Saturday, 13 June 2009

Valkyria Chronicles - Episode 10

After our little Empire-related interlude last episode, the tenth instalment of Valkyria Chronicles brings us right back to the activities of Welkin and Alicia - And within seconds they find themselves in a tight spot. Just what have they gotten themselves into this time?

We then rewind to the scenario leading up to this state of affairs - A scouting mission postponed by an impending snowstorm, leading our intrepid duo to find a nearby abandoned hut for shelter. Of course, in an inevitable turn of events the two of them wind up sharing a blanket to weather the storm, followed by some deep and rather maudlin conversations about their respective families (or lack thereof) before the two come somewhat close to sharing a kiss before Welkin decides that sleep is more important.

This rather cosy state of affairs is rudely interrupted by the appearance in the hut of an enemy combatant, complete with rifle and grenade with the pin pulled on it, causing a rather nervy and protracted stand-off between himself, Welkin and Alicia. Eventually, Alicia's sheer persistence wears down this soldier (you can make your own jokes about men being worn down by a woman's persistent nagging here, I value my life too dearly), who allows the wounds he's carrying to be treated by her while still grimly holding on to his grenade. As the cause of this soldier's wounds become clear, so the mood between the trio changes, and all is resolved amicably and happily for all concerned in the end. Well, apart from the soldier who dies of his wounds, but ho-hum - That's what you get for not being a major character in a war-based anime.

As episodes go this was a pretty decent little affair, which serves primarily to warm up the dynamic between Alicia and Welkin considerably while also showing how relatively well they can work as a team despite their obvious personality differences. If only the stand-off between them and the enemy soldier had been infused with a little more dramatic tension somehow though - It never really felt like there was any genuine danger in the situation, although perhaps that's the fault of this series as a whole and its rather warm and fuzzy portrayal of armed conflict.

No comments: