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Argentosoma - Another Reality (Vol. 1)
Argentosoma - Another Reality
Vol. 1
Actor: Artist Not Provided
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2004     2hr 5min

This 2000 TV series borrows heavily from Evangelion, Frankenstein, and The Iron Giant. Takuto, a brilliant college student, follows his girlfriend Maki to the secret lab where her professor is resurrecting an alien cybo...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Artist Not Provided
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Bandai
Format: DVD - Color - Animated
DVD Release Date: 03/02/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 5min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

Frankenstein... with mecha and aliens...
paxnirvana | Seattle, WA USA | 07/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I suppose the older I get the more I appreciate a slower-paced story. I like to discover characters and motivations over time. I enjoy stories that unfold over the full length of a show's run rather than dump the entire plot on me in the first two episodes and then all there is left to do is watch it unfold in the already known and predictable way... Thankfully, ARGENTOSOMA doesn't do that - yet I'm not lost either. There is mystery and confusion and loose ends, but then, there's supposed to be at this point in the story... Of course, I've only viewed the first three disks... so I'm hoping they wrap everything up by series end, but so far I'm hooked. The mecha designs are kind of oddly unfinished-looking for the humans... variations of the alien technology, but modified to assuage civilian fears... The style not stellar, but at least interesting. I actually think the mecha take a back seat in this show. Of far more interest are the alien invaders and their motivations... who are they... and why did they come in the first place if not precisely to conquer? I've heard plenty of sneering comparisons that paint every alien-invasion-mecha-suit show that comes along as a pale copy of Evangelion and frankly I'm tired of it. They're all just modernizations of scientifically-enhanced group stories anyway. (Go watch the 70's Gatchaman again and tell me I'm wrong...) It's a GENRE now people... get over it!That said... I try to take each series on it's own - as long as it brings something interesting to the table. Argentosoma intrigues me because it's a twist on the venerable Frankenstein tale and they've given us a 'hero' who isn't just confused or reluctant... he's actively vengeful - perhaps to the detriment of the world's survival... No, Ryu Soma isn't exactly the most likeable character. He's tempermental, shallow, obsessive, incredibly intelligent and bitter. He throws away a genius career as a metallurgical designer and becomes a fighter pilot in pursuit of his revenge. He chooses to remain horribly scarred for that same reason. The few 'poignant' flashbacks to his relationship with his girlfriend - the one he's seeking revenge for - don't always paint him in the most sympathetic light either. He's been an odd one all along, it seems, perhaps due to his genius, and his tragic loss, so far, hasn't improved him... yet there are signs, later on in the series, that his thirst for revenge isn't as all-consuming as it seems at first... This is just the first disk - five episodes that set-up the situation/world of Argentosoma. There is much more to come... the most intriguing thing to me is what are the aliens are after in their single-minded treks toward Pilgramage Point... and what part will Frank really end up playing... and will Ryu Soma be able to rise above his own need for revenge as it becomes clear that Frank is needed to protect the human race from further destruction?"
An unexpected surprise
Strategos | In Space above Planet Earth | 11/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember when this show was coming out there were a large number of high profile shows vying for the attention of anime fans. I was intrigued by the concept (a retelling of Franenstein with giant Mecha aliens?), but he art style didn't really grab me (as some people have noted, the characters are very angular and their noses sometimes disappear altogether). Eventually I decided to rent the first volume just to give it a shot...

Amazing. This show is amazing. While the first episode or two is just setting the stage, one thing quickly becomes apparent. The music, the animation, the presentation, the quality of the voice acting (Japanese, NOT the horrible English) are all top notch. While some shows are content to just give us the same re-hashed characters, the ones found in this show are very unique, and contain a surprising amount of depth. Take the main character for instance. A lot of people have complained that he's not a likable character. He's not supposed to be! From the get-go it should be obvious that this was a guy with big issues. He was borderline verbally abusive to his girlfriend, disliked by most people who knew him, arrogant, prideful, and emotionally unstable...BEFORE HE BECAME A HORRIBLY DISFIGURED FREAK BENT ON REVENGE! Really, the protagonist in this show is probably one of the best examples of an anti-hero I have ever seen. He is consumed by a desire for revenge, yet finds himself protecting his new friends, and even saving the very creature he had sworn to destroy. And as he is pushed harder and harder and starts to lose his cool (and boy does he act cool under his new identity) just have to see it. Some of the other characters may not be liked well by some (I personally love the sweet, innocent, fragile Harriet), but you cannot say that they are cheap immitation of other characters. Everyone in this show is unique and fully fleshed out.

This show also features some of the finest dialog that I have ever seen in an anime show. With references from everything from Peter Pan to Shakespeare, from the Legend of King Arthur to the Bible, it truly is a cut above almost every other anime I've ever seen. The flashback sequences and subsequent character development are also extremely well done. As for character designs and artwork, they are much better in motion than in screenshots, so you should definitely watch this show before dismissing the art style as undesirable. I do have to give the show's creators applause for making the art style so unique (definitely not copying any anime I have ever seen). The music is really quite breath-taking on the whole, creating a creepy atmosphere sometimes, and beautiful moments the next (the only mis-step perhaps being the ending theme which seems a bit too different from the rest of the music, though I can understand how the creators may have wanted to end each episode on something a little upbeat to keep the viewer from getting depressed). As far as presentation goes, I knew it was pretty close to perfect the first time I saw the episode name meld into the next episode name (watch an episode to the end and you'll know what I mean).

The action sequences are fairly well done (though not the equivalent of the more famous Mecha by any means). The main premise of the fight against the aliens DOES feel awefully familiar. In this case however, it isn't a matter of an original plot so much as it is a matter of what you do with it. I don't mind seeing the same story told over and over as long as it is told well. This anime is familiar story told EXTREMELY well. Highly recommended."
A subtle, but interesting series...
Strategos | 01/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"..that describes Argentosoma to a 'T'.

If you're looking for over-the-top action [which can become over-rated if the storyline can't back it up], intense drama OR just suspect there is sappy romance thrown in just to keep it going, this story ain't it.

Low-key, laid-back and character driven is what Argentosoma is all about. It's a story about a man and his thoughts on revenge [emphasis on 'thoughts' instead of saying 'action' because eventually he wonders late in the series 'what was it all for?']

The purpose of this review is to give it another positive review. I've seen many folks mention Neon Gen. Evangelion, but as FAR as I'm concern the ONLY comparision is the fact the robot in Argentosoma & NGE look the same, that's IT and personally there has been TOO many mentioning of it.

Also a reviewer from another site did a review that was completely free from nit-picking and very objective that I'm putting here.

What they said..concerning Ep. 1-5

Argento Soma is the latest project from the studio that produced Gasaraki and Infinite Ryvius . Upon first look, Argento Soma is a lot like Neon Genesis Evangelion . Upon second look it is also a lot like Eva, but this new mecha anime is far more than an Eva rip-off. Rather, like Eva, it takes the mecha genre and twists it, creating a show that is intriguing and innovative.

One of the first things I noticed about Argento Soma was the retro look and sound of it. The music really reminds me of 70's science fiction movies, as do the uniforms and hairstyles of the characters. Like most of Sunrise's recent projects (e.g. Gundam Wing , Gasaraki ) the characters are distinctive and varied. Refreshingly, the military uniforms are truly unisex, so the female characters look like they are meant to be taken seriously as soldiers, not sources of fan service. A running theme, visually speaking, seems to be asymmetry, from the alien Frank's lopsided appearance to the main character Ryu's face, which is normal on one side and strange on the other. The animation is upper-end television quality, smooth, consistent and often creative. The mecha designs are quite blocky and militaristic, not nearly as colourful as the mecha seen on so many other shows; the way the Sargs transform seems to be well thought out, although I am not an expert on mecha by any stretch.

Argento Soma is set in the year 2058, at a time when space is being colonized and aliens have begun attacking Earth and her colonies. The aliens will remind viewers of Eva's tall, strange near-humanoids, although these aliens are more consistent in appearance and move more like movie monsters. What the true goal of the aliens might be is as yet a mystery, and humanity has developed mecha called SARGs to fight these huge enemies. The SARGs are used by the military-style group Funeral, who operate both independently and in conjunction with the military. One alien was captured by another group with mysterious goals, known as Morgue, and resurrected in the interests of communicating with it. It is at this point that our protagonist, Takt Kaneshiro, finds his way into the conflict.

Takt is a brilliant if rather standoffish young astrophysicist working in an American facility. His two loves are his work and his girlfriend, Maki Agata. Maki works on the same facility in bionics; she is dedicated to her work but painfully shy, leading to difficulty in her relationship with Takt. I really liked the fact that these two scientists were genuinely bad at social interaction yet managing to carry on a relationship.

Maki works closely with a highly eccentric professor, Dr. Noguchi, who is obsessed with awakening Frank (yes, this is a reference to Frankenstein's monster) to learn about it. The resurrection of Frank has disastrous consequences for Takt, causing him to lose what is most important to him and leaving him scarred and embittered. Vowing revenge, under the new identity of Ryu Soma he joins Funeral in order to fight aliens. Other important characters include Hattie, a young girl who befriends Frank, and Mr. X, a strange figure who guides Takt from the shadows while quoting Shakespeare at every opportunity. A nice change in this show is that most of the characters are adults; while I certainly enjoyed shows such as Gundam Wing and Eva with their young characters, it is nice to see adults saving the world for a change.

The music really adds to the atmosphere of the show. The opening theme "Silent Wind" sung by Sugai Eri is excellent; the end theme is very retro. The soundtracks promise to be quite good. There is heavy use of background music with a discordant, 70's feel to it, which gives an eerie feel to some scenes. Every once in a while a background piece will jump out as a bad choice, but these are outnumbered by the scenes where the music fits very well. There is also recurring use of a melancholy acapella song in the story, sung by both Maki and Hattie on different occasions.

Notables in the cast include Hoshi Souichirou ( Gensoumaden Saiyuuki ) cast as Takt and the inimitable Koyasu Takehito ( Gundam Wing , Fushigi Yuugi , Weiss Kreuz ) voicing Dan Simmons, a hotheaded pilot for Funeral.

The pacing of Argento Soma is quite leisurely and offers a nice balance between conspiracy building, mecha fights, and character development. Some viewers might find the references to Shakespeare, the Bible, Frankenstein and Faust alongside a battle between mecha and aliens makes for an odd mix. Although it does not seem all that suspenseful, it did have me anxious to see the next episode. All in all, I am very impressed with this new series and would recommend it to almost anyone. People with a low tolerance for ambiguity may get frustrated with this show, but even those who are tepid towards mecha shows may find this one to their liking.

(by Jen B.

To me, this person REALLY got it. Not to say a few reviewers I've seen hadn't, but I was impressed they understood the story from what they'd seen so far back then.

..and after seeing Argentosoma as a whole & noticing how the story comes back full circle at the end, plus Ryu Soma FINALLY comes to terms..with himself & the ghost of Maki. I have to say...I truly liked this."
Good mecha!!
J. D Naae | Neo-Tokyo | 04/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I think that despite some of it's similarities with past mecha series, this series is truely remarkable. The fact that it is probably going to remind alot of anime fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion still remains, however there are many differences between the two series.The storyline is centered around an ongoing battle between Aliens and Humanity. The heavily Military influenced Galactic University has taken parts from the aliens to develop the earths counter-weapon. The funny thing is that our the earth's counter weapon is sort of a Frankenstien made up of recovered alien parts. When the experiments to wake up this re-developed alien (later to be known as "Frank" or the Extra 1) go terribly wrong the our main character, Takuto Kaneshiro, of the series looses someone very close to him, Maki Agata who was invloved with this experiment.Takuto Kaneshiro, later to be known as Lieutenant Ryu Soma, decides to join an organization called Funeral where the Extra 1 or Frank has been taken to battle the aliens. The series revolves around Ryu Soma and his hatred towards the Extra 1 for taking Maki's life. At the funeral base the other key characters are introduced as a plot begins to develop.I have watched this whole series and I have to say that once you get through the first couple volumes of the series, the story get much better. Trust me, the whole series is not as borring as the first couple episodes of this series may seem. There is actually more to the plot than just a silly little Frankenstien take on a Mecha series.Other recomendations:
RahXephon, Vandread, Escaflowne, and the ever soooo popular Neon Genesis Evangelion (If you havn't seen it yet but who hasn't seen Evangelion!!).DEFFINATLY CHECK THIS ONE OUT!! :)"