Time to see how Inaho saves the day once again!
— Eddy is kind of slow. If the Aldnoah Drive can’t shut down unless the princess is dead, then let’s put two and two together, guys.
— Asseylum has no breathing or pulse, so the princess is actually dead for the time being. Oh man, you’ve really done it now, Rayet. Inaho proceeds to use the defibrillator on the girl to try and revive her. Had Inaho being a normal character up until now, I wouldn’t have even blinked at this. Knowing how perfect he’s been though, I can’t help but think, “Wait a minute, this ship has an actual doctor…” And even if you say that the doctor is nowhere nearby, it’s still kind of silly how it has been contrived for the protagonist to save the day once again. Darzana even asks if he needs her to help or take over. Naw, dawg, naw… I got this.
— Anyway, the princess obviously comes back to life. I don’t think there was any question. But what will she say about Rayet? And will the bitchy Eddy warm up to Inaho now that he’s save her hime-sama? But more importantly, Asseylum has saved Slaine’s life, so Slaine is in love with her. Therefore, it only makes sense that Asseylum is now in love with Inaho because he’s save her life. Then Slaine just has to save Inaho’s life, then… ooh, now wouldn’t some of you guys like the show to go there?
— Welp, Rayet doesn’t even give Asseylum the chance to fing–… hm, wrong change of words. Ahem, she doesn’t even let Asseylum point her out in the lineup, yeah. If you thought Rayet had dug herself a deep enough hole, Rayet grabs Darzana’s gun and aims it at the captain. Even funnier, however, is that Rayet is still undressed. This entire time, she’s been lurking around the corner in nothing but a bath towel. Oh female anime characters…
— Rayet identifies herself as Martian, but not a Vers. Not that the distinction matters all that much in practice, to be honest; there are no other civilization on Mars. Anyway, Rayet blames the princess for everything. Her father’s death, the war, everything. From our cool and collected vantage point, we know this is bullshit. We know it’s not really the princess’s fault. But Asseylum has already felt somewhat guilty about the war. I thus can’t help but wonder if Rayet’s despair — justified or not — will send Asseylum into her own bouts of self-loathing. Just look at how she tries to cover hear ears; she can’t bear to hear another word. Speaking of which, Asseylum has no one to really confide in but Inaho. Man, that’s even more depressing!
— So Asseylum gets up and tries to approach Rayet. I like how her towel is now wrapped tightly around her body too. As a result, you now have two girls in bath towels approaching each other. Awkward.
— Asseylum apologizes to everyone for making things worse on Earth, but it’s not really her fault. She’s just shouldering the blame, ’cause y’know, emotional teenagers and everything. Inaho should take a note or two of the situation. But yeah, Saazbaum and his gang are the ones who made things worse. Funnily enough, you could even argue that Rayet’s father had a bigger hand in making things worse.
— Seeing the princess shoulder all the blame and forgive Rayet for her actions, the latter can’t bear to kill the princess. So she turns the gun on herself. Then like a banshee, Inaho somehow runs at Rayet and subdues her before the girl could hurt herself. I just love how Aldnoah.Zero had a bunch of people gather in the doorway behind Rayet, but the person to save her life is Inaho anyway. C’mon, man. Let someone else do something for once. Plus, had Rayet been anything but a cute shoujo, I think the story would’ve let her die. But ’cause she’s a hot anime babe and we got to see her wrestle Asseylum naked, so yeah, let’s keep this girl around!
— Hahahaha, the guy then gives the gun back to Rayet. Yo dawg, you know that gun actually belongs to Darzana, right?
— Rawgh, I don’t care if you’re Martian or Terran! You hate our enemies and that’s good enough! Uh, you’re not really the captain of this ship, though. Why not let the adults decide what to do with Rayet? Seriously, man, seriously…
— Rayet asks Inaho if he really trusts her. I think you should ask the entire ship if they trust you! How ’bout the goddamn princess, the person you just tried to kill? How ’bout Darzana, the person in charge of this whole clown show! Why are you asking if Inaho trusts you?
— In any case, Darzana puts Rayet under custody anyway, so we could’ve just cut out all the bullshit and jumped immediately to that. But no, I need to know if Inaho-sama trusts me!
— Oh good lord, not only did the Soma engage in a questionable form of therapy — questionable because it’s likely he’s not trained as a psychiatrist — he proceeds to hand Darzana a CD containing Koichiro’s medical file. Dude… dude… you are by far the worst anime doctor I have ever seen. Are there any rules you won’t break?
— Ahhhhh, he even pretentiously adds, “It’s also my prescription to you.” Hilarious. Just hilarious. Darzana then gets to watch Kochiro at his lowest. This is just fucked up, man. Soma wouldn’t have said he was violating patient-doctor confidentiality if he had asked Koichiro permission to do this. Not only that, wouldn’t it have been more meaningful if Koichiro had just had a heart-to-heart with Darzana, breaking down and admitting that he had killed her brother? Why is the current situation better than that? You can argue that Koichiro wouldn’t have had the guts to do that, but then so bet it. I think there’s something incredibly wrong with what Soma has done. I would never trust a doctor like that.
— Anyway, the Aldnoah Drive is back online, so the Deucalion returns to the air. All in all, this incident has been nothing more than a momentary distraction.
— Uh, according to Saazbaum, the Deucalion used to be his betrothed’s Cataphract. Compared to all the others, that’s one mighty big Cataphract.
— Saazbaum says that Mars is still held back by the fact that it lacks water and air. Yo, haven’t you heard? Moss and some cockroaches will handle that. On a more serious note, I’m surprised that with all their technology, the Martians haven’t found a way to terraform Mars. Granted, that process might take a long time, but still, you’d think the Vers would have figured something out. For example, water can be retrieved some asteroids floating around in our asteroid belt. Air is a little trickier, considering Mars’s lack of a magnetosphere to protect it. Still, Saazbaum tells us that dust storms make it hard to grow anything on the planet. Why not rely on things like domes then? In domes, you could regulate the temperate, air currents, humidity, etc. I can’t believe the Vers Empire can pop up overnight (relatively speaking) and not have solutions for these problems.
–But that’s enough about that… You can question the realism of the scenario all you want, but the important takeaway is that the majority of the Vers people live in abject poverty. Saazbaum might be misguided in his actions–… check that, he is misguided in his actions, but true victory here isn’t just peace being restored to the two planet. I’m afraid the Martian royal family will have to give up their rule.
— Whenever they show angry crowds in fiction, these crowds are almost always 100% male. This is a bit of an aside, but I was rewatching old episodes of Psycho-Pass, and although I liked the show, it always bothered the hell out of me how all the troublemakers — the people manipulated by Makishima to stir shit up and help bring down the system — were men. Like fine, that has historically been the case, but history is also full of disenfranchised women. I thus find it hard to believe that in the distant future, with the sexes being more equal than ever, women wouldn’t want to become anarchists themselves.
And to bring this back to Aldnoah.Zero, you could hand-wave this away and claim that perhaps Martian culture is a bit more “traditional” in nature and thus chauvinist, seeing as how they have counts and viscounts, kings and princesses. Having said that, I still don’t buy the idea that women wouldn’t be found in a crowd of angry Martians.
— Anyway, this is just an extended exposition scene. Kind of a lame way to tell us the story, guys.
— We then see a clip of how Orlane, Saazbaum’s betrothed, had died, but eh… the scene doesn’t really answer any questions.
— What’s with the Hitler-looking fellow?
— Oh ho ho: “It’s like one of those Japanese comic books.”
— But yeah, after a long trip, our heroes have made it to United Earth HQ. I’m just wondering why it’s in Russia of all places. Not only that, this giant base is six hundred meters underground, can house a ton of refugees (if they had actually made it here), and still have enough supplies to last three years (assuming max capacity). Kind of a fancy place…
— We see a scene in which Asseylum personally thanks Inaho again for saving her life, but you know that crazy Inaho and his silly answers: “…I wasn’t out to save you personally.” Still, she calls him a good person, and he looks surprised. Hell, I’d venture to say this is the most emotive he’s ever been. By the way, Eddy still grimaces when Asseylum praises Inaho, so I guess our short maid is still a bitch. After ten episodes, none of the characters have made any real stride in their development. Everyone’s stayed the same as when we first met them. Maybe Rayet has had a change of heart… maybe.
— Asseylum then gives a speech to the entire world explaining the situation and placing the blame squarely on the Orbital Knights’ shoulders. So what now? Will the war stubbornly continue? We know Saazbaum won’t stop just because the princess is still alive, but what about the other Orbital Knights? Cruhteo proved that not everyone was in on the conspiracy. Are there any Orbital Knights left who are loyal to the princess? Or are they all like Saazbaum now that Cruhteo has died?
— Speaking of the dead Cruhteo, Saazbaum has retrieved the Tharsis. Not only that, he’s already pinpointed the princess’s location. Wow, not such a secret base, then. Plus, a bunch of refugees are hiding out in that base. Man, maybe the princess should’ve given her speech in a different location…
— Last but not least, Saazbaum then gives Slaine the choice to fight with him or escape to Earth. The episode then comes to a close as the count’s castle prepares its descent for Novostal’sk, Russia.
— Despite the big exposition dump midway through, I enjoyed this week’s episode. It kind of sucks that the refugees won’t get much of a respite from the fighting, but I guess we gotta keep things moving. Where do we go from here, though? Can Slaine really stomach fighting alongside Saazbaum? Will his obsession with Asseylum make him join the bad guys? And how much more can the relationship between Inaho and Asseylum deepen? Also, what are the good guys going to do with Rayet?