Valkyria Chronicles went down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best strategy-rpg on the PS3 and, having played it, I can't disagree. So when I found this anime (finally) I was pretty revved up.
I looked for this anime a while ago but I could never find it, either because it hadn't been released or I simply didn't look hard enough. The fact that it has been adapted from a game shouldn't bother the ones who have played the game because it's a pretty faithful adaptation. The emphasis has simply shifted slightly, from the more war-oriented action game to a more character-driven story.
Story - 9
Yeah like I said the story and its basics are carried over from the game. If you know the game, you'll know how this ends up. If you haven't played the game, think of WWII, with the Imperials representing Germany (Does anybody else notice how disturbingly Aryan they all are? Gregor and Maximillian in particular), the Federation representing the Allies and France, the poor country representing Gallia, caught between the two. Unlike Hitler who seemed to start World War 2 just because he could, the Imperials decide to start a war over the mineral Ragnite, the lifeblood of that world. The story follows the exploits of Lieutenant Welkin Gunther and his Merry Men, Women and a Winged Pig, as they fight to protect the homeland from the Imperials. Expect plenty of action and drama, comedy and the the odd love triangle.
Art - 10
Definitely can't decide if it's a step up or a step down from the game. However it's still quite beautiful to watch, because it almost literally is art. You can see where the pencil strokes have fallen. It won't be to everyone's tastes but I like it.
Sound - 9
Both Intro and End themes are charming enough and the recycling of the game's soundtrack will be a pleasant addition for the gamers who watch this and even if you haven't played the game, you'll learn soon enough what each piece of music foretells.
Characters - 8
The characters are plain awesome, from the romanticist Faldio, to Marina the Lone Wolf, to Selvaria the busty general of the Imps. Not all of them are prominent but they all feel unique, unlike your generic run-of-the-mill anime crowds.
Why do I only give them an 8? I miss their English voicings. I know, I know but Welkin's "SQUAD 7! MOVE OUT!" and Largo's battle cry of "ARGH VEGETABLES!" became almost iconic to me and my friends, so it's disappointing I don't get to hear them in the anime.
Enjoyment - 10
Oh yes! To see the epic war for Gallia's survival without having to suffer through annoyances such as ridiculously agile enemy soldiers and my Edelweiss exploding for no apparent reason satisfied me to no end.
Overall - 10
This is the first 10 I've given to an anime. Maybe I'm slightly biased, I don't know (I probably am), but I genuinely can't ever remember enjoying a cross-media adaptation of something more. If you're a fan of the game WATCH THIS! It gives more insight into Squad 7 and it may or may not enhance your gaming experience. If you haven't played the game WATCH THIS! It's an enjoyable romp with a band of weirdo's and a tank that could probably do the donut.