Military and war genres aren’t really my kind of taste when it comes to picking animes to watch. Not to say that I really dislike the genre but it is rather very low on my priority list as compared to high school romance comedy and yeah, fanservice genres. So perhaps the only reason why I decided to watch Senjou No Valkyria was perhaps the many rave reviews it got. No, not the anime but rather the critical and positive reviews from the tactical role playing game that it was adapted from. Now, many of such Japanese games are rich in story, plot and characters so probably that is one reason why at that point in time I decided to give the anime a chance. Furthermore, the game was created and developed by Sega, a childhood console favourite of mine (because of certain blue hedgehog). However sometimes adaptations from games to the silver screen doesn’t necessarily transit well like in the case of Hollywood. In the case of Sega there have been some hits and misses. I can’t really point out good ones because there are many of their series that I have never watched like the Evangelion movies and Persona 4. Those that I have seen are rather okay and passable like World Destruction, Sakura Taisen and Shining Hearts. Some are just mediocre and fail like Shining Tear and the more recently dreadful Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation. Remembering the funny and nostalgic Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls, maybe there is still hope for Sega still although this anime was released way back in 2009.
Alicia Melchiott is part of the Bruhl Patrol and is evacuating the townspeople because the evil Imperial will soon launch its attack. Her fellow colleague, Susie Evans report of a possible spy at the bridge. Alicia rendezvous with Jean and Miguro to watch the spy noting down in his notebook. When they confront him, he claims he is just sketching trout. Indeed he is but they think it is some code and take him away. When she learns his name is Welkin Gunther, she becomes more suspicious because that family name is supposed to be a well respected one in the Patrol. The emergency siren goes off and Alicia has to go for a meeting with her superiors about the possible delay of reinforcements that will put a damper to their plans. Then she returns to tie him up in a shed although he pleads to be released and promises to be back because he needs to go get someone. Not buying it. Jean and Miguro wonder if the Imperial is really going to attack this place so Alicia reminds them about the history about the war between Eastern Europa Empire Alliance and Atlantic Federation to control the important resource called Ragnite. Therefore Gallia must fight to protect itself. She returns to the meeting and after it ends, she sees Welkin escaping before her eyes. She goes after him but she hasn’t the guts to shoot. Once she catches up in the forest, he has her keep quiet because they spot the Imperial scouts from a distance. Welkin mentions the person he is supposed to get is his younger sister, Isara. The scouts spot them and they run. Thank goodness they are all bad shots. When they take refuge inside a manor, Alicia couldn’t understand why he is familiar with the place. Then it hit her. Could he be the son of the famous general that saved Gallia in the first war? Yup. Alicia almost got beheaded by Isara in the kitchen thinking she was an intruder. Alicia thinks the siblings are liars since Isara has the Darcsen looks. She has them raise their hands in the air but a rocket propeller rocks the place. Alicia drops her gun. Isara picks it up and shoots the enemy scout at the window. Now you trust her? Isara guides them to the back where more weapons are stored. When the scout reinforcements are here, Alicia throws the old fashion grenade to silence them. Isara then unveils the biggest weapon they can use: A tank!
This tank, Edelweiss was created by Isara’s biological Darcsen father (this means Isara is adopted into Welkin’s family) and it is loaded up and has enough fuel for the ride. They surprise the enemy by barging through them. They return and reunite with the other patrol members who aren’t too thrilled Isara is a Darcsen. When Alicia reports of the advancing Imperial army, the patrol deputy is upset that her act will lead them straight to this town. She believes the enemy is in disarray after seeing an unknown tank and will definitely come after them. They will just need to hold out till the town people evacuate. Welkin couldn’t be more embarrassing in his timing to ask the question when they can retreat. You can’t blame him as he has never been in the front lines and need to take care of himself. There are a couple of tanks the patrol has but they are in unworthy condition. While they try to start it up, the rest go fend off the Imperial army. If you’re wondering why the enemy could stand in the open without getting shot unlike the Bruhl Patrol, hiding behind sand bags and yet they die, it’s because… Better weapons… With so many dead, the deputy returns for the tank. Unheeding Isara’s advice, he sets out in it. Sure, he destroyed a tank but he soon runs out of fuel. Sitting duck. Enemy is here. Bang! Game over. The injury and death toll is taking a toll and it is only a matter of time they succumb. With the patrol chief returning to confirm the completion of evacuees and the Gallian army will be here soon, Alicia, Welkin and Isara will ride Edelweiss to stall the enemy so the patrol can escape. Edelweiss is fast, flexible and powerful. It even deflects bullets! Eat this! With the Gallian army coming, the Imperial side retreats. In the sad aftermath fate of Bruhl, the Gallian army decides to abandon it. Alicia is sad the war has ravaged her home and to just think she was just working in a bakery here a few years ago. Because of this, she decides to join the militia to end the war so that the death of her comrades will not be in vain. When Alicia is summoned to give the commander the report on Bruhl’s retreat, guess who she bumps into? Welkin! Did he join the army too?
Eleanor Varrot makes Welkin the commander of Squad 7. Despite having no actual combat experience, his heroics at Bruhl is enough to be considered so. He gets permission to bring Edelweiss under his care this means Isara is also assigned to his squad. But it is bad news for Alicia because she is assigned to be Welkin’s assistant. They meet Welkin’s university friend, Faldio Landzaat who is the commander of Squad 1. Faldio wonders why he joined the militia seeing he hates fighting and there were many ways for him to avoid being drafted. After experiencing Bruhl, he thought he must end the war fast and return to that place. Welkin addresses his squad but some like Largo Potter and Brigitte “Rosie” Stark already dislike him for being a greenhorn ranking higher above them. Welkin talks about the most important in battle is not experience but their lives. He promises to do his best to protect them. Varrot has the squad commanders in briefing in a next mission to take over Vasel Town as its bridge is a crucial location that connects to the capital city of Randgriz. The squads are to sortie their team there. Things aren’t looking good for the Gallian side and Welkin has another set of problems on his hand. Largo and Rosie spite Isara as a Darcsen. Welkin then decides to make a bet because he knows this is clearly a question whether or not he is fit to be their commander. Give him 2 days and they will take the other side of the bridge. If successful, they will follow his orders. Otherwise he will resign as the squad leader. That night, the area is shrouded in fog. Welkin knew about this because he spotted the swallows flying low and could be a sign of low air pressure. So he summons his squad to cross over. Not via bridge but by river. The non-believers cannot believe a tank can cross water. That is why Edelweiss will do it. The siblings ride the tank underwater and they have to go faster as water is sipping in. The rest follow behind via boat. When it resurfaces, Edelweiss continuously attacks the enemy to confuse them about the numbers. With Squad 7 flanking the enemies at the bank, the confused enemies give up thinking they are outnumbered. By day, Gallian has taken control of the bridge. With Welkin winning the bet, they agree to follow his orders but this doesn’t mean they will accept Isara. The hate is strong…
The Imperial generals are discussing about Vasel’s defeat. Imperial Prince Maximilian will not be cowed by this setback and must stem them before they grow bigger. His tactic is to push the Gallians back by increasing their forces where the resistance is strong. Therefore it is necessary to reinforce the supply route through Kloden. He sends Berthold Gregor there to take command and Radi Jaeger to support him. Selvaria Bles will accompany him to Barious Desert. Welkin and Alicia are summoned by General Georg von Damon. His Regular troops plan to cut off the supply lines at Kloden. Thus he wants Squad 7 to stay out of this thinking they will be a burden unless they would like to be their shield. That Vasel victory was just luck he thinks. Welkin agrees not to participate. Of course his squad isn’t too happy that Welkin did not retaliate after Damon looked down upon their squad like that but Welkin’s order to stay out is clear. So what will they do? Cleaning and laundry… Gregor arrives at Kloden. So do Damon and his troops. When the Gallian side attacks, Gregor orders a decoy troop to the front lines as bait although this will cause casualties. He doesn’t care as he will counter the Gallian force with a bigger attack then. Damon’s troops suffer heavy damage. Like the coward he is, he runs. Only he survived the onslaught and everybody else died. Thus Varrot explains how lucky Squad 7 is by staying out of it. However orders from central HQ will have Squad 7 assault Kloden. Welkin tells his team about this and they are revved up to show those Regulars what they are made of. But it is not only Squad 7 who will be going in alone. Squad 1 will be supporting them too. Because Faldio won’t let Welkin steal all the glory.
Squad 7 and Squad 1 are at the outskirts of Kloden. Alicia thought there is a spy in the bushes. Rosie intercepts it but it turns out to be a pig? With wings? Alicia wants to keep it to avoid it being on the dinner plate of somebody?! It then hit Welkin what their plan will be. As there is an animal trail in the forest, this will lead to the base. Edelweiss and the main attacking team will be the decoy to attack the base from the front while another team will travel via the animal trail and flank them. Edelweiss begins the attack. Alicia and Faldio are part of the flanking team. They reach the base and Alicia is feeling nervous that she couldn’t think. Faldio plays a prank on her and though it startles her, he tells her being nervous makes her weaker than any soldier and it will also make others nervous. And yes, believe in Welkin. As told many times, he is a man who does things when he needs to. The flanking catches the enemy by surprise. Although Alicia get shot in the leg, don’t worry, she is such a strong girl and won’t let this little wound slow her down. Gregor is furious that his numbers cannot best a small army. Jaeger tells Gregor to retreat. It might be painful to lose this base but they must cut their losses. As much as Gregor doesn’t like this idea, he orders his troops to load up the Ragnite and retreat. As the Imperial army escapes, Alicia wants to chase after them but Welkin stops her. Faldio suggests using this momentum to their advantage. However Welkin explains their orders were to occupy this base. This might be detrimental for their side in the future but if an enemy general made the wise call to retreat his troops when the situation changed, it is dangerous to depend on the momentum when facing a commander who gave such a decisive order. Jaeger also notices the Gallian side has a wise commander because he chose not to chase them. The success of this mission gives Alicia the more reason to keep the pig. She names it Hans.
Irene Ellet, a reporter from GBS Radio gets permission to interview Welkin. Despite his good looks, Alicia knows how different this guy is and if the public finds out who he really is, this will not only bring down the militia and Squad 7 but ultimately herself whom she is an assistant to. She needs to stop this interview. Sorry girl. While you were being paranoid, Welkin already accepted it. Making it odder, Alicia answers all questions on his behalf and makes Welkin agree to them! Of course Ellet feels something suspicious and will get to know Welkin via his other members. As Alicia is about to go stop her, she is confronted by Varrot. My, what a long lecture on the do’s and don’ts of the interview… But Ellet isn’t faring well either. Just how weird is Squad 7? Largo talking about his vegetables, Rosie trying to sing, there is this one guy who is gay and Susie and the other girls are taking time dolling up themselves till they realize this is a radio interview. No pictures… And why the heck did Ellet interview Hans too?! Wherever Ellet tries to interview Welkin, there Alicia is intercepting. So will Alicia follow wherever Welkin goes? Except the men’s toilet… But there is where Ellet is waiting. She tries to seduce him in hopes he would open up because she believes Alicia’s strange acting means there is something to hide. Alicia wondering why he is taking so long, barges in and misinterprets they are having a scandal. Nothing happening. Because Ellet promised she would do anything, Welkin has her throw his squad a BBQ party. All the glorious meat! Since they cannot finish it, Squad 1 is called to join in. Before long, some petty jealousy has both sides in a big brawl. Things are thrown, punches are made. But at the end of it all, they make up, drink up and become friends. Yeah, confusing, right? In that chaos, Ellet takes the opportunity to talk to Welkin. Once she learns why he isn’t like typical commanders who are strict and stiff, she understands what Alicia was trying to hide. The real interview starts. Alicia is depressed thinking the militia’s reputation is doomed. But when Ellet’s broadcast is played live, she praises all about Squad 7. But in the end, she surprises everyone that she doesn’t really understand Welkin and will one day interview him again. Oh dear. Does she really need to come back again?
Damon is back to his arrogant ways like as though that humiliation never happened. As he plans his next mission at Fouzen, Varrot makes a suggestion but he scoffs her off and instead gives her an investigation mission to Barious Desert. Squad 7 must be a jovial squad. The guys gambling, Alicia is baking good bread and Welkin sketching his wildlife. Only that uptight kid from Squad 1, Ramal Valt seems to disagree with all that. Wet blanket. Even more so he doesn’t believe they have a Darcsen fighting on their side. This is a perfect chance for them all to discuss about the Darcsen Calamity that happened 2000 years ago right at this spot, Barious Ruins. Of course there are many theories and inconsistencies. Also the Darcsen records themselves do not tell of such conflict. So our related parties head to the ruins to further their investigation. I think Isara is giving an excuse not to go and would just stay back to fix the vehicle. And I think Ramal has a thing for Isara because he changed his mind to stay back to watch over her in case somebody attacks. Welkin, Alicia and Faldio read the old scriptures of the ruins about the calamity, the war that devastated the continent between the Darcsen and Valkyrur races that result the latter being wiped out despite being the more powerful one. Also in the ruins are Maximilian and Selvaria to find the legendary lance. Selvaria initiates and opens some chambers. Faldio thought lucky girl Alicia did something because a chamber nearby them also opens and it reveals more scriptures that would decipher the real truth of this calamity. Welkin has his reservations to venture further since they don’t know what lies ahead but Faldio is insistent as he doesn’t want to let Damon hog all the credit. Who wouldn’t be happy if you are the first to discover something this big? While examining the scriptures, that is when both sides meet.
Alicia tells the Imperials to get out of her land. However Maximilian replies this isn’t theirs either. It belongs to Valkyrur. Thought they were extinct? Selvaria is their descendent. Alicia panics and accidentally fires a shot but Selvaria deflects it with her sword. Once Maximilian gets what he is looking for, he returns to his giant monster tank and has it destroy the entire ruins. Apparently it is cue for our Gallian soldiers to get out but Faldio wants to confirm what Maximilian said first. Is he that desperate? Welkin pushes Alicia towards Faldio from a falling slab before the entire ceiling caves in and separates them. Isara and Ramal head to the ruins and only see Welkin. He promises to save the others. What else for Faldio and Alicia to do but talk about how awesome and mysterious Welkin is. This includes during their university days where there was this hot chick whom all the guys bet who will be the first to approach her. Guess who? But you know what Welkin first said to her when he usurped the rest? He was interested in her cheekbones and wanted to sketch it! Definitely worth a slap. Ironically they became close although he didn’t see her as a woman. When Welkin’s voice echoes through the rubble, they communicate. Then there are uninvited guests: Lizards! Don’t worry, they’re harmless. And cute. Welkin knows that because they are seeking shelter from the desert’s cold, there must be spaces big enough for them to crawl in and thus the duo need to find that space to crawl out. Welkin knows where the exit will be because the scriptures were inscribed on Ragnite and thus its light is being reflected. They reunite and Alicia hugs Welkin the first thing. But what is the first thing Welkin asked her? About the lizards! This guy… We continue Welkin’s ‘university love story’, Faldio talking to him about saying empty words to that chick. Welkin isn’t worried because he knows she has made the right choice and will be alright (although Welkin rejected her). They were at her wedding ceremony. Lastly, the battle at Fouzen, Gallia totally lost. Still, Gregor isn’t satisfied because his ‘favourite tank’ didn’t show up.
Maximilian is summoned back to the capital since Central is not happy with his war record. He orders Selvaria to stay behind. Central has also sent a few aides for the generals and one of them being Karl Oswald who is to be Selvaria’s aide. However Selvaria always keeps her distance and never giving him a proper response, confusing this kid a lot. Meanwhile at the capital, the crown prince and his cronies can’t wait to take over the throne once the emperor kicks the bucket. However he feels the need to eliminate an obstacle. His cronies already assured it is already being carried out. Selvaria is about to go to Maximilian and would have if not for Karl reminding her she would be betraying Maximilian’s orders. Flashback reveals that Karl is under orders to keep Selvaria away from Maximilian. When he returns to his quarters, an assassin congratulates his job well done and will kill him since he has outlived his usefulness. After all, an elite soldier from Central committing suicide from demotion is not uncommon. Luckily Selvaria slices him up. Once Karl tells what he knows, Jaeger believes he is caught up in a conspiracy from the higher ups. Karl becomes distraught that he has nowhere to return after this. This reminds Selvaria of something similar. But Maximilian offered his hand. She does the same to him. Noting that Maximilian’s life is in danger (speaking of which, assassins have already infiltrated his place of stay and trying to kill him), they ride all the way there. Be prepared for bumpy short cuts. They made it in time as Selvaria shows why she is known as the Blue Witch as she cuts all assassins (and bullets!) into half! To their relief, Maximilian is fine because he too can fight and sliced up a couple of assassins himself. Next day, Maximilian sees the emperor who berates him of his recent failures and will continue to be observed and his troops subject to reduction. The crown prince isn’t pleased Maximilian is still alive. When they cross path, he warns Maximilian to watch over his shoulders. Right back at him too. Karl has found his new place under Selvaria and he is quite happy about it.
Alicia has Welkin to thank for when they take shelter in a cabin as he predicted a blizzard would be coming. So… You’d be expecting some sort of romance, right? She wants him to talk about Squad 7 or even himself but all that guy got is animal stories. She didn’t sign up for Animal Planet… He credits his father for making him have an interest in nature since he was an avid insect collector. Alicia notes it is nice to have a family since she is an orphan. Welkin adds his complicated family that despite his dad being proclaimed as a war hero, he couldn’t save his wife who died in the war. Just when you think the mood is right, the warm fire, cuddling up close together, Alicia looking like she is making her first move… Then Welkin chickens out and says to get some rest. Some romance we’re expecting, huh? Deep in the night, they are awakened when footsteps are heard. As they prepare themselves, a mad soldier from the Imperial barges in and threatens to let go a bomb in his hand. The standoff continues… Meanwhile Squad 7 members are anxiously waiting. They believe something has happened to them. As Largo is in charge, he will wait for 2 more hours and then decide since the longer they wait, the more dangerous it will get as they are in enemy’s territory. When Alicia notices the soldier’s injuries, she becomes daring and dares him to shoot at her because she wants to treat his wounds. Before they are soldiers, they are human beings. Despite doing her best, the soldier knows he has not long to live so he tells his story as his last will. He was a farmer in the empire and like many believed the better life if you rise up through the military. Over the years, the many wars fought, the many enemies killed, the many friends who have died, he started questioning what is it that he wanted from this war. That is when he ran away. The wounds he got are from his fellow soldiers shooting at him for trying to dessert the army. Once he learns their names, he summons all his strength to put back the safety pin in the bomb. His final wish is that they remember him and his name, Michael Weber. Sadly, he dies. Next morning when the weather is clear, the Imperial army find Michael’s grave outside the cabin. The commander doesn’t want his men to give chase since he knows the enemy respected a fallen comrade by burying him. Welkin and Alicia get a surprise as they see Squad 7 still waiting for them. They never stopped believing, right?
Cordelia gi Randgriz, the princess of Gallia like any girls her age would rather be outside playing with nature instead of listening to an old fart teaching her political stuffs that won’t do her any good. She is also hosting a banquet and Welkin and co are also invited. On the surface this banquet might look like to celebrate the victories at Vasel and Kloden but its true purpose is to raise the Randgriz family’s influence. Ellet is also here to get any big scoop but with all the stuck ups, it is hard to get anything out of them although her reporter guts tell her something interesting is going to happen. Selvaria and Jaeger are also here masquerading as a noble couple for an infiltration mission. So when Selvaria and Alicia see each other, things are going to get more interesting. Cordelia gives her speech but it sounds so boring, robotic, monotonous and her face is all written over that says I-wish-I-wasn’t-here. The rest of the ceremony is handled by Maurits von Borg, Gallia’s Prime Minister and Cordelia’s close aide. Welkin and Faldio receive their medals for their bravery. As Alicia takes some fresh air, she is surprised Jaeger approaches her. Since she is still suspicious, he lets her know a warning and to tell it to her friends too. Faldio knows Welkin doesn’t want the medal and is here on behalf of Varrot to show face. Faldio wants to know about his relationship progress with Alicia especially that one night with her in the cabin. Sorry to disappoint but nothing happened. You should have known better that his head is only filled with lizards and dung beetles… When Alicia tells what happens to the guys, Welkin goes to find Isara. Since Alicia is still uneasy the way Jaeger kissed her hand, Faldio gives her a piece of the inscription he collected from Barious to calm her nerves. Shortly after Cordelia retires to her room (must be a tiring day, huh?), she gets kidnapped. Alicia got lost trying to find Welkin and sees Cordelia being hauled away. Too bad she too gets knocked out and taken away. It is no surprise that Borg is the ringmaster behind this.
Karl reports Cordelia being kidnapped as expected. However he also saw another unidentified hostage. When Faldio and Welkin reunite, they know something is wrong when Alicia is not with either. They go search around and they mistake Jaeger and Selvaria may have a hand in this since Selvaria picked up Alicia’s dropped inscription. Making a big assumption that Alicia is also kidnapped, they dismiss the Imperial will not gain from doing this and deduced somebody must be hungry for power to even sell out Gallia. Indeed because Borg’ plan is to make known Cordelia’s defection to the Federation. This will make Gallia under the Federation’s control and Borg will be put in charge of the new territory. Welkin suggests both sides to cooperate. It will benefit them. By saving the ladies, the Empire can stop Gallia from becoming part of the Federation. Alicia and Cordelia wake up on the back of the truck. Alicia plans for their escape but Cordelia is not interested. She has resigned to her fate and doesn’t care what happens to herself. When Faldio and Welkin catch up to the truck, the kidnapper is dumb and useless enough to let them hijack. Alicia wants Cordelia to jump onto Edelweiss and Welkin will catch her. Too bad she continues being pessimistic. She doesn’t want to be rescued since nothing will change. Alicia then scolds her for the spoilt brat she is. Change of heart? But the kidnapper takes Alicia hostage (how the f*ck did he climb back up at such a high speed chase on a narrow cliff road?!). Any funny moves, he’ll shoot Alicia in the head. But Welkin pulls out his gun. What is he thinking? Even the kidnapper panics. Luckily Welkin shoots and wounds him. Alicia gives the signal for Cordelia to jump into Welkin’s arms. Faldio finally wrests control from the driver and steps on the brakes in time before it goes off the cliff. Phew. Meanwhile Jaeger and Cordelia successful defeat the accomplices the kidnappers are supposed to hand over Cordelia to. Cordelia is returned to the palace before sunrise. She decides not to let the public know about this issue as she doesn’t want her people to panic. But Alicia and Welkin’s words have given her new hope to try and do something to change her country. Later Faldio asks Welkin how he can aim the gun while Alicia is a hostage. Saving Cordelia was the priority. If he missed? He never thought so. He thought there is this trust between them and everything will be okay. With Welkin continuing to be his happy-go-lucky self, Faldio gets serious and makes him sweat. What will he do if Faldio tells him he loves Alicia? He’s not joking. You looking very stunned, Welkin.
Despite Gallia is doing well recently, Daman is not pleased. Because the militia is usurping the Regulars especially Welkin’s reputation is rising among the military. He decides to send the militia to a death mission at Fouzen. While many other squads suffer casualties as a result from the missiles from the armed locomotive commanded by Gregor, Esel, Squad 1 and Squad 7 are silently infiltrating Fouzen. This town is rich in Ragnite and whoever controls it may turn the tide of the war. They meet up with resistance leader, Zaka. He is a Darcsen and Rosie doesn’t restrain herself in letting him know how much she hates that race. Not that he cares anyway but he warns that this is their town and they cannot do anything without them. Zaka explains when this town fell into the Imperial’s hands, a concentration camp of Darcsen all over the continent was brought here to mine Ragnite. Thus the resistance has been fighting to release their kind. The midnight mission at Fouzen is a 3 pronged attack. The teams are split into 3 divisions. One team is to destroy Esel which is the greatest obstacle to capture Fouzen, another team will assault the mining base that is serving as the command centre and the final team will liberate the concentration camp. Rosie gets permission to go out but under condition she is accompanied by Zaka. When Imperial soldiers pass them, Zaka has to cover her by faking a rape scene. She isn’t too pleased, though. She warns him she is a militia first before a woman. But he replies that she is more human than anyone else. All teams are on standby as they get ready to carry out their mission.
The assault begins and proceeds smoothly. The Darcsen prisoners are freed. Many run but a handful stay back to help with the riot as a diversion. Although the resistance and Gallian sides use the darkness to their advantage, it isn’t long before the Imperial side brightens everything up with flares. Isara and Ramal steal an enemy tank to increase their advantage. Alicia almost got shot by a sniper but Faldio rescues her. Add that to the list of seemingly romantic moments for the duo and another worry for Welkin. Zaka and Rosie plant a bomb on the tracks so when Esel passes, they will blow it up. Gregor knows the Gallian side is behind the attack since the resistance cannot have such organized force. He senses something amiss when the Imperial is still losing despite their strength. When he gets to know Squad 7 is part of this operation, he sets Esel into motion. The bomb goes off but only half of it detonated. Despite derailed, it still can fire its cannon. Gregor broadcasts to his enemies to retreat now or he will fire at the escaping Darcsen. This is of course to buy them time. When they come out of their hiding, they will be shot. Welkin is hesitating as he cannot come up with a good plan. He knows they will be killed if they come out of their hiding. Since it is taking too long, Faldio takes over command and orders to attack. Gregor expected this and fires the cannon, killing all the escaping Darcsen. Apparently Rosie is the maddest. What can she do when she charges at Esel? Zaka saves her before the guns make her into Swiss cheese. Isara’s tank then shoots the other half of the bombs to fully blow up Esel. Gregor admits his defeat and resigns to his death fate but warns that the Gallian’s actions have caused deaths of innocent Darcsen. Everyone mourns over the bodies of the Darcsen people. None as emotional as Rosie. And you thought she hated them.
After what happened, it is reasonable that nobody is in the mood. With no missions at hand, Varrot has the militia rest and relax with a simple banquet. With a suggestion that every squad puts up a performance, Squad 7 is eager to hear Rosie sing. However she does not agree with it and gives an excuse she will not sing before a Darcsen. Welkin goes to convince her but the only way he is going to get her to sing is if he orders her. She will not disobey it. Since he won’t do that, tough luck. Isara feels guilty for being that cause and ironically gets the unlikeliest advice from Ramal to push forward (he was probably just to see her face). So Isara confronts Rosie and knows she felt sad for what happened at Fouzen. Despite her hate for Darcsen, Isara wants her to treat her as Isara and not a Darcsen. She mustn’t run away although her past his shackling her down. This is when Rosie discloses her past. During a time when the hunt for to purge Darcsen was at its peak by the Imperial, Rosie’s family lived in a town where there were many Darcsen. Her family was forced to hide some and they threatened to kill them if they rat them out. When an Imperial patrol comes over to check, a misunderstanding has them panic so the Darcsen shoot everybody, killing Rosie’s parents. Only Rosie survived. Isara feels sad but she still wants her to sing for everyone. In exchange she will not participate. Isara tells this to Welkin who is of course against it. He doesn’t want her to be singled out or sacrificed. But since she put it in a way to respect her wishes, he has no choice. Eventually Faldio learns about it from Alicia’s complaints (because she is mad Welkin won’t do anything about it) so he weaves his magic to take Isara along. With everything that has happened so far, Rosie makes tonight an exception, delighting Isara. Everybody has a good time and in awe hearing Rosie’s magical voice. The morale of the militia is back to normal at the end. That is when Faldio takes this chance to confess to Alicia he loves her.
With the fall of Fouzen to Gallia and the loss of Gregor, the war has not been advantageous to the Imperial. But Maximilian has his own plans. More flashbacks on how Selvaria and Maximilian met. She was hiding in his blue rose garden. Because he gave her a chance to exist, today she is able to walk under the sun and beside him. Alicia has been spacing out and almost burnt her bread. After Faldio confessed, she just ran away. Even Welkin couldn’t pay attention during the squad briefing. Largo noticing him as such, takes him to a makeshift tent bath to talk. He knows what is going on because he too experienced something similar. Largo had a best friend too during his heydays in the militia. Nice handsome guy as a friend. Largo was introduced to newbie Varrot then on the same squad. He was smitten with her and tried to communicate. But he never confessed after he realized his best friend also liked her. It was one of those thoughts of whether to value friendship or being true to your feelings. But before any sort of complicated decisions could be made, his best friend sacrificed himself. He too chose friendship as there were too many problems arising at that point. Largo accidentally reveals Varrot’s name so he warns surprised Welkin not to tell others or else. Love must be in the air too because as Isara leaves the base for town, Ramal is ‘coincidentally’ there to give her a lift. See how happy he is when she calls him by his name? He must be imagining… Alicia can’t stand moping around so she confronts Welkin. She knows things have been awkward between them lately and hopes they can go back to how it used to be. Welkin is glad because he thought she hated him. Reconciliation seems to be on the tracks till Welkin made this mistake of mentioning Faldio’s name. Oh boy. Alicia reveals Faldio’s confession and wants to know what she should do. I know it is not Welkin’s place to decide but my guts tell me Alicia is mad. Even if Welkin paints Faldio as a good guy, you can tell she’s mad. If that is how he feels and thinks, then there is nothing else to be said. Yup, she’s mad. Welkin returns to his room and sees Isara preparing a splendid meal for him. At least tonight is not getting any worse.
Varrot tells Welkin Squad 7’s next operation. They are going to take the Imperial’s strong fort at Mulberry Beach and the only way to access it via sea. The enemy has heavily fortified the cliffs and coming by sea means no cover. Well, since it is a plan from Damon to test waters, I guess you know what this means, right? Ellet then shows Welkin photos of Damon and Borg together. They have been meeting a lot lately and she feels something big is coming up although she hopes to be wrong. After Welkin informs his squad of the next mission which is during the Festival of Spirits, Alicia chides Welkin for always apologizing and blaming himself. It is not what a commander should do. Rosie believes he got arrogant after getting the medal and now the squad is being targeted by jealous people. Fortunately the rest of the squad throw their support behind Welkin and rev themselves up to fight the enemy. Alicia’s mind is so preoccupied that she burnt her hands while trying to save her baking bread. Faldio assists in cooling them down, though Alicia takes her leave shortly. So the Festival of Spirits is like giving gifts to your loved ones? Faldio comes to check on Alicia’s wound and it is perfectly healed within the short span of days. He then gives her the inscription. Welkin sees this and he looks worried. As Welkin surveys the beach and notices the wind conditions, Isara shows him smoke bombs which she has diligently made. She is not sure if they will work under the wind conditions but an idea just cropped up in Welkin’s head. He briefs his squad to attack during periods when there is no wind. Isara gives Rosie a doll for the festival. It is a Darcsen charm. The battle at Mulberry goes in favour for the Gallians as the smoke bombs cover the enemy’s visibility. The charm proves to be a life saver because had not Rosie bend down to pick it up, her head would have been blown off. She just got a flesh wound on her arm and everybody is so worried? Yeah, how many Imperial enemies did they kill? With Gallian reinforcements arriving, the enemy is forced to retreat. Yet another victory for Gallia. Rosie thanks Isara for the charm. A lone Imperial soldier wants to get his last revenge and aims at them. Isara gets shot in the chest! Isara… NOOO!!!!!!!!!
Our worst fears have come true. ISARA IS DEAD!!!!!!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!!!! A gloomy day as Squad 7 and Squad 1 attend her funeral. Ramal is emotionally most affected and blames Welkin for not taking his sister along. She blames him as Isara’s killer. Faldio tells him to calm down and not see off Isara with angry feelings. Everyone is shocked when Welkin tells them to forget about this fast as they have many more battles to fight. This is what Isara would have wanted. Some members thought of cheering Welkin up by bringing him some beetle they found. Instead, he wants them to rest if they have energy to worry about him. Rosie as the only one who didn’t attend the funeral is recuperating in hospital. She still has recurring nightmares of watching Isara die. She remembers she furiously gunned down the perpetrator and desperately trying save Isara, Isara wanted her to sing a song. Too late for her to sing any song because Isara died with a smile. Rosie as expected blames herself that she should have been more alert. Damon is not happy despite Gallia’s victory and Mulberry. He is interested in the smoke bombs and orders Squad 7 to gather. When he learns the creator is dead and nobody else knows how to make it, he orders them to find the blueprints. He sees a Darcsen mark on Edelweiss and becomes furious. He disrespects it and Rosie beats him up. Fatty general cannot even fight… Welkin apologizes and will bear all responsibility. Damon orders him to find the blueprints or he will consider this as military offence. Although it isn’t Welkin’s fault, he will still take responsibility (and all of it) otherwise Rosie will be punished.
Alicia finds some of the squad members trying to dig a pit as trap for that fatty general. They won’t listen to her to stop and even dare her to report to Damon. Alicia talks to Welkin about this but he too isn’t interested in stopping them. If they won’t listen to her, what are the chances they will to him? Alicia doesn’t want him to bear the sorrow alone and at this rate he will be distancing himself from everybody. He wants to be left alone but Alicia won’t. Because she loves him. Oops. Okay, now she leaves him alone. On her way out, she bumps into Faldio. She accidentally drops the inscription in which it was temporarily glowing. Faldio finds out what is wrong and talks to the squad members. He isn’t going to stop them but finds their method inefficient. Because the military is filled with people like Damon, even though they get rid of him, another one will replace him. So the best way is to fight and win. Win and get peace back for Gallia. This is the only way to honour Isara’s death. Time to cover back the hole. Rosie visits Isara’s grave and sings for her. Faldio goes to talk to Welkin who as usual blames himself unfit to be a commander for failing to protect Isara. Faldio chides him 3 of his squad members have been discharged and he never once said he failed to protect them. So what is he? God? Just a fool wallowing in self pity. Welkin agrees to that but this upsets Faldio that he punches him. Feeling better?
With operation orders expected to come in, all personnel are ordered to rest and wait for the next orders. Welkin and Alicia put aside their difference to continue working but the rest know they are the most painfully affected. Varrot summons Welkin and tells him their next mission is to take over Bruhl. Rosie is surprised that Zaka is here. He learns about Isara’s death but this is nothing new to him since he has watched countless of his comrades die. It is how you react and move on. Zaka is here because he has joined Squad 7 to be Edelweiss’ replacement driver. Meanwhile Welkin has to pack up Isara’s belongings. He never realized she had so little stuffs. It was the same when his father brought her home. Because she moved frequently, she only packed necessary things. Welkin said it won’t be necessary anymore since they will always be together. Faldio researches more on Valkyrur and he deduces Alicia is its descendent. Squad 7 moves out ready to recapture Bruhl, the birthplace of some Squad 7 members including Welkin. They fight the enemy but I believe they aren’t that aggressive because even so, the enemy just surrenders. Even the command centre at Bruhl gives up without a fight! Welkin goes to visit his old home. He sees visions of Isara. He feels bitter. He feels sorrow. He feels mad he should have done something else to save Isara then. Alicia knows how he feels. Because she was with him the entire time. Welkin then asks after all the pain and suffering, why can he not cry. Alicia just hugs him. Then all the tears come out lie the dam walls crumble. Better for him to cry all his heart out. He is going to need it. Once done, he joins Alicia outside watching the Edelweiss flowers growing nicely while they hold hands.
Maximilian relays bad news to his generals. Due to their recent failures and the lost of Gregor, the emperor will be relieving him of his commander post in a month. They are not willing to use resources for a single country when they should be concentrating on fighting the Federation. Of course Maximilian isn’t going to follow orders so he takes his entire army for a decisive battle at Naggiar Plains. No doubt their size will draw out the Gallian forces. This is part of their plan to wipe them all out at one go. Varrot relays the Imperial’s impeding attack to the squad leaders. But Welkin believes Gallia has the advantage because the enemy must be pushed to a corner to resort to this tactic. With Gallia’s recent victories, the Imperial wants to win this one to turn the tide and get some results. As the battle rages on, Squad 7 continues to serve as the rear because jealous Damon doesn’t want them to gain more fame than they already have. Cordelia has also gone down to the battleground to give the Gallian troops a big morale booster. Faldio leads his Squad 1 in taking down the enemy tanks. Their confidence bolster when they manage to stop the big ones. Just when it seems Gallia is winning, Maximilian unleashes Selvaria. We almost forgot they’ve got a Valkyrur on their side too. OMG! Her lance fires devastating beams! And her tiny shield protects her entire body?! Too freaking awesome?! Selvaria then finishes off everybody with her super beam. Ramal saves Faldio by pushing him into the ditch before getting vaporized. It seems Faldio is the only survivor. He trudges back to base camp and he is clearly in shock. Not even Alicia can calm his soul. Maybe he needs more time alone. But the thought that Alicia is also a Valkyrur makes Faldio even more scared. He pulls out a gun and shoots her! OMFG! What have you done?!
Faldio carries Alicia to the infirmary. Squad 7 receives word that Alicia is gravely injured. At first Welkin wanted to go see her but realizes that his team needs to sortie. He decides to carry out his mission and at the same time protect Alicia. Damon must be sweating in his pants since Selvaria continues her slaughter over the Gallian troops. Man, is she on cheat code? So much so, Damon desperately pleads to Cordelia to go fight in the frontlines since she has the symbolic lance and shield! Then Faldio comes in wanting to borrow the lance and shield because he also believes they have another Valkyrur. They don’t believe him so he takes Cordelia hostage to do the necessary. Going back to the infirmary, it seems Alicia’s wounds are almost healed. Faldio explains Alicia’s Valkyrur powers will awaken when she returns from the brink of death. As proof, she starts glowing. Now Faldio is desperately trying to wake her up but to no avail. Selvaria has broken through the third line of defence. Squad 7 fires from all directions to keep her occupy (she can’t defend and attack at the same time). She was almost caught off guard by Largo and in her rage, he almost got killed by her. Welkin has no choice but to order his squad to retreat to the final defence line. Faldio continues to call Alicia. Then they hear Squad 7 retreating. She reacts when Welkin’s name is said. Faldio I suppose know what is going on so he uses Welkin’s name to his advantage. Alicia then wakes up like in a trance and goes to war. Not only the Gallians are surprised but the Imperials too. They never knew they had a Valkyrur. Now it is time for them to get a taste of their own medicine because Alicia also unleashes terrible beam blasts to obliterate the enemy! For the first time, Maximilian is agitated and losing his composure and orders his men to shoot Alicia. You think normal bullets can harm her? Then it is a showdown between the Valkyrur ladies. But it seems Alicia is superior. When Alicia targets Maximilian’s tank, Jaeger orders a retreat. Maximilian still lives and leaves with his troops. Gallian celebrate their miracle victory although Squad 7 is in shock about Alicia. Once she loses her Valkyria power, she collapses in Welkin’s arms.
Alicia was once part of a group of experimented children. A girl looking a lot like Selvaria helped her out. Alicia thought that obliteration was just a dream. Nope, it wasn’t. Welkin wants to go see Alicia but top brass has prevented anyone from seeing her. Damon and his generals discuss about using Alicia as their weapon against the Imperial. Against Varrot’s wishes, he will not consult her opinion and will immediately transfer Alicia to the Regulars. Welkin sees Faldio and is shocked to learn he is the one who shot Alicia. Faldio explains he noticed some of the signs Alicia had as a Valkyrur. The lance and shield amplified her power. Welkin is upset that he put Alicia through all that although Faldio is equally correct that had he not done all that, they would have been wiped out. He couldn’t stand seeing his squad annihilated while he is the only survivor. He knows Alicia will go through a lot now and hopes Welkin will support her. Welkin is still mad but seeing his confused face, he can’t stay mad forever. Meanwhile Jaeger is worried their loss will have serious implications since Central isn’t going to turn a blind eye to this. Maximilian doesn’t care since he has a trump card. Speaking of which, the engineering division has completed it. Damon goes to see Alicia, praising her for everything and then relaying the good news of her transfer and promotion. But Alicia doesn’t want this so the rest explains after displaying such power, nobody is going to see her the same. This means she doesn’t belong there anymore. Unfortunately Damon lies that Welkin agrees to her transfer but Alicia knows better than his BS. She runs out while believing that Welkin would never send her away. Meanwhile Squad 7 discusses about Alicia. Some are confused and feel they can’t interact with Alicia like before. Well, what do you know? Alicia heard all that so she thought they had said what they wanted. She’s just here to say goodbye now that she has been transferred. Welkin goes after Alicia. He explains they have always been fighting together. She took care of him when he was in sorrow after losing Isara so now it is his turn. But she tells him he doesn’t understand. She is no longer the Alicia everyone knows. She is a monster. I guess this is goodbye.
With Alicia in the frontlines, she just bulldozes through the enemy! Flawless victories! Meanwhile Jaeger is worried of Maximilian’s next move. He is not too happy that Maximilian plans to disobey Central. He claims he is no longer part of the empire and thus a ruler of his own nation. Jaeger is upset that this means he have followed him for naught but he has only himself to blame as it was his choice. He goes to see Selvaria who has distanced herself from Maximilian since. A little talk here and there, we find Jaeger’s hometown was destroyed by the Empire and the reason he follows Maximilian is that he hopes one day it will be rebuild. Squad 7 is worried about Alicia and wants to go see her. Of course the officials will not allow them. Things get heated up when they hear superiors badmouthing Alicia and even claiming credit for themselves over the recent victories. Then it descends into a big brawl. Welkin tries to stop them and even admonishes his own troops. But when the superior calls Alicia a monster, he punches him! Cordelia goes to talk and free Faldio. The officers then throw Welkin in and Cordelia demands them to show more respect to this decorated officer. Thanks to this, Welkin and Squad 7 are let off the hook. Damon is addressing his generals for the upcoming decisive final battle. He even lets Alicia have a few words. She hopes there will minimal casualties on both sides and will do whatever it takes to end the war quickly. The men applause like as though she meant leaving everything to her. I suppose they don’t even want to question why she looks so forlorn giving her speech. Only Cordelia shares her pain… Later Cordelia personally sees Alicia and wants to grant her a wish. Any wish. Alicia wants Squad 7 and Faldio to be kept safe and once the war is over, please let them return to their hometowns safely. Before the Gallian troops move out, Welkin is not pleased that Varrot relays orders that Squad 7 is to guard Cordelia. This is a personal request from her. However Welkin knows Alicia has a hand in this and goes to look for her. They did cross paths but Damon won’t allow her to see him since the troops are already moving out. All Welkin can do is scream her name. Selvaria returns to Maximilian and vows him victory. The rematch of the Valkyrur ladies is at hand.
Squad 7 safely escorts Cordelia back to her palace. Meanwhile the Valkyrur ladies are duking it out in an epic battle but Alicia is losing because she keeps wondering what she is fighting for as she has lost everything and no place to return. Alicia recognizes Selvaria from the orphanage and asks her why she can still fight like that. This has Selvaria remembering Alicia from the orphanage too and ‘advises’ her not to put unnecessary feelings into the battle. More flashbacks reveal that Selvaria was tested positive for her Valkyrur powers and named A1. Other orphans were released. She was subjected to abuse and testing so naturally she always tried to run away. One day she successfully escaped and hid in Maximilian’s garden. He found her, named her, called her to serve him and the rest is history as we know it. And thus this is the reason why Selvaria can still fight. Cordelia is shocked to hear that Maximilian himself is coming to negotiate for a ceasefire. At first she is suspicious but agrees to hear his conditions to end the war. He wants to marry her! Cordelia believes he just wants the throne to control Gallia but he claims by doing so all the in-fighting in the empire will stop as he will wield ultimate power and shape the world according to his ideals. However Cordelia says that is impossible. She says she is not of Valkyrur descent and takes off her wig. Well, what do you know? She is a Darcsen! Shocking, right? Meanwhile Alicia continues to lose till she starts remembering Squad 7. This is what gave her more strength to fight back and eventually win the rematch. Selvaria wants her to finish her off but Alicia won’t, believing that she too has someone precious. Selvaria thinks she doesn’t understand because the moment she lost, she has lost her worth. Alicia believes she still has a chance if she is still alive. Too bad if you’re as stubborn as Selvaria. She commits suicide by turning herself into a bomb? Is this a Valkyrur power? OMG! Atomic bomb?! It’s sad that she blew herself up this way but I hope Damon and those general blokes get caught and die in this blast too. Cordelia threatens to reveal her Darcsen lineage to her people and thus preventing Maximilian from obtaining the throne. Time to end the fake history. Viewing her as no longer of use, he orders Jaeger to initiate the operation. You mean steamrolling this giant dreadnought into the palace to pick him up? When Karl reports of Selvaria’s death, Maximilian is unfazed. This makes Karl mad that she died for his sake only to be shot by Maximilian. Know your place, small fry. And don’t get in my way. Scary.
There is fierce fighting going on at the palace. Emile gets shot. Another casualty for Squad 7? Welkin gets his groove back to command his squad and give them motivation to carry on fighting or else they can’t face Alicia. Once a giant Valkyrur spear relic hidden in the palace is fitted on the dreadnought, Maximilian orders a test fire at the mountains! Oh sh*t! Flattened only at 20% output?! Maximilian explains this spear’s power was what Valkyrur used to defeat Darcsen and oppress them. This land belonged to Darcsen and Valkyrur were the invaders. As victors of the war, they rewrote history and made themselves as legends and saviours. Maximilian then orders all Gallian forces to surrender. Welkin knows better this is the Imperial’s tactic to weaken their morale because they will not believe Alicia is dead. They must fight on. Now Maximilian turns the spear to fire at the palace. Jaeger wonders why Maximilian thirsts for so much power and feels he has an ulterior motive seeing they have technically conquered Gallia. But Maximilian asks him about hesitating now because he knows Jaeger used him as a stepping stone to get where he is now. Jaeger isn’t hesitating. He betted on his power that he could regain his country as long as he had military strength. But after invading Gallia, he is at a loss. Maximilian sacrificed his own comrades just for power and the Gallian who love their country cared for their companions.
All Maximilian needs is power. As long as you have that, attacking is the same as protecting. Jaeger wonders if this is for revenge. Partly. Flashback shows his mother died in some train ambush. In order to bury that hateful past with his father and brother, he will surpass the emperor and become ruler of Valkyria. As long as the spear is in his hands, that goal is within his reach. Jaeger warns of repeating the Darcsen Calamity but Maximilian will bear that fate as his destiny. When they fire, it seems Alicia stands between their way and her tiny spear could neutralize the big one! WOW! Squad 7 is happy to see Alicia and rush to provide her support. The Imperials keep firing at her and Maximilian could tell from his observations on Selvaria that Alicia cannot control her power effectively after a heavily fought battle. The spear recharges and they aim at her. Alicia uses her will to block the attack and deflect it back to damage part of the dreadnought. She then collapses from exhaustion. Maximilian orders Alicia’s capture. Jaeger once again disagrees of his motives to obtain her. Getting more power will only be more dangerous. This is the last straw as Jaeger will find another path to reach his goal. Maximilian points his gun at him. A gunshot is heard. After the Imperial soldiers retrieve Alicia, Welkin wants to go alone to rescue her. You think his squad is going to let him hog all the glory? They’re coming along. Faldio backs them up while Squad 7 races towards the dreadnought. Thank goodness the Imperial soldiers are bad shots and Faldio’s is so accurate.
Squad 7 infiltrates the dreadnought. The rest become the decoy so Welkin and Faldio can go look for Alicia. When Faldio gets shot, he tells Welkin to go ahead first. Welkin won’t abandon his friend but Faldio reminds him about why his comrades became the decoy. Don’t worry. He’ll catch up. It might be one of those times Faldio lies. Because he can’t keep his conscious and goes all out assaulting the enemy. Alicia is taken before Maximilian. He claims he has saved her and as long as she obeys, she can have anything. Alicia is disgusted with the way he categorize people into those who obey and those who don’t. She laments Selvaria died for his sake but Maximilian denies. It was Alicia who defeated her and then drove her to suicide. Alicia claims she is just a normal person but Maximilian replies that normal people are everywhere and have no value. She earns his wrath (and a big slap) when she tells him he must be talking about himself because he is afraid of his own lacking values. That is why he treats everyone like trash. By the time Welkin gets to Alicia, Maximilian is geared up in his artificial Valkyria spear and shield. Some technology of his using Ragnite that allows this weapon to replicate the original without having to rely on the empire or Valkyrur anymore. He wants Alicia and Welkin to fight so that he can show off his new powers. As they try to find his power source, they realize his weapon starts malfunctioning. Could it be because it cannot handle the power? Their plan is to overload the weapon.
When Welkin gets injured, Alicia becomes mad. Her Valkyrur power awakens as she holds down Maximilian. This causes her Valkyrur power to be infused into him and the weapon. The weapon malfunctions while his veins… Ugh. They’re bursting! Maximilian knows he is defeated but refused to be capture. So he kills himself but will also destroy this dreadnought and take everything with him. Alicia realizes her swelling power is the same like Selvaria. She is going to turn into an A-bomb. She tells Welkin to get away and protect everyone or they will be engulfed. You think Welkin cares? Instead he hugs her despite the power burning him. He returns her scarf and reminds her he will always be with her. It doesn’t matter if she is a Valkyrur or a baker. It is that part of Alicia that he loves. Then the much awaited kiss. I am guessing this kiss dissipates her overflowing Valkyrur power? As the dreadnought is collapsing, Squad 7 waits with anxiety for their captain. Then over the horizon, Welkin and Alicia are seen together. In the aftermath, the empire calls for a truce with Gallia. With the war over, many return to their hometown and families. If you look closely, Jaeger can be seen in the background. Susie from a noble family? Oh sh*t! I wouldn’t have guessed. Zaka and Rosie seems like they’re hitting off together. Cordelia reveals her true Darcsen origin to her people and they welcome her. Alicia and Welkin return to Bruhl.
3 minute specials from the DVD.
Beach episode! Of course for the Squad 7 girls only. We see them compliment each other’s swimsuit (nothing too risqué), play beach volleyball, play water, surf the wave, bare in the sun… Ah, yes such a fun outing. At the end of the day when they leave, Selvaria arrives. Waiting for her majesty who will never ever show up…
Now it is time for the festivals. This means our main characters in their lovely yukata. Nothing really much happening except when the fireworks start, it startles Alicia as she hugs Welkin. When the fireworks take a break, they realize their embarrassing position before resuming watching the fireworks again. And poor Selvaria. She too is watching the display alone and laments her highness’ no-show.
The young boys are tired after hard training. Ellet has a way to freshen them up as she shows pictures of the girls. We all know why Ramal can’t help stare into pictures with Isara but his pride won’t admit it. So you don’t want it? What are better than pictures of girls? Pictures of the faces of the girls sleeping! Again, Ramal why are you so infatuated with a sleeping photo of Isara? But what could beat such pictures? Ellet is about to reveal a racy picture of Alicia but Alicia caught her red handed and confiscates them all. And she has the guts to ask if there are pictures of Welkin. Oh, the racy picture is just Alicia sleeping in a crude position.
Selvaria is unsure what civilians wear so she has Karl do some research. I believe why he is so eager beaver is because he gets to dress up Selvaria in various outfits from a plain commoner even to the Gallian militia’s uniform! Where the heck did he get all those uniforms? The final outfit has Selvaria very reserved but Karl argues it is necessary if she is to fully understand his will. And so she puts on Maximilian’s garb and starts acting like him. Unknown to her, Maximilian spots this and just lets her be. Could he be considerate not to embarrass her? Or he just doesn’t care?
Maximilian and his generals are playing Old Maid. Jaeger and Gregor have reached their goal and all that is left are Maximilian and Selvaria. She is in a dilemma to let him win and decides to let him so but each time he is going to draw her joker, she quickly withdraws. This arouses his suspicions and he wonders if she is mocking him. So when he finally picks the joker, he wins the game. There are 2 joker cards?! Because this game is called Old Man?! Game for another round? Oh God it’s already morning…
Bath fanservice time. Hans is one lucky pig to be swimming with our Squad 7 girls. As usual, girls must target somebody to molest and the victim is Alicia. Then Varrot comes in and all the shenanigans stop. The girls ask about Varrot and Largo so she explains how they met and all. Varrot must be dense never noticing Largo’s feelings because she always thought he loves his flower farm so much that he always gave her different flowers. Yeah… Eventually Varrot goes on and on and on, lasting longer than a Duracell battery. All the girls have passed out from the heat. I wonder if Hans has turned into bacon…
You know this is going to be Hans’ episode when everybody suddenly wears pig ears and can only oink. Buuhi! Yes, Hans is now the new commander of Squad 7 and the only one who can speak in proper human tongue! From stopping the English populace from eating pork to saving the Randgriz palace from Imperials, man this pig is going places! And if you think all this is too good to be true, it is because it is just a nice dream from little piggy. Hey, even pigs can dream, right?
Cordelia feels the need to give a surprise gift for Welkin on his next visit. I’m not sure why all she has are animal headgears. Even more baffling is how she tries them on and tries to act like it. From a frog to a newt to a bunny, what was her intention again? None seems right as she tires herself out till early morning. That is when she realizes she is late for her English test. She makes haste but forgot she is wearing a chick headgear. But imagine her surprise when she sees Borg. He is not donning his wig… But Cordelia’s official headgear! My, is everyone here so absentminded?
This feels more like an extension and epilogue of the TV series. Alicia writes a letter to her squad members that she will be marrying Welkin. But due to their busy schedules (Welkin returning to university and Alicia getting her baker’s licence), they are unable to hold a ceremony for the time being. Of course everyone can’t sit around and agree to it as they arrive at Bruhl to give them a surprise and hold their own ceremony. It ends with a lovely wedding kiss. Last picture: The duo are blessed with a beautiful child.
Unrecorded Chronicles: Ta Ga Tame no Juusou
Taking place during the war between Imperial and Gallian sides where everybody you love or hate in the TV series are still alive, the Gallian army is fighting in a decimated town at night. The enemy is taking them by surprise and the darkness is shrouding their presence. Then they realize they are fighting Nameless, a group of renegade military members led by Kurt Irving. They are forced to flee with their tails between their legs. Maximilian plans his next assault on the capital and plans to capture the town of Dillsburg as their stepping stone. He assigns Darcsen Dahau to defend this town that is being stationed by Munchhausen. Similarly, Nameless is also going to take part in the fight at Dillsburg believing the enemy will not anticipate them. As they make their way there, one night while they are camping, a little girl strays into their camp and collapses. They find out that the Imperial army suddenly invaded her town and took everyone hostage. Nameless is in a dilemma to go save her village because of their depleted ammo. There is this thought that Gallia will send reinforcements to save the village but they know better from their position that Gallia doesn’t care about this little village and it is most likely abandoned. With Kurt reminding everyone that even insignificant and innocent people still bear names, where the regular army cannot protect the people, Nameless can, I guess it is decided that they’re going to save this village with what they’ve got. The plan starts at midnight as some members take out the guards stealthily. When their tank is in position, they go into full force attacking the enemy till they capture the commander. The Imperial army surrenders as Nameless disarms them. As thanks, the village throws them a feast. When they leave, Kurt decides not to take the enemy weapons and leave it with the villagers so they can defend themselves. I believe Nameless get their much needed supplies after Lt. Col. Ramsey Crowe pulled some strings and left a whole truck load of necessities in the jungle. The Imperial army gets a rude awakening when Squad 7 attacks them during the foggy morning. Dahau isn’t taking any hard action and just drinking his tea because he notes their mission is just to protect these large ‘toys’. When Nameless arrives, they hear gunfire in the vicinity. They save Isara from being chased and shot by Imperial soldiers. Kurt knows about Isara and wonders why she is here. She is pleading for help because the Gallian army is being routed.
Isara explains the Imperial started relentlessly firing their twin cannons, causing the Gallian side to retreat. Edelweiss was hit and its engine damaged. Despite Welkin’s objection, Isara volunteered to go look for reinforcements. Kurt plans to approach the enemy base by climbing this steep and narrow mountain. It is very risky and dangerous but they can creep up on the enemy. But first, they need to fill their stomach is food. Sure, time is ticking but certainly you can’t fight on an empty stomach, right? Better than an empty arsenal. Isara mentions about different uniformed soldiers at the base and Kurt knows they are Calamity Raven, an autonomous military unit comprised of entirely Darcsen led by Dahau. Once Nameless traverses the tricky mountain, Kurt’s sharpness spots several landmines at the mouth. Looks like Dahau anticipated a platoon will show up here and sent Gusurg to wait and assault. Kurt and his team are forced to retreat and take cover. It gets worse when the retreated Gallians come out of their hiding and charge back at the base. This is part of the Imperial’s plan to lure them out by stop firing the cannons to make them think it is safe to come back out. Now they are sitting ducks in the open. Munchhausen orders to fire the cannons at them. Kurt then tells Isara not to tell what she is about to see to anybody, not even her brother. Riela Marcellis uses the Valkyrur spear and shield to power up as she fires a beam to take out one of the two cannons. Gusurg could have cornered and wiped out Kurt’s team had not he received orders to return to base, much to his dismay. As part of Kurt’s plan, his other team served as a decoy in the forests. They make it sound that the Gallians have come back with reinforcements and surrounded the base. Thus Dahau has ordered his Calamity Raven to pull back and retreat. He reminds his generals that their battles aren’t waged for the sake of the empire but to build an independent Darcsen nation. So if it gets dangerous here, they don’t have any obligation to comply.
Kurt splits his team further as they try to infiltrate the base to take out the other cannon. With the heavy attack from the south, Munchhausen starts panicking that is where the main force is attacking from and deploys all his force to concentrate there. This gives the Gallian side a much needed reprieve. Isara returns to Squad 7 and wants to introduce some of the Nameless reinforcements but none followed her. The other cannon is about to fire but Edelweiss is able to take it out thanks to Nameless’ Alfons Auclair giving coordinates of the cannon from the mountains via Morse code. This drives Munchhausen crazy as his ‘children’ are destroyed. He gets desperate to kill the enemy as he is going to use his other secret cannon albeit it is not ready for battle. The coordinates of this cannon is too far for Edelweiss to take it out. This is where Imca comes in, barging her way through enemy fire like Rambo (seriously, what the f*ck are the enemies doing?) and even has time to fire several rocket grenades into the cannon! And then run back out! WTF?! Super cool!!! The cannon is destroyed, taking along Munchhausen. With the enemy fallen, the Gallian army now fully charge forward to take over the base. Yeah, it is like they’re taking credit for everything, huh? But Welkin knows that Nameless did most of the work behind the scenes and knowing that itself is good. Dahau and his Calamity Raven have safely escaped. They receive word the base has fallen. Despite some taunting Munchhausen’s incompetence, Dahau believes he was a good commander because ‘he gave them time to escape’. Nameless continue their journey to find others in need of their help. For their battle still carries on.
War… Never Changes
Wow. I never imagined that I would find this series interesting from start till end. And there I was ready to write it off as early as the first episode this was going to be a long drawn out genre not to my liking but I was proven to be very wrong. I should be ashamed of myself for having such thoughts at the very beginning and that I shouldn’t even have picked this series up if I had thought so. But I am glad that I watched this series and as it easily blew away all the negative perception that I was once so eager to label this series as. So it goes to show that you must always give things a chance. Just like Squad 7 itself. The more chances it gets, the more credibility they get for their deeds. Thanks Welkin and co for giving me that chance to change my mind. Though, it was as early as at the end of the first episode that my views totally changed. Hah.
I never thought that the first few episodes would be so interesting and drew me in intensely. Although the plot gradually gears towards to be somewhat predictable at the end but it isn’t all that bad overall. Welkin is the sole reason for retaining my attention and made me eagerly want to watch the next episode so badly. Because he is not your typical military man, his tactics and strategies are thinking out of the box and this makes it very refreshing. I’m not saying that I have watched lots of war movies or series but in such genres you’d normally expect the usual of both sides showering each other with hot lead and RPGs. So when Welkin who has no military background at all and uses his keen observations and his love for nature to turn the tides against stronger opponents, this sealed the deal. I was then quite interested to see him and his team fight in more skirmishes just to see what kind of brilliant strategy he would come up with. Each victory didn’t feel like a fluke and each time I would just be amazed and give him the respect that they earned it.
I thought the ending and the final episode of the TV series felt a bit rushed. For 2 things that I say this. After eluding and teasing us with the romance between Welkin and Alicia, it is like he suddenly wins the game when the duo kissed at the end. Uh huh. It just feels so unrealistic if not rushed. I know it is irritating throughout the series that Alicia and Welkin aren’t being honest with their own feelings but I suppose that kind of ‘tension’ and build up in its own way is good. We were hoping for them to get together somehow in the end (and sometimes even not) but in this way? And then with the finale, the main antagonist is dead, Faldio is dead like as though he is the main stopper that prevent the realization of their romance and once he is gone, the duo are free to love each other till the end. It just feels odd. Yeah, romance feels like a jinx here because the potential pair of Isara and Ramal died, Selvaria died and her one-sided crush never materialized while Largo will forever stay in friend zone with Varrot. Yeah, truly cursed this romance thingy.
The other second reason is the sudden end of the war. You know, it got me thinking that this prolonged war between the empire and Gallia just feels like it is just one big elaborate plan to get rid of Maximilian and his subjects. Do you not notice that the moment he is gone, both sides sought truce and peace reigned! OMG! I didn’t know it was that easy! Because you do also notice how Central has been annoying patient with Maximilian’s less than stellar progress. At the same time it is like they know he isn’t one who is going to play by their rules so they just let him do whatever he wants. Not like they can personally take him out easily seeing we had an episode that sees how the most skilled assassins fell to his swords. So I guess what better way than to rid of this thorn in their side via battle. A befitting way for a commander to go down in the battlefield. And so when we have the epic battle between our main hero and main antagonist and it ended in a good ol’ good triumphs over evil route, it just feels freaking suspicious to think what the heck this war was about in the first place.
I believe (although I am not entirely sure) that the game itself has lots of characters with equally rich backgrounds and personalities. I am not saying that the anime version sucks but it is predominantly about Welkin, Alicia and Faldio. The rest like Rosie and Isara have their moments too but they are way too limited. What I am trying to say is that the other members of Squad 7 feel like they are just extra characters. Because the main focus is usually on Welkin, Alicia and on occasions Rosie and Isara, the rest just feels they are just there. Heck, I don’t think I even remembered their names. Despite the closeness of Squad 7 in the story, but the way they lack decent screen time where it matters makes me feel like I don’t really want to care about them. Look, if one of them died, I wouldn’t even shed a tear or care about him or her. Like those in Squad 1 whom I believe many are even just nameless. These characters didn’t even reach the minimum level like Isara to shock us when she actually did die. At least we cared about her. But for the rest, I don’t think so. Therefore the most mind boggling character ever in Squad 7 is Hans. I don’t even know what this pig is for despite being a cute mascot. It ended up in one of the girl’s ownership but I didn’t really care since it did nothing that really mattered throughout the series. The series could have been done without it but seeing Squad 7 as mentioned has cute boys and pretty girls, why not the heck just throw in a cute animal to go with it all.
On a trivial note, I can’t help notice how Squad 7 is comprised mainly of people who aren’t the kind to fit working in a military. I’m not saying that other squads do not have their own weirdoes (because they don’t even get decent appearances) but doesn’t Squad 7 look like a squad for little boys and pretty girls? I mean take a look at this squad. At first look you might think they are some sort of orphanage or something. Only Largo seems to fit the stereotype of a military man thanks to his big burly body size but when you have a group that has this gay guy and a bar singer apart from little boys and girls, you wonder if the recruitment screwed up somewhere. Especially Susie whose running joke seems to be fainting at the slightest hardship or bad news. It makes you wonder how the daughter of a noble family even ended up joining the militia. You thought being in the Bruhl Patrol was already bad enough and that after the end of it, that will be the last time she’ll join a war. But then surprisingly here she is in Squad 7. Did she follow Alicia because they’re like BFF? It is amazing that she actually survived till the end of the war. So don’t you think Squad 7 in this sense feels like they have odd members? Take a look at Squad 1 which as far as I can see consists of only macho men. There are some young lads too like Ramal but Squad 1 is basically the manliest of the manliest squad ever. It makes Faldio like the pretty poster boy of the squad. Am I right?!
If you want to talk about colourful characters of a squad, the big irony is that Nameless seems more interesting in this aspect. Because in addition to have a hot hunk leader, the group consists of a wide variety of characters from a fatty to a grandma, lots of beautiful babes and brooding hot men. And the biggest irony is that their appearance is only limited to those double OVAs. Two episodes were enough for them to attract my attention. If they had more appearances I am sure they would have been a whole interesting lot with their own interesting back stories to tell seeing that Nameless are comprised of deserted soldiers and military offenders. Compared to Squad 7 who had an entire 26 episodes to fairly give out their individual stories but fail to get any sympathy from me. Of course you can play the game which is fully fleshed out but that would be missing the point for those who just want to watch a good story instead of engaging in game play.
Talking about the main characters, throughout the course of the war, we see how Welkin gradually changes when war starts to take a toll on him especially the turning point when his adopted sister is killed (I still can’t believe they killed her off) and when the love triangle starts to rear its ugly head. It sure would be confusing about your feelings in the middle of a war. You will notice that from a man who doesn’t follow regular military regulations and does things his own way and pace gradually becomes rigid and closing himself off to the rest of the squad. I am sure he wants to keep a brave front and not show any weakness that might send the wrong signals but this isn’t really Welkin as we know and it made everyone worry. Then there’s Alicia who doesn’t think too highly of Welkin at first and always an excuse that she is needed to clean up after him. Probably after sticking with him for so long, it is only natural she sees him in a better light. Finally is Faldio the third wheel? Actually because of his charisma, he bridges the gap between the duo and many of the other squad members. He is cool, observant and mature so without his guidance and advice, there are many times that worse things could have happened. It is unfortunate he had to perish in the end.
Maximilian and his generals might be painted as the series’ main antagonist but once you get to know his background, they aren’t all that bad. It is like they are just fighting on the wrong side. Whether his way is right or wrong depends on your discretion, your stand and perception of things. He is after all fighting another war of his own. The war with Gallia is just a stepping stone to achieve that. Since he would do about anything to achieve that, sometimes it makes you wonder if he is just as bad as the Imperial side. Because despite showing kindness by saving Selvaria, he doesn’t hesitate to use her and doesn’t even bother when she died and is happy she served her role. But a baddie is still a baddie so he still has to die, right? Assuming he is really dead. Or he could be touring the countryside in secret just like Jaeger? Just like in any other wars, the true devils and big baddies are those at the top, letting others fight for them while they remain behind the lines. Whether you are from the Imperial or the Federation, power, money and politics rule. So I’m glad that people like Damon got killed in the battlefield (at least in its own way there is justice in death rather than letting Isara and Squad 1 people die) but still rue that people like Borg and the Imperial’s emperor are still alive. Well, life isn’t all that fair either despite the saying all is fair in war.
Coming as part of the package in wars is of course discrimination of certain people and as seen here the Darcsen. Not only they are persecuted and discriminated for this war but throughout the history. The odd thing I find is that the Darcsen are almost everywhere at least where this anime is concerned. You noticed how every main squad you see here has at least a Darcsen member. From Squad 7 to Nameless to Calamity Raven. So you lose a Darcsen in your squad, just replace with another Darcsen! And what do you know? The princess of Gallia is actually of Darcsen origin! As much as we want skin colour and race not to play a pivotal factor but that itself is the source for many conflicts. Like how we see the people rally behind Cordelia after her revelation but somehow we can’t feel sceptic that such won’t last. And what about Rosie’s initial hatred for Darcsen at first? Spend a bit longer times with a Darcsen and her entire life of misguided hatred for the clan becomes friendship. It’s almost as you could say her best friend is Welkin’s late sister.
Aside from all that drama, the war and action scenes are also sufficient and satisfying to complement it. As said, Welkin’s unconventional methods to seize victory without losing any of his members are an incredible and amazing feat. Then it gets a bit weird when both sides start to throw their Valkyrur trump cards into the battlefield because then it suddenly becomes an overpowered fantasy battle with both sides shooting beams that could even destroy the moon! It looks fake, it looks exaggerated, it doesn’t make sense but hell yeah, it was fun. I just wanted to tell Maximilian to use Selvaria’s Valkyrur powers from the start and blow Gallia and his own Imperial side away instead of waiting for last minute for the decisive battle.
Art and drawing are beautiful in its own right. I believe they follow closely to the game. One thing that makes the art style stand out is how they look like they are done with colour pencils. Now, you may say that using colour pencils in today’s anime standards is like child’s play or that it may look cartoonish but I assure you that instead of looking low quality, the characters and the background sceneries are looking gorgeous instead. In a way, it is quite refreshing and unique itself. With nice character designs (at least for many of the main characters because you have lots of your bishonen and bishoujo looks) and military uniform designs, it makes this series quite the eye candy in this department. The only odd character design was Cordelia’s princess ‘suit’. Those horns or flaps or whatever those are makes her look like she is some sort of alien. Really.
However I cannot say the same for the OVA. It seems they have done away with this colour pencil technique and decided to go with the standard anime art style. Although not obvious but it is noticeable. One big reason I didn’t like this style is not only the fact that I have gotten used to the TV version’s style (since the OVA only had a couple of episodes), but the characters look somewhat different! Take for example, Isara. In the OVA she looks a little different. I mean, I could tell it is her but at the same time it didn’t really look like her. Like as though she had ‘less quality’ put into her. Yeah, you could say the Isara of the OVA version is less cute. Even the rest of Squad 7 in the OVAs were looking a bit different than usual. It had thinking if that was Alicia or her twin.
Voice acting is quite good with the seiyuus portraying their characters very well. There are some recognizable ones such as Marina Inoue as Alicia, Takahiro Sakurai as Faldio, Jun Fukuyama as Maximilian, Sayaka Ohara as Selvaria (again another villainess character), Kazuya Nakai as Zaka and most important of all, Mamiko Noto as Cordelia. Phew. I’m glad she didn’t die in this one. With Isara and Selvaria dead, man I thought she would be next. Phew. Thank goodness. Hehehe… At first I thought Miyuki Sawashiro was behind Ellet but it turned out to be Naomi Shindou (Shizuru in Mai-HiME). For the rest of the casts, they are Susumu Chiba as Welkin (Kondou in Gintama), Houko Kuwashima as Isara (Sango in Inu Yasha), Junko Minagawa as Rosie (Ryouma in Prince Of Tennis), Kenji Nomura as Largo (Kugayama in Genshiken), Atsuko Tanaka as Varrot (Caster in Fate/Stay Night series), Makoto Naruse as Ramal (Kei in Pretear), Akio Ootsuka as Jaeger (titular character in Black Jack), Chikao Ootsuka as Gregor (Gold Roger in One Piece), Hiroshi Okamoto as Karl (Tanbabashi in Inari Kon Kon), Hidekatsu Shibata as Borg (King Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist series) and Hans even having his own seiyuu and probably the easiest of the lot, by Chigusa Ikeda (Mizuno in Yakitate! Japan).
Both the opening themes of the series are pretty decent. The anime rock of Ashita E No Kizuna (first opening theme) by Himeka and Kanashimi Rensa (second opening theme) by Maria are not bad but they won’t end up staying in my head for days. The first ending theme is weird. Not only Ano Kaze Ni Notte by Pe’zmoku sounds like the singer is having synthesizer effects in his voice but the carnival and casual feel of this song makes it weird for the genre this anime is supposed to be in. I suppose with all that fighting, we need to take a little break once in a while, no? And doesn’t the animation style and execution of it feel uncannily similar to the one in the first season of Kuroshitsuji’s first ending animation as well? Hmm… Suspicious… The second ending theme is Hitotsu No Negai by Hikari Inoue and is a very slow and lovely ballad that sometimes feels like you are going to have tears well up in your eyes. Another slow and lovely slow piece for the final episode of the TV series, Brightest Morning also by Hikari Inoue, a befitting song to fit the end of the show. For the OVA, the opening theme also has that anime rock feel. Entitled Tomoshibi by Faylan. Its ending is the acoustic ballad, Itsuka Saku Hikari No Hana by Minami Kuribayashi.
Overall, this anime is one of those few adaptations done in the right step. Few games have very much or even little success when they translate to the silver screen or even your normal TV. There could have been better potentials and developments that could be slightly improved (if you are very nitpicking) but as far for an average viewer who hasn’t heard of the series or played the games before, it did a pretty good job and maintained its quality. We shouldn’t be too greedy sometimes… Sometimes it is a curse and blessing that humans have all these wars and conflicts. Otherwise where would we be able to get such great stories that bring out the best and worst in us? Maybe for every 1 in 10 war themed stories, there will be good ones like this. It’s like saying we’re keeping on fighting so we have great legendary tales to tell our future generations.