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October 22, 2012

Anime Review: Senjou no Valkyria: Gallian Chronicles

Based on the popular PSP game of similar name, Senjou no Valkyria: Gallian Chronicles can be described as your game-like anime in style and plot. What it achieves is an entertaining histroical sci-fi military anime with some hints of super powers.

Senjou no Valkyria: Gallian ChroniclesSynopsis:

Valkyria Chronicles is set in a fictitious continent reminiscent of 1930s Europe. The continent, called Europa, is divided into two main powers: The Imperial Empire, a monarchy in the east, and the alliance of democracies called the Federation in the west. In this world, there is a very important resource called ragnite; its uses range from fueling weapons of war to use in medical treatments. Since ragnite is such an important resource, the Federation and the Empire are constantly at war with each other for it.

The story takes place in the neutral country of Gallia, known for its bountiful reserves of ragnite, when the Empire decides to invade and seize the ragnite for themselves. The story follows Welkin, the son of a former war hero; Isara, Welkin's Darcsen adoptive sister; and Alicia, a member of the Bruhl town watch, as they fight the Imperials in the ragtag Gallian militia group, Squad 7.

Squad 7 fights to regain their homes and livelihoods with Welkin as the squad leader and commander of the Edelweiss tank; Alicia as a scout; Isara as the pilot of the Edelweiss, and a variety of colorful individuals.

Review:

I personally have not played the game of the same name, so I was a bit skeptical at the entertainment that this anime will provide. However, after watching the first episode, I was hooked in already. If you did not know that this anime was based off a game, you probably would not realize at all. Since I already knew that it was a game, I did feel that a lot of scenarios and structured dialogue from this anime is quite stylized, similar to a game. I also got a bit lost at the beginning, trying to figure out who is who, and which side is battling which. After a while, I got used to the type of story telling that this anime does; it narrates both the good guys and the bad guys stories all in one episode. The story was quite structured and easy to follow. Similar to Advanced Wars (the strategy game), you can instantly recognize similar elements in warfare style and developments throughout this anime.

The art was quite well done both in presentation and in animation. The characters looked great and were unique. The 3D effects were also well animated and brought the battle scenes to life. As for the character designs, they remained very close to their game counterparts.

The anime featured an amazing soundtrack that made the anime enjoyable to watch. The opening and ending songs were quite good and catchy at the very most. I enjoyed the voice acting for all of the characters and I felt they suited them quite well.

The characters were 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.

The anime built up around me as I kept on watching. The character interactions, the strategic battles and overall presentation was well done. If you have played the game, you will enjoy the anime!

STORY: 8
Quite easy to follow and well structured.

ART: 8
Simply appealing from the sceneries to the character presentations.

SOUND: 8
I enjoyed listening to the theme songs and I felt that the voice acting suited the characters quite well.

CHARACTER: 8
I loved the interactions that goes on between the main characters as well as the other characters. It is all interesting to watch their personalities and misunderstandings clash.

ENJOYMENT: 8
I liked to analyse the battle scenarios presented in the anime and try to work out the battle plan before the anime gives the answer. It is all quite enjoyable to watch and to think, "how will this turn out?".

OVERALL: 8
For a historical military anime, it was quite an excellent job done. It may not appeal to a large audience, for for those who liked strategic games and historical warfare anime, this is one anime you definitely must watch.