Aldnoah.Zero 2 Ep. 10: Princess lover

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So things are coming to a head or something… I think.

— Well, that makes things easy, doesn’t it?

— I wonder how many people have made a “Your princess is in another castle” reference this week.

— Elsewhere, Asseylum somehow stays calm despite everything. We’ve gotten on Inaho’s case for being emotionless all series long, but Asseylum’s just as boring. I don’t need her to flip her shit or have an emotional breakdown, but these characters are putting me to sleep. They just lack any sort of passion. “Everything that has happened is because of me,” says Asseylum with the straightest face possible. Gimme a break.

— And Lemrina’s too one dimensional to make this interesting. You’d think two sisters with a history of bad blood between them would proceed to have an interesting conversation, but nah. Lemrina’s just a fool. Every time she opens her mouth, it’s an eye-rolling moment:

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— The “good” guys intend to use the Deucalion as bait, and that should put a pit in our stomachs… y’know, if we cared about the folks on the Deucalion. But we’re not talking about Gekko State or whatever. It’s just the Deucalion, a.k.a. a bunch of poorly developed characters.

— We then proceed to sit there and watch a bunch of those generic ready-yourself-for-battle scenes. Y’know, mechas launching off, getting into position, people standing in command rooms and barking orders, etc. These scenes don’t work by themselves. They only work as a way to amplify the tension. They only work by delaying the big payoff. It’s the anticipation before the big battle. We’re at the edge of our seats! Everything has been building up to this moment! This is when Inaho bravely infiltrates the enemy’s castle and rescues his princess! But the anime doesn’t actually achieve this. It doesn’t come close to achieving this. It hasn’t put in the groundwork to accomplish anything close to this. I don’t really care all that much about Inaho’s love for Asseylum. I don’t really care all that much for Asseylum. I don’t care all that much about the Deucalion. You get the point.

— Considering how much I bag on the show, it may seem bizarre for me to say this, but Aldnoah.Zero should really have been a 50-episode series. No, really. We’re supposed to see Inaho go from being a kid to a veteran soldier. We’re supposed to learn why he’s the way that he is. We’re supposed to resolve Koichiro and Rayet’s issues much more organically (Rayet’s story seems to have dropped off the face of the planet). When Inaho had gone down, at the midpoint of the story, we’re supposed to have spent some significant time without him so that we really appreciate his absence (if such a thing is even possible). We’re supposed to see more of Asseylum’s time on Earth, how she cherishes the blue planet, and desires peace. Hell, we’re supposed to learn a goddamn thing about Vers and its supposedly oppressed underclass. We’re supposed to see how Earth has honestly suffered from a war against its own brothers and sisters from another planet.

And like I’ve written in a previous post, we’re supposed to have intimately followed Slaine’s rise from second-class citizen, to an inspiring revolutionary Vers political leader, to his now subsequent fall as a man doomed by his tragic love for the symbol of a woman that he has created in his own head. And of course, with all the different barons and counts and whatnot, there should have been some serious struggle for power in the background. Sadly, I feel like even something like Final Fantasy Tactics did this shit better than Aldnoah.Zero. Point is, after forty or so episode, we’re supposed to finally arrive at this moment when Inaho heroically saves his princess. When condensed into such a short series, none of it really resonates. It’s like reading the Cliff’s Notes to some epic story.

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— I feel like I’m watching one of those old Cartoon Network shows back when cheap, plastic 3-D animation was all the craze. Sure, this doesn’t look as bad as the updated Johnny Quest, but it’s pretty bad for 2015.

— Add Inko to the list above. We’re supposed to feel a bit for her. I mean, she’s competing against a princess. Nevertheless, she does all that she can to prove her worth to Inaho in this mission in spite of the fact that doing all she can to help him will only lead him into her rival’s arms. That’s a bit bittersweet, isn’t it? But Inko’s character’s a blank, so for me, it’s just like, “Meh.”

— Oh, I forgot to mention how Cruhteo’s son had a 1-on-1 conversation with Slaine, but their exchange was so unremarkable, I’m hard-pressed to remember any details about it.

— At one point during the chaos, Asseylum saves Lemrina’s life. Cue giant eye-rolling moment number two:

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— I should say something about Slaine claiming to Inaho that he’s just exploiting the princess. I should, but…

— So Inaho finally reaches Asseylum, but succumbs to the pain in his left eye. Somehow, he falls unconscious, but the eye starts doing to the talking for him? Or maybe he saw this coming and made a pre-corded message or whatever. Meh. Always meh. Hard to get too worked up about anything here. Insert your “Inaho is a cold, unfeeling robot” jokes here.

— It may seem like Asseylum will escape back to the good guys, but Inaho will be left behind. Or maybe not. Who knows. She runs into Cruhteo’s kid right before the credits roll, so maybe he’ll lead her somewhere else.

— But let’s not forget this giant eye-rolling moment number three!

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In a longer series, I might see why these two have formed such a bond. But not in this version of Aldnoah.Zero. Not like this. Oh well, one more week down! See you Aldnoah.Zero fans/haters next week.


10 Replies to “Aldnoah.Zero 2 Ep. 10: Princess lover”

  1. The series needed either 50 episodes like you said or a much more efficient story line with fewer characters to develop and less dragging of feet.

  2. Urobutcher should have done the whole series, or at least a team that was actually dedicated to this. I still like the show, but it could have been a whole lot better, that’s for sure.
    …That technically makes me a hypocrite, doesn’t it?

  3. Weighing the options, I’d rather see a chopped up short version of the show. The reason being simply that the writers just seems incapable of producing anything of worth in any capacity. Placing FIFTY episodes in the hands of these guys would be pretty horrifying.
    Say they do get extra time to develop these characters. I REALLY can’t see them doing anything new or exciting with these characters in the least. They’re designed to be bland almost and from that just comes middle-of-the-road character arcs. Bad guys will always do scum-shit for power because they’re ALWAYS power-hungry. And yeah, Inko is the obligatory childhood friend character who’s in love with MC. And then a “love triangle” because anime story point #2: always have love stories because… BECAUSE. You can’t fix these characters. Well, the only way would be to scrap them and come up with new ones.
    And what makes it worse is just the thought of filler episodes, I mean, c’mon, they’ve been doing “Monster-Of-The-Week”-kind of storytelling. That lazy trash meant run the clock. This show feels like it’s MEANT to be your typical Mecha Battles Are Cool show, which basically comes with the design philosophy of “fuck the script, let’s blow some shit up”. And there are shows that embrace that concept fully and excel at it.
    But personally I feel like the story is trying too hard to be something else, a drama. And if you don’t have the right people on it, then it’s guaranteed to fall apart into a unsalvageable mess.

    So, really it just comes down to if the show’s in the right hands. A single cour or fifty episodes; doesn’t really matter if they’re done with finesse. What we have here is a combination of weak shit done quickly which pretty much sums up the conveyer belt industry as a whole. Just throw as much mediocre shit out there are hope that at least ONE of them sticks.

  4. Every single time you mentioned how this should have been longer, taken its time, more in-depth, had more development, less crummy CG, etc. I just kept wanting to shout


    No, E Minor, I’ve said it before. I’ll likely say it again, and I don’t even know if you ever tried watching that show or not but dude, that show is absolutely what you’d be looking for.
    At least, I assume so. You do seem to enjoy yourself some very intricate but well done plots, characters and world-commentary.

    If you ever find time, seriously, check out LotGH. You’ll be surprised, especially since the name makes you think of something like Saint Seiya, which it is not.

  5. I really doubt we will be seeing four cour animes any time soon. The trend has been towards shorter and shorter anime series – from 52 to 26 to 13 to even 6 episodes. And as a result, many stories completely fail to run or develop properly within the narrow confines of 13 episodes. Or even 26.

  6. Hey, man. Haven’t been around these parts of the woods for a while because I’ve been trying to curbstomp my anxiety and compulsion issues. They haven’t exactly been my allies in good health, and waiting on new anime episodes doesn’t exactly help me with ’em.

    But, I’ll be looking forward to this trainwreck series to end. “Better than Gundam”, my ass.

    For god’s sakes, can we stop having YANDERES be the main antagonists of these shows?!

  7. Ah, screw this… the bad guys won the series.

    Slaine may have been a terrible character in development, but he had promise. Now he’s like so many people stuck working a pointless battle royale tomorrow (sorry, thinkin’ about WrestleMania).

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