Review of Muv-Luv Alternative
|By||Vote: 10leulight on 2021-01-01 last updated on 2021-03-18|
|Review||Muv-Luv intrigued me. Not only was it acclaimed to be the highest rated VN of all time, rated with a 9.10 average score, at the time I am writing this review, but also, it's statistics were quite ridiculous. More 10s than double the amount of 9s? I turned my eyes away since I found it's art style quite unappealing, at first. After discovering its stats, I just couldn't wait anymore. I picked up Muv-Luv, the prequel to Alternative and God, was it the best decision I ever made.|
Muv-Luv Alternative is an objective masterpiece. No wonder it inspired Isayama to make something like Attack on Titan, one of the most successful Manga of the 2010s. Muv-Luv is one of the greatest stories EVER written, there's nothing like Muv-Luv, nor there ever will be.
Muv-Luv is a trilogy, consisting of Extra, Unlimited, and Alternative. While Extra is a rom-com, Alternative is a post-apocalyptic Mecha story. The genre shift is honestly pretty amazingly done and I haven't seen anything else pull it off this well. See for yourself. Alternative should absolutely be experienced after Extra and Unlimited. You will be doing yourself a disservice otherwise. Extra and Unlimited do get better after recontextualization if you ask me.
There are also several spin-offs to flesh out the universe even more.
Extra is a tropey rom-com, go in with optimal expectations. Unlimited is where things pick up. It sets up the Alternative universe really well, with some dense worldbuilding which is heavily expanded on in Alternative. After finishing Alternative I understood what was the point of Extra. It's the way it is, on purpose, that's the point. I heavily recommend that you 100% Extra, it's important for the characters and their subsequent arcs in the sequels.
This will be a review for "Muv-Luv Alternative" with some references to the prequels.
Muv-Luv Alternative has some of the best production and presentation in the medium, this applies to the prequels as well, though MLA is on an entirely different level. The model movements, the positioning and the camera angles almost make it feel like an Anime. The fight scenes were great honestly, given the limits of this medium. The Voice Acting is nothing short of amazing.
Let's talk about the plotting, which in my opinion, is the best of anything I have seen. You will never find plotting as unique as this anywhere.
The way Extra and Unlimited are connected to Alternative is masterfully done. It absolutely blew my mind how well everything was put together at times. It leaves nothing unsolved by the end. Some of the foreshadowing is downright insane to me.
The CHARACTERS, where do I begin. To be frank I found Takeru quite annoying until the lacrosse arc. He developed quite well in Unlimited. Alternative raised him to a different level. This VN uses it's 1st person POV to have me immerse and feel like I was Takeru. Takeru's characterization is nothing short of amazing. Being a dick, to a reality check, to a Gary-Stu, destruction of his Hero Complex, to a true Soldier, to learning to appreciate precious things, he quite honestly learns every single lesson a Human could possibly learn. If it wasn't for Meiya, he would definitely be my favorite character.
Talking about her, Meiya is quite honestly my favorite female lead out of anything, she was the one thing I loved since Extra, there was this something about her that clicked with me. She is strong but quite feminine in nature. A dependable leader and supporter. Since I felt like I was Takeru, I felt like Meiya was a real person supporting me through my hard times, it's was quite impossible for me to not fall for her. While she may come off as perfect at first, she actually has her own issues she is struggling to overcome. All of her characterization turned to an 11 in Unlimited-Alternative, it's honestly doesn't surprise she is my favorite female character in fiction. Her "scene" is the best thing in Alternative, I cried, hard.
Sumika is probably the most "unique" characters I have seen. Her romantic conflicts create this Trilogy. Her connection to the plot and that in turn connected to her characterization, it's honestly quite amazing someone even thought of creating such a character.
Yuuko, Kasumi, and Isumi being my next favorites, who again, are incredible. Kasumi's dynamic with Takeru and Sumika and its role in her characterization is nothing short of excellent. There's Yuuhi, whose dynamic with Meiya is very important, the perfect leader.
Marimo and her "C***P" of course, which masterfully flips over the entire narrative.
Sakaki and Ayamine are hands down the best of the bonus girls and the culmination of their arcs since Extra is interesting. Mikoto's gender conflict is honestly quite subtly depicted and can be deciphered if you look more into it, it's not really explicit at all, which can be disappointing for some. Miki is the sniper cat.
I love the entire cast but going on about them, will make this review unnecessarily long. So I am just going to say the cast is Incredible, and probably my favorite cast out of anything.
Let's talk about the world-building, again, I regard MLA as top 1 in this regard, it fleshes out the condition of its politics, technology, Time and Space Travel, multiverses, history, all of these at the same time and Really damn well which is honestly quite impressive. The info-dumps are important for this, I can see why someone wouldn't care about it and find it boring, but I was honestly so intrigued by MLA's world, I enjoyed every single info-dump. The politics are very realistically written and it's incredible how it's laid out in the entire series because of the strictly 1st person Style of Storytelling. Yuuhi's influence is present throughout the series.
The OST is 11/10. O-Gravity, How to the Future, War Preparation, Meiya, Footsteps of Military Soldiers are some of my favorites. Incredible OST placement too.
The ending was quite honestly perfect, Quoting "Sumika did not erase Takeru's memories but rather hid them deep inside him, which is obvious. Erasing his memories completely kind of contradicts the "appreciation" message. But then you would ask, why would Sumika do that if she was over her self-centered self to appreciate Takeru's wishes who would obviously want to retain his memories? Well, the thing is, she did appreciate his wishes, that's why she didn't completely erase them. But Takeru is not the only one who she cares about, she cares about everyone, she wants to make it up to everyone for the pain she caused them, they all wished for a romantic relationship with Takeru, Takeru retaining his previous world memories would make it impossible for him to fall in love with anyone else, for obvious reasons which would render her character arc pointless." It's a 10/10, thematically perfect ending, respects the rules of the universe and increased my appreciation so much more for Sumika.
Muv-Luv's ultimate message was "Appreciate what you have, the Alternative maybe way worse." and it honestly quite succeded, I need more Extra, wait, they made Altered Fable? Exactly what I needed after Alternative honestly.
I want to mention that despite the term "fandisc", I consider this a true sequel because it adds to the characterization of certain characters even more (Kasumi for example). Also, the dialogue is better than extra. The comedy is funnier, Takeru is very enjoyable from the start. I am still reading it and I honestly quite love it.
Muv-Luv Alternative left me emotionally hollow. I cried for them, I laughed with them. But most of all, I didn't want it to end, that was a feeling I didn't really experience in a long time. It was a life-changing experience for me and completely changed the way I view media. An experience I will never forget.
Thanks for reading this review, I very much appreciate it. I hope it turned out well.