Is this the second to last episode for the anime’s first cour? I think so…
— I know the start of the episode overlaps a bit with last week’s episode, but I want to touch on this anyway. The princess is right in that Inaho has saved her plenty of times now. But even though this is the case, Eddy still hasn’t changed. She grimaces when Asseylum calls the hero a good person. Whether or not this is true, why does it bother Eddy so much? You’d think that she’d be grateful, so why can’t the writers at least soften her character gradually over time? It’s just one small thing to make the tiny maid feel less inert as a character, but instead, the writers want to remind us that she hasn’t changed. Odd. Or if you’re feeling less charitable, it’s just bad writing.
— Well, the big, expansive UE base is short-lived, but I’m not sure why everyone is so surprised that one of the Orbital Knights would continue to attack. The princess just said that there was an assassination attempt on her life. With Mars still over a hundred million miles away from Earth, why would any of the characters think the traitors within the Vers Empire would give up? Oh man, the princess is alive! Better just surrender! The traitors have been planning for the princess’s assassination and the subsequent invasion of Earth for a long time. They’re not just going to give up because Asseylum is still alive yet nowhere near safety.
— The ensuing battle unfolds pretty much how you expect it to if you’ve been watch Aldnoah.Zero this entire time. The Martian forces are currently laying waste to everything in their path. It doesn’t even look like the UE forces stand a chance, but… hey, we’re just biding time for Inaho to enter the battlefield. Anyway, the action looks cool, but after eleven episodes, it’s also starting to be a bit predictable.
— Even the princess doesn’t seem to understand why this is all happening. C’mon, it’s not that difficult. Why wouldn’t one of the Orbital Knights attack you? You just implicated them as the ones truly responsible for your assassination! Think about it. Think about it. What’s even dumber is when she says her life was irrelevant from the beginning, and yet, Saazbaum just landed his fucking castle for her and her alone.
— Darzana: “How do they plan to negotiate if they wipe out the government?” Aarrggggh, they don’t want to negotiate!
— Oh great, Koichiro shows up just to say exactly that. But it’s funny coming from him, ’cause he hasn’t actively participated in a fight since the start of the episode, he feels the need to drink during the day, and he’s got a bunch of mental issues to work through. So for Koichiro to show up on the bridge and act like he’s some wizened character is hilarious. It’s not like he has anything profound to say. He sounds like he’s reading to us the introductory paragraph to some freshman history essay: “This is the way wars have been fought since the dawn of man. Pure and savage.” Yo, can we get the drunkie out of here or what?”
— Haha, Darzana doesn’t even respond. She just turns and asks someone an unrelated question about Asseylum.
— Speaking of the princess, she won’t sit around and say a bunch of pointless mumbo-jumbo about the nature of war. She at least wants to do something about the current situation, and at the moment, that involves dragging her ass to Saazbaum’s castle in order to shut down his Aldnoah Drive. Could the princess have been better written? Maybe, but she’s not bad. I mean, compared to Inaho, Koichiro, etc., the princess could’ve been worse.
— I don’t know what’s crawled up Yuki’s butt all of a sudden, though. Inaho volunteers to escort the princess to the enemy’s landing castle, so Yuki goes, “How can you say something so outlandish with a straight face?” First, why is it only bothering her now? Inaho’s always been this placid, so if she wasn’t going to complain about it before, why now? Second, it is especially stupid to complain about it now, because Saazbaum is on a warpath for the princess. They have no other choice but to do what the princess suggests. In any other situation, where are a multitude of options, then sure, let’s pause and hash this out. But I don’t think the good guys have a choice in what they can do, and for the probably the first time in the series, I don’t mind Inaho’s unnatural calmness. When you’re backed up against the wall, all you can do is stay calm. Hell, this is Inaho’s time to shine.
— Yuki: “Logic is all it has going for it.” Uh…
— Then all of a sudden, it’s Asseylum’s turn to say something silly: “And now the princess of the Vers Empire will turn on her own people.” They’re trying to kill you! You’re not going back to Mars and laying waste to your own cities. You’re defending yourself against people who are directly trying to kill you! Just fight, man, just fight. This melodrama is just silly. She then claims that the war is her responsibility and her responsibility alone. Oy vey…
— Hey, you have the maid getting airtime in a vehicle, so that’s kind of novel…
— If you’re wondering what Slaine’s been up to, I think he’s trying to reunite with the princess. Little does he know, however, that the princess is going to throw herself at Saazbaum’s castle.
— Asseylum looks pleased to see the girl who tried to kill her. I’m sure Rayet has changed and everything, but in the princess’s shoes, I’d still be a little apprehensive to see my attempted murderer running alongside me in a mecha.
— So who comes up with the plan to get Asseylum safely to the castle? Inaho, of course. Yeah, he’s actually giving a mission briefing to a room full of adults. Oh well, I guess he’s just a military savant.
— And despite Koichiro not doing anything since the start of the series, Darzana puts him in charge of forming the assault team. Ahhhhh, I hope he didn’t have to much to drink this morning.
— All Yuki does is whine about everything Inaho has to say. Is the mission briefing room really the best place for these emotional outbursts? You might say no, but no one else seem too bothered about it.
— During the jump, one of the Cats tell Inko not to be scared, because bullets are attracted to cowardice. Then he gets shot. Whoops. But the drop itself wasn’t bad to watch despite Inaho’s need to narrate. I don’t love the insert song, but it fits the scene well. So at this point, we should just accept that Aldnoah.Zero is all style and little else. Inaho’s boring personality detracts from the action, but eh, I guess after being exposed to it for so long, I’ve developed a bit of an immunity to it. Plus, with Kirito’s over-the-top sob sessions and Tatsuya going SSJ on us, Inaho is a distant third on my list of offenders.
— When Saazbaum shows up out of nowhere to shoot down the Deucalion (I wonder what happened to Rayet), Darzana decides that there’s nothing else to do but to ram her ship right into the enemy base. And, well, that does it for this week’s episode.
— All in all, I thought the episode was entertaining enough. There are always going to be stupid things about the show to harp about with Aldnoah.Zero, but since this week was mostly action, the anime didn’t get the chance to be too stupid, if you know what I mean.
— I guess we’ll wrap up the first cour next week? Then how long will we have to wait to see the second cour? All I’ve heard is that it’s scheduled to air sometime next year.