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 ****
    ZOMFGBBQWTF *****

  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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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