Valkyrie Drive is a Japanese media franchise created by Marvelous which consists of three projects; Bhikkhuni, a PlayStation Vita game; Siren, a social game for iOS and Android devices; and the focus of this review, an anime series called Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid.
The anime series has twelve episodes, and was produced by Arms Corporation. The director is Hiraku Kaneko.
Straight away, it’s worth mentioning that Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid can be accurately described as softcore pornography with a plot. To start with, let’s focus on the plot.
Girls have been infected with a mysterious virus called the ‘Arms Virus’. Those who have been infected can be split into two groups: Extars and Liberators.
Extars are able to transform into weapons, a la Soul Eater. However, there is quite a major difference with how the transformation takes place – Extars transform into their weapon forms by becoming aroused.
Liberators wield the Extar’s weapon form in battle.
Those who have been infected with the Armed Virus have been deemed dangerous to society, and sent to one of several isolated islands. The island that the anime is set on is called ‘Mermaid’. Oh, and uh… ‘coincidentally’, all those infected with the Armed Virus are female.
The story begins with Mamori Tokonome (the red-haired lass from the image above) arriving on Mermaid, and almost immediately running into trouble.
It’s then we get to see this show’s unique take on the weapon transformation, which goes on to happen at least once an episode. Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid holds nothing back when it comes to the girl-on-girl transformation sequences – the censored version has quite blinding lens flare, apparently.
Anyway, the blonde girl from the image above, Mirei Shikishima, arrives on Mermaid around the same time as Mirei and the two kiss which results in Mamori transforming into a weapon form – or Liberator Arm, as the show puts it.
What follows is Mirei and Mamori trying to adjust to life on Mermaid, whilst finding a way to escape from it. Of course, they aren’t the only ones who are trapped on the island, and certain people have their own particular methods for trying to get off of the island.
Girls of all shapes and er… sizes, are present – which is pretty typical for this kind of anime. The proportions for many of the characters are particularly absurd, though there are a few with more believable breasts.
Talking of breasts, female nudity is another thing that is pretty much guaranteed once per episode – again, par for the course for this type of anime.
Considering the way that the weapon transformations work, there is a lot of lesbian loving on display here. Episode four has an awkward moment, before a particularly obvious piece of information is revealed to the somehow really oblivious characters later on in the series, but that’s it.
Of course, with weapon transformations comes action scenes. The battles are enjoyable to watch, and there are a variety of weapon forms on display. Of course, taking into account the type of anime this is, clothing damage is a given – nobody comes out of a battle fully clothed.
Overall, this show is actually quite good. If you’re adverse to ecchi, then this is something you’ll want to avoid like the plague. If not, though, Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is actually surprisingly entertaining.
Nice action scenes, lots of female nudity and plenty of yuri combine into quite a decent show – of course, that’s only if you aren’t adverse to ecchi.