「館山基地へようこそ！！」 (Tateyama Kichi e Youkoso!!)
“Welcome to Tateyama Base!!”
And so ends the latest anime saunter through the realm of emo gods. Yes, I firmly stand by that statement. Tongue removed from cheek, however, Sigururi more or less did the expected in its grand finale: A very sad Odin was vanquished (with just enough left ambiguous to revive him should a sequel prove profitable); every girl had their time to shine; and the action never let up throughout. It was a proper conclusion for a show which certainly had visions exceeding its execution—but at least it was a conclusion and not some cliffhanger. Thank god (heh) for small miracles.
When I look back on Sigururi this was a show I really wanted to love, yet couldn’t quite manage to. It had the material to stand out, the creators and writers needed to make it work, and the production values necessary to tie everything together. Yet as time went by it became hard to find the positives as detail was passed over, character development was minimized, and a reason for everything failed to emerge. This was a show whose dreams truly did not translate into reality.
The main issue I have with Sigururi is that we had no explanation or elaboration on just what was being fought over. Sure, the basic foundation of Odin creating Valkyries (or rather endowing them with Valkyrie powers) and having them do battle against Pillars was put in place at the beginning, but we had precious little beyond that aspect. Why did Odin select these girls and why is Claudia his number one? Why are they piloting mid-Twentieth Century aircraft? Just what are the Pillars exactly and what is the reason for their specific geographical positioning? Sigururi never once elaborated on any of these points. These are the sort of details which, while unnecessary from a strictly story point, are critical for helping to build some measure of logic and consistency; you want this information to ground you in this particular universe and give a reason to be interested. The specific aircraft models in Kotobuki for example aren’t particularly important to its overall story, yet it still found the time to give a reason for their existence in its universe. If Sigururi had found the time over its run to fill in these blanks with some info snippets here or there, it would’ve easily improved and enhanced the story it was trying to tell.
Further compounding matters as well was Sigururi’s character development – or rather the impact upon it. Much like Strike Witches, Sigururi had a great main cast comprised of unique and personable girls who were just unfortunately unable to make up for the narrative defects. I’m on record for loving Azu and her tsundere personality after all, but even that execution and writing is hard-pressed to overcome a story which sort of leaves her and her compatriots treading water. Couple this with several girls barely having an introduction – and in the case of Yayoi, a lack of good cathartic sendoff and resultant Sonoka development – and it’s no wonder many started giving Sigururi up as it reached its midpoint. Without the foundation or foundational expansion needed to give reason for many of Sigururi’s character quirks or provide depth to specific character developments, much of what propels a series from good to great became little more than flashes in the pan unable to overcome the inertia of key structural choices.
Overall while I don’t hate Sigururi and don’t regret giving it coverage – if anything the battle sequences were nice! – it is a show I really feel is half baked. Whether down to it simply needing an extra season to help flesh out its premise (oh god would that have been useful), better and tighter writing, or the producers simply expecting people to fill in the blanks via other material (wouldn’t be the first series guilty of it), this show sacrificed a good deal of the basics which make these types of stories work, and did not come out for the better because of it. Sigururi is certainly not the absolute worst anime original to grace our screens of late, but it will remain an excellent example of just what must be touched on and included to transform otherwise interesting premises into good and entertaining productions.
As for why was Claudia his number one, that one was addressed in the final episode. The rest of the questions…. yes, I’d like to know as well.
It was insinuated from the imagery and one can connect the dots, but I don’t recall it being explicitly stated, which IMO is needed for something like this given Claudia’s importance.
Odin went on a rant about it 6 minutes into the episode. She was the only one carrying his blood.
Ahh figures, knew my glazing over while watching this would get me to miss something important eventually XD
Well at least there’s one answer provided lol.
Felt like they were trying to imply that Odin was behind the pillars bc he wanted the Valkyries to fight them. But yeah, it kinda failed to both tie everything together or really flesh out the charachters as much as you might want.
Yupp Odin was behind the Pillars (that was actually confirmed after he was outed as the enemy), but beyond that we got precious little. Quite disappointing all things considered.
Así es por lo que yo logre entender claudia es una de las verdaderas hijas de Odin
Perhaps the best way to enjoy this series is to lower your expectations. If you plan to watch this one with tempered expectations, then there is enjoyment to be had. Otherwise, this is just another missed opportunity in exploring Norse mythology in anime form. Also, I would have thought that the deaths in this last episode (well this could count as major deaths) should have been more impactful, but it did not resonate with me at all, perhaps it was as the creators intended it to be. The story badly needs fleshing out and I would have thought and expected significant and relevant info dumping in the last few episodes, but it did not happen.
This one is definitely requiring modest expectations. So many opportunities were missed to provide basic information that it became incredibly hard to retain a modicum of interest as time went by. All I really wanted was some background to the Valkyrie origins and explaining their piloting of aircraft, but Sigururi was apparently content in just featuring cute faces and confusing fights.
We never really learned what Odin’s plan was. I had assumed that he was trying to refill Valhalla with warriors by setting up situations where people could die fighting as heroes while close to a Valkyrie. That is why the most powerful Valkyrie Claudia has the worst survival record, she is too good at her real job. And that we would find out why he was doing it towards the end of the show but instead we get some vague underpants gnomes plan. Step 1 Kill people. Step 2 Some undefined things happen. Step 3 Get old world back or spawn new race of gods or what? Who knows? We sure were never told.
I think they had a good vision for this series, but didn’t really get it’s execution quite right. For example, Claudia’s song this episode. It kinda reminds me of “Voices” from Macross Plus, the setup was similar but definitely didn’t have the same impact. It was the little things that prevented it from becoming great. Strangely enough, I find the humour quite good. The action too. Maybe would’ve been better if they aimed for something like Stratos 4 instead of the aviation greats.
Also surprised the three wing men ended up that way. Thought they were immortal like the never seen again Ikemen-san.
The strength of the characters and their chemistry is what makes it all the more disappointing for me. If Sigururi had nailed the story or given just a bit more background and explanation we’d be comparing it positively to Strike Witches or Kotobuki, but for whatever reason that aspect was ignored. IMO it plays out a lot like someone’s first novel or webcomic: looks great in their head and they see it with author goggles firmly on once made, but provides none of the substance to let others view it similarly,
Odin may be Claudia’s father, but he ain’t her daddy. And while she may have the blood of a god flowing in her veins, Claudia is still very much human.
NOOOO! Not Kyousuke-kun (Ronge), Kyon-kun (Kinpatsu) and Kajita-san (Gurasan)! I actually liked those three comic relief pilots… Sad to see them shoo’ed out for good.
Well, Senyoku no Sigrdrifa had the foundations to become an interesting enough anime–interesting characters (including the side ones), an all-star voice cast, an interesting albeit somewhat textbook/derivative plot, and with an added dash of Norse mythology references since that seems to be the “in” thing to do. But somewhere along the line, the worldbuilding and Odin subplot (to be fair, seeing Odin himself intervene in humanity’s war against the Pillars was already a cause for suspicion) just…stumbled and fell apart. And that’s where the aforementioned textbook/derivative plot began to be a liability.
While it’s a shame that the series already got delayed to Fall 2020 thanks to ‘Rona-chan, Sigururi just had the added rotten luck of airing during the same season as season 3 of an established series that (arguably) pioneered the whole “military moe” genre–Strike Witches. To put it simply, everything that Sigururi tried to do, Strike Witches did better–especially in the worldbuilding and subplot department. Hell, even Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai had better worldbuilding that kept me interested enough to look up IJA/IJN aircraft that were featured in the show!
And on to the Odin subplot… I actually like characters who start out as an ally, but undergo a face-heel turn, especially if they’re written well and given a convincing enough motivation as to why they did what they did. Case in point: Ace Combat Zero‘s Larry “Pixy” Foulke. Starting off as your wingman (or rather, “Buddy”) he sees the player character’s potential to turn the tide of the Belkan War and slowly becomes disillusioned once the war turns against the Belkans (most notably during the carpet-bombing of the city of Hoffnung). Eventually, Pixy betrays the player character during an in-game/in-series shocking swerve (Belka detonating seven nukes on their own land to stave off the Allied Forces’ invasion) and later becomes the game’s final boss.
Odin, on the other hand, keeps himself distant from the other characters–he even speaks cryptically with the Valkyries he has blessed and is supposedly close with (the whole “Lonely god at the top” thing)–so it’s difficult to get a bead on his intentions or motivations and reinforces that cause for suspicion (and out of all the Valkyries, it’s Azuzu who picks up on Odin being sus). When the reveal that he’s behind the emergence of the Pillars happens, there’s no surprise there, and his motivational reveal near the end as to why he started this whole thing (and why Claudia is his “favorite” Valkyrie) feels like it came out of left field. As a side effect, it also lessens the impact of his climactic fight with Claudia.
That being said, I’ll give Sigururi props for not shying away from killing off characters or having them pass away for real in order to give main characters actual character development. (Sigururi‘s Valkyries serving a non-combat role by “sending off” mortally wounded soldiers was also a nice reference to the mythological Valkyries guiding warriors who died in battle to Valhalla.) Also, it was an admirable decision for the production staff to use other WWII-era aircraft that weren’t already featured in other similar “military moe” anime (as well as have modern aircraft in a supporting role) in order to make their work stand out (or at least be different from ones that came before). Claudia’s song and the ending theme were pretty good, too.
Anyway, I guess I can put Sigururi in the pit of countless other anime that started off interesting enough, only to sputter and crash-land at the end. But milmoe anime-wise, Sigururi didn’t crash as bad as Girly Air Force (and leave a cliffhanger, to boot). Still below Kotobuki (#2) and Strike Witches (#1), though. But if you still had fun watching Sigururi, good for you. And I’m not saying “no” to a Kotobuki x Sigururi crossover.