Posted by psgels on 3 May 2009 with categories: Valkyria Chronicles

This series is strange. On one hand it’s about two warring countries, but on the other hand it has pigs with wings. Seriously, as much as I appreciate that Alicia is very alert for possible spies, this needs to end somewhere. While seeing Welkim as some spy was at least a bit believable… but that pig? I mean, come on.

But still, I’m starting to see where the creators are trying to go with this series. They’re really trying to go with the contrast between the light and innocent Alicia when she’s not fighting and the ambitious woman that she turns into when the fighting actually starts. As innocent as she may look, as annoying as she may be at times with all her complaining against Welkim and Faldio, she did go through military training and it shows that she knows how to handle herself in a combat situation. She just lacks experience. And that’s why the character-development in this series is going to be so important.

Because this particular formula of having young girls fight in war has been abused plenty of times throughout anime. Just think of the countless shounen series that have teenagers fighting against hordes of formidable and trained bad guys. For this series, it’s all going to depend on the execution if the creators want to avoid this pitfall, and I must say that the start so far has been pretty solid. The realism definitely helps: when Alicia got shot in this episode, I definitely cared about her and I’m really suspecting that this is going to be a series in which people die when they’re killed.

Alicia is definitely a character that you need to warm up to. I hope that that happens fast, though. This episode was pretty good, but some of her banter with Faldio was just annoying.

Now, let me hijack the rest of this post for something completely different: I was quite surprised to see that many people who found the episode ratings helpful. I decided to remove them mainly because it was getting really tedious to write a short episode synopsis every time, so that one isn’t going to come back.

This is also a good opportunity to change the episode rating system a bit. The numbers out of ten were nice and all, but they had a few bad points: they were in the same format that I used for the monthly summaries, and yet meant something completely different, and I just kept rating about 90% of all episodes as 7,5/10 or 8/10. What I also didn’t like was how they were always at the top of every post, possibly taking away some attention from the more important parts, which is why I think that from now on, the ratings are going to move to the bottom of the post.

I think I’m also going to swap the x/10-format with simple stars (or some other symbol). Though instead of simply mapping the out of ten-ratings to five stars like 6/10 = 3 stars, 8/10 = 4 stars, et cetera, I’m going for something a bit different. Compare it to the star-rating for hotels and restaurants: an episode has to earn its stars. So, the rating scale would be something like this:
(no stars) – probably going to be denoted by a simple ‘-‘. Basically an episode that left me unimpressed.
* (one star) – The equivalent of my current 7,5/10 rating: a pretty good episode
** (two stars) – The equivalent of my current 8/10 rating: excellent episode
*** (three stars) – The equivalent of my current 8,5/10 rating: an awesome episode.
**** – (four stars) – The equivalent of my current 9/10 rating: a fantastic episode which really shows the episode at its utter best
***** – (five stars) – The equivalent of my current 9,5/10 rating: an incredible episode, the best of the best, and probably an episode that only appears once or twice a year or so.
In theory, there also can be six stars, but in all the three and a half years I’ve been blogging I only encountered one episode that deserved such a rating (Simounr 16, to be exact).

In any case, for this episode, the rating would be something like this:

Episode Rating: *

8 Responses

  1. TJ says:

    I loved how the Gallians (especially Alicia) have no military expertise what so ever and still won. Then again, they could have just sent in the Edelweiss alone and the outcome wouldn’t be any different since it’s proven now that super tank is impervious to the shots from the crappy imperial tanks.

    As for the change in rating system, maybe you should make a separate post for that so it’s easier for people to find?

  2. Some person passing by says:

    Just so you know, that pig (with wings) also appeared in the game (also with the wings). But yeah, I know, a pig with wings? Pretty ridiculous. Still, it’s from a game, which is related to fantasy world and not ours.

  3. Loki the Liar says:

    I like this new rating. Good work.

  4. Kurisu says:

    In other words, this is your new rating system:
    YAWN –
    OMG *
    ZOMG **
    ZOMFG ***
    ZOMFGBBQ ****

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Kurisu: actually, more like:
    7 –
    7,5 *
    8 **
    8,5 ***
    9 ****
    9,5 *****

    But if you want to cll it ZOMFGBBQWTF, be my guest.

  6. Kurisu says:

    At least the numbers make it blatantly obvious that you’re only using the upper range. If two stars already equal “excellent” one could easily think you’re trolling, ironic, overuse your anti-depressant, too easy to please, fanatic or eated sumfing rotten. Ten stars would be easier to understand but maybe you really need a logarithmic scale.

    I don’t think art, emotion and numbers go well together. Your blog would be better without. Don’t listen to the whiners because they don’t have to read what they don’t like. Aren’t numerical ratings including those obfuscated by stars so 1990s anyways?

  7. Sarynn says:

    I love your idea for the new rating system. After all, we don’t make a point to review bad anime! Thus, using a system for reviewing entire bad and good shows, *everything* we choose to watch ends up in the 70-100 ratings. But using it to review episodes is a different purpose, and makes a 70 point episode sounds a bit similar to 90 (and they aren’t).

    Choosing a star rating that emphasizes the difference between “it was good episode today” vs “masterpiece” is a little more thoughtful, I think. We’ll see if it works out, I hope it does.

    But I highly suggest making an entire new post about this. Most people read from top-to-bottom, and’ll look at your newer reviews long before they read this Valkyria Chronicles entry.

  8. Paul says:

    The biggest problem I have with this episode is that an experienced commander like the demon will not allowed himself to be so easily out flanked.

    I’m sorry but for an anime that is based on a squad strategic game, the writing has been pretty dumb. Almost insulting even to the viewers.

    I do not subscribe to the view that he was overconfident as we have seen in the previous episode when he fought the Gallian military. He was ruthless in his deployment and the pursuit of a retreating enemy.

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  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:09 AM)
    @Kaiser Sunny looks interesting but I’ll be honest, when I say Slice-of-Life I actually mean Cute-Girls-Doing-Cute-Things.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:07 AM)
    @Kaiser I actually haven’t seen Black Mass.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 12:57 AM)
    These new Batman shorts called ‘Batman of Shanghai’ are pretty awesome:
    Props to Wolf Smoke Studios for the style and execution. I think this borrowed a lot from the Studio 4°C segment of the Batman: Gotham Knight anthology series. I haven’t been this entertained by a Batman cartoon since the original Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 11:09 PM)
    I have to finish the world is mine someday…and read all of Yamamoto Naoki’s works, looks like some good obscure seinen there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:52 PM)
    @Realist: Slice of life fan, you’ll want to go off and read Taiyou matsumoto’s work, Sunny being one of them.
  • Kevin
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:50 PM)
    @ninjarealist Ha u that one nigga that jet lol nice way to sneak back, I missed you. Remember me?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:48 PM)
    @Realist: I imagine you will be seeing black mass?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:47 PM)
    @Realist: Oh by the way I remember ages ago you recommended Meserine to me, not the biggest gangster fan out there and this did suffer from the usual issues of the bipic format but some great action bits in it =) and Vincent Cassel doing what he does best.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:45 PM)
    @Realist: Whatever name you prefer is fine. Though its Kaiser now so we may as well use that.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:28 PM)
    @Kaiser/Emma (do you prefer to go by Kaiser now?) Punpun is the best, but I don’t see it getting adapted any time soon. As someone who personally loves slice-of-life, I love Dead Demons.

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