Dec 27, 2015
HaXXspetten (All reviews)
Studio Arms has a rather—shall we say—less than impressive reputation in the anime community. Although they have done numerous different types of shows in the past, the most prevalent one is action/ecchi... and I mean the very worst kind of it. If there is one company who seemingly has a full monopoly on bad ecchi anime, then it's Arms. I still consider Queen's Blade to be the single worst full-length anime TV-series I have ever seen, and my faith in the studio since then has been rather limited to say the least. And thus it is hardly a surprise that I wasn't exactly expecting much out of Valkyrie Drive either, but to my amazement... it wasn't actually that bad. Certainly not more than average at best mind you, but a hell of a lot better than what I've come to expect from Arms at this point.

The story is about as nonsensical as you'd imagine it to be. It takes place on a set of artificial islands with an all-female population. The girls are divided into pairs of Liberators and Exters. If a Liberator sexually stimulates her partner, the Exter will transform into a physical weapon which the Liberator can then wield in combat. Sounds weird I'm sure but it's pretty straightforward, and that's the way this world works. There is an established society on the islands with different internal factions and individuals pursuing their own goals. And that leads us to what I'd probably consider the anime's greatest weakness, namely the lack of any real long-term purpose for the majority of the story. For about two thirds of the show, there's no one bad guy on the islands to defeat, nor is there a personal ambition for the main duo to reach or anything like that. They just... go with the flow of events and one thing leads to another which gets them tangled up in various incidents, and eventually it converges on to a single goal. It's a bit awkward, but then again you have to consider this a secondary notion since you'll certainly not be watching Valkyrie Drive for the story anyway.

And that is where this anime exceeded my expectations: the ecchi. Historically speaking, Arms has pretty much the worst ecchi on the market, basically having the "big breasts solve everything" approach with absolutely no creativity put into it at all (and when I say big breasts I mean REALLY big). In Valkyrie Drive however, this is not really the case. Well okay, it certainly does have a lot of needlessly busty girls in it, but it's got a lot more than that. Since the series revolves around girls sexually stimulating each other in order to draw out their partners' powers, it obviously can't just get away with shoving tits into the camera every 5 seconds. It needs actual physical stimulation. And as a result, Valkyrie Drive has a plethora of uncensored yuri sex in it. That's not something you see every day. Now of course that doesn't mean it's at hentai level, but it comes pretty close sometimes (especially the BD specials, hot damn). For example there's one scene where two of the girls are blatantly 69'ing and licking each other out; we may not actually be shown their genitals on screen but... you know exactly what's going on as a viewer. Case in point, Valkyrie Drive is actually pretty hot. Not all the time of course, but often enough. For an Arms anime, that's a tremendous achievement to me. And let's be honest here, how many borderline hentai anime does there exist out there that's girl-on-girl? Yuri is normally stereotyped as something cute and romantic like in Yuru Yuri or Sakura Trick for example, not something as lustful and perverted as this. That alone gives it a lot of points for originality when you think about it.

And really that is pretty much all that needs to be said about this anime. The art and sound is about what you'd expect it to be, nothing remarkable but not bad either (I like the OP song though). The plotline is incredibly dumb but I don't think anyone believed it to be otherwise before watching it either. And the characters are for the most part not anything more than plot mechanics for the sake of ecchi, though I'll at least have to give some credit to Meifon for being somewhat of an unexpected wildcat who kept things interesting with her deceitful antics. But in the end, all that really matters in Valkyrie Drive is of course the ecchi, and although it still suffers from having a lot of oversized breasts and clothes ripping during action scenes for no apparent reason, the yuri scenes more than make up for it. There's something magical about seeing a pair of horny anime chicks passionately tongue wrestling and greedily indulging in each other's nipples, and Valkyrie Drive tries its very hardest to showcase exactly why. It may be considered crude, but so be it; at least it's crude in a damn arousing way.