The Nation of Gallia has always remained neutral in conflicts and has only gone to war to defend itself. However, as war flares between the East Europan Imperial Alliance and the Atlantic Federation, Gallia is soon targeted for its abundance of ragnite ore, a versatile and hugely valuable material. The Civilian Militia is soon called into action, and Welkin Gunther - son of a legendary war hero - is named leader of Squad 7. Under his command are the headstrong and practical Alicia Melchiott; the sharp-tongued Brigitte Stark; the grizzled veteran, Largo Potter; and Welkin's adopted sister Isara, whose Darcsen heritage means she faces prejudice, even from members of her own squad. With the rest of Squad 7 and the mighty tank Edelweiss, they must do their best to defend Gallia.
Valkyria Chronicles is a 26 episode action anime about war, with a pinch of romance, based upon the popular video game that was developed and published by Sega. Having played the game myself and loved both the gameplay and the story, this anime has high expectations to live up to. Both pacing and faithfulness to the canon are important here, but of course it has the freedom to depict some extra side plot. How well does it fare in comparison to the excellent original game, which had story better than many anime? Find out. As per usual, I will disclose my personal dislike for ecchi, harem and something new for this: please also keep in mind that I enjoyed the game a lot and hold in high regard. Animation For a 2009 anime, the animation quality was only just about acceptable. While I did watch it in 720p and the images appeared to look well drawn, the first disappointment I noticed was the still-texture used during most of the anime. Now the texture itself is not a problem and is more of an attempt to keep to a similar feel of the game, but movement makes one realise it’s just one big background texture with ‘windows’ for the textured parts of the scene. This is an issue I’ve noticed in poor animation before, but I never expected it to return in this 2009 anime of all places. The motion of the anime itself doesn’t always seem fluid, at times the frames seem to drop and at distances the details don’t hold well. With all this criticism, I must applaud them for at least getting the CGI right for the vehicles and a few other objects in this anime. Looks like it was taken right out of the recent PC port of the game (a compliment)! Later on the animation seems to get better, especially in the second intro, it’s noticeably more smooth and detailed. So it manages to redeem itself. The game itself had very ‘anime’ character designs, so I can forgive this anime for lack of original character designs… if it actually stuck to the designs of the game. Considering how universal the characters in the game were, it would be difficult to not match the same designs… and the anime manages it. Mostly. Unfortunately the first thing that struck me in the opening sequence was how ‘different’ the main characters Welkin and Alicia looked. Even Eleanor Varrot and Selvaria seemed to have altered eyes, which almost gave a different tone to their characters. A slight disappointment. Another disappointment are small visual inconsistencies with characters. E.g. Alicia seems to be bigger at times and other times she seems to be smaller. The inconsistency with her size/shape were annoying. Otherwise I like the designs of the characters, equipment, vehicles and even the setting of this anime. It’s very appropriate for the time period (equivalent to WW2) and the anime even goes so far as to recreate some scenes from the game, with its placement of objects in the scenes. In an early episode, the anime had buildings, vehicles and other objects arranged as it was in the map of the game itself! Pretty damn cool, though I do apologise for gushing over the accuracy in this anime. Of course the costumes are designed the same too… One thing that was completely absent in the game was fan-service. Sure there was a ‘token beach chapter,’ but it was with time-appropriate attire. I.e. they wore the style of utilitarian swimsuits from last century, though the anime has a shot in the second outro that diverges from this. The anime itself is mostly free of this nonsense, but there was a sprinkle of flirting and suggestiveness. A few of the characters are just a bit pervy and there’s a few odd scenes like the one where Faldio find himself in the possession of a woman’s panties. There’s also teensy bit of man-service for Jann. Other than that, the anime has exactly the same clothing for all characters as the game, Welkin’s hat, Selvaria’s heavy chest, Rosie’s exposed belly-button and the short skirts/long armoured socks combo of the female militia uniform. I will add the OVA adds some fan-servicey/silly episodes like the trip to the beach and the Queen doing cosplay, but these are absent from this main series. Sound The intro song sounded damn good, probably the best bit of the intro itself. The outro song was a lot more laid back and relaxing, it felt a bit familiar to me, almost sounded like Suemitsu & the Suesmith (who did the intro/outro for Nodame Cantabile) and of course it matched the peaceful animation sequence of the outro itself. The second set of intro/outro are also great, the outro especially improves over the first. I’m happy to hear that some of the background soundtrack itself is based upon music from the actual game. A bit of nostalgia seeps in there. And added to this are some new beautiful instrumental tracks exclusive for this anime (some of it reminded me of Halo). Overall the music is pretty good, though I was surprised at the lack of more ‘militaristic’ music. It does have the comedic tunes for the extra ‘fun’ scenes too. The original game released with both English and Japanese voice overs. Unfortunately this anime doesn’t follow suite and is only available in Japanese. At least they kept the same voice actors form the game. Though the dialogue doesn’t match the animation (lip-sync) like in many anime. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but given both the setting of this anime (Western Europe), the names of the characters and places and the sheer amount of actual written English present (there aren’t even any Japanese characters for effects), it is a real shame that this anime lacks an English dub. Despite the fact that one of my favourite female Japanese voice actors voices a main character, I would prefer this one in English. It goes without saying that many of the names and such are pronounced incorrectly, as they are Western names (e.g. Rarugo instead of Largo). In one scene a character is looking at a script written in English whilst reading it out in Japanese, it felt a bit out of place. The option would be appreciated, just like the game had the option. The dub in the game was actually pretty good in my opinion. While most of the Japanese voicing here was on point, one voice that felt out of place to me was Gregor, he sounded too old and wheezy for his age (51). So I instantly recognised Alicia Melchiott to be voiced by Marina Inoue, she has voiced Armin Arlert in Attack on Titan, Eve Genoard in Baccano, Kana Minami in Minami-ke, Kyouko Mogami in Skip Beat, Yoko Littner in Gurren Lagann, Iku Kasahara in Toshokan Sensou and Kobako in Xam’d: Lost Memories. Welkin Gunther is voiced by Susumu Chiba, who has voice Erd Gin in Attack on Titan, Huey Laforet in Baccano and Raymond Mcguire in Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. Maximillian is voiced by Jun Fukuyama, known for voicing Lelouche Lamperouge in Code Geass, in addition to Norb in Eureka Seven, Rikuo in Eve no Jikan, Makoto Hanamiya in Kuroko no Basuke, Kraft Lawrence in Spice and Wolf and Kimihiro Watanuki in Tsubasa Chronicle/XXXHOLiC. Isara Gunther is voiced by Houko Kawashima, who voiced Tomoyo Sakagami in Clannad, Clare in Claymore, Rose Thomas in Fullmetal Alchemist, Wendy Garret from Gun X Sword, Medusa Gorgon in Soul Eater and Yunbo in Xam’d: Lost Memories. Selvaria Bles is voiced by Sayaka Ohara, Milly Ashford in Code Geass, Irisviel von Einzbern in the Fate series, Ridgett in Gargantia, Laura in Mnemosyne, Rui Son in Nodame Cantabile, Hermione de Borromeo in Romeo X Juliet, Bel-Peol in Shakugan no Shana, Mahiru Sakai in Tari Tari and Yuuko Ichihara in Tsubasa Chronicle/XXXHOLiC. There’s so many characters, so forgive me if I’ve missed out any interesting voices. Characters (Character’s ages are found in the personnel tab of the original game) The 19 year old Alicia Melchiott is the main character here, a scout and the sergeant ranked NCO of Squad 7 (due to prior experience) in the Gallian militia. She grew up in Bruhl in an orphanage, she never knew her real parents. Before joining the militia she was a baker’s apprentice and even during her military service, she continued to pursue this talent. I was initially disappointed with this anime’s depiction of Alicia, since she seemed very tsundere, childish and bitchy. This was a far cry from the canonical Alicia, but as the anime goes on, she settles back into her normal self. I guess they exaggerated her surprised at Welkin’s quirky personality. Of course having met Welkin in Bruhl, she is close to both him and soon Faldio, who is often around. She initially seems to dislike Faldio for flirting with her, but she warms up to the guy. She is the core of the ‘romance’ in this anime. 22 year old Welkin Gunther is the other main character, a tank commander who is ranked 2nd lieutenant and the leader of Squad 7 in the Gallian militia. He is the son of Belgen Gunther, war hero from the first Europan War for various accomplishments and best friend of famed engineer Theimer, father of his adopted sister Isara. His mother died when he was young, apparently during the previous war. Welkin is a quirky individual, he loves nature and is obsessive with fauna and flora and he loves to draw drawing. He isn’t completely familiar with other things like girls for one thing. While he was studying his biology degree at the University of Randgriz (where he also underwent extensive military training), he made friends with Faldio and even got himself a girlfriend. Time has passed since and after the fall of his hometown and meeting Alicia, Welkin is on a mission to end the war whilst keeping his squad alive and well. The well-being of his friends is important to him above all else. 16 year old Isara Gunther is Welkin’s younger sister (adopted), squad 7’s tank pilot and mechanic with the rank of corporal. Her real father is the late Theimer, a legendary Gallian engineer who contributed a lot to their technology and among his creations used in the current war are the Theimer anti-tank lance and the T-Mag machine gun, as well as the tank Edelweiss. Isara is actually a Darcsen, a race of people looked down upon by many and having historical siginificance in Gallia as the cause of the Darcsen calamity and an ancient war against Valkyrians, as written in the history books. Isara looks up to her brother but also holds all of squad 7 dear to her. Like her father, she is a hardworking and ingenious engineer, often spending time doing maintaining the Edelweiss and developing new gear. She will do her utmost best to get along with people, even with folks like Rosie who don’t like her. She seems to end up becoming acquainted with Ramal, the NCO of squad 1. 23 year old Faldio Landzaat is Welkin’s best friend, also a 2nd lieutenant and the leader of squad 1 in the Gallian militia. Faldio has always been into books and history, similar to how Welkin is enthused with nature and art. Faldio’s love for history goes back to his father who was a history professor at the University of Randgriz, where Faldio reunited with Welkin (they were friends since school), gained the same military training and studied archaeology. He is especially interested in the Darcsen Calamity, the details of which remain unknown. Faldio himself was popular with the girls, being both good-looking and well-mannered. However… things start to differ in this anime, for Faldio becomes infatuated with Alicia, thus contributing to the love triangle. All the while, his desire to uncover the mysteries of history means that like Welkin, he’ll spend what spare time he can exploring ruins and reading up on things. 29 year old Prince Maximillian Gaius von Reginrave is one of the sons of the emperor of the Eastern Europan Empire. He is also the general and leader of the invasive force Drei Stern, who have their sights set on capturing the Ragnite-rich Gallia. Many Imperials disliked both Maximillian and his mother, for she was the Emperor’s concubine, not officially affiliated with the royal family. When Maximillian was a child, his mother died in an explosion during a train ride. He has since taken much interest in the Valkrur people, which led him to find and rescue Selvaria from a research facility. There’s a lot more to this man than meets the eye, he is cunning and ambitious. He won’t let anyone get in his way, friend or foe. 22 year old Selvaria Bles AKA the Blue Witch, is one of few remaining individuals of the Valkyrur race and also serving under Maximillian in Drei Stern with the rank of Brigadier General. As a child she grew up in a research facility where she went torturous testing after being identified as a Valkyria. Since Prince Maximillian had effectively saved her from this and cared for her, giving her education and the privilege to live with him, she feels though she owes him her life. He even named her after the blue flowers in his garden. Thus she is deeply loyal to Maximillian and eager to protect her prince, following any order he gives with no objection. She is a powerful combatant, both due to her upbringing with Maximillian and her Valkyrur blood. She normally wields a sword which she always carries on her person. While she seems like a stoic and cold individual, she is still rather human as she enjoys the pastime of cooking. It relaxes her and she strives to recapture memories of her mother’s cooking by doing so. As a reward for her service, Maximillian rewarded her with a unique powerful machine gun known as Ruhm (glory). Her second-in-command Oswald also makes a nice appearance in this anime, we actually get to see his face and he’s a stunning young man. 35 year old Eleanor Varrot is a veteran from the 1st Europan war (EW1), and currently a Captain in the Gallian Militia. She served alongside her late lover Frederic and his friend Largo Potter, as a sniper in their squad. She is one of the most feared yet respected officers within the Gallian military. She is a smart and commanding individual and knows her junior officers well. She knows of the struggle between the Gallian Militia and the Central Gallian army. 36 year old Largo Potter is also a veteran of EW1 and the sergeant ranked senior NCO of squad 7, as an anti-tank lancer unit. Largo is initially sceptical about Welkin’s command, but warms up after Welkin proving himself. Largo is very enthusiastic about growing vegetables, having dreams of restarting his parent’s old farm. He knows Varrot well from serving with her in the previous war and his best friend Frederic was her lover. Largo is the lovable big-guy of the squad, and is quite close to Rosie too. 27 year old Brigette Stark, nicknamed ‘Rosie’ is a corporal ranked shocktrooper in squad 7. Before the war, she worked as a singer and bartender in her village, where she also was a part of the village watch, giving her enough experience to earn her rank. Rosie is a hot-headed and slightly sour individual, due in part to her extreme prejudice against Darcsens. Thus, she really doesn’t get along well with Isara. The relationship between these two characters is one to look out for. This is due to her background, which wasn’t exactly a happy story. Everyone seems to love her singing and she gets along well with Largo. 36 year old Rudi Jaeger is ranked Major General, serving under Maximillian in Drei Stern. He hails from the lost kingdom of Fhirald, which was lost to the imperials in EW1 and fought as a strong and honourable general for his homeland. Maximillian freed the general and asked for his strategic expertise with the promise that he would restore Fhirald to autonomy. A decisive and level-headed man, he often plays chest against Gregor. He is also one to uphold honour in battle, being reasonable with foes and accepting surrender form enemies. In this anime we find out that Jaeger is a bit of a womaniser and chilled out ‘fun’ guy, as he is seen enjoying the company of a couple of strippers. 51 year old Berthold Gregor is the final member of Drei Stern, also ranked Major General. He is a radical imperialist who is loyal to the emperor and unwilling to accept anything outside of the established empire. He is a noble who holds power within the empire and is extremely talented when it comes to military tactics. He has been sent by the emperor to keep an eye on Maximillian as well as to support his invasion of Gallia. He is very strict and harsh in waging war, even willing to fire upon his own men (those incompetent) and civilians with no remorse, if it would grant him victory in the long run. He has the armoured mobile artillery train Equus with him, from where he commands his troops. 16 year old Ramal Valt is a sergeant ranked shocktrooper and the NCO of squad 1 in the militia. He is Faldio’s right hand man and is very loyal and protective of his superior. He is initially not fond of the free-spirited nature of squad 7, especially as he himself is very serious and appears to be a killjoy and intolerant of fun. Here’s the shocker, this is a new character made for the anime and thus he never featured in the game. This boy gets embarrassed and acts a bit strange around Isara, no doubt this is due to a likely crush he has on her. 54 year old Georg Von Damon is the General of the central Gallian army. He was able to rise up strangely quickly to his post as commander both due to a recommendation by Borg and his grandfather being an excellent general in the past. Thus there are rumours that he is actually lacks competence and actual skills. Very prideful of his noble birth, he looks down upon the Gallian militia and dislikes their success in comparison to his own lack thereof and he thinks of them as disposable cannon-fodder. He abuses his power to purposefully place squad 7 in danger in the hopes that he can end their continual fame. Long story short, this guy is the biggest, most obvious douchebag in the entire story. 33 year old Zaka is a character introduced later on in the anime and becomes quite prominent, but I can’t say much more due to spoilers. He is the leader of the resistance at the Fouzen mines and the contact for the militia’s operation to take back Fouzen. As for the rest of squad 7, there’s many possibilities for the included characters. I will say that Vyse seems to make a cameo role in another quad, but in the OVA he’s shown being in squad 7. A disappointing retcon, they should have just added him to squad 7. Otherwise, the majority of squad 7 consists of the characters from the ‘Edy detachment’ from the game. All at the private rank, this includes the titular 17 year old shocktrooper Edy Nelson, who in this anime seems to have a liking for the 15 year old masochistic engineer Homer Peron. 27 year old homosexual lancer Jann Walker has a crush on Largo and the quiet (but badass) 24 year old wildlife-lover sniper Marina Wolfstan takes a liking to the mascot character, Hans, the winged pig who is found by Alicia early on. 19 year old pacifist scout Suzie Evans is often emotional and finally 20 year old shocktrooper Lynn… is missing. She’s one of the cut characters, but does feature in a small cameo at the end greeting her boyfriend, 23 year old bespectacled engineer Karl Landzaat (no relation to Faldio) who is in this anime. Additional characters include the 12 year old excitable shocktrooper Aisha Newmann (they had child soldiers?!?) and the 15 year old Bielert brothers, sniper Oscar his younger brother Emile, who was originally a sniper in the game but features as a shocktrooper in this anime. Various other squad 7 members from the game feature as cameos in the squads including squad 1. I recognised my man Cezary Regard (sniper), the capricious Herbert Nielsen (engineer) and explosive-enthusiast Wendy Cheslock. Story For the most part, the plot of the anime follows the game. Gallia is a neutral country in between the superpowers of the Atlantic Federation in the west and the Autocratic East Europan Empire who are warring against each other. Gallia is a neutral country in between and in a land rich in ragnite, a blue naturally luminescent ore that is a powerful energy source used as fuel (It’s always about the oil) as well as a strategic route between the Empire and the Federation. These places are analogous to real locations, Atlantic Federation referring to the US, the Empire being Germany and Gallia being the Netherlands/Belgium. Fun fact: Bruhl is a real town on the border between the Netherlands and Germany, which explains why the war starts with the invasion of Bruhl. The franchise starts with Gallia getting invaded by the Empire. The pacing was important and it initially got off to a very good start, it shows off all of the early missions in the anime. But it soon starts to diverge a bit, while still keeping the important bits, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Being an anime about war, there are a lot of character deaths and massacres. The story is well written, not too predictable, with twists, betrayals and surprises around each turn. It can be corny at times though. One thing where this anime excels over the original game, is the depiction of the reality and horrors of war, in addition to the affects it has on characters. The game only really had the battle of Naggiar, but this anime portrays much more destruction and loss of life. It even touches upon the value of the lives spent, as the game did. But it also depicts PTSD/shell-shock and the psychological effects war can have on characters. But not to an extent significant enough for me to call this anime a psychological anime. What’s more, it goes into a lot of backstory and extra plot. As well as a bit about squad 7, we also see a bit of the internal political struggles and conflicts of the Empire itself. Of course, all of this comes at a cost, there are some changes to the canon. For starters, squad 7 seems smaller or at least appears to be missing iconic characters like Nancy, Claudia and more importantly Kreis (Nancy would be the perfect moe role), despite a few cameos. A few battles are missing, including the Battle of Barious and the Forest Skirmish, but surprisingly every other battle features. Thus the Batomys makes a later appearance at Naggiar and squad 7 don’t fight against it. There Edelweiss is never deployed at Fouzen, the Shamrock (2nd tank of squad 7) just doesn’t exist and Zaka takes the place of Kreis. Perhaps was one of the worst bits was the removal of Faldio’s ‘moment’, in fact the story of that character is left on a vague note, as opposed to the definitive event in the game. Addition of a handful of characters like Ramal and a few relationships like Faldio’s infatuation with Alicia further diverges from canon. Initially I was annoyed at the love triangle, but it didn’t actually change the canon romance much. If anything, the romance is exaggerated a bit more, since it was very watered down in the game. The worst of it was that they added some backstory to connect Alicia and Selvaria, which made no sense at all. I was expecting to be upset at all the changes, but I was surprised at how okay I was with it all. The anime was still very enjoyable, even if some of my favourite characters and memorable battles were missing. Of course this anime had to end well, since the game did. There were a few changes and we get to find out what happens to each member of Squad 7. Unfortunately the conclusion in this anime is a slight let-down in comparison to the game. The significant passage of time is missing, which means we don’t get to see what happens to the characters after the war. The good news is there are OVA episodes and one of these episodes is set after the end of the anime, which does allude to the awesome ending of the game. Thank goodness… Conclusion Overall, it’s not bad. If you enjoyed the original game, then do watch this anime. I’m sure you’ll at least appreciate some of it and the few nods to the game itself like that list of the guns. Otherwise, it’s a decent action anime about war, with a conclusive and self-contained story, even if it’s missing a few things from the game. It really doesn’t have much in the way of nonsense at all. All that said, as a big fan of the plot in the game, I did fell like this adaptation fell through in some places, even if it added some much appreciated backstory and more ‘human’ elements to the plot. It’s not too bad, but it just can’t compare to the game for story-telling, which is a bad thing considering that anime are supposed to be more story focused than games are. Family-friendliness Rating: 3/5 It’s about war after all… but it tries to be positive (lower is better) Overall Rating: 7/10 (higher is better)
I'm not writing reviews because english is not my native language, but for this one, I had to. This anime is an affront to the game story and the characters. Yes, I played to the game before watching the anime, thus it's difficult for me to be completely objective. So this is a small review based on how good (or bad in this case) is the anime, compared to the game, based mainly on the story and the characters. I'll not enter into the details because I could speak about this for hours. I'll only use 1 example for each case in order to spoil the less possible. Let's start with the positive points, since it's the fastest part to explain. The only good things are the things they took as is from the game. This includes some of the musics, and the artwork. You'll definitely hear something you'll like at a time or another, the sound is overall pretty good, especially during action phases. It really matches what happens. Also, they tried to reproduce the sketch style of the game, at least sometimes, which gives the art a real stamping. This is also a good point. And I have to admit this is all I liked from the anime. The rest was bad or terrible in my opinion, compared to the game. The first thing to know is that this anime is definitely an adaptation of the game, not a side story or a new story. It uses the same universe, the same plot, it follows the same path with the same characters and the same main events, at least until the end. No doubt about it, it's the same story. The main difference is that the story from the game is wonderful from the end to the beginning, in the way it's told, in the topics, in how events affect both the characters and you and relates to real events. The anime fails in all these points. Moreover, it's like they didn't understand the purpose of the events in the game, but tried to re-use them in their own way in order to match to the game as much as possible. The result is awful. The next paragraphs contains spoilers. One the of the best examples is the raid on Fouzen. In the anime, the refugees seems pretty organized, they have weapons, hideouts. However, it ends with most of the refugees being killed while trying to run away because of the Empire's bombs launched after the Squad 1 (Faldio's Squad) decided to attack. Squad 7 members feel guilty about this. This is how Rosie starts to change his mind about Darcsens. In the game, the refugees are only shown as workers living crowded in small houses, which is also explained in the anime by Zaka. In the game, the Squad 7 meet these people, they see how they live, and Zaka lives with them. And when they thinks they finally saved them, they hear that the Empire caught them in the house and burned it. Rosie finds the doll of the small girl she met before in the ashes of the house. This is how Rosie starts to change his mind about Darcsens. And this is the same doll as the doll Isara will give her later, both in the anime and the game. But the anime could not make the link between the 2 events. On one side you have a "don't move or I shoot, oh, then let's move", and on the other side you have a situation you can't control with the horrors of war, relating a terrible event from the real WW2. The impact is different. The anime is full of changes like this one, making it difficult to understand why the characters change and it's sometimes difficult to match with the upcoming events, so they modify again and again the story. The same is true for the characters, they changed their personality to animes standards, and the result is woeful, it's bland characters with classic personalities. There's no love triangle in the game, Alicia is not a tsundere, in fact she's probably what' is the closest to an Angel, for a human, Welkin is not a stupid lumpish, he's really smart and knows what he wants and do, Faldio is not that arrogant, he's a minor but important secondary character, Rosie is not the bitch you see in almost all the anime, some characters are missing and the events are changed to compensate this. Let's take the end, in example. In the anime, they simply escape from the Marmota, nothing more, and it's the end. They move out from the fire for unexplained reasons. In the game, they can't escape, it's burning, and they try to gain height. When everything seems lost, an airplane comes to help them. What ? an airplane ? Yes. In the game, you learn that Isara is working on an airplane, because it's Welkin dream to fly. It's a secret project. She cannot finish to work on this because she died too early, but her mechanic friend (who does not exists in the anime because he's replaced by Ramal, from Faldio's Squad, to create a bad one-sided love story.) will finish this for her, to honor her memory. Isara's goal is achieved, Welkin can fly with the airplane she was making for him. The anime is full of this. They traded all the interesting background for the love triangle and Faldio's screen time/Faldio's Squad, and thus they were not able to totally use the potential from the game. And to conclude, they totally changed the end into something terrible. I think it was the best way to end this masquerade. These are 2 examples taken amongst A LOT. This is why I really recommend to everyone who is interested in Valkyria Chronicles to play to the game. It's now available on Steam at a cheap price. The game is long (40+ hours), but you'll see the real story behind Valkyria Chronicles. And if you already watched the anime, you'll probably be really impressed by the story and the characters of the game.
Valkyrie Chronicles is an anime with a lot of different aspects to it, but it’s mainly a story of defying the odds and making miracles happen with good judgment and well thought out strategies. There are many relationships that develop, both on the protagonist’s side, and the antagonist’s side. I applaud the creators for allowing the viewer to see the emotions of the antagonist and their frame of mind, as opposed to making them completely evil bad guys as some series do. Doing that allows the viewer to see that everyone who is involved really has their own reasons for being where they are, and helps the viewer understand the perspectives of both sides. More importantly, it is entertaining to see how they different sides play of each other, and to a point where it is almost a duel of wits for the leaders, like a chess game, rather than a battle. The character development definitely excels in this series, as can be seen in the many short spouts of talk between Fardio and Alicia. There are actually several episodes that are dedicated to it such as when squad 7 is being interviewed by the war correspondent, or when the other characters such as Largo, the vegetable farmer who served in the first militia, reveals a secret of love with an important figure in the series, or when the redheaded singer, Rosie, who holds a grudge against the Darksen, finally tells us where the cause of her hatred comes from. Bringing this to mind, I would say that it is lacking in action, but it makes up for it with keenly defined military strategies thought up by their leader Welkin Gunther. The anime has a lot of humor, mediocre action, and medium pace, for the first really 19 episodes, but once Alicia discovers what she really feels and what she really is, the series does pickup in the action as well as storyline. As the protagonist, Welkin is a likable fellow, who does things his own way and never allows an opportunity to slip him by, which is evident in his ability to lead the squad with his minimal experience. Having to follow in the footsteps of his father, the great General Gunther of the first Imperial War, he manages to use his wit to prove his ability to lead time and time again. His aide, Alicia, is a different story entirely. She is a complete opposite of him and has the ability to persevere regardless the situation. She is strong, militant, and good with words, which is a friendly change of pace to hearing Welkin and Fardio in their intellectual discussions. Alicia also seems to hold the key to keeping Welkin on his toes and keeping him from falling into a depressive state, and it seems she is the only one who holds this ability when Welkin’s adopted Darksen sister, Isara is not around. Fardio, the leader of squad 1, and a long time university friend of Welkin’s, is an archeology major and is a crucial character to the development of multiple relationships. He enjoys figuring things out, and even more taking problems in people’s lives, and fixing them. An excellent leader, and great friend to both Welkin and Alicia, Fardio also helps Alicia in figuring out her own past, which does play into the ending of the series. Music and Artwork Though the artwork was not overly special, I have to say that it was perfect for the type of story it was trying to tell, as well as the year it was created. The music through the actual series was good though I was not fond of the intro for the first 13 episodes. It seemed too soft to describe the type of anime it was. I also think that the series was too focused on the relationship between characters as opposed to the actual plot, but the music and artwork suited the moments, and was put together fairly well.
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