Aldnoah.Zero – 12 (Fin)

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This final episode earns full marks for adrenaline-pounding zeal and sheer boldness, as well as remaining true to its characters until the very end. In the final scene, in the castle’s Aldnoah chamber, the very place where Asseylum snatched a Terran victory out of the jaws of defeat, we not only lose her, but Inaho as well. That’s a steep butcher’s bill than we expected even for a show we thought would be one-cour-and-done; it’s even more daring considering a second season is coming next year.

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On the one hand, it sucks to see Inaho and Seylum go down so abruptly after they had achieved so much. On the other, both had fulfilled their purpose. Seylum shut the castle down, Inaho had held off the baddies long enough to let her, and after she dies, it’s almost a given that Inaho too will either keel over from blood loss or, as is the case, gets shot by Slaine. Both were friends of the princess, and she would have wanted them to get along, but it just wasn’t in the cards.

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It isn’t until his final moments that his memories and feelings of Seylum rush over him like a crashing wave, so on the whole I’m okay with this, it’s a tragic but also oddly logical end for both of them, and it shows that the good guys can’t have it all. (I will say I am extremely glad Inko is still alive and hope we see get to see more of her in the future.) What wasn’t so logical, and what prevents this final ep of A/Z from a higher rating, is what led up to this final scene.

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I don’t mind at all the crew of the Deucalion being too wounded to assist any further, nor do I have any particular qualms with Yuki and Inka making their way through the castle with the princess (Your Princess IS In This Castle!). What turned me off was that here was his already overpowered kataphrakt getting even more buffed up and combined with others into one big Mega-phrakt in a transformation scene that goes on too long in a show that never spent this kind of time on such things before. It was a bit too Gundam-y.

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And you can call it ironic if you will, but after all that build up to how huge and powerful and invincible this guy just became, Inaho is simply able to survive far too long. Even if he’s the best Terran kataphrakt pilot in the world, his primative orange kataphrakt should be crushed like a Coke can in the first minute of fighting. What’s the point of an super-powerful mecha if its shields have such an obvious weakness? This was yet another case of the Martians possessing ridiculously superior technology but no tactics to speak of.

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In earlier battles this might have been excusable, but in particular with Saazbaum, a dedicated, decorated veteran and otherwise capable commander, to fall so easily to the underdog. At least the overarching message that has endured throughout A/Z remains consistent: Inaho and the Terrans only survive as long as they do thanks mainly to appalling incompetence on the part of the Martians. You can’t even say they did a good job with the initial invasion, because they were never able to finish the job.

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Those issues aside, this was still a thrilling and satisfying end to the series (the music-less end credits were particularly stirring)…were that the case, that is. I’ll confess I wasn’t aware of a second season, and it’s not something I’m 100% sure I needed in my life, but A/Z has definitely earned the right to get a close look. Like Inaho, it’s been a mostly level-headed, dependable and proficient mecha show, and I’m curious to see where it goes without two of its leads. But that’s not for a few months yet. Till then, farewell A/Z, and RIP Inaho and Asseylum. You’ll be missed.

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Final Average Rating: 8.50
MAL Score: 8.13

Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Aldnoah.Zero – 12 (Fin)”

  1. slaine proved himself to be a useless and foolish scum. if he hadn’t intervened saazbaum would have died earlier. and despite seeing that the princess cared about inaho he killed in jelousy..

    1. Yeah I really dont get what the show was doing with Slaine. I mean, his motivations and actions make no sense by the end — not even for jealousy. Just garbled and inconsistent.

      More to the point, the entire episode felt like a sad excuse to make us want a second season. I’m all for dark endings. (seriously, ask the editors how grown worthy my dark-love gets) but giving us no denouement and post credits ‘to be continued’ is total BS.

      Specifically, I’m confident that Inaho will wake up from a coma, the princess will wake up in Slaine’s protection, and we’ll have a weak-tea shakespear battle between the boys for her protection/love framed with the remaining castle lords we saw in the Pilot. (I think there are 2 or 3 we haven’t seen killed yet?)

      I’m not even sure if A/Z has the grapes to kill off the count!

      bleagh! what a downer!

  2. I…….really dont know how i feel about this finale…On one hand im really psyched that this show even dared to take such a direction; but at the same time, the events leading up to it is what makes me feel a bit iffy. I get that to some degree, Slaine feels that Inaho is the enemy and is to somewhat blame for the princess’ fate. Perhaps he felt that if Inaho had not interfered in the prior eps, the princess would still be alive. I have to be honest, i saw Inaho’s death coming. I dont know why, but Yuki’s constant complaining felt weird to me this time around, almost as if the show was trying to saw “Inaho’s crazy schemes always seem to work but this time around, he may not come out clean on the other side like he usually does”. So when Inaho finally did bite the dust, the only shock i felt was the fact that the staff actually went through with it,

    Oh and im so glad Inko survived; i kinda want her to take over as the main character next season; you know, actually give her some character that makes her meaning to the plot and interesting at the same time. In terms of combat, she did have really high marks hence why she was always in battle with Inaho and Yuki (that and they are sort of like family) so it would sort of make sense if she did. The other candidates for main characters would be Yuki, Rayet, or Marito. At this point i think Slaine has crossed over to the dark side.

  3. I’ve said this elsewhere, but I feel like Season 1’s ending was pretty bad storytelling to be honest.

    Tragedy dramas like Madoka and Fate, nobody expects them to have a happy ending. Their stories are pockmarked by awful things happening to the people you love, which builds and relates to a certain kind of audience.

    Action dramas like Aldnoah build and relate to a different kind of audience. Changing the genre in the last 40 seconds left me feeling not shocked, but alienated from the whole series. Because there was no foreshadowing and because tonally it was completely different from the rest of the show. This made it feel arbitrary.

    I’m sure there’s a right way to do a sudden shift like that. I’m not saying you can’t.
    But I’m not sure what that right way is. I’m only sure that Aldnoah did it badly.

    Not going to lie, I’m probably going to skip season 2.

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