Argevollen...

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Compass
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Argevollen...

Post by Compass » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:28 pm

So... what started as a mediocre mecha anime, becoming a halfway decent mecha anime, seems to have decided to just tank on the last episode. Does anyone get that same feeling as I do? I felt like they built up so much, that they literally decided "You know what, we can't live up to anything we built up to. Let's just end it."

Ugh, I don't even know how to describe it anymore.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Soma Taozi » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:23 pm

Honestly I feel kinda cheated by the ending...so I agree Compass. It has been an interest run for Agre...my feelings about the show was at first was that it was something we had seen before (most specifically in Gundam) and had been done BETTER during those times.

However, the anime had good characters that were being built up well. My favorite episodes in Argevollen is when the characters are just hanging out, being silly. But I kept waiting for it to do something interesting after 12 episodes of build-up...and it never happened. We got a little of that stuff with the introduction of the Sturm Alpha...but besides that...what else really happened?

Furthermore, there is a line between a slow burn anime and a dull anime, I am of the opinion that Argevollen crossed that line SEVERAL times.

I think the show is perfectly represented by the scene in the final episode when the general is shot. We get a tense and potentially exciting moment, but it suddenly ends in a decently surprising way by adding MORE build up...which just adds up to someone walking away without saying a word...without really resolving anything between characters we care about.

And that was Argevollen, build up and no pay off. Wooo....
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Ryujin » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:17 pm

I enjoyed it.

I was expecting some sort of low-key ending that wasn't cut-and-dried, to fit in with the rest of the show's tone, and I got what I expected. Not everything that's airing has to end in storybook flash, thunder & tectonic upheavals.

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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Soma Taozi » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:12 am

Ryujin wrote:I was expecting some sort of low-key ending that wasn't cut-and-dried, to fit in with the rest of the show's tone, and I got what I expected. Not everything that's airing has to end in storybook flash, thunder & tectonic upheavals.
I am not saying it does, but let's just look at the battle between Argevollen and the Sturm Alpha for the finale...wait, what battle? Oh right...the battle that never happens. He just bleeds out and just screams, "AARRRGGEEEVOLLLEENNN!!!" for the whole finale...that's it. I would have been satisfied with them just facing off and the rival pilot smiling and THEN dies; just give us SOMETHING. Use that set up Argevollen! No? He will just die and no one really cares? Ok...

Its like if Char and Amuro never had a decisive fight in the original Gundam, it would be a bit of a let down.

If you don't want to wrap up the whole overarching plot-line of the war, that is one thing...but if you don't resolve character arcs (which has been the focus of Argevollen from the start since it decided to NOT focus on the war front) then RESOLVE them. Don't just leave EVERYTHING hanging, because this whole finale came across as "well we wanted a season 2 to tell a complete story, but we probably get it so...here ya go fans!"

Because showing distaste for your audience is always a good choice.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Raikoh » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:22 am

I'm not the biggest fan of Argevollen, but I can very much understand why someone would be. The setting is great and the dedication to Real Robot elements is among the most solid I've ever seen, arguably even more grounded in realism than VOTOMS.

Something about the characters is done well, but for the life of me I couldn't tell you why I liked them. Perhaps because they all feel just like normal people in general. Nobody acts blatantly stupid, for another point. Generally in a series characters need to do weird, illogical things to move the plot along but in Argevollen they just toss everyone in and have them act in-character. Speaking of, the series is very strangely framed by not necessarily giving you concrete "villain" characters. Samonji, Cayenne, and all the other characters who are the antagonists in this little snippet of the overall plot all have solid motivations and you can get behind them.

Audio was amazing, with great sound effects, music, and voice acting. The animation was fairly wonky and off-model from time to time, but the CG looked great and I'm willing to forgive a series for a bad budget (especially since nobody was expecting Arge to be a big hit).

As for the ending...
Spoiler
Show
I kind of like how ultimately the main characters don't affect much in the war. That's sort of the point. Their victories are personal and they don't come out of it winning the war, they don't have glory or anything, but they all made it out safe and their camaraderie is real.

I don't know what we were expecting. A big battle at the end would have been expected, but really they went for a more emotional climax. Arge doesn't get saved, but boy is it satisfying when Tokimune gets to pilot it again during its last moments.

Richthofen was an interesting take on the rival character. They DID have their big climactic final battle, but it was about 17 episodes in. That was where their little subplot more or less ended and Richthofen sticking around just shows a parallel to what could have happened to Tokimune. After his loss, his desire for revenge made him go nuts and he just self-destructed by blindly giving into the U-Link System rather than trying to master it.
If it ever gets a S2, I'd gladly give it a watch.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Destiny_Gundam » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:28 am

Soma Taozi wrote:I think the show is perfectly represented by the scene in the final episode when the general is shot. We get a tense and potentially exciting moment, but it suddenly ends in a decently surprising way by adding MORE build up...which just adds up to someone walking away without saying a word...without really resolving anything between characters we care about.
I think that silence said everything, though.

But yeah, the show was better on the character front than the mecha front and I feel the ending resolved things well enough in that respect. They are clearly begging for another season, but I hear the sales have been pretty poor.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Henyo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:12 am

i enjoyed Argevollen throughout its run. nice character designs, taking a different route from the real robot norm. there''s also the fact that this is very much like a Valkyria Chronicles game.(there's an idea.) it developed the members of Squad 8(one number away from VC's trademark 7!) even if only a little.

Lorenz's line are pure comedy BTW.

"Tokimune, i think I've fallen in love with you a little." Tokimune proceeds to thank him.

"PASTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

best anti death flag! :twisted:
one last thing: i prefer this over Aldnoah because that one, IMO, relied on big names.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Henyo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:14 am

Henyo wrote:i enjoyed Argevollen throughout its run. nice character designs, taking a different route from the real robot norm. there''s also the fact that this is very much like a Valkyria Chronicles game.(there's an idea.) it developed the members of Squad 8(one number away from VC's trademark 7!) even if only a little. anyone else though bothered by the Arge's "Bageena Orbs"

Lorenz's line are pure comedy BTW.

"Tokimune, i think I've fallen in love with you a little." Tokimune proceeds to thank him.

"PASTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

best anti death flag! :twisted:
one last thing: i prefer this over Aldnoah because that one, IMO, relied on big name(s).
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Ryujin » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:29 pm

Soma Taozi wrote:
I am not saying it does...is always a good choice.
That's the point; it fits with the overall direction of the show towards war in that it's a muddled mess with muddled resolutions, much like it has been the past half-century or so. Raikoh hits the nail right on the spot, no more need be said.

I find it interesting that 'Richthofen' was the name the writers chose for the character--a goodly number of the top aces (especially Manfred) during the Great War suffered from enormous psychological & mental stresses and paid for it dearly.

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Re: Argevollen...

Post by domtropen » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:22 am

Overall I think it's decent. It's also quite nice to see it ends nicely without resorting to sudden sacrifice or death of main characters out of nowhere or super epic destiny-deciding battle. The main mecha design seems a bit off compared to the rest of the setting for me though :mrgreen:

Btw since the war ends up back to square one does that Julio still remains in power?

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Re: Argevollen...

Post by LightningCount » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:58 pm

I have had a fair amount of anticipation for this title, but have only now gotten around to watching it in earnest. I am through 12 episodes, so I guess I'm halfway home on this one. So far, while it hasn't totally blown me away, it has shown itself to be a little better than my already high expectations.

The 1st DVD/Blu-ray has come out from Sentai Filmworks, with the 2nd DVD/Blu-ray due in January, and I have read about this series getting a lot of backhanded compliments lately. There's a smattering of support, mind you, but it seems like this was dismissed in the shadow of Aldnoah.Zero. Now, I am coming off Majestic Prince, Aldnoah.Zero, and the first episode of Iron-Blooded Orphans, and while I understand how it might not be for everyone, I do not understand the amount of grief Argevollen has gotten. Does it have "tropes/cliches/archetypes"? Sure. But I do not see them used here any more (or more egregiously) than in the aforementioned series; and in spite of any genre callbacks, the way Argevollen and its world are put together is very different from the vast majority of mecha anime. In the big picture, there are only a handful of mecha anime that come to mind with this: 08th MS Team, Gasaraki, Patlabor, 0080: War in the Pocket, and (a little bit of) Zoids: Chaotic Century. None of those are the same as Argevollen from top to bottom, and all of those series are roughly 15 to 27 years old, which means we haven't seen something like this in quite some time. (Judging by its performance, it might be a while before we do again...)

With that out of the way, there's a lot to like here, in my opinion.

First off, the characters are all "older"--late teens at the youngest from what I can tell--and their designs largely reflect this. While it may not be as "showy" as some, this series has some of the best character design work for a mecha series in a long time, in that not everyone is a archetypal "bubble-faced" anime person; instead, there are some angles and more realistic features used. Now, that may be a bit too 1990s for some people, and I get that; but it is refreshing and fitting for a war series like this. And it's not like they're trying to be removed from the audiences of the current times, because for better or worse, they still threw in "cutesy" design features to several characters, particularly the women. You can look at this a lot of ways, but it at least strikes me as a more balanced approach if nothing else.

The characters themselves are really likable, and just about everyone gets a chance to shine in a "team setting"--whether it's in military or civilian life. And that right there was a nice surprise for me. While many characters have carefully chosen archetypal molds, they are all shown to have at least one other side to them, if not more, as they are put into a variety of situations that may have little to do with the central conflict at hand. These characters, heroes and villains, one-off or established, as well as their world, are given time to breathe with a variety of locations and activities.

The mecha designs are an enjoyable mix, and the presentation of combat involving terrain and strategy is a good change of pace. The lack of "air" power doesn't bother me; that's the prerogative of the show's creators, and such limitations open up different scenarios. I think the significant use of ground forces and vehicles is very different than most mecha anime, and really makes this a more rounded presentation of a conflict. The mecha, even the Argevollen, aren't shown to be completely dominant. In terms of eye-popping mecha combat, Episodes 2 and 8 have been the real standouts so far, but everything in between has given a more balanced look at combat missions in terms of it's not always going to be flashy when two sides fight. I'm not sure if the CG quality is as consistent as Majestic Prince or Fafner Exodus, but it's better than Aldnoah.Zero's, I think, and when it's at its best, like in Episode 2 or 8, it matches up against any CG mecha series. Oh, and the realistic weight/physics on the machinery is well-done.

The story starts out fairly bland, but once the character drama and conspiracies start rolling in, it gets very enjoyable. By the end Episode 4, I knew I was in it for the long haul, since they showed they could do both action and drama with skill. The art design as a whole has a lot of really nice touches to it in terms of the use of lighting and color. They use those techniques effectively, too, for scenes that need specific emotions. Sometimes it's almost like a watercolor or impressionistic painting.

The music surprised me with how versatile it is in evoking subtle emotions in scenes. There's not a lot of military/action-driven songs, but the ones that are there work well. The OP and ED songs are really top-notch.

This almost strikes me as more of a military drama than a mecha show, per say. But that's neat in of itself and shows the versatility of the mecha genre. This is pretty close to the kind of Alternate Universe Gundam show I'd like to see in the future. All of that said, considering the pacing and characters and type of combat, it's not clear if there was an audience for this show in the current anime climate. I think this might have fared better in the 90s.

I am very upset that this didn't get a dub. A large amount of recent mecha anime have gotten a dub--Captain Earth is one of the few outside of Argevollen I can think of that didn't get a dub. Anyway, Argevollen deserved a dub, as far as I'm concerned, and would have benefited from it. The lack of a dub for this goes on my list of anime tragedies with Gundam X not getting a dub.

A lot of good stuff was set up and explored in the first half of Argevollen. While not as shocking, it was very skillfully deliberate in its pacing and development, making it at least on-par with Aldnoah.Zero's first half, and better than Majestic Prince's first half. There weren't any major missteps, really. The only things that threw me a bit for a loop was the over-the-top spa joke, that the older mechanic crew chief seemed to disappear for a while (was he back at base?), and that Samonji wasn't aware of Tokimune's family connection to his own life.

The second half of Argevollen has so much potential. If it keeps the character development going, and if it bumps up the number of big action moments, it could be something pretty special. As it is so far, it's already among my favorite mecha series in the last 8 to 10 years. Still, something is missing that I can't quite put my finger on; even so, it almost feels like it's one or two really big moments away from full-on greatness.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Soma Taozi » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:10 pm

I knew this show would be right up your alley Lightning! You are certainly enjoying the first half far more than I did. That being said, I didn't HATE the first half of Argevollen and had high expectations for where the story would go after its midway point. Thus I am excited for your thoughts on Argevollen once you finish the anime, since that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me (ugh that finale). Oh but I love both openings to this show. I still rewatch them to this day, what do you think of them?

In hindsight, I will concede that a lot of my problems with Argevollen come from the fact that it isn't my kind of show. So I am fully expecting you to get something out of the finale that I (clearly given my first post on this thread :oops: ) didn't...which wouldn't be the first time that has happened for shows you like and ones I, unfortunately, have strong feels about.

For example, I still...to this day...cannot get into Gundam Wing past episode 13. However I realize that others love that anime so I am obviously missing something and have accepted that it isn't my cup of tea. But again, I am looking forward to you finishing Argevollen since, as of now, our thoughts still line up to some extent.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Raikoh » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:31 am

Ironically I'm somewhat neutral towards Argevollen as a whole but the fact that it's not really my type of show is why I have such admiration for it. Argevollen is one of those rare anime that doesn't bow to popular trends and cliches and instead tells the story it wants to tell. Were it in the hands of someone who just wanted to sell the show, it'd have harem elements, or it would play up the very, VERY light implications that Namie might butter her bread on both sides and try to use that to pander to some other crowds.

Strangely, some of my favorite characters from Argevollen were the background characters whose names I can't even remember. Big guy who has the chat with granny, and the old mechanic for example. Not a stab at the main cast, just that I liked those guys more for some reason. They felt very genuine, and as I mentioned the scene with the old lady was really cute.

The finale is certainly a weird anomaly. I get why people are disappointed in it, but for the more realistic depiction of war that Argevollen was going for, I personally think it fits in super well. It doesn't deliver to expectations, but again, that's because it's part of what the writer wanted to do.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Amion » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:53 pm

Maybe I'd have been more forgiving of the first couple episodes of this show if it didn't incorporate CGI into it. I really can't think of a single CGI mecha that I enjoyed watching outside MJP. It was just so blocky and messed with my vision for some reason.

That aside, it definitely doesn't sound quite like my kind of show, but who knows. One day I might give it a whirl and see.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by LightningCount » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:18 am

Soma Taozi wrote:...Oh but I love both openings to this show. I still rewatch them to this day, what do you think of them?

In hindsight, I will concede that a lot of my problems with Argevollen come from the fact that it isn't my kind of show...For example, I still...to this day...cannot get into Gundam Wing past episode 13. However I realize that others love that anime so I am obviously missing something and have accepted that it isn't my cup of tea.
I've only seen the first opening, but I've seen both endings. I said in the above post that the music themes were great, and they remain so. Definitely a fan!!!

As for Gundam Wing, don't worry. Anime News Network recently did an article on Gundam and told the whole internet Wing was garbage and not worth ever seeing. So, I may be in a growing minority on that one. :P

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, though. You did say I might like it, and I had this suspicion I would early on. I was really waiting on the DVD/Blu-ray release, certain it would have a dub...but as it turns out, I was sort of waiting for nothing, and had a few things semi-spoiled by artwork around the internet in the interim. But even so, Episode 14: The Ghost just rocked!
Amion wrote:Maybe I'd have been more forgiving of the first couple episodes of this show if it didn't incorporate CGI into it. I really can't think of a single CGI mecha that I enjoyed watching outside MJP. It was just so blocky and messed with my vision for some reason.

That aside, it definitely doesn't sound quite like my kind of show, but who knows. One day I might give it a whirl and see.
I don't know if it will be your kind of show or not. As I stated earlier, if you're a fan of 08th MS Team, 0080, Gasaraki, Patlabor, or Zoids: Chaotic Century, it's definitely worth checking out. I'm finding it to be very character-driven as it goes along.

As for the CGI, I rejected CGI for the longest time. Blue Sub No.6, Last Exile, and Pilot Candidate gave me some tolerance level, and Zoids (the first 3 seasons) and Yukikaze started to make me see its potential. Then, shockingly, the Rebuild of EVA movies and Fafner: Heaven and Earth started to make me accept the trend as an acceptable alternative. Since then, Fafner Exodus, Majestic Prince, Aldnoah.Zero, and now Argevollen have shown me that good things can happen with CGI mecha. There are pros and cons, but it can be used to excellent effect. I went over it in my previous post, but Argevollen's CGI, WHEN it's at its best, is better/more fluid than Aldnoah.Zero (which you watched, as I recall) and on-par with Fafner Exodus and Majestic Prince, albeit with more realistic physics and a military-flaired bent. There are still moments of awkwardness, but I'm now more lenient of CG mecha than I ever have been. The unique choreography I've seen in Episodes 13 and 14 just recently made my eyes pop!

If the genre is of some interest from the aforementioned series of 08th Team, Gasaraki, and such, if you aren't somewhat intrigued by the end of Episode 8, you probably won't like it; but if you think it's enjoyable at that point, it has continued to add positive points up to Episode 14, which I just finished recently.
Raikoh wrote:Ironically I'm somewhat neutral towards Argevollen as a whole but the fact that it's not really my type of show is why I have such admiration for it. Argevollen is one of those rare anime that doesn't bow to popular trends and cliches and instead tells the story it wants to tell. Were it in the hands of someone who just wanted to sell the show, it'd have harem elements, or it would play up the very, VERY light implications that Namie might butter her bread on both sides and try to use that to pander to some other crowds.

Strangely, some of my favorite characters from Argevollen were the background characters whose names I can't even remember. Big guy who has the chat with granny, and the old mechanic for example. Not a stab at the main cast, just that I liked those guys more for some reason. They felt very genuine, and as I mentioned the scene with the old lady was really cute.

The finale is certainly a weird anomaly. I get why people are disappointed in it, but for the more realistic depiction of war that Argevollen was going for, I personally think it fits in super well. It doesn't deliver to expectations, but again, that's because it's part of what the writer wanted to do.
Yeah, I noted that the background characters are really a "plus" to this show. Whatever this "ending" is, I'm not too worried about it, so long as it fits the context. I'm imagining some sort of truce or something, but DO NOT TELL ME! And yes, I do not know how they pushed this series through, but I'm happy they did. It may not have performed well, but they're staying true to what they want to do, and it's staying on track. It's really a UC side-story in structure. To use that analogy, it's not about the macro war vs. the Zabi family; it is just about how a unit and its members deal with the machinations of a war and reconcile their own personal reasons for being soldiers.

Anyway, Episode 13 was very good, even if some of the character models were more uneven than usual. The opening with all the military operations going on really gave a sense of the wider conflict. They continue to balance out the character drama here, with Namie throwing a wrinkle into everything we've known so far. I was worried she might ruin the mood, but she's adding to the character development and interactions, keeping things fresh and moving forward. The action move at the end, where Argevollen circled the enemy, was incredible. I don't think I've ever seen that move in a mecha anime before.

Episode 14 was even better! I liked the whole setup. In the end, Tokimune's rival is fascinating. He's not a Char-type rival. He's just a really driven soldier, and they did a good job giving him a human dimension a few episodes back. Still, he reminds me of Ivan Drago from Rocky IV, and that's not something I've said about a mecha pilot before. The action was some of the best yet, with really interesting choreography, and the story is starting to come to the fore, matching the continuing character drama/development. They manage to fit in a lot of nice incidental moments even this late in the game--whether it's cooking or jogging or whatever--and I like how there's been cloak-and-dagger meetings throughout this series.

I'm hopeful they can keep all this up.
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by Henyo » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:10 pm

ah, brings a tear to my eyes that there are people who appreciate Argevollen. it had the unfortunate fate of airing at the same season as Aldnoah.Zero and so, people will most likely underestimate it.

for me both Argevollen and Aldnoah.Zero ended the same way. and i prefer Argevollen's ending. Inaho and co are part of the main battle while Ukyo's team(i forgot his last name which. i've gotten used to calling him by that.) just so happened to have pick up a Protoype Mecha. AND they never become an important piece in the war with it. nope. still a ragtag bunch of likeable soldiers. and then there's Jamie. ah what a cutie. :D
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Re: Argevollen...

Post by SonicSP » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:08 am

I liked the show, I wish it would have a sequel even if only because I want to see things the continuation of the captain/co captain's love story. (it's been some months, I can't remember their names anymore)

I even like the total lack of planes whatsoever as well as the Trial System-like machinery. It also handles and plays with OSes very well with nice minor things like firmware updates and such.

If I had a problem with the story, it would be that I felt like it opened up too many story threads and didn't seem to know what to focus on at certain times. So some things feel unresolved. I dare even say it's as if it's designed to leave some open/not fully solved for a sequel, which is partly why I wanted one.

It's not my favorite mecha anime or anything but I liked it.

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Re: Argevollen...

Post by LightningCount » Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:10 pm

I'll eventually get around to giving my full thoughts; but for now, I just want to say that I've finished Argevollen, and I can say that I was very satisfied. I can see why there might be complaints, but I think it wrapped things up fittingly, and with a lot better writing than the conclusion to Aldnoah.Zero or Majestic Prince. This series turned out to be a lot more unique than it was given credit, and if it had had an English dub, I would have bought it posthaste. As it is, I'm still going to have to collect it (...and hope for an OVA/Movie sequel!!! :D )
My Mecha/Scifi Novels: https://www.goodreads.com/series/168677 ... -war-arm-x
"May you rest in peace, the betrayed and outraged Milliardo Peacecraft."
Most-Wanted Gundam Anime: Episode Zero, Blue Destiny, Rise from the Ashes, Crossbone

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