Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Ars Nova Review — C-


Ships are girls.

An evil armada of cute battleships controls the seven seas. One submarine betrays them. She and her Captain must make it to America. Many other ships become attracted to the Captain on the way.

I was really excited about Arpeggio after the first episode. The story seemed to have some interesting politics going on, the battles were awesome, and the girls were cute. (Although I seem to be one of the few people who didn’t think the CG characters looked terrible.) But it didn’t matter, because all this potential was quickly squandered. First we spent a third of the show on some loli. Then we spent the rest of the show talking about feelings. Ugh. Nothing worse than that.


Still, the parts where the ships fought sea battles and battles over the Captain were pretty entertaining. Wish they could have done more of that and less of the feelings.

  • Storytelling – D – Really really corny talk about feelings.
  • Voice – B – Girls are ships! Err I mean ships are girls!
  • Characters – D – The main cast was okay, when they didn’t talk about feelings. But the loli and her two sidekicks… so unbelievably obnoxious.
  • Attention Grab – C – Ok when there was fighting, otherwise not so much.
  • Production – B – Hey I thought it looked good. Still don’t understand why everyone hates the CG characters.
  • Overall – C-

Recommendations – Full Metal Panic, Girls und Panzer

2 thoughts on “Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Ars Nova Review — C-

  1. It might be worth checking out the manga if you were dissatisfied by the adaptation, as it’s a radically different show after the first arc. While the loli is in it (to a reduced degree), there’s none of the “What are we? And what is this emotion you call love?” bs that the anime pulls. The harem aspect is also significantly downplayed (only Takao has actual feeling for the Chihaya), while politics and naval warfare remain at the forefront. It has issues, with the overall plot dragging on in favour of behind the scenes negotiations, but the central story (including Chihaya’s father, and the mystery behind the leader of the fleet) and characters remain intact.

    Seeing the anime turn Iona into a Rei Ayanami clone was almost painful to watch. It always pisses me off when adaptations try and aim for broadest market possible by stripping out nearly all the good parts in favour the most generic and rote plot lines they could muster. I mean that nonsense with Iona’s sisters, and then watching Kongou turn into the Death Star… urgh! Even the battle scenes went from actual naval tactics, into Tohou beam-spam contests. I wish people would stop letting Seiji Kishi near anything that isn’t slice-of-life rom-com fluff. He doesn’t have the chops for anything else.

    1. Hm, I may check it out then. It certainly sounds infinitely better than the manga.

      I’m curious what Iona is supposed to be like now.

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