Valkyria Chronicles News

Valkyria Chronicles is a franchise comprised of 3 anime series, 2 manga series
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I haven’t come across many series that are as under appreciated as this one. Most shows that i watch, however detestable will have some niche crowd somewhere that can’t get enough of them and is as passionate about them as those that completely detest the show. The most obvious example here would be fairy tail. Sure, i have come across otaku that hold an abnormal hate for the series, but equally, i have come across fans with a scary obsession for fairy tail. No, that is too popular, and i am biased in its favor. A better example would be school days, which i dislike vehemently, but which has considerable fans out there.

This show doesn’t fall into this category in that very few people actually know about it, at least as far as i have seen. So maybe underappreciated isn’t the word.

This was the series that first pulled me out of my little box of action crazy insanely graphical animation, into a much simpler, deeper world of anime. There was a time when i didn’t watch anime that didn’t have any mind blowing action scenes, insane characters, or magical weapons. Overall, my anime watch list was all about battle shonen series. Then i watched this show and realized that beyond the martial arts, maybe there was more that i could enjoy from an anime, like good story and interesting and deep characters.

And i will not deny that this is one of the very best shows that i have ever watched, ranking in my top five.

THE PLOT:>

The story takes place in Europa, a place loosely based on Europe in the 1930s, during world war 2. This continent is divided into two main powers, the imperial Empire, a monarchy in the east, and an alliance of democratic countries called the Federation. In this world, the most important mineral is called ragnite, usable in a variety of fields, from fueling weapons of war to medicine; and because of its importance these two forces are constantly in battle over it.

Gallia is a small neutral independent state that happens to be rich with ragnite, which eventually attracts the attention of the Empire, which decides to invade. Alicia Melchiot is a member of the Bruhl town watch. While somewhat capable of combat and hopeful of joining the battle front to defend her nation, she is assigned with the evacuation, protection and management of the civilian members of her small town. And it is during one of her patrols that she meets Welkin, a lazy good for nothing idler, that she later realizes is the son of the legendary General, Gunther, a leader of great strategic ability.

It isn’t long before war finds Alicia, and Welkin, having ran away from school abroad, finds it necessary to take charge, proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and that he is indeed just as intelligent and cunning as his father. With her sister Isara in tow, the only one capable of piloting the mysterious blue tank Edelweis and its fascinating array of abilities, and Alicia, the group are thrust to the front line as part of squad 7. Welkin finds that not only must he prove his worth to the power hungry and conniving generals of Gallia, but he must prove his worth to the very men and women that he leads, whilst also endeavoring to see them safely return from each carelessly assigned mission, designed by those above to see Welkin’s rising star fall.

But Welkin soon learns that there enemy is more than meets the eye. Maximillian, the younger prince of the Empire isn’t only in possession of powerful technology and a handful of hand picked battle tested generals to lead his men, but by his side is the mysterious silver haired Sevelia Bles, rumored to be one of ancient and lost Valkyria, powerful god like creatures from the old days, and a bigger threat than the empire could pose.

The hope of the people lies in their silver haired princess and ruler, Cordelia gi Randgriz, said to be of the blood of the valkyria as well; except that she holds a dark secret that might be the end of her nation.

This is a war that will shape the future.

MY REVIEW:>

This show’s strength lies in its characters and the stories that surround them. Welkin is as lovable as he is a formidable leader. His bright smiles, incessant jokes and lazy attitude hide a brilliant mind. But this isn’t Lelouch hiding within a weak seemingly unworthy body. Welkin is a very simple character, with little to no ambition and seemingly no interest in the world besides protecting his friends. Even when assigned to the position of captain of squad 7, there is no doubt that Welkin is more bookworm than soldier. And in meeting the challenges of ending a bloody war as bloodlessly as possible, protecting his friends proves to be much harder that taking on assignments meant for greater better armed numbers with his little squad of less than 20.

Welkin is no soldier and it is his goal to shape the soldier like objectives and attitudes of his men into something less grim. They hold little to no prospects for the future due to their roles as men and men and women of war. They would gladly give their lives in battle serving their nation or even the weak leader that they dislike, Welkin. They have no qualms with making the ultimate sacrifice anytime it is needed to get the job done, and it is this attitude that Welkin fights to oppose in them. His goal in each mission is to see to it that they never need to be put in unnecessary harm-which is easier said than done with them being soldiers that are sent to fight in wars- and he will be the first to oppose any attempts to risk one’s life to complete a mission; Welkin isn’t beyond tackling life threatening situations himself with nothing but his wit if only to prevent his battle crazy comrades from taking the risky chances they always have to complete missions. IN this he makes both enemies and friends, as his actions can interpreted as either a strength or weakness.

Alicia first comes off as an unimportant character with no more purpose that being a love interest, maybe to cause conflict between Welkin and his best friend Faldio. But she later comes into her own, matching Welkin’s importance in the series and proving to be a great crutch for him when things go bad. The way her character played out at the end was much better than the beginning, and her life, past and future had some truly unexpected surprises.

Faldio was one of my favorite characters in the whole show. I didn’t really think much of him in the beginning. He acted as a shield between squad 7 and his own squad, who held hostility towards squad 7, not only for personal reasons but because of how Welkin’s star was threatening their captain’s own. it was impressive to see how well Faldio took it all; being friends with Welkin since their university days and understanding that he was mostly a book worm, not once does he feel threatened by Welkin and in most cases it isn’t out of the ordinary to see some in his squad vying for the kind of attention and camaraderie their captain shares with Welkin, and when they don’t receive it, to turn that into hostility towards squad 7.

Interestingly, especially during scenes of violence between these two squads, it isn’t hard to see that what looks like hate between them is actually dedication, to their captains and their personal wishes to see him succeed.

Admittedly Faldio was always just an okay character, until the last couple of episodes. I don’t want to spoil it but to what happens to Faldio in the last episodes, i can only say WOW. So much shock and disbelief.

At the end of the day, this story is about war and the consequences of it. We see what can come from war in the racial hatred aimed towards the darcsenns, who are generally the villains of the last war of the land. It isn’t difficult to understand the reason and logic for the hate, until you begin to understand what really happened so long ago, at which point you come to understand the saying that it is the victor of war that tells the story and that in most wars, there is no right side and all parties will commit evils for the sake of victory.

No one understands this more than Welkin. One reason he struggles to control his team is Isara, who turns out to be his adopted sister,and more importantly a Darcseen. Welkin clearly doesn’t understand the animosity probably because he grew up with Isara (and that’s just him being clueless), but it takes all his cunning and restraint to both command missions and protect his sister from the waves of hate from all those around her. He understands where everybody, especially his squad, is coming from, but he will do all he can to defend her. But in tackling this issue of discrimination, this show also speaks of the message of transformation, and the ability of shared experiences to morph hate into love; it is in this regard that Stark Brigitte stood out as one of the very best characters to watch in this show.

There is so much to see and think about in this show, both on the hero and villain side. Even Sevelia who doesn’t get as much screen time is a character worth pondering, in the way she, as a powerful being, worships and crawls after maximillian, who can be said to be a little more than cruel but in subtle ways. Her story speaks more to the issue of slavery than anything.

Then their are the members of Faldio and Welkin’s squads, most of whom are well developed and properly utilized throughout each episode; but of course it is a few like Isara, Ramal, Stark and Ealonor that stand out. While this show occurs in a futuristic setting, there isn’t any of the elements i would normally expect, like giant mechs, powerful ships and the like.

Most of the advanced technology is rather low key, like super tanks with mostly practical and realistic capabilities, laser lances and the like. There are a few tanks that are so large they might as well be mechs, but even that doesn’t affect your overall understanding of the setting of the series. We still have horse and carts and lousy rifles and the lot.

This show will surprise you. Being based off of a tactical role playing game for PS3, you might expect crazy wars with a whole lot of fighting, explosions and Michael bay style set ups. But that is far from the case. Valkyria chronicles is a story about characters in a war. Yes, there are two or three supernatural beings but those don’t take up much of the plot. In fact this series’ actions scenes with regards to the valkyria are very bad, to the point that i would have rather they hadn’t taken place.

There is technically little to look at as the animation mostly average, and even the music is barely memorable except for some specific moments. But none of that matters because this is a beautiful story that everyone should watch. This is how anime should be done, with depth and focus and a plot that, at the end, leave you sitting back and sighing in satisfaction, that you have just seen something good, something that you will be thinking about tomorrow, next week and next month. This is Valkyria chronicles is.

There are some set backs of course. The show has an unfortunately lousy start; unfortunate in that many people might not bother to pick it up again after two or three episodes. You see a blue tank rolling around, talk of war, a few battles and you start making assumptions about what’s coming up ahead. And i did the same thing. I dumped this show and only picked it up six months later when i was bored and there was no other anime in sight so i decided to revisit all the crap anime i discarded.

I was disturbed that i had almost missed this gem.

MY RATING:> 5/5,

though after a thought i would be more like 8/5, it exceeded my expectations and delivered an amazing story of war, rebuilding and transformation. I would recommend this show to each and everyone that loves anime.

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Easy question Vice users!

Ghost stories or Valkyria Chronicles?

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Welcome, my fellow AnimeVice members, to this my third and final anime figure review for AnimeVice. In this latest figure review, I will be reviewing the 1/8th Scale PVC Valkyria Chronicles Alicia Melchiott figure, the newest addition to my humble anime figure collection from Play-Asia this past December. 

1/8th Scale Alicia Melchiott (In Box)
1/8th Scale Alicia Melchiott (In Box)

Some Quick Background Information

Produced by KOTOBUKIYA Corporation and licensed by SEGA as part of their "Project Valkyria" product lineup, the 1/8th Scale PVC Valkyria Chronicles Alicia Melchiott figure was released in Japan and was made available for sale in late December 2010 for roughly 7,120 Yen (excluding taxes). It was crafted by the famed figure sculptors at KOTOBUKIYA for KOTOBUKIYA Corporation, LTD.
 

Analysis of Figure

Standing roughly 21 Cm tall, Alicia Melchiott comes with her trademark rifle and her winged pig Hans on a special base modeled after the hatch-plate of the tank Edelweiss. The fine details that KOTOBUKIYA Co. and their prized sculptors have put into this figure is simply amazing, from the stark colors of her military uniform down to the bright, cheerful expression on her face. Unlike my other two figures that I own, Alicia Melchiott is mounted to her base and does not have any removable/switchable parts as in the case of my 1/7th Scale Selvaria Bles figure other than the rifle that can be placed in her hands. 

Alicia Melchiott (on base with rifle and her pig Hans)
Alicia Melchiott (on base with rifle and her pig Hans)

My Opinions

As a fan of the Valkyria Chronicles franchise, I was thrilled to discover that Play-Asia was releasing a new Alicia Melchiott figure in late December. Having just purchased the 1/7th Scale Valkyria Chronicles Selvaria Bles figure only a month earlier, I decided to look into purchasing her as a Christmas gift for myself and to add to my humble anime figure. I pre-ordered her in early December and was able to secure one of the first batch of figures that Play-Asia had on hand before they sold out their stock for several days. The order shipped from Play-Asia on the 28th of December and arrived to my house on the late afternoon of January 3rd. Of the three anime figures that I own, she is easily my second favorite of the group behind the Selvaria Bles figure that I own. The only issue that I have with this figure is a rough line or two on both of her hands by the thumbs, perhaps artifacts from the production process. But in the end, I am very pleased with this purchase. 

Alicia Melchiott (Close-up from waist-up with Rifle)
Alicia Melchiott (Close-up from waist-up with Rifle)

Final Scores

1/8th Scale Valkyria Chronicles PVC Alicia Melchiott Figure (KOTOBUKIYA Co., LTD)

Price: 7,120 Yen (roughly $84.95 USD)
Availability: Limited (Limited Edition: Currently available on Play-Asia as of 30 minutes ago)
Detail: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Would I Recommend it to Others?: Yes (especially to fans of the Valkyria Chronicles)




 (Edit: From now on, I will be doing a weekly feature of the anime figures currently on special promotion or newest releases on Play-Asia for Playfire and AnimeVice. Look for it later in the week!)
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In what is my first blog here on AnimeVice in over 5 months, I have decided to start writing reviews on the anime figures that I have purchased in the past year or so. Today, I will be writing a review on the 1/7th Scale PVC Valkyria Chronicles Selvaria Bles figure that I purchased from Play-Asia in mid-October. 

1/7th Scale Selvaria Bles (Box)
1/7th Scale Selvaria Bles (Box)

Some Quick Background Information

Produced by ALTER Corporation and licensed by SEGA as part of their "Project Valkyria" product lineup, the 1/7th Scale PVC Valkyria Chronicles Selvaria Bles figure was released in Japan and was made available on Play-Asia for sale mid-way through October 2010 for roughly 9,800 Yen (excluding taxes). It was sculpted by famed figure designer Motokatsu Hane for ALTER.
 

Analysis of Figure

Standing roughly 25 Cm tall, Selvaria Bles comes with a glossy black base with her Valkyria Shield, Lance, and a detachable cape that can be removed for display preference. The amazing amount of detail that both ALTER and Motokatsu Hane put into this figure is incredible, from the intricate details on her military outfit to the detail and coloring of her shield and lance. Her head is easily removable in order to swap in/out the cape and her two hands can be swapped out for either her lance/shield or hands-free depending on what you wish her to pose with. The intricate sword on her hip can be removed if desired, but for overall appearances, Selvaria Bles looks better with it attached. 

 Selvaria Bles (With Valkyria Lance/Shield shown in example)
 Selvaria Bles (With Valkyria Lance/Shield shown in example)

My Opinions

Selvaria Bles was the second figure that I added to my humble collection (and the first from ALTER), and I will admit that she is easily the favorite in my collection to date. With incredible detail, high quality, and great overall presence when displayed on my bookshelf, this is one purchase that I will not regret one bit.  I would highly recommend purchasing her to any figure collector or Valkyria Chronicle fan who would love to own a great piece of VC merchandise.

Slevaria Bles (Close-up Detail)
Slevaria Bles (Close-up Detail)

Final Scores

1/7th Scale Valkyria Chronicles Selvaria Bles PVC Figure (2010 ALTER Co.)

Price: 9,800 Yen ($119.00 USD)
Availability: Limited (Limited Edition: Currently Out of Stock on Play-Asia)
Detail: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Would I recommend it to others?: Yes


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They kept the hatching! Yay!!
They kept the hatching! Yay!!





















A bunch of screenshots and new VC material was posted yesterday on Chirashi no Ura, and all I can say is WOO!!! They kept the hatching line style that the game used! Er, actually, they just sort of tried to imitate it, but hey I think they did a pretty good job considering they're apparently on a pretty tight budget with this series. I'm just happy they didn't just toss the style out the window altogether since that's part of the reason I loved the game (it was preeeettty...).

They also had some new character design pieces posted for Edy and whatever that blonde masochist engineer's name is (but who cares about him - he was freaky!):
Edy looks a bit weird imo, but hey, it's Edy!.... Sorta like Minami-ke style perhaps?
Edy looks a bit weird imo, but hey, it's Edy!.... Sorta like Minami-ke style perhaps?























They also had another promotional art piece:
Welkin just seems so... plain?
Welkin just seems so... plain?










































So there you have it. More little bits can be seen at their site, like if you want to see what the masochist freak looks like, but I'm not gonna scare you good people by posting him here.
Also, the Valkyria Chronicles anime is gonna be broadcast in HD!!! WOO!!! I know that's not exactly anything new, but I'm happy anyway.

(For those of you wondering where my usual Gundam Wing wiki update post is instead of this and you haven't seen my status bar, I've been busy as hell the past few days, so progress in that is on a temporary hiatus, probably for a week or two until my hard classes stop raping me with tests horribly.)
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Hello again, Heero here giving an update on his situation.

Today was pretty uneventful doing mostly mundane usual things, working on homework from my courses, studying a little Japanese, playing a little more (of my second run-through) of Valkyria Chronicles, and trying to meet up with an old high school friend of mine so she could lend me MGS4 and I could lend her VC. Unfortunately the last one never did get accomplished, but I was able to make plans to join her in February to pick up Star Ocean 4 since I'd be the one lending her one of my 360s and I'm curious what the whole Star Ocean story is about (she doesn't have a 360 but is a huge RPG fan).

In relation to all things AnimeVice, I haven't been able to make a lot of posts and submissions as of late due to coursework and my PC support technician job at the hospital, but I'm hoping to eventually get a number of things done with the following order of priority:

  1. Finish the d*** Gundam Wing section already! So far I've been able to add the stats and descriptions for all of the main characters and gundams that didn't have them already, though there are a few that are in bad need of proofreading and editing - the latter part of the Heero Yuy article is a good example. You can tell where I stopped proofreading and where the original submitter's writing remains.) Unfortunately I still haven't even finished putting in the basic title information, character appearances, and episode descriptions for each of the episodes yet, let alone the series description. That may end up being a long term project that I'll do in the background ultimately.
  2. (When the anime airs and I have official information to work from) Right after Gundam Wing, I'm going to put in as much information as humanly possible and confirmable on the Valkyria Chronicles anime series and characters. The game it's based off of was THE best game I have played in a very long time, and had a very excellent storyline, so I figure I owe it at least that much. Hopefully the anime won't turn into another Tsukihime...... See: "There is no Tsukihime anime". Considering it's being made by a relatively new studio and that so far they've done good work with Kannagi, Birdy the Mighty Decode, and even another game adaption, Persona -trinity soul-, I have some hope that it will be good.
  3. Just as important as Valkyria Chronicles to me is Kara no Kyoukai. With the fifth film, "Paradox Spiral" (矛盾螺旋 - Mujun Rasen), coming out on DVD in Japan (and inevitably in fansubs) on this Wednesday, January 28th, I'm really getting excited. This is basically the one the first four have been ultimately leading up to, especially with the token Jouji Nakata** character finally making his appearance (Araya Souren), and it's also the first one they've made so far that's as long as a full length film at 115 minutes (compared to the others so far around 48 to 56 minutes). I'm planning on rewatching the first four again in preparation for this Wednesday, and I'm hoping to get around to filling in descriptions on each of the characters for the series as well. I've always been a Type Moon fan, and plus now there's even trailers up on the Japanese Kara no Kyoukai site for the sixth movie, where Azaka finally takes a prominent role! Alot of you know how I'm a huge tsundere fan, and Azaka is basically a prototype hybrid of Rin Tohsaka and Akiha Tohno, so I'm still wondering if ulitimately the fifth or the sixth will be my favorite, but in any case they look to be awesome. Just a sidenote, if Kara no Kyoukai ever gets brought to the US, I swear to you Ufotable, Nasu Kinoko, and whoever licenses it, I will gladly spend every penny it takes to see each of them in theaters at full theater price 3 times each, and then buy the special edition DVDs for $100 each (or blurays for $150 each if you make them!).
  4. Basically whenever I get around to it I'll try to get character articles and such up for the Makoto Shinkai films, particularly Voices of a Distanct Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, since those are the only two I own on DVD.

Most of this I'll probably get around to doing if I have free time while I'm at work, but that's a very unstable moment of time, so don't count on me being able to blaze through any of this stuff anytime soon.

** - Jouji Nakata has done tons of voice roles in many video games and anime, but in every single Type Moon production to date (with one exception), Jouji Nakata has always played the voice of one of the main antagonists if not THE MAIN antagonist, and he's basically become known as playing the role of the typical Type Moon villian. He's done Kotomine Kirie from Fate/Stay Night, Nero Chaos in the Tsukihime drama CDs, and has been doing Araya Souren in Kara no Kyoukai. The ONLY time he did not voice a character was in the infamous Tsukihime anime, which is yet another reason many fans consider the Tsukihime anime to be fake.


Also, I see that no one has read the original Kara no Kyoukai novels that has taken the trivia quiz here so far, because according to the original light novels by Nasu Kinoko, the color of Shiki Ryougi's leather jacket when she fights Kirie Fujou on the rooftop is in fact BLACK, and NOT red. Where along the line it got changed to red between the novels being published and the anime being produced, I don't know, but all I know is I think it looks awesome!


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