Muv-Luv Alternative Episode 10, “Resolve,” was another action-packed episode that focused on a civil war involving mecha battles and strategy. As an anime-only viewer, some of the characters and their battles were a bit tough for me to follow. However, Shirogane’s scenes and the political intrigue of the Shogun definitely made up for my moments of confusion. Here’s my review.
Friendly reminder: I’m an anime-only viewer, so I’m sharing these reviews from the perspective of someone who hasn’t read the visual novels (but has done a little background research.)Check out this #MuvLuvAlternative review of Episode 10 for anime-only viewers. Click To Tweet
This is a Muv-Luv Alternative Episode 10 review. It will have spoilers for the episode, but since it’s anime-focused only, it contains no visual novel spoilers.
Right now, the two main animes that I’m following are Muv-Luv and Eighty Six. Both involve some major battles against an invading force. So sometimes I have to really watch myself to make sure I don’t get the storylines confused in any way. I’m told that Muv-Luv only has two episodes left this season, which makes me a little sad. I feel like there is still so much to explore in order to close out the season with a satisfying arc ending. I hope it’s renewed for another season (or a second-half of this one, depending on how they choose to label it.) If it’s not, then I’ll likely have to dive into the visual novels to see how it resolves. But then I’ll have to decide if I watch the first two versions prior to that, and it could be a long journey.
Anyway, with that rambling opening, on to the review. 🙂
The Episode Was a Bit Confusing for an Anime-Only Viewer
As for Episode 10 — this was an entertaining albeit confusing episode for an anime-only viewer. I’m still having trouble following all the characters, since we haven’t delved deeply into most of them. The main characters that I was getting used to all took a backseat for this episode or were absent entirely, and a bunch of other characters I’m not familiar with were leading the episode instead. I’d imagine that for visual novel watchers, this isn’t so jarring because the VN likely developed these characters more prior to the moment the anime’s covering.
So the episode stars with Rebel Leader learning that the first group was wiped out. The Rebel Fighter with Glasses tells him that she needs to enter the battle herself in order to save Her Majesty. It’s interesting how they believe the Shogun needs saving, while the Shogun herself (Yuuhi) is fleeing from them of her own volition. At the end of the episode, we learned that their entire goal is simply to abscond with the Shogun and make her their rebel leader.
After the intro, we start out with soldiers using the new OS with their mechas (designed by Shirogane and Kouzuki in a previous episode). Lt. Tsukiji is one of the people fighting on the UN side. I’m sorry, but I really don’t remember her or the other soldier she’s talking to.
Apparently these are the “Valkyries” who are the “tip of the sword that defends humanity.” Or they are fighting the Valkyries. I’m a bit confused on that part.
An an anime-only viewer, the Valkyrie plot was tough for me to follow. I’m not quite sure which side they were on. Plus, I didn’t recognize any of the characters who were part of that unit, so I was never sure as I watched who was a Valkyrie and who wasn’t. Who’s the girl above? Who’s the character below?🤷♀️
Then they show us the woman who’s part of the Rebel force (from the first scene of this episode) getting ready to charge, and I’m still unsure. She’s definitely a rebel. The two characters talking about the OS at the beginning are part of Shirogane’s group. The Valkyries are part of… ?
It would help if their uniforms were more distinctly different. So anyway, a bunch of mech fighters are about to fight. Those scenes are really pretty to watch and well-done, even if I don’t understand what’s happening or who’s who. I did figure out that the Rebel Fighter (pictured above) is a precursor to the Rebel Leader’s other major regiment, who hasn’t entered the battle yet. And they all believe they’re fighting for the soul of the Shogun.
The part with Shirogane and the Shogun, however, was a part that I could understand. I really enjoyed how they showed what a tough position he was put in regarding the sedative. He’s not sure if she’s too sick to handle it and needs more time on the ground. Lt. Tsukuyomi of the Royal Guard really wants him to wait, while the UN general Walken wants him to sedate her so they can get her to a safer location fast. Neither decision is a good one. Each decision brings risk. So Shirogane is really left in a tough position. I honestly don’t know what decision I would make in his place.
He thinks back to their conversation and how Yuuhi revealed that she and Meiya didn’t grow up together. Twins are considered a bad omen, so Meiya was quickly adopted out to distant relatives. However, her entire life still centered around the Shogun and serving as her body double. Meiya never had true freedom.
While Shirogane tries to make up his mind about what to do, his decision is interspersed with scenes from the battle and Takahara’s death. Since I don’t have a personal connection to Takahara, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel about those battle scenes. But I did know that it was indicating just how precarious their position is and how urgent Shirogane’s decision will be.
Tsukuyomi ultimately ends up winning and getting her way, simply by engaging the UN commander in a prolonged debate about the decision. And the Shogun wakes up just enough to tell Shirogane that she wants to take the risk of the sedative because no one else should die for her.
But then just as they think they will be able to whisk her away to safety, the Rebels appear with another ace up their sleeve. They had a secret squadron of planes ready to drop in more mechs. So now they have the upperhand and are commanding the UN forces to cease their fighting and hand over the Shogun.
At the end, Shirogane is back in the forest again with Yuuhi, remembering that unlike everyone else, his goal is still to save mankind. That is the goal that will drive him, not the politics he’s seeing all around him. The episode ends with him wondering what he’s lacking and why he can’t understand these people’s motivations.
And we’re left wondering… Will he hand over the Shogun? Or will he think of another solution?
Could They Attempt a Meiya-Body-Double Switch?
The Rebels revealed that their main goal is to take the Shogun for their own group, leaving Japan without its figurehead. The Shogun was originally in the territory they were taking over and could have easily gone with them at that point, if she truly believed in their cause like they think she does. But instead, she fled with Shirogane. This would be a good opportunity to use her body double, Meiya, and have her surrender to the Rebels, pretending to be the Shogun. In fact, I’m kind of hoping that they already switched those two, and Meiya has been the Shogun since before this series started, and the Shogun is secretly pretending to be Meiya. This could also be why they’ve never sent her squadron into a battle against the BETA, why the Royal Guard was sent to protect her, and why she was sent a special mech. I hope I’m right about this one!
As the episode ends, I’m left remembering that when Shirogane left his original dimension a few episodes back, Kouzuki was putting together a formula he needed and he’s supposed to return in three days. I really hope they revisit the world before this season ends. But with only two episodes left, I’m not sure if that will happen.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode, especially Shirogane’s scenes with Yuuhi. The battles themselves were confusing, since as an anime-only viewer I wasn’t sure in this episode which character is which or whose side they’re all on. I do wish we saw more of Shirogane’s squadron and the characters I’m familiar with, as that would have helped me navigate the battles a bit better.
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“then I’ll likely have to dive into the visual novels to see how it resolves. But then I’ll have to decide if I watch the first two versions prior to that”
You would, all three parts are just parts of a trilogy and were originally meant to be released as one whole product. Alternative was cut off and released 3 years after the first two parts because they ran out of money during development. (Fun fact, the original release date for muvluv was November 2001)
“and it could be a long journey.”
The whole trilogy can take about 100 hours, so yes.
“a bunch of other characters I’m not familiar with were leading the episode instead. I’d imagine that for visual novel watchers, this isn’t so jarring because the VN likely developed these characters more prior to the moment the anime’s covering.”
It’s actually not the case. The big action scenes this episode were Isumi(short brown hair, red eyes)’s Valkyries Vs Komaki. In the visual novel, Isumi’s valkyries weren’t introduced to the reader until halfway into the VN, and we are only about a quarter of the way through the VN’s material.
All of the scenes with Isumi’s Valkyries vs Komaki (rebel member with glasses, appeared in episode one on Sadogashima) are adapted from the manga, specifically the chapters 26, 27, and 28. The rebel girl with glasses Komaki is also a manga original character.
“Lt. Tsukiji…really don’t remember her”
Understandable, also manga original effectively, she doesn’t appear in Alternative and in Extra she is a cat.
“The Valkyries are part of… ?”
Special Task Force A-01, A unit under Yuuko’s direct command that, unlike other forces that are a part of the United Nations on the Yokohama base, that can be deployed by her without permission from the Japanese Government, and to restate myself, they were not even mentioned by this point in the VN.
You might be able to tell the difference between the two groups by looking at the color of the skin tight part of the uniform (Green for IJA/rebels, blue for UN) but like in the article picture this isn’t visible in every scene.
Without spoiling either version, the visual novel is almost entirely from Shirogane Takeru’s perspective, while the manga is mainly from his perspective but has a lot more scenes showing off backstory of characters or what somebody else was doing during a particular part of the story.
All the scenes with Takeru in this episode were from the VN.
“Could They Attempt a Meiya-Body-Double Switch?”
” I really hope they revisit the world before this season ends”
Also good to hear!
I actually haven’t read the manga at all, so as a VN only person those scenes with Isumi’s valkyries were new to me too.
If you had read the Muvluv VN, the only character in Isumi’s Valkyries you would have met so far is Akane Suzumiya (short orange hair, ahoge), who makes a few appearances Extra. Captain Isumi herself comes from a previous VN by the developers of Muvluv(Age) called Kimi ga ita Kisetsu, and two other characters in the unit, Hayase Mitsuki (Blue ponytail) and Haruka Suzumiya(long light brown hair, Akane’s older sister, not a TSF pilot, hasn’t appeared in this anime) were the lead girls in my Muvluv’s “sister VN” Kimi ga nozomu eien(Akane first appeared here too). Every other girl in the unit is either VN or manga original.
Thanks for the article!
Thanks for another review Stephanie! I think it’s very normal to be confused about who the different Valkyries are- in the original visual novel, Takeru hasn’t met them yet and this arc is almost entirely from his perspective. (In fact, you never meet the girl who was killed this episode in the main story.) Though they are canonically still engaging in these battles, they aren’t shown like they are here. Those scenes were originally written for the manga adaptation, and honestly you still probably wouldn’t know the characters there. I think they were a good inclusion but definitely more as a treat for people who have already read the novels and know the characters.
(The girl above is Tsukiji, and the girl below is Isumi, captain of the Valkyries.)
By the way, I don’t think they did a good enough job explaining why the airdrop is so surprising- it’s specifically because of the laser-class BETA on Sadogashima being able to easily strike an aircraft that flies too high over this part of Japan. Without some of the backstory you may not know this but the larger laser class has a range of hundreds of kilometers.
The rumor is that the show will be receiving a second half similar to how 86 had a split season, based on a deleted tweet from the director where you could see a reference to “Muv-Luv Episode 17”. We haven’t heard when that could be or if it’s green lit yet but we’re all hoping the wait isn’t too long.
Extra clarification: the scene with rebel Sagiri, his men, and the planes they are about to board is also from the manga. A strict VN adaption would have had only the scenes with Takeru, the arguing about giving the shogun medication, and then the rebels suddenly para-dropping in during the argument/rest period.
Question: why do you think Takeru hesitated to give Yuuhi the sedative?
Did my previous comments not process properly? Well I’ll just post the same thing worded differently.
A lot of the episode was Valkyries vs Komaki, so to start with that
“I’d imagine that for visual novel watchers, this isn’t so jarring because the VN likely developed these characters more prior to the moment the anime’s covering.”
It actually doesn’t, these scenes of the Valkyries (“Special Task Group A-01” a unit under the direct command of Yuuko that can be deployed by her without permission from the Japanese Government, unlike the rest of the UN forces stationed on Japan) Fighting Komaki (Rebel with glasses) are from the manga version of Alternative, not the VN. The manga spends a lot more time showing off what other characters are doing and their backstories while the VN is almost entirely from Takeru’s perspective. A strict VN adaption would have this episode contain only the scenes of Takeru not giving the meds to Yuuhi: https://youtu.be/cFGg0ex-OGw stop at 54 minutes to avoid seeing content not covered by this episode.
(random note: in the VN Yuuhi is sitting on Takeru’s lap while the manga changes and the anime copies it to a separate seat, making the cockpit far larger)
Up to this point in the VN the Valkyries as a unit are unmentioned. The only members a VN reader of Muv-Luv Extra/Unlimited would be familiar with are Suzumiya Akane (short orange hair) and Kashiwagi Haruko (short blue hair) where they only appear during the lacrosse competition arc of that game. Takahara (green ponytail) and Tsukiji (brown sidetail) appear in the same arc, but Takahara is an unnamed sprite for one scene and Tsukiji is a cat.
The Rest of the Valkyries, Captain Isumi Michiru(brown hair red eyes), Hayase Mitsuki(blue ponytail, got mad when Takahara died), and Suzumiya Haruka(command staff, not a TSF pilot, Akane’s older sister), are characters from previous VNs by Age. The other two Munakata Misae, and Kazama Touko were original characters created for the Alternative VN.
The scenes with rebel leader Sagiri and his men about to board the planes are from the manga original as well.
In summary, most of the Valkyries are only know if you have read the developers previous VNs and not Muv-Luv itself.
If you want to see the relevant chapters, this episode adapts chapters 26, 27, 28, and the first few pages of chapter 29.
“But then I’ll have to decide if I watch the first two versions prior to that”
You would yes, Extra, Unlimited, and Alternative are one long story and the only reason Alternative was released separately 3 years after the first two was because the developers ran out of money.
“and it could be a long journey”
It’s like a 100 hour story altogether, so yes it would be.
“Could They Attempt a Meiya-Body-Double Switch?”
“But with only two episodes left, I’m not sure if that will happen.”
With the amount of material left to adapt I suspect episode 11 will consist ceasefire started in this episode, while episode 12 will be the arc resolution. They could show the first few scenes of the arc just after coup arc but it would be a glorified preview at best.
oh uh, now it shows me the previous comments are still processing
sorry about so many comments.