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Old 2009-10-09, 18:30   Link #19
Adeptus Animus
Join Date: Jan 2007
Age: 31
Hmm, what to say, what to say? If I were to describe Valkyria Chronicles, I would say that it is an anime that missed its potential. It is tediously slow to begin, yet has a satisfying end. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really pick up until the last couple of episodes, which makes watching it… rather difficult. It is clear that Valkyria Chronicles could have been much more had proper attention been given to its script.

One of the main problem lies in that it tries both to be close to the game and different at the same time. This makes the script quite wobbly at times, and only the last episodes manage to get this pace right.

Now, on to a list of the bad and good sides of Valkyria Chronicles:

The bad.

Horrible pacing. There are times when entire fights are skipped, making you wonder what the hell happened, and yet there were times where the calm moments seemed to be dragging on forever. Now calm moments aren’t bad, if they give good character development. Sadly, lot of them ended up going nowhere, making much of the episodes more filler than content.

Casting. The anime also didn’t take advantage of the large cast, most of the squad 7 have tiny little side roles at best, and could easily be replaced with faceless mooks. Again, this does improve slightly in the later episodes, but they should have done this sooner.

Ramal. Poor, poor Ramal. Created for the anime, yet he served no real purpose whatsoever. His connection with Isara seemed to be going somewhere, then was flushed down the toilet. Had he been replaced with a known face from the game, I would think that the advantage of already having a background (albeit a meta one) would have made him seem far less out of place.

The good.

Good things? In this anime? Surely I must be jesting, right? Not quite, this anime does have some bright sides. If you care to look for them.

Valkyria action. One of the greatest disappointments of the game was just how little we actually got to see the Valkyria in action. The anime approaches this differently, and although it throws them in battle later than the game does, it gives us a lot more action with them.

Imperial background. Sure, it’s not much, but the anime touches upon things hardly touched upon, or sometimes even completely left untouched in the game, such as the Empire itself, Maximillian’s motivations are given more perspective, Selveria’s background is explored. All in all nice additions.

Changes. A topic many will disagree with me. Personally, I never saw the value in animating Valkyria Chronicles one on one. After all, the game already looks like an anime, what’s the point? It’d just be the game without gameplay. No, I was always looking forward to the changes, and although they were not always executed that well (or sometimes even horrible) they did help me from rolling my eyes and go “been there, done that.” One of the things they changed –or should I say add?- was making Alicia and Selveria know each other. Some may loathe this change, I myself rather like it. It gave their fight a bit more depth. Another was the small action of giving Cordelia a wig, which makes perfect sense, considering she’s a queen with a rather large secret to keep. Alicia as a Valkyria was also changed a lot, and too be honest, the way the anime does it makes a lot more sense than the way the game does it.

In short

Valkyria Chronicles is an anime with a lot of potential which, unfortunately, remains untapped for the greater part. While the ending was good, it does not make up for the drag the majority of the series was. As a rating, I cannot give this anime higher than a 6 out of 10.
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