Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen – 20
「もうひとつの意識」 (Mou Hitotsu no Ishiki)
Well if there’s one thing that Argevollen definitely has going for it, it would be its rather unpredictable nature. The developments may not be shocking, but the direction the series takes almost always is. I’ve often wondered about what the writers had in mind for this original series, and it looks like at least in the interim, the focus has shifted almost entirely to Samonji. While he’s off fighting a one-man war to uphold the idealistic dreams of Reika, the rest of Independent Unit 8 continued with the more laid-back developments from last time. The latter was surprising to say the least, because the scenes between Tokimune and Jamie came off more as an epilogue than anything else. They talked about how they met and got into this situation and spoke in a manner that made it feel like the war was already over. It was different if nothing else, and different is something I always welcome when it comes to anime.
As a result, the episode as a whole felt rather subdued and despite the whole “calm before the storm” setup that the end of the episode geared towards, I honestly can’t say that’s the vibe that I got. Instead, it felt like we started another chapter in the Arandas/Ingelmia war altogether and the days of Unit 8 had come to a close. On the Arandas’ side, the only ones who still have any desire to fight are Cayenne and Samonji. Rather than being irked by this development, I’m actually quite surprised since it feels like we’re now getting to the story within the story and Tokimune’s role has been eclipsed by Samonji, the stoic captain whose actions always speak louder than his words. Incidentally, this also means that I have absolutely no clue how things will conclude given these recent turn of events. While there’s little doubt in my mind that Tokimune and the other will do something to rally behind their captain several months later, I’m curious to know what will happen to Richthofen’s subplot. Then there’s Holmes, Garp, and Lontar’s subplots. Also, what peace of mind and/or closure will Samonji really find if he just pushes back the enemy line before a truce is eventually reached?
At the moment, I have a lot of questions floating around in my head about how XEBEC plans to wrap the story up; however, I will commend them for taking what came off as a rather straightforward, cookie cutter-type anime recipe back in summer and making it into something different, even though it won’t appeal to the masses. For that reason alone, I’ll continue to watch.