Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen – 23
At the eleventh hour, Argevollen still manages to surprise. The end is finally in sight and the plot’s come together in an unpredictable yet clearly thought out way, which is proving to be the series’ best aspect now. Some key developments unfolded in this episode, which include Cayenne discovering that Arandas’ military leaders were purposely leaking information to Ingelmia in hopes that their enemies would kill Cayenne for them, Tokimune and Jamie having a “moment” that grazes romantic territory but still sidesteps it for the better, Holmes catching on to the fact that Lontar’s Central Command is actually the group of money-grubbing capitalists in Viltriveld, and last but not least, Samonji disobeying orders to “reset” everything since Unit 8 stumbled upon Argevollen by taking back the Great Wall for Arandas and planning to die in the process. It was a lot to take in at once, but the most satisfying part of it all was that none of these developments came off jarring in the least bit. They were still what I consider plot twists, but of the less showy variety that doesn’t go for sheer shock value, much like all the other twists we’ve seen thus far.
As for where things go from here, I’d imagine that the finale next week—befittingly titled “Silver Will”—will revolve around Suzushiro and the rest of Unit 8 knocking some sense into Samonji so that he doesn’t throw his life away. Forget all the stuff about the war—that page in the story is done with as far as I’m concerned. All that’s left now is to address Unit 8′s story within the story since they are the main characters in the show. Looking back, I’m quite impressed to see how the series has gotten to this point. Sure, Argevollen won’t be go down as a spectacular series by any stretch of the imagination, but I will personally remember it as an XEBEC original that a lot of people didn’t expect much from (myself included) yet managed to completely avoid a lot of the stereotypes we see in anime nowadays. Take Tokimune for example; he started as a hot-blooded, reckless, and disobedient male protagonist but turned a complete 180 by the middle of the series. Then there’s the Tokimune x Jamie pairing, which had several signs of being a romantic subplot but never got any real attention so that it doesn’t detract from the main focus of the series—the war between Arandas and Ingelmia with all the conspiracies. There are several more examples, but if you’ve watched up to this point, you probably already know what I mean. I just hope now that XEBEC gives us a bit of an unconventional ending too.