Aldnoah.Zero 2 Ep.1: Handing off the baton

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Okay, it’s not really a sequel, but I don’t want type out Aldnoah.Zero Second Season every single time I refer to the show. Anyway, let’s see how everything turned out.

— If I recall correctly, I was called pointlessly cynical for assuming that the main characters would survive the first season’s finale episode. Gosh, let’s just see if my critic was right.

— We’ve jumped nineteen months in the story, and that’s quite a long time to skip. I certainly hope the story doesn’t try to make up for that by feeding us a ton of exposition to fill us in on what we’ve missed.

— The episode kicks things off with some action in an asteroid belt. If you didn’t watch the first season or have somehow forgotten all about it, there’s an asteroid belt this close to Earth because the moon was blown up.

— Anyway, Aldnoah.Zero’s action has always been pretty slick. The story kinda sucks, but at least we’ll always have the battle scenes to watch.

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— Oh hey, it’s our good ol’ buddy Slaine. The other characters ever call him sir! Has he been knighted?! But by who? Oh man, don’t tell me Saazbaum also survived. ‘Cause if he did, then c’mooooooon. How can Inaho be dead if Saazbaum is still alive and kicking? Anyway, you’ll be happy to know that Slaine is still obsessed over the princess. I can’t believe there are actually people on Team Slaine. Inaho might be autistic, but Slaine is mega creepy.

— Speaking of Asseylum, we see have give a speech in which she condemns Earthlings for not appreciating their own planet. That… that doesn’t sound like our princess at all. Yeah, the person giving the speech looks and literally sounds like Asseylum, but the real princess is too much of a goody two-shoes to say such a thing. She’s hopelessly, boringly good. This is not exactly an original story.

— What are the good guys up to, then? Sunbathing. That’s a good start.

— Unfortunately, the good guys seem to believe everything that they see with their own eyes. This is, however, the future where all sorts of digital trickery is possible. Of course, Rayet never liked Asseylum, but still, I’m certain that smarter characters would realize that the person giving that speech is not really the princess.

— There’s a lot of ass shots for a show about a war between two planets.

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— Nineteen months, man. Nineteen months is nearly two whole years. And yet, these characters still look absolutely the same as when we last saw them. Would it have hurt to give one or two of them a different hairdo? Or to age a few of the characters just a tiny bit?

— “It’s a miracle he made it back alive,” they say. Ho ho ho, who are we possibly referring to?

— But we return to Slaine, who has come back from his successful mission. And of course, a perfectly alive Saazbaum is there to greet him. Well, that’s lame.

— A princess? So there’s a sister. She has a sister. If Asseylum will not be turned to the Slaine side, then perhaps she will. And also, is she bound to that chair? I hope not, because it seems like every mecha show must rob some poor girl of her legs.

— And yeah, Eddy is back with the bad guys. Like that’s a surprise. You can’t take the bigotry out of the bigot.

— This is some awkward exposition coming out of nowhere: “I have never bene pleased with the blood flowing in my veins.” Can you just randomly drop that nugget in a conversation? Anyway, she’s supposedly just a tool because she, like any member of the royal family, can activate the Aldnoah Drive.

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— Back on Earth, our heroes are attacked by an Martian who seems to spread winter wherever he or she goes. A large problem with the first season was that it felt like a Martian of the Week struggle until the last few episodes. It just wasn’t very compelling to watch as we’d see Inaho constantly save the day by defeating enemies that never displayed any sort of personality (much like the main character himself). One can only hope that the second season can avoid these same pitfalls, but that’s doubtful. In any case, take a good look at the bad guy, because you won’t be seeing him again after this week’s episode.

— I mean, it’s possible if we have a new main character. For instance, a lot of you guys hoped that Rayet would take the lead for the second season… but I suspect a certain someone will be rearing his ugly head soon enough.

— Wait, what can this guy do? Reeeeally? Welp, whatever you guys say…

— So far, the long established pattern is holding true. At first, the good guys will throw a bunch of nobodies at the enemy. These nobodies have trained for a long time as soldiers, but alas, they will fail. A few more important — but nevertheless a second tier — characters will then step up and try to fight back. Their efforts, however, is predictably futile.

— Then when all seems lost, our savior cometh:

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Oh man, how we’ve missed that monotone cadence of his! Good ol’ Inaho is back! Wait, wait, before we continue with the rest of the episode, let me quote that guy from months ago:

I just think it feels kind of pointlessly cynical to dismiss these characters as OBVIOUSLY NOT REALLY DEAD.

fuck you guys

— Anime… anime never changes.

— Besides, Inaho has always defeated the Martian of the Week without fail, so why would he stop now? Dude would literally come back from the grave just to Gary Stu this shit up. With both Mahouka and SAO 2 being shows of the past, someone has to step up and fill the void. Who else but Inaho?

— After nineteen months and a direct shot from Slaine, our grizzled war veteran still looks… looks… looks exactly the fucking same as he did before he joined this war effort. Welp.

— Oh, but he’s totally changed, guys. He’s got a bionic eye now and everything. Yep.

— Oh come the fuck oooooooon:

flippin guns

— And just like that, the Martian of the Week is dead. One of the girls screams out Inaho’s name as the enemy mecha blows up. But at this point, ain’t nothing going to kill this Gary Stu.

Heh.

— But wait! Our Gary Stu has changed! He can, uh, make small talk now. Slaine stole his girl and subsequently shot the autism out of him. That’s quite impressive, actually.

— We now get to see how everything had unfolded nineteen months ago. Slaine kept Saazbaum around in order to keep Asseylum alive. Supposedly, only the count had the means to do this.

— As for Inaho, he had taken a bullet to the head. Even so, the guy is so fucking overpowered, he had absorbed Asseylum’s Aldnoah activating powers somehow. And as a result, the unconscious hero still manages to save the day by getting the Deucalion to lift off. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

— The flashback is over, and Inaho is now watching the princess’s speech. Naturally, he’s the only person in the room smart enough to realize that he’s not watching the real Asseylum. We soon see that the Asseylum onscreen is none other than her sister. Just some trickery required.

— Well, we’ve seen Slaine, and he’s now a knight. We’ve seen Inaho, and he’s now Bionic Gary Stu. All that’s missing is Asseylum. The real Asseylum, that is. Where is she?

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Ah, well there you go…

— Such a fucking creep.

— I suspect that Lemrina, desperate for approval, will fall in love with Slaine, but Slaine will remain forever obsessed with Asseylum. And of course, the Gary Stu never loses, so you know who Asseylum will favor… but that’s just the pointlessly cynical me talking again. So disregard everything you just read. This anime series is awesome!

— Say, whatever happened to that old dude with the PTSD…?

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40 thoughts on “Aldnoah.Zero 2 Ep.1: Handing off the baton

  1. sonicsenryaku

    Ok season 1’s writing was mediocre in a good way but season 2’s writing just went into ass territory. Why is someone commenting about wind in space…unless the person is talking about slight changes of pressure in the upper atmosphere of a planet, they should not be making remarks about wind. And did the writers really feel the need for fake asseylum to mention why the sky is blue out of nowhere, just to give inaho an excuse to suspect that it’s not the real princess; that piece of the dialogue came out of nowhere. Ooooohhhh and as usual inaho is the only person who can defeat the martians. I was looking for change this season…or some hope that this series would actually try to tell a coherent story and actually go through with their cliffhanger….oh well.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I think “space wind” should be added to “Say What?”, but it would be hard to take all in with only one screenshot.

      Reply
  2. flamerounin

    Wow! that has got to be the mother of all asspulls! But then again, who didn’t see this coming? Please raise your hands. I know I did.

    And they are doing Gundam Seed Destiny’s Lacus Clyne/Meer Campbell routine now?

    Reply
    1. Roa

      @flamerounin: I will give them one thing, and it’s that at least they’re not going full Meer….so far, always could change in the future.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    The bad guy of the week formula can actually kind of work in my opinion. Take Parasyte for example: So far it’s even more formulaic in that regard than Aldnoah was but it doesn’t hamper the show because it’s got so much more going for it. The combination robo from the end of last cour could also have been a neat idea if, say, we were dealing with more of a squadron of Kataphrakts and a grand strategy had to be devised based on the successful tactics of the past.
    I see online that Inaho is similar to Orange from Code Geass and it kind of makes sense with the eye and the mecha’s color. A wheelchair girl is incoming.
    And from my standpoint it was obvious Inaho was alive. They could have shown us a clear death last time if they were going to actually do it. It works as a cliff-hanger on its own. So the scriptwriters just wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

    Reply
  4. Chakraborty

    You take a bullet at point blank and you still don’t die.
    Slaine can’t make up his fucking mind and he’s helping the guy who put a bullet in his HIme’s head AND he’s shooting the breeze with a comatose Asseylum in a DBZ healing tank.
    I dunno why, but Inaho being battle savvy, completely emotionless and narrating his strategy as he dives in..really starting to bug me.
    Apparently you get Aldnoah Drive authority if you French Princess Asseylum: Inaho got it during the administering of CPR and Slaine got it when he landed on Mars. Slaine was give Authority without his consent and Inaho received his without Hime’s consent. Just noting is all.

    All in all, Aldnoah Zero is Code Geass done slightly better, but S2 throws in the cliches, the Gary Stu(s), the undecided and increasingly maddening antagonist and the goody-goody Hime whose purity brightens the day. We even have a Nunnally clone in a wheelchair, albeit with her eyes open.

    For some reason I want to order Pizza Hut now…

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      We’re missing a cheesy mascot for one of the heroines to snuggle in every single scene that she’s in.

      Reply
  5. Roa

    @Chakraborty:

    I suppose that we all have our own views, but personally I don’t think Aldnoah is slightly better than that. In fact, I’d rather be watching Code Geass or either of the two Gundam shows airing this season, since those are more relevant to my interests. At least then the main cast wouldn’t bore me to sleep or annoy to the point of indifference. Starting with Inaho himself, I find it very hard to care about these people.

    For me A/Z season two, just like the first half, is full of robot anime cliches. I don’t mind that, but I find they’re not using them in interesting ways most of the time. Generally speaking it comes across as a slightly worse take on a Gundam series except with more of an animation budget (saving money on the CGI does wonders, I’m sure) and a stronger pretense of sci-fi technomagic-babble standing in for faux realism. Which, again, wouldn’t bother me too much…if they didn’t undermine this at the exact same time. The show’s tone is too dark and bleak for what’s really going on. I don’t think this is a new problem though, it’s been present for a long while, arguably all the way back to Urobuchi’s exit.

    I’m usually willing to accept fake deaths, even old Tomino pulled some out of his ass on occasion, but with the princess she literally appeared to died three times. The explanation that it’s all because of Aldnoah seems almost anti-climatic in context for that matter. And now Slaine is risking everything by acting against her wishes. If the poor girl ever woke up, she’d hate him for being so incredibly selfish and stupid. I guess that turn of events could be seen coming from last season though. I don’t hate her sister, but I’m skeptical of what the hell she intends to accomplish by playing along with this stunt too, in the long term.

    Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what Slaine wants since Inaho will save the day without breaking a sweat. He’s got Aldnoah powers too, so a robot upgrade is coming up too. Never fear, Inaho is here! I should know better than to think this show will avoid that end result.

    And I actually would like to order some Pizza Hut, but this show doesn’t make me hungry.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    My comment in another forum:

    “Oh, look no one of consequence died last season, woohoo .

    So can someone explain how did the earthlings last 19 months supposedly without Inaho (considering how everyone reacted this episode and also looking at how the supposed experienced profesionals keep dying like the red shirts they are), when last season in only a matter of a few days (a week and a half at the most seeing as how they got attacked basically a few hours apart fromwhat we saw) the orbital knights brought them to nearly extinction?

    I mean from all that we’ve seen only Inaho (who seemingly can even win against death) is the only person in the whole damn planet that can do anything against them, everyone else either dies or repeats Inaho’s name ad nauseum while acting in disbelief at his plans like they think it won’t work.

    You’re not going to tell me that all of the powerful knights drop down one by one in front of Inaho just to die like mooks while the no names do all the work all over the rest of world.

    Where did more reinforcement for the earthlongs come from? Since when can they go into soace with thier mechas? Since when is there air in space? Are they inside one of the atmospheres? if so how the hell have the chunks of moon not fallen to earth? Since when does the earthlings have the technology to install cyborg eyes? How did they do so without leaving scarred tissue around his eye from the operation? How is he even in perfect condition? Since when was there another princess on the moon or anywhere near the orbital knights? Why does everyone so readilly belive Asseylum has betrayed them? (I know the answer to this one, as we saw just so Inaho can be the first one to notice she is a fake), why did the orbital knight not move when Inaho attacked him? Are their mechas supposed to be superior in every way? Where is crazy uncle Marito and his crazy war stories? What about his ptsd is he cured? (Of course not if he appears I’m betting we’ll see him being useless once again) how did Eddelriuto even get back with the orbital knights? Wasn’t she in the middle of the russian base which was being besieged by enemy forces? who after getting the orbital castle offline lost any advantage which gave the earthlings the upperhand in the fight and should have (somehow with the low, low numbers in personel they had at that moment) subdued them (you know they did if they got Inaho back to that same base for an operation to save his life), seriously just why?

    Don’t even get me started on them just making Inaho spout out scientific terms to make him seem “badass” when taking down an orbital knight (this was also present back in the first season and expect more to be said during this season, difference is in the first episodes it was actually used to complemnt their teamwork something that was lost after those first three episodes), well that’s just anime being anime.

    Now I’m waiting until the episode where someone unplugs Asseylums machine to try and kill her yet again and she survives, yet again. Also let’s see if the plot armor runs in her family whenever the other princess is in danger.

    I’m just going to finish this because I’ve already invested half a season and because the soundtrack is about the only thing keeping my interest.”

    Now adding to that, how is Inaho perfectly fine and killing Orbital Knights when he was worse of than Asseylum who is still in a coma?

    About how he got the Aldnoah activation sequence, his sisters tear fell on Asseylums blood on his face and magically found itself on it’s way into his mouth.

    Not defending Slaine or anything but him talking to Asseylum is about as creepy as someone talking to a grave (which means it isn’t) and people in real life do speak to coma patients so I don’t see the problem.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Not defending Slaine or anything but him talking to Asseylum is about as creepy as someone talking to a grave (which means it isn’t) and people in real life do speak to coma patients so I don’t see the problem

      Missing a whole lot of context here.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        I predicted Autism and Ass-ey-pull would survive but not Douche Count.

        Awesome gif BTW. At first I thought the far west gun spinning looked cool but then he started twirling them like batons. Groan.

        Reply
  7. porn

    er… so aldnoah just become seed destiny now? oh well…. crap.

    and i was expecting the princess would turn out to slaine crossdressing into her because he’s gone cuckooo banana….~

    Reply
  8. Valerie

    Very disappointing…
    I had a feeling that they might be brought back with some type of magic but the fact that they are alive AND none of the characters seem to have developed into stronger, smarter and more mature soldiers? Just disappointing….

    Reply
    1. spectreandy

      Are you kidding? You think that people would somehow grow and change in ~two years after stressful and trying times?

      Nooo, we wouldn’t want anybody up-staging Our Lord Inaho. He’s out to save the world with his new eye of his. Like Techno-Jesus.

      Reply
  9. jose peres

    Well, I didn’t read your blog yet at the first season, but I think the people who believed that everyone died at the first season finale were tricked because the series creator/script writter tends to horribly kill everybody or torture/rape/something the main characters… as a “plot twist”
    (If you ever watch fate zero, he is responsible of almost all the attrocities, and you can contrast that with the softer fate/UBW).

    If it was the series finale it would be a lot more probable.

    Still, I don’t like Inaho. Who gary stu do you prefer kirito/inaho/another? (just curious)

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      but I think the people who believed that everyone died at the first season finale were tricked because the series creator/script writter tends to horribly kill everybody or torture/rape/something the main characters… as a “plot twist”

      This is something that is often brought up, but again, the dude only wrote the first three episodes. Dude has his flaws, but the rest of the series felt like nothing that came from his pen. As a result, I never once thought the heroes would die.

      Reply
  10. Caustic

    Aldnoah Zero feels like a really good script was bought, then had all its lines stripped out and replaced with generic phrases and plot points to give it blockbuster appeal.

    Granted, it would be a great Michael Bay movie, if Michael Bay even tried to pay the slightest attention to science. But people should never mistake it for meaningful entertainment.

    Reply
    1. Caustic

      Also, I had to laugh at the convenient “sister who was never onscreen or mentioned” popping up. I love it when shows try to pull it off and fail.

      Reply
      1. spectreandy

        The worst was probably Gundam 00. A fucking twin.

        It’s just painfully obvious: please know when to stop when you’ve clearly run out of ideas. There’s no shame in that. It’s better than actively destroying your own work.

        Reply
  11. Lordreynolds

    Hahahahahahahah. wow.

    Nothing of this is in any way surprising or even interesting. How exactly do you get people with money to greenlight this sort of fuckery and give you their money? Tell me. I could use the cash…

    Reply
  12. spectreandy

    The amount of surprise I got from seeing Inaho coming back is akin to my middle-aged dad doing baby peek-a-boos at me right now. It’s anime, and it’s going to go anime.
    And because it’s anime it doesn’t have the balls to really do anything past the status quo. Really? Inaho got involved in a catastrophic accident and all that really got damaged was his EYE, and it got replaced with a bionic eye that clearly won’t change what he looks like overall? I get it, it sucks to lose a body part no matter how small, but let’s get real: this is fiction, and it’s par for the course that bigger things happen to stack up the stakes.
    So why not have him lose something more significant? Like a limb? You know, to accentuate that he actually lost something and that it’s something noticeable impacting his every day life. But an perfect cosmetic eye? It’s almost like why even bother?

    Even after a whole cour I’m still giving Inaho shit, despite his actual characteristic of being autistic. I’m not too much of an asshole to make fun of that, but what has that shown to even do?
    Upside: unrealistically good at piloting AND tactics. Huh, how tacticians with autism do we have working in our militaries today?
    Downside: he’s not good with… people? You mean like how a majority of anime MC’s are?
    What’s wrong with just being stoic AND have a good military mind? That describes a lot of regular soldiers and commanders in real life. But nah, autism is a legit character inventory I guess.
    Nobody that I know of that watched the first cour actually like or defends his character, more like tolerating. You know, if they’re not out-right criticizing him.

    And honestly, I feel like this show could’ve been so much better if Inaho just died and everybody had an epiphany to “git gud”. To not actually be useless side-characters that will continually hang onto Inaho’s legs for dear life. Because what’s the alternative? Fuck up and get everybody they know and love slaughtered by the enemy? FFS two years have past and we haven’t seen anything significant changes in skills or looks from these guys. Wartime pretty much expedites that growth, if they don’t then they lose.
    But nope, we’re back to everything’s gonna be fine because our front-man’s here to take care of EVERYTHING.

    At least the CG for the mechs are fine.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      The amount of surprise I got from seeing Inaho coming back is akin to my middle-aged dad doing baby peek-a-boos at me right now.

      I don’t know about you, but I personally would be very surprised if my middle aged dad did a peek-a-boo with me right now.

      Reply
  13. exof954

    Hopefully it’ll be like Re:Hamatora where they improved the series in its second season (though it probably won’t be).
    As for Slaine, I liked him before but seeing him act like a freaking male yandere with Asselyhime or whatever she’s called is just too far past the line, man. But he’s still better than Gary Stu Inaho, Kirito’s son, who has a bionic eye and Aldnoah Drive to make himself even more absurdly powerful.

    Reply
    1. Lordreynolds

      pft. Jesus yamato had his penis in this particular genom assembly pot….

      Superb at Mechas? Check.
      Boring, bland and comes back from impossible injuries? CHECK! Next time inaho will survive a pointblank nuke-a-like.
      Only competent team member? Check.
      Story escalating into stupid? Oh so very CHECK!

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      Inaho might be a Gary Stu, but I prefer that over a guy who claims to love a girl, but is also doing everything he can to shit on what she truly wants (peace and cooperation between the two planets) just because he’s jealous of her relationship with a cardboard box.

      Reply
  14. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    “Slaine stole his girl and subsequently shot the autism out of him.”
    HAhaha! My God this got me good.

    It’s good to know they didn’t commit to jack shit. No really. I’m totally glad to know there’s someone who continues to get paid for writing this.

    Reply
  15. Vic Alvaran

    I’ve been on Team Slaine since the day of his introduction, but even as much of a fanboy as I am, I have to admit, that last scene disturbed me a bit. Please tell me Slaine hasn’t cracked and that this is just part of plan of his.

    Reply
    1. higgsbosoff

      “Please tell me Slaine hasn’t cracked”

      Slaine hasn’t cracked. Now reread it enough times and you might even start to believe it!

      Reply
  16. K

    Same old tactics. Same old fodder. Same old Inaho being the only capable soldier. Seriously, I know they are struggling against the Vers Empire and all but how did they survive for nineteen months? Earth should’ve been conquered by now since regular soldiers still can’t handle Martian Kats.

    As for Slaine, I get why he’s on the Martian’s side; they have better technology. Seylum’s chances of survival were higher if he went back to Vers. Then I remembered that she wouldn’t have been in this situation if he didn’t get in Inaho’s way of killing Saazbaum. So…he’s still an idiot.

    Reply
  17. Gene

    This was really silly and plot holes are everywhere. Though, I find Slaine a whole lot more interesting than Inaho at this point. He had a terrible life on mars and Asseylum was the only good thing there for him. It’s not surprising for such a lonely character to still cling to her and help mars if it means keeping her alive. Asseylum’s idea of total peace would be impossible at this stage with how much martians want to come back to earth because their planet is terrible and detest earthlings and earthlings obviously doesn’t want to give up their planet and can’t just forget heaven’s fall and what mars is doing. If they do end up having an ending with total peace and Asseylum’s wish is fulfilled I will be pretty impressed in seeing how they manage to asspull that.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      My opinion of Slaine would change if he was better developed. But every time we see him pine for the princess, they just show us the same thing over and over: her giving him CPR when they were kids. It’s just not enough for me to feel for his character nor his tragic obsession.

      Reply
  18. Ed

    I am not bothered by the fact that humanity managed to last almost 2 years with their hero undergoing extensive brain surgery and recuperation. They still had their floating battleship. In addition, notice how Rayet knew exactly what the mecha can do and who pilots it? I bet after they capture the landing castle, they got a treasure box full of Martian technology and intel.

    Inaho surviving like that, on the other hand, is unbelievable. The princess who suffered less trauma and had better technology is brain dead in a tube. How can the only thing that is different be he has a new eye? I thought he would be spending a few episodes on the bridge directing the mecha squads because he couldn’t move his body like he use to.

    Still, I love this anime a lot better than Cross Ange. The conflict makes sense, the betrayals make sense, the MC doesn’t constantly change personality for no reason, the mechas are cooler and makes more sense than the paramail, the music is better, and so on and so forth.

    Reply
  19. Pia

    What piece of shit, It was expected that Inaho somehow would survive, but princess is alive too? how many lives she has? yeah she’s in coma but come on, we all know that’s just temporarily, thanks to that, now the show is predictable and boring as hell.

    Reply

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