This post is going to contain slight spoilers of Kurokami 16, but I want to use that as an example of something that I fear that Valkyria Chronicles is going to turn into, since it was a good wake-up call for myself as well. The thing is, that a series may be spending lots of time building up, but it still needs to do this skillfully, and that’s what’s making me more and more worried. We’re six episodes in, and I’m not going to be able to maintain my suspense of disbelief much longer.
In the case with Kurokami, while it had an unimpressive first half I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt just like this series, in the hope that it was going to get better in its second half. And sure enough, the second half featured some juicy plot twists and character-development, but what I failed to notice (or rather refused to notice) was the fact that the battles were too orchestrated in order to make the lead characters win. The result popped up in episode sixteen, which pulled just about every Deus ex Machina imaginable and pretty much ruined all of the suspense of disbelief I had built up when it resurrected the lead character out of nowhere with no possibly explicable reason whatsoever. Even for Sunrise, it was one very blatant character-resurrection.
And that’s what I’m fearing is going to happen with Valkyria Chronicles: six episodes in, and I still haven’t been impressed with anything, and the strategical combat is unfortunately flawed. While I didn’t mention it last week, it just is too hard to belief that this battle-hardened commander of the enemy troops would be fooled by a simple tactic to split up an army into two halves. I can’t see how he couldn’t have done something to that tank. I hoped that this general stupidity would fade, but it’s still there, and even gotten more out of hand in the current episode. It’s got me very worried that this series isn’t going to be able to pull off a good fight when the second half arrives and it needs to deliver. Right now the only solid part of this show is its cast of characters, but when the creators are just going to dumb down their opponents so that they can win, then I don’t think that the character-development is going to be able to save this show.
At the moment, I’m really starting to regret continuing to blog this show in favour of Natsu no Arashi, which really has been getting better and better, unlike what I’ve seen in Valkyria Chronicles so far. If I recall correctly, this was mostly because of the large amount of people who didn’t want me to stop blogging it, but at the moment I still can’t see whether the commitment is going to be worth it. It may have been that this episode was just plain dull, but if this goes on I’m probably going to drop this series at the end of this season, in favour for one of the new shows of the Summer Season.
And yeah, this episode was pretty much a disaster. We already knew that Alicia wasn’t too bright, but this episode established just about everyone as an idiot. Especially Brigitte and Largo seemed completely different characters this time: their change is way too sudden. And I also was really disappointed to see that some support members of squad seven were just a bunch of stereotypes: finally there’s the chance to show a bit more of them, and the creators then use it to transform them into a bunch of paper bags. The only one I even remotely liked was the gay guy.
Rating: — (Dull)
It’s one thing to have a filler episode now and then. It’s another thing to completely change character-personalities and make everyone behave like complete morons.