Review: Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid Complete Series (DVD)

May as well be upfront here – To call Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid ‘lewd’ is just about the understatement of the decade. This show is basically a hair’s-breadth away from being a full-blown hentai series at any given moment, and fully deserving of the R18+ rating that adorns the cover. Consider yourself warned.

The yuri-tastic series centres around an island called Mermaid Island, where girls who are infected with something called the ‘Armed Virus’ are sent and isolated from the rest of society. The girls afflicted with the Armed Virus are one of two classes: Extars, who turn into fantastical weapons when they’re brought to orgasm, and the Liberators, who have the power to wield them in battle. Still with me, here? That’s pretty much the show in a nutshell. Two girls get busy, one turns into a weapon upon climax. Rinse (thoroughly) and repeat. A lot of nipples will appear on screen. Seriously so many nipples. Always nipples. Valkyrie Drive: Nipples.

The protagonist Mamori Tokonome is dumped on the island and stumbles upon a couple of ladies lazing on the beach who swiftly proceed to get to work on each other to demonstrate the Extar/Liberator relationship to Mamori. Mamori is then rescued by the tall and silent type, Mirei Shikishima, who literally drops out of the sky, gets her off and goes to battle. The pair form a bond as the series wears on and Mirei’s past gradually comes to light and explains why she’s so protective of Mamori.

There’s an attempt at a story here, with on-island political players, some military shenanigans and attempts to weaponise the, er, weapon virus, but mostly it’s all just an excuse to get from battle situation to battle situation in order to get a brief snippet of girl-on-girl action on screen, and between those moments the story is painfully dull and uninteresting. There’s an ever expanding cast of ladies to check the waifu-bait boxes for whatever your preferred personality/body type might be, and the character designs range from great to terrible to ridiculous 1980’s cyberpunk hentai rejects. It’s clear the bulk of the animation budget went into the naughty scenes, though even those are pretty ridiculous as everyone stops and waits patiently in the background while a couple of girls fingerbang and make out so one can turn into a sword or whatever instead of, you know, shooting them or something.

I’m all for dumb lewd fanservice anime, but it still has to be fun to watch. Valkyrie Drive Mermaid just isn’t compelling in any way, and stretched out over 12 episodes it’s a chore to slog through this show to get to the naughty action it’s trading on. For the lewdness on offer you may as well save yourself some time and hit up an actual hentai anime. Either way it’s going to be just as awkward to explain when somebody walks into the room while you’re watching, so why not go all in? And in any case it’s probably easier to explain two cartoon characters banging instead of having to explain two cartoons banging AND why one of them came and turned into a sword, right?

Radness scale:

A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.