I just finished reading Muv Luv Alternative. All I can say is that since Extra I got hooked by the history and the whole thing didn’t disappoint me the slightest. On the contrary, this is a freaking masterpiece. It’s full of manly tears, RAGE, heroic sacrifices, lots of WHY moments, a superb climax and what you could call a somewhat happy ending despite all the bullshit that keeps happening.
The drama, the action, the pacing, the OST… Everything is a perfect mix for a wonderful history. Extra is just the prologue for us to get acquainted with the main cast, Unlimited sets course for the harsh reality Takeru will have to face and Alternative is the main course where he learns that becoming a hero isn't as easy as he thought, as he has to make plenty of sacrifices, each one becoming more and more painful than the last one and even though he suffers greatly for that, he copes with the pain, all for the sake of achieving his goal.
What I liked about Alternative is the pacing in which Takeru’s character is developed, as through the first part we get to see him as very confident guy that appears to be sure of what he wants to do. Nevertheless, he is still an innocent and naïve child that can’t manage to face reality once it crushes him in the most unexpected way. Right when he appears to be at his peak, all his confidence is reduced to shambles in an instant, to the point of just wanting to run away from reality. During the second part of the history, he acts as a crybaby but it is not until even harsher and crueler events make him realize his mistake, giving him the resolve he lacked to keep fighting for his goal.
Through the last part of the history, Takeru keeps growing and maturating more and more, manning up and learning to cope with the tragedy of the fucked up world he is in, understanding that mourning about everything will not get him anywhere, leaving him with no choice but to keep moving forward to accomplish something only him can do, so the sacrifices of his friends are not in vain. By the way, the Isumi Valkyries are the most badass squad ever.
The ending may bother some people, but in my opinion it’s the best one they could come up with after all the shit Takeru had to go through. Sure, all his development and growth went back to zero, but he gave the Alternative world the chance to survive against the BETA threat. It's up to humanity whether they succeed or not. Given the circumstances that revolved around his physical manifestation it’s safe to assume that nobody will remember him, but his heroic deeds will live on, perhaps in the form of the tale of an anonymous, legendary soldier was able to give humanity a new hope.
Besides, had he kept his memories, Takeru would have been comparing everyone to the people of the Alternative world, which he became more and more identified with to the point of not even wanting to go back and keep fighting for the sake of his fallen comrades and that would have been unfair, but that’s also proof of how much he grew up, to the point that he can stop being that self-sacrificing and leave all that behind. He's matured past that, but like a lot of former soldiers, it would be hard for him to readjust to a care-free civilian life after what he went through. Besides, with all the bullshit that kept happening to him not remembering all of that seems like a good deal to me (although the epilogue implies he kept some fragments in his memory of his experiences there).
Even if you are not that much of a fan of the mecha genre, this is well worth checking out. I can’t see any way you would be disappointed by it. If Âge ever does a proper release of this visual novel overseas I would not doubt to acquire it. Since it’s not the case we had to recur to Ixrec’s translation and I’m really grateful to him for allowing us to enjoy this experience. Heck, after all, haven’t I’ve been buying the damn model kits of the TSF’s?
The only thing bugging me is… SRW apparition when? After reading this you can’t deny you really want to kill some BETA for some well deserved payback lol. Whatever, seems that Âge will continue milking the franchise with all the side histories they are making, but I would really like to see a conclusion to the whole mess in the Alternative world, don’t you think so?