Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Valkyria Chronicles - Episode 16

From battles in the field, episode sixteen of Valkyria Chronicles keeps us moored firmly in dealing with battles of the heart, as love seems to be pinging around the place in its various configurations like a bad case of swine 'flu.

Before all that though, we get a brief glimpse into how things are doing for the Empire since the defeat at Fouzen - I think it's fair to say that "bloody terribly" just about sums up the answer to that question. There appear to be plans in the pipeline to put the Empire back on the front foot, but those will have to wait for another day as we're treated to another bit of a flashback to the past of Selvaria when she first met Maximillian. The poor girl, she must be confused as to how she's grown and aged by about twenty years while he doesn't look a day older - I guess the Empire doesn't have a good line in anti-ageing creams.

Anyhow, with that out of the way, and with the odd glimpse of Rosie and Isara struggling with the awkwardness of the last episode, we move back to the real love triangle of the show, with Alicia trying to put her feelings about Faldio and Welkin in order, while Welkin simply sulks most of the time really. This leaves it up to Largo to try and talk some sense into him, but ultimately it doesn't really work, with Welkin's last minute indecision in the face of some questioning from Alicia leaving things in a worse position than they were at the start of the episode.

Generally speaking, there wasn't really anything out of the ordinary in this episode, to the extent where you could almost accuse it of going through the motions - Lots of dialogue, lots of flashbacks to old stories from a couple of characters, but nobody really saying anything worthy of note. However, the episode was largely rescued by that closing scene between Alicia and Welkin, which was oddly tear-jerking; coupled with the love and care afforded the animation of that scene, it allowed it to stand out in what was otherwise a mediocre instalment. Mind you, I'm not sure whether to berate Welkin at this juncture for being a coward or feel sympathy for the horribly difficult situation he's found himself in.

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