|◄ Volume 10||Manga guide||Volume 12 ►|
Volume 11 of the "Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio" manga covers the last phase of the battle between Kongou's hunting fleet and the "Blue Steel", co-lead by Chihaya Gunzou and Iona.
This volume hasn't been officially released in English yet.
According to the report I-401's crew gives to Gunzou, they are all alive and mostly unharmed, though I-401 now has a hole in her hull and their Super-Graviton Cannon is destroyed. Iori is also stranded alone in the Engine room without a path to the other parts of the submarine.
In the end, I-401 is still operational - it can move and it can fire. Though it looks like she doesn't have her Wave-Force Armor anymore. Then again, right now she just needs to survive till Hyuuga arrives.
Having observed Myoukou's actions in this battle, Kongou comes to a conclusion that the Mental Models are even more of a double-edged sword than she had originally thought. Going beyond one's limits like that, even if it meant accomplishing the task, was unthinkable for the 'old' "Fleet of Fog".
Gunzou and Hyuuga are making their plans to save I-401. And Gunzou decides that he should act as a decoy to buy Hyuuga some time to assist her 'goddess' with repairs. He, however, doesn't plan to be defenseless: Itsukushima and Hashidate would be used to fire a single shot from the Super-Graviton Cannon and Matsushima will unload a bunch of Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes all in an attempt to take Kongou down and paralyze her fleet.
Meanwhile, Ashigara recovers Haguro's Union Core, which since then had been eaten by a shark. She also donates her sister some nanomaterials so that Haguro can build herself a new Mental Model... The two of them picked a good place to rest though, as they almost got crushed when I-401 touched the ocean floor.
And things aren't going all that well aboard of I-401: there is a gas leak in the engine room that seriously endangers Iori, and Iona can't reconfigure corridors fast enough. And then they have already been found by the Kongou's fleet... At least Iona can see Gunzou and Hyuuga hurrying to her side to help her.
Iona is getting repairs - later with Hyuuga's help - while still hiding from Kongou's fleet. That time of peace didn't last quite long, and I-401 was found quite soon, with the incoming attack forcing her to move. In turn, that also caused Gunzou to begin executing whatever plan he had in mind, thus making Kongou's fleet aware of Matsushima's existence.
Meanwhile, Kongou is also getting less less sure in her plan as can be attested by her desire to bring in more and more firepower: first she wanted to summon Haruna and Kirishima, but later changed her mind (their activity patterns indicate that they are doing something interesting) and picked Ise. To fill in the opening spot of the First Oriental Fleet's flagship, Nagato agreed to send Mutsu over.
Being already worn out by her previous battles that day, I-401 did take some damage from the barrage of Corrosive Warhead Torpedoes that were used against her. In particular, that had destroyed the communication channel with the engine room and, apparently, knocked Iori unconscious. ...And it looks like I-401 got a pair of uninvited passengers aboard too, now.
Ashigara and Haguro decide to help I-401 by doing their best to save Iori. Officially, because they don't want to fight I-401 while she's not in the top shape. In reality, those two just don't have the heart to strike her down.
I-401 getting hit by Myoukou's attack didn't go unnoticed by the Japanese government, and since they think that the Vibration Warhead Torpedo is assumed to still be aboard of her, everyone is understandably nervous. Yet, since the Kongou's detached fleet is still in combat mode, they (correctly) believe that I-401 isn't dead just yet. That isn't the only problem for the Central region, though. Haruna (now Osakabe) got herself enrolled as a student into the Japanese National Maritime Institute of Technology with Osakabe Makoto's recommendation.
In order to oversee the Mental Models at the Institute - especially since it looked like they were trying to uncover what had happened there during the facility #4 fire - vice-minister Kamikage decides to enter the Institute as a faculty member.
Meanwhile, U-2501 goes to greet the vessels of the Northern America Fleet.
U-2501 - and, specifically, her captain, Zordan Stark - has a meeting with Assault and Suppression vessel Lexington. During that meeting Lexington expressed her disagreement with Kongou's tactics for sinking I-401, believing them to be wrong, inefficient and wasteful. She also expressed her desire to overstep her authority and 'lend' Kongou a hand and destroy I-401 with her overwhelming force.
That, however, is not something that Zordan can easily agree to as it would mean that he wouldn't be able to collect the data on the Flagship Equipment anymore... The chapter ends with U-2501 and Lexington ready to fight each other.
U-2501 escapes from Lexington, while setting up the things her captain believes are necessary to delay the Northern America fleet for long enough for I-401 and Chihaya Gunzou to wrap the things up with Kongou and her hunting party.Meanwhile, Hyuuga pulls a bold move and confronts Hiei directly. By exploiting Hiei's lack of experience in using Mental Models efficiently, she managed to bring over one of her salvaged turrets and exchange blows with her.
|◄ Volume 10||Manga guide||Volume 12 ►|