Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen Review

This is review number four hundred and five. This anime is part of the Summer 2014 lineup. The anime is called Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen or Silver Will: Argevollen. It’s a twenty four episode anime about a mecha and a very lovely room decorated with a nice aquarium. There’s also another room with a big window and a nice sofa. It’s very quaint, and it’s very lovely. My sarcasm ends here, so let’s read on.

Story

The anime follows Independent Unit 8 of the Arandas military as they navigate through the Ingelmia invasion. After acquiring a powerful mecha prototype, piloted by Tokimune Susumu and operated by Jamie Hazaford, the unit tries to turn the tide of the war. It’s easier said than done though when politics come into play.

Taking the Pants Off

Oh my gawd, this anime. I have never regretted watching a show as much as I did for this anime. It was just so gawd damn awful. The show has potential, and the story is actually promising, but this was a stupid stringed up anime with a lot of hands clearly poking around in the cookie jar. In the first episode alone, I just knew this anime was awful. After all, five years of doing this sh*t kinda makes you skilled enough to spot awful shows. Most anime crashes after the third episode though, but this anime was awful right out of the gate. The characters are dull, the dialogue is atrocious and the anime is barely a mecha anime. Ok, wait, can we just talk about something good first. When I started this site, I really hate the mecha genre. I hate Shinji by default, despite not ever seeing Evangelion, and I just never found the appeal of giant toys fighting in space. That’s basically the mecha genre, right? Its toys you can play, build, and collect, so the anime is there to tickle your inner child. I’ve been convinced that the mecha genre has some top class shows to its sake though. Let me direct you to Break Blade, and this scene in particular (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CXoLDPMLRo). Follow that link, and just revel in all of its glory. The storytelling is incredible, the characters are well defined and the mecha are just obvious tools but awesome because of how the pilots control it. The armor chips away to indicate an actual fight, the robots use close quarter combat in battle and the scene is a f*cking five on one with the pacing so precise that the moment stands by its own. This is the mecha genre at its finest. This is my bar for an “incredible mecha”, so you can imagine my annoyance at Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen.

It’s a twenty four episode anime with nothing in it. Absolutely gawd damn nothing in it, but a lot of talking and a lot of forced dialogue. This mecha anime, set in a war between two countries, features eighty f*cking percent of dialogue. More than half the show is just a bunch of characters talking, and it wasn’t even good talking parts. It is just awful. No, wait, “awful” is actually ripe for a review. This is beyond awful. It’s offensively boring. Like, you watch this anime because you hate yourself, and you realize life is not worth living. You watch this anime because you have zero self-respect, and you know for a fact that your existence is a mistake. You watch this anime because you can relate to it: you’re both garbage. Ok, I’m garbage. I’m a blight on existence, a stain on humanity, a mistake made by gawd himself but he’s too smug to do anything about it. Why even bother? It’s just garbage. It knows where to crawl into when it realizes that. F*ck this anime. Just f*ck everything. F*ck you. F*ck your parents, and f*ck your friends. F*ck all of you. F*ck Xebec for unleashing this gawd awful show into the wild. I bet no one in Xebec even watched this show when it aired. No one among the pool of storyboarders, episode directors and script writers actually realized this anime is awful. Or maybe they did, and they know I’ll review it eventually so this is gawd telling me that I’m garbage. Oh gawd, this anime is just the worst.

I’ll just lie down for a bit. Wait, no, let’s not prolong this. This anime is about a country being invaded by another country. Being completely outclassed by the invading army, the defending army can only retreat. The first episode opened with a big wall, which serves as the defending countries’ main defense, being taken over by the invading army. We then switch the focus to Independent Unit 8, who is hiding in the forest while the big wall is being invaded. They are told to regroup with the retreating army, but they conveniently meet a truck that contains an overpowered mecha. They saved it, and the “supposed” main character is introduced. This guy:

F*ck this guy. He is loud and aggressive, for no reason. His main motivation is that he is the “angsty teenage mecha pilot”, and that’s a thing in mecha shows, right? He conveniently meets this girl:

rwkwehl

F*ck this girl. She’s the popular original anime trope: the useless centerpiece character. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this anime is an Original Screenplay. It’s not adapted from anything, and it comes from the mind of the brilliant people in Xebec. Yknow, the same people that gutted out dialogue in Keijo knowing it’ll bog the anime down. Sh*t, they must’ve learned that from this anime. Anyways, original anime loves useless characters for some reason. In Zankyou no Terror, the terrorists meet a girl that followed them back to their base, and then she did nothing for the rest of the show. She was shown bathing in one episode, so that’s something. This blonde girl basically functions as the useless girl in Zankyou no Terror. Her main role is that “she starts up the mecha” with her authorization code. So pissy boy actually pilots it, but blonde girl basically puts the keys in the ignition and turns it. Why did you have such a complicated setup for a giant robot? I can see it working, but this anime just did it for sh*ts and giggles. It makes for an awkward setup as well, because this blonde girl they randomly saves is now shoehorned into Independent Unit 8, and she lazily becomes part of the cast. Let’s talk about the awful writing in the first episode though.

The anime opened by establishing the war, and then the audience is dragged out of the action to focus on a group in hiding. The main character is introduced as a lazily written angsty mecha pilot by simply shouting at others. We are then transitioned to a truck being attacked by the enemy. The leader of the group told the others to ignore it, but the angsty mecha pilot disobeyed the orders. Why? Just because. Also, it’s a plot device, and a f*cking lazy one. So, they now have the awesome overpowered mecha a lot of original anime loves putting in their story. Star Driver did this badly, and I just know this anime will be just as bad, if not worst. So anyways, a one of a kind mecha landed on their lap and the angsty mecha pilot, ofcourse, pilots it. We later learn that this is actually his first time in the battlefield, and this was a shoehorned dialogue to add sympathy to the character. We see him puking/sh*tting on some bushes because of the shock of being in battle. If he’s so shaken up though, then why was he introduced shouting at other characters? Also, why did he disobey his very first orders? Wouldn’t he naturally freeze or panic? Instead, he rushes into the battle to save blonde girl simply for plot device sake, and it’s just bad. It’s incredibly bad writing. I immediately frown at the inconsistent story being told, and I also frown at the decision to move away from the exciting battlefield. We constantly hear the characters talking about the main group being pushed back by the enemy, but we are never shown this. Ladies and gentlemen, writing 101: Show, DON’T TELL…..assholes.

Did you forget that anime is a moving medium? Why are you giving us dialogue about a war when you have the opportunity, and the ability, to actually show it? The show could’ve given us some scenes of the invading army attacking, and it’s actually a great way to establish the plot of the show. Since Independent Unit 8 is forced to hide while retreating, showing us the carnage of the battle is a good way to establish the stakes. If the unit is caught in this battle, then they will surely lose. So, we can stablish urgency and an actual war to add color to this mecha anime. Doesn’t that make so much sense? Seven credited writers, and the anime ended up forced and lazy. Sh*t. The bad writing continues at the second episode. The unit is forced to enter a mine tunnel to easily rejoin the main force, but they decided to abandon their trucks. The three giant ass mecha can fit in the tunnel, but the group decided that the vehicles that can easily help them navigate into the tunnels should be left at the entrance. Why? If the trucks are slowing you down, then shouldn’t you dump the three mechas instead? Ok, the mechas are for protection, but wouldn’t you be more secure inside a fast travelling vehicle instead of traversing the tunnel by foot? Leaving your trucks actually informs the enemy of your presence, which is what happened in the show. What was the plan, exactly? Leaving your trucks to move easily in the tunnel? But it reveals your position to the enemy, and it leaves you completely exposed. I mean, what if the tunnel collapsed? You’re killed instantly. Inside trucks, the mecha can still get to you, right? Wait, the trucks could be crushed too, but dramatic writing would give better chances to survive when you’re inside the trucks though. Oh, I get it. We need the enemies to chase the group, because we need to display the overpowered mecha’s power. That makes sense. Force stakes and tension by exposing your position to the enemy and intentionally slowing down your group. That’s good.

There is one scene in the second episode that is absolutely insulting though. When the angsty teenager is asked to defend the rear, he was told through a transmission channel. Since there is distance between him and the main group, using wireless communication makes sense. But when they were at a good distance, blonde girl suddenly got out of her moving vehicle and ran towards angsty teenager. She stops, then using the transmitter, communicated with the pilot. She could’ve talked inside the vehicle transporting her, but she got out first then ran towards danger. Why? Forced drama. It looks lame if she just said her dialogue inside a safe vehicle. F*ck that. Let’s make her run, because that’s awesome. Isn’t this anime awesome? So logical and brilliantly written. For f*cks sake, we’re only two episode in and the anime is already this bad. We have twenty two more episodes to go.

Anyways, this anime can honestly be summed up into three words. ROOMS. TALKING. STANDING. I should elaborate on that, but I honestly don’t want to.

Damn you, GISS. Fine. Let’s just get this over with. This anime have very sparse action in it. Robot versus robot fights is very rare. Instead, we get a lot of the three bold words above. It starts with ROOMS. The anime features a lot of characters talking inside a confined space. It doesn’t have to be an actual room. It could be a giant hangar, a bar, a locker room, a shower room, inside of a vehicle, the cock pit of a mecha, and even telephone conversations are done inside a room. We also have characters talking outside though, but it’ll often be a giant field with only the characters in it. The point is that we rarely see this mecha anime actually feature mecha. Some episodes simply consist of, I kid you not, characters talking inside a room. I counted. One episode featured nothing but four rooms with characters talking in it. At the second half of the show, where the action is supposed to pick up, we just get more rooms. We see characters talking about their plans, their opinions of other people, or things happening in the battle they’re participating on. Instead of seeing the actual battle, we are often seeing the command center just updating us on the battle, and the leader of the battalion will shout out orders inside the room. Instead of featuring the best part of the mecha genre, the gawd damn fights, the anime would instead go inside a room and watch people talk. People are dying outside, please show us that!!!! Nope. You get rooms. Not even good rooms. Several rooms are re-used in a bunch of episodes, making the show so bland and monotonous.

I get it though. The anime is trying to be like Game of Thrones during Rob Stark’s invasion. We rarely see him fight in actual wars, because he’s busy talking about it inside a room with some of his captains. It’s one of the highlights of Game of Thrones, because the show smartly features battles in a different manner. The anime is trying to do the same, and they are missing the point. Instead of being like GoT, the anime is more like Star Wars the prequel. George Lucas loved green screens so much that the entirety of the trilogy is shot in a small room with green screen. The problem with this is that the actors often don’t know what is happening in a scene. They can’t react naturally to a CG character that’s not in the room. The prequel is also plagued with talking. The characters walk in the space of the room, and they just talk. This anime is exactly like that. It prefers a controlled space to feature the story. Instead of showing it, it prefers to just tell you what’s happening. I seriously imagine Lucas sitting in his chair looking at monitors while we are shoved in a room with characters talking. It’s f*cking boring, and it’s ridiculously repetitive. It’s a f*cking mecha anime featuring an overpowered giant robot. Where all the good parts?!

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind a show with nothing but talking in it. Certain club themed anime are nothing but dialogue, and it can be entertaining. The problem with this anime is that the character JUST TALKS. They do nothing else. They make up schemes, deliver exposition and talk about themselves, but they don’t do anything else. When you lay out a plan, it’s usually good to let the audience see that plan come to fruition. Yknow, it’s some kind of payoff for sitting through an episode of just characters talking in a room. The problem with the anime is that, when we see the same characters again in later episodes, they’ll still be talking about their plans or just dumping exposition. There was one character in the defending army’s side that talked about his plan going into motion. When we see him again, he is acting overly confident because his plan is still going as planned. When we see him again, a character actually wonders why he isn’t taking action and he smugly explains that he is being patient. When we see him again, he is inside a room talking to a character and laughing. Several episodes later, we never see what his plan actually was and he was killed. There is no payoff for sitting through twenty four episodes of nothing but dialogue, because nothing really happens. It’s not just one character. I think six characters had a ploy they’re setting up, and we hear them talk about their plan, but the anime ends without a single ploy being executed. Nope, it just fizzled out, I guess.

Exposition dumps are one thing, but the talking in this anime is also insufferable, because it’s delivered in a very slow manner. The characters would often stop for five seconds before the other characters reply or react. Often times, characters would stare for a bit before talking. A good five to ten seconds of dead silence would fill in between the dialogue, and it’s just so hard to listen to. There is often no background music, and the voices rarely rise to indicate emotion. The characters just talk in a monotone or robotic fashion, and the other characters would be slow in reacting. This means that the show clearly is stretching time. When you combine the five to ten second gaps of silence, it can fill up five minutes of the anime and that can eat up an episode’s length. Can you just imagine watching boring dialogue, delivered in a robotic fashion with five minutes worth of silence, in a twenty two minute anime? Eighteen minutes of talking, and five minutes of nothing. Twenty one credited storyboarders, and all they can come up with is characters talking. Storyboard basically plans out the stuff that’ll happen in an episode. Twenty one people worked on that, and the result is a storyboard of nothing but rooms and characters talking. An easy pay day, I can imagine.

It wasn’t just the script and storyboard being lazy. The animation is pretty lazy as well. Of course, the show had awesome robot fights but, beyond that, the anime have nothing. In certain scenes, the characters are just positioned in one corner of the room either sitting or talking. They’ll walk around inside the room, but they’ll do nothing else. The thing that infuriates me about the anime is how certain characters are positioned in a bar. In the counter, the characters would be standing and then they’ll talk. Characters sitting would end the scene just sitting, and the entire episode would often contain just characters positioned like dolls and then forced to talk. Is it hard to animate a character being dynamic in a dialogue scene? They can’t hold something or look at something while talking? They can’t pace up and down or show body mannerisms to establish emotions? No? They’ll just stand there, not moving, NOT BLINKING, while they deliver their dialogue? Oh gawd, that’s just awful. It’s incredibly lazy, and forty two people are credited for it. Excluding the main director, the best the animation directors can do is just pose the characters and make them talk. Like, wth is this? Wtf is happening?

Anyways, the show does have a story and some people can claim that it’s the “redeeming value” of the anime. I say it’s sh*t, but whatever. The show started out with a war, and Independent Unit 8 moving from one place to another with the overpowered mecha. They would shift the tide of the war, but one overpowered mecha is unfortunately not enough. Some of the high ranking people are already thinking of calling for peace to save their skin, but other patriotic soldiers are thinking otherwise. They plan to fight till the end, and they’re waiting for the right moment to strike. The large scale war the unit fights eventually scales down into rooms with talking characters. We were dragged out of the war and into a room. While inside various badly decorated rooms, the characters are forced to talk and to lay out various plot points to serve as talking points for the rest of their room scenes later down the line. Fine, we’ll call them plot points and let’s elaborate why each one sucks. Bear in mind, this anime does not do PAY OFF. There is no satisfaction to experience here. It’s just a giant pit of despair, and it’ll hurt when you jump right in.

The first plot point is the U-Link system and the corporate backers. This is a wonderful premise for the anime. A bunch of suits gather in a room discussing about how they make profit in the war. One group supplied the overpowered mecha to the defending country, and they gathered data from the prototype with potential profit as their main goal. It’s a very smart take on war, because a lot of people does profit with wars. I still remember this wonderful argument about the US going to Iraq to secure some oil properties. With a country in disarray, I’m sure taking oil would be easy. I’m not sure if it’s true though, but that does make for a fine story. Heartless greedy corporate suits are using innocent people to gain profit. Various room scenes with these suits are just about the progress of their profit-making robot and their shady back deals with the high ranking officials. With red tape all over and people dying for a greedy cause, the main characters are forced to choose between being corporate puppets or true patriotic soldiers ready to die for what they think is right. Oh wait, no, they didn’t do that.

The characters are dumb. They aren’t aware of the fact that they were being manipulated. Even though it’s obvious they’re being used as guinea pigs for the corporation, with the suits denying access to certain information, they just let it happen. The corporation could’ve asked them to bend over and exhale, and the stupid characters would just do it. It came to a point where the corporation was forcing angsty teenager to pilot the mecha, despite his failing mental health, and he still did it. No one fought back, no one resisted, and they all just bended over and exhaled. Wouldn’t it be cool if the corporation realized that lives aren’t meant to toy with and human beings aren’t as simple as they think they are? A desperate military could’ve just stolen their corporate secrets. I mean, we are at war. The high ranking officials could’ve easily done cover ups to hide that. They could’ve forced the corporation to give up its secrets by force, and the military could’ve done their own secret beta tests, right? Why are we painting a story where corporations are above the law? They never got punished for their evil deeds, and the anime ends with this plot point never really resolved. Yeah, the show ended with the suits making progress with their beta, and I’m sure they’re making profit ten folds thanks to the clueless characters. They have an overpowered mecha, for gawdsakes. They could’ve rushed towards the corporation and just take everything from them. I understand establishing a well-founded idea that people profit from war, but it’s in bad taste to just let that idea settle without proper resolution. The government is being easily manipulated by a corporation? Actually that can work, but there are so many good things to come out of this idea. The anime chose to just let the bad guys get away.

Another plot point is angsty teenager’s sister. She was the first person to test out the U-Link system, and she died for that. Throughout the anime, the fate of his sister and the impact of her contributions greatly affect the course of the story. The leader of Independent Unit 8 is apparently her lover, and he vowed to avenge her death. How? Well, he just allowed the same experiment that killed his lover to be done to his dead lover’s little brother. Yeah, that’ll show them. He did have a grand plan, but it involves being part of the experiment as well. For some reason, he was forced to pilot the same mecha project that killed the sister. That’s fine, but his plan involved going rogue. Well, what if he wasn’t chosen? How will he do this revenge plan then? His idiotic heel turn makes sense though, because he is original anime trope number two: the forced antagonist. A lot of original anime have such bad writing that they’d often forget to put a villain in their story. Instead of letting a villain earn his status, they’d just pluck a random character and turn them evil. Out of all the characters in the show, the independent unit leader, the stoic guy that never showed any care or emotion, is chosen as the bad guy. Um, you have more than twenty characters and you chose the worst one to be the bad guy? I understand his revenge motivation, but it wasn’t properly established. Ten characters had good reason to do a revenge plan, but he was randomly chosen to act out his plan. I do understand that he was supposed to be in love with the sister, but that’s actually the biggest problem with all this: the anime never really established that they’re in love.

Let’s make that plot point number three. The leader of Independent unit 8 is apparently in love with the sister, but we never see them intimate. All they did was talk. They talked alone, but they just dialogued. We also only learned they’re a couple after a character mentioned it. That’s not how it works!!!! Show!!! Don’t tell!!! Don’t tell us they’re lovers after talking for two scenes alone with each other. No! Make them embrace, kiss, maybe do a promise between them and use that as motivation for leader to go rogue. Give us a reason to care for the sister. So she died? I don’t care. A lot of people die in war. Who cares if she died as a guinea pig for a corporation? Show us a valid reason to care, and utilize the fact that YOU’RE A MOVING MEDIUM THAT CAN TURN A SCRIPT INTO A SPECTACULAR VISUAL EXPERIENCE!!!!!! Gawd damn it.  It’s not just leader and little sister though. Angsty teenager and blonde girl also had sort of a love story, and it was awful. They just used dialogue to point out their relationship, but the characters never really got intimate. No heartwarming scenes, no cute ecchi moments, and not even a kiss. No established mutual understanding, and not even a sign of respect between them. They just talked, stared into the distance and then exclaim that they have a relationship. You have twenty four episodes to establish anything, gawd damn it, and nothing happened?! Really? Why even force romance when you can’t do romance? Once again, this plot point bore no fruit. It did bore though. It bore hard.

There’s also a plot point about Argevollen being in a rivalry with a soldier from the invading country. It was awful. The two pilots never really met eye to eye, and there was no reason to fight. The other pilot is also bland as f*ck, and he had a good motivation before with a close friend being killed by Argevollen, but that was dropped. It was replaced by the pilot just being consumed with defeating the overpowered mecha, getting his own mecha, and it could’ve been great. Sadly, it wasn’t. There was no reason to be consumed with defeating the mecha, because he outclassed the robot in three of their five encounters. Why come back for a match that you’ll eventually lose if you’re superior from the beginning? It doesn’t make sense. You can argue the U-Link system fried his brain, but why even pilot an overpowered mecha when you’re already outclassing the enemy with your default mecha? You were better than the robot, but you wanted to defeat it so badly that you’d endanger your metal health? What the hell is that? Why not focus all that energy into actually crushing the defending country, capture the overpowered mecha and just f*ck him later. Geez. Isn’t common sense a default thing? Apparently it’s not.

The anime padded the show with a lot of useless plot points from the officials from both side. None of them were resolved properly, and others just died on the spot. There’s one about the Independent Unit’s leader having a close friend in the high ranking officials. This friend did some sh*t or something. He was promoted as the official peace ambassador when the defending country opted for a peace treaty, but we never really see the peace talks. There’s also one about this shady official that originally ordered the overpowered mecha. He talked about his plan, and then he died later on. Yeah, he just ate up time. It’s unapologetic padding, and I don’t care at this point.

There’s also a plot point about officials from the invading army. There’s one about this official with a rich family status executing his plan. We never discover his plans, but he did throw his weight around for a couple of episodes before he was killed as well. There’s also one about this two dudes who just talked about bringing change into the army, but they never really brought change. They just talked, for almost one scene per episode and it hurts knowing their story is just padding. They had potential to be chess masters in the battlefield, but they just turned out to be padding. They’re just awful padding.

I should talk about the characters, but this review is long enough. There’s also no character worth mentioning, so I’ll just stop. I do have good things to say about this anime, but I’ll save it for later. Good gawd, this is Xebec at their worst and laziest. It hurts ten times more, because Xebec is known for their amazing fan service and this anime had none of that. It was just a lot of talking, and I can’t believe it even exists. They had the balls to feature twenty four episodes of the worst sh*t ever, and I hate them for that. I love them for Keijo, but that love is fading away now after being punched by rooms and dialogue for twenty four episodes. Atsushi Ootsuki is obviously just hired to oversee the anime. The show has a lot of episode directors, storyboarders for specific episodes and script writers for specific episodes. It was a Frankenstein of various minds stitched up together to make a horribly deformed monster. His name was just sadly used for the “director” title. I mean, he’s a good director and he never got a chance to show it in this anime. He gave us a lot of fun hardcore Ecchi anime like Kanokon, Ladies vs Butler and To Lore Ru. All these titles are filthy as f*ck, but also wonderful examples of anime excelling in the visuals department. It’s the complete opposite of this show, so I refuse to blame him for this mess of an anime. This reeks of executive meddling, and I’m sure the five different producers had a hand at that. I’m just speculating though, but someone is to blame for this awful anime. I hope they lost their job because of it. Now that’s a payoff I’d love to see.

Sight and Sound

Character design is awful. They look good at first glance, but you soon realize the characters are just bland as f*ck. No details on their uniform, no defining hair color to set them apart, and they lack certain quirky visuals to make it feel fun. The entire thing looks generic, and it adds to the monotonous experience of the anime. When you’re being hammered with rooms and dialogue, you can’t look at something nice to soften the blow. Nope, everything sucks and you’re just asked to wallow in it for the entire episode. The robot designs are also generic. Yeah, it looks polished but it’s nothing new. Star Driver had better mecha, and the robots just looks like they’re bad Captain Earth clones. The CG is nice though, but not enough to really make the show worth it. There are also only four mecha designs in the show, and it’s used as template for the robots. It’s lazy to just change the color hoping no one would notice. You couldn’t be inspired to make long range robots, tank robots and such? You just blandly created four mecha designs and change their colors for all the robots in the show? That’s nice.

Animation is atrocious. The characters rarely move, and when they do, it’s not good at all. The outlines of the characters are awful, and the barely display any facial expression. Some of them just stare. Dialogue scenes involve them just moving their mouth, not blinking and barely moving from their pose. Sometimes, only the head moves and it looks pathetic. The best use of animation is in the mecha fights, and they do look impressive. It had static camera angles and good use of blocking. It features bullet time movements, and the camera knows where to point to feature the action. Robot fights barely happen in the show though. I think there are only nine or so of them, and it’s drowned into a bunch of dialogue scenes. Sometimes you’d be so numbed from all the talking that the robot fights doesn’t feel that special anymore. Animation is very limited in the show, and the background design also stands out for being bad. Certain cities don’t have people in it, and you barely see any busy place. I don’t mind nonmoving background characters, but the anime would often just leave a scene deserted. Certain places that are supposed to be busy also look dreary though like lunch halls, army bases, and the actual battlefield. The anime fails at presenting the scale of the war, and certain invasions lack action. Seriously, the war lacks action because the animation is lazy.

Music also sucks for the anime. Certain scenes are just dead silence, and it sucks. Dialogue heavy scenes don’t have any music to them, and moments that deserve good music doesn’t have music in it. This anime fails at everything technical. Series composition sucks, storyboard sucks, the script sucks, the animation is retardedly awful and the music blows. This anime did nothing right. I even had to skip talking about its directionless story and short sighted storytelling to cut off this review, but it still ended up fairly long because of how many inept things it did. This anime is just awful all around.

The anime has two OP. The first one is “Tough Intention” by KOTOKO. It’s a decent song, and it does hype you up for the actual show. The singer’s voice is also pretty good as it builds for a very decent chorus. The OP sequence is laughable though. It features Independent Unit 8 looking all serious, and the sequence just features their serious faces being serious. It was just shots of their faces, and it’s funny because the story is never seen in the OP. There’s no montage or whatever. The main reason is because there is no story, so we just get a façade of the show trying to be good. It’s just stupid, but also funny. The OP sequence had the best animation in the show though, so that’s something. The second OP is “ZoNE-iT” by KOTOKO. This is a great song with a strong opening and wonderful instrumentals. The instrumentals alone make the song fantastic. The singer’s voice is OK, but the loud presence of the song is just enough to enjoy it. The lyrics are about fighting and holding on, and I think it’s a decent song for the series. The OP sequence is also a lot better as it features better animation than the actual anime. It still features faces though, but it did give us a glimpse of the “story” in small doses. It ends with blonde girl staring into the battlefield though, and it looks awful knowing she clearly doesn’t belong there. It’s a weird way to close the sequence.

The anime has two ED songs as well. The first one is “Faith” by Sachika Misawa. It’s another decent song, with the singer’s voice being the highlight. The lyrics are OK, as it talks about being strong in front of adversity but it isn’t that impressive. It does build to a decent chorus, so it’s all good. The ED sequence just features Independent Unit 8 doing random stuff. No animation though. It’s just lazy images of the characters acting like their busy, and it’s just funny how the ED doesn’t even try. The second ED is “Vivid Telepathy” by Nami Tamaki. This is honestly the best song in the bunch. It had an active beat and a nice rhythm to it. Nami’s voice is also amazing as she sings this very generic song about love, or something. The song is great though, and it’s a great way to close the show. The ED sequence is amazing. It’s the most Xebec thing in the anime, as it features blonde girl half naked and the camera just pans up. Yeah, this is truly Xebec, the same show that gave us Sorcerer Hunters.

Overall Score

2/10 “The show is bad overall and it feels like it flat lined right from the very beginning.”

The anime had some potential, but it’s drowned in a lot of awful and lazy things. The animation is lazy, the story is awful and boring, the characters are dull and the action is sparse. Some may call this anime “generic”, but it’s not. It’s worse than generic, because this show fails at almost every little thing it tries to do. I can forgive twelve episodes of lazy and directionless crap, but twenty four episodes to feature nothing but talking is beyond insulting. To waste your time just animating characters talking is just stupid. This show barely shows any effort, and it truly feels like a lifeless corpse all stiff and cold. It’s a horrible anime experience from start to finish. I do not recommend this.

10 thoughts on “Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen Review

  1. Love your three word sum up. This anime actually sounds worse then, Ghouls drinking coffee hehe. 🙂
    Watching a bunch of people standing around talking rubbish, does sound glob awful. I’ll definitely stay away from this anime. It sounds like something I’d truly hate.

    Great review. It’s got me thinking about, what Game of Thrones as an anime would look like hehe 😀

    • thank you for the commont, and for reading. this one was long, so I don’t think anyone would read it. XD
      oh, what’s ghoul w/ coffee? it sounds bad, just by the name.

      • Ghouls drinking coffee, is my 3 word sum up for Tokyo Ghoul season 1 hehe 🙂
        I like a good read 🙂 . I didn’t recognise the anime’s names and was curious. I hate wasting time on a glob awful anime series and your analysis of anime is usually really spot on.
        Also, your honesty is really entertaining. It makes your posts really fun to read 😀

  2. Oh my gosh, I love you. This is the greatest review ever. I’m sorry that you had to experience this anime, be sure to take a few days off to heal your eyes. (I will be forever following you for your reviews.)

  3. Wow, that does sound like a bad anime. I also agree about that Shinji comparison. Mecha anime can be hit or miss with me, but that one sounds awful. It’s like .Hack, where you have all these weapons and potential for fight scenes to happen, but it never does. Good job watching and reviewing it so I don’t have to on Iridium Eye.

  4. This anime is actually great. Sadly, neanderthals can’t appreciate anything with subtlety or a bit of intelligence.

    • that’s true. I mean, some people just have absolutely awful taste and sadly, you can’t teach good taste. Some people just have incredibly bad ones. Awful, awful, awful, beyond retarded, bad taste.

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