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AKA: ワルキューレ ロマンツェ
Genre: Action, drama, porn game adaptation without porn.
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently available streaming on crunchyroll.
Content Rating: R-17 (Fanservice, nudity, juvenile sexual innuendo.)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Princess Lover.
Notes: Based on a VN game by Ricotta, whom you might know as the creator of the Princess Lover! VN game as well.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars
 

Walkure Romanze

Synopsis

Takahiro Mizuno is training to be a begleiter -- basically a knight's aide -- at Winford Academy. He used to be a knight, but decided to quit after suffering an injury during a jousting session.

And, naturally, girls are throwing themselves at him left and right, all wanting a piece of his begleiter pants.


Review

Those of you who paid attention to the "notes" section might notice the parallell to the game's sibling; Princess Lover!, which is actually another show I've actually seen. For what it's worth, I'm mostly on board with Bradley's opinion of said show; it was a fairly pleasant surprise in a sea of terrible VN game adaptations.

Walkure Romanze is... less fortunate. For one thing, it's chosen a rather unusual angle for itself; jousting, which strikes me as a bit of an eccentric angle to play up in a game -- and, by extent, its anime counterpart. Maybe I'm not in a position to talk after enjoying something probably more surrealistic in Girls und Panzer, but while jousting certainly plays a huge part in Walkure Romanze, I'm going to go ahead and assume people aren't coming to this show for the horses. So that's still one point to me over whoever tries to win people over to Walkure Romanze through the virtues of knighthood and jousting.

So if you like girls and have rather unrealistic expectations to their looks, there's a pretty large chance you'll be relatively satisfied with this show; the cast, by and large dominated by girls, are all very easy on the eyes. As noted, they're all unrealistically gorgeous, most of them sporting absurdly curvy bodies usually always clad in clothing a number or two below suggested level, but they're also fairly decently animated, not deviating much from their character models.

And for what it's worth, the jousting scenes do look fairly good. Obviously, there's some CG at play here, though I can't say for sure how much. There are a few instances of really artificial movement, mostly as the knights attack each other, but that's more of a problem at the beginning of the show rather than at its end.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the characters' personalities, the show basically betrays its roots; the girls are, unfortunately, a bunch of stock arcetypes with some token depth added to them. They're all uniformly pleasant and inoffensive, their dialogue mostly made up of encouragement and insincere-sounding platitudes. Even Bertille -- who reminded me to a disturbing degree of a certain curly-haired blonde from the Koihime Musou series, right down to her somewhat mentally challenged flunkies -- turned out to have a heart of gold when her introduction is over and done with. Presumably, by playing the game, you'd be able to expand on each of the potential mates' personality traits a little, but the anime doesn't want to offend any potential fans of any of the girls by having the main lead choose one of them, so instead, we get a lot of asinine pieces of nothings. That is, whenever the show isn't trying to be funny, its humor being... well... let me just show you.

*heavy breathing*
Mio: "It's so big..."
Takahiro: "Is this your first time touching one?"
Mio: "Of course it is."
Takahiro: "Try taking a hold of it."
Mio: "It's so hard and thick. You thrust with this?"
Takahiro: "Yes."
Mio: "And it breaks sometimes?"
Takahiro: "That all depends on you."
Mio: "But it's so long... it's kind of scary."

And then she lifts the lance and the sexually innuendous part is over, replaced with one where Mio runs around uncontrollably with the lance, whipping up skirts and yes, it's just as stupid as it sounds. The whole scene is followed up with a scene where they once again engage in easily misunderstood dialogue with heavy sexual innuendo, because WHO THE HELL TALKS LIKE THAT?! In all fairness, after a couple of episodes, the show stops doing this, instead giving the viewers the regular kind of fanservice instead. You know, general girl on girl groping and shower/bathing scenes.

So if you think a show going from aggravating to merely boring is a step up, then good for you.

It's not that I want to be mean towards this show, but it basically has all of the problems of a porn game adaptation and none of the benefits. You have your slew of beautiful girls that all want to get into the pants of the begleiter guy, but, as I mentioned, he can't really choose anyone. This show simply isn't brave enough for that. As such, you don't really feel like you're getting anywhere with it. The jousting should have made up for that, but it's simply not enough.

You'll also get to see the girls in armor a lot, and this is where the show is probably at its most irresponsible. Though I will admit it at least looks good, which is, again, the show's main purpose, so I'm kind of torn about this as well. It's the sort of thing people mostly in non-combat situations don't really put a lot of thought into, but the ladies in Walkure Romanze are wearing their armor for very protective reasons, so it's important to keep this in mind. Especially since the girls here wear their cute, short skirts to their helmets, armor plates and leg plating, which honestly makes me unsure whether to give it a free pass for the sake of aesthetics or a slap on the back of its head for the sake of irresponsibility.

Walkure Romanze really is a well-meaning show with a cast you aren't very likely to end up hating, but it's about as shallow as you'd expect by now, complete with self-insertion male lead and drop-dead gorgeous girls with personalities as preprogrammed and dull as dishwater. When not jousting or practicing for it, the girls are all caught up in events that spells dire consequences for their clothing -- if they aren't already in the bath, that is. Hands will accidentally seek out breasts and/or butts on a moment's notice, and I think the male lead actually gets slapped at least thrice during one episode for reasons outside of his control. Noel, on the other hand, can purposefully grope whomever she wants without retaliation, and Sakura -- one of the horses -- spends a lot of the first episode attacking skirts for no reason other than giving the viewers an eyeful.

I haven't played the game, so I can't say how much this show fails as an adaptation, but I can only hope the it's a good deal better than this. Walkure Romanze is a nice looking, but asinine show whose goodwill isn't enough to save it.

As absurdly developed as all the girls in this show are, the show itself is sporting nothing but empty calories.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: The violence is limited to jousting, practice for jousting and a couple of slaps to the face. The main payload can be found in the relatively large amount of fanservice and (mostly non-explicit) nudity, plus some pretty juvenile innuendo written for teenagers by childish adults.



Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream from Crunchyroll, Japanese with English subtitles.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Walkure Romanze © 2013 8-bit, Lantis, Pony Canyon.
 
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