「ワンマン・アーミー」 (Wan Man Aamii)
“One Man Army”

Three episodes in and Argevollen doesn’t show any indication of picking up the pace just yet. Instead, the story continues on gingerly, which makes me wonder if the writers weren’t sure how to best make use of two cours’ worth of episodes (i.e. 24-26). Aside from what I felt was an unnecessary plot device last episode, Argevollen hasn’t done anything terribly wrong though. On the contrary, the only thing that it’s probably guilty of is not doing “enough” in the first few episodes to grab the viewer’s attention. I attribute this at least partially to the fact that we have a huge cast of characters and the screen time has been spread really thinly amongst them all. While this may have been intentional in order to depict the vast scale of war, an inadvertent side effect is that it’s difficult to discern who’s going to be important to the overall story, even amongst the members of the 8th Independent Squad. Aside from the three pilots, Tokimune, Silfy, and Lorenz, the only other members whose names that I care to remember right now are Captain Samonji, second-in-command Suzushiro, and of course Jamie Hazaford.

On a positive note, this episode did make some strides to place more emphasis on certain characters. In particular, Samonji’s old friend, Colonel Shizuma Izumi (Chiba Susumu), whom we saw in the first episode, and Ingelmia’s ace pilot Schlein Richthofen (Sakurai Takahiro), whom we were introduced to here. Richthofen is a welcome addition, simply because he’s the first major character to actually cross paths with Tokimune and he plans to make a habit of it until he can get his hands on the prototype Argevollen. His cool and overconfident nature has all the makings of an enemy rival pilot, which is common but appealing subplot that I can get on board with. The reason being, with a rival pilot in the mix, there’s the possibility that Richthofen’s character may provide us with a perspective of the war from Ingelmia’s side–a perspective that can only deepen the story that I feel we’ve only grazed the surface of.

As for some more specific developments, I’m kind of glad that we’re “only” dealing with Tokimune’s hotheaded ways this time around and no more “piloting” problems like we saw last episode. I also enjoyed the addition of some tongue-in-cheek moments with Jamie wiggling her butt in Tokimune’s face just to power on Argevollen (why would he complain about her having to do this every time?) and Lorenz trying to pick up the the aforementioned butt-wiggler before a crucial battle to fend off Ingelmia’s pursuing troops. It feels like Argevollen is struggling to maintain its appeal with a serious tone alone–even after Samonji’s squad managed to followthrough with Arandas’ “Order F” desperation plan and blew up the mountain cliffs to slow down their pursuers–so some lighthearted ones like those actually turned out to be a nice change in mood. In any case, I’m getting more accustomed to the pacing of this original series, so until it does something that I just can’t fathom or bores me out of my mind, I’m still curious to see where it’s headed.

Full-length images: 04, 31.




  1. Still slow, but I suppose the mecha battle was a bit better than last time’s. SDfasdfsd I can’t get over how damn clumsy these machines look though. Slow lumbering machines are fine (See Break Blade) but the fights look really… eh unexciting.

  2. Really want to know where this is heading because it’s been nothing but stagnant so far. Furthermore is the indication that we will now get a time jump for next episode which leads into the standard training session stuff (unless I read that preview and statement about a long ceasefire wrong).

    Argevollen isn’t terrible, but we haven’t been given something yet that lifts it up beyond this current half-baked state. Usually there’s an intriguing story or background universe that keeps things interesting (not unlike Valvrave), but so far we have had little in both the world building and storytelling categories. Argevollen seriously need to pick up soon because insubordinate Tokimune and an OP mech are not enough to keep the show interesting. Really hope the focus on other characters this episode is a positive sign of things to come.

  3. If I was blogging this show, I would informally title my review of this episode “4 Episode Rule” because after three episodes, I remain entirely undecided on whether to drop or not. After episode 02, I was leaning toward dropping the show, but episode 03 was just barely “good” enough to keep me hanging around another week.

    The show seems to lack focus, trying to be several things without accomplishing any of them. Action appears to be the “primary” focus, but I find the battles highly scripted and formalistic rather than tense and exciting. Seriously, how do you make a show with a war time setting and chock-a-block with mechs kind of boring? The overall “strategy” (LOL) of retreat doesn’t help matters any. God forbid they actually try to hold a “strong” point. Plot driven? Maybe there’s some sort of twist later on (I hope so!), but the story thus far is very straightforward and by-the-book.

    Character driven? Umm… maybe we shouldn’t go there. Tokimune isn’t exactly popular with many viewers (for good reason). Now able to make Argevollen walk or even run is a step (no pun intended :P) in the right direction, but his utter lack of any meaningful combat ability is getting OLD with me. At this point, I don’t care if he dons the “Helm of the Invincible Mech Warrior Pilot” or discovers “Gauntlets of Mech Piloting Expertise”. SOMETHING so he stops sucking so bad at mech combat. Oh, and Schlein expressly pointing out that Tokimune “unskilled but piloting a great mech” isn’t making this more watchable. Thank you Capt. Obvious. Seriously, ENOUGH with the “inept rookie/noob mech pilot” plot line!

    As for Jamie, TBH whatever goodwill she garnered from me in episode 01 was lost in episode 02. To me she’s “OK”, but that’s it. Captain Samonji redefines the phrase “a man of a few words”. That being said, Samonji is competent at his job if a bit cold-hearted towards the troops. Like Jamie, he’s “OK”, but that’s it. Col. Izumi benefited by comparison in EP 01, but I thought his appearance in this episode was rather tepid. Another “meh”/”OK” character. It is early in a two-cour run, but it’s hard for me to be be enthusiastic about any of the main cast at this point. I agree with Divine that Ingelmia’s ace pilot Schlein Richthofen is a welcome addition to the cast. Still, the only character I like to any extent is the enemy commander.

    To be fair, EP 03 wasn’t all bad. The show managed to shrug off some potential WTF moments compared to last episode’s in-your-face ones. For example, they did briefly comment on why Jamie is still hanging around. Just when I was thinking “I bet they don’t put ANY artillery on the high ground”, cue shot of one somewhat elevated gun emplacement. I wouldn’t say that this episode required no suspension of disbelief, but it was (IMO) thankfully better than last episode. I’ll take it.

    More than anything, I’m struck with a sense of Argevollen just being there. It does just enough to keep me around (so far), but I have yet to feel any real emotion or excitement or interest or ANYTHING from the show. Like I mentioned above, I amazed at how a series about mechs at war can be so bland. Looks like the focus will shift to the characters next episode. Maybe that will help. Maybe.

    1. You pretty much said exactly what I feel about this series. It is very generic and almost boring, and I’m more interested in blue team than I am green team. And it’s sad when I know almost nothing about all the supposed supporting cast. I barely know the main ones!

      The story is going nowhere fast and I barely know why the two sides are even at war, much less what side I’m rooting for.

    2. You touch on some valid points, but with regards to the following:

      That being said, Samonji is competent at his job if a bit cold-hearted towards the troops.

      I get the sense that while Samonji is a man of few words, he actually cares more about his squad than he lets on and doesn’t want any of them die under his command.

  4. Tokimune was really trying my patience this episode. I understand that his personality is the hot headed, naive, doing-things-without-thinking-it-through type of character, but I really wish he had learned a bit from his actions in episode 1. Of course I’m glad that he managed to save those few soldiers, yet why can’t he think what to do next after he had charged away from his defensive position? I get that he’s still a rookie and inexperienced, and we all know that young people are prone to doing some stupid things, yet why didn’t he seem even a bit remorseful or at least reflect on his actions a bit after the battle? Instead he looks just depressed or feeling sorry for himself because he couldn’t win against Richtofen. He can’t be that big an idiot who can’t recognize his own mistakes and still thinks he did no wrong now, could he?

    On to other things, I really liked the focus on Colonel Izumi and his interactions with Captain Samonji at the start of the episode. There’s clearly some sort of history there between these two if we look at the banter going on between them. I’m guessing maybe former classmates in military school who both had bright prospects in the military, but Samonji had some brush ups with the higher ups and is now languishing as the captain of Independent Unit 08.

    Silfy continues to be awesome even with just the little snippets we get of her in this episode. She may look brash and strict on the outside, but she will look out for others when they get into trouble and also doesn’t slack up in preparations before battle. I really thought Lorenz was waving a death flag when he tried to hit on Jamie, although the fact that he isn’t really serious and hits on anyone except one of the girl mechanics did get a few chuckles out of me.

    Next episode looks to be a calm before the storm, as Order F finally gives the Arandas forces a break and a chance to regroup while Ingelmia has to clear out a path through the rubble. Hopefully, we can focus more on the big picture of this war and more information on Kivernas Manufacturing and Argevollen instead of just on Independent Unit 08.

  5. 3 episodes in and our MC is still an idiotic moron. Who the hell is in charge of recruiting if they let someone like him in the army? And i like how he is STILL never punished for disobeying orders. In the army I’m pretty sure you can get discharged for that stuff………….but oh wait! The plot device mech is what’s keeping our oh so valiant knight from becoming irrelevant!! Gah……..

    This anime is still teetering on mediocre and nothing more. With MC that is able to get away with being reckless because of “PLOT” conveniences I don’t see how any development other than him getting smacked in the fact would make it worth it. He needs to start learning from his actions NOW but nope apparently that’s asking to much. If your going to pull the whole naive protagonist card at least do SOMETHING with it other than the same tired tale we’ve seen over and over. Because as of now everything about the show is just barely holding itself together. I really don’t know what they are going for anymore.

  6. This episode just somehow irks me a bit. Just don’t know how to describe it, but I don’t like the main character so much. Acting like a hero, but so pathetically weak. Doesn’t help that he’s a private either and somehow he landed on some sweet prototype mech but he doesn’t deserve it. Main character is probably gonna get more power up to make up for his lack of experience because hes born under some lucky star. I would feel much happier if he get blown up and we get a different main character, but that’s not going to happen.

    As for the anime in general had potential back at maybe episode 1, but now its episode 3 and it feels stale as usual and losing hope. Especially when compared to that other mech anime this season, Aldonah Zero is certainly eclipsing it. That anime makes me wanting more every week, while this one just makes me feel like saying “die already stupid hero.” It’s pretty much the same reason why I hate fatty from Accel World, I just can’t get use to weak/lucky MC. I wonder if other anime fans share my sentiment regarding this.

    1. While I understand your frustration and can completely see where you’re coming from, I don’t mind if the main character is a low-ranking pilot that ends up with the best prototype of the army, provided that his character is relatable. I have a soft spot for this after watching Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory because I like Ensign Uraki Kou and all his hotblooded imperfections. The problem I have with Argevollen thus far is that Tokimune isn’t relatable.

  7. https://randomc.net/image/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen%20-%2003%20-%2012.jpg He’s like “You know what to do with that big fat butt, wiggle wiggle wiggle”

    https://randomc.net/image/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen/Shirogane%20no%20Ishi%20Argevollen%20-%2003%20-%2011.jpg “Just don’t give me pink eye.”

    I hope Ric shows up in the next episode, there’s only so much “retreating” you can do every episode.

  8. In accordance to what I have posted last week, I here by drop Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen from 10000 ft.

    In short: For the love of all that is mecha, WHO THE HELL DIRECTED THIS CRAP?! Its boring as hell! I’ve seen robots move better in Chobits, and that isnt even an action anime! I pity the people who shelled out money for this

    1. I’m on the verge of dropping this too. One more dull episode and its out. While its not insultingly bad it is incredibly average.

      I just wish that stuff like this was replaced by something worthwhile like animating the end of FMP. Come to think about it Xebec could probably handle FMP…

  9. I had my doubts but now they are confirmed, this show isn’t going anywhere, the moment i noticed the drop in art-quality (several faces looking distorted or weird), watched an episode with the same exact formula for the third time and finally watched the preview of the next episode (in which things seem to go for a screeching halt), i don’t feel any passion or expectational talent at work here .. it’s all mediocre at best.

    While the introduction of Schlein Richthofen did make things interesting a little bit it was too late to introduce him and other than killing dozens of retreating Arandas troops he didn’t do anything exceptional (remember the melee robots from the previous episode forced the MC to retreat and fought with him toe-to-toe, yeah he just sucks).

    I seriously thinking about dropping it and focusing on the better alternative sci-fi mehca series Aldnoah.Zero, that will also open some free time for me to watch some of the shows i missed from the previous spring season .. Shirogane simply isn’t worth it for me (i gave it it’s chance with the 3 episode rule so i feel no guilt dropping it whatsoever XD).

  10. when this richthofen battle again this mecha, the soldier mecha girl will pilot it. because she is more pro, and richthofen expect this newbie. richthofen get defeded or killed….

    how to make a bad plot book…

  11. The only factor that kept me staying for this show is because of the new rival pilot introduction, I’ve always liked to see highly skilled pilots that use a current/factory mechs in these type of shows, unlike a terrible pilot that is only driven by ideals and emotions and carried by a new-type/next-gen mech (Tokimune ignores orders too, which is annoying).

    On a side note, it is kinda ironic to see Takahiro Sakurai’s character using a factory mech as compared to the high mobility and advanced mech that he used in Code Geass being the Lancelot, and the Argevollen has always looked and moved similarly to it.

  12. Was waiting for Tokimune to get a good ‘ol fashioned smack to the face at the end of this episode… I am much disappoint. While this show hasn’t been bad, it hasn’t been exceptionally good either. I for one don’t mind the slow pace or the main character. War is hours of boring marching with moments of terror interspersed, and this way it feels like there’s more in the world than the MC and his giant robot. The Argevollen is a useful tool, but it’s not the “last hope and savior” for the good guys. The plot feels more grounded and realistic than most mecha (not a high school in sight!), which is what I was hooping for. Since this is a 2 cour show I get the feeling that it will start to gain momentum as time goes on. The MC is naive and unskilled, but that gives him room to grow and is far preferable to an OP Gary Stu.

    The only thing that really bugs me about Argevollen is the setting’s schizo tech and tactics. They’ve got post-modern technology, but use it like it’s 1914 all over again. And while I’ve usually got no issues with mechas, these ones are so slow and clunky that I can’t help but wonder why they exist when a tank could drive faster, mount the same guns, be a far smaller target, much easier to operate, and far, far cheaper to produce. Not to mention the total lack of airplanes. It feels like someone is trying to combine WW1 and WW2 together with giant robots, but the robots just don’t feel like they belong in this setting.

    Schlein Richthofen? I was expecting his first name to be Manfred. I did get an enormous laugh out of the biplane noise his robot made when he accelerated.

  13. After this episode I got 100% sure, they don’t have a flight mechanism in this world. There is no other reason to create a 2-week stalemate, when you can drop stuff from the sky (people included). I really hope I won’t be seeing a plane from nowhere now in the remaining 20~s episodes left.

    Ok, musing done, the fight was well animated, but sadly was the only thing well animated, XEBEC did better than this lately right?
    Tokimune loves being an asshole, even when trying to save people, can’t he simply try to flee from the battle after the rescue? Even Gundam pilots would do that, and most of them consider themselves pilot-Gods. The chain-of-command of this army is laughable, lol.

  14. From the looks of things, this will be the third show in a row that I’ll follow that RandomC netizens do not like (Captain Earth, Mahouka, and now, Argvollen…pretty sure Aldnoah will be dropped next).


      1. Agree. I’d be surprised if RC dropped coverage of Aldnoah Zero.

        Plus it doesn’t seem that Divine has any immediate plans to drop Argevollen: “In any case, I’m getting more accustomed to the pacing of this original series, so until it does something that I just can’t fathom or bores me out of my mind, I’m still curious to see where it’s headed.”

    1. Only complaints I’ve seen regarding Aldnoah have been on other sites, considering how much Enzo and Zephyr are enjoying it from their posts so far I don’t think we have to worry about its coverage being lost.

    2. The only time I’ve dropped a series in all my years of blogging was when I had to go on a sudden hiatus because of a new job, so unless some other real-life priority comes up where I’m unable to write posts in a timely manner, I’ll see this through to the end for you guys. 🙂

  15. 3rd week, and I’m on the fence about this show as well. There’s not much going on all at once, similar to some turn based battle scenario (WarHammer 40k?). Might as well look into the halfway point for a proper judgement, since it’s trying to pick-up the pace (ever so desperately).

  16. Richthofen summarized the situation quite nicely. Now the question is, can they make good use of that intel? It will be interesting to know what they make of it. After all, one does not normally put a rookie in a prototype.

    Speaking of said rookie, I wonder why he doesn’t ask for artillery fire? Those soldiers where definitely within line of sight. Anything optical sensors can detect should be within their line of fire. And I’m sure those shells are faster than his mech.

  17. I guess they’re really taking it slow because it’s slated to be a two-cour run. They’re taking their time developing our Hero-wannabe MC who’s one of the more typical shounen heroes who have low skills given a very powerful weapon.

    If they don’t do anything really interesting for the next few episodes many people will probably drop it even before we reach the half of the first cour.

    Also, I don’t have that much knowledge about the military but the MC has ignored orders twice and endangered his whole team along the way. How come he hasn’t received any sanctions yet?

    The Story You Don't Know

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *