Recap of the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova TV series, with approximately 40 minutes of new material.
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 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.
Firstly, if you are new to the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio series, I recommend that you watch "Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova" prior to watching this movie. It is not required viewing material in order to enjoy this movie, but it definitely helps with viewer comprehension and world building, which this movie is seriously lacking.
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova DC is a summary of the ARS Nova animated television series. The reason I recommend watching the series first is because, as a stand-alone movie, the story is under-developed. Many of the interactions, why they take place, and their significance are severely reduced without the extended viewing time that the series offers; however, this movie does a fantastic job of tying up loose ends, and giving the viewer a more "complete" feeling when seeing the conclusion of the film-- which is one of the shortcomings of the ARS Nova series. Story: 7 (good)
The art and animation of this movie is awesome. Aside a few isolated scenes where the animation's frame-rate is reduced, the movie does a fantastic job, and it is very aesthetically pleasing-- especially for anyone who has read the manga. 9/10 (great)
The sound is great. No major qualms, except maybe a lack of variety. The tracks that are intended to elicit an emotional reaction do a good job of accomplishing their goal. 8/10 (very good)
The characters in the movie are an accurate rendition of the ones found within the series and manga, but many of the scenes which instill endearment and camaraderie are lacking. One could go as far as to say that the characters are severely under-developed, but given that the original series does not give tremendous amounts of back-story for any of the lead characters, this would be a bit harsh. The characters are as the Author intended, but in the abridged version that is this movie, they lack depth, and as such, some of their interactions are stilted. 6/10 (fair)
Overall enjoyment of this movie as a standalone film would be somewhere between a 5.5 and a 6/10. As a supplement to the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio series, it is closer to a 7.5/10. Worth the watch if you are a fan of the series. If you are new to the series, the Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio TV Series is definitely highly recommended prior to watching.
Hope this review was helpful.
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