Manga Monday: Arpeggio of Blue Steel by Ark Performance

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.


This week for Manga Monday I’m covering a series that I’ve watched, but heard was quite different in the original Manga. However since I’m low on time currently I’m doing a Quick Review and this week it’s on Arpeggio of Blue Steel by Ark Performance!

Plot Synopsis: Due to global warming and rising sea levels in the early 21st century, much of Earth’s landmass has been lost. In 2039, fleets of powerful sentient warships, armed with advanced technology and weaponry, mysteriously appear and devastate the world’s naval forces. These ships, collectively called ‘The Fleet of Fog’, impose a worldwide naval and aerial blockade, preventing humanity from both traveling the oceans and to other nations. During the blockade, the Fleet of Fog created Mental Models, humanoid avatars containing a ship’s Union core, as a means to develop self cultivation and overcome their lack of creative thinking of tactics that humans possessed, which at the same time made the Mental Models develop their own unique personality.

In 2056, 17 years after the blockade began, Gunzō Chihaya, a former student of the Japanese National Marine Academy, is the captain of small group of privateers called the ‘Blue Steel’. The Blue Steel are infamous for possessing a Fog submarine, the I-401, along with its Mental Model Iona, who defected to the human side. Due to I-401’s technology and Gunzō’s tactical skills, the Blue Steel have not only survived several encounters with the Fleet of Fog but managed to sink one of their most powerful warships.

Plot: The plot seems similar to what happened in the Anime thus far, but it does seem different. However I haven’t watched the Anime in a few years and I could be wrong, but I’ve heard the series changes later on quite a bit. Either way this first chapter piqued my interested enough for me to continue reading this series, once I get the time.

Characters: Iona and Gunzo seem pretty similar to what I remember, but we don’t really get introduced to the rest of the crew of Blue Steel. Hopefully this get’s addressed quickly.

Art: There is one thing that the Anime did better, even if it used 3DCG animation to do it, which was the art. The art seems really off, but hopefully it’ll shape up soon.

Overall: Going to give this a tentative go ahead, I may do a full review sometime in the future.

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