First Impressions – Ars Nova: Arpeggio of Blue Steel

Shipping not included

spring13-jrowHey everyone, Fosh & I are voicing our opinions for Ars Nova. This is one I wasn’t super-hyped for, but hopeful that it would be entertaining and that Sanzigen could bring good CG to an anime that’s all CG.


spring13-foshThanks for taking the time to meet up Jrow! Yes I have to agree with my tag partner on this one I wanted this to be a entertaining series, but unfortunately things turned out to be not so great thanks to some poor choices in CG and just in case you wondered yes we did not bash the hell out of the first episode so take a listen to our short mini-talk.


Extra fun with Arpeggio

arpegiooo (5)

You should have dodged that!

arpegiooo (4)

Sorry that is NOT allowed.

arpegiooo (1)

Pretty much my reaction too…

arpegiooo (2)

One can only hope.


arpegiooo (3)

See you later!


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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41 Responses to “First Impressions – Ars Nova: Arpeggio of Blue Steel”

  1. Highway says:

    I’ve been looking around at other blogs, and talking to you guys, and your opinions are pretty much what the general feeling is. There’s a really small group of people that like it.

    Guess what group I’m in!

    Yeah, I liked it. I really liked it. I didn’t mind the CG at all. I liked the ship designs and the shiny ships, I liked the combat. I didn’t get bothered at the plot conveniences. I actually liked the way Iona looked and moved and thought that Chihaya was fine. The only character that really made me think “not so good” was the balding government guy.

    I don’t know why, maybe it reminded me of reading military books back in the late 80’s (like Red Storm Rising), but this just hit something that I liked. I have seen a couple comments from manga readers that they didn’t really care for the adaptation, and that a lot changed and moved plot points, so I don’t know if there’s anyone there.

    For the idea of CG for the whole series, I think the issue is going to be that it’s a LOT of exposure. I mean, this one I thought was very good, as in not really uncanny valley, for about 90%-95% of the time. The problem is that they’re going for 100%. So unless you’re going to spend the money and time that a Pixar does, you’re going to get some uncanny valley. And even Pixar dodges around that because they basically invented a style that is easy to avoid those problems. I think that even Pixar would have a rough time trying to make an anime that looked like an anime, not like a 3-D stylized world. So I think that Sanzigen did a really good job, and even if this one’s not that successful, I think that it’s a good learning tool, because everything is experience.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Sad but true Highway! Only a few people like it even though I plan on continuing watching this series because my brother likes it and I might as well keep watching with him.

      I would have liked it if Iona was the only one that was robotic moving instead of all the characters…

      This series probably appeals more towards army peeps and diehard fans of military themed anime! I liked C3, Strike Witches, Panzer and some parts of Upotte.

      true on the cost/money stuffs

    • skylion says:

      Wow, just copy and past HWYs comment, skylion. Well, except the military book thing, never got into that.
      Ah, yes. Pixarblobs.

      • Highway says:

        It was definitely a period in the late-80’s to mid-90’s. Heinlein and Tom Clancy / Larry Bond.

        • Irenesharda says:

          You’re right, there was some parts that were lightly reminiscent of “Hunt for Red October” at tines.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Surprise, surprise, I like this series too. 😛

      However, I think the CG could have been better. There are scenes where it’s really good, like battle scenes and on most of the main characters, especially at in the dark in their submarine. There are time where I actually thought it was actual animation.

      However, then there was everybody else, especially background characters, that look like the CG models before anything was done to them. They move incredibly slow and stiff and their facial features look plastic and emotionless like dolls. CGI has come a long way both in the East and the West, and not just the big studios of Pixar, Dreamworks, and Square Enix, but even the small little ones like Big Idea, have been able to utilize better CG than this for movies or TV series. I’m wondering why they decided to cut corners and make the CG look as if it came out of the early 90s in some scenes, but with battle and background scenes, make it look totally awesome?

      Well, I will be keeping with the series anyway, as long as they keep the really bad CG to the background extras and soldier As, it won’t really be that distracting.

      • Highway says:

        I’d imagine that what you think is cutting corners in some place and spending money in another place is not as pronounced a spending difference as it might be perceived to be. It’s more that the parts that look better have had more development in the past, or are easier to program. The very hardest thing to program I think is human interaction.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          CG animation comes with experience. Dave Filloni said of the Clone Wars anime that it improved in subsequent seasons as the animators became more experienced. Of note is that they reused a lot of models by modifying them. So if this show gets more seasons (highly doubtly), it will improve.

          • Highway says:

            Well, even if this show doesn’t get more seasons, there’s still more experience for everyone working on it, and a base to use for the next show.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Takao is a big pervert. Wants to bed the Captain. Hyuuga is a yuri lolicon for Iona.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Hmm… When people say “eww CG” it is a code for must sample.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Nope its usually stay away from it or try it out for yourself.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        In this case it will be “Do I want to expend effort doing the literature familiarization to extract the most enjoyment out of watching this” or not.

        I don’t get the issues people have with CG. Star Wars: Clone Wars was a good CG anime.

        • Foshizzel says:

          Star Wars: Clone Wars was a good CG anime.

          because they have more money! The studio for this show I think is on the low end of CG

          • Di Gi Kazune says:

            Sampled it. The CG is indeed shaky but if they had more render farms *hint*ILM*hint*, it’d be better. Still, it is better than some traditional animation I’ve seen.

            I like the AIs. The Federation could learn something from them and use AI avatars in their starships instead of wasting meatbags. The ships are literally Quantum Reactor Battleships.

            • Highway says:

              I doubt it’s a rendering issue. It’s more a programming issue, in that they need more time and effort into ironing out some more of the places where the basic programming falls a bit flat. I’d imagine now that the rendering power probably far outstrips their ability to program it. The problem is that the programming time becomes the very expensive part, as it’s spending more and more time fixing harder and harder issues. But as more series and shows are made, they create solutions for more of these issues.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              This is interesting…
              Battleship AI Avatars… like Andromeda – check
              Perverted AI Avatars… – check
              Loli AI Avatars… – check
              Sexy AI Avatars… – check
              Technobabble… – check
              More perverted AI Avatars… – check
              Quantum weaponry… – check

              It looks like this is a go for the season… Although the anime took liberties from the manga in the first episode. The manga has tipped the scales for me. For those who say it’s a generic version of Code Geass, read the manga. It is more of how AI learn about humanity and become more human than humans themselves.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Thank you for the “eeeww CG” tag. Reading the manga and it looks interesting. This tag team earns 1 DG point for conversion!

  3. Restia says:

    Arpeggio = A substitute moe-Battleship anime until THE REAL BATTLESHIP ANIME KANCOLLE AIRS IN 2014 HURHURHUR

    The art doesn’t appeal too much to me either & the character designs are not my cup of tea, but I’ll be watching it for at least a few more episodes.

    btw on a tangent note, Kancolle = new Touhou
    -2 Manga adaptions, LN adaption, Anime, & a PSP port

    wtf lol this is going to be even bigger than Touhou at this rate. Fanarts popping out of the aether every single second, and even a Kancolle BGM remix album will be released soon featuring prominent artists like Noizenecio, nnn, but most importantly FREAKIN DJ SHARPNEL OMFG WUTWUTWUT

    *cough* I’ve been playing too much Kantai Collection.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yep! I am looking forward to KanColle instead of this even though I have not played the game I have a lot of pics of tenryuu and rensouhou-chan! I was going to draw some of them but I have been lazy…

      As for Arpeggio the CG is alright and I still plan on watching it.

  4. belatkuro says:

    Cute CG ships and submarines doing cute CG naval battles?
    I’m in.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Not sure if cute is the word I would use but sure why not the Ai’s are kinda cute xD

    • Irenesharda says:

      I don’t know about “cute” navel battles, those are pretty well done. And these girls don’t really scream “cute” to me, but whatever.

      By the way, does anyone know why this is called “Arpeggio” of the Blue Steel? Who is Arpeggio? None of the characters are named that, and no one has mentioned it so far, so I was wondering.

      • Highway says:

        I’ll take Moe Cortana as a substitute for hot mini Cortana in this show.

      • BlackBriar says:

        An arpeggio is a musical technique, a group of notes which are played one after the other, added either going up or going down. And “Blue Steel” obviously refers to the submarine as Iona’s Fleet of Fog form. So I’m guessing the tile “Arpeggio of Blue Steel” is a metaphor.

  5. Di Gi Kazune says:

    One last broadside:

    The Narrator should just send his Servant(s) to finish of the fleet of fog. Along with his 666 beasts and his crazy apartment of brains.

  6. PrimeHector says:

    Impossible. Nothing will surpass Touhou. Cute Navy Shoujo. I’m in.

  7. Irenesharda says:

    Well, it was good for what it was. Yes, the animation sucks on every character other than the main ones, and even then, there are times they look off, and everyone is walking and looking like geriatric dolls.

    However, I enjoy the battle scenes which look very good, and the plot is interesting. Though, I can’t be the only one who thought that this was basically Code Geass but on the sea, the two even look like generic versions of Lelouch and CC. Also there’s the fact that Iona is an alien who gives Gunzou the power to change the world’s status quo. And Gunzou sort of leads a group of rebels/profiteers against the Fog Fleet empire that’s taken over the world.

    Yeah, this is a generic version of Code Geass, with not nearly as good writing or characters, and the animation pales in comparison. The music was good though.

    I love these revolution stories and I like that all the ships are sentient. Though I wonder why Iona is the only one who thinks and acts like an emotionless machine, when all the other ships seem to have personalities and emotions?

    I will keep with this series, even if it looks as if the CGI was made about ten years ago. I hope they flesh out the characters more, and keep a lot of this at night (for some reason night shots look heck of a lot better than morning ones). However I’m truly interested in what the Fog Fleet wants, and who are the ones giving them orders? If they are weapons, who are their creators and wielders? What about Gunzou’s dad? Why does one of those friends of his not have a face?

    So, yes I like this series. It’s not my favorite of the season, but it’s definitely in the top 5.

    I give this episode a 7.89/10.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah it appeals to a certain crowd I mean ill keep watching but other than that it will not be in my top five so enjoy the fun~

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Tsundere Heavy Cruiser.
        x3 Loli Submarines.
        Yamato (hahapun) Nadeshiko.
        Lolicon Battlecruiser.
        And… Victorian Maid Battlecruiser.

        For WWII ship buffs, this is interesting. There’s ships from the Kriegsmarine… the greatest one of them all. There’s 4 from the Royal Navy. I am waiting for the American Fog Fleet…

  8. BlackBriar says:

    Hmm? You guys made a little error with the title at the heading. “Arpeggio of Blue Steel” comes first. “Ars Nova” is the second part after the two points. I wonder what anime you’re going to cover with the mini talks instead. It’s already a given Valvrave is going to have written posts.

    The story was pretty standard alien invasion stuff but the twist is the battle takes place at sea instead of the air. Whenever I see a similar story come across, for a moment I start thinking humanity obviously did something bad and this is the retribution. The animation was hard to tolerate at first sight. Cel shaded graphics instead of traditional visuals. It makes you feel like you’re watching a game play out in front of you rather than an anime. The clips I saw of Gravity Rush come to mind. However, I did like the designs and glow patterns for the Fleet of Fog’s ships. My favorite would have to be the green one.

    Getting a sentient submarine is one hell of a gift from a deceased relative. This is a guess but there’s a chance Gunzou’s father erased most of Iona’s memory when he captured her to keep her in check. Gunzou’s personality is likable for now and I empathize with him. He doesn’t want to be part of the crowd, he wants to stand out. I haven’t even touched the manga but with 12 episodes, you know things are going to be rushed.

    The start is all over the place but it’s not bad so I’m inclined to watch some more.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      The premise is not what the series is actually about. I find the use of “Mental Model” grating so I’m going to use the Andromeda Ascendant version – Avatars. Which I think the authors watch too much of when thinking of this manga.

  9. Irenesharda says:

    This may be a little off topic, but I wanted to ask. It’s just been announced that Suisei no Gargantia will be getting a sequel series. So, Jrow, Fosh, do you think you’ll be covering it again when it comes out?

    They have yet to say anything regarding story, cast, or anything like that yet. I’ll be watching it, even if I thought the first series a little out of sorts. However, I will miss Chamber since he was pretty much the life of the series near the end there…

    • Foshizzel says:

      I saw the announcement and now we have news of a s2? Whoaaaaa! I think we can manage to cover the second series xD

      Story wise I have no idea what they can do with more episodes I guess more of the space people arrive on earth or they discover some old tech that can possibly restore Chamber? I have no idea! Since this is anime they can always make something up to fix it….

  10. d-LaN says:

    Am I the only ones who are not so affected by the heavy usage of CGs? They look weird some times but I can live with it.

    Anyway, it is enough pewpewlasers and plot to keep me interested so I will be watching. And I think I like Takao.

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