「不在の果て」 (Fuzai no Hate)
“The Limits of (His) Absence”
Rather than fight the pace that Argevollen is trying to draw me into each week, it seems a lot easier and enjoyable to just go along with it. Sure, I had questions about what became of Richthofen’s anger over the death of his old friend Daniels, how Roderick took her superior’s death, and what other strings the capitalists in Viltriveld were pulling, but the series’ decision to completely change gears and give some limelight to the other members of Independent Unit 8 was still interesting even though it felt misplaced at first.
Much like the episode title suggests, the main focus was to stress the importance of Samonji’s leadership. Without him or Suzushiro–or Kutsuwada Tsutomu (Kondou Takayuki) due to an upset stomach from eating a fish that he caught–the chain of command dwindled down pretty quickly to Okui Masaru (Okitsu Kazuyuki). My initial reaction to that was probably not to different from most others–“To who?”–because names like Kutsuwada and Okui just haven’t been mentioned much in the past nine episodes. We’ve come across a lot of faces, but there simply haven’t been a lot of names that stuck. Evidently, this episode tried to rectify that in some way, plus served as a lead-in to what I imagine to be a much more important development surrounding Toshikazu Cayenne (Koyama Rikiya) and his interest in Tokimune/Argevollen.
Aside from Silfy’s Trail Krieger getting shot down while evacuating the civilians of Wishpe and possibly Jamie’s concern over Tokimune’s life, the main takeaway for me this episode was the ending where Samonji was summoned by Toshikazu. For what purpose, it’s not entirely clear, but we were briefly introduced to Toshikazu back in episode four and again in episode six, where he was seen conversing with Suguro about Argevollen. At the very least, that suggests he knows more about Argevollen’s origins than Samonji does. The question now is whether he just has some flamboyant personal interest to see how one prototype Trial Krieger changes the tides of the war or whether he has has some more sinister motive. Either way, it looks like he sees Samonji as a means to his end, given that Tokimune and Argevollen are under the latter’s command. All I’m really hoping for now is that the next episode takes this subplot and runs with it all the way to the end. The reason being, I feel like there’s been a lot of “bait and switch”-type storytelling thus far, and I’d get into the series a lot more if there was one thing that each week built upon.
Geographically, it was cool to finally see a map of Ingelmia and Arandas’ territories and where a lot of Independent Unit 8’s battles took place. I would’ve thought that Ingelmia had gained more ground in their advance, but it looks like they’re only a bit beyond the Gate of No Retreat that we saw Samonji’s unit blow up in episode three. Because of this, I don’t think we’ll be seeing any prototype Trail Kriegers slip Ingelmia’s way anytime soon. I guess Richthofen will just make due with whatever Trial Krieger he has now when he goes up against Tokimune again.
Surprisingly enjoying episode. Is my patience for this accursed series finally paying off?
I know I messed up my grammar there somewhere…. curse the lack of an edit button
Haha, the time where everyone greets Okui would have been a death flag for characters in other series.
Overall, pretty much agree with Divine down the line here.
— Rather than fight the pace that Argevollen is trying to draw me into each week, it seems a lot easier and enjoyable to just go along with it.
I think that’s sound advice, and frankly I’d extend that line of thought to include the WTF military stuff as well. Oh, might as well add the plot convenient random change in Tokimune’s piloting skills and/or the Argevollen Crisis of the Week (this week it was “we got the wrong part”). *sigh* Argevollen is going to do what it does and there’s no changing that. So it’s either roll with it or just drop the show (certainly a possibility depending upon how next season goes). Of course, mindless acceptance is easier said than done at times. :/
— “…the chain of command dwindled down pretty quickly to Okui Masaru (Okitsu Kazuyuki). My initial reaction to that was probably not to different from most others–“To who?”–because names like Kutsuwada and Okui just haven’t been mentioned much in the past nine episodes.”
FWIW, my reaction to the COC change, like a lot of the military stuff, was WTF!? I mean are “Don’t wanna” or “Don’t look at me, I’m just a pilot” credible reasons for skipping over designated COC? Really? Meh, IMO it came across as very scripted/contrived so that Masaru could be in command for… what exactly? Seriously, what happened that couldn’t have been accomplished with the proper next in command (who can just as easily be inexperienced and/or indecisive)? The “feels” aspect because it’s his home town? ‘Cause that couldn’t be shown otherwise (i.e. it’s a personal battle for him) and/or someone else in command wouldn’t try to protect the citizens/fight back as well? Fine, whatever. Roll with it self. Roll with it…
— “Geographically, it was cool to finally see a map of Ingelmia and Arandas’ territories…
YES! Absolutely. If you read enough military history books, you’ll know that maps are incredibly helpful (many reader complaints have to do with lack of maps). Glad to finally have one and the show
couldshould have included some before this. I’d also like some dates here and there since I’m having trouble figuring out how much time has passed. That matters because, like Divine, I thought Ingelmia had gained a lot more ground than it did. If say three weeks (just throwing out a number here) have passed since the Battle of the “Gate of No Retreat” (LOL since that’s exactly what they did – retreat), then the map makes more sense. Three months or more then yeah, the Ingelmia’s advance is a lot slower than I would expect.
—“All I’m really hoping for now is that the next episode takes this subplot and runs with it all the way to the end. The reason being, I feel like there’s been a lot of “bait and switch”-type storytelling thus far, and I’d get into the series a lot more if there was one thing that each week built upon.”
EXACTLY. Earlier in the show, I complained about “feeling nothing” from the presentation. Well, there’s been some advancement on that front. I now feel frustrated, and I’m not talking about the WTF military moments. Watching this show is like building a jig saw puzzle where you get ONE OR TWO new pieces in the mail each week, and the pieces you do get are for some other part of the picture than you worked on the week before. How many minimally developed, hanging subplots do we have now?
It all goes back to the snail-like pacing which to me seems simply a method to pad out a story too short for 24 episodes. By design, the show throws out just enough nuggets of information (along with a bit of fan service here and there) to keep viewers around for one more week. I guess kudos for accomplishing that since I’m still watching, but I honestly wonder whether I’d enjoy the series more if I just waited until it finishes, then binge watch the whole thing. At least that way I’d get a sense of meaningful progression.
Oh god the command issue this episode had me laughing, anyone even remotely familiar with military hierarchy would realize one does not choose to lead, rank alone determines whether you shall lead. If your rank is the highest among all able troops remaining, you’re in command, period; forfeiting that duty (yes, duty, not right) is tantamount to treason, it’s part of the responsibility of rank. Every week that goes by convinces me further whoever is responsible for the “tactics” and “military realism” of Argevollen has never heard of the words until called to write the story.
Even if it’s something that should just be ignored, it’s hard to really focus on much else when Argevollen is seemingly determined to be as slow as possible and reveal next to nothing every episode that goes by. The map given here is huge, even though it shows just how little has actually transpired in 10 episodes. I want something to care about, something to focus on, something to wonder what it’s actually about in the week between episodes. Instead all we get is a war that looks increasingly like background filler, characters doing nothing more than going through the paces, and SoL moments that appear out of place in the mood trying to be set by the show. It really says something about the story as a whole when the most interesting parts of Argevollen are the snippets of world history revealed here or there and the intrigue behind the war and the Argevollen mech hinted at on occasion.
The chain of command thing was a bit odd, but it could almost make sense.
It is possible to have a pilot who is higher rank but not chain of command. Good example would be if the mecha pilots are equivalent to Warrant Officer-rank attack helicopter pilots.
They’d outrank the infantry sergeants, but they aren’t in chain of command, so the Chain of Command would bypass them and go to what I assume was the section or squad leader sergeants.
That said, it seemed silly that this wasn’t obvious; chalk it down to a bit of panic at the sergeant being sick and the officers lost before chain of command reasserted itself.
Pretty good episode with some realistic battle… Well, realistic for an anime I mean.
If this was real, they would probably use planes to bomb the place first and then advance. They also wouldn’t fight close to each other. Modern battles are basically fought at long distances.
“Rather than fight the pace that Argevollen is trying to draw me into each week, it seems a lot easier and enjoyable to just go along with it.”
Probably a good idea. I actually think this series has kind of come into its own the last few episodes. In my opinion these stories about lowly soldiers and small scale skirmishes is what this series does best. While I’m hoping for something good from the larger scale storylines when they get moving I don’t really think that’s where this show’s strength lies.
Also, considering how ridiculous the treatment of things like tactics in a lot of anime is I’d say this series is actually doing pretty darn well on that front. At least it shows awareness of the importance of a lot of key elements. Granted I suppose by showing how important they are it does makes itself more vulnerable to criticism of how they’re utilized then shows that largely ignore the importance of such elements.
There’s a saying that amateurs talk tactics, but professionals talk logistics. I quite liked the subversion of the whole “super-robot” concept at the beginning of the episode. If you can’t keep it running, the super robot’s almost worse than useless, and historically new prototype tanks/airplanes etc… have had horrific issues with maintenance when fielded. This was the closest Ingellmann’s come to capturing Argevollen, and it wasn’t because of any super complex scheme, it’s because they didn’t have the right parts for it! I had high hopes that this episode would build off the last one and continue to develop and explore the world… Then hot springs.
Forehead, meet hand.
Look, I’ve cut you a lot of slack Argevollen and given you far more benefit of the doubt than you deserve. To be fair the second half after the fanserive was pretty good, EXCEPT I have no idea who the hometown boy is, and I really doubt he’ll ever be important again! The entire episode was essentially filler with no importance to the overall plot. Is this what happens when a show doesn’t have LN/VN/Manga/reboot material to work from? On paper Argevollen’s exactly the type of show I’d love to see more of, a serious war drama with older characters and a “realistic” world at war with giant robots, but the execution is just falling flat on its face. Hopefully Aldnoah.Zero will sell well enough that the studios won’t give up on this type of show entirely in the future, cause I have very little hope left that this one do well at all critically or commercially.
The only thing Aldnoah.Zero is doing better than this one at to me is production values which are like night and day in comparison. To me this one beats it in just about every other category I can come up with though.
And hey if this episode has hot springs that one has naked shower scene strangulation action going on so it’s not like it’s skimping on that sort of thing either.
@Hochmeister: “There’s a saying that amateurs talk tactics, but professionals talk logistics.”
As I noted before, proper attention to logistics is certainly vital, but logistics are just one component in wining a war. I hope those “professionals” know proper tactics as well because if they don’t, they won’t win many (if any) battles using stupid tactics. For example, great logistics don’t mean much if your “tactic” is to send wave after wave of infantry charging straight into entrenched MG, mortar and artillery positions ala WWI tactics. Same goes if you completely ignore the importance of Air Superiority/Supremacy (not applicable in this show though). In short, while I get your point, I’d say true professionals (or at least competent ones) talk BOTH tactics AND logistics.
More on point, I think suggesting that “they sent us the wrong part = good example of logistical failure” is stretching things. It was one part sent in error (i.e. right part seems readily available) for one “Trail Kreiger”. It wasn’t some unit (or company, battalion, regiment, etc.) wide shortage of key supplies akin to what happened in the ETO around September 1944. As it was, that one wrong piece didn’t seem to affect Argevollen from what I saw. As for “This was the closest Ingellmann’s come to capturing Argevollen”, Ingelmia was closer to capturing Argevollen in EP 01. IMO EP 10 is primarily a good example of how Ingelmia’s seems quite capable of still catching Arandas off guard.
—“…historically new prototype tanks/airplanes etc… have had horrific issues with maintenance when fielded.”
In some cases, definitely true. Certainly the more advanced/radical the design, the more likely there are to be teething problems along with additional training required for field maintenance crews, but “horrific issues” isn’t true for every new design placed in service. Specifically on point, “Level 1” maintenance seems to go just fine for Argevollen, and the problem with “Level 2” is that the company literally blacked out all the details in the repair manuals. So if there’s an issue with field repair on that level, it’s due to Kybernes corporate policy (conspiracy?) of withholding “trade secret” data. As it was, even with the “wrong part”, they still got the thing put back together in working order. Had Ingelmia waited to attack at night or next day, there wouldn’t even be a “field repair issue”.
Frankly, plot convenient moments aside, Argevollen works pretty darn well overall. If this was RL, I would expect orders for “Argevollen MK I” to already be in place. Franky, one odd thing IMO which has yet to be sufficiently explained, is the inordinate amount of discretion (power?) held by Kybernes when it comes to the whole Argevollen project during a time of war.
I pretty much agree with your second paragraph (not watching Aldnoah Zero so can’t comment on that). I’m not a big mecha fan, yet Argevollen “on paper” is appealing to me. Problem is that the show doesn’t deliver on that potential. Like I wrote above, the whole situation makes for a frustrating watch. I want this to work, but too often it just doesn’t. :<
derp on me that I (accidentally) typed my review for this week’s episode already:
Anyway, I like how the Kriegers (or was it Trail Kriegers?) were not THE absolute answer to the war in a similar fashion to the tanks and combat aircrafts of our world.
It’s not Kutsuwada but Tanita who got poisoned by fish. Kutsuwada is the man who was sleeping in a car and received the first report about the advance of the Ingelmian army.
Wtf is up with the animation in one of the scenes this week? Around the 8:45 minute mark, when Hikaru Rikuru’s CV is speaking, her mouth doesn’t move/animated. Never seen any Anime overlook a detail like this before…
it’s not just the talking animation that went south, a lot of the walking was set wrong throughout the past weeks.
That World is filled with only Ground forces supported by infantry, tanks, mortar, artillery, mines, anti-tank rifle. No rockets and missiles. The only missing for the unit is the Medic to threat the stomach ache or wounded.
as if this World never had the Wright Brothers
Maybe they indeed never had, because why should they? Is it really a given that any civilization will have developed flight at this technological point?
..and perhaps they even dont know have Ships or even Submarines.
If god would that Human could Fly, he would grown them Wings. If god would that Human would swim like a fish, he grown them gills. and so on. Perhaps no one until know wanted to proof that it is possible
Question- Will Gundam Recongista be reviewed???