Anime / Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid

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Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is the anime portion of Marvelous's Valkyrie Drive project.

The series takes place on one of five artificial islands, Mermaid. Mamori is transferred to one of the islands but has no knowledge why she's there. To make matters more confusing she's attacked by the first two people she comes across, one of them even turning her partner into a gun. Fortunately, she's saved by Mirei, another girl who also just transferred to the island. Still their attackers won't let up and in order to save both of them Mirei kisses Mamori which transforms Mamori into a powerful sword.

Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid provide examples of:

  • Actual Pacifist: Mamori hates violence and tries numerous times to find a peaceful solution to her situation. Unfortunately, the inhabitants of Mermaid simply refuse to grant her one. Offering to surrender is seen as an invitation to get killed.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: In episode 4 Mamori thinks she's being fondled by Akira but it turns out to be an illusion from Miranda. She's actually just masturbating.
  • And the Adventure Continues: After freeing the inhabitants of Mermaid Island, Mamori and Mirei, along with Meifeng and Lady Lady, decide to help others inflicted with the Arm Virus.
  • Artistic License – Biology: This goes without saying. It is highly unlikely, if not outright impossible for a virus to grant people the ability to turn into weapons and back again. Especially weapons with Bottomless Magazines.
  • Artistic License – Law: Granted Rain is no legal scholar, and she most likely believes that the UN drafted legislation to "honor the human rights" of those infected with the Arms virus by shipping them off to Mermaid and the other four artificial islands. This is not how the UN works, however. The UN does not write bills and have them signed into law. They can propose resolutions and deliver sanctions, but more often than not, they propose treaties that are then taken back to the member countries and ratified there.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Nimi Minimi. Turns out, that's her Extar ability.
  • Author Appeal: The director of this series, Hiraku Kaneko, is well known for directing near-pornographic ecchi series with tons of busty characters and a lot of breast-focused fanservice. This series continues that trend.
    • And let's not forget that this franchise is made by Kenichiro Takaki, the creator of Senran Kagura. Like the director, he is very fond of breasts.
  • Badass and Child Duo: In terms of appearance and personality, played straight. In terms of age, subverted.
  • Beginner's Luck: Not long after awakening as an Extar and Liberator, Mamori and Mirei have already defeated other Extars and Liberators with far more experience than them. Subverted since Mirei is actually an experienced Liberator.
  • Beneficial Disease: The Armed Virus, which gives the infected their powers. For Liberators, it gives them an increase in physical prowess and the ability to transform their Extars. For Extars, it mostly takes the form of them transforming into weapons. Though, some do transform into other things like Lady J's motorcycle form and Nimi's giant form.
  • BFS: Both Mamori and Momoka, wielded in Mirei's flashback and later by Charlotte, are swords almost as big as Mirei is.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
    • Nukui seems like a polite and composed person at first, but she quickly reveals herself to be an extremely violent rapist. Especially when Mamori rejects her.
    • When Momoka was brought before Charlotte and Kasumi, she acted like a bubbly air-head. In reality, her personality's even worse than Charlotte, and that's no easy task.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Once Mamori and Mirei reach a 100% Valkyrie Effect, they are able to absorb the Armed Viruses out of all the females in Mermaid island, turning everybody normal with the exception of themselves and Lady Lady (whom refused to be cured).
  • Brains and Brawn: As time goes on, Mamori and Mirei develop this type of dynamic with Mamori as the brains and Mirei as the brawn while Mamori is not in Arms mode. Good thing Mirei is a Submissive Badass and prefers to follow Mamori's lead, as long as the situation is not too dire.
  • The Cameo: Rinka and Ranka Kagurazaka, the main characters from Valkyrie Drive -Bhikkhuni- have a small scene in the last episode of the series.
    • Setsuna Kisaragi and Urara Sahshou, main characters of the now defunct mobile game Valkyrie Drive -Siren- are shown along the Kagurazakas in the manga adaptation of the above scene.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Every named character is either a lesbian or bisexual.
  • Child Soldier: In episode 2, a flashback is shown of Mirei, who's only fifteen in the present story, and another Extar fighting in a warzone.
  • Closed Circle: The characters are on a remote island surrounded by a giant barrier. It's near impossible for them to leave
  • Clothing Damage
    • Miyasato and Kouzuki's swimsuits shred to pieces as they lose to Mirei, leaving them topless.
    • Kasumi somehow shreds her own pantyhose kicking Mirei.
    • Akira's clothes almost completely disintegrate in the fight with Momoka.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: Miyasato decides to give Mamori a demonstration of what Extars and Liberators are by fondling her partner, Kouzuki, right in front of her (Extars need to be sexually aroused to transform).
  • Cyborg: Artificial Arms, at least the first generation ones, consist of brain and spinal grown from cloned cells that have been injected with Arm virus and robotic body that they are placed in.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Many of the main cast have one. Considering that Mermaid is a quarantine facility, in name only, and instead serves as a Penal Colony, this is hardly surprising.
  • Daydream Surprise: In episode 4 Mamori is awoken in the middle of the night by Akira. He leads her outside where the two have a conversion, which ends with Akira fondling her on the ground. However, it's quickly revealed that Akira is just an illusion made by another member of the Adel and Mamori's fondling herself.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Meifeng explains in episode 3 that this is the way the Wärter organization does things. New recruits are tested in combat. The weak are forced to obey "for protection" and the strong are "invited" to join the organization.
  • Deus Sex Machina: To turn into weapons, Extars have to enter a trance-like state. While sexual arousal isn't required, it is the easiest way to get Extars to transform.
  • Dispel Magic: Rain can turn into a huge gun, capable of firing blasts that forcibly reverts an Extar's transformation.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Momoka manages to pull this twice She helps Charlotte become leader of Wärter because she knows Charlotte will try to round all the inhabitants on the island and bring them to Veste. Having everyone in one place makes it easier for her and her partners to find the one that is the source of the Valkyrie effect. Once she localizes the source of the Valkyrie Effect, she takes the power for herself and goes in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Mamori's surname is written with the same kanji for "virgin". She gets very embarrassed when people point that out.
  • Equippable Ally: What the V-Virus causes on Extars.
    • The VR strain allows the roles to be switched at will.
  • Evolving Weapon: Extars can change and become better weapons when their sync ratio with their Liberator partner is high enough. This happens to Mamori in episode 8.
  • Gainaxing: The animation of a lot of the characters' breasts is very bouncy, even when they're not moving that much
    • Charlotte's breasts almost bounce out of her top just by walking.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: The Armed Virus doesn't affect xy chromosomes so only females can become Extars and Liberators. Momoka knows this hence why Akira's disguise isn't able to fool her.
  • Gilded Cage: Mermaid is amazingly comfortable for a combination leper colony and prison. It's a tropical island with a big fancy castle in the center that gives them all the supplies that they need, even supplying holographic videophones and armored personnel carriers. Just hope that you never want to speak to your family, because the inmates have no contact with the outside world.
    • Crapsaccharine World: Oh, and there aren't any guards or support staff, so you're going to have to fight off the other inmates by yourself, and try real hard to avoid developing a physical or mental condition that requires any kind of doctor, because the only people around were tossed in as teenagers. There might be a medical database included in the castle's computer systems, but that's the best that you're getting. Oh, and if you're ever "invited" off the island, it's at the beck and call of agents to a criminal organization that absolutely does not have your best interests in mind.
  • Government Conspiracy: Implied. Mamori is literally grabbed by Men in Black while she's on the track field of her public school. It's also implied that her parents knew this was coming but could do nothing about it when the results of her annual medical exam showed "an irregularity."
  • Gratuitous German: They have ranks and organizations such as "Kommandeur" (commander), "Gouverneur" (governor), "Wärter" (guard), "Hexe" (witch) and "Adel" (nobility).
  • I Can See You: Miyasato and Kouzuki try to ditch work and lounge on the beach. When they get a call on their communicator they simply state they're not there. Unfortunately for them the person on the other end is their captain and she can see them.
  • Imagine Spot: Episode 4 has a scene of a wedding Between Akira and Mamori that the latter imagines.
  • Immodest Orgasm: A lot of Extars usually let out a loud moan when being transformed.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Charlotte breaks the defeated Saejima's hand by stomping it with her high heel after she lost to Mirei. Considering how cruel Saejima is to her Extar, it's kinda deserved.
  • Kill Sat: Episode 12 reveals that "The Organization" set up one over Mermaid as a final measure in case somebody managed to break the forcefield and escape. It didn't do squat against Momoka and the stolen Mamori's Arm form.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The series takes a more darker tone with the introduction of Momoka and her team. Momoka's defeated Akira, who was largely responsible for keeping the peace on the island and helps Charlotte become governor. Charlotte, being more of a tyrant tries to forcible round up all the girls not in Veste.
  • Late to the Tragedy: The end of episode 9 is this as Mirei and Mamori return to Torino village after foraging for food, and not only found the place completely ransacked, but all the people gone.
  • Lens Flare Censor: Used heavily in the official simulcast during nude/erotic scenes (so basically almost all the time).
  • Living Weapon: Mirei was treated as one in her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Basically stated by Momoka in episode eleven as she forced herself upon Mamori in order to make the latter go into Arm mode.
  • Mood Whiplash: The rapid switches from fanservice to epic fights can be this, but the later episodes fit even better; more than one finishes on rather dark notes before segueing right into the ending song; the peppy, upbeat Super Ultra Hyper Miracle Romantic.
  • Mook–Face Turn: In episode 11 An army of Ritter, the same people who were rounding up girls in episodes 9 and 10, and serve as the foot soldiers of Wärter stood between Mirei and Lady Lady and Momoka. Rather than fighting, however, they stood down and let Mirei pass without incident.
  • The One Guy: The only male inhabitant on the island is Akira, who is very androgynous looking.
  • Onehanded Zweihander: Mirei always wields her huge Extars one-handed.
  • One Woman Army: Mirei's flashback shows her taking down an actual army of Humongous Mecha that were sent after her. She only lost because she's hit with a Macross Missile Massacre from behind, while she was literally looking down at a terrified soldier who tried to kill her seconds before rather than simply killing him and running away.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: A two-fold example. First, only Liberators can properly use Arms. Second, if there is a too large of a class difference between a Liberator and an Extar, the Extar has a barrier that prevents the Liberator from touching them.
  • Penal Colony: The island of Mermaid is effectively this. The only way in is by a missile designed to temporarily punch open a hole in the force-field, and there's (apparently) no way out.
  • The Pollyanna: Mamori is nothing but this. The only way she withstood what appears to be horrific bullying in her flashback, and the Attempted Rape of episode 2 is the belief that "her prince will come." She's suitably shocked when she realizes her "prince" is Mirei.
  • Power of Love: Unlike most Extars, Rain and Lady J don't need to get each other aroused to transform. Rain credits it to their strong bond.
    • Mamori confirms it in heartwarming fashion with Mirei in episode 8.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Mamori and Mirei get attacked by a Liberator and Extar that can cast illusions via telepathy. For Mamori they makes her think she's being fondled by Akira so she can get aroused and go into Arm mode. For Mirei they make her think she's being nearly gang-raped by bunch of mudmen.
  • Rape as Drama: Momoka violates both Akira and Mamori. The former to see if she was the cause of the Valkyrie Effect and the latter to force her to Drive and use her powers.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Pretty well everyone in the series.
  • Shout-Out: The series scriptwriter, Yousuke Kuroda slips a pretty obscure one to Madlax and Best Student Council (both previous works of his) on Lady Lady's backstory: They are members of Nafrece Intelligence Service.
  • Situational Sexuality: A disease that only affects women, granting superhuman abilities only when said women are sexually aroused? On a mechanical island forcefully separated from the rest of human society and men?
    • However, is important to point out that every major character (and even some minor ones) are explicitly shown as being lesbians despite the disease.
  • Stealth Pun: Half of the girls on the island transform into weapons through sex. They're objects of desire, you see.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Akira is a reveal to be a woman in Episode 7. Her mother had her disguise herself as a man in the hopes that being the only male in the island would give her an advantage over the other girls.
  • Spiritual Successor: The franchise is this to Senran Kagura. Both series feature busty girls, are heavy on fanservice with breasts being the main fetish, and are conceptualized by the same creator. Mermaid ramps up the fanservice to another level.
  • The Stoic: Mirei rarely speaks and is usually calm and composed. Not even being surrounded by snakes can rattle her.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Episode 1 has Mamori, and later Mirei being tracked by using some sort of unique electronic signature in a control room used by Kasumi. Yet, in Episode 3, Kasumi, Charlotte, and Ange are all surprised to find Mirei at Torino village despite using the same type of equipment tracking electronic signatures.
    • Although it can be argued that Kasumi was tracking the vessel in which Mirei and Mamori arrived to Mermaid rather than the girls themselves.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Episode 3 beings with Charlotte having Ange give Miyasato and Kouzuki a brutal whipping for failing to keep Mirei locked up.
  • Teenage Wasteland: While Mermaid has been operating long enough that some of the girls might have hit twenty, almost everyone was sent was sent as a teenager, and it shows.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: Mirei ends up groping Mamori's breasts when carrying her out of the way of Miyasato's attacks. She gets embarrassed and lets go when Mamori complains about her squeezing them too hard.
  • There Are No Therapists: At no time has anyone with a medical degree of any kind been seen on Mermaid. Hibiki, Kazumi's partner, has been left to become a Hikikomori due to the sheer trauma she experienced upon her arrival at Mermaid, and nobody is even remotely qualified to give her the help she desperately needs. Justified. All the inhabitants (with the possible exception of Toriko) on the island are in their teens so they wouldn't even have any form of medical degree.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Mirei and Mamori have this dynamic with Mirei being the tomboy despite being one year younger.
    • Ditto with Kasumi and Hibiki, Kasumi being the tomboy in this case.
    • Side characters Noe and Nimi also have this dynamic. Noe is the very tomboyish one while Nimi is cute and girly, even when she's hundreds of feet tall.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: It's apparently considered bad manners to interrupt a Liberator making out with her Extar partner. The time when Mirei and Mamori were attacked in the arena is seemingly an exception only because Mamori was hesitant.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Charlotte becomes leader of Wärter after she (and largely) Momoka defeat Akira. Unlike Akira, she decides that order on the island is best kept under her watch and sends Wärter agents to capture the girls from Tokino village and Lady Lady.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 8 reveals that Mermaid isn't the only artificial island used for housing carriers of the Armed virus. Also, the company line Wärter uses to encourage order is at least half-true. The inhabitants of Mermaid are being observed by external forces, but for the sake of a more sinister agenda than what Wärter preaches or is perhaps even aware of.
  • What You Are in the Dark: It has been established that Mamori has no memory of what occurs while she's in "Arm" mode. Mirei, going by her flashback, obviously has plenty of experience with this and should know. She could have easily ignored Mamori's wishes and beat down her attackers with Mamori not being the wiser, but she kept her promise of "no violence" anyway.
    • By the series' end Mamori is able to remain conscious during her transformations.
  • World of Action Girls: Is easier to count what characters aren't one. Justified since the Arm Virus only affects females.
  • World of Buxom: Almost every female character is decently stacked. Something that causes a lot of distress to Meifeng.
  • Worth Living For: Mirei found a reason to live when she met Mamori.
  • Younger Than They Look: Mirei, who is taller, more developed and deeper sounding than Mamori, is only fifteen years old, one year younger than Mamori.
  • Yuri Genre: One of the most blatant examples.
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