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Argevollen has continued to improve even as it inspires memories of other, older, anime. The biggest problem with Argevollen is the large number of balls it is juggling: will Argevollen be able to catch them all in the finale[1]?

Haven’t I Seen This Before, Redux?

As mentioned in my first thoughts, the setup of Argevollen was heavily reminiscent of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. Later developments have evoked memories of The Vision of Escaflowne, and at a remarkably similar timing in the plot.

Specifically Argevollen reminded me of Red Destiny and Dangerous Wounds.

The bleeding edge technology used to produce Argevollen can bind the user to the mech in dangerous, personality destroying ways, producing a mindless berserker.

As in Escaflowne, overcoming this becomes a major theme for Jamie and Susumu in the later episodes, and is also clarifying the relationship between the two[2].

Compensations for Not Enough Jamie

Speaking of Jamie, the focus of Argevollen has been steadily shifting away from Jamie to the rest of the cast in general, and to Susumu in particular.

I initially resented this shift, the focus on Jamie’s trials and tribulations in the first six episodes was what made Argevollen worth watching.

However the shift is also well managed, and developing the other characters has strengthened the show over all. The steady introduction of Captain Samonji’s backstory and how it ties into Susumu’s story has also been worth watching.

Jamie hasn’t been entirely neglected, and still remains my favourite character in the series[3].

Shadow Dancing in the Background

What started as a “backs against the wall” war story has grown to include an overarching conspiracy in the background to both sides of the war.

This is where most of my concerns about Argevollen are to be found. The conspiracy has been kept in the background so far, and hasn’t affected the main storyline too much.

Part of the problem is that, eventually, it has to.

The Risk of Stumbling at the Finish

The rest of the problem is just how much is going on in the background[4].

Over the years I’ve seen a number of anime pack too much into the world building etc to effectively wrap it up in the finale. Off the top of my head this is arguably true of Scrapped Princess, Silent Mobius, Last Exile, Witch Hunter Robin, Key the Metal Idol, among others[5] that I’m sure people will mention in the comments[6].

It’s happened often enough that I can’t quite shake the feeling that this is what Argevollen is setting itself up for.

Argevollen just has too many plot threads on the go for this to not be a concern.

The Second Interim Verdict

Argevollen has remained a strong show, and improved. It is definitely worth watching as far as episode 19.

However this is a show that will be made, or broken, by the final two episodes.

I’ll finish with the new OP, which isn’t too bad but I liked the first one better.

[1] Yes, I just went there.

[2] Although not as much as the rest of Independent Unit 8 would like, several of whom are moving into Shipper on Deck territory.

[3] I could do without the fanservicey focus on Jamie in the new ED though.

[4] A lot. And it’s starting to bleed into the lives of Independent Unit 8.

[5] I almost included AKB0048 in that list. However AKB0048 does achieve a satisfying ending by simply ignoring a major plot thread from the immediately previous episodes.

[6] Yes, that’s a hint people.