Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova - Episode 11

Kongou may have been relieved of her duties as part of the Fog, but that doesn't mean that the I-401 (now combined with Takao) and her crew are on easy street as they look to take the all-important corrosive torpedoes to America - far from it in fact.

Faced with nearly two dozen enemy fog ships, Chihaya doesn't flinch, and in a single move making full use of both the supergravity cannon and torpedoes he takes care of the whole bunch in one fell swoop.  These craft, however, were little more than the red shirts of the fleet, and it isn't long before Iona finds herself pursued by her sisters, both of whom are keen to have one final crack at fathoming her behaviour only to come up blank against Iona's ill-described feelings towards Gunzou and why she has to fight for him.

With no chance of reaching an understanding, I-400 and I-402 resort to their more obvious strategy of attacking without question, although with a number of Fog vessels and his own tactical mind at his disposal Chihaya actually has something approaching the upper hand as he tricks, traps and ensnares the two enemy before downing them in a hail of torpedos.  Needless to say, it's a scenario that leaves Iona distraught as she's torn between fighting for both her and Gunzou's survival and sparing her sisters, but ultimately she abides by Chihaya's wishes.  Not that this is the I-401's final battle by any stretch...

I can't help but feel like the first portion of this week's episode of Arpeggio of Blue Steel was a bit of a wasted opportunity - taking on twenty-two opponents at once could easily have been an episode in its own right, allowing us another glimpse of Chihaya's tactical nous and calm demeanour under pressure, coupled with his ability to effectively use the now quite formidable allies at his disposal.  As it is, this was all waved away within moments in deference to battling Iona's sisters, which was also compelling in its own right as it blended its action with some more thought-provoking fare surrounding Iona himself, while also setting the show up with its "final boss" for next week.  Hopefully it's a fitting end to a series that hasn't always hit the mark but has certainly had a fair few strong moments to call upon.

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