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.

Leave a Reply


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  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:01 PM)
    I was tryna stay spoiler free, but you’re goddamn right they got there! Few months back when Miura got it running again I said I believed that if Guts didn’t get to Elfhelm before the next hiatus then the series will probably never end. I really did feel that way and had little hope, but alas, rejoice indeed.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 08:56 PM)
    @Aidan: heh leave it to demo to throw some Protomen in there for no reason. He got on this pretty quick, but I can see from the vid he was going off the Japanese RAWs.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 08:36 PM)
    @Bam, By God…seven years…and he’s finally…finally…off that goddamn boat.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 06:20 PM)
    @Kaiser: English Berserk out on Evil-Genius. Enjoy.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:49 AM)
    I read the first volume of dimenion W, good art but so far this looks like it’ll be an action series you read if you’re only in need of a fix for one. I also read the first volume of that shounen comedy dagashi kashi, nothing really impressive but every so often it had a moment, most of it due to reaction faces/expressions.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 07:40 AM)
    @Kaiser: yes unfortunately. It cost me a 6-pack of Corona to have my Mexican friend sit there and translate it cor me.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 04:38 AM)
    @Bam: That berserk chapter isn’t in English its in Spanish =<
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 04:07 AM)
    Kaiser marathons a re-watch of star wars, makes list of pros and cons:
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 09:50 PM)
    @Aidan: well interestingly in the pilot “what doth life?” causes a file not found error, so it fitted perfectly.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 04:24 PM)
    @Bam, Nope. Never seen Xavier.

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