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:
— 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.
— 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:
— 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!
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.