fighting anime at least make the fights actually involve fighting of some sort. We didn’t even get a good look at Virgin’s sword till the very end when she turned back on screen; surely since that’s the selling point of the series, beyond the boobs, they’d at least have the standard “this is awesome” shot for the Virgin Sword, but they don’t. They go straight for the curb-stomp end of the first fight and the sword is either obscured by smoke or hair. This is fighting anime 101, show the main character’s awesome weapon.

The characters in this are… well they’re just walking titillation with water balloons for breasts and in serious need of a bra. Unlike all the other nicknames I wasn’t joking about Virgin, that’s a real thing from the show. Her real name is Tokonome, but the way the Kanji is laid out on her gym shirt makes it look like it says “Virgin” and everyone makes fun of her for it, she even admits she’s a virgin too.

In case you thought I was making that up

In case you thought I was making that up

Supposedly it’s for comedy, but really I think we all know it’s because a virgin main character is more appealing to the core ecchi demographic. Given Wikipedia says the second episode is titled “Virgin Road” they’re clearly going to milk that ‘joke’ till the end of the series, even though it ran dry the second it was introduced. As for the other characters, there’s not much to say since there’s little to them other than what the nicknames imply. Hell the nicknames probably imply more character than what’s actually in the show. I will say it’s incredibly obvious who’s a character in this and who’s just an extra, since all the characters have prominent boobs and varying designs to show off said boobs, all the other girls in the school just look like standard school students. Which makes it rather odd that there’s a school uniform when all the characters are dressed in anything but that.

I think the transformation scenes are meant to be an ecchi riff on the magical girl transformation sequences, but I couldn’t tell as my VLC player glitched and made it much more entertaining to watch.

If only the rest of the show was this good

If only the rest of the show was this good

Other than that I can’t think of much else to say about the show, it’s boring, too focused on titillation than either telling a half-decent story or providing fight scenes of any kind, and it’s really not worth your time to watch it unless you’re really into ecchi yuri. Go watch Kill La Kill instead.

I give this episode – ‘some melons’ out of ‘a knife’

You can't say the show doesn't know its audience

You can’t say the show doesn’t know its audience

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If you liked this review please mention so on the forum, I’m not sure if I’ll review it weekly as it’s bad enough to get some entertainment out reviewing it but I’m not sure how long that’ll last. Don’t forget to come along to Anicom, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6pm in OL1 (Europa Building) and also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Be seeing ya.