Valkyria Chronicles – 23
Gallia has won a series of victories against Maximilian’s forces with Alicia’s help, but that means that Squad 7 and Welkin haven’t been able to reach her in a while. The members of Squad 7 are concerned, particularly given how they parted ways with her on a bad note, and so they decide to try to go see her. They are stopped by guards of the regular military though, and while they’re arguing, Rosie overhears one of the commanders call Alicia’s power monster-like. This leads to a fight between them, and after Welkin arrives on the scene, he tries to put a stop to it. When the commander threatens them with court-martial, Welkin tries to take responsibility and apologize, but when the commander doesn’t stop the insults, Welkin personally punches him.
Meanwhile, over on the Imperial side, Jaeger finds Selvaria by herself, clutching a blue rose stem to the point that her hand bleeds. While wrapping her hand, Jaeger compares her to a star who needs to shine, but Selvaria thinks of herself more like the moon which needs the sun to shine. Jaeger thinks that he’s similar, and he tells her about how his own hometown was destroyed by the Empire and how he joined with Maximilian so that he could someday revive his old home. After he speaks fondly of his home and how he wants her and Maximilian to see it, she feels better and thanks him for his words. Back at the Gallia camp, Cordelia visits Faldio and declares that he’s free. She’s still grateful towards him and Alicia, and she tells him something about the Randgriz family that surprises him. Their conversation is then interrupted by the arrival of Welkin’s beaten-up body.
While he’s unconscious, Welkin dreams that he’s back at home with Isara, and she brings him some stew and some of Alicia’s bread. Isara starts saying something about how Welkin feels towards Alicia, but the dream ends there, and Welkin wakes up in the infirmary tent with his squad watching over him. Alicia meanwhile is paid a visit by Cordelia who offers Alicia anything she desires. Unaware that Faldio is outside listening, Alicia’s only request is that he and Squad 7 are not put into any more danger, and Cordelia agrees to this. The next day, Cordelia and Alicia go through a formal recognition ceremony before the next battle at Ghirlandaio. At around the same time, the militia squads get their orders from Varrot, and Welkin is surprised to learn that Squad 7 is being specially assigned to guard Cordelia on her way back to the capital.
Knowing that Alicia is responsible for this, Welkin runs out to where the rest of the military is moving out and yells for her. She hears him as her car passes him, and even though she wants to get out to talk to him, Damon stops her, leaving Welkin to cry out helplessly to the heavens as the main army heads to battle. The next morning, Alicia faces off against Selvaria at Ghirlandaio.
This was a bit of a frustrating episode to watch. Part of it was because all of the members of the regular military were portrayed to be ungrateful jerks who have too much power, and you’re obviously supposed to hate them (which I do). I cheered when Welkin punched that commander, and I’m kind of hoping that Selvaria will win the next battle just so that she can kill Damon and some of the brass. The other part of it was because Welkin continued to be so helpless against the things happening around him. Even though I can’t blame him too much because he was responding the best he could, I thought that by this very late point in the series (only three episodes to go), he’d be a much more assertive and impressive male lead.
Along those lines, my favorite scene out of this episode actually ended up being the one between Jaeger and Selvaria, and I really wish Jaeger got more character development like that. I guess it’s not too late yet, but I get the feeling that he’s going to get killed off soon saving Selvaria or something. The brief dream scene between Welkin and Isara was also nice in a this-is-how-life-could-have-been-if-Isara-hadn’t-died sort of way. As for next episode, the preview was different from usual in that it focused on Selvaria and didn’t really show anything other than those two shots of her, and that makes me think that she’s going to die or something.