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: 7.651 (scored by 17057 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
Sequel: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 1
Alternative version: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Movie 1
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
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova Full Review
I would say that Aoki Hagane is one of those dark horse anime this season. Not many people watched it, maybe because they didn’t like the art style or maybe just the idea behind battleships. So, is this a worthy investment of your time? Let’s take a look!
Note: There will be minor spoilers.
The story of Aoki Hagane is broken up into two parts. First, is the battle between humans and the forces of the Fog. This is basically the universe it is set in, and our hero, Chihaya Gunzou, somehow manages to obtain the power of one of the Fog’s submarine, Iona 401, which turns the tide of the battle. What’s great about this is that it Gunzou and Iona are sort of the neutral party. Yes, they are fighting against the Fog, but the army is also hostile towards them because they are afraid Gunzou would use Iona’s power against them, or that Iona might go berserk and attack them instead. This brings about a much more interesting storyline and more tension. Imagine the whole world is against you, and just how intense that would be?
Second part of the story is how members of the Fog with Mental Models develop human characteristics such as emotions, logical thinking and relationships, and these lead to them questioning the basis of their actions. It’s this internal struggle between to do what you’re made to do (as weapons), or to follow your heart’s desire. While the development in this aspect is a little cliche, it’s still an awesome story device that makes the story filled with so much more depth, rather than just battles between ships.
Let me discuss a little about the battles. These battles are one of the most intense and well made scenes I’ve ever seen, and it thoroughly reminds me of Code Geass, such that battles are not won with sheer power and might, but with logic and strategic thinking to outsmart the enemy. Aoki Hagane does this extremely well, immersing the viewers in that amazing experience. If you liked the battles in Code Geass, expect to find the same epicness here.
Aoki Hagane is weird such that its supporting characters (with the exception of Iona) get plenty of development. In which case, we see the Mental Models of the fog undergo character developments as they are more exposed to humans. No longer are they just weapons, but more... Human. It is interesting to see how each of them transforms based on different reasons and experiences. The issue here is that some of their transformations, or rather, developments, are not as justified or too sudden.Though, it was really interesting to see these characters interact, because they are not your typical stereotypes such as Tsundere or Kuudere or whatever other deres, as such, their personalities were different.What I would’ve liked to see was perhaps even more development for them. While they did have developments, it felt a little lacking when the story was centered on them.
Chihaya Gunzou pretty much remains the same throughout the show. That doesn’t make him bad in anyway, though. He’s an extremely interesting character with the wit of Lelouch and the nobility of the other characters such as Kamijou Touma(putting others before himself). In other words, you get a character that is smart, witty and puts others before him. What more can you want?
The only problem I have with the characters is perhaps of the other crew members. They have so little screentime and development that I can’t even remember what their names are. What is their purpose of joining Gunzou, or what is their personality like, it’s really hard to tell. It’s as if they were there for the sole purpose of operating Iona 401. However, this is not that big of an issue because it doesn’t really hurt the story that much.
The soundtrack for this anime is amazing. Special credits to nano’s Saviour of Song, the opening for this anime. Not only is it catchy, but every time you listen to it, it is as if you’re ready for a naval battle. The instrumental just fits the anime so well. The ending song, Blue Field, also has that “sea feel” if you get what I’m going at.
Additionally, the instruments played especially during the battle scenes fits it so well. Adding so much more tension that really makes you feel as if you’re in that battle itself.
The animation for this anime is interesting such that it’s done with CGI. As such, you would notice that the characters movements look a bit as though it’s a game. It’s the first time an anime has applied this technique, and I must say it was done quite well. It might put you off at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll notice just how good it actually looks.
The animations for the battle scenes are especially well done. Throughout the entire scene, the battles flow smoothly. The explosions are especially well done. It can be split into two parts, Corrosion Impact and High Explosive. Both look just as beautiful when they impact the target.
Initially I dropped this anime because of the art style, but I’m very glad I picked it up again. I absolutely loved Code Geass, as an anime that is not just about battles. Aoki Hagane manages to do the same thing, though not as well as Code Geass (due to lack of episodes) but I’m able to feel that same type of enjoyment. I think I could’ve found a new love for battleships because of this anime... Anyway, every episode is interesting because of the battles and the characters.
I especially enjoyed the opening theme, having always listen to it and sing along just because its that catchy.
As much as I like Aoki Hagane, from a reviewer’s standpoint, I would have to give it an 8.5/10. Characters could definitely been developed a little bit more. If that was the case, I would defintely give it a 9/10 or even a 10/10. That being said, I still highly recommend Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio; you will not be disappointed.
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 ClubsAnime Discussions, Iona, SweetKotomi's Cute Girls: Island Paradise, Touyama Nao Fanclub, Arpeggio of Blue Steel Fanclub, Winnie's Favs, The Gentleman's club.
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