Synonyms: Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova
Japanese: 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ ‐アルス・ノヴァ‐
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 8, 2013 to Dec 24, 2013
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.641 (scored by 17964 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisBy 2039, global warming had caused sea levels to rise and large amount of territory to be lost. As though in response, a mysterious group of warships clad in mist, “the Fleet of Mist,” appeared in every corner of the ocean, and began attacking human ships. In spite of humanity mustering all their strength, they were utterly defeated by the Mist's overwhelming force. All of humanity's trade routes were blockaded by the Fleet of Mist, their political economy was destroyed, and the human race was steadily beaten down. Seven years later, the Fleet of Mist's submarine I-401 appears before cadet Gunzo Chihaya. The humanoid life form that pilots the sub, who should be their enemy, is instead offering her services to mankind.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio
Other: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova - Kirikumas
Alternative version: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 1
Sequel: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 2
Characters & Voice Actors
On the surface Arpeggio has a few detractors but if you allow people to finish airing their subjective complaints about how CG never blends well with anime, the harem genre is overused and how they don’t want to be made to remember complicated words like Super gravity Cannon and Klein’s field, you’ll find that Arpeggio has a decent story, a setting with rich possibilities heavily untapped by the anime world, interesting characters and an all but obvious moral lesson at the end.
For 7 years the Fleet of Fog, an armada of highly advance naval vessels have taken over earthly waters, with every attempt to reclaim back the waters by humanity crushed. Chihaya Gunzou is a student at a naval academy who one day is approached by a girl named Iona who introduces herself as a member of the Fog. The first episode isn’t kind to those looking for a subtle introduction as it is packed full of content, the series sense of immediacy may overwhelm some as in only the first episode it entails storyline, introductions, info dumps and even flash backs, all this equals to the series greatest weakness, its length, which I’ll talk about later. Chihaya Gunzou’s fleet is tasked with delivering a new weapon to America soon after with the Fog in his path leading to naval confrontations. The series can also be praised for its sound sense of tactical warfare as the battles take a balanced approach between stratagem and action orientation, the chemistry of Gunzo and his crewmates also deserve praise as everybody is well aware of their objectives and every line a character speaks out deserves just cause and not just for the sake of a seiyuu getting lines, however this is only in combat.
The fleet of the Fog being all AIs have a set of logical reasoning they follow called the Admiralty code, which a few of the fog members later on start to question, the series takes a very nice new dimension when this new plot element comes into play that suddenly give these formerly one dimensional characters a lot of depth, all of a sudden characters who one might think were nothing more than opponents the main cast might hurdle over, suddenly are given meaning and purpose, and the storyline sees a vast change mostly for the better. Although some people might complain about the existence of the mental models, the way the battleships take human form, keep in mind that without this the members of the fog would be nothing more than your casual unknown evil group trying to take over the world, their presentation to the physical gives Arpeggio much room to express itself as something much more than a simple war story, the mental model may seem to translate to a light hearted and subtle theme but Arpeggio is quite serious and even takes darker routes towards its conclusion, but as to why the fog members decided to all pick up female archetypes is still something up for debate.
A lot of Arpeggio’s issues can be traced back to its length, 12 episodes was not enough for it to truly present itself, the result of this is several holes in explanations and lack of enough back story to keep the series standing firm. A very obvious element that the series should definitely have covered was the origins of the fog, because as it stands “sudden appearance” is not enough a reason to justify their existence, but as its source material is still ongoing, this might be something we can willingly forgive. The presentation of the fog can also be considered underwhelming, a regiment vast enough to conquer all of earth’s waters should at least number in the ten thousands’, the anime does very little to reflect the fog as the dominant force it should be and unfortunately only concentrates on 9 members, larger numbers would have gone a long way in stating the anime’s intent as something to be taken very seriously.
The only thing to say about the art style is, CG and cute girls were made for each other, haters be damned. As opposed to most CG you see in anime these days, Arpeggio boasts some extremely high quality rendering, the coloring blends well and they hit the brightness level just perfectly and that’s not even counting in the outstanding character designs. The CG actually compliments the world of Arpeggio so well that it’s honestly hard to imagine the series without it. Also given the ease CG gives animators they rightfully ‘flexed their muscles’, colorful sceneries, radical movements and flamboyant naval combats are all present and executed fluidly. The opening theme ‘Savior of Song’ by Nano is nothing short of sublime, an absolutely riveting and exciting high beat Pop-rock that highly deserves more than one viewing an episode, the part with character montages striking the most interest. The ending ‘Blue Field’ by Trident is an ever so alluring slow and somber beat that melded well with the slow animation of its sequence.
The approach the author did in characterization here was actually presenting characters with several diverse personalities, enough personalities that viewers would undoubtedly find a favorite quite easily. The MC Chihaya Gunzou really impresses when in his Command Center, even though you hold no military knowledge watching the way he assesses situations and gives out orders accordingly with commanding presence makes the naval battles so much more interesting, his leadership skills and tactical know how are one of Arpeggio’s brightest aspects, however outside of his CC he’s kind of a dud. Iona on the other hand has very little to give to the viewer, from start to finish all she does is receive, process and carry out her captain’s orders, her apathic nature although going perfectly with the nature of the series still made her hard to like and the show of ‘will’ she performs at the end did very little to refute her. The real joy however you’ll find are with the different Girls of the Fog, AI or not, how they chose to present themselves was both alluring and dazzling and their interactions are a joy to watch, most of this will stem from your initial knowledge of how strict the workings of the fog is but seeing how their characters change really brings a great sense of joy for them.
The vast possibilities Arpeggio could have produced or explored if it wasn’t rushed are nearly endless, however Arpeggio should not be viewed as a simple tale of Man Vs. Machine as it incorporates so much more, it is a battle to find out and discovers one true self and meaning of existence, searching for answers to the all-important questions, how coexistence is an important value and Sentient is more than enough of a reason for us all to live together in peace. read more
I have to say, although I was looking forward to Arpeggio, I was also very skeptical about it. For some reason it just didn't seem to me like a plot they could make interesting or work. However, I must say that I was definitely pleasantly surprised with it, so much so that it's not only one of my favorite anime of the fall of 2013, but also one of my favorite anime of 2013 in general. It was such such a blast to watch; unique and well written plot, likeable and well developed characters, great music, (including the opening and the ending), and superb animation and art, as well as enjoyment factors that went through the roof. It was definitely a hidden gem of 2013 and I really wish that more people knew about it and talked about it. Anyways, onto the review.
The story is very unique in Arpeggio of Blue Steel. By 2039, global warming had caused sea levels to rise and large amount of territory to be lost. As though in response, a mysterious group of warships clad in fog, called “The Fleet of Fog,” appeared in every corner of the ocean, and began attacking human ships. In spite of humanity mustering all their strength, they were utterly defeated by the Fog's overwhelming force. All of humanity's trade routes were blockaded by the Fleet of Fog, their political economy was destroyed, and the human race was steadily beaten down. Seven years later, the Fleet of Fog's submarine I-401 appears before cadet Gunzo Chihaya. The humanoid life form that pilots the sub, who should be their enemy, is instead offering her services to mankind. It's unique because of not only the setup, but also the fact that all of these ships actually have humanoid forms, (all of the ones on the Fog's side and the ones who are against the Fog). However, they don't actually turn into ships themselves when they're ready for combat; rather, ships appears out of the water and they stand on them, essentially controlling them with their minds, (or something like that). The only issue that I had with the plot was that it set up and created this world with nearly endless possibilities, and only covered very few of them. Hopefully in one of the upcoming movies, (one of them is an original work, while the other is a compilation movie), we'll get to see more of this universe explored.
This one is going to be very short. The art is amazing in this series. Very well drawn, and is also very smooth, colorful, and crisp, which is my favorite type of art style is an anime series.
The animation in this anime is breathtaking, it really is. SANZIGEN really outdid themselves with the animation quality in this series. There's hardly scenes when nothing is moving. Even in the standard military talking scenes, I-401 will often have this blue aura circulating around her, which counts in animation quality as well. Now, many people do voice their complaints about the CGI done with the ships in this series. Personally, I don't mind in CGI being done in anime as long as it looks really good, and I really thought that it was done really good here. I felt it blended in really well. The only reason I could tell it was CGI in the first place is because I've trained myself to be able to detect this kind of stuff, since I'm going to animation school.
The music is very good and enjoyable to listen to, albeit very repetitive at times. I do personally think however that it has some of the best action music ever put into action scenes in anime; not the best, but some of the best. The opening and ending are also amazing, in my opinion.
The characters are a huge mixed bag in this anime. I'm not saying they're bad; actually, it's quite the opposite. This anime has a rather large cast of characters, and each and every single one of them are different from each other and very interesting to watch and learn more about. But my issue lies with the fact that you learn very little about a lot of the ships. I'm talking mainly about the I-402 and the I-403, the sisters to the main ship, the I-401, whom gets very little, if any, deep characterization like her sister. There's also the main villain of this series, whom I can't even be bothered to remembering the name of, who looks like she's going to be developed at one point, but then gets virtually nothing. I do like, however, that our main character has substantial character development, and is actually very interesting, which is a nice change of pace from the bland, boring, and lifeless main characters that we see in anime a lot nowadays.
I loved this anime, somewhat on a critical level, but mostly on a pure enjoyment level. It had a unique premise done properly, and I can't wait to see more of it to come!
I can't recommend it enough. Like I said before in this review, I feel that this is one of the hidden gems of 2013, and of the fall of 2013 more specifically, that I really want more people to see, but sadly very few people, if any, ever talk about it. read more
Both have the same Naval settings.
Both involves war in the seas.
Both also have the same situation were humans were driven out of the sea.
The enemy in one anime is more of a hidden type. while the other anime, the enemy is known.
One has an extra sci-fi genre, while the other has supernatural, comedy and harem.
The art in one anime has a futuristic theme, while the other one has a bit of retro theme.
- Scenario were mankind's sea commerce and trade have been halted due to a lot of threat in the 7 seas.
-The same situation where humans have to engage in unconventional naval battle with an unknown enemy.
The same scenario where the human race no longer dominates the seven seas because of multiple threats and has to rely on sea going mercenaries for protection.
One day an enemy appears out of nowhere and drives humans to the brink of extinction is the basic summary for both of these anime. If you like one you might like the other
the similar thing between the two anime , is that the main characters try to rescue Humanity from extintion cause of a strange kind of enemy showed off suddenly.
Both series' are action filled anime, with great CG rendering for fight scenes.
Both series' main protagonists have the power to save humanity unto brink extinction.
Both series' unknown enemy, just appeared out of nowhere, taking away humanity's freedom.
story revolves in fighting giants, while the other is engaging a fight in sea, battleship vs. battleship.
Opening Theme"Savior of Song" by Nano feat. MY FIRST STORY
Ending Theme#1: "Savior of Song" by Nano feat. MY FIRST STORY (ep 1)
#2: "Blue Field" (ブルー・フィールド) by Trident (Mai Fuchigami, Manami Numakura, and Hibiki Yamamura) (eps 2-4, 6-8)
#3: "Innocent Blue" by Trident (Mai Fuchigami, Manami Numakura, and Hibiki Yamamura) (ep 5, 9)
#4: "Our Story" by nano (ep 12)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
AnimeYO! [AnimeYO!] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related ClubsWinnie's Favs, Touyama Nao Fanclub, SweetKotomi's Cute Girls: Island Paradise, Anime Discussions, Iona, Arpeggio of Blue Steel Fanclub, The Gentleman's club.
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