Valkyria Chronicles is based on a video game of the same name. As I have never played it, I cannot say how closely the anime follows the game’s plot. But no matter.
Valkyria Chronicles is set in the year 1935, on the continent of Europa. (The technology is also equivalent to our real world technology from 1935. Well, for the most part.) Two powers control most of the territory. The Imperial Alliance in the east, and the Atlantic Federation in the west. The economies of both depend on a special mineral, Ragnite. It is getting scarce, so the Empire decides to declare war on the Federation, setting off the Second European War. Gaining the upper hand, the Empire decides to invade the neutral Principality of Gallia, in order to steal their Ragnite. Jerks.
When the Empire invades the small border town of Bruhl, Welkin Gunther, son of the great General Belgen Gunther of the First European War, fights alongside Alicia Melchiott, captain of the town watch. Together, and with Welkin’s sister Isara, they escape the city in General Guther’s old tank prototype, the Edelweiss. Upon reaching the capitol, they join the ranks of Gallia’s militia. Welkin is assigned to be a squad commander, and Alicia is his assistant.
But enough of the story. Let’s talk about the characters.
Before the war, Welkin was studying to be a biologist at a university. And so after becoming the commander of Squad 7, he can use the environment a bit more to his advantage. And he really thinks outside the box when coming up with his battle plans.
Alicia was a baker. And she wants nothing more than to put an end to the war quickly, and then return to baking. She is constantly reliable, and loves helping others.
Isara is Welkin’s adopted sister. She is an exceptionally gifted mechanic, and always keeps Edelweiss in tip-top shape. She has also faced a lot of prejudice, as she is a Darcsen. The Darcsens are a race of people who are very often discriminated against, because of their ancestors’ role in the near-destruction of the continent two millennia before. Despite that, she is proud of her heritage, and hopes to someday have a world where Darcsens are treated equally.
Bridgette “Rosie” Stark is the signature shock trooper of Squad 7. A tad overbearing at times, she is nevertheless a capable commander at the front lines. She is one of the people who are prejudiced against Darcsens, so she doesn’t like Isara.
Largo Potter is a gruff old veteran from the First European war. He serves as the team’s primary anti-tank guy. Not trusting in Welkin at first due to Welkin’s lack of experience on the field, Largo nevertheless becomes one of Welkin’s most loyal men after he proved himself capable of commanding.
Feladio Landzaat is one of Welkin’s college friends. He had been studying to become an archaeologist, but is now the leader of Squad 1.
But my favorite character actually lies among the Imperials. General Radi Jaeger. He is a very honorable man, putting an emphasis on chivalry in battle, and respecting those who do the same. He’s also a bit of a joker. That comes as a welcome relief after all the stuck up, arrogant jerks that are a lot of the other generals… On both sides.
I tried to find a good video, but I couldn’t find anything but stuff from the game… Either that, or totally spoiler-laden. I finally found this slideshow, I guess that’s good enough. Alicia makes the greatest facial expressions.