Posted by psgels on 10 May 2009 with categories: Valkyria Chronicles



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.

12 Responses

  1. Bane says:

    To be honest, I’m sharing some of your sentiments. In the game, that base had no commander at all when it was attacked (Jäger showed up towards the very end to help evacuate), but in the anime, they staffed it with two of the attacking army’s top generals, without giving them any additional troops or let them use their brains (or brawns). I was supportive of changes to the script in the beginning, until I saw that half of those changes were a recipe for disaster.

  2. Koll says:

    Considering that it is your blog, why not just blog Natsu no Arashi at this point? There’s already a considerable number of people blogging Valkyria Chronicles and it looks like Natsu could use some more love.

  3. Perrin4869 says:

    Glad I dropped it after the not so promising first episode :D

  4. KoRoMi says:

    I second that motion. I would love it if you blogged Natsu no Arashi instead.

  5. senerikfred says:

    I’d love it if you brought Arashi back-it’s somehow become, alongside Anne, a favorite of mine this season. Your posts on Valkyria aren’t as interesting as those on other series airing, anyway.

  6. Nellie says:

    I favor blogging Natsu no Arashi as well. I dropped this after they butchered Alicia’s character.

  7. TJ says:

    I’ve given up watching Valkyria Chronicles for its “tactical” combat. It’s just mostly a lulz show because of the failures at combat and Alicia’s expressions.

  8. Machi says:

    While I’m no fan of the show but am familiar with the game I don’t see why some people are so intent on looking for ‘tactical combat’ and ‘realism’ in Valkyria Chronicles. Sure it may use real objects but otherwise the plot strays more and more into an adventure fantasy, especially when you see what a Valkyria is. Because if those are the elements you’re looking for in this anime, or the game for that matter, it pretty much deviates into formulaic RPG logics of survivability (though that isn’t to say the game is good I am just talking about the story and logic to be more akin to fantasy).

    As for dropping this show in favor of Natsu no Arashi errr I think there was issue enough with decisions to blog FMA. In any case this IS a filler after all and I doubt the show will be riddled with it ala Bleach or Naruto so its not as if this is a benchmark to drop the show (though it hasn’t particularly registered much over the past weeks).

  9. Surreal says:

    Hey, just started reading some of your stuff… I don’t want to butt in too much but I’d say stop following this anime right now. I saw a couple of episodes and anyone who’s not repeatedly telling themselves “this is good” while watching it will see that it’s just not worth shit. There are loads of anime where the action doesn’t make that much sense but are still enjoyable because of everything that surrounds it, but when they make the so-called ‘tactics’ a major discussion topic for the series too and draw the battles out so much (coupled with the obligatory “oh my you are so smart how come we never thought of this”)… It’s just boring. I think it was episode 2? Where there’s an old, stubborn, battle-hardened geezer who decides to make a heroic sacrifice along with like twenty other dudes. Going on to die. Just because he didn’t listen. OR, because they didn’t bring out their almighty Edelweiss right away to blast away all the enemies. They’re not even mourning! He (and the other, nonpersonality dudes) was just an obvious plot device to be used and torn. When anime use characters like that, you KNOW it’s not worth watching! The only interesting things came from the game; the anime added nothing of value and just worsened the good aspects.
    Save your own as well as your readers’ time by quitting this anime right now. Seriously, I don’t see even one comment asking for you to continue this, just apathy/disapproval of the anime. It’s bad and it will be bad and you know it.

    (I also thought they really don’t pull off the art style well, throwing in the “filter”-like style randomly)

    To machi: Yeah, it’s true that it’s very much in the ‘fantasy tactics’ sphere now… The problem arises when an anime doesn’t even make sense within the boundaries of the world it creates. Everyone are dumb in this anime. It’s like if you were watching Akagi except everyone’s amazed Akagi knows all the basic rules of mahjong because oh man that’s hard does he even know what the different rounds are called oh shit I worked on that for MONTHS or he has a ridiculous super-power that noone else has and continuously is brought forward to “oooooh ahhhh” over (lolSaki, though that anime is carried by entirely other elements). And every episode of this anime is bound to be filler to some extent because the anime creators apparently think – perhaps rightly so – that the game’s story just won’t cut it for an anime and they need to add loads of stuff. But instead of making it an integral part of everything, making the ‘filler’ tag obsolete, they opted for the cop-out “let’s see how many minutes we can spend blowing up this minor event into an almost-arc”, or just adding dumb shit like the characters talking about seemingly random/insignificant things for a long time.

  10. HENRCAST says:

    I haven’t watched this episode yet, but I must say I’m very dissapointed with this series. Right from the first episode I thought it would suck because they exagerated the character’s personaties way too much.

    I don’t think I’ll drop this series because I love the game so much. So don’t be fooled, the game is a completely different experience from that of this anime. Damn, an anime should be much superior to a game in terms of storytelling, but it can’t even do that.Not to mention the battles are MUCH more realistic in the game than here.

    I’m so pissed of at this anime because it will stain Valkyria Chronicles’ name.

    At least, I hope the second half is better. Because it is downright awesome in the game. It should be much, much better than the first half.

  11. Alec says:

    I dropped it at ep 24… can no longer take the madness..

    anyways….just watched the last 2 episode of Valkyria chronicles…i dont know long how it has been inside my hard drive. I was just browsing the contents of my hardrive when I saw Valkyrica Chronicles and decided to watch the last 2 episode 4 d heck of it…. just as i thought it just didnt impress me, tons of cliche things…… also the part where Alicia’s power went berserk, her Prince Charming said some lame words and kissed her, finally stopping her power from going out of control…that was totally lame (Power Of love Can conquer everything huh?)

    This anime is a blasphemy…its another one of those failure attemts to make base an anime from a game… And i’d say that Tales of Abyss is much better than this 1, but it still sux, but its definitely better than this anime…

    This is really nothing compared to the game..I wish they could have just sticked with the events in the game, coz that really was a masterpiece..

    *sigh, I still remember the long waits, b4 i bought the game, the trailers were awesome, and just as I suspected, the game is too…

    anyways enough ranting bout crap that doesnt really matter…this will probably be the last post about this topic

  12. hayate says:

    Watch until the end…it starts out bad and boring but gets better

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.

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