Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid (Season One)
When Mamori is found to be infected with the A-Virus, she is abducted and transported to the top-secret quarantine facility – Mermaid Island. She’s attacked by two girls who start kissing and then one of them turns into a gun!
Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid (Season One)
What did you watch?
Several years back, I was trying to find a copy of Akira and stumbled upon Funimation. They had a free trial so I thought I’d give it a go after years of wandering the animeless wilderness. After rewatching Akira, I casually browsed through the listings and one series caught my eye. The name seemed familiar. Then, it dawned on me that this was the series that I had seen a short clip of on Twitter and for whatever reason, it had stuck in my head. Well, that series was Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid and here’s what I thought after my latest rewatch!
Before Mamori can get a handle on what’s going on, another girl is transported to the island. She defends Mamori and then starts kissing her. Now, Mamori has absolutely no idea what is going on, but somehow, she turned into a sword! Seriously, what is going on? With the two girls taken care of, Mamori and Mirei head off into the jungle. They soon stumble upon a large white castle at the centre of the island and head inside.
Unfortunately, they’ve walked right into a trap and find themselves face to face with two more girls. This time, one dominates the other and turns her into a massive weapon. Mirei does her best to keep Mamori safe, but it’s not looking good. Then, Mamori tells Mirei to kiss her and use her as a weapon to save them. She does and she does! They are then separated as the ones in charge decide what to do with these new girls.
What did you think?
It’s probably best to point out early that the story is completely bonkers. Absolutely insane, but it’s also actually quite good. Sure, there’s not a lot of depth to the characters but they all play their parts well and at the heart of everything is a sweet love story between Mirei and Mamori. It’s probably not what you’re expecting, but it’s there and overall I enjoyed this series. There were some filler episodes in the middle that didn’t really go anywhere or serve much of a purpose, but the main story was good and the action was crazy.
What was your favourite moment?
One of the best things about anime is how often the endings escalate and escalate until things are completely out of control. This series nailed that trope. All the main characters had been absorbed inside Mamori who was now a weapon for Momoka. This was after they were already fighting for their lives and getting power-ups left, right, and centre. As Mamori tried to absorb the A-Virus from them, through questionable means, Mirei broke free and found Mamori, freeing her with their love. It sounds cheesy and it is, but it led to an even bigger and better fight. As I said, everything was turned up to eleven!
What was your least favourite moment?
I’ve never really understood the need for random beauty pageant episodes. Well, I know what they’re doing, but I find they rarely work. It was clearly a filler episode in a series that really didn’t need to waste any time. There was more than enough actual story for us to follow that along. It also meant that Meifon was in it more and she was fairly annoying at the best of times.
Who was your favourite character?
It has to be Mirei. For one, she’s is beautiful. Two, she’s strong and will fight for what she believes in. She also uses a sword and did I mention that she’s beautiful. Honestly, I can’t get enough of Mirei. Is it odd that she reminds me of myself? That’s probably because she’s almost like the girl version of D from Vampire Hunter D. Whatever, I don’t need to justify myself… All right, I probably do, but I am a big fan of the strong silent characters and also girl’s with swords. Therefore, Mirei is the perfect overlap of those two demographics.
Who was your least favourite character?
It’s obviously Meifon, but Charlotte could have been a close contender. Meifon had some funny moments such as her ability to drive with cash, but she also was pretty annoying. I didn’t hate her though, but I have to pick a least favourite and she is the one that stands out.
Would you like some more?
Valkyrie Drive is a mixed media project which means there is already more, however, it’s in a format I don’t usually get around to partake in. There is Bhikkhuni and Siren which are video games. Now, I’d love to know the full story, but unless it gets made into a manga, anime, or light novel, I doubt I’ll get around to it. I do play video games, but as a time investment, I can get through more stories in my prefered medium. I definitely think there is enough to make more, but whether that will ever happen seems unlikely.
What have you learnt?
I’m sure a lot of people will take one look at the first episode and instantly walk away. Fan service of a sexual nature is pretty divisive and I think that’s a shame. Obviously, everyone has their preferences, but I feel like ecchi anime gets treated unfairly and this series is the perfect example of why you shouldn’t tap out after one moment. Sure, there is a lot of fan service in this series, but it does have a plot and it’s a lot of fun.
As to what I’ve learnt from the series, well, I guess it’s that you can make anything into a story if you really want to. Girls that transform into weapons is a great idea on its own, but making it so that it happens when they are aroused is next-level thinking. I also think it’s a good idea to know what you’re trying to be and embrace that. Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is completely unashamed of its ecchi content. The amount of care and attention that went into drawing that many nipples is mindblowing. If you’re going to do anything, you might as well go all in.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – I’m Getting Deflowered
- Episode 2 – The Wedding Aisle
- Episode 3 – Zero Arm
- Episode 4 – Gouverneur
- Episode 5 – Giant Girl, Little Heart
- Episode 6 – No Money, No Life
- Episode 7 – To Believe
- Episode 8 – Valkyrie Effect
- Episode 9 – Takeover
- Episode 10 – Oppression
- Episode 11 – Soldier Arm
- Episode 12 – Valkyrie Drive