Valkyria Chronicles is Extremely Moronic

Ok, I know! We can flank them! They’ll never see it coming!

Well, its negativity week here at GAR GAR Stegosaurus, apparently. We could also call this ‘Day Gives in to Her Self-Destructive Urges Week’, as I, for reasons I cannot quite fathom, decided to attempt shows which I’d either failed to finish before or tore my hair out over the previous installments of. I also continued watching shows which are too stupid to be alive (Yosuga no Sora), and shows which have been grating on my nerves more and more (sadly, Yumeiro Patissiere SP Professional; I truly hope that Johnny and Maize both die in a horrible baking accident… or motorcycling accident, since apparently EVERYONE in America has a motorcycle license!). Meanwhile, shows I do like were on break (Shiki – again!, Kuragehime), or the subs have been slow to appear (…Togainu no Chi). Soooooo I’ve been watching a lot of crap.

Wait. Let me clarify slightly, because I do adore some crap beyond all reason (Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora!). Crap that I don’t enjoy. The kind of crap which makes me wail and gnash my teeth while crying bitter tears of blood. That type of crap.

All of which brings me to Valkyria Chronicles, which I have deemed to be even dumber than Kuroshitsuji II managed to be. After all, K-II was short enough that the miniscule amounts of decent stuff was enough to keep me watching. It also helped that one of the twin leads was a total psychopath who was only reliable insofar as you could expect him to do something utterly outlandish whenever he appeared on screen. Valkyria Chronicles, on the other hand, couldn’t even grant a few small crumbs to its audience; when its characters behave in outlandish ways, it wants us to believe that they could, for instance, not see a flanking maneuver coming despite being a decorated general. When Alois licks someone’s ear, it is wholly fitting with his behavior thus far; when a general acts utterly shocked by such a basic movement, it absolutely does not work since everyone has been acting like this man is a fine military mind.

This is the essential problem with Valkyria Chronicles. Many of these things taken alone we could manage – the underwater tank, the flanking maneuver, the silly uniforms… if only one or two of them existed, we could definitely manage to accept it as an audience and move along. But Valkyria Chronicles packs so many stupidities in that our willingness to believe in it all falters, stumbles, and finally falls flat on its face. Because, no I can’t accept that combat uniforms would be bright blue and include short skirts for the women, that a tank could solve everyone’s problems, and that a group of soldiers could stand around in enemy territory for upwards of six hours and not all get shot in the face.

The aforementioned not-shot-in-the-face group of soldiers was the final straw for me. Dumb stuff had already happened in episode twelve – Alicia and Welkin go on a recon mission while in enemy territory, because obviously you always send BOTH of your leaders on a forward mission. They traipse around in their stupid blue uniforms, strolling along like they are on a nature walk since there is clearly no reason at all that they should be moving quickly and quietly, nor is there any reason that they should be moving low to the ground and utilizing the tree line for cover and concealment. The weather looks shitty, but they don’t bother to turn back. Nope, instead they decide to go curl up by the fire in some little abandoned cottage. They don’t clear the place before entering, and once inside they put their weapons down about ten feet from where they get all cozy. Welkin, an officer, thinks nothing of more or less cuddling with his sergeant.

All this alone is pretty bad. Then an enemy soldier comes along and it manages to get worse. He has a grenade, oh noes! And he’s pulled the pin on it and it’ll go off if he lets go since then the spoon’ll fall off. So better obey him! Y’know, instead of a million other things like shooting him in the head since rigor mortis will basically take care of the whole ‘drop the grenade, everyone dies’ thing. And, even if that fails, if both characters make a run for the door, they could easily get out of grenade range by going outside and around the corner within the five second fuse time. But he does just end of croaking while sitting there… so they bury him outside. Ok, guess the ground somehow isn’t frozen! And that one enemy could never be an indication that more of them aren’t advancing on you, either. But he said he was a deserter! Everyone knows you can believe an enemy soldier!

And then the whole episode goes screaming off a cliff, as Alicia and Welkin return to their comrades… who are all standing around waiting, and have ignored Welkin’s order that they retreat if he and Alicia fail to return in a set amount of time. Ignoring orders is fun and not at all grounds for discipline! Also: in enemy territory, when you are going to be in one position for a while, there is absolutely no reason that you should set up a defensive position. No, you should all bunch as closely together as possible, fail to have 360 degree security, and remain standing up straight. You should also have loud conversations. Did I mention the blue uniforms?

One or two of these elements alone – maybe Welkin and Alicia’s meeting of an enemy deserter and their comrades not leaving when they fail to return on time – that could be accepted by an audience. But Valkyria Chronicles is a royal clusterfuck of these elements, rolled together into a failure of a show. All of which is too bad considering that the show does a decent job of world building, and that the main characters of the enemy side themselves are both solid and engaging.

Stick to the games; at least you know that you couldn’t possibly exceed the stupidity in this thing. They’re also prettier.

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11 Responses to Valkyria Chronicles is Extremely Moronic

  1. Scamp says:

    In one of the world wars, can’t remember which, the french army uniform was blue and bright red. Of course, they got shot down incredibly easill, but stupidly coloured uniform does exist.

    (Learned that little piece of info from Hetalia!)

    The dumbest anime I’ve ever watched is Alison to Lillia. Nothing else even comes close to that.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yes, the French did have a blue and red uniform, but the existence of that uniform itself was indicative of the larger problem with the French army – it hadn’t adjusted itself to modern warfare. After all, the British had bright red uniforms during the 18th century, but the practice of standing in big lines and shooting at each other was still the way of war at that time, so the uniform color really didn’t matter. France was still stuck in that mindset.

      As for dumbest anime… hmm. I’m not sure I can say exactly what the dumbest anime I’ve ever watched was… VC definitely makes the list for dumbest, but I’d probably also include things such as Papa to Kiss in the Dark or Kachou no Koi.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    You know what’ll take all the negativity out of you? YOU ARE UMASOU

    The military stuff was dumb, but it didn’t bother me as much as you given my lack of military training. What bothered me most about this show was Alicia overpowering Selvaria with a power she’d just attained. There were also too many Darcsens-are-people-too episodes. Welkin’s asexuality turned around a little too suddenly. Asexual characters kick ass.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Actually, I did start watching it. I am now enjoying the huge increase in my knowledge of Japanese onomatopoeia and names for dinosaurs.

      I didn’t manage to finish the show, I gave up at the episode I described. Like I said, it was just too fucking retarded, and then the next episode preview showed them all attending some kind of ball and a princess thing that had some weird troll headdress thing on, and I just said, “Fuck it.”

  3. Zeroblade says:

    Yes, the absolute lack of thought put into standard military procedure (and lack of sense overall) really made it hard to watch/appreciate this show without some scoffing at the back of the mind, knowing how ridiculous the stuff they pull off in the show is. No idea about the game though.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I’ve never played the games myself (I’m pretty much a Pokemon-only gamer), but I’ve heard they’re pretty solid, and I can’t help but assume that they must be better than this.

  4. Aorii says:

    At least you never played the game, they ruined a perfectly good storyline and all the game’s fans completely ran their heads through their desks.

    The flamboyantly blue uniforms are French, hats included, skirts not included. The early ‘amphibious tanks’ were pretty much just sealed-up tank prototypes anyways. And flanking maneuvers from a nonexistent path is awfully hard to predict and won more than its share of battles throughout history (being prepared against everything is something avg field cmmdrs pay more lip service to than real attention). It’s still a bit silly, but the ideas weren’t that foreign, it’s mostly the anime’s execution in detail =\

    • Zeroblade says:

      >it’s mostly the anime’s execution in detail =\

      Like how they run around on an open road under enemy fire and manage not to get hit with a squad shooting at them around a hundred meters away.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Actually, the guy running the show is above the field rank, since he’s a general. But, more importanyl, he acts so completely and utterly shocked that it really is quite absurd – even if one wasn’t prepped to intercept a flanking maneuver exactly from that direction, it shouldn’t come as that much of a shock that it could happen. Which isn’t to say he wouldn’t still lose, just that his reaction exceeds plausible belief. If he had expressed frustration and irritation, I would’ve been more willing to accept it.

      As for the uniforms, even if they are French in origin, they’re still stupid. Given that this is supposed to be loosely based on pre-WW-II Europe but isn’t pre-WW-II Europe, they very easily could’ve changed it… or demonstrated how much of a liability it is.

      I suppose at least the tank doesn’t talk.

  5. kadian1364 says:

    The LOLtactics were never the series’ brightest spot, as it’s hard to imagine how military commanders on both sides got to where they are. But the biggest problem, which you didn’t even get to, was how Valkyria Chronicles suddenly turns into DBZ, with superpowered, laser-spamming beings duking out 1-on-1 on the battlefield. Sort of throws the faux-WWII era atmosphere out the window, along with any dignity the story had left.

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