The premiere of XEBEC’s new original series reaffirms the “advanced yet medieval” military setting that I got from the promo material, but will Silver Will Argevollen turn out to be one of the sleepers of this season? I’m hoping that it will be, given the Break Blade-like vibes that I’m getting. While a TV series like Argevollen will understandably never match up to Break Blade in terms of production quality–even with the same studio behind it–the story does involve kingdoms and nations using clunky bipedal tanks known as “Trail Kriegers” to wage war against each other. And during this war, the main protagonist comes across a special, highly advanced bipedal tank that will (presumably) turn the tides. It’s a tune that we’re all too familiar with now, whether it be in Break Blade, Gundam, or any other mecha anime. However, it’s not a tune that I’m personally tired of just yet, especially when we’re thrown into a more medieval setting that still relies on infantry and tanks to storm a seemingly impenetrable wall, which is the only thing that separates the United Kingdom of Arandas from its belligerent, the National Federation of Ingelmia, who’s discontent with how Arandas has hoarded all of the continent’s rich natural resources for itself.
Interestingly enough, our primary perspective on the war is from the Arandas’ side, whom I perceive as the selfish ones based on the speech by the Ingelmia leader Julios Unios (Hayami Shou) and the cowardly behaviour of the Arandas generals once their wall was breached. As with any story about war, I would’ve figured that the more telling perspective is from the oppressed side (i.e. Ingelmia’s), but Argevollen hedges that decision rather nicely by telling the story from an independent squad of the Arandas’ army, led by Captain Samonji Ukyou (Tsuchida Hiroshi). The main protagonist is a relatively new recruit, Susumu Tokimune (Oosaka Ryouta), who will act on his own sense of righteousness rather than simply obeying orders. It’s a characteristic that’s all too common in protagonists with the potential to end wars (albeit not realistic), which we see an example of in this very first episode when he disobeys orders to save a supposed civilian truck that is under attack and has his “chance encounter” with the heroine of the story, Jamie Hazaford (Oonishi Saori), who just so happens to be transporting the prototype (?) bipedal tank “Argevollen” in her truck’s trailer. Put the two of them in a perilous situation with unknown assailants and bam!, Tokimune finds himself as the new pilot of Argevollen–a much more powerful and responsive Trial Krieger that’s developed by “Kybernes” and partly controlled by brain waves.
While the circumstances that put Tokimune in the pilot seat of Argevollen are fairly typical, I like how he’s a member of the somewhat laid-back Independent Squad 8, whose captain is cool, calm, and collected, and would likely assess the war between Arandas and Ingelmia before blindly swearing allegiance if he ever had doubts. This may be premature, but I can already picture Samonji’s group acting on their own accord at some point, especially if say, the cowardly generals find out about Argevollen and demand that they hand it and Jamie over so that they can try to mass produce them. Samonji has quite a cast of loyal characters supporting him after all, which includes his second-in-command, Master Sergeant Suzushiro Saori (veteran seiyuu Oohara Sayaka), communications officer Terai Akino (Hayama Ikumi), and Trial Krieger pilots Silfy Appleton (Sakurai Harumi, Yuri in Angel Beats!) and Lorenz Giuliano (Hamada Kenji). They’re a unique bunch to say the least–each with their own character nuances that will surely become more prominent as the series goes on.
In terms of production, there is a fair use of 3D CGI for the Trial Kriegers that stands out but doesn’t terribly detract from the overall animation. There are however obvious dips in quality like in most TV series, particularly in the more distant shots, but for the most part, Argevollen still looks better than I’d expect from XEBEC. I like the character designs, I like the soundtrack, and most of all, I like Rinne no Lagrange and Mouretsu Pirates director Tatsuo Satou‘s involvement as the series/composition writer. While I’ll admit that this first episode didn’t particularly stand out in any way, I can see the series getting better once it gets a change to flesh out the characters and develop the story more in the upcoming weeks.
Note: KOTOKO’s “Tough Intention” was used as the ending theme for this first episode, but it’s actually the opening theme for the series. We’ll likely hear it with the actual opening sequence in the next episode.
ED: 「TOUGH INTENTION」 by KOTOKO
It was ok.
She walks like those characters in one of those point and click adventure games.
The CGI blend perfectly into the Anime. The Filter is gorgeous
vollen = full or so, in German. But i cannot find the germpon nish for arge
so, argevollen… dont know what it means, if they used German 🙂
It is not a German word. I´m from Germany and I can´t think of anything that it could mean.
Mmm, ich dachte sie meinen Argwohn. Aber das hat nix “militärisches” in sich
Right now, i think they could mean suspicion. But that has nothing Military in it…
I’d say the “Arge” may be related to “arget” meaning silver because of the color of the mecha. And if in fact there is supposed to be anything german about the name perhaps the “vollen” is related to “wollen” which would make Argevollen to mean something like “Will of silver”.
Try Greek mythology. From Wikipedia: ‘Arge, a huntress. When she was pursuing a stag, she boasted that she would catch up with the animal even if it ran as fast as the chariot of Helios. The sun god, offended by her words, changed her into a doe.’
@Bearzerger: That would make the title literally “Will of Silver: Will of Silver”. Wouldn’t be the first redundant title though, so I guess it’s possible.
2 posts in a week! =O
You’re on a roll!
Welcome Back, Divine. Hope we will see more of you in the future
Nah! I know it from my heart that Divine won’t blog a lot in this time of year.
Although I want to see him blog rarely from time to time.
So, this is Steel Batallion meets Front Mission. Grunt mechs feels good and the Argevollen itself has his own style. Not a breakthrough series, but one that stay true to his word for action and mechs. Kinda reminded me of Gundam 0079’s first ep, and at least the MC isn’t a crying emo (hell, he answer the Destiny Call with blazing guns, something that’s hard to see this days)
https://randomc.net/image/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen%20-%2001%20-%2023.jpg I like her already, punched the shit out of that dumbass, go Jamie go Jamie, go!
https://randomc.net/image/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen%20-%2001%20-%2017.jpg I thought Silfy would be a character I wasn’t going to like, but she helped that dumbass out when he disobeyed orders so she’s’ pretty cool for that.
I like everyone else in the indie squad, except the dumbass who will be forever known as the dumbass. The AVO (yeah I just made that abbreviation up ;p) has a cool looking design.
Nothing amazing really happened in this episode, but I like that we are following the alleged bad guys of the war.
…. wait… what… WHAT????
He’s…. a dumbass… who… saved her life… His mech was on the verge of destruction and instead of running to safety or something, he went to secure hers first, and for that he got… a punch in the face… there was absolutely no flaw in his behavior WHATSOEVER!
The hell were they even trying to show there… that she’s a “strong willed woman”… no… that’s not how you do it…
So generic drivel like this somehow gets the budget for a 24 ep run while Mushishi struggled to get half that?! Typical…..
They probably do have the budget. But whether they get the viewers is questionable. *Cough*… Nobunaga the Fool *Cough*…
XEBEC proved themselves capable with Break Blade. Mushishi is good but it’s target audience is too focused.
Wait, so Divine is now blogging again after retiring for who knows long? Or is this a one time thing that he is doing? or is this Zephy doing this replacing his name to Divine? I’m confused, someone explain this already.
The Guy or Woman, that made her Legs move in this Scene
please, train a bit more. The Legs was ugly animated, until she got back with the Captain…
The Great Wall and some of the Uniforms, looks like they where inspired from WWI (World War 1) French Uniforms, at last the Helm. And the Verdun Wall
It almost look like it. One of the Machine Guns looked like a WWI era Maxim.
I think that it´s actually a kind of an inspiration in WW II, when Germany invaded France… The French (represented by the generals in the council room) were really secure because they said the enemy could never cross the Maginot Line(the wall in this anime), wich was obviously not true… So maybe they picked some historical influences for this anime, wich is fine by me 🙂
Basically Argevollen is Break Blade lite with CG animated mechs. Not bad, but doesn’t particularly stand out, especially when it has the exact same set up of rebellious youth naive in his ways finds OP mech and goes on a killing spree. At least it’s better so far than Captain Earth and Nobunaga the Fool and returns to a storyline centering around war and military mechs.
I’ll see what happens in the next few episodes before making a call, since this is supposedly a 2 cour run things will probably be slow for the next 3-4 episodes anyway.
right now my Vibes goes more into the “Nobunaga the Fool” site. But lets see how the story unfolds. Right now we have a fresh new Hotblood “newbie” here
… you just described all super robot shows ever made.
I can see that it’s somewhat similar to Break Blade, but I see this as being pretty different. For one thing there’s greenery everywhere. For another, Rygart and Tokimune are very different characters…
Argevollen seems to be a prototype mech made by people. Not some irreproducible machine made by a dead civilization.
Hmmm, seems pretty good, in fact better than i expected, or how shall i say this .. it was all great until the “super” robot showed up, a lot of problems started showing right after that.
Don’t get me wrong, i don’t hate it or anything, i really got “Valkyria Chronicles with robots” vibes from it with all those kingdoms clashing against each other, the independent squad and even the down-to-earth character designs (no crazy hair, no weird hair colors), i enjoyed the bits of military tactics and politics they showed here (little as they maybe be), specially the speech given by the leader of the Ingelmians .. i call bullshit on it, i have seen this kind of arrogant and intrusive attitude in real life politics enough to know what it leads to, and it’s always a big load of crap when a leader of country says “we are going to attack your country to remove your eeevil leaders and free you” .. when the truth is almost always “we are just going to ruin your country and hoard your resources for ourselves” .. rings a bell, yeah.
And i don’t see the Arandas generals as cowards at all, a little annoying or demanding maybe but it’s natural for them to retreat .. that’s how real modern war works, you don’t put the generals and country leaders on the front-lines with a rifle so they get killed with the first contact with enemy, this isn’t medieval warfare where the leaders where at the front of the army and go into the fray like everyone elese, for example you didn’t expect Hitler to be waiting for the allies shore party on Normandy beach with a rifle and stick grenade or even in one of the bunkers on the beach .. it just wouldn’t make sense.
Then comes the my problem with the episode, the so-called “super robot’, while what they did here is surely better than high-school-kid-miraculously-stumbles-upon-super-robot-and-can-magically-pilot-it cliche it still felt a little awkward, it’s design feels like it came from a different show altogether (it would have been better if it was based on one of the existing designs in the anime world), then there is that hilarious face-kick he did on the 2nd enemy robot at the end of the episode, how did something so huge fly and deliver a kick like that .. how did we move from hunkering robots that stumble to this ridiculous attack that fits more with a show like Getter-robo or Mazinger (or the highly underrated Godannar .. he had a freaking awesome flying-kick attack, but they weren’t trying to be the slightest bit realistic there), hope they tone-down the action with this “super robot” and give it actual weapons instead of silly flying kicks that don’t fit with the tone of the series, in fact i’m more interested in the politics and warfare which where shown before the super robot showed up.
Finally there are the awesome ending credits (which i doubted where actually the opening, until this post confirmed it), can’t wait to hear it as the actual proper opening.
The Red Robots, that over jumped the great wall. Jump very high, too. So this High kick is not that impossible. because this red Mecha and this new one here, have a Human spine, well some sort of. So Humanoids lines. perhaps artificial muscles, and with this Human spine alike of the red and the new one here, it seems nearly the same “prototype” factory, or both worked together in the past before war spread out
And this Mecha here, is a melee class only. You notice the claws in his hands?
oh, i forgotten
Yes, the only Overpower i saw right now, is his defense. He took not even a scratch when the other Mecha shoots him, or any action of defending… that was a bit to much OP. Meine Herren…
While the standard Mecha, needs a Power Generator to keep it moving. This one here use artificial Muscles and Human Spine technique. Looks like the system has a protection for not exhausted the Pilot with mental fatigue. A bit Valvrade here? that would explain a bit the Episode 2 Name. awaking and this pose, looks like we get to see a Power up…
The difference is that the red-mechs are clearly designed to do what they did, they where running on all fours like animals and used all fours limbs to initiate their jump, just because Argevollen has a spine doesn’t mean it can jump like that or fly-kick other robots in the face (which was completely unnecessary seeing the punch-attack was very effective, far more effective than his silly looking fly kick), and sure the spines of both robots look similar but Argevollen is way larger than those red-robots (he was towering over the mechs he was fighting and those are even larger models than the jumping ones).
In short THIS scene from Godzilla is exactly what came to my mind when Argevollen did that silly fly-kick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvuVHVMKrmQ)
And there also the wrong notion that a unit designed for melee doesn’t need any ranged weapons, that’s just being shortsighted designer becasue even if the robot excels in melee combat it still needs some ranged options, there are situations where he will need ranged weapons to shoot a flying target or won’t be able to get close to his enemies because of a chasm in the ground or a hundred other reasons, it’s just stupid.
let us see, this is just episode 1. I am curious like you, how they continue the story
@Hunter-Wolf: “And i don’t see the Arandas generals as cowards at all, a little annoying or demanding maybe but it’s natural for them to retreat .. that’s how real modern war works, you don’t put the generals and country leaders on the front-lines with a rifle so they get killed with the first contact with enemy, this isn’t medieval warfare where the leaders where at the front of the army and go into the fray like everyone elese, for example you didn’t expect Hitler to be waiting for the allies shore party on Normandy beach with a rifle and stick grenade or even in one of the bunkers on the beach .. it just wouldn’t make sense.”
IMO Divine is right here. Those guys are inept and cowardly. “This wall is impenetrable!” *sips drink* “What, the wall’s been breached!? Run away!” No effort made to rally troops and/or organize a counterattack. They remind me of inept WWI generals who sat miles and miles away from the front lines drinking wine without ANY idea of the battle field conditions.
Obviously, political leaders (which these guys did not seem to be) shouldn’t be near the front lines. Apart from limited circumstances, same could be said for top level commanders commanders (e.g. theatre or perhaps army group), though some did visit close to the front on occasion during WWII. However, you do want generals at the division, corps and even army command level somewhere near the front lines in this type of situation. Since you used a WWII analogy, I’ll list three WWII examples:
After observing US General Fredendall’s huge underground HQ bunker located 70 miles behind front lines, General Eisenhower reminded his senior commanders that “Generals are expendable just as is any other item in an army.” It should be noted that Gen. Fredendall was in command of the US II Corps during the Kasserine Pass debacle. He had NO clue about what was going on, and US troops suffered for lack of leadership. After Kasserine Pass, Fredendall was sent back to the US and never got another command.
On D-Day, 56 year old (suffering from arthritis (used a cane to walk) and a heart condition) Brig. General Roosevelt petitioned three times before being allowed to land with the FIRST wave of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division on Utah Beach. They missed their designated landing zone by 2-3km, and Roosevelt was there to make a critical decision. Upon discovering the landing error, Roosevelt uttered his now famous remark “We’ll start the war from right here!” His decision to start the battle regardless of the landing error worked in the Allies’ favor as many of the Germans stationed in this area were redeployed to deal with the Allied paratroopers. Not only that, by simply being there he raised troop morale immeasurably and continued to lead his troops throughout the day. For his actions on D-Day, Gen. Roosevelt was awarded the Medal of Honor.
On Omaha beach, “Dog White” sector, 51 year old Brig. General Norman Cota landed in the SECOND wave with a part of the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division approximately one hour after H-Hour. His leadership and motivation of the troops were critical to the success of the Omaha Beach landings. His aide, Lt. Shea, described a few of his actions that day:
You make some good point indeed, and the examples you mentioned where indeed great examples of exceptional leadership .. yeah, and “exception”, not the rule, it carries a huge risk to have a general marching with his troops into the fray, imagine the huge negative impact on the troops if Brig. General Roosevelt was shot with a sniper bullet the moment they landed, modern means of communication are made with the sole purpose of keeping the “brains/military leaders” out of the front-lines and leaving the “body/soldiers” to do their job without having to worry about protecting their leaders from stray bullets and debris, that’s why you got radio, telegrams, satellites to feed all the information needed from the battlefield to the commanders who then feed their orders back to the soldiers via the same means of communication .. when those means where non-existent or too slow to keep up with a hectic pace of battle it made sense to have the leaders on the field with the soldiers .. but in modern warfare it isn’t necessary and is a huge risk.
The Arandas generals are clearly high-ranking officers in the Arandas army (while we use the word “generals” they could be of higher ranks, the Arandas army uses colored straps on the shoulders with three different colors for different ranks red, silver and gold, Colonel Izumi having three gold colored straps), having all these high-ranking officers captured or killed while trying to rally the troops in a losing fight isn’t a strategic or a smart decision at all.
Speaking of Colonel Izumi, he was clearly the one tasked with governing this garrison on the wall, and they clearly left the decision up to him (even after telling him to defend it to the last man he still chose to retreat to save his soldiers lives, pretty much following their example in retreating when the odds are too high), it’s his responsibility from the start not theirs.
I too think the intention was to make the generals look cowardly. That’s definately the feel that I got. Especially in the way they were portrayed and right after the other nation accused them of keeping everything for the upper class. You can see the generals are just sitting thier relaxing and drinking the day away, patting themselves on the back, before they switch to scenes where the real soldiers are fighting and dying and the colonel is doing his best to keep a handle on the situation. And the way the generals just left, despite the fact that the colonel pleaded with them for help and to rally the men, they all just left with a shrug, and they were obviously not leaving them to strategize or make a battle plan, they’re excuse was “we were only here for an inspection” and “do your best and fight to the last man”. Really?
Its obvious that they didn’t give a care about the men what so ever, and that they were only leaving to protect themselves.
@Hunter-Wolf: To be clear, I agree with you in part. As you say, no point in getting all of the generals killed/captured (though given their lack of actual leadership/competency (IMO), how much of a loss would that really be?). However, for me it’s not all or nothing. They could leave one or two of the lower ranking generals there to organize a counterattack. The whole thing was shoddy IMO. Rather than observe what’s going on, give orders, adjust tactics, etc., they sit back, have a few choice beverages, then go “Oh well, guess the all important wall fell. Time to go. The rest of you stay behind and keep fighting.” Not the greatest example of miitary leadership.
Certainly modern tech makes a huge difference. Still, IDK to what extent these nations have RL modern high-tech communications. Satellites? Flying observation drones? Another potential factor is time delay. Data flow through channels can take time, and it’s not always as instantaneous as you might think. Radio? Not 100% reliable and can be jammed. Telegrams? Those can get delayed. A critical telegram was sent by Gen Marshall to Admiral Kimmel a few hours prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. It got hung up – Kimmel recieved it just after the attack. Needless to say, he was not happy.
Risky or not, there are times you must have high ranking leadership right THERE. Like Eisenhower said, “Generals are expendable just as is any other item in an army.” US Lt. General Lesley McNair died from a short bomb during the carpet bombing phase of Operation Cobra. War went on without him, and US forces broke through at St. Lo.
Again, I think you have a point, but to a certain extent. IMO there’s simply no substitute for being on there. To be clear, that doesn’t mean placing a general literally at the vanguard shooting at the enemy, but be around so that they can personally observe what’s going on, and make timely, important decisions based upon accurate information. Plus, there’s the whole morale boost effect as well. So as I mentioned above, most (key) of those guys could retreat as you suggest, but leave a Brig. General or even a Major General behind to rally the troops.
As for Colonel Izumi, I don’t think it’s fair to push all the blame/responsibility on him. Superior officers are responsible for those under their command. Those generals are THERE – at the battle field, and to simply go “not my responsibility” is ridiculous IMO. Isn’t that the main, critical battlefield? What is their job then – besides sitting around having some drinks? Frankly, from what I saw so far, Col. Izumi seems better than any of those generals. If one got killed, I would promote Izumi ASAP. Kind of solves two problems at the same time.
JMO and enjoyed the discussion. 😀
@Irenesharda: Agree. Definitely has a set-up feeling the way it’s presented. Incompetent generals with Colonel Izumi as the one bright spot in leadership. I think it’s pretty clear Izumi has a greater role to play in the story later on.
I agree that they are trying to portray the generals as cowardly. But of course, we don’t know the exact military structure is in that nation. The colonel might have been one rank below the generals. Of course, it may improve the soldier’s morale if they appeared but so would the colonel.
For example, Brig. General Roosevelt (I’m making a wild guess) is the subordinate of another person higher. In the event you mentioned, that superior clearly wasn’t in the field. If we juxtapose that in the anime, and assuming the colonel is one or a few ranks below the generals, I don’t see why the generals have to raise morale when the colonel could kick back and have a drink. Surely, the colonel could do the same and raise morale on the front lines – which he omitted to do. If you ask me, I would say that the colonel is a hypocrite.
And of course Daikama, we have only seen one scene of the generals. There are more important matters than directing personnel on the front lines. There is the issue of supplies, general strategy of the war rather than of a battle, etc. Just because it is not shown does not mean that the generals have not done so.
– As Colonel Izumi is one rank below a Brigadier General assuming the ranks work the same as with most RL armies.
– Brig. Gen. Roosevelt was Assistant Division Commander of the 4th Infantry Division, under the command of 4th Division commander Major General Raymond Barton who was under the command of VII Corps commander Major General Lawton Collins who was under the command of First Army commander General Omar Bradley who was under the command of 21st Army Group commander General Bernard Montgomery who was under the command of SHAEF commander General Dwight Eisenhower. Brig. General Cota was Assistant Division Commander of the 29th Infantry Division which followed the same COC (chain of command) except different division and corps commanders. Point = a solid COC in which you can afford to have a Brig. General or even a Maj. General leading the troops in an important battle… which is what happened and to good cause.
FYI, Gen. Roosevelt and Cota were not the only generals to get into the fight from the start on D-Day. BOTH Major Generals Maxwell Taylor (101st Airborne Division commander) and Matthew Ridgeway (82d Airborne Division commander) jumped WITH their respective divisions during the initial airborne operations even though a whole host of lower ranking officers such as Lt Col. Patrick Cassidy and Lt Col. Robert Cole jumped as well. Those generals didn’t jump into heavy flak and behind enemy lines for the fun of it. They needed to be there. They had a job to do – organize and command their troops, and achieve their assigned objectives.
You miss my point when suggesting that Colonel Izumi kicks back while the general(s) command the troops. I never suggested that. I suggested one or perhaps two of the lower ranking generals ALONG WITH Colonel Izumi stay to reorganize and direct troops. Not ALL the generals. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean command them on personal level down to the lowliest private either. You have a very fluid situation and organizational breakdown in a critical battle due to lack of direct command. You need leadership from all ranks – from NCOs to yes, even generals, and I don’t consider “Tell the troops to drive them off” *sips tea* (see below) as proper military leadership.
— There are more important matters than directing personnel on the front lines. There is the issue of supplies, general strategy of the war rather than of a battle, etc. Just because it is not shown does not mean that the generals have not done so.
O.o Logistics? Yes, logistics/supply are important (certainly screwed up many a general or field marshal), but I fail to understand how that takes precedence over commanding troops and winning battles. I also find it hard to believe all these generals are SOS (Service of Supply) branch. BTW, at least at the army level, generals typically have a (US) G4 Logistics staff officer along G1 Personnel, G2 Intelligence and G3 Liaison staff officers.
“General Strategy”? What general strategy? From the anime (Horrible Subs) tea party generals dialog:
LMAO – “Tell the troops to drive them off”!? Tactical genius that. >_> From what we saw, this is a CRITICAL battle. Breaching the “Great Wall” will have major effects on the entire war. Frankly, the situation kind of reminds me of the misplaced faith in the Maginot Line.
— “Just because it is not shown does not mean that the generals have not done so.”
That argument cuts both ways. Doesn’t mean they did either, and the above dialog doesn’t lend much credence to them “doing so”.
— Surely, the colonel could do the same and raise morale on the front lines – which he omitted to do. If you ask me, I would say that the colonel is a hypocrite.
Wait a minute. First you argue that we don’t know that the generals didn’t do a whole bunch of stuff off screen, and now you deny that same benefit of the doubt to Colonel Izumi? Maybe he did – both before and after that scene. Maybe he didn’t because he was too busy attending (i.e. under orders) said generals instead of leading the troops. Perhaps if said generals actually got in the war beyond LOL worthy lines such as “Tell the troops to win”, Colonel Izumi might have the opportunity to do just as you suggest.
And don’t forget General James “Jumping Jim” Gavin of the 82 Airborne! Youngest major general commanding a division in WWII. Jumped with his men in Sicily and on D-Day.
To reference another war besides WWII, here’s a list of the Generals killed in the Civil War. You’ll notice many died while leading their troops into battle.
Since the generals were there, they were they should have taken command. That’s their job and they are (supposedly) the most qualified and experienced.
My point exactly, i feel so much similarity with Wanzer from front mission and everything become weird when super robot argevolen introduced
For a while there,I was getting hyped. I thought:
“Hey look,all our cast is already in the military,which means there won’t be any highschooler that get’s caught into a war,bla,bla,bla; they’are already in it.Oh,the mech designs look pretty nice too with a lot of metal & rainbow colors and they hardly seem overpowered or anything. This actually might be a mecha anime that will rely more on the tactics & strategy our protagonists will use to triumph over their foes instead of some all-powerful,gundam-ish mech.”
But from the moment I saw that large truck I began to worry. The moment the MC started being stupid and went ahead on his own was the 2nd alert. When the girl was entering the code I knew it was already too late. I knew(and probably most people too) that there’s gonna be some super-mecha there that will allow to MC to overcome his foes when he should’ve otherwise been dead – not because of his own skill & wit,but simply because of the much superior machine. But of course it’s gonna be like this. After all,this is much easier than making an actual war drama with tactics,strategy & some enjoyable camaraderie between characters who’s lives depend upon each other. I know that’s asking a lot,but the 1st half actually gave me some hopes for that. Oh well,maybe not all is lost. I was also getting some Valkyria Chronicles vibes from this. Damn this incredibly overused theme ><
On another note:
Divine is back? Just for a couple of posts or…? I wasn't even frequenting RC when he was around but I read a couple of past reviews on some shows I marathoned and they were quite enjoyable.
well, perhaps they run the “This is not a Mecha!, this is a Super big Powersuit” road down
You’ve summed up my feelings quite nicely, MgMaster. The first part of this show actually interested me, and I was hoping that we’d get interesting, tactical battles with those somewhat cool-looking big lumbering mechs. A story about this group of soldiers fighting back with their skills against an overwhelming enemy or something. Still wouldn’t be the most original idea ever, but one that could be pretty damn fun to watch.
But no, of course not, our hot-blooded cookie-cutter shonen hero finds an overpowered mech that he can use to save the day. This after going against direct orders and nearly getting everyone killed. Hooray for him!
Ugh. Instant interest-killer right there. I dislike his archetype in general, and this idiot just took it a whole new level. I’d take Shinji freaking Ikari over him anyday. So really, I don’t want to see him win. And I doubt the robot battles will be interesting anyway. So, a nope for me. What a waste.
Oh wow. Another freakishly naive solider that thinks it cool to risk everything by going out and fighting when outnumbered but still manages to get things to work out!
Bleh I’ll watch it for the silly mech fights but the cast isn’t to appealing yet. I find it strange how the blonde girl wasn’t really reacting properly to the situation considering someone important to her just died in her arms. But these kinds of personalities are possible in war anime I suppose. Not that it makes any sense.
Basically… a crappier Break Blade. I do like the grey morality in this world though. The Red Mech’s leader had a lol propaganda speech but it looks like no side is clearly the “good guys”. Which is just as well considering how wars usually are. I’m a bit tired of the over used theme of small oppressed nation of good guys overcomes large EVIL EMPIRE!
One thing I don’t like is that there seems to be no reason to use Mecha over traditional tanks. I mean seriously they still have tanks! In Code Geass the mobility of Knightmare frames made conventional weapons obsolete. In Break Blade the unique magic of the people lead to the development of tanks. In Muv Luv the Beta’s anti air hax made TSFs a viable strategy. In this universe the “bipedal tanks” just seem like slower stumbling less maneuverable tanks that have less fire power than a tank would.
If a setting is selling itself as a hard-ish Sci-fi then I like to see some internal consistency regarding it’s technology and such.
Agree about the tanks, it really screams wanting to have your cake and eat it too. Why have one if you already have the other; both serve the exact same purpose tactically: efficiently assaulting fixed positions and exploiting gaps within the enemy’s line of battle. There’s no need for two types of vehicles performing the same function when the main objective of any military is to achieve its goal as quick as possible as cheaply as possible with as few casualties as possible. Mechas need some sort of benefit that makes employing them the better choice against tanks when the former are easily more mechanically complex and expensive to operate.
Now if it was set up like Gundam where mechas on one side faced off against tanks on the other then that would be a different situation, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Sadly though I doubt we are likely to get an explanation for the presence of both as it seems to be nothing more than pure background scenery.
Well, you do have a point, but i can say the only type of mechs that really shifted the scales of the battle (or in fact ended it) was the red mechs that that Ingelmia used to cross the impenetrable defense wall by jumping over it, that’s a mech that had a good reason to exist and no tank could have done the same job.
That’s the thing though, since there are mechs perfectly capable of doing things no tank could do (as seen in this episode), why are there still tanks around? Some of the ones shown already have similar armament to the tanks, so what’s the reason? Using them until they break and can be replaced by mechs? Are they simply SPGs providing close fire support? Are they in a remote sector of secondary importance for new weaponry? Probably over thinking this a little too much, but anything tank-wise and I go into fan girl mode 😛 (not to mention a simple explanation would be a boon for the world building).
Tanks are actually better with rocky terrain and steep slopes than any bipedal ever would be. They possess a low centre of gravity and spread their weight more efficiently on the ground thanks to the large surface area of their tracks (after all they were originally designed to “ford” trenches). Even rivers are starting to be no problem for modern tanks (the Russian T-90 as an example can ford 5 meters of water and is water tight for up to 20 minutes). The main advantage of bipedals is infantry warfare, they can increase the effectiveness of a single man several times over by allowing for heavier weapons usage and better protection. Basically the tank is for any open warfare, the bipedal is expected to be the main urban warfare weapon of choice.
@Pancakes: Fair enough on the T-90. My knowledge is more concentrated for WWII stuff. Still, given that this is sci-fi, no reason to think the same couldn’t be true for a mech (i.e. water tight, fording 5m of water, etc.), but whatever. And yeah, I do know that tanks were originally designed to “ford” trenches. Type 89 I-Go being one example with the skid on the back. Even so, those red jumping mechs wouldn’t have a problem clearing trenches.
As for rocky terrain & steep slopes, IDK about that. Spreading out weight doesn’t necessarily mean better traction. Narrow tires do better in snow for example. Also, if you consider a bipedal mech similar to a person, who’s better at scaling steep slope? Tank with wide tracks or a person (i.e. mech) who can use both feet and hands? Bipedal mechs quite likely could go around blocked pathways/roads that a tank couldn’t. I’m not saying a bipedal tank is always better in terms of mobility, but it does have its advantages in some situations.
— Basically the tank is for any open warfare, the bipedal is expected to be the main urban warfare weapon of choice.
Kind of answers you own questions on why to have both types. OK, so tanks are better for open warfare = have them around for that. Mechs can do things tanks can’t so have them around for that as well. Another point is that I suspect that mech pilots are not a dime a dozen either = you can field a lot more armor with both types around since your likely to find those who can crew tanks, but not mechs. As for why have mechs in “open warfare, why wouldn’t you use them as well? Like saying we’ll only field our best, most modern tanks. Germans fielded Panzer IVs even though Panthers and Tigers were better tanks. Use what you have that will make a difference.
Again, JMO, but really don’t see this as an egregious issue.
Tanks are always handicapped in mecha shows.
I would say the reason the invaders were using tanks is probably that there were different armies with different capabilities out of their various allies, they had several different robot types as well.
IDK about the whole “you have tanks so why have mechs” theory. TBH, that didn’t bother me at all. First, Hunter-Wolf makes an excellent point in that the only reason the wall was breached was due to the red “jumping” mechs. Can’t do that with a tank.
Certainly the current “slow” mechs (not the red jumping ones) have disadvantages compared to tanks, but IMO they offer some advantages as well. I can see how bipedal tanks might be able to travel over areas a traditional tank couldn’t. Fording deep(er) rivers, walking over rocky ground (e.g tank might hang up on something), maybe crawl up steep slopes. There’s also a viewpoint advantage as well. Those things are pretty tall and give a good general overview of the battle field. I could see a mech pilot acting as forward artillery (incl. tanks) observer.
The other thing is that I view the mechs in this story as “new tech” which ultimately would surpass traditional tanks. Sure today’s mechs (except maybe the red ones) are slow and cumbersome, but tomorrow’s mech (e.g. Argevollen) is fast and mobile. Weapon advancement and development takes time, and you can’t imitate true battlefield testing in the lab or via simulation. Lessons learned by using the “slow” mechs in today’s battle help ramp tech for tomorrow’s more advanced mech. Also, it’s not like those things are useless. I’m sure the Arandas troops would have liked to have a few more of those “slow” mechs around.
JMO, but frankly I think the lack of AT (or “AM”/anti-mech) infantry weaponry makes less sense than having both tanks and bipedal tank mechs.
Decided to give this a shot. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great either IMO. Tropes a plenty and some WTF moments – particularly in the second half. Frankly, I wasn’t all that enamored of Tokimune. He’s not terrible (watched worse male leads), but I didn’t find him engaging either. Kind of meh/generic IMO. Only one episode so he might improve. I hope some time is spent on character depth and development for him rather than just rely upon cool uber mech action scenes alone to carry the show.
The battle scenes were OK I guess, but I kept wondering that, given all this modern weaponry/tech, giant robot “tanks”, etc., why doesn’t the infantry have any AT weaponry (in this case maybe “AM” (anti-mech) weaponry)? Maybe I missed it, but I all I saw for the infantry were MG/assault rifles, field artillery and few mechs. Doesn’t have to be anything as modern as say a FGM-148 Javelin or even BGM-71 TOW. Simple RPG/Bazooka copy or even a good ‘ol Panzerfaust knockoff. Just something. Maybe I’m being too nit-picky on that, but the lack of any “AR” infantry weapons was both noticeable and odd.
Overall EP 01 was good enough to keep my interest for at least one more episode. “3 Ep. Rule” still in effect.
@Divine: “The premiere of XEBEC’s new original series reaffirms the “advanced yet medieval” military setting that I got from the promo material…”
The advanced part I get in spades, but the medieval part…not so much. OK, there’s a wall (e.g. castle/fortress similarity), but all the giant robots, modern tanks, artillery, MGs, assault rifles, MREs, computers, high tech video screens/HUDs, etc. overwhelm any sense of “medieval” similarity for me. JMO.
— “I would’ve figured that the more telling perspective is from the oppressed side (i.e. Ingelmia’s)…”
Not so sure about Ingelmia representing the “oppressed side”. The version I watched (Horrible Subs) states within the first minute: “Arandas possesses rich natural resources, but Ingelmia has expanded to the south, absorbing the nations in its path, and expanding its military might.” From that statement it seems pretty clear that Ingelmia is the oppressor, not the oppressed. Personally, I’m not buying the propaganda “liberation” speech. Could be wrong, but this looks like a war of conquest by Ingelmia to me.
— “… I can already picture Samonji’s group acting on their own accord at some point, especially if say, the cowardly generals find out about Argevollen and demand that they hand it and Jamie over so that they can try to mass produce them.”
Agree. The set up certainly looks as if Samonji’s group will be taking independent action with both sides against them in some respect. Not all that original of a plot line, but not necessarily damning either. Have to see how it plays out.
Totally agree about the ATs, i was screaming at the Samonji’s group soldiers when they noticed the fighting happening nearby “GET SOME GOD DAMN RPGs PEOPLE, you aren’t going to stop or even get away from an army of mechs with machine-guns or rifles !!!”, specially given they only had three mechs on their side, and one of them piloted by an incompetent pilot (the MC sadly).
Come to think of it,we hardly ever see infantry with AT weapons in mecha shows…Granted,I’m not that much of a mecha fan but I don’t recall the last time I saw one where ground troops had something like that.
Gundam 08th team had a very memorable scene when the main character gets his gundam wrecked and resorts to using AT weapons to destroy the enemy Zaku by shooting an RPG round at the enemy robot cockpit (the nemesis robot of the gundam in almost all UC timeline gundam series).
By the way, how do you post thumbnails in the comments, i tried all the HTML tags for pictures that i know of and none of them work for some reason.
I really wish more mecha anime were like Gundam 08th Team, no overpowered mechs, reliance of teamwork, strategy, resourcefulness, just soldiers trying to do their job while not getting killed. In the end though these sorts of shows aren’t really made for someone like me, their made in order to sell merchandise or appeal to the widest possible audience.
LOL, I was the same. I kept thinking “NOW! NOW! Shoot an AT RPG at those mechs!” *continued MG/rifle fire* “GAH!” I guess it wouldn’t be as “exciting” if the infantry troops could actually fight back against the mechs.
Ya know, now that I think about it, you’re right. I don’t watch a lot of mecha anime either so I never thought about it, but I don’t recall ever seeing some sort of anti-mech/anti-robot infantry weapon either. You’d think if they can build all these high-tech mechs, somebody would have created anti-mech infantry weapon. Frankly, I think adding something like that would be a good addition to a mecha anime story.
I don’t like the mc.
The mechas in this show seems to be a combination of Front Mission Wanzers & the Mechs from MechWarrior.
The MC is a downer though, you should at least have skill if you want to be a hero.
The Trail Krieger have pile bankers not unlike the one in Shako’s AT from Votoms. They’re even equipped on the same arm.
Cliche the Animation – is the proper name this anime should have gotten, because oh my god, they covered every cliche in history of mech anime.
Well, we still have a few left. We have yet to see the team of trained military boys that are supposed to steal the mech from the other side and then later serve as the antagonists for a good portion of the series. And then there’s the singer/cute girl that will be an ultra-pacifist and talk about wanting peace for the rest of the series (though Jamie could fill that position). But yeah, other than that, this has done most of the cliches.
ugh, I can completely see some sort of team being formed to steal this new mech, it’s only a matter of time. I’m hoping we won’t see the singer (probably not)/princess or queen/cute girl who is the pacifist, but as you said Jaime could easily fill that role, if I see that I’ll probably drop it since I almost always find these characters to be awful, it’s not even that I’m blood hungry, it’s because their reasons are always so flimsy, without any understanding of complex the issue of war or violence is.
typical boy-meets-girl-and-gets-into-a-highly-advance-mech cliche so far. I’ll give this show a shot
Oh God…the MC. I hate when they make protagonists like this.
“Oh man, how am I going to develop the protagonist’s character. I don’t want to think about it, so lets just make him a generic hot-headed hero wannabe with no skills.”
Given its premise, the cliche progression of this introductory episode is as expected.
I do like how the show has already dropped hints regarding the war. Ingelma is expanding its territory under the guise of “liberating the oppressed”, which may or may not be true. The brief snippet of how Arandas operates is not painting a pretty picture, for sure.
Breaking out of the typical mold, I think, is the nature of our protagonists. They are an indie squad, which makes me wonder about their status in Arandas’ military and society. The exchange makes it seem like our protagonist is a fresh graduate of military school, which makes one question if there is a military school for independent soldiers, or if the MC was assigned or drafted to that squad.
I agree with the idea that Saimonji and the survivors of his crew will end up with the independent squad’s crew, but I’d like to add that they just might even be able to form their own faction. Then again, the MC appears to be a hotblooded patriot, so I foresee a lot of moments in the near future where, as omniscient viewers, harsh criticisms will follow.
The mobility of the Ingelma’s newest mech does have to be noted, too. Might they be employing tech similar to the Argevollen?
Anyway, overall, this series gets a pass.
Intro by KOTOKO, mecha and a bunch of interesting squad mates? Got some good memories from that combination. Lets see how this one goes.
How many episodes will it get anyway? Any hints?
Well that was certainly a by the book mecha first episode, but its where it goes from here that counts.
Pilot – It moves exactly how I want to!
Female systems operator: THEN WHY ARE YOU MISSING?
Pilot: The rhythm’s different! It’s too fast!
Female systems operator: NO YOU JUST SUCK! (NOOB!)
It’s not everyday you have female systems operator scolding a “stat padding” pilot that way…..
Word is Argevollen will be 2-cour, so it might take some time to invest in the show.
Mmm perhaps this is not civilian craft, perhaps a special ops that stolen the next Prototype from the enemy, and thats because they where pursuit away from the front lines
I’ve started watching this show with a slight hope that it will be substantial. It showed both sides of the story in the beginning and this gave some leeway for the show, a sort of legend of the galactic heroes concept, but not, it fell far short of that.
The animation quality was good and there were some nice changes with there being female mechanics, for example. But other than that, the show has little to nothing to compensate for its abysmal plot and an idiot of a main character.
Firstly, the plot is just plain predictable. Main character sees an unknown truck. Main character finds a mech seemingly years ahead of its time. Main character pilots it and beat the hell out of the enemy. This screams Gundam – but at least for Gundam the mechs aren’t that much more advanced than the rest.
I don’t know where this series would go in the future but the plot is uninteresting. It merely draws some substance for both sides but fails to work on it. In the end, it paints the invading nation as the ‘bad guys’ and left it at that.
Secondly, I do wonder why the main character is even eligible to be a soldier. Surely, there should be psychiatric tests to determine whether a person is mentally able. The main character here has anger issues, and it isn’t even when he is teased. He seems to be angry all the time. So we have here an angry, trigger happy kid who wants rush in and get ‘kills’ like it was out of call of duty and who jeopardizes the safety of his squadron by disobeying orders. If I didn’t know this is a completely different show, I would have thought the main character here is Shin Asuka from Gundam Seed Destiny.
The show is appalling. The plot is predictable, there is a lack of characterisation, a lack of substance in explaining the background and it doesn’t help when the main character is an angry trigger happy kid playing superman.
well, this angry trigger happy Kid, has the calm and wise Captain, as counterpart. But this only works, if the trigger happy Kid not disobey more orders
We will have to see about that. My guess is that this will make him proud of his own achievements, think that his mech is invincible, and charge straight in again – Call of duty style.
You where nearly right, he obey orders but he charged in in CoD style
The mecha designs are nice and all – BUT – the feel of the episode in the second half felt like gundam and its “random
guypilot piloting powerful mech” meme.
hopefully that first half of the independent group’s action’s not going to be a meme of the typical gundam group (cause it would be nice to see that not to happen, EVER)…
Divine blogging? This is a treat.
Like Actus pointed out above, the protagonist really reminds me of Shinn Asuka. Granted he isn’t delusional and doesn’t seem to need actual anger therapy just yet, but ….ehhhh. That attitude better get some fixing before the series is half way through.
Everybody is in a state of shock while the captain looks like
I don’t give a fuck.
The gap made me laugh for some reason. xD
Aku no Hargevollen atrocious animation.
Not bad but 100% cliche. Zero creativity in this episode.
I think this will be an okay show to watch, but won’t be among the best of the season.
When the civilian trailer showed up coming under attack I started wagering the odds on whether it would contain a) a mysterious girl b) a mysterious robot or c) both.
Still a good start for the show though even if it was fairly formulaic so far.
I’ll give it a few more episodes… mainly because the setting seems interesting, and the idiot main character is actually called what he is (a hot-blooded loose cannon idiot that sucks at piloting) by multiple characters.
What I never understood in anime was why they always decide to make irresponsible low rank enlisted people pilots of multi-million dollar mechas. The MC can’t even pilot his mech at a proficient level.
I know, right? And he’s like, “You don’t want to lose troops? Then I’ll go!” as if losing him was somehow okay (actually, it might have been better if he had gotten himself killed). Then he promptly totals an expensive piece of military hardware and I just thought, “See? That’s exactly the kind of thing they were talking about. If you wanted to die so badly, at least have the decency to leave the robot behind; it doesn’t belong to you.”
Welcome back Divine,its been so long.
What this Episode proven to us all. This Mecha need a Weapon upgrade. With his Material Art Meele fight style, he can not real damage the new red Mecha of the enemy. But i wonder, where to get the resources to build it? I hope they dont find some “Oh how convenient, we found the new Prototype weapon for argevollen”…
Or will we see, more of the Squad Mecha team play
oh, and the Pilot are not a genius fallen from the sky, he need to learn how to “drive” the new mecha…
Looks like we nearly covered the basics here
some may think, why i post my summary in a precursor episode.