In an effort to learn more about the metallic aliens that have been plaguing the planet for the past years, Dr. Noguchi and his assistant Maki Agata try to bring to life a construct pieced together from the destroyed aliens. They recruit Takuto Kaneshiro, Maki's boyfriend, into this project because of his talent for metallurgy. However, in the process of reviving the monster called Frank (short for Frankenstein's monster), unidentified soldiers cut the power, leading to a power surge which violently brings Frank to life and causes an explosion that kills everyone, including Dr. Noguchi and Maki except Takuto. "Mr. X" visits the scarred Takuto in the hospital, and offers him a chance to get his vengeance on the monster he blames for killing Maki. Months later Lt. Ryu Soma is reborn from the ashes of Takuto's soul, as a military pilot who joins FUNERAL, an organization which deals with the attacking aliens and has also recaptured Frank. It quickly becomes clear that Frank has become the best weapon FUNERAL has to defend against the aliens, which leaves Ryu torn between revenge and the desire to protect his comrades. Further complicating the picture, the only person who can communicate with Frank is a young girl named Hattie (Harriet), who bears a striking resemblance to Ryu/Takuto's lost love Maki. As it becomes apparent that Frank is more than a simple monster, Ryu and his FUNERAL comrades have to come to terms with questions of human identity, grief, and loss.
In Japan, the title is stylized as ΑΠΗΕΝΤΟ ΣΟΜΑ; this is a misspelling of the Greek title, which was supposed to be written as ΑΡΓΈΝΤΟ ΣΏΜΑ, which means “The Silver Body”.
– AΠHENTO ΣOMA
– Arujento Sōma
– アルジェント ソーマ
– Απήεντο Σομα
– Απήεντο Σώμα
Argento Soma is one of the earlier mecha anime that isn’t focused on the mecha. It is more a story of redemption and revenge, in a world with mecha in them. I like the anime, though it can be a bit gloomy.
It was not the best of animation even back in 2000, so don’t be put off by the dated style. The colors are also muted and dark, which gives the show a very serious and depressing tone. You can tell they were stretching their budget when the mecha ship is a still image and only the background move. Many things lack any sort of details.
The opening theme fit the anime mood quite well. “Silent Wind” by Eri Sugai is a somber and haunting song. The ending theme “Horizon” by Sphere isn’t all that good in my opinion.
This anime reminds me of a low-budget Neon Genesis Evangelion, down to the angelic monster. It may have very well been inspired by it as it was released five years after Neon Genesis Evangelion.
I recommend Argento Soma to those that want a little more substance, though the pace is a little slow. The anime contains some graphic violence and mild suggestive themes/dialogs. Intended for young adults.
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A collection of notable music and song from this series.
- “Silent Wind” by Eri Sugai
- “Horizon” by Sphere
A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.
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Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.