Based off the hit PS3 video game of the same name, the "Valkyria Chronicles" series was probably one of the best adaptions from a game to an anime to come out in a while. Made by Sega, who ended up making their own spin on the events of World War 2. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions--from laughter, anger, pain and commitment. The series really took the audience to the next level with it’s story. Upon it’s success the actual anime series got some special side stories made for them, called "Valkyria Chronicles: Theater". Now if you think these specials are just something
they threw together for the sake of extras on a DVD, then you would be wrong...for the most part.
Each episode is episodic, with not one necessarily leading into another. However, they take place during different times of the series. There are occasions when we even get to see a little bit of extra backstory that wasn’t mentioned in the actual anime. Whether it be past situations between characters, to the gang taking a comedic relaxing day. Now because these take place during different times of the story, it’s not really a special you should watch before the actual anime, because there are some minor spoilers to be had, especially with the last episode. I should mention that most of these episodes are in fact made to make you laugh, with the exception of a few, so the whole "war theme" isn’t as evident as it was in the series. The main reason why I think fans of the series should check these out, is because of the excellent final episode of these specials. It takes place after the events of the anime, and bring the series to a wonderful close. So if you’ve watched the series, and are debating on whether or not to pick up the theater specials, I would recommend to AT LEAST watch the last episode of these, you won’t regret it.
The music in this is the same as the series, which is the same as the video game. Ported exactly the way the game sounded. So if you loved the soundtrack, you will be happy to learn that it has been brought over as well. Instrumental background music both soft and aggressive depending on the situation, and really make you feel like you are back in the 1930s. All the Japanese voice actors also returned to filler the character’s roles.
The visuals on this at times are a bit more...uhhh...cartoony. This is especially true with the first episode, where everyone is on the chibi side. For the most part though it looks pretty much the same as the series, it even retains that blurred color effect found in some of the characters and scenery.
I think the biggest problem I had with the specials were with some of the characters. Because a lot of these were more comedy driven, some characters were given comedic roles that didn’t seem to gel right with their personalities from the series (this is especially true with characters like Selvaria and Cordelia). So it may seem a bit awkward at some parts. Everyone else though, is fine. It should also be mentioned that many of the episodes highlight a different character or unit.
If you’re a fan of the Valkyria Chronicles series, anime or video game, I recommend giving these a try. If you are new to the franchise then I would say to watch the main anime or play the video game before going into these. You’ll be glad you did once finished.