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Valkyrie Drive Mermaid and OVA - Review

Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is an ecchi/adult anime series by GENCO and Arms Corporation. It features two girls Mamori Tokonome and Mirei Shikishima being thrown into Mermaid Island which is behind a domed shield. They are left to fend for themselves in an island full of girls who have the ability to turn into usable weapons called an Arm after being sexually aroused by a compatible female partner called a Liberator. Upon being attacked by two different pair of girls in two separate areas, Mamori and Mirei are forced to become close to each other and realize both of them will need each other to survive in the island.

Anime cover artwork at GENCO and Arms Corporation websites

Promo video on YouTube by fr0schi

Mamori and Mirei will learn that everyone is being exiled to the island for being carriers of a virus called the Armed Virus, and everyone is trapped on the island as long as they have the virus. Mamori and Mirei's extraordinary abilities as the Arm and Liberator respectively would gain the notice of the residents of Mermaid Island. As everyone tries to find a way out of the island, Mamori and Mirei's love for each other will develop and their abilities are enhanced, battles with many different hostile girls take place and will attract the attention of the organization that exiled everyone to the island.

As an ecchi/adult anime series with comedy, action, supernatural and yuri content, there are plenty of fanservice and partial nudity in every episode as different girls get sexually aroused by their partners to battle various different pairs of girls. Clothes break after a battle or simply when taking a dip. For those who are looking for a good storyline or tightly-woven plot, they may find this series to be disappointing as nothing much is being told about the background story of each character or faction. Mirei Shikishima is the only character who has a few flashbacks of her past and a character from her past would show up only in the last few episodes of the series.

This series seem to focus more on the battles as an action and survival anime series where practically every episode features a different battle between Mamori and Mirei against their opponents. There are a few comedic moments occasionally, however most of them are not particularly funny. During the battles, there are some exciting battles and every character's variety of weapon or armour when their Drive is activated is sufficiently different enough with a few twists and surprises to justify watching the later episodes of the series. Sadly, a lot of the battles are over too quickly and not very well choreographed with dust clouds, explosions, and zoom-in close ups at less than ideal moments. Having better choreography may have enabled the viewer to follow the action with more excitement otherwise.

What is worth mentioning is that the fast and catchy opening theme song Overdrive by Hitomi Harada, the opening movie, and the inspiring and uplifting background music Valkyrie Drive and Will that are composed and arranged by Hiroaki Tsutsumi possibly saved this anime series from being a forgettable anime series otherwise by highlighting themes of victory and love will overcome all adversity.

Opening theme on YouTube by Lco Loco

BGM VALKYRIE DRIVE and Will on YouTube by Amaya Napyeer

The OVA or special episodes series consists of 6 short snippets of around 2 minutes each. Each snippet features a different character indulging in acts of sexual arousal with their partner. Two of the snippets reveal a bit more about two characters' partners, with little else to show among all snippets as the OVA is more for fan service purposes.

Overall, this anime series may seem to be a run-of-the-mill action anime with fan service, adult yuri content, and supernatural elements which combines fantasy with science fiction while having little in plot and character development. At the same time, this anime series has great opening theme song and a few inspiring background music to make this anime series stand out more. I decided to give this anime series a try after a PC action game of the same universe Valkyrie Drive -BHIKKHUNI- is released and this anime series didn't disappoint me. Although it's not particularly outstanding, I would still hope a sequel to this franchise would be produced in future.

As the opening theme and the background music Valkyrie Drive is played only from episode 2 onwards, this series is recommended only to watch the first few episodes first before deciding on whether to watch the later episodes or on whether to try the PC, handheld, mobile game, or manga of this media franchise. The OVA can be skipped entirely as none of the characters are particularly memorable to make it worth watching except for those who feel more attached with some characters.

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