I’ve already watched 6 episodes of this series and all I can say is that you should put this in your must watchlist for this season’s anime. Arpeggio of Blue Steel -Ars Nova- is a tactical action oriented anime which uses battleship as a theme. And not only just battleship but also cute girl battleship. If you are still confused, it’s like Kantai Collection girls that are so often featured in this blog. The review will not contain any episode’s content so I tried to minimize the spoiler just around the general story of the anime. Anyway, let’s start with the review.
Arpeggio of Blue Steel -Ars Nova- sets the story in a future where the Earth’s sea is invaded by an unknown creatures or aliens, manifesting in the forms of advanced battleship. These aliens or often called “The Fogs” successfully dominate the ocean rendering humans unable to cross continents without the fear of getting gunned down by the Fleets of Fog.
The first war between humanity and the Fleet of Fogs ended in the victory of the Fogs. Equipped with a more advanced weapons such as Klein Field, Corrosive torpedo, supergravity cannon, and so on, the Fleet of Fogs successfully pushed humans to the lands where interestingly, the Fleet of Fogs can’t attack other territory other than if the target is on water. However, the Fleet of Fogs advanced weaponry does not grant them an easy domination against humanity. They lack a tactical trait to engage battles in an efficient manner. Therefore, the Fleet of Fogs develops a technology called the “Mental Mode” which uses nano materials to form an avatar and they manifest their personas/ characters depending on the data they gathered on humans so far.
The story revolves around the story of Chihaya Gunzou, the commander of one of the Fleet of Fogs unit, I-401. I-401 has a mental mode named Iona which has an avatar of a girl with silver hair and wearing a sailor uniform. With Chihaya Gunzou as the captain of I-401, the battle scene with other Fleet of Fogs becomes very interesting. Chihaya Gunzou is a bad-ass tactician and he can output the maximum damage to the Fleet of Fogs with his brilliant tactics.
The battle sequence is always the moment I’m waiting to see. The graphic in this anime is just stunning to see which enhance your experience watching this battleships war action scene. Not only that, this anime also offers a lighter story regarding the Fleets of Fog conflicting priorities because of their mental mode. Since the Fleets of Fog utilizes Mental mode to understand how humans’ think to gain their tactical knowledge, not rare that one of them also struck by human’s emotion such as falling in love, searching for friendship, or the resolve to stay alive. Overall, this is an anime worth to watch for this season. I mean, you have a complete package of battleship tactical war action, cute girls battleship avatar/ mental mode, and a sufficient light comedy of the Fleet of Fogs mental mode trying to understand human’s emotion which resulted occasionally in an awkward romance situation.