This week on Anime Sunday I’m covering a series that I could have sworn I had already covered, but I guess I hadn’t. It’s Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio -Ars Nova-!
Plot Synopsis: Due to global warming and rising sea levels in the early 21st century, much of Earth’s landmass has been lost. In 2039, fleets of powerful sentient warships, armed with advanced technology and weaponry, mysteriously appear and devastate the world’s naval forces. These ships, collectively called ‘The Fleet of Fog’, impose a worldwide naval and aerial blockade, preventing humanity from both traveling the oceans and to other nations. During the blockade, the Fleet of Fog created Mental Models, humanoid avatars containing a ship’s Union core, as a means to develop self cultivation and overcome their lack of creative thinking of tactics like humans, which at the same time made the Mental Models have their own unique personality.
In 2056, 17 years after the blockade began, Gunzō Chihaya, a former student of the Japanese National Marine Academy, is the captain of small group of privateers called the ‘Blue Steel’. The Blue Steel are infamous for possessing a Fog submarine, the I-401, along with its Mental Model Iona, who defected to the human side. Due to I-401’s technology and Gunzō’s tactical skills, the Blue Steel have not only survived several encounters with the Fleet of Fog but managed to sink one of their most powerful warships.
Plot: The plot strays quite a bit from the original Manga series, but that isn’t a bad thing necessarily in my book as I couldn’t stand the artwork of the Manga, though I’ll eventually get around to reading it. I really do enjoy the plot of this series as it’s got quite a few twists that I enjoyed. I won’t go any farther regarding plot due to spoilers.
Characters: I really do enjoy the crew of Iona and Iona herself, and Gunjo is quite the strategist. However my favorite character is Takao, I think it’s hilarious to see her change over the course of the series.
Artwork: The art style for this series put me off at first, because it uses 3D character models for characters and ships, but I found that once you get past the first few episodes the issues with it go away. The main issue I had with it is the awkwardness of the unnamed characters that are encountered over the course of the series. They are modeled poorly and it feels crude compared to the main cast of characters. That being said after about episode 4 it doesn’t matter anymore.
Music: Here is one of the few things that hit me just right at the beginning of this adaptation, I really enjoyed the musical score and the opening and ending were both great. The opening is performed by Nano who is one of the few J-Pop singers capable of not mangling the English language in music.
Overall: This a great series, especially if you are a navy nut or WWII nut.
For those who like: Military Fiction, Plenty of Action, Great Cast of Characters, WWII Naval Vessels, Fantastic Musical Scores.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.