Easing into the endgame with a few bumps in the road
What They Say:
The National Federation of Ingelmia has declared war on the United Kingdom of Arandas in its conquest of expanding its borders. Susumu Tokimune is a new pilot for the Arandas army and during a mission he encounters an armored vehicle containing a robot called Argevollen as well as a young girl named Jamie Hazaford. After saving Jamie’s life, Susumu becomes the pilot for the Argevollen and uses it to battle against the Ingelmian forces.
Content (warning as portions of this review may contain spoilers): Only a few episodes of Argevollen remain, and there’s still much left to be done. Normally this would be the point where other series would speed things up and start increasing the stakes, but in true Tatsuo Sato fashion, the show is still easing along as slowly as ever. That said, things are finally starting to head towards a clearer endgame, although the pressure to get to that goal means the lighthearted elements and the serious stuff don’t mesh together as well as they could otherwise.
On the one hand there’s some light material involving the crew throwing a party to celebrate Susumu’s recovery. It’s a pretty straightforward subplot. and one that feels a bit out of place this late in the game but it does kind of nicely reinforce how much Susumu has grown into being part of the group, compared to where he was in the beginning. It also allows for him and Jamie to reflect on their journey together a bit and for her to interestingly show a new found resolve in supporting him piloting the Argevollen, despite the obvious risks.
More importantly however (and more interesting) is Captain Samonji’s part in the episode as his character goes in a bit of a new direction. Where he was last left off, Cayanne finally decided to let him in on some of what was going on behind the scenes and creation of new units called Perphvollens that can be remote operated through a shared link. What’s interesting here is that Cayanne wants Samonji to be the one manning them and to use them to wipe out the Inglmian forces. Cayanne has been pretty hard to figure out as a character but it’s made pretty clear here that he does care about the soldiers dying under him and wants to put a stop to that, even if he has to use some pretty dubious means to get there. It also turns out that some parts of the Arandas army are actually looking to bring a political end to the war since it’s turning out to be unfavorable to both sides, but the higher ups want the war to go on.
Colonel Izumi tries to warn Samonji about Cayanne, but by this point it’s pretty clear that he’s made up his mind. He decides to tell Susumu about Reika’s dream of an army where no one dies but while it kind of seems like he’s trying to pass on that dream to him, it’s not hard to guess what he’s actually thinking as he silently parts ways with the group. Having already failed to pull Susumu away from the Argevollen, and still feeling guilt over what happened to Reika, it looks like this time, he’s ready to take things into his own hands, and is determined to make that dream happen himself.
In Summary: This week’s episode is a bit of mixed bag, and one that is, while normally pretty standard for Tatsuo Sato’s works, doesn’t mesh quite as well as it has in his other shows. While all of the material concerning Captain Samonji’s resolution is pretty interesting, the subplot with the rest of the unit planning a party feels really out of place at this point. Hopefully the former will take center stage next week, and it should hopefully be fun to see what comes of that
Streamed By: Funimation, Hulu