Valkyria Chronicles – 26 (END)
Inside the Marmota, the members of Squad 7 insist on distracting the enemy while Welkin goes to save Alicia. They thus split up, and Welkin soon finds himself alone in a corridor facing multiple enemy guards. Fortunately, Faldio shows up to help him, and together, they’re able to move forward. Alicia meanwhile gets brought in front of Maximilian, and he claims to have saved her. In trying to get her to join him, he promises her whatever she wants, but Alicia isn’t about to follow him after what happened with Selvaria. Maximilian feels that it was Alicia who killed Selvaria though, and when Alicia explains how she just wants to be herself, he cites that normal humans are worthless. Alicia turns this statement against him by stating that he’s afraid that his own self is worthless, and that earns her a slap. Since Alicia calls him pitiful, Maximilian decides to show her something.
While Welkin and Faldio are fighting their way through the ship, Faldio gets shot and injured, and because more Imperials are coming, Faldio has Welkin go on ahead. Pulling out a grenade, Faldio then rushes towards the guards, and Welkin hears an explosion behind him. He keeps going though and makes it to the top of the ship where Maximilian and Alicia are waiting. Maximilian has armed himself with an artificial Valkyria system that replicates the abilities of a normal Valkyria lance and shield, and to compare with Alicia’s power, he starts firing at her. Without her lance and shield, Alicia can only dive out of the way, and Welkin tries to protect her by distracting Maximilian. Welkin gets thrown back by a blast though, and Alicia’s Valkyria powers activate when she sees him get hurt.
While she’s helping him, Welkin tells her that everyone is here to save her and that they’ll go back together to Bruhl. After Maximilian interrupts the chat with another blast of his weapon, Alicia heads out to try to fight him, but he catches her off guard, and Welkin has to tackle her out of the way of the subsequent shot. Right as Maximilian is ready to finish them off though, his weapon malfunctions, and Alicia uses the opportunity to charge at him with a pipe. Maximilian is able to throw her back with his shield, but he then gets attacked by Welkin. Although he’s able to handle Welkin, the time it takes Maximilian to get ready to fire at Welkin gives Alicia enough time to grab onto his leg and activate her Valkyria power. This overloads Maximilian’s weapons and causes him great pain, and he subsequently falls into an elevator shaft.
The ensuing explosion separates Alicia and Welkin with a wall of flames, but more importantly Alicia realizes that her body is now undergoing the same process that Selvaria’s did when she sacrificed herself. She wants Welkin to save himself, but Welkin dives across the flames and hugs her instead. He declares that he’ll always be by her side, and he shows her the red scarf she had left behind, reminding her of who she is. That’s the Alicia that he likes, and he proceeds to kiss her. The kiss dispels the reaction happening in her, and afterward, Welkin puts the scarf back on her head. The two then make their way off the exploding Marmota and rejoin their waiting Squad. In the aftermath, the war ends, and the public finds out about Cordelia’s Darcsen identity. Most members of Squad 7 return home, but Largo stays with Varrot. And as promised, Alicia and Welkin go back to Bruhl to continue their lives together.
All things considered, I thought this was a decent final episode. They had clearly been setting up for Maximilian as the final boss, and so it was good to see that they at least followed through with that by having him actually have powerful weapons and not just go down like a pansy. That also setup nicely for Alicia and Welkin’s reunion and kiss. Actually, that scene between them wasn’t nearly as emotional as I would have liked and felt a little on the short side. Of course it’s worth noting that I’m still influenced by how great this week’s episode of Bakemonogatari was, so my viewpoint on what is emotionally powerful is a bit skewed.
What made me alternately laugh and rage was who they chose to kill and who they chose to keep alive. The circumstances of Faldio’s death was a bit surprising given how much focus they had put on him to make him a better protagonist than Welkin. The immediate actions that led to it made it seem heroic, but in the grand scheme of things, dying to random Imperial grunts felt rather pointless. Also, by that point, he wasn’t a threat to Alicia and Welkin’s relationship anymore, so killing him off wasn’t going to change anything. The thing that really got me going “WTF” though was this shot in the epilogue which appears to show Jaeger somehow alive and well. That’s the kind of thing that drives me crazy because they let it happen with no explanation after implying that he had been killed off.
Looking back, my thoughts on this final episode reflect how I feel about the series as a whole. There were some decent plot twists, but they didn’t develop the relationship side of things as well as they could have, and for almost the entire time, Welkin couldn’t compare with Faldio. The production quality was good enough when it needed to be, however I’m still not happy that they spoiled the whole Alicia as a Valkyria thing with the second OP. In the end, Valkyria Chronicles will go down for me as a decent series that had its share of flaws and never really got great. Maybe it’s time for me to finally go play the game now…