17 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Argevollen episode 1 – Robots divekicking other robots

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The nations of Herpyderp and Derpyherp who are at war. Herpyderp is a rich nation but the wealth is hoarded by the wealthy and doesn’t go to the poor. At least that’s what the war propaganda for Derpyherp claims, and that’s why the Derpyherp soldiers and their robots are trying to ‘liberate’ the people of Herpyderp. The battle is currently locked at the Great Wall of Herpyderp because apparently in this universe the ability to create fully functioning giant robots was invented before flight. Clearly this is a world with its priorities straight. Anyway, if the Mongols can get past the great wall without much difficulty, then it was only a matter of time before the armies of Derpyherp crash through the walls.

40Our heroes are a small platoon from the nation of Herpyderp and are several miles away in the middle of the forest doing fuck all to help anybody. They’re ordered to defend the great wall whereupon our main character NASP (Naive Angry Stupid Protagonist) goes on a stupid lone mission to save some civilians. Then suddenly the unholy cauldron of mecha tropes that had been rather kind until now pours its goopy mess all over the story upon which our main character rescues a pretty girl by piloting a super powered mech and jump kicking another robot in the face.

I did actually like this, despite my sarcastic tone. I’m sorry, I’m just incapable of turning my natural sarcasm off, especially for something that plays mecha tropes as seriously as this did. While the setup is hardly original, at least our heroes aren’t attending some high school. Our hero is actually a soldier. A greenhorn soldier, but he has had actual giant robot piloting training. What’s promising is the writing is so far of a high standard. Characterisation comes across naturally in the dialogue and it flows well. People feel like people and talk like human beings. It’s not Infinite Ryvius or War in the Pocket levels, which is my high bar for writing in mecha anime lies, but it’s pretty close to the level in Code Geass which is still pretty good. There’s not an ounce of what some people like to call fanservice and what I like to call Stupid Anime Bullshit. At the moment in needs to distinguish itself from every other mecha anime ever, but so far I like what I’ve seen.

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17 Comments

  1. Ian Porterfield
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    …Herpyderp? XD

    • Posted July 4, 2014 at 1:48 am | Permalink

      They’re a subdivision from the Principality of Pootydoopy.

      • aethelwolf
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 2:13 am | Permalink

        –Which is located in the far southern region of the continent of Wabblebabble.

  2. aethelwolf
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Argevollen has so far surprised me. Instead of rocketing through the standard mecha plot points like a ten-year-old on rollerskates, it actually took the time to introduce the characters, world build, and establish tension. WTF.

    What also makes me hopeful about this show is that it hasn’t yet demonized the blue-uniformed soldiers of Derpyherp (I may eat these words later). There hasn’t been any ominous music or dastardly color schemes or evil-villain fashion choices like they did in [insert name of any Sunrise anime here]. In the one quick shot of the Derpyherpian command center, the equipment operators seemed…well, normal.

    It’s highly likely that the green-unformed soldiers of Herpyderp are going to be the main protagonists, but the first episode has already established that Herpyderpia is not some paradise of liberty and equality. Instead of unicorns and rainbows, we got generals being dicks.

    While I think it’s completely unrealistic to expect an even-handed LoGH-style portrayal of the war, I the first episode has let me hope. Even a 20% balance between the two sides would elevate Argevollen above the usual rote mecha-show-of-the-season.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      I like the portrayal of the war too. I did particularly like that our hero’s platoon is a long way away from the real battle.

      I would be disappointing if there were no ridiculous Sunrise villain costumes though. They’re always worth a giggle or two

  3. Danger
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    Hum. I’ll probably give this a shot, then.

  4. Nagisa33
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    Nice shoutout to War in the Pocket. It’s amazing how such a short series can pack an emotional punch of that magnitude.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      What’s more remarkable is how good the writing was in War in the Pocket. It’s possibly one of the best put-together anime out there.

      • R1CK_D0M
        Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        Everyone likes burgers for christmas!

  5. hint
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    My faith in new mecha anime is completely gone after Captain Earth.
    Oh, we still have Akito and Sidonia.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Don’t judge mecha anime by Bones mecha anime

      • Nagisa33
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, Captain Earth and Eureka Seven AO were poor. Eureka Seven is great though.

      • Nagisa33
        Posted July 4, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        and so is RahXephon.

  6. MeiMei
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree that the soldiers seemed normal and things were going well until… that Jaime girl and her pet mecha showed up.

  7. lesterf1020
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    NASP. I like it! you should patent that. It applies to so many mecha shows its depressing.

  8. fathomlesblue
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s impossible to judge any show from its first episode but at this point, if it wasn’t for the basic world overview and terminology/neologisms, I’d be far more inclined to pick most mecha shows up around ep 3-4 to see if the show is actually going anywhere. Is changing the premise even just a little bit really so difficult?

    Still, you have admire the cockiness & confidence in victory that the opposing side has, attacking with bright pink mechas. I don’t think they could have given a more blatant “F-you!”, beyond having the pilots get out & moon the people at the wall.

  9. R1CK_D0M
    Posted July 17, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    My first impressions of argevollen:

    1) DerpyHerp’s tank designs suck

    2) I like the conflict between listening to orders because there is sound reasoning behind them, and following one’s own inner morals.

    3) 1 episode for the MC to find his cockpit is so far doing much better than aldnoah’s prospective 3.

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