I was genuinely excited for this show. I like military tech, future technology, and the action and combat that comes with it. With all of these factors, Arpeggio was poised to be a favorite of mine this season. But after this first episode, my hopes have been tempered. Was I wrong to have such high expectations?
Due to global warming and rising sea levels of the early 21st century, humanity lost much of the Earth’s landmass. At the same time, the “Fleet of Fog” mysteriously appeared and easily destroyed the world’s naval forces. The Fleet of Fog impose a worldwide sea and air blockade, preventing humanity from traveling and communicating world wide. Our main character, Gunzo Chihaya is a former student of the Japanese National Marine Academy and Captain of the I-401, the only Fleet of Fog ship in human control. The I-402 is controlled by an A.I., possessing a human avatar called Iona. This anime is based on a manga, currently sitting at 7 volumes.
The first thing that really stood out was the quality of the animation. The colors seemed muted and lifeless. And the combination of CG and ‘hand drawn’ was terrible blended. It struck me as being such a terrible decision for a show that’s going to have to rely on combat action to excite the viewer.
And sadly, the first episode intro plot stalled as well. The flashbacks, combined with some sloppy dialogue fell short as well. I don’t expect everything to be laid out for me on a silver platter, but don’t go out of your way to make it difficult to follow and enjoy. Just walk us through the basics, and get us started in the fictional world. I’m hating the fact that I’m going into next week with such a sour taste in my mouth.
Am I being a bit negative? Maybe a little, but with some justification. It just wasn’t good start. It didn’t have that punch that drives home a good first episode. But on the flip side, it can only go up from here. And I really hope it does, because deep down, I really do want to enjoy this show.