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Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova – 10 »« Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio Ars Nova – 08

Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova – 09

「決死の脱出行」 (Kesshi no Dasshutsu Gyou)
“Desperate Escape”

Since Zephyr is out having a ball, I’m here to cover base for him in the meantime. Boy, was this the episode for him to miss out on–Chihaya Gunzou is in clear danger for the first time, with a pissed-off Kongou still ready for revenge and the mysterious twin sisters acting under command of another mysterious power. I can’t believe this show is ending in three more episodes–I want more!

Though I don’t normally consider myself a fan of the pew pew anime, Ars Nova has a warm place in my heart this season, even compared to my favorite genres. The way that the show finds a delicate balance between advancing the plot and not taking itself seriously allows us to read into the show as much as we desire. Want to kick back and enjoy the innuendos and fanservice? Go ahead. Have a hankering to read into the deeper implications of “weapons with a conscience?” Go for it. The flexibility that this show provides, as well as the enjoyability factor of the genre, has made this show into something that has far exceeded expectations.

What’s left now is the climax. All good shows with action must have some sort of satisfying climax, with this episode being at least the first of such. Today’s episode provided excellent development of Kongou’s character, who has slowly started to acknowledge the effect of mental models interacting not only with humans, but with humanized mental models. Unfortunately for her calculations, physical isolation of her core from the island did absolutely nothing to protect her. While Kongou most likely assumed that mere presence around Gunzou is what causes errors, it is the actual input that a mental model receives–holographic or not–that affects their cognition. Through a variety of interactions with her former subordinates, even the patient Kongou has her limits, where even the Admirality Code cannot save her from the mind games and emotions of others. However, if this was the case, then where did our twins come from, and who sent them? We can infer that they aren’t moving of their own command, so two questions remain. First: who is it that sent these two submarines? Second: who was it that was smart enough to see through Gunzou’s plan and outmaneuver him in the field of battle? I guess that there is a higher-up in command at work here, one who even Kongou cannot compare to. With three episodes left though, will we see the answers to these questions? Hopefully so.

On the presentation side, this episode was pretty top-notch. The pew pews were as colorful and energetic as possible–that vertical merge of the two supergravity cannons was especially beautiful, as well as the multi-layered defense that Hyuuga sustained despite hundreds of missiles coming her way. For a 3D CGI show, I thought that the character designs would be too jarring to bear, but at this point of the show, it’s grown on me. Times do exist where the animation is low on the framerate, but these are far and wide enough to not pose a major issue.

Overall, I look forward to seeing how Ars Nova will wrap itself up, especially considering how far they’ve drifted from the source material (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). If they continue to drive home these themes of purpose, direction, and humanization up until the end, Ars Nova is shaping itself up to be one of the better-crafted shows this season in terms of pacing and character development. While the pew pews are a joy to watch, it’s nice to step back and view the show through its constant questions:

Where are we going?
Where do we come from?
How big can Chiyaha Gunzou’s fleet harem get?

ED3.2 Sequence

ED3: 「Innocent Blue」by Trident

Epilogue:

December 3, 2013 at 11:09 am
91 comments »
  • December 3, 2013 at 11:23 amJunko Tamiya

    FIRST
    I really liked how Takao changed her colors from red to “Blue Steel”, and how she has been trusted to carry the secret weapon.

    I also find it interesting that Kongou has embraced a human emotion… hate.

    Poor Iona… sunk.

    Ironic that today on CNN there is an article about the wreckage of i400 submarine being found.
    How timely!

    • December 3, 2013 at 11:31 amGiorno Giovanna

      • December 3, 2013 at 12:06 pmUnlucky Star

        It’s true! It’s all real!! The events of this story are all happening in real life!

        …!! *gasp*
        *begins desperate search for Takao*

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:22 pmc2710

      I must say… Now thinking back…. Takao’s change of colours from red to blue has a significance. A huge one.

      Since this show also makes references to normal ship folklore or culture, Takao’s change of colours signify that she’s under new ownership and allegiance. I’d say she’s now firmly in blue steel and she’s here to stay.

      Just like in ye ol’ days in ye age of sail……. In this case… Takao ain’t a prize ship.

      • December 3, 2013 at 5:43 pmBear

        Hoist the Jolly Roger… er …Gonzou!

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:57 pmJusuchin (Military Otaku)

        Dunno, she did the same in the manga. So yes it was significant, but I glossed over that I think in my viewing.

    • December 3, 2013 at 6:52 pmEuzio

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that Takao’s change of colours to blue was rather significant. Her talk with Kongou too was significant in that Takao believes that her encounter with Gunzou has allowed her to evolve and become sentient. She also thinks Kongou herself is actually on that edge of becoming one but is purposely holding herself back. Kongou may actually have already achieved it considering the words she said to Iona. It contradicts her stance on being “weapons” that follow the admiralty code since if that’s the case, she should not have feelings of “hate” either.

      PS: That scene after Takao shook hands with Gunzou was just too cute. Looks like Takao is not gonna wash that hand ever now XD

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:02 pmc2710

        One wonders where that hand would be used for….

        Engineer officer – Plug that leak now before she sinks!

      • December 3, 2013 at 11:32 pmEuzio

        Nay~ She’ll use it to crank the shaft XD

      • December 4, 2013 at 1:55 amIncognito

        I can’t believe you guys didn’t mention Takao‘s love nest bridge being “full of Gunzou’s seamen.” (Okay, that’s enough naval jokes/innuendo from me for now…)

      • December 4, 2013 at 2:21 amc2710

        That’s a lovely Admiral’s quaters…

      • December 4, 2013 at 6:57 pmEuzio

        LoL~ Looking at the snapshot, I noticed that there is actually a captain’s uniform hung on the wall on the left side…. Looks like Takao is totally prepared for her captain XD

      • December 4, 2013 at 11:16 pmUnlucky Star

        @Incognito: I can’t believe you guys didn’t mention Takao‘s love nest bridge being “full of Gunzou’s seamen.

        Alright, here goes. *clears throat*

        “Before they joined together for the first time, Gunzou knew it was his responsibility to ask Takao for her permission, before storing his vibrating warhead in her aft cargo bay, and filling her wheelhouse with his seamen.”

        …yes.

        Also, Takao’s bridge. So much love xD

        So, I can understand the uniform on the wall, the curtains, the cushions, the bed, the footstool, the captain’s chair, even the lone Victorian bench suspended from the ceiling underneath a spotlight. But can anyone for the love of God explain the orbiting bar-stool on a swivel? Does it have some kind of obscure purpose, or am I just that dense? Because I’m completely stumped. Well, unless it was just put in for additional comic effect, I mean. :3

  • December 3, 2013 at 11:29 amJusuchin (Military Otaku)

    Nice, have been waiting for the other I-400 class ships to show up.

    I did state before I would be professional and not compare it too much and berate it compared to the source, but I think I failed in that endeavour. I think it’s a given because it’s an animated thing and under way more constraints in budget and plot compared to a manga that can at least have a decent chance of ending loose ties.

    Action packed and filled with talking, the ham-fisted approach to existence is not as well executed like the manga, but gets its point across. We see Maya being cutesy, like a little berserker wearing a red dress and a pink bow. No doubt keeping the airheaded ‘joke’ character in the manga but packing a greater punch. The absence of more ships of the Fog and having Kongou as the head of the Fog is unsettling, but with the long awaited appearance of Iona’s sister ships, we can look forward to the next episode and seeing how they make it out alive.

    It’s also nice to note that since arriving on Iwo Jima, they’ve gone all out. In the Anime they seemed to be playing with a nearly endless amount of corrosive warheads, when in the Manga it requires more guile and smoke and mirrors to take down opponents. No doubt mostly due to their limited resources.

    As usual, the themes of self-awareness over conformity is heavily lathered throughout the episode in an ongoing attempt to have Kongou realize her futility of sticking to her ‘dogma’. In trying to simplify the one of many themes found in the source material, I believe it may had diluted it a bit. To the point that if it weren’t for the back-and-forth in the Network didn’t remind us as viewers about it, we’d just see the pretty lights and hear Nishizumi-dono yell out ‘crash dive’.

    I sense partly due to that dumbing down, the addition of some fanservice was added. but it could also be due to the fact it seems to be a bit of the norm now.

    Or it could be me?

    Don’t get me wrong, aside from the usage of 3D which tends to subtract from the series visually, I’m liking this adaptation. I know others are too, but when ones starts to compare, it seems like this is like a bottle of Bud Light compared to say, Guinness Extra Stout from the taps. Nevertheless, this episode doesn’t skimp on the action, and is alright in its execution. It may not be the anime some are hoping for (the absence of the Hakugei III was saddening) but it does alright for what I can consider a parallel timeline of sorts.

    I dunno, I think I need stop drunkblogging anime. XD;;

    • December 3, 2013 at 12:14 pmUnlucky Star

      I sense partly due to that dumbing down, the addition of some fanservice was added. but it could also be due to the fact it seems to be a bit of the norm now.

      Overall, I too think this episode was the most fan-service-y to date, in the sense that the fan-service in this episode seemed more obvious this episode, than in previous episodes.

      Especially the way Iona and Takao change their outfits. They seem to be getting more and more magical girl-like. I had to re-watch that scene in super slow motion, just to be sure – purely for confirmation AND NOTHING ELSE.

      • December 3, 2013 at 1:03 pmJusuchin (Military Otaku)

        I don’t have fancy programs for my screenshots, so it was frame step all the way. It is nice especially when i did the screenshots for Upotte! for imfdb as well getting the beautiful detail in battles, but I reckon Takao’s poop deck is a tad too much. XD

      • December 3, 2013 at 5:07 pmdaikama

        @Jusuchin but I reckon Takao’s poop deck is a tad too much.

        O.o… Are you suggesting Takao has a big ass? Looks ship shape to me. :P I do wonder what the “busty heavy cruiser” version MM might look like. Shame the anime didn’t include that snippet.

      • December 3, 2013 at 5:41 pmBear

        She does have nice props though.

      • December 3, 2013 at 6:12 pmUnlucky Star

        I’d scrub Takao’s poop deck any day. :3

        …I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:03 pmc2710

        But she certainly has nice torpedo bulges

  • December 3, 2013 at 11:38 amPen3

    As much as i like the other girls, I still want to see Kirishima’s human body again…. Is she going to remain a teddy bear for the entire series?

    • December 3, 2013 at 1:04 pmJusuchin (Military Otaku)

      Yes. She is our last hope since chibi mental models arent in the series.

      • December 3, 2013 at 5:37 pmBear

        Her head makes an appearance in the manga, but I don’t see them going to show that. We just have to bear with it.

      • December 3, 2013 at 6:48 pmdaikama

        @Bear: We just have to bear with it.

        No pun intended – right ;).

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:01 pmBear

        What? Me use a pun? Nah. ^_^

  • December 3, 2013 at 11:49 amthedarktower

    you have a typo there, it’s not “pew pew anime”, it’s “epic naval piew piew” :P

    anyway, jokes aside (kotowari!).
    even though I was expecting a full ep of only “piew piew boom boom”, which by the way was fun and I think we got quite a decent dose here, Ars Nova still continues what we though ended last week, and by that I mean the..”philosophic” interaction between the characters. this time, it was between the Iona, Takao and Hyuuga to Kongo. yet, Gunzou was a bit out of the loop. and it’s good. inner conflicts should not go outside all the time.
    what’s interesting here is Kongo. she is indeed fight hard to convince the girls, more than that, she seems to fight even within herself, against that “seed” which might cause her become more “humane”. yet, I wonder is it really like that?maybe not… I think she is just like the rest: Hyuuga is fighting because of Iona, Takao because of Gunzou, HaruHaru because of the little girl(what’s her name I forgot..nevermind). and Kongo?she fights for the fog. what I am saying is..the “seed” already bloomed in Kongo, but what matters to her is the fog. that’s her resolve for fighting.
    it may seem like nothing really happened. but there are like this. she likes the fog. deep down, that’s her real reason. it’s only a suggestion, maybe it’s only part of her change, if she will change..who knows.

    damn cliffhanger, that ending was good, caught me by surprise.
    makes me wonder again, is there a chance, somehow Iona was manipulated to be with Gunzou? we didn’t get enough info about why she was the first to be different. the one who knows that the best might be the ones of her kind (aka other submarines..). but that’s another guess “in deep water” of Ars Nova.

    How big can Chiyaha Gunzou’s fleet harem get?

    Gunzou’s harem is increasing proportional to the number of eps :P

  • December 3, 2013 at 11:58 amUnlucky Star

    This episode was great, especially the ending – completely blindsided by it. It really looked like it would be a happy end, like every other battle. Gunzou’s plan went together nicely and all, but nope! Sorry! Apparently Iona isn’t the only loli-submarine able to predict the future with reasonable accuracy.

    Poor Kongou is so lonely. The scene with Kongou still defiant, damaged, and in the rain, so much feels. I just wanna hug her so bad! …even if she would likely kick me off and shoot me with extreme prejudice. :P

    It appears on the surface, Kongou dislikes Iona & Gunzou because she believes they are the root cause of everyone leaving the fog. Personally though, I think deep down Kongou just wants to be of the group again, with the others. She’s just worried and/or scared of the uncertainty this change in the fog, and potentially in herself, may create, because she takes comfort in having a purpose in life defined by the Admirality Code.

    Btw, nice close up leg cross by Kongou, à la Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct. 9/10. Would’ve been 10/10 had she bared all.

    Summary: Essentially, Kongou is jealous of Gunzou for stealing her harem, and doesn’t want to end up alone. :3

    • December 3, 2013 at 12:16 pmcelebrinen

      On a serious note I think assuming a human-like form has resulted in Kongou becoming affected by negative human emotions. Love, both erotic and platonic, curiosity and compassion is present in the irregular rebels but Kongou has swung violently in the opposite direction. She needs some serious befriending by Gunzou.

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:24 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Kongou definitely gave off that air of loneliness with the way she talked to most of the others (too bad we didn’t get interaction with Kirishima and/or Haruna), like she was desperately trying to find SOMEONE who would be on her side, but not like Maya, who seems to only follow her due to the Code, but like how Takao is with Gunzou.

      • December 4, 2013 at 7:01 pmMincemaker

        Or maybe she’s desperately hoping someone would just sink Maya and stop filling the airwaves with her genki-ness.

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:35 pmIslidox

      Kongou leg-crossing is a beautiful thing to behold.

      She has this charm and authority about her that screams “refined joou-sama”… so irresistible.

  • December 3, 2013 at 12:09 pmGinobi47

    That f*cking cliff hanger!

  • December 3, 2013 at 12:12 pmTechim

    If my memories are right, compared to previous episodes, we got quite a bit of development for Iona this week…She expressed a lot more emotions than usual. :)

    Btw, I400, I401, I402 are part of a series right? Would that make them triplets?

    On a side note, for this autumn season, I picked up about 20 series..
    Compared to the others though, I’m pretty much enjoying Ars Nova every week now, it has a balance of everything in my opinon; catchy OP/ED, great storyline, decent pacing, and also because spoilers from people won’t work anymore :p
    *Its one of those animes that I catch up with ASAP along with Golden Time, Kill La Kill, LB Refrain, Log Horizon, NouCome, Strike The Blood & Unbreakable Machine Doll.

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:28 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      It’s much easier to notice the development this episode since they show Iona with her two “sisters”.

      Her eyes have definitely softened up and her voice having slightly different pitches at times whereas those two are still like how Iona was at the start of the series; wide eyes that seem like they’re stuck that way with a very monotonous, droning voices, robotic in ways.

  • December 3, 2013 at 12:47 pmewok40k

    This is fresh from CNN, real life Iona has ben found off
    Hawaii!
    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/03/us/japanese-submarine-found/index.html

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:25 pmc2710

      Look at the pennant number… I-400

      Not I-401

    • December 4, 2013 at 6:53 pmEuzio

      According to reports, the real I-401 sub has actually been found already. Back in 2005 somewhere off Oahu.

      It would definitely be rather interesting if the anime does go the route of subtlety indicating that there location there is where Iona got sunk in :P

  • December 3, 2013 at 1:36 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

    http://randomc.net/image/Aoki%20Hagane%20no%20Arpeggio%20Ars%20Nova/Aoki%20Hagane%20no%20Arpeggio%20Ars%20Nova%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2018.jpg

    I was thinking to myself earlier on in the series that they kind of made Kongou the least attractive to make her somewhat more dislikeable but angry Kongou = 2nd place.

    Takao
    Angry Kongou
    HaruHaru
    Kirishima

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:25 pmc2710

      Angry Kongou looks cute

  • December 3, 2013 at 2:00 pmGermanguy

    Please, dont turn this Anime into an Ecci Show. It is nice to give the Fans Fanservice, but dont overdo it and let this slip into to much Ecci. We had a “Sailor Moon Transformation sequence”, and Crouch and Chest shoots. Please dont let it drift more into this Direction.

    Anyway..

    So, I401 is still Alive. Thats only 2 “big” Flesh wounds.. because the only Area with Air Support for the Crew, would be the Bridge. And from the Design it would be in the Bottom in this Cube one, and the Engine small Room. So, this Submarine should hold out the Additional Water Pressure now, and the Captain should be save, as long there is Air to Breath of course. Iona is not Human, do not forget this. She dont need Air to breath

    • December 3, 2013 at 2:15 pmGermanguy

      Perhaps we will see a similar Episode like “Das Boot” (A German Submarine WW2 Film), when they got Hit and sunk to the Sea ground, but recovered to surface after Emergency Repairs.

      Perhaps Iona, must rebuild or refit the I401 Design, to repair or cut out the Damaged parts, to resurface again

      As long She has Power, and Engine they should raise from the Bottom… I dont think she would use “Air Pressure Tanks” to re flood herself.. Where to take the Air? :)

      Well, my first point is to keep the Bridge intact. Because this is now Gounzu’s Lifeboat

    • December 3, 2013 at 5:26 pmdaikama

      @Germanguy Please, dont turn this Anime into an Ecci Show.

      I think it’s a little late for that sentiment. Frankly I’d rather they just fully embrace the concept rather than continue with half-measures. Go “flank speed ecchi” ala Freezing, HS DxD, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai, etc. Already had Hyuga dry-humping Iona so why bother with some degree of modesty elsewhere? If you’re going to be an ecchi show, then be an ecchi show. JMO.

      • December 3, 2013 at 5:47 pmBear

        Maybe we’re going to see something from the manga only with Iona rather than Hyūga?

      • December 3, 2013 at 9:10 pmGermanguy

        Dunno. But imagine Girls and Panzer would have taken the same Route. Ecci shoots. Perhaps even a Otome Anime, would you like it?

        And Looks like someone has a Script that Downvote every post with the name “Germanguy”

      • December 4, 2013 at 1:06 amdaikama

        @Germanguy: I don’t understand why people think this show is so similar to Girls und Panzer. Yes, they both have WWII elements, but so does Hetalia: Axis Powers and I doubt most consider that similar to GuP. IMO, Strike Witches is more similar to GuP than Arpeggio – at least the anime version. I do see some similarities beyond the WWII aspects between GuP and the manga version of Arpeggio which is why I prefer the manga over the anime. JMO, but that’s the way I see it. To be clear (again) I am NOT saying that Arpeggio anime is worthless, unwatchable, etc., etc. Same is true in that (again), I am NOT saying one can’t enjoy both, either, neither, etc., etc.

        My comment above goes back to one I made IDK how many episodes ago. For whatever reason(s), the director/producers decided to take the show in a different direction. The story was simplified by cutting out characters and related plot lines while at the same time the focus was centered squarely around Gunzou, Iona, and the female MMs (aka Gunzou’s “harem”). You need to look no further than RC post episode comments to confirm that. The majority of commentary is clearly centered around the girls. That should NOT be interpreted in any way as criticism (I watch and participate in similar discussions with other ecchi shows). I mention it solely as evidence regarding the direction the anime has taken.

        GuP is without question one of my very favorite anime, and I like Strike Witches quite a bit as well (watched both seasons and the movie more than once). The former has very little fan service while the latter practically sets a benchmark. However, one thing the two have in common apart from WWII elements (LOL – I’d probably watch WWII Pokemon: “Panzerfaust, I chose you!”) is that each show knows what it is about and goes about doing so without reservation.

        So my point is that since the director/producer decided to go with a “Strike Witches” approach rather than a “Girls und Panzer” one, they should do so without reservation rather than half-ass execution. Sorry, but I don’t know what else to call it when you see one girl dry-humping another, one girl practically orgasms during battle shortly after a Strike Witches worthy ass shot, and yet at other times the show oddly insists upon relative modesty.

        Strike Witches is an ecchi anime and it makes no apologies about that. Even so, it turned out to be a very successful and popular franchise. Same goes AFAIK for HS DxD. No reason IMO why Arpeggio can’t do the same if it is going to take that route. Is that my first choice/preference for this show? No. I would think by now it’s clear that my preference is for the anime follow the manga, but that’s not what the director/producer decided to do. Since that’s the case, as I said before, IMO if you’re going to be an ecchi show, then be an ecchi show. That’s all there is to it. BTW, as Strike Witches proves, that does NOT mean a show can only be ecchi/fan service oriented to the exclusion of all else. IMO there is no reason whatsoever why an ecchi show cannot have an engaging story, substantial character development, exciting battles, top notch production & direction, etc. as well.

        Hopefully this clears up my opinion on the matter.

      • December 4, 2013 at 9:21 amGermanguy

        Well, Strike Witches had from the Start this Ass shots and other Play things. But here, they like to experiment with it. How far they can go, for fan service. Please, dont go there and use the Crowbar on this. Thank you

        Even DxD Highshool was not hidden it.

  • December 3, 2013 at 2:05 pmGermanguy

    I400 and I402 (That Two Submarines in the end) was Following Takao, since she left the Shop with this Captain Manga. Lets not forget this

    Perhaps they are not under the Command of Kongou. Perhaps they have their own “Cpatain Commander” for the Submarines

  • December 3, 2013 at 2:30 pmc2710

    I must say…. Despite Kongou’s strong and concerted effort to remain an emotionless weapon, she has unconsciously took up human emotions. Kinda sad to see her forcing and going all out to be rid of these emotions though through of acting it out, it seems that she’s not acting based on her algorithm but emotions IMO.

    But among the surface ahips, it seems like Maya’s the only one that’s not affected by human emotions thus far.

    In her words….. CARNIVAL DAYO~~~~~~

  • December 3, 2013 at 3:43 pmBear

    As has been pointed out, the mysterious sisters are I-400 and I-402 who confronted Takao when she was researching humans and Gonzou in Japan. In the manga they’re Yamato’s reconnaissance ships (in American parlance submarine’s are actually called boats). Here they’re Just members of the Fog. I guess under the command of Kongo. I don’t think they’re in any way mysterious (no more than the Fog itself).

    • December 3, 2013 at 4:01 pmOwa

      But the way it was portrayed here, it seemed pretty clear that I-400 and I-402 weren’t under the command of Kongou. Why would Kongou seem so frustrated and angry at the end if she had those hidden trump cards up her sleeve?

      Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the only other time the twins showed up (in the anime) was in ep3 when they confronted Takao about leaving. I don’t believe Kongou was ever shown talking to the two subs in the JTN.

      • December 3, 2013 at 4:56 pmBear

        Kongō? How about angry and frustrated because she couldn’t destroy Iona (as she stated, she hates her) and kill Gonzō herself. Kongō’s MM has more human emotions than she wants to admit. As for 400/402, in the anime Arpeggio universe there doesn’t seem to be any ship or ships senior to Kongō that we’re aware of, so who else could they be reporting to? Instead of another commander it could have just been that the subs were put there as pickets in case Kongō missed her kill. As with Kongō, they adhere to the Admiralty Code. OTOH, they could just be free agents. Since we’re off the charts AFA the manga goes, there is no telling what’s going on until we get it explained. Seems like late in the game to bring in another player though. The only MM’s we’ve seen are those that are also in the ED and they’ve shown all of them since the beginning (including Hyūga).

      • December 3, 2013 at 5:02 pmdaikama

        @Owa: But the way it was portrayed here, it seemed pretty clear that I-400 and I-402 weren’t under the command of Kongou.

        Maybe, maybe not. JMO, but I don’t think it’s “pretty clear”. On the one hand, Kongo’s anime title (UTW subs) was Flagship of the Pacific Patrol Fleet 1. Of course that means that there’s at least one other Pacific Patrol Fleet (no need for “1″ otherwise), but it a big ocean and without question the anime has portrayed Kongo as the top dog…err, ship. Don’t forget in the anime, she usurped Yamato’s role, and in the manga, the I-400 subs are/were directly under Yamato’s command. So if not Kongo, then who? Kind of late to introduce the “real final boss.”

        OTHO, we are solidly in anime-only territory so who knows what might happen next. Like trying to predict a filler arc. Maybe one of the CVs (Akagi,Kaga, Hiryuu, Souryuu, Shokaku, Zuikaku) make their anime debut as the “flagship” for I-401/402. Maybe it’s Yamato/Musashi. Kind of doubt it though.

        You are correct about I-400/402 only being show previously taking to a then AWOL Takao. Still, IMO that alone isn’t dispositive one way or the other as to who commands the I-40x subs. As for Kongo’s “frustration”, again could be for a couple of different reasons. Maybe she’s “frustrated” that SHE wasn’t the one to “sink” I-401 (like anyone believes Gunzou/Iona are truly lost at sea).

        JMO, but the battle was somewhat ludicrous anyway. Kongo may have lost control a bit, but she wasn’t nearly as battle-lust orgasmic as Kirishima. Pretty calm overall. Yet… she just happens to go after I-401 alone. No point in ordering Maya let alone the other six FoF cruisers to help/intercept/etc. >_> The whole battle came across to me as a set duels. Kongo vs. Hyuga, Takao vs. Maya, and finally Kongo vs Gunzou Iona.

        I digress. Point is that I think Kongo’s “frustration” is just as likely caused by her inability to do the job on her own as her (wrongfully) assuming I-401 escaped.

      • December 3, 2013 at 5:03 pmdaikama

        @Bear – LOL. Guess I was too verbose – you beat me to same point.

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:05 pmhuntermad

        Actually, Kongou was alone because she is the only one that have the speed to intercept with I401.I remember that her specs in OP that show her to be far faster than any other ships .

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:06 pmc2710

        I say…. 400 and 402 may seem like they answer to Kongo but I think they infact answer to Yamato IMO

      • December 3, 2013 at 8:16 pmBear

        @c2710

        AFA I can see, Yamato doesn’t exist in the anime version of the Arpeggio universe and It seems late to bring a new ship into the mix.

      • December 3, 2013 at 9:12 pmc2710

        Potential continuation? Or is this possibly a split 2 cour series?

      • December 3, 2013 at 9:34 pmdaikama

        @huntermad: I remember that her specs in OP that show her to be far faster than any other ships

        It depends whether you mean surface or submerged speeds. The former, no. The latter yes, but only if you exclude the subs. Stats from the OP are as follows:

        Max Surface Speed: Takao/Maya = 90knots; Haruna/Kirishima = 85knots; Kongo = 80knots: Hyuga = 75konts; I-400 subs = 60+knots

        Max Submerged Speeds: I-400 class subs = 80+Knots; Kongo = 80knots; Takao/Maya/Haruna/Kirishima = 40knots; and Hyuga = 35knots.

        Unexplained by the anime is how Kongo is able to move essentially as fast a sub (designed for underwater speed rather than surface speed which is why it’s slower on the surface). Not only is her submerged speed equal to her surface speed (makes zero sense from a logical standpoint), it’s twice as fast as any other FoF surface vessel’s submerged speed – including her two sister ships Haruna and Kirishima (which should have identical specs).

        Even if you take the anime specs at face value, the fact remains that Maya’s max surface speed is faster than both Kongo or OR I-401 top speed (excluding borrowed “special moves”) above or below water. Furthermore, the other FoF ships were listed as Nagara Class Light Cruisers (CL). The RL/ WWII version had a top speed of 36knots which was slightly faster than a Takao class CA top speed (Takao class CAs were fast for heavy cruisers). Therefore, I think it’s reasonable to assume that the 6 FoF CLs were at least as fast as Takao/Maya = 90knots surface and 40 knots submerged.

        Assuming the above is correct, that means Kongo is actually the slowest of all eight FoF ships present unless underwater travel is mandatory – which in this case it is not. Once I-401 was located, there is no reason why the six Nagara class CLs couldn’t be ordered to intercept, set up a picket line to trap I-401 – do SOMETHING rather than sit on their keels. Same goes for Maya. TBH, I can’t understand why Maya ended up in a one on one dual with Takao. Forget playing around with Hyuga for a minute, and have Kongo team up with Maya to overwhelm Takao. The CLs can provide “covering fire” (i.e. harass Hyuga) if that is even necessary.

        In short, Kongo has a “fleet” of eight ships, yet we essentially see nothing but a series of one on one duals with no coordination or tactics whatsoever on the part of Kongo and the other FoF ships. Entertaining perhaps, but IMO not very credible.

      • December 3, 2013 at 9:37 pmVaan

        I have a feeling Yamato will appear at the last episode and possibly with Bismark to tease
        us theat they’ll be a 2nd season.

      • December 3, 2013 at 10:21 pmShiden

        @ daikama: “with no coordination or tactics whatsoever on the part of Kongo…”

        Keeping in mind that the Fog didn’t even have a concept of “tactics” until fairly recently, and Kongou’s continual half-rejection of the mental model system, her determination to sink 401 herself makes some amount of sense.

      • December 4, 2013 at 2:24 amc2710

        @ Vaan – That’ll serve as a formal debut for Bismarck… Discounting Bismarck in Strike Witches

      • December 4, 2013 at 2:41 amdaikama

        @Shiden: You have a point, and I agree with you to some extent. I would NOT go as far as to suggest there was no basis whatsoever for Kongo’s conduct. My problem is a matter of degree. I found her actions in this EP too extreme and inconsistent, and thus not very credible

        In EP 08, Kongo showed considerable ability to make predictions and plan ahead accordingly. Perfect example is that even before setting foot on Iwo, she took preventative measures to counteract Gunzou’s “influence” by leaving her core onboard ship and sending a “decoy”. That’s was a surprisingly use of tactics – IIRC so much so that even Gunzou was surprised. And such actions do constitute tactics. Beyond any protective measure, it also allowed both her and Maya to reboard ship and attack almost instantly – much, much faster than if they had to “walk” back.

        So clearly, at least IMO, Kongo has some meaningful degree of ability to anticipate her enemies actions and plan countermeasures. She’s not stupid nor is she entirely machine-like in her response (i.e. lacking any creativity/unable to understand the concept of deception). Yet, in this EP for some reason, that all gets thrown out the window from the very start. Again, it’s a matter of degree. I don’t expect her to come up with an ingenious plan that would make Sun Tzu jealous, but I don’t expect her to act like she’s never heard of the word “tactics” either.

        Same goes for her losing control her emotions and acting recklessly. That kind of came out of nowhere given that she’s been relatively calm and objective up until that point. For someone with such a high degree of disdain for “useless things” like emotion, she was awfully quick IMO to embrace an emotion (“hatred”) and as a result lose all of her objectivity and logical thought process. For me the whole thing felt like a forced plot device rather than a natural chain of events.

        As above, this is NOT all or nothing, but rather an issue of degree. She can get angry/”hate Iona” without becoming practically suicidal over it. She didn’t even try to dodge one single corrosive mine. “Weapons don’t feel pain”? Yeah fine, but the smart ones also understand the concept of operational fitness. It’s too extreme IMO. How about a moderate compromise where she orders “all ships to hunt down I-401 at flank speed” even if that means some FoF ships might not be able to dodge all the mines in their path? That’s still overly simplistic, reckless and emotionally based, but at least there’s some thought involved.

      • December 4, 2013 at 9:28 amGermanguy

        If they want to bring in the Yamato and Bismark as Cliffhanger, then they must somehow surpassed Kongo and others. Perhaps these Both Big Ships are the Last Defense Line before they reach US Coast.

        Yamato is correct, if they show her/it, perhaps with her Sister ship Musashi, or the Yamato Carrier Shinano of course finished build. But for Bismark to appear,there.. Is it not the Big Ship around Europa? How they explain that?

      • December 4, 2013 at 9:30 amGermanguy

        Well, it is a know fact, that the WW2 German Tanks was build around Speed. But i dont know, if their Battleships was build around Speed, or Firepower

      • December 4, 2013 at 9:33 amGermanguy

        And i think it was a good decision, that they focus around their Old Japan Navy Ships. Well at last the Anime is Aired in their Homeland. So, there are surly more fans for their Old Ships as for Foreigner ones.. I bet if they used old US Battleships, the Show would fall down in a second

      • December 4, 2013 at 11:20 amOwa

        Regarding the frustration, yeah Kongou cooouuuld just be angry that she wasnt the one to sink Iona. But I still think the twin subs could hint at Yamato appearing, like some others mentioned. Another hint is when Iona asks Kongou about her being lonely and stuff, Kongou herself says she has Maya specifically, with no mention of the twins.

        If you think about it from an action anime/movie perspective (and considering only 3 more eps in this season), it could maybe go a couple of ways:

        1. The remaining eps build up to a 1st season cliffhanger “tweeest” where Yamato shows up as the “real baddie” blocking them from the US.
        2. Iona gets fixed somehow and Blue Fleet has a “real” final battle with Kongou and Maya (and the twins i guess)
        3. More Harem, Yamato shows up to threaten Blue Fleet yet Kongou goes against Yamato because she wants to be the one to sink Gunzou (anime logic lol)

      • December 4, 2013 at 12:01 pmdaikama

        @Germanguy: Well, it is a know fact, that the WW2 German Tanks was build around Speed.

        O.o… I wouldn’t say that. Nothing speedy all about a Tiger II or even Tiger I for that matter. Pretty much the opposite really. If you limit that statement to early WWII, say Panzer I-III + Panzer IV Ausf. A-D, then I agree. Once you get to May/June 1941, German tank design had a much different set of priorities – armor & firepower. A lot more krieg and much less blitz.

        - But for Bismark to appear, there.. Is it not the Big Ship around Europa? How they explain that?

        Agree with you here. Bismark showing up right at the end would be quite random without considerable explantion. Makes more sense to stick w/ Yamato, Musashi. FYI – Shinano wasn’t a very good aircraft carrier. In fact, the IJN designated her as a “heavily armored support carrier” rather than a fleet carrier. If you want to throw a IJN CV into the mix, then I’d stick either the ones I mentioned above or Taihō.

        - I bet if they used old US Battleships, the Show would fall down in a second.

        Don’t agree with you on this. Both Strike Witches and Girls und Panzer included examples of US WWII hardware. If you mean ONLY US WWII ships, then sure, the series wouldn’t be as popular. No different than if the series was created by a US author with a N.A. region setting and used IJN ships exclusively.

  • December 3, 2013 at 4:49 pmflamerounin

    i often consider a show well written if they manage to extend its themes beyond the story into the openings and endings, and they did it here. notice how they changed the sequence a bit in the ED, with kongou the last to appear from the bottom with all the other girls seemingly reaching out to her. that is very symbolical of the story as to how the other humanized mental models are trying to reach out to her.

    and it looks like they might indeed be leaving some room for a potential season 2. they are pretty much leaving open the mystery of the Fog’s origins and that of the admirality code. also, that last bit clearly shows that I-400 and I-402 is acting on orders of someone or something else. this i got to see more.

    • December 3, 2013 at 5:08 pmAndros

      To be honest I’d rather they end this off in 1 season. Its great as a standalone anime, especially the fight scenes and the character development (especially for Iona), which the manga sorely lacked, since they focused more on Gunzou/other Fog ships, but they do have badass Iona (see chapter 50). But if they are going to open a ‘season 2′ which is definitely going to be off from the manga seeing as how they changed practically a lot of characters and the existing characters’ personalities, in all honesty they shouldn’t call it ‘Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio season 2′ , but a different anime.

      • December 4, 2013 at 9:37 amGermanguy

        Easy… Hyugaa hacked Kongo, i am not right? How they convert I401 into Help the Humanity?

        Well, in short. A Virus deleted their “Mental Model” memories, aka Human Memories, somehow

        Yes, if you get to the Core, it is a simpled Reset. But if you web a good Reason around it, it will be Okay

        Perhaps to Save them, because this “Humanity” Change of the Mental Models, will result in Destruction where only Inoa is resistant against it. Perhaps it is a Virus, where she dont knowed about herself

  • December 3, 2013 at 5:27 pmbLACK

    Love this show
    but somehow it disturb me if cruise battleship can battle while submerge, how come they don’t use strategy about battle under water with 401 in the early one?

    • December 3, 2013 at 5:39 pmBear

      Limitations on what weapons can be used while submerged (according to manga FWIW)

    • December 3, 2013 at 6:45 pmdaikama

      With the caveat that this is source/manga version so may not apply to the anime, Bear’s right in that traveling underwater greatly restricts a surface ship’s firepower. IIRC correctly, they can only uses torpedoes, or (if they have one) a super gravity cannon. Their main (“normal”) cannons can’t be used. Also, in the manga, the speed of ANY surface ship is much slower underwater as you’d expect. Subs are much faster – roughly twice as fast as any submerged surface ship.

      What’s ironic (or funny depending upon your point of view) about anime Kongo submerging to chase down Iona/I-401 is that in the manga, Kongo expressly states that she HATES traveling underwater because it severely restricts which weapons she can use.

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:09 pmc2710

        Kongo ain’t using her algorithm to go after Iona but her emotions IMO

        Thus emotions defy algorithms IMO

      • December 3, 2013 at 7:39 pmdaikama

        @c2710: Perhaps. Personally, I just put it down as one more deviation. Not like it matters at this point – I was just pointing out the irony of it.

      • December 3, 2013 at 8:07 pmc2710

        Now watching it again for a 2nd time… Seems that Kongou’s more human than she claims to be and that last scene where she surfaced…. Together with the rain and the ED feels poignant

    • December 3, 2013 at 7:01 pmEuzio

      I haven’t read the manga but my guess is that while the cruisers can submerge, their weapons firing capabilities are severely limited in that unlike the subs which are built capable of underwater launches, the cruisers clearly can’t. For example, its clearly stated alot that whenever Iona launches her torpedoes, she does so first by flooding the tubes. The cruisers and battleships do so by launching it into the air first. So their underwater armament is probably limited to the super-gravity cannon only maybe.

      • December 3, 2013 at 10:31 pmbLACK

        Wow Thank you guys may be I’d read manga after anime is finish
        Ps.I agree about kongo pursue iona in this episode is using more emotion than algorithm

  • December 3, 2013 at 8:27 pmCross

    Zanibas writing for Apreggio!
    Now this post will be interesting. d(^_^d)

  • December 3, 2013 at 9:36 pmAggron

    Hyuuga spasm!

  • December 4, 2013 at 12:25 amDee

    Needs moar episodes! Or a second season! MOAR TAKAO AND IONA!

  • December 4, 2013 at 12:46 amTechim

    This post is missing the Maya Endcard :)

    • December 4, 2013 at 1:00 amIncognito

      Or rather, the Maya x Maya end card.

      • December 4, 2013 at 2:03 amCybersteel

        Maya-sama kougeki.

  • December 4, 2013 at 7:50 amjohn

    need somebody to do a gif image for the 2 henshin scenes

  • December 4, 2013 at 8:59 amThe Shizard

    It took Iona a few episodes and a longer time span to feel emotion. This took so long because of her expressionless face and behaviour. Koungo’s case seems to be even worse, thus it seems weird that spending 5 minutes on a beach and getting hacked would fill her with emotion.
    Other ships like Takoa already had vibrant personalities and showed various emotions.

  • December 4, 2013 at 7:33 pminanis

    heh poor Konguo: got blinded by her hate/obsession with Gunzuo and thus getting hacked. i Think that in her view she was above “mere human failings” (because shes a weapon , right?) and getting hacked just showed her that she can feel those emotions… and worse: those emotions can be used against her.

  • December 5, 2013 at 1:04 pmewok40k

  • December 9, 2013 at 2:13 pmGermanguy

    Quick Summary of me for Ep 10

    This Episode gains a 10/10 from me. Hell, i even would give a 12 if it was Possible

    The Atmosphere was really great. And the Emotion… Hell, i even watched it 3 Times.. And the Music.. *Bow in Respect*

    You Sir, and Madam. You done a Great Choice and hit the Point. This is a Masterpiece. All Pieces fall together for a Epic Episode.

    You got me there. There was little steps, to hit my Heart.

    *Bow in Respect, very Long*

    • December 9, 2013 at 2:14 pmGermanguy

      more of me, when Episode 10 is life here, for not Spoiler

      • December 9, 2013 at 2:15 pmGermanguy

        Germanguy was nearly on Tears