All Hallow’s Eve
Current System Configuration: Still relaxed
-None that are particularly outstanding right now.
[Breakfast]: Bollos with butter and cheese pimiento spread
[Lunch:] German sausage and potato salad
[Coffee] Homebrew mocha
I don’t really have anything Halloween-related to say today. I don’t celebrate it anyway. (I honestly don’t see why a pagan festival is celebrated in predominantly Christian countries).
Anyway, I recently finished the anime Argento Soma, and I have to say I was quite impressed.
Like my usual fare, it’s mecha, but it’s just mecha in that the battles are fought with war machines (in this case, high-mobility transforming ones called SARGs)—most of the story deals with matters of the human heart and will–the dark sides thereof.
A race of giant aliens is trying to get to a single point on Earth (known as Pilgrimage Point, located in Canada), and it is the job of Funeral, an elite squad of SARG pilots, to bring down the aliens before they get there.
The protagonist, Takuto Kaneshiro, is a university student who gets involved in a tragic accident that horribly disfigures him and kills his girlfriend, Maki Agata. A mysterious red-haired, well-dressed man with a penchant for quoting Shakespeare (Confucius in the Japanese version) makes Takuto an offer he cannot refuse. Takuto ends up as a member of Funeral, under the assumed name Ryu Soma.
As a member of Funeral, Ryu meets a young girl, Harriet “Hattie” Bartholomew, who has a striking resemblance to Maki.
Ryu is no easily likable protagonist: He’s selfish, obsessive, and often quite mean-spirited. I can’t really say much about him without spoiling the series (I often don’t mind spoilers, but since Argento Soma is primarily about mysteries, I won’t spoil this time), but the series explores his angst and pain in general (without portraying him as a whiny weakling, like Evangelion’s Shinji Ikari).
Maj. Lana Inness, Funeral’s intelligent and capable commander
Capt. Michael Heartland, the ranking officer who flies out with Funeral on missions. He’s one of the few black anime characters I’ve seen who actually have important roles.
Lt. Dan Simmons, a British ace pilot.
Lt. Sue Harris, a spunky and bubbly ganguro girl. Most of Argento Soma’s lighthearted moments come from her.
Lt. Guenevere Green, the team’s lovely sharpshooter.
Mr. X, the shadowy figure who tends to torment Ryu for most of the series. This guy is one of my favorite characters in the series—but you’ll have to watch the series to find out why.
The voice acting is fantastic. Richard Cansino does an excellent job as Mr. X’s English voice, while Crispin Freeman is superb in his role as Dan Simmons. This is one English dub I really enjoyed watching (I prefer subs to dubs).
With a great story, excellent art and good action, Argento Soma is one series that I really recommend. I have the entire series on VCD if anyone wants to borrow it. (And yes, it’s a legal copy I bought in Singapore.
Your Black Lion