Posted by psgels on 16 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Argento Soma is one of the post-Evangelion series. Like series as Betterman, Reideen and Dai Guard, and even awesome series as Figure 17 and Bokura no, it features a series of smart and very hard to destroy monsters that need to be destroyed, and the lead characters have some sort of huge mecha that can do the job. There’s a lot of potential for this kind of formula and granted, Argento Soma isn’t the best of the bunch, but it’s a fine attempt nonetheless.

Argento Soma chooses for a slow-paced approach with some subtle angst, and I must say that it works quite nicely. For once we don’t have any teenagers piloting the giant mechas, but instead we have a team of people well in their twenties. In fact, there is only one child in the story, and with her it’s made clear over and over that she actually doesn’t belong in the military. Central to the story, and the definite highlight, is the relationship between the two lead characters: the young girl and one of the main pilots that is to fight the evil “aliens”, as they’re called in this series. They’re both heavily traumatized and scarred by things that happened in the past and through the series they help each other growing over their troubles.

A major theme in this series is also symbolism. There are two particular characters who have a habit of comparing the situation they’re in to either random anecdotes or figures of speeches. This show also has a nice little pattern with its episode titles, which are all emphasized at the end of each episodes. In some cases the symbolism is a bit silly, but most of the times it works pretty nicely.

You don’t want to watch this series for the battles, which more often than not take just a back-seat to other things. Central to this series is its cast of characters, which develops nicely throughout the series. There are a lot of episodes that don’t have anything to do with fighting, but instead focus on other things, like one episode is fully dedicated to politics (a very well done episode, by the way), and there are quite a few episodes dedicated to character-development. The battles themselves quickly turn repetitive though. There are also a few random plot-holes that pop up near the ending, and I also think that Soma’s voice actor isn’t fully able to make his character believable once he starts angsting. The villains in this series are also very stereotypical and really lack any sort of impact.

This series does stand out in its soundtrack and character-designs: both give this show a unique feeling. Overall though, this series could have done with a bit more ambition. It never really reaches any heights: the story is very simple if you start to see the bigger picture, and the characters themselves do feel like they could have been fleshed out a bit more, but that too has its charms: it’s not trying to become the best thing since sliced bread, but instead just puts down an enjoyable little series with a bit of depth, yet doesn’t hit heights and at that, it succeeds.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

One Response

  1. BigFire says:

    What I like about this series is the fact that it began as Monster of the Week show, and somewhere around episode 16, it turns into 2001, with all the implication entails. When you figure out what the aliens are, the series really got good.

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:14 PM)
    The word Iran means “the land of the Aryans”, and the Germanic tribes that settled in Bavaria are correctly identified as nomadic people called Indo-Europeans, whom many settled in northern Iran. I heard similar theory of etymology for ‘Ireland’, but I’m not too sure about that one. So interestingly enough the Nazis were completely fine with Iran. The many strange forgotten wrinkles of history.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:10 PM)
    @K-off: believe it or not, I get confused for Spanish or Itaian all the time, so we probably share similar features. I have a Sicilian friend who’s also blond, and they’re supposedly the darker Ities, so I completely believe it.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 06:08 PM)
    Lots of people who don’t interact with Italians think we’re all black haired and brown eyed, but my dad is a blonde Italian while only my mother is a black-haired woman from Lecce. The guy on the flight was a black-haired Italian as well, but apparently terrorists look like well-dressed Italian hipsters doing differentials.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 06:01 PM)
    @Bam That reminds me of a fellow Italian American economist who got reported on his flight to Syracuse by some woman who thought the differential equations that he was working on in his notebook were terrorist scribblings.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 05:49 PM)
    @Bam Ha, I sympathize with you on the beard, after years of having one it feels uncomfortably bare whenever I shave it. Also helps out my resting bitch face.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 02:05 PM)
    Also the guy playing Cassidy in Preacher is actually Irish tho.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 02:04 PM)
    @Kaiser: haa! That’s improbable. Gimme two weeks and I’ll be at Gandalf level. Just trying to keep people at ease.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:15 AM)
    @Bam: Ah, K-off wins the beard combat warfare =) lol
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:14 AM)
    Voice actors never seem to match their voices =<
    Then again I end up associating them so much with the characters.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:12 AM)
    @Bam: Oirishness/paddywhackery/Mick-Irish or in more simple terms, stereotypical Irish characterizations irritate me considerably….
    Especially Irish-American cliches, quite literally wanted to punch the screen when I was watching the departed for example.

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