Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio – Ars Nova- (Episode 6: Friend)

And thus episode six brings us to the halfway point of the series. With no signs of slowing, I am immensely liking this adaptation of Arpeggio. Now, onto the future with Haruharu, KiriBear, and Makie.

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Episode Summary:

Deep underneath the mansion, Professor Osakabe recounts of his life. How Makie had grown to become his daughter, and now Makie someone who isn’t exactly human, is befriending an entity that isn’t human at all. And also whose main goal is the eradication of said species. He succumbs to his frail body just as the JGSDF surrounds the mansion.

Back in Makie’s room, Haruna categorizes and puts away the word and meaning of ‘Friend’ (tomodachi) when the troops outside cut the power. Knowing full well that the troops were after Makie and preventing her knowledge from being captured, a cut-scene shows that Assistant Secretary Kamikage approved such operation. Leaving Kirishima/KiriBear to care for Makie, Haruna walks outside. The soldiers state they wish to not combat her, and their object is to dispose of Makie. The moment the dumbass soldier says that, I paused it and just shook my head, due in no part what happens next. Such wording clearly just infuriates Haruna. And a short confrontation leads the soldiers to be knocked out, and Haruna proclaiming she is very very unhappy.

No doubt this leads Makie to wake and confront the truth about Haruna (and most likely KiriBear as well), and as she runs from the supposed monster, KiriBear thinks it’s just proof that humans and the Fog were never meant to be. Haruna though, isn’t one to give up, and asks KiriBear to protect Makie as she fends off and distracts the soldiers.

Creating a ‘doll’ of Makie using nanomaterials, Haruna engages the soldiers, while KiriBear seems to loathe babysitting. Kongo and Maya puts the episode in perspective in the JTN, which leads Kongo to wonder why Haruna didn’t bother to inform her of the situation directly. Haruna’s engagement, her first no doubt as a ship=less Mental Model (hell, the first with the Fog no doubt), leads her to remember Makie’s exclamation from earlier, while forming a black hole above soldiers. An exclamation of not taking their lives (she was about to toss a 40mm grenade back at soldiers when makie intervened earlier). She instead forms smaller ones to disable their weapons, before knocking them out (as she has been doing the entire time) with heavy blows form extended Klein fields.

Recounting how many she has killed, how remorseless she was back then. It seems she cannot do that anymore. When KiriBear suggest using Maya to obliterate their enemies, she merely responds in the negative, stating that Makie does not wish it.

Speaking of Makie, she recounts to Yotarou/KiriBear her own fears. It isn’t because she was scared of Haruna being a Fog Mental Model, but it is because she is a Fog Mental Model. She hopes she got away safely, knowing full well she is the Army’s main target. She recounts that she designed the vibration warhead to make her father happy, but afterwards was seemingly abandoned. She knows full well the bomb was meant to kill Haruna and the rest of the Fog, and reasons she never deserved to be friends with her in the first place. Meanwhile, the Army deployed walkers, and with their increased firepower, haruna couldn’t maintain the decoy, leading the Army to retreat and search for the real Makie.

And thus, KiriBear finally gets to action. Deploring her weak Klein field generation, she just kicks ass by knocking out the soldiers with improbable martial arts skills. Brushing aside the fact she can talk, KiriBear attempts to have Makie escape. Makie objects but KiriBear explains that Haruna doesn’t wanna drag her into the fight. Destroying the crab walkers, Haruna reaffirms her being. One that is a weapon. A member of the Fog, the fast battleship Haruna. Yet her actions betray her. Saving a soldier from an explosion, she cannot bring herself to kill them now. Makie runs into the backyard, KiriBear no doubt unable to go against her, and is targetted by all forces. Haruna makes a desperate save, unwilling to lose Makie. Just at the nick of time she makes it, but undergoing a relentless pounding, all hope seems lost until an unexpected savior comes.

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I DID NOT EXPECT THIS TWIST.

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Knowing full well Gunzou is going to go against the military, he continues to order Iona’s assault, bringing the battle to a close. Haruna asks Makie if they could stay friends, and on the I-401, she asks Iona why she came to their help. Iona simply responds that she had heard her call out for help. Kirishima is made fun of, and Haruna asks what Gunzou what he intends to do. Answering, he says he intends to go to their stronghold. Speaking of which, Takao awakes to an egg-shaped robot, which asks her what her intentions are.

Episode Six Conclusions:

Continuing on the themes of friendship, the biggest annoyance for me is the series’ portrayal of Kamikage as the villain. It only took six episodes for me to become annoyed with the anime’s direction, it is refreshing though, considering with how much they have to work with. The manga is noted for its plots within plots storytelling, something that a studio cannot afford, so thus cuts were made. That said, the direction is refreshingly good. I know it’s odd for me to both praise and denounce it, but to salvage what is left of my professional obligation to take the anime ‘as is’, I consider this well done.

It’s well within Gunzou’s prerogative to do as he pleases, since the original contract was to merely deliver the vibration warhead to the United States. It seems well within his character, one of an idealist, as well as one who associates with the Fog, to rescue a Fog that is, to our eyes, becoming more human than most humans. So with six more episodes to go, no doubt he is now becoming not only the most wanted man with the Fog, with Japan (and by extension, humanity) as well.

And it’s still grating on me. What was the need for Kita when they’re gonna make Kamkage as the villain? Ah well, I shall wait and see. But this is one of those ‘YMMV’ parts of the anime.

EDIT 11/12/2013: I think there really isn’t much time and they’re focusing on what can earn them a greater return on the investment. The whole thing is still a business venture by the studio and if they can gain more by focusing a lot on the mental models (figurine and model sales) and such, it’d help fund the cash cow.

As for the plot itself, seems reasonable. Kamikage’s still human, and with the changes in the plot either he is gonna be set up as the baddie in the anime. Or (hear me out) he’s even more conniving than originally seen. Setting himself up to fall early, let Kita make the ultimate sin of maybe allying with Kongo and Maya to sink I-401/Iona and make it known. His sin is seen as less evil because he was looking out for the best interest of humanity’s last hope, while Kita is broken and wrecked politically because he was willing to jeopardize humanity’s only chance to strike back at the Fog for some personal gain or to settle a personal offense.

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Also I liked the change titlecard for Kirishima.

Main Episode Gallery:

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About Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

Conservative, Patriotic and an Otaku. Recent grad of George Mason University. I am interested in firearms, politics, Japanese Anime, and military tech.
This entry was posted in Anime, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio, Video Impressions. Bookmark the permalink.

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