Dec 1, 2009
Hejin (All reviews)
Well, well, well, look what we have here? Can anyone say "under-appreciated" and "under-watched"? Those words would probably describe Valkyria Chronicles very well.

At first glance, this anime probably doesn't look like anything special. Originally based on a tactical role-playing game of the same name for the PS3, this anime might look like a couple of things. At first glance, it might just look like a military anime that wants to chock itself full of violence and gunplay. However, this is a serious, serious misconception. Let's get to the review and see why, shall we?

Story: The story that encompasses Valkyria Chronicles is as follows. It takes place in the year 1935, in an alternate history where two opposing military factions, the Empire and the Federation, wage war against one another on the continent of Europa. It's an alternate WWII inspired-setting, and one of the things that surprised me the most about this anime was a lack of giant robots. Instead, their roles are taken by all manner of tanks, artillery pieces, and other standard military fare, all a-la-Advance Wars. This, I felt, made the anime stronger, as they got by without using a concept used in so many other animes. Continuing with the story, it kicks off in a small town called Bruhl in the neurtal territory of Gallia, where a young girl on town watch, Alicia Melchiott, happens to cross paths with the son of a Gallian General, whose name is Welken Gunther. After this fateful meeting, the two are cast into the military life, where they battle for their lives and lives of their comrades, all while trying to stay relatively sane. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of romance in this anime, and it is some of the best I've seen. In general, the plot is pretty amazing in my opinion, and from what I can tell, it follow the game pretty well.

Art: I believe that the art was good, though it could have been done just a little better. I wasn't a big fan of the use of 3D effects in this anime, though I admit it was probably necessary for some parts. Nevertheless, the character designs are awesome, and remain very close to their game counterparts.

Music: A seriously amazing aspect of the series, in my opinion. Both the OP and ED of the first half were awesome, and the second half, while not as on par, was also good in terms of the musical content. All songs in the anime are definitely iPod worthy, and they easily fit the dramatic mood of the anime.

Characters: Definitely one of my favorite parts of the entire series. All the characters make up a pretty diverse cast. Welken and Alicia remain to be my favorites, mostly for their personalities and mannerisms when around one another. Even still, the other members of the cast didn't end up just being placeholders. I would warn all who watch this though. Being a dramatic anime, I would expect some important character death. Even still, it doesn't detract from the series at all, and instead strengthens it greatly.

Enjoyment: Seriously, I believe this anime was extremely enjoyable, to the degree where I couldn't stop watching for a day straight. It definitely, definitely deserves a spot on your DVD shelf, or on your hard drive.

There's not much else to say about Valkyria Chronicles. In short, I believe it to be one of the most under-appreciated anime around. In my book, I believe it deserves a perfect 10/10, as it was I believe to be a shining example of what SHOULD be done in an anime series. In all honesty, this anime is highly, highly recommended, and a definite example of a diamond in the rough that should be dug up just a little more often.