OP: 「TOUGH INTENTION」 by KOTOKO
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
While episode four of Argevollen may have been completely devoid of action and did very little to entice viewers to keep watching, it definitely took a step in the right direction. Less characters and more screen time per character was the key here, as we not only learned why Samonji’s been so forgiving of Tokimune’s insubordination on the battlefield, but also why Tokimune probably enlisted in the Arandas military. In the former case, it turns out that Tokimune reminds Samonji a lot of himself, which despite being a somewhat typical subplot, is actually something I can get on board with. The fact that the writers acknowledged why Samonji hasn’t court-martialled Tokimune shows that they’ve at least thought things through to a certain degree. The same goes for why Tokimune is so eager to charge into battle to save lives, now that we know he lost his sister in what I presume is this war. Both these revelations add some “structure” to what’s felt like a bunch of random developments thus far, which the series will hopefully build upon as it goes on.
That’s the positive outlook anyway, as Argevollen hasn’t really done itself any favours in these first four episodes. The pacing’s been fairly sporadic, with moments of urgency that never felt that significant, and the story’s perspective from Samonji’s group has come off as little more than a cog in the Arandas army. The series hasn’t been able to draw viewers into the world and characters depicted, even with the bit of backstory between Izumi and Samonji that firmly places the Argevollen prototype in the latter’s care. My interest in Jamie’s character has waned a fair bit too, given that her continued (and extremely reluctant) involvement with Independent Unit 8 is just to act as a key to Tokimune’s Trail Krieger. While I have little doubt that her role in the overall story will become much more significant–especially now that she’s learned of Tokimune’s deceased sister–I couldn’t help but feel that the writers could’ve gone about that a bit better to establish her importance now.
Despite these shortcomings, I remain tentative but optimistic that things will pick up at some point. I like the subplot that’s developing around Tokimune with his deceased sister since it gives some depth to his character, so I definitely want to see where that goes. I also like how the story’s reached a bit of standstill, meaning that it can proceed whichever way it wants now. However, since I don’t have the luxury of someone placing their hands on my shoulders to give me some reassurance in this regard, I get the feeling I’ll have to be fairly patient for a while longer.
Note: There was an updated opening sequence this episode, replacing the Trail Krieger scenes with the main characters, but it still feels very unfinished so I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw another one later on.