After the sadness of recent events, episode twenty of Valkyria Chronicles took an even more serious turn with death, war and trauma aplenty - A far cry from those oddly fluffy earlier episodes.
The big news of that episode was, of course, Faldio shooting Alicia as part of his continued and growing belief that there is more to her than meets the eyes - Of course, shooting someone probably isn't the kind of scientific experiment you should try at home, which I suppose is why Faldio ended up in the militia and not a biology lab.
As news of Alicia's grave injuries filter through, leaving Welkin torn between leading his troops and going to see her, so Faldio puts the rest of his plan into action, kidnapping Princess Cornelia and using her to bring Gallia's own Valkyrur sword and shield to Alicia to awaken the powers within her. With Selvaria running riot for the Empire against the conventional Gallian forces, this becomes something of a race against time before finally turning into the epic battle between Selvaria and Alicia that the opening credits to the series have been spoiling for some time now.
Compared to the raw emotion of recent episodes, this instalment of Valkyria Chronicles felt somewhat empty in those terms as it rushed to move the storyline forward in the direction I'm sure we were all expecting without too much time for nuances. This left us with a passable but pretty run of the mill episode that did okay in its own terms, but (for me personally) disappointed a little against the backdrop of some of the deeper moments the show has offered of late. Even Alicia's grand appearance to save the day just didn't feel quite as sharp or dramatic as you may have expected from such a climax to this story arc, to the point of clumsiness in the case of one or two aspects of the plot. This wasn't a bad episode by any means; it simply lacked a certain something that I thought the series had finally discovered for itself.