Everyone is used to anime created from manga, books, history or light novels but an anime having a video game as it’s source material while not unheard up is kinda few and far between. That is exactly what Valkyria Chronicles is an anime based off a tactical role-playing game published by Sega, exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Incidentally, being a fan of strategy and RPG games the Valkyria Chronicles video game is a title I had been following for a while online via trailers and developer diaries but for various reasons I have been unable to play the game (for now).
When I found out there was going to be an anime based on Valkyria Chronicles it was the first on my Spring 2009 anime watchlist and I posted my first impressions on Valkyria Chronicles a few weeks later. Having not played the game I wondered if my view on the anime would be different from others and I also wonder if my thoughts will change after I get the opportunity to play it, but for now I decided to write about the anime focusing on what I liked or didn’t like about the series.
The Valkyria Chronicles Story
A fictional Europe is at war over a precious multi-purpose mineral called Ragnite. The small independent country called Gallia is right between the warring superpowers of the East European Imperial Alliance and the Atlantic Federation. As the war drags on and Ragnite becomes more and more scarce the imperials decide to to invade Gallia, the home country of the main characters in the Valkyria Chronicles story. The two main characters are Welkin Gunther – a young intelligent university graduate and child of a war hero who would join the ranks on Gallias militia as the leader of Squad 7 and Alicia Melchiott – a carefree baker before the war who is swept up in the war and conscripted into the militia as the second in command of Officer Gunther. Other interesting characters include Maximilian – the younger of the two princes in the Imperial Alliance who is the main villain in the series, Selvaria – a descendant of the legendary Valkyria who worships the ground Maximilian walks on and Isara – the younger sister of Welkin who is a very capable mechanic.
The Good Stuff
I really like the unique art style of the series which has a cool textured shading look to it. The story is told from different viewpoints with a few surprises and decent plot twists although I did have some problems with it that I will explain below. Although a little too cheerful at times, the occasional massacre or death of a main character kept things a little serious without going overboard with the violence.
The Bad Stuff
My main complaint is how annoying many of the characters were, Suzie being the main culprit, I cringed whenever she was onscreen as she only did one of three thing, feint, be clumsy or cry. The spoiler filled opening animation and title sequence is one of my biggest complains about this series as just from looking at it you could already see how much of the story would play out. The mid section of the anime seemed rather slow and dull while the final few episodes were so generic and rushed, I was really disappointed with how things ended up but it ended with a cliffhanger so I am sure there will be a sequel, whether this sequel will improve on the story is yet to be seen.
Verdict and Conclusion
A decent anime that I’d recommend if you enjoy comedic romantic dramas with a touch of action, but if love triangles, uneventful final “boss” battles and lighthearted war is not your kettle of fish this one is a pass. I still plan on playing the video game after I successfully snag a Playstation 3 although I am not sure how that will affect my feelings about the anime.