Come the end of the first episode of Valkyria Chronicles, we were all ready to steal a tank and invade Paris. Wait, sorry, wrong series... Come the end of the first episode of Valkyria Chronicles, Welkin and his sister Isara rolled out their secret weapon (and arguably the real star of the series) - A strapping great tank, which is always quite useful in a war I would say. Even more useful is the fact that Edelweiss (for that is the tank's name) is already loaded up with ammunition and with plenty of fuel... rather conveniently I must say, but then again given their military blood I suppose they'd always be prepared for much things.
Needless to say, making use of Edelweiss allows Alicia and company to escape their current predicament and make it back to Bruhl, but the relief is short-lived as the town soon comes under full-scale assault from the Imperial forces, killing numerous people and wounding many others as the local patrol's stabd-in commander makes a complete hash of things. The only obvious course of action from here is to retreat, but this can only be achieved if the Imperial forces are tied up on other business while the wounded and those left remaining escape. Thus, Alicia, Welkin and Isara are tasked with using Edelweiss to hold the entirety of the Imperial forces at bay while the everyone else retreats. Why, that almost sounds like the sort of mission you'd expect from some kind of video game...
While almost everything about this episode is utterly predictable from Edelweiss' huge hardware superiority (include the fact that other tank shells just bounce of it without a scratch) through to the incompetence of of the arrogant guy in temporary charge of Bruhl's forces, that doesn't mean that episode two of Valkyria Chronicles is anything but a whole bundle of fun. The main characters have already wormed their way into my heart via their idiosyncrasies, and to be quite honest watching Edelweiss charging around blowing up other tanks and people is hugely rewarding (and I'm guessing that actually playing the game would be even more so - Anyone want to donate me a PlayStation 3?). It's a bit like those good, old fashioned war movies where you know what's going to happen but still cheer when the plucky Brits blow up some Germans anyway.
Valkyria Chronicles certainly isn't going to be the most deep and introspective treatment of war in animated form (witness Alicia waxing lyrical about flowers near the end of this episode and you'll see what I mean), and that "sketched" effect really does annoy me incredibly, ruining some otherwise gorgeous animation, but get beyond that and you have yourself one enjoyable series so far.