There are good and bad parts about this episode. Looking back on the first cour Count Cruhteo was a valuable asset to Vers– he was knowledgable and ruthless yet still maintained his duties towards the Princess or rather the Royalty of Vers extremely well. I liked him a lot because he was made out to be a villain but was toppled by Saazbaum and his goals surrounding the assassination of Asseylum from the very beginning.
This second half, heck even this episode just reaffirms how uninvolved Gen Urobuchi is as a writer now. He may have conceived the story but its up to these episode directors to get this series running ground. He only scripted the first three episodes and now the we are getting close to the climax I am quite dissatisfied with the turn out. Inko has so many death flags on her and it doesn’t help any that Inaho’s cybernetic eye is failing him even more– thank goodness Yuki got there in time.
While Aldnoah Zero might be an entertaining ride filled with drama it shoves aside what the first half did so well in: developing its characters around the story rather than what this half has been doing since episode 13 by focusing on two key people on opposing sides to enrich the narrative.
What was with the duel here? It’s very lacking and really the first time Inaho and Slaine have actually faced off against each other in person– something is definitely missing from this entire scene. For one thing the duel between Slaine and Inaho is ironic because it completely dismantles what the first half prioritized in doing: exposing the real Princess to the Terrans for showing how uninvolved they were in the assassination attempt and to the Vers in order to uncover the truth but now this half has thrown that out the window here.
Lemrina pities Asseylum because she sees that she’s taken loyalty over Vers rather than through her own heart– something Lemrina knows all to well with that marriage declaration in a previous episode. Lemrina is a guarantee for good drama and what ever that should happen here whether its being found by the assault team or following her own endeavors should at least be interesting for the last two episodes. I think the big problem with this second half is that its introducing too many new characters without really getting to know them– Harklight and what of Lemrina’s background, even Count Klaincain. He’s about the only new interesting character we’ve met simply because he just as Mazuurek was in earlier episodes, a determining key factor at breaking the foundation between Inaho and Slaine.
Another thing I want to point out here is the assault team: they’re a double edge-sword that pans out in a surprisingly well-written manner. The first half uses this plan including the Deucalion crew as a buffer away from the two leads: this works out nicely. Ultimately, this detracts the Vers from the true objective at hand: Princess Asseylum. However I think the this plot in the background is even more interesting than what we’ve had from previous episodes in this cour. This objective is in full colors by the second portion of this episode here, away from Slaine’s headstrong desire to protect the Princess is that the assault team ordered by the top brass is to assassinate the Princess. By and large, episode 6 is really foreshadowing what’s to occur here: Inaho with his creepy and unfortunate robotic takeover [which this show has yet to explain but I’m sure will in the future] will end up working with Terran-born Slaine. The same Terran that his risen up in the ranks of the very empire that put Asseylum in a binding political issue over Earth’s takeover! Somehow I find it all too convient that right as Asseylum reunites with Inaho he’s being taken over by either the top brass or another coup d’tat but within the Terran army instead of Vers. Something didn’t fit right in that scene and I bet it’s some political ploy.
So now that this series has shifted away from a coup d’tat within Vers it’s going with a reversal by having the Terrans actually trying to kill her. That’s my guess anyway. Perhaps the same group that held in company Rayet’s father are with the key people giving out the orders of the Terrans? So many questions and only two episodes left, hopefully the director can shape this up nicely!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10