Brief Impressions – Shirogane no Ishi Argvevollen 06

Argevollen - 06 -5 Argevollen - 06 -11 Argevollen - 06 -17

Did he at least try Ctrl+Alt+Del?

The last bubble show of Summer still has me squarely on the fence, with each episode offering just enough upward movement to keep me invested.  It isn’t so much the execution here that’s the appeal, but the unusually restrained and realistic style and the promise of amorphous but intriguing possibilities to come.

  • A decoy?  OK, that makes sense with the flare thing then, I suppose – though it was still a bizarre plan to begin with.
  • Makes sense that the brass wouldn’t be too thrilled to see Samonji survive their set-up, because he obviously knows what happened and it can’t be assumed he’ll keep his mouth shut about it.  But there seems to be a deeper animus towards him among the higher-ups that hasn’t been fully explained.
  • I was sure Kitazawa was a goner (he survived that blast how?), but so far everyone in Battalion 8 stubbornly refuses to die.
  • Either Argevollen was intentionally designed this way, or it has one of the dumbest designs in mecha history.  On top of all the other oddities it shuts down in battle, and can’t be re-booted by the pilot despite being undamaged?  I mean, really?  This is either a function of the fact that it’s a prototype that was never supposed to see live action, or the entire plot has been a conspiracy by the Arandas leaders and Kivernas to get us to this point.
  • On that score, the Koyama Rikiya character – who’s apparently named Toshikzau Cayenne – is obviously going to spice up the conspiracy plotline some.  He’s either a Kivernas honcho or a civilian government one, but he’s certainly in on whatever secrets those parties are hiding and if he weren’t important, Koyama wouldn’t be playing him.
  • Jamie annoyed me with her constant dithering in the woods – especially given how little she eventually ended up having to do to reboot Argevollen.  But she and Tokimune do have a sort of believability as hapless greenhorns thrust into a situation they’re clearly unprepared for.  As far as romantic chemistry I really don’t feel it, but I don’t think that’s going to be an element that commands a lot of screen time.

Argevollen - 06 -1 Argevollen - 06 -2 Argevollen - 06 -3
Argevollen - 06 -4 Argevollen - 06 -6 Argevollen - 06 -7
Argevollen - 06 -8 Argevollen - 06 -9 Argevollen - 06 -10
Argevollen - 06 -12 Argevollen - 06 -13 Argevollen - 06 -14
Argevollen - 06 -15 Argevollen - 06 -16 Argevollen - 06 -18


  1. s

    yea as i mentioned last week, even with the whole plan with the flares being a decoy, as you said, it was still bizarre. This weeks ep at least highlighted the fact that sabotage might have been involved with the whole flare plan not going as planned; and while it still doesnt change that the plan was still incoherent, at least it makes a hell of a lot more sense why things turned out the way they did.

  2. A

    I don't think it's a design flaw– they just expected the mechanic and the pilot to be the same guy. See, if they had only watched Gundam '79, they would've been prepared for this!

    On an unrelated note, I like Jamie's poker face quite a bit. It's like she's in some kind of… strange… stoicism competition with Tokimune– it's great.

  3. A

    "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" was my thought. Yes, the Argevollen has a really stupid design and badly needs some kind of factory reset switch. While the old saying "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" might apply here, I suspect it is quite deliberate given all the shenanigans going on like the whole flare thing.

    Really all the stuff that's going on in the background is far more interesting than the main characters!

  4. L

    I don’t think it’s a design flaw. I just think the Argevollen is not being used as it was designed. Apparently the Argvollen was designed to be booted and piloted by the same person. Since this is a precious prototype and not a mass production model the system was locked to the pilot, probably for practical and DRM reasons. Since the original pilot died and Jamie booted the system, she was registered to boot the system. She then registered Tokimune as a pilot making him the only one who could pilot the system. Even Suguro, her boss, was amazed they could get it to work with two people. So when the Argvollen took a near direct hit from the artillery it prioritized the life of the pilot directed all power to life support and shut down. Normally the pilot would also be the one booting the system and thus simply reboot the system and do a system check before proceeding but since Jamie was the one registered for that Tokimune was stuck.

  5. r

    I'm not sold on this theory totally yet, but part of me is starting to wonder if Jamie is actually the protagonist of this show, and not Tokimune…

  6. N

    "Either Argevollen was intentionally designed this way, or it has one of the dumbest designs in mecha history. On top of all the other oddities it shuts down in battle, and can't be re-booted by the pilot despite being undamaged?"

    Under normal circumstances, the pilot would reboot it himself.
    But he problem is that Jaime booted it up in ep1 so Argevollen only allows her to boot and reboot it. Normally, the same person who booted the mecha up would pilot it, but due to special circumstances our hero was the first to pilot it so only he can pilot it.
    In other words, had the mecha been booted and piloted by the same person the first time it was activated, this problem would not have occurred. Can't really fault the designers thoguh: the chance of something liek this happened was 1% or less.

  7. m

    Yeah the whole notion that once Jamie started Argevollen and Tokimune piloted it that it would have to continue as such is silly. I can accept that it won't run for another pilot as a way to stop their prototype from being stolen and used against them, but for no one to be able to start it up other than the first person that did so is ridiculous and forced. I know it's a prototype and it has flaws, but it feels like one of those things that was inserted for the sole purpose of forcing Jamie and Tokimune to get together. Not that they wouldn't have to spend time together just from her being the engineer anyway, but it feels like they couldn't come up with any other way to force them to interact often enough to give them a relationship.
    That's something smaller though, and I'm becoming more and more of a fan of this show as each week goes by. It's definitely not taking any large steps forward, but the steady pace implies a sense of build up to a gripping ending and should build up the emotional connection to the characters. Nothing is forced, and when characters inevitably start dying off it going to have a much greater impact than if it was constant action from the get go like Aldnoah. Of course I could be wrong, and it could sputter out or just never really go anywhere, but I really like the signs of things to come here.

  8. It's like a little baby duck that assumes the first face it sees after it cracks the egg is its mother.

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