Category Archives: Aldnoah Zero

Aldnoah Zero Episode 15

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That was jaw-dropping.  What an amazing episode here!  After that awesome fight it’s only normal that we would have a calm beginning to this one.  The chess game between Inaho and Darzana nicely added that Inaho is a pivotal member of their crew–  good use of the Asseylum flashback and how Inaho feels about losing her.  I’m glad the creators didn’t over play this scene here–  this makes these characters come across more realistic.  Harklight and Slaine have an intriguing relationship and I’m wondering myself if he’s a Terran as well–  he’s involved too conveniently not to be.

Nice contrast when they arrive back from battle–  the Counts being upset over his influence towards Vers soldiers.  Saazbaum fuels this perfectly by making Slaine his son and it gives a new found strength that Slaine can use for his own gains.  As great a twist this is it provides a huge death flag for Saazbaum that in this second half finally reveals Slaine’s unwavering loyalty towards Princess Asseylum and what happened back at Landing Castle.

The first half of Aldnoah was all about Vers invading Earth while this second half is all about Terrans taking back their rights in order to survive and protect their homeland.  Slaine is the key to this series–  he’s finally taking revenge on Saazbaum, gaining loyalty within Vers and at last becoming a Count in the wake of his newly appointed Father Saazbaum’s death.

Did anyone else notice the angle-shot scene of Slaine’s foot with some sort of metallic tape on the bottom of his shoe?  Is this intentional to depict he’s showing his faith towards his own Terran-kind by working with Inaho and the others?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 14

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Now this is a series I haven’t talked about since the premiere in January.  While Rolling Girls is an absolute blast for the whole family, Kiseiju‘s second half is a perfect example of a body-horror show, Yuri Kuma Arashi is thought provoking and involves more than just one watch.  Death Parade provides us with an original concept around a theme of human relationships and each episode is varied.  Aldnoah.Zero is a prime example of an entertaining series.

Initially I didn’t like the fact that Inaho and even Asseylum are somewhat alive in this second half, however, it’s this episode that reminded me why I enjoyed the first half’s beginning episodes so much–  politics, social status and a giant war between humans of the same race but born from different places.  I like how the Vers are portrayed as nobility especially with their costume designs.

I just recently purchased a 4K television and I must admit that anime looks really good on it  Especially action-packed series like this one.

There are a few details even with this episode that I’ve noticed that separates a Gen Urobuchi as a writer and what he aims to get across to the viewer than any other writer of the past decade.  The quickly zoomed in drawn scenes that create drama, the use of quotes through the various Counts in this series and how important it is to create sound effects that establish the plot more intensely.  I recently

While Aldnoah may forget at times how to follow through with its twists and turns it does know how to develop its characters well.  Inaho has gained a new eye after losing his while defending the Princess–   changes his character completely here.  He’s a lot more intellectual than before and I can’t see him living by the end of this war.

This episode was a lot better than the previous one and this is because we are re-introduced to Inko and her flattery with Inaho–  that scene was quite funny with the weight.  I like how this is a slow and steady tie-in to him realizing the video feed from the Princess Asseylum–  in fact I like this new Princess a lot.  She wants to be noticed and I given her scene with Asseylum left in the tube I can clearly see her becoming an antagonist to Slaine in future episodes.

Saaazbaum.  Poor guy should have been killed when Slaine witnessed him shooting Asseylum however, this is one way to do it.  Keeping him alive long enough in order for Slaine to achieve social status within Vers–  I get this feeling with his conversation with Lemrina and his loyalty to her.  He’s come along way from the boy who was shaken up by killing Trillram and now we see him getting knighted by Lemrina.  I can this be the stepping stone for him achieving his goals and becoming a more well-rounded main character later on.

The inevitable encounter between Slaine and Inaho was a nice touch here–  battling out between geniuses amidst an asteroid cluster in space.  Fantastic battle that leaves a strong mark in the second half of this episode.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 13

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This and Durarara!!x2 Shou probably are the biggest anticipated titles to air this Winter season and when it comes to Gen Urobuchi’s writing he just cannot seem to let got of one thing:  plot twists.  For the most part I really enjoyed Aldnoah Zero’s first half but this.  What in the world are they trying to do here?

Picking up 19 months after everything that happened at Saazbaum’s Landing Castle, the crew of the Deucalion fend off against a Martian Kataphrakt, Frozen Elysium.  I was expecting tons of deaths here, but all we had were regular soldiers dying–  the war is still going on and what is this?  Inaho is still alive?  Oh please, Urobuchi should have left this character dead along with Princess Asseylum.

Deceiving the Terrans, the Martians bring in a newly introduced Vers blood relative, Princess Lemrina to act under the disguise of Asseylum.  I can deal with this and considering how well the creators here were able to put in exactly what occurred in the aftermath of the Landing Castle event.  It’s a reoccurring theme that’s been showing up throughout:  deception among the two human civilizations.  Another problem I have here is how the writer on this episode chose a crucial plot device so easily:  Asseylum’s blood on Inaho to get the Deucalion out of the Landing Castle.  Too easy i’d say.

For most of the episode Slaine looked way too calm for a newly appointed Vers Knight and the backstory indicated that he’s got the upper hand now against the Counts of Vers.  But it doesn’t stop there!  They could have ended this right after Lemrina’s speech BUT Urobuchi had to do it again with another plot reveal!  Slaine goes off and visits the real Asseylum stuck inside a medical tank of some kind!  What is this show doing by tossing aside the climatic scenes we had in the first half’s ending only to fall flat with a mediocre premiere going in its second half?!  Is this turning into Guilty Crown?  The story shouldn’t revolve around the basis of the characters emotions and single-minded actions?  Oh Inaho please don’t be like Shu Ouma from THAT series.

I’m disappointed, but regardless of how poorly done the characterization is at this point it is still a show I find slightly entertaining due to its high production values.  Even if it doesn’t know what direction it wants to take with the the characters let alone the story it still has a great soundtrack, fantastic visuals and at least some intrigue with the concept of a single human race adapting into two different worlds with different views of life.

Now the question remains:  should I continue blogging this after the botched second half’s premiere?  Hmmmm… guess I should wait and see how well this second episode plays out.  Hopefully some good can come out of it.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 4/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 12

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At last, we’re are at the end of the summer anime season, If I had to pick which shows I’ve enjoyed this most out of everything I’ve watched this season it’d have to be the following:

  • Space Dandy
  • Zankyou no Terror
  • Barakamon
  • Captain Earth

While Aldnoah Zero has constructed some tolerable characters, an ample musical score, and a fairly straightforward plot about two factions waging war against each other is great but where the problem lies is how often it connects each episode with a shock value that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

This was definitely one way to end the first half—  what a cliffhanger here!  There is no way I can see Inaho coming back from that one, let alone the Princess!  Seeing as this show will be returning in January 2015 it’s going to be difficult to leave with the plot so open as it was here.  IF they do decide to bring these two back to life somehow it will completely ruin what the first half has built this series up as–  a war struggle.  I will say that the creators still have very much to develop in its huge cast with the second half along the horizon.

Eery bit of this episode was action that had never really let up!  It was refreshing to see this angle of the Terrans that were fighting for their lives and the counteraction of Saazbaum’s declaration that the Vers had just wanted to be more human than anything else.  A war based on ideals and it’s here that we get this reversal of not just the Count but the ingrained hatred that has been built up for so many years against the Terrans.

Ei Aoki did a fantastic job at directing this show, in that he and Urobuchi have designed two distinct viewpoints spanning across different backgrounds only to converge by fighting amongst themselves for this level of distrust that poses a very strong question:  who are we really?

Not one of my favorite conclusions to the summer season but it wasn’t too terrible. Would have been much better to pull the cards straight out the bag– are they dead or not?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 11

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Setting aside all of the teenage drama in this show, I have enjoyed this anime for what it is– a mecha series.  On one side we’ve got the Vers Empire according to Saazbaum have been wanting to wage this war for quite some time, and ultimately question why should they have the blue earth.  Then there is the Terrans who live on Earth, and are just defending their own people.  It wasn’t until this episode that we are finally getting a larger view of the power struggle between the two factions, resulting in quite a big counterattack on the Terrans side, that killed many Vers troops.

For one thing I admire Eddelrittuo’s courage to remove herself from her duty as the princess’ maid and lead her to escape onto the Deucalion and still in the end she gets captured by the Vers Empire.  Hopefully Rayet will rescue her.

Speaking of courage, Inaho has always been unusually calm about everything and it’s finally here that he is a bit unsure of what to do after seeing the Deucalion fall and Darazana’s decision to ram into the Landing Castle.

An awesome action-packed episode here! I was surprised Calm didn’t get killed getting Asseylum on board the ship and it is refreshing to see the Vers struggle just as the Terrans have since Episode 1.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

 

Aldnoah Zero Episode 10

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The princess is alive?  I take back what I said about the previous episode, this was unwanted drama between teenagers–  haven’t we seen this all too well before?   Rayet tries to kill herself, and the princess does everything she can to save the young woman who just tried to kill her?  None of this makes much sense, but that tensions are very high.  Something that Urobuchi sure knows how to handle, but they should have at least killed her off to push the Terrans into trying something new without the Aldnoah Drive’s activation key in place.

This episode however did point something out clearly for me–  Slaine is the most important character of this show right now.  He wants to save Asseylum from any sort of danger whether its Terran or Martian and yet he sees the honest betrayal from Saazbaum after he killed Cruhteo.  He can pick either side based on the intentions of his admiration for the Princess.  Redemption would probably best fit his character here and that makes him very important between the two races.  Not only that but the very end was much better than the rest of this episode in that Count Saazbaum repays his debt to Slaine’s father by releasing him.  You can very much see the amount of loyalty and trust the Vers Empire has put into place as we also saw this with Count Cruhteo’s loyalty towards the Vers family.  I’m intrigued by how the Tharsis was out of commission, and no one could pilot it without an activation switch.  Was this foreshadow that Slaine might pilot Count Cruhteo’s beloved Kataphrakt later on?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 9

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This was really solid writing right here! Fantastic episode!  Not a single bit of action this time aside from the Humeray flashback sequence, and here they were able to achieve tons of development in its characters!  The simulator ended up being a fairly straight-forward way of presenting Rayet’s hatred for the Martians- and that was just the tip of the iceberg here! This is a show that capitalizes on it’s people being so focused driven by their own motivations to further the story.

Saazbaum’s big reveal to Slaine happened in the first few minutes before the opening sequence?!  Incredible.  I would have thought the creators here would have left that one aside for awhile, but nope not at all!  Inko even receives a bit of the spotlight as that part where she gets flustered was quite humorous and an even stronger look at some of the other school kids in this show.  As little comedy scenes as there are in this show it was refreshing to see considering how deep the story has been especially for Marito.  Poor guy has suffered through the loss of his best friend from 15 years ago, and in that segment with the doctor’s VR test only amplified his sadness that much more- the truth of the matter that he literally killed Humeray.  Powerful stuff right here!

Aldnoah knows exactly how to create drama- killing off Okisuke, Trillham eliminating Rayet’s father, the Vers Count last time and once again this episode proved that in a very big way with that cliffhanger ending!  Knowing how Gen Urobuchi writes his characters this could go either way.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 8

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That was incredible!  Gen Urobuchi does an amazing job at writings stories that contain solid plot twists and then wrapping them around unexpected deaths- just goes to show how well he does at writing engrossing anime series.  One of my favorite Urobuchi series has go to be Phantom:Requiem for the Phantom as that series took an innocent bystander and turned him into a emotionless hit man for hire.  Puella Magi Madoka Magica was a tried and true view of the mahou shojo genre with tenebrous themes throughout resulting in one highly unexpected death of the entire 1-cour series!  Interesting side note is he posted an apology on his twitter page regarding that series supposedly intended for kids.  Psycho-Pass illustrated themes of cyberpunk in the same vein as Ghost in the Shell, an homage to the film Bladerunner and took it to another level with the inclusion of the dominator gun- developing an entire 2-cour series around it!  Kill la Kill re-vitalized school-setting shojo series like Revolutionary Girl Utena and took an entirely different spin on it!  With animation similar to Gurren Lagaan, a powerful soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano and an filled it in with a very intense plot! Gen Urobuchi plays with a varied amount of themes such as femininity and fascism.  Aldnoah.Zero is no different when it comes to its motives.

This was an awesome episode!  Have to point out how the writers here took an entire recap scene and enhanced it so much more by adding in the Aldnoah Drive and everyone’s reaction to the Princess being alive!  Some series can handle doing recaps like this, Zankyou no Terror has so much going on in the grand scheme of things it needs every bit of time to tell its story.  Aldnoah Zero is lucky to be a 2-cour anime with how much it’s thrown at us so far.

More than half the episode moved so slow as it switched between Darzana and the other crew on what to do about Asseylum being alive and aboard their ship.  Perhaps the most surprising result of what happened previously was the capture of Slaine by Count Cruhteo.  Aldnoah Zero develops really bad situations for these characters to be in and adds in ulterior motives- this makes the plot for a mecha series like this especially with this episode very gripping!  Initially it was the impression that Count Cruhteo was behind the killing of Asseylum but at that moment where Count Saazbaum switched off his monitor I knew something was up.  They built up Cruhteo so well in this only to be killed off so quickly by the real enemy!  Did not see that coming at all!  It is a shame this show’s episode director couldn’t have written M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane.  As poorly developed as the characters have been lately in that series whoever did this Aldnoah episode could have done wonders to that series!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 7

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It sure has been quite some time since we’ve had a consistent and even more so realistic mecha anime series.  We’ve had some strong engaging series in the past- Aldnoah is a show that is persistently intelligent.  Bokura no was awesome in how well it started off with its focus on children, where it managed to lose that was with it’s shift into politics.  Last Exile has to be one of my favorite mecha series to date- the people in that were so captivating never leaving behind a boring episode in the very same reason that Aldnoah is.  When was that?  2003? Now Captain Earth that’s a show I’m not discounting here, but that show is purely entertaining, and a lot of mystical elements can be said for that show.

Aldnoah Zero is all around straightforward in a serious way.  All of the fights up until now have been theoretically explained and only adds to Inaho’s personality; but here is where we at last get to see how well a human and a martian work together.  Not to mention the two main cast members of the show: Inaho and Slaine.  It’s about time we see development from these two- amazing how well the writers were able to stuff so much material in one action-packed episode.  The fact that Marito was still trying to get over the death of his best friend even while discovering the Kataphrakt involved in the Tanegashima incident 15 years ago was so powerful.  What was more surprising is how huge that battleship was- great comeback against Femieanne!  The princess reveals herself in what looks like the only way to control that giant battleship from what I could tell.  Darzana did not look too happy to see her alive after all the trouble her supposed death has caused.  Rayet gets her redemption moment this episode yet what was even more shocking was how calm she’s been through all of this after losing her father.  Good to see these pilots not overreacting like a certain other series I’m following. [Looking at you M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane]

There are a few gripes I have with how these past episodes have been executed- what else is going on while the martians are attacking?  There had been a strong focus on the war throughout the world that it’s been left behind now for the sake of the main cast.  Would be interesting to see what other countries are trying to do to prevent more human casualties.  Nonetheless, this episode provided insight into a possible human/martian alliance, one that got shot down by the end here so to speak.  Fantastic reversal of themes by the end- and an even better episode than the last!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10

Aldnoah Zero Episode 6

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This was a very important episode and one that shouldn’t be missed!  Amidst the war that was re-enacted by the Vers Empire in the last episode- the comedy has been very subtle.  When Eddelrittuo addressed Asseylum as milady in front of the officer was so funny!  Even that fan service thought by the student didn’t have music accompany it- this is great to see.  This show has now structured itself to be a strong drama mecha series.

Koichiro Marito, this guy has a lot of potential in this series.  He’s held on to a ton of regret and that reveal from Darzana only added fuel to the flames. I can see this guy doing something reckless much later on in the series. Initially, Aldnoah Zero was just about humans fighting martians and now that we are progressing on through the story it’s amazing how well the writers developed John Humeray around the characters here.  Darzana from what I can see bears pain in her heart, as does Marito.

TROYCA did a fantastic job on doing the CG for this series.  The Vers Kataphrakts have all been unique and the design on Femieanne’s machine attacks ended up being completely different than what we’ve seen before.  Refreshing to see this considering how well animated the show has been so far!

I find it strange how many of the important people on the ship haven’t been killed yet- I say this only because Gen Urobuchi has a habit of eliminating people randomly in his series.  This is the second series that has used Tanegashima as an integral part of the series- the other being Captain Earth.  It’s fascinating to see two different animation studios [Bones and A-1 Pictures] draw the same location in the same season.  Both of which are mecha series.  Aside from the very end of the episode not much of Slaine was shown, and I cannot wait to see him and Inaho working together due to the Princess being onboard.  As a mecha series this show is better on a larger scale than M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane.  The soundtrack this episode was strong again as well.  Nice work on this Sawano.  Love that ending song!  I think one of the most pivotal characters in this show is Rayet.  She’s lost her father right in front of her eyes by the Martians and here was where we see her question her role in all of this.  How is she going to defend against the Martians, or will she?  I’ll be curious to see what happens with her later on.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10