Monday, January 25, 2016

Don't Bother Watching Argevollen

I figured I'd get that out of the way with the title-don't bother watching this anime. It's not really very good, despite supposedly being "dueling shows" with Aldnoah.Zero, a thing I mentioned liking pretty well. (Certainly, never ever bother spending money on it, although if you're part of the English-speaking market I'm not currently sure how you'd spend money on it. I've been watching it on Crunchyroll and/or Hulu, depending on which site's working better at the time.)

Which isn't to say I've gotten no enjoyment out of the show; there's a couple of characters who are kind of adorable, the titular mecha is pretty and a few of the other mecha are charming, there are aspects to the plot/worldbuilding that are interesting even if the writing's not good*, and there's this scene, where a couple of characters are discussing the fact that the titular mecha causes its pilot to go very, very berserk sometimes.

(Creepy Glasses Man**: Argevollen has pilot safety functions.)
(Creepy Glasses Man: NR Syndrome [which killed the person it was named for***] won't happen.)
(Cute Blond Girl: But Private [designated main character] Susumu is already...)
(Creepy Glasses Man [over the phone]: You're saying he's physically and psychologically unstable, right?)
(Creepy Glasses Man [over the phone]: That's a normal reaction.)
(Cute Blond Girl: It didn't look like a normal reaction to me!)
(Creepy Glasses Man [over the phone]: Because you don't know what "abnormal" looks like.)

For context, the "normal" reaction to piloting Argevollen is apparently lots of screaming, attacking anyone who's too close to the target, having severe fits of nausea (outside the cockpit, hours afterwards), and long bouts of unconsciousness. Bad symptoms may include being pointlessly aggressive and violent outside the cockpit plus permanent memory loss and destruction of one's personality (these are listed in an appendix in Argevollen's user's manual, which is actually pretty amazing and possibly my favorite thing about this stupid show-at least the people who are making the soul-eating robot aren't grotesquely irresponsible; they're at least responsible enough that the warning in the manual probably would cover their butts in the real world... even if they're still pretty vile and depraved moneygrubbing greedmonsters otherwise).

*I'd say it's worse writing-wise than Heroic Age, but better than Linebarrels of Iron (mentioned in the Aldnoah.Zero post linked above), if you need fine gradations of badness or something.

**He might look pretty mild here, but trust me, he's pretty danged creepy.

***Said person being the older sister of the ostensible main character, i.e. the person suffering the effects of the veryveryberserk system.

-Signing off.

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