Arknights: Perish in Frost Anime Series Review

Arknights: Perish in Frost Anime Collection Assessment

Arknights, my favorite gacha to hire lizard babes with magic rock cancer, is back in the anime scene with Perish in Frost. Because it is clear-cut and predictable, the second section of the adaptation does a good job of keeping everything consistent. The narrative picks on where Prelude to Dawn left off, including the next set of chapters in the main plot of the game. The director, Yuki Watanabe, is in charge of the animation team. This means we have another masterfully written tale of guerilla urban warfare, but this time it benefits from better experience and source material. My impression is that the primary storyline of Arknights doesn’t really start going until halfway through the first huge arc, which is exactly what this season covers! It appears to be in line with what other players have reported as well! The one indisputable drop is that FrostNova is a much worse adversary name than Skullshatterer. Even yet, Perish in Frost proves to be a more confident and sophisticated episode, despite the fact that it still has a lot of the problems from its first season.

To begin with, let me state that I am a fan of this software since that is the reason it was made. Since I haven’t read the chapters that these episodes adapt in a few years, I’m simply basing this on my overall thoughts of the anime, but it satisfies my memories of it. The way the tower defense and story elements of Arknights are often awkwardly and unevenly balanced is a common criticism of the game. Anime, of course, does not have this problem, and the tale itself gains from the narrative’s more straightforward presentation. Key components like FrostNova’s determination, Mephisto and Faust’s connection, Patriot’s entrance, Mon3tr’s deterioration, and Amiya and Ch’en’s simultaneous personal and professional strife are enhanced by strong scene building and superb acting. It was fascinating to hear seasoned business veteran Banjō Ginga give the war veteran Patriot’s stuttering speech a lot of weight. My favorite is a calm session with the Doctor, FrostNova, and some very hot sweets. Despite being brief sequences, they effectively convey the adaptation’s unique cinematic flair.

The material also becomes more ambitious. The primary focus of the first season was on the player character, the amnesiac strategist known as the Doctor, and the true protagonist and bunny-eared leader of Rhodes Island, Amiya. In these chapters, Dragonkin Ch’en returns as a co-protagonist. As the leader of Lungmen’s law enforcement, she fights the terrorist Reunion forces while also battling her own role in the conflict. She brings a wonderful depth to a story that is sometimes as sad as Arknights, and her presence is harsher and stronger than that of the rest of our heroes. Her amiable police image with Hoshiguma is pleasantly identifiable, and it’s fun to see her argue with Swire. While Ch’en is usually completely proactive, Amiya and the Doctor are more inclined to feel reactive. That doesn’t always work out for her, but that’s part of what makes her intriguing.

The plots of the other Lungmen stories are likewise more willing to delve into the conceptual pitfalls around their central theme. Finally, characters see the absurdity of Rhodes Island’s disputes with Reunion. A pharmaceutical firm that provides treatment and safety to the Infected has become a prominent role against a resistance movement made up of the displaced Infected via its contracts and goals. Politics of oppression are as evident as Amiya’s ears. Prejudice against the Infected stems from two sources: the personal, as seen by GreyThroat’s behavior, and the structural, as demonstrated by the war-torn slums where the Infected are kept segregated. When Ch’en learns that her father figure/boss planned a purge of all Infected individuals to put a stop to the Reunion revolt, it is the most terrifying moment for her. That’s straight out of the genocide script, and it illustrates how agitated Arknights can be.

If Arknights lack the narrative power to pull off such intellectual daring, that’s a whole different story. This season does a better job than the last at portraying the Reunion soldiers as more than just nameless enemies, even if it still plays things rather safe. For instance, the ceasefire with the Yeti Squadron is as simple and clichéd as they come, with the understanding that they would have a drink after the battle. In other locations, Mephisto’s Arts turn the Infected soldiers into zombies devoid of identity and agency, which is a clear allegory for the greater conflict. Their well-founded fury becomes a violent tool that is unable to distinguish between a friend and an opponent. They turn into nothing more than weapons of mass destruction. I like this depressingness, however I wish the story had ended with something more thoughtful than a cat with a chainsaw. Like Faust, I believe he makes a significant contribution to the overall tragedy, albeit Mephisto might have done a better job of being more than just a cartoon monster and mute husk.

The tale progresses, and the number of new characters, factions, and concepts that are presented makes Arknights’ propensity for obtuseness more problematic. My expertise with the game actually helps me contextualize things, but I can see how someone who just watches anime may get confused or wonder why certain strands are there. In certain respects, this is also advantageous. I like books where a larger power struggle is simmering behind the scenes while we only see a small fraction of the action, and Arknights has significant and ongoing worldbuilding. It requires much planning and preparation to put up. Nevertheless, Arknights fails to achieve a harmonious equilibrium between the opulence of its locale and the fundamental elements of storytelling. Rather than structuring its components, it should take more time to link them with the audience. The tone is often somber and practical with sporadic moments of warmth and laughter. The action scenes also don’t really assist much. A few engaging moments of tactics-forward action fit in well with the game’s genre, but most fight scenes drag on for a long time and don’t really stand out.

However, much like the Doctor, this adaptation uses ambiance and tone, two of its strongest points, to achieve strategic success. The anime’s well produced sadness emphasizes the dreadful and inevitable nature of its catastrophes, more than making up for any lack of physical impact. The artwork in the background adds elegance to the shattered asphalt and crumbling concrete. The storyboards’ primary focus is on the interiors of the people who are framed. Even though the character designs might be comical at times, they are coherent and have a distinct style (I appreciate any operator who wears an oversized jacket). The anime utilizes its music well as well. Even if the soundtrack doesn’t really stand out on its own, the show has a great understanding of when to use music and when stillness is best. Hits are found on both the opening and closing songs, and FrostNova’s lullaby ends her narrative in a haunting and lovely way.

In conclusion, Arknights fans will not be let down by Perish in Frost. This adaption is a decent follow-up to the previous season and continues to rank among the finest gacha tie-ins in terms of creative brilliance, even if it’s still harder to sell to viewers without Oripathy.

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