Aldnoah.Zero – 04

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This was yet another tour-de-force nail-biter of backs-up-against-the-wall, all or nothing action. Again, it’s not a question of whether humanity can defeat Vers; that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But you take small victories where you can get them, and for Inaho and company, every day their cargo of civilians is safe from harm is a victory.

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Even if their hometown of Shinawara is a meteorite-ridden ruin, they’re still alive; an act of resistance against Vers in and of itself. After Inaho saved her, Asseylum decides to reveal her true identity to him, and he’s his usual cool-as-a-cucumber self. It’s ironic that there’s another character named “Calm” who’s a lot less calm than Inaho; none of what this show has thrown at him has really flustered him.

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With the civilians safe, their new mission is to find the means for the princess to contact her grandfather the emperor; she believes knowing she’s still alive will halt the war in its tracks, but that’s an exceedingly naive assumption. Even if grandpa wants peace with the Terrans as much as she does, the Orbital Knights have landed, staked their claims, and blood is in the water. It’s a veritable feeding frenzy down there, and glory is the repast.

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Still, that’s the plan. Inaho may not consider the princess the enemy, but Rayet won’t hesistate to expose her if she deems it necessary. That becomes a possibility when the navy hovercraft they’re aboard and the installation where they’re resupplying falls under the attack of a Vers kataphrakt, one that wields a really bright, noisy light katana. One by one, the forward Terran kataphrakts are felled, and a great tension builds as the enemy draws closer and closer.

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Asseylum volunteers to go out there and speak to the pilot as she did before, but she’d be flipping a coin over whether he’s loyal or one of the co-conspirators who tried to assassinate her (and still believe they succeeded). Instead, Inaho and Calm go out in their trainers and do what they do best: improvise. Using a cargo crane to knock the Vers kataphrakt on its ass was particularly inspired, and I loved Inko’s sheepish reaction when it doesn’t work a second time.

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But again, Inaho & Co. aren’t trying to pull off miracles, only buying time, plain and simple, for the cavalry to arrive in the form of another naval vessel armed with enough teeth to compel the enemy to bug out. When you’re such an overwhelming underdog, sometimes you need to depend on things other than your own strength and skill—like luck, timing, and the enemy’s arrogance or indifference—to survive the day.

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And then there’s Slaine, who gets in his plane and heads right back to Cruhteo, lying that the meteorite bombardment did Trillram in and not mentioning that Asseylum still draws breath. Even if Cruhteo didn’t conspire against the princess, he’s still exploiting the situation for all it’s worth. And While he gets smacked around, Slaine seems to convince his superior to let him continue to participate in the battle, meaning we can’t rule out him and Asseylum reuniting again.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

4 thoughts on “Aldnoah.Zero – 04”

  1. This was a great episode, and what did you think of the new ED “aLIEz”? Also, will they have Slaine take over Trillram’s Nilokeras? All the promotional and ED art suggests so. Though with Martians way of thinking, I don’t know it’s they’ll let a lowly Terran operate a machine only knights seem to use.

    It will be interesting seeing Vlad (the new knight again). According to the website, he is like Trillram and is a knight with no castle or army who also stays with Cruhteo. He seems to have a “samurai like” personality, just like his mech “Argyre”.

    And just a little correction though, it’s Asseylum’s grandfather who is emperor of Vers. She says so, in her conversation with Inaho. Her father was KIA at the battle of Heaven’s Fall and she was born after his death. Her grandfather came out of retirement and retook the throne.

  2. Again I’m amazed by Inaho’s superior intellect and calm way of thinking in analyzing and dealing with the situation. Of course that is with the help of everyone else involved.

    It makes you wonder if there are other Inaho-like minded persons, around the world, who already have come up of ways and solutions in dealing with Vers threat. After all mankind somehow managed to hold up against the Vers before the ceasefire was made, fifteen years ago. But I guess that is neither here nor there at this point in time, as the main focus of the story now is for the heroes to get to a place where hopefully a semblance of hierarchy still exists, and from there try to sue for a cessation of hostilities.

  3. When I criticise a slower to develop show’s pacing, I’m essentially saying ‘you fail to achieve the balance of back story building, rich character development, marked with brief but exciting action’ as done in AZ.

    unfair? Perhaps. But AZ shows us what a nearly formulaic Gundam piece can really do when the basics are done right.

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