「走れ、ジェイミー!」 (Hashire, Jeimii!)
“Run, Jamie!”

While Argevollen still fails to depict the gravity of war–largely because Samonji manages to keep all his subordinates alive somehow–it did make some positive strides this episode. Surprisingly, the most notable stride was the jump in animation quality. The character close-ups were more detailed and crisper, and the CG blended in a bit better as well, which makes me wonder if XEBEC will be able to maintain this level. Naturally I’m hoping that they will, simply because the noticeable increase in quality makes it a fair bit easier to be patient with this series.

As far as the story goes, it’s still progressing semi-aimlessly but foreshadowing at a handful of things. This includes a conspiracy within the Arandas army, where much like I and many other viewers suspected last week, purposely places Samonji’s unit in perilous situations just to see what Argevollen can do. It was a little hard to believe that the other units flares and all their spares “malfunctioned”, so it was nice to know that the writers wanted us to be a bit suspicious of last week’s cliffhanger. Building on that, the story introduces us to a new character as well, credited as Cayenne Toshikazu, whom we see conversing with Suguro and getting overly excited that they’ll get all the data that they need from Argevollen soon. At this point, I’m not sure what to make of Cayenne’s involvement in the conspiracy, but the fact that he’s voiced by Koyama Rikiya suggests to me that he’ll have a notable role.

Incidentally, the most interesting aspect of all these developments is how Samonji and Suzushiro weren’t the least bit surprised that their unit was going to be sacrificed as a decoy and instead, actually devised a plan to use the 3rd Cavalry Battalion as a decoy in return and then proceeded to storm the enemy camp and win the skirmish. Rather than simply realizing what’s going on and adapting to the situation, I get the feeling that those two are aware of the conspiracies within the Arandas army to a certain degree. Because of this, they remain loyal subordinates so they their superiors don’t have any excuse to disband their unit. I guess this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given that Tokimune believes there was a conspiracy that killed his older sister, but all the extra emphasis does give me something to look forward.

In terms of character developments, Jamie, and to a lesser degree Tokimune, were undoubtedly the focus this episode. In Jamie’s case, I first thought how great it was for her to recognize what needed to be done and not simply cower in fear even though she was clearly afraid to go to the front lines. When she actually did get more scared, I really thought that Koshikawa Shouhei (Yoshino Hiroyuki) was going to die to give her an eye-opening realization that more people will die if she doesn’t find the courage to push on. As such, I’m actually a bit torn to see that Koshikawa survived. It felt like an opportunity for the series to make a splash of sorts and it didn’t. A bit of a shame, but I presume the series wants to hold steadfast to how Samonji doesn’t let his subordinates die under his command.

As for Tokimune, I was happy to see a fear of death finally hit him, just so that he might not be as reckless in the future. I also like the scene where he thanked Jamie for saving his life, as it suggested that he had a newfound appreciation for his life and the life of his comrades. And finally, while I’m sure not everyone will agree with me, I really like how the scenes where Jamie got to Argevollen and Unit 8 taking over the enemy base were completely skipped over, leaving more time for character developments. Up until now, the focus has been mostly on the action so I was happy to see things reversed for a change. Judging from the preview, it looks like things will continue that way for a while longer too.




  1. Better than last week, but IMO still too many WTF/noticeably contrived moments and Tokimune is still too annoying. For a change, I’ll start with what I liked.

    Loved Samoji turning the tables on Col Iriki who tried to use IU8 as a decoy. Best thing he’s done the entire show so far. Actually, one of my favorite moments in the entire series thus far. Samonji lost some points with me last episode. He made them back plus a few more with this one.

    In general, I liked the character development for Jamie though I could have done without the “change in hairstyle = momentous change in character personality” trope. Also instantly doing a 180 from scared and full of doubt to nerves of steel and all business was a bit jarring. A “150 degree” turn would have worked better IMO. Maybe “OT”, but I have to admit that Jamie looked pretty cute in a helmet.

    A little bit more of the behind the scenes plotting and political machinations was divulged which I think we needed that at this point. Clearly something is going with Col Iriki’s betrayal of IU8 and surprise (disappointment?) over Samonji surviving along with the meeting between Jamie’s boss and Toshikazu. I am curious has to how all these conspiracy plots play out which keeps me watching the show as much as anything else. Maybe more so.

    However, as noted, Tokimune is still too annoying IMO. Every time he seems to get a little better, he quickly destroys the small amount of goodwill he previously garnered. Perhaps I’m being too critical since he was effectively entombed by Argevollen’s “life support” system without any means of communication >_>, but I still couldn’t help feeling annoyed at his antics. He just doesn’t come across well even in mundane scenes, and that “thumbs up” was so cheesy. Bleh. On the plus side, once Argevollen was restarted, Tokimune performed well for a change though his skills seemed to level up awfully fast. Divine may have liked skipping the battle’s end, but personally I found the overall battle anticlimactic and disappointing.

    Then there are the WTF/conspicuously contrived moments. Argevollen enters “life support” mode because… Tokimune has a headache/minor concussion or something. Seriously, his head hurt for like, what 10 seconds? After that he seemed A-OK to me. That required “life support” mode!? Seems to me his life was more in danger from the fact he was effectively entombed inside the mech since apparently, there’s no emergency escape lever/switch to open the hatch from the inside. That and the fact that the pilot can’t even call for help since the communication system doesn’t seem to work in “life support” mode. In addition to the above, “life support” mode = need to restart. I’ll just ignore the “logic” of the above “safety features” since theoretically the issue here is that the pilot isn’t the “starter key”, but that doesn’t make the Argevollen crisis of the week feel any less contrived.

    How the hell did Pvt. Koshikowa survive what appears to be a direct hit on the bridge from one of those 203mm guns? A bridge he’s standing right next to! When Jamie replied over the radio that “I don’t see him anywhere” I thought, well no surprise, the guy was blown to bits. Nope. Two seconds later he shows up just fine but for a few tears in his uniform, some scratches, and maybe a small blot of blood on his head (hard to tell). Huh? So… shrapnel and concussive force don’t exist in this world? Nothing personal against Koshikowa, but I agree with Divine that his death would have been a good way to induce Jamie’s new found determination and acceptance of her situation along with adding some needed grit to a war-setting story.

    At this point I think it’s pretty clear this is a character driven show first, and action/battle show second. Frankly, I’d rather it be the other way around given what I’ve seen so far. Of our two leads, some good character development for Jamie this episode, but IMO Tokimune still has a long way to go. Also, IMO there is little, if any, chemistry between the two leads thus far. As I mentioned, the subplots/behind the scenes conspiracy stuff is sufficiently intriguing to keep me around another week, but I would enjoy the show a lot more if they would just stop with the WTF/contrived moments and make Tokimune at least palatable.

  2. My take on this week’s ‘war drama’ (I’m sticking to that term for the duration, so bite me) is how the stereotypical content was presented as different as possible away from the usual cliches.

    One of the notable example was the flash camera switching from Jamie and Pvt. Koshikowa to the artillery and back without the typical cannon flash, but with just the destruction of the bridge (I think I’ll just chalk it to pure dumb luck for Koshikowa’s survival, but shame they can’t show any more significant injury)

    And then there was what Divine mentioned:

    I really like how the scenes where Jamie got to Argevollen and Unit 8 taking over the enemy base were completely skipped over, leaving more time for character developments. Up until now, the focus has been mostly on the action so I was happy to see things reversed for a change.

    For now this series has a refreshing way of storytelling after seeing all those action sequences of all those mecha series of the past. Though I personally think (as an aftershow thought) that XEBEC has secretly pulled a fast one on us just to save their animation budget. YMMV, peeps, YMMV…

  3. Argevollen really really needs to ditch the “tactical” description surrounding its action because the show is incredibly dilettantish when it comes to them. Again we have the flare issue pop up as a means to distract away from the Argevollen mech. Distraction is great, but really again, illuminate a bunch of targets for the enemy to shoot at? How hard is it to lay on suppressive fire using tracer rounds to force the enemy to keep their heads down/respond to the new attackers? Darkness is an amazing equalizer in combat and great at limiting casualties, use it.

    It’s more aggravating knowing that the flares were sabotaged too because it would have actually offered a good excuse for why the battle began as it did. Instead of “herp derp only one flare went off instead of our planned number”, why not have a few informed officers secretly order the firing of flares to illuminate Argevollen? You see how the mech performs and the flare firing then makes sense rather than some “perfect” strategy erected by a new officer student at the bottom of his class.

    On the positive note though this episode offers the first glimpse of story, specifically the collusion between the Arandas (hereby called the Green) army and the Argevollen developers. Tack it on top of the Blue’s intelligence agency’s desire to stifle the Blue army from learning about it (and the death of Tokumine’s sister) and I really wonder if the whole war was not deliberately instigated by both sides as a means to covertly develop and/or test advanced tech. Now that is a conspiracy which would make up for all the annoyance Tokumine has caused and will cause in the future 😛

  4. I’m really glad that they addressed the stupidity of the original plan of attack by revealing that it was all a scheme to get IU8, and also Argevollen to act as the decoys so the other units could advance towards the enemy base camp unmolested. Colonel Iriki’s ploy to claim that all the other formations flares all malfunctioned was devilishly ingenious, as anyone with half a brain knows the chances of that happening is almost nil, but nobody on IU8 can prove it indisputably. Too bad for him that Samonji had them play as decoys when he used the 2 spare flares so they could buy time for IU8 and Argevollen to regroup and storm the enemy base first to claim some achievements.

    That conversation between Toshikazu and Suguro at the end of the episode finally solidifies our suspicions that there is a conspiracy between Kivernas Manufacturing and the upper echelons of the Arandas military regarding Argevollen and its combat data. I think both Samonji and Izumi are aware of this, yet Samonji sees the potential that Argevollen holds on the battlefield, and he’s determined to use it to strengthen the capabilities of his own squad.

    Regarding Argevollen falling into life support mode and necessitating Jamie to personally go to the front lines and reboot its systems manually, I think anyone would agree that it was a rather heavy-handed attempt at forcing some drama for the two main leads. For Tokimune, he finally faces a situation where he starts to think of an imminent death when he was trapped inside Argevollen, while Jamie had to face her fears of going to the front lines and into a battle situation to get to the Argevollen. I was a bit impressed with how Jamie just got on with her job when she reached Argevollen, although I sympathized with Koshikawa when she started complaining and freaking out about getting into a battle at that bridge. I was expecting the 1st casualty from IU8 when Koshikawa was apparently blown to bits with the bridge he was standing on, so I was a bit glad yet quite disappointed when he reappeared with only slight injuries.

    Next week the IU8 seem to be on a break, with the preview showing the members in their civvies, but wasn’t Samonji given some orders for their next assignment at the end of the battle? I’ve a hunch that the IU8 is tasked to infiltrate an enemy held city next, so we might get to see how Samonii and the IU8 roll without any having to use any Trail Kriegers or the Argevollen.

    P.S. : Still not enough Silfy per episode ratio.

  5. And this is why i love not jumping to conclusions and waiting for the narrative to explain certain things i found puzzling. it completely makes sense that someone sabotaged their plan; it clears up all that lack of logic i felt last ep (i knew i was missing something…no one writes something that dumb…i think) i do still think these war strategies are a bit lacking in the tactical department tho. As for the animation…..eh it was only a slight improvement. There was better shading on the characters and more articulate lines used in their drawings but other-wise it was still low-budget with the actual animation and background detail (i think there’s a reasonw why we didnt actually get to see any war battles and instead heard muffled explosions for almost 15 mins).

    Overall though, I thought this ep’s strength was again in establishing this growing rapport between Jamie and Tokumine…she has this sort of cynicism about her that is sort of interesting when she is thrown in a situation where she has to be more mature, brave, and accepting of the lot she has in life. i especially like how she’s slowly learning to adapt to her situation through her interaction with block-headed Tokumine. The character portion is easily the strongest part of Argevollen because i absolutely agree that this series stumbles when portraying the gravity of war

  6. argevollen certainly haven’t hit high yet like some other anime this season, but this episode was certainly a positive remark on how they handle it, guess i’ll be sticking around this for a while

  7. This episode has clarify one thing: Argevollen is going the Gundam 0079 route. Not only the narrative is clearly slower than most series (thanks for more than 12 eps), but IU8 is in the same boat as Amuro and the White Base: decoys for the enemy and test-bed/data gathering for newer units make by Kivernas, playing the role of Gundam’s Anaheim Electronics by selling war machines to both sides.
    For once, I thank the slow pace, so the chances of having an ass-pull last second explanation or plot twist are way less

  8. Is it logical to “sacrifice” the most advanced unit their army has just like that? I know the Argevollen has yet to prove itself to be useful but I honestly don’t know why the higher ups don’t even give it a chance. Sure, it has a lot to prove before it can be useful to them but it cannot prove anything if they sacrifice it and discard it just like that.

    The Story You Don't Know
  9. Seems all the Corrupt Generals is targeting Samanji to remain quit. He might be the one in charge of the secret mission at the supply base incident. They want him dead. Now the cronies company are gambling for Argevollen data by paying huge amount of money for his employees to improve the project.

    The night battle very short but its the first time i see prisoners of war, capture enemy base structure and some rest.

    1. Perhaps it has something to to with his Past and the Sister of the Boy. Perhaps some Higher Up, want to keep Secret what he done, and Samanji can tell now one the Truth. because the General has some Hostage?

      Perhaps he is telling Samanji that the Sister is alive, just taken Hostage and he has to obey

      Thats the old standard “When you have such Allys, you dont need Enemys” Intrigues

  10. Wow… how many days since this episode has been released before I was reminded that this series actually existed. Only after watching all the good animes this series and after rewatching some old masterpiece did I even bother looking at Argevollen to kill some time.

    As for the episode, the animation suddenly shot up a fair bit there. Quite impressive dust explosions and bullet trails if i say so myself.

    As usual, Argevollen suffers from pitiful storyline planning, mediocre plot and bellow average execution.

    Argevollen should take some lessons from Hataraku Maou-sama. While that series was riddled with cliches, the execution was phenomenal.

    Well either way, I’ll watch Argevollen if i have some time to kill.


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