Valkyrie, Kazuto, Akina, Hydra, and friends are back for more when the Key of time suddenly appears along with many other mysterious happenings. All seemed to be linked to a person named "Valkyrie Ghost" whose only goal is stealing Kazuto for herself. As they team up against this seeming unbeatable foe they dig deeper into the mysterious past of Valkyrie's home planet, Valhalla.
Set in an alternate version of the present, where magic, alchemy, catgirls and aliens are all acknowledged and present, UFO Princess Valkyrie 2 follows (you guessed it) a magical princess from outer space named Valkyrie. The leading lady crash lands on Earth - and into Kazuto, the male lead - damaging her soul and transforming her, both physically and mentally, into a child.
Told mostly in an episodic fashion, the often crazed, random, imaginative story is a wholly enjoyable ride. The episodes often take a 'monster-of-the-week' format, where a villain or problem is presented at the beginning and is resolved by the end. These unorthodox adventures are, of course, highly predictable given the format, but they are carried by creativity and fun. The world of UFO Princess Valkyrie is overflowing with inventiveness; there is a whole heap of content with which to base each episode on, and the sheer limitless nature of the anime universe keeps the series fresh and compelling. The second series begins to expand more on Valkyrie's character and past, and the few episodes that do connect add a sense of heightened drama to an otherwise predominantly comedic series.
The animation in UFO Princess Valkyrie 2, much like in the first series, is simply satisfactory; it doesn't give off the impression they had much budget to improve. The action sequences sometimes come across as stiff and dull, not helped by the uninspired, turn-based choreography. The art department, however, have created a rich, invigorating world, filled with all kinds of delightful, intriguing aliens and space creatures.
The score was handled by Kenji Kawai, perhaps most famous for his work on Ghost in the Shell. The music in UFO Princess Valkyrie is of course very different to his haunting melodies in Mamoru Oshii's sci-fi tour de force, but his clear talent lives on evermore. Kawai creates some stunningly beautiful themes and composes a lovely variety of insert songs sung by members of the cast; the soundtrack is one of the absolute stand-out elements of the series.
The characters are a merrymaking bunch filled with excitement and imagination. All the anime archetypes are present; from the air-headed Raine to the robotic yet comical Chorus and the troublesome tsundere Akina. There's little character development, however, and the cast are largely one-dimensional. They complement the story format, but never leave their moulds or challenge convention.
Needless to say, that's besides the point. UFO Princess Valkyrie 2 is a series not to be taken too seriously. It's a harmless bit of no-brainer entertainment; something you can pop in and out of when you're in the mood. Simple-dumb-fun. When you feel like a bit of light-hearted anime entertainment, UFO Princess Valkyrie can do you no harm.read more