Mushroom Soup For The Pixelated Soul
Earlier today I was treated to a link to the first three chapters of the Valkyria Chronicles manga, kindly sent to me from a fellow Penny Arcade member. The timing was notable as well, since it was also the same day that I finally finished the game.
Much like anime adaptions, manga versions of a popular game series can be hit or miss; They can tell the story pretty much word for word, using the artwork to attract people (Kingdom Hearts), or it can completely deviate from the original story to develop the characters through the author’s interpretation (several of the Zelda manga stories).
Valkyria Chronicles borrows a little from both worlds in order to create, at least from what is included here, a very solid adaption to a spectacular game.
The artwork is quite impressive, staying true to the original designs without downgrading them too much for a manga budget, and it stays mostly true to the original script with some minor alterations here and there.
But the real surprise is how much darker the manga is. The original game didn’t hold back on the violence and loss of life that occurs in war, but the manga pushes thigns a bit further with more blood, along with a few more somewhat disturbing scenes showing how war spares no one (one scene has Welkin take refuge in a recently attacked school).
The racial persecution among Isara and the other Darcsens is expanded a bit more in the manga, as well. Notice how in this adaption, the Darcsen members of Squad 7 are now included in the racial outing, while Darcsen haters like Cezary are seen rallying with Rosie.
And that’s the best thing about this manga: The further development of the secondary squad members. Vyse, Edy, Cherrie, and the rest get their due in almost every page, expanding on their personnel files from the original game.
And I won’t spoil the little moment between Largo and Jann.
Even though the new scenes can make for further amusement of the fan favorite squad members, it can also bring to light the darker traits of others, like Cezary here.
Or in the case of characters like Jane here, it can also show you just how batshit insane some squad members can be.
Anyway, you can grab the manga here. Give it a read, buy it if/when it’s officially released by Tokyopop or Viz, hope that the anime is as respectful of the original source material as the manga, and of course, play the game if you haven’t already.
That’s an order, 7’s. Move out!