At a glance, Argevollen may seem like a cookie-cutter mecha anime revolving around a war between two nations and a young soldier on one such side gaining possession of a powerful new mecha that helps out to turn the tide of battle for his nation's struggles in said war. Earlier episodes of the series would give you that impression with how cliched that the anime's story developments and characters play out, and I can see where this led many to drop the series several episodes into it. However, Argevollen starts to have a bit more meat to its story in later episodes when more about the technology behind the titular mecha gets fleshed out and how its creation is tied to corporate and military corruption among both countries involved in the war that gives it some interesting intrigue. Also, the military operations and strategizing of both nations get explored to show how they are plotting against their enemies and the corruption that drives specific officers within both sides.
Seeing this intrigue though does require patience to wade through a good chunk of Argevollen's less interesting first half. Plus, the plot looked open-ended with the war and the corporate forces influencing the conflict for it. In addition, a glaring area that largely doesn't get much fleshing out is the characters. They largely get limited to no fleshing out and development, sticking to whatever character types they are given throughout Argevollen's run for the most part.
In short, Argevollen doesn't necessarily break any new ground for a mecha anime. But it does get some interesting plot developments in its second half concerning its titular mecha and the forces behind its creation, provided you can get through its less interesting first half. I'd at least rent or stream the anime to see if you have enough interest in it before buying it.
Last updated Thursday, November 16 2023. Created Friday, September 03 2021.
(One episode watched):
Here is yet another take on the traditional 'guy unexpectedly finds himself called upon to pilot mysterious and awesome mecha' premise. What, if anything, will make this one stand out from the crowd is unknown. A confused war is underway; it's unclear who are the good and the bad guys. The stage-setting major battle at the beginning seemed rather unexciting; animation could be good when handling small scale action, though. An undistinguished mecha pilot stumbles across some experimental new mecha, Argevollen, being transported by truck and the caretaker drafts him to jump into the cockpit and use it to defend itself. As usual, it has some fantastic capabilities (it can read your mind and do as you wish, basically). But that happens in every show of this genre, and not much else did. We have no idea who created Argevollen, and since nothing novel has been presented to us, not much of a reason to wonder. It seems as if Argevollen itself will be the protagonist, not Toshimune (or whatever his name was), because there is nothing remarkable about him at all--at least nothing we've been made aware of. At the end this felt rather hollow and generic. Maybe Toshimune and the fellow soldiers of his unit, who seem uninspired by their senior officers, will use Argevollen to turn the war around by themselves. But the storytelling is so typical and generic that I hardly care. Whereas Valvrave had a bizarre cliffhanger at the end of the first episode to hook us in, this show has nothing but Argevollen itself, and mysterious mecha are hardly unusual nowadays. A show built around an ordinary, mass-produced mecha, and a likeable pilot who uses his skill and courage to accomplish something--now that would be a surprise! But it's infinitely easier to give another mecha a new ability than it is to create an interesting protagonist. Since character development is clearly a low priority here, I concluded that Argevollen would not be worth my trouble to watch.
Last updated Sunday, September 14 2014. Created Friday, July 04 2014.