Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova Review – Out At Sea


Synonyms: Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova
Japanese: 蒼き鋼のアルペジオ ‐アルス・ノヴァ‐

You can watch this series here:

This is a story of Pinocchio, of girls that want to be real and feel real emotions such as love and a reason for existing. I’m a real sucker for plots like this where the plot’s main driving force are the characters’ development. Strangely it is not the humans that develop over time, but the girls called Mental Modes. the theme of a machine finding out that they are more human and have human emotions is a story that goes way back in liturature. We know of recent stories where the machines gain human emotion and become hellbent on revenge against the humans. Ars Nova doesn’t follow that course and for that it earns my admiration. I loved watching this show; my only regret being that I didn’t start watching it until it was nearly finished airing.

The plot is simple and very easy to understand. Humans are at war with an unknown enemy called the Fog, and the Fog are girls that are also battleships and submarines. The girl part that we see moving and talking and being overall cute is called the Mental Mode. Humanity has one hope left, a super weapon torpedo. They give the weapon in the hands of a rogue human and Fog combination to transport the weapon to the U.S. for mass production. Needless to say, if they fail then you can kiss humanity goodbye. That is the plot of the story, but the intricacies does not end there. The driving force of the show are the Mental Modes as they slowly become more human through interactions with Iona and Gunzou.

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The first thing you may notice about this show is the mesh of CGi and traditional drawing animation. If you’re not expecting this, it might take you by surprise as it did for me. For me, it took roughly half an episode to get used to seeing CGi characters and from then it was easy sailing. Thanks to the CGi present in the show, I thought the fight scenes were actually much better than if they animated it the more traditional method. Every motion was fluid and beautiful. The action was able to take me in and left me on the edge of my seat. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but my point is that I loved the CGi and battle scenes. they really stood out as the best part of the show.


Plot – 7/10
Music – 7/10
Storytelling – 9/10
Character Designs – 6/10
Animation – 9/10
Dialogue – 7/10
Overall – 75% C

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