English Name: "Arpeggio of Blue Steel"
Genre: Sci-fi, Action & Military
In the story, a Fleet of Fog loaded with super weapons suddenly appear all over the world. Without the ability to withstand this fleet, humanity was defeated and could no longer travel the seas. 17 years after the devastating naval war, Chihaya Gunzou and his friends somehow commandeer a Fleet of Fog submarine and rename it I-401. Together with Iona, they take on the Fleet of Fog.
Status: Completed (12 Episodes + 2 OVA)
It's fun-loving, but it's also strangely introspective and aware of its subject material. It never gets too grim for the average viewer, but it also doesn't slack off in the themes department. There are some implicit themes like friendship, change, and understanding that are being explored in Arpeggio that just seem to work really well when coupled with everything else.
To back this up, the plot is good too. It takes these themes and absolutely runs with them. In the foreground of the series you'll see fanservice, big explosive naval battles, and a whole bunch of awesome-looking sci-fi weaponry. In the background you'll see a whole mess of commentary happening on what "life" is supposed to be and if "change" is a flaw or an opportunity.
There are so many characters in here (there are even more in the manga) that I don't know where to begin. Every "Fog Fleet" has a "Mental Model" which is their human version and they are all female because ships are normally addressed as females. They are all a bunch of colorful and charming characters and there is a character for every anime lover. The captain, Gunzo, is who will be commanding a lot of these even though they are the enemy but then again he's the protagonist, what did you expect. The characters is another reason why this anime is so enjoyable.
I'm gonna be saying my two personal favorites are: KONGO & KIRISHIMA Daisuki!
The anime doesn't lack in the sound department either. The voice acting is fantastic and the ambiance music sets the mood of the situation perfectly, specially the epic naval battle ones! The openings and endings is what pulled me in as they are sung by Nano, one of my favorite anime singers out there so I didn't think twice to get into this one.
-Reasons to Watch-
The plot is decent with lots of naval battles and as mentioned before, the execution on the theme of the anime is damn good. Also, there aren't many battleship animes out there and from the few ones, this doesn't disappoint. The characters is what makes the anime so good. There are so many with their own unique personalities and they will keep on coming. When you start watching the anime, you will always be curious as to who the next character (or ship) will appear.
However, the best part of the anime for me was the animation. My god it's beautiful! I've made reviews for animes that have amazing animation but this one takes the cake. The animation for the characters is like if they were vocaloids, that 3D animation with smooth movements. The ships are so detailed that I could've watched the anime with only naval battles. Lastly, the epic battles at sea...I was always asking for more battles as the effects used for the weapon attacks are flawless and beautiful. Also, don't forget the songs which are the reasons why I started watching this.