Aldnoah.Zero – 13

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A/Z’s second cour picks up nineteen months after the incident at Saazbaum’s castle. Slaine is now a Vers Knight piloting Tharsis and taking it to Terran Kataphrakts raiding the satellite belt.

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Meanwhile, Princess Asseylum (who IS still alive) delivers a propaganda speech voicing her newfound support for the war against Earth and praising the Orbital Knights. I buy that she may have recovered from her wounds, but my first thoughts were that she’s either an impostor or being forced to toe the hard line. In any case, something’s not quite right.

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Down on Earth, Inko, Nina (who was watching the speech on her phone) and Rayet are enjoying R&R, and Inaho seems to be on Inko’s mind.

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Up in orbit, Count Saazbaum (also not dead!) welcomes Sir Slaine back aboard and praises him for his prowess in battle. We’re also introduced to the frail Princess Lemrina, who is clearly the one posing as Princess Asseylum in those videos.

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When Martian Count Yacoym launches an assault against UEF headquarters, the girls are recalled. Inko is weary, but Rayet assures her, they “don’t have time do die.” In fact, as they form up to defend their base, Rayet seems to have replaced Inaho as the calm, cool squad leader. But neither she nor Inko can get close to Yacoym’s Kat, “Frozen Elysium”, because it freezes solid all enemy kats that come near him, along with the pilots inside.

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Things are about to go bad when Inaho surprises both girls by coming up from behind them in Orange and taking control of the situation. At this point, come-from-behind wins are his specialty, and he’s got it down to a science, using his new bionic eye to analyze all of the variables needed to determine the proper way of taking Yacoym out.

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Inaho still has that insufferable Martian arrogance and overconfidence aiding him, as he times his shots to his advance until he’s in point-blank-range, and it’s bang, Game Over. Slaine may have been badly wounded by that kat crash, but in a year and a half he seems to be back on top of his game.

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It seems to have been many months since Inko and Rayet have seen Inaho, so their reunion is appropriately warm and touching, even though Inaho is as stiff as a board. Inko’s joy and relief are palpable, while even Rayet cracks a joke about how Inaho’s people skills have improved since they last met.

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As for what happened after episode 12 went dark, Slaine chooses Vers and escapes with Saazbaum and Asseylum, while Inaho’s sister finds him and brings him to the bridge of the powerless Deucalion. He needs surgery, but there’s no way to get him there. But then, when Inko’s tears mix with Asseylum’s spattered blood on his face and runs into his mouth, his body suddenly glows with the light of Aldnoah, and the core starts back up, saving everyone. Jeez, even while passed out Inaho even manages to come through big when it counts.

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Back in the present, Inaho, Inko and Rayet catch another one of Asseylum’s sketchy broadcasts, and in a nice callback to the time Inaho corrected Asseylum on why the sky was blue, the Princess on air makes the same mistake a second time. If I were Inaho, that could be enough to suspect the girl they’re watching is not the real Asseylum.

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That fact is confirms when the broadcast is over and Saazbaum and Slaine thank Princess Lemrina for her help. Slaine then pays a visit to the real Asseylum, who is floating in a stasis tube surprisingly, not naked. I wonder if she’s in there because they can’t fully save her, or if she’s there for security’s sake?

In any case, I’m not dwelling on the somewhat irritating fact A/Z couldn’t wrap up in one cour, and chose not to kill anyone important off. There’s still a lot of Martians holding territory on Terran soil, and Saazbaum was just one victory, and a costly one. Earth will need a lot more of them to turn the war around, and I’m looking forward to watching Inaho, Inko, and Rayet achieve them.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

26 thoughts on “Aldnoah.Zero – 13”

  1. For the record, I predicted:

    1. no one would be dead, not even the villains [correct]

    2. that Inaho would be in a coma for months but revive to lead the fight as he did before [sorta/princess seems to be the one in the coma]

    3. that Inaho would be granted the power of Aldnoah by the princess and get a martian Kat of his own [sorta/accidental ability gain, no Kat yet unless you could the Battleship]

  2. hmmm..i cant quite put my finger on it but this premiere really bugged me. Why does is tthis ep’s writing much weaker than any ep in season 1?

    1. because we’ve seen most of the formula before?

      And if you carry any frustration from the last season’s ending, the reveal feels hand wavy and convenient. In fact, its obvious that everything turned out ‘okay’ more or less as soon as we see the girls. They as much as say Inaho is coming back right there, in pronouns, while they sun bathe. That makes the next 10 minutes waiting for him feel like the show’s wasting our time with a non-surprise.

      At least we learn Slade’s reason for betrayal (he wants to save the princess and grind the rest of the martian society into dust via the count’s original plan, maybe) …but that may also annoy you since that reason still comes off as a flaky, pompous, 180ing just like it did at the end of last season.

  3. Like Hannah said, it’s not worth being annoyed at this show for being so cheap about the carry over. Ultimately, it’s the ending episode of season one that deserves that hate. Even Slade’s non-sensical betrayal and dumb-as-bricks villain status is a fault of last season and should not matter now.

    That said, we should hold this episode’s own faults, as an episode against it. So the pronoun game it played leading up to Inaho’s obvious reveal, the tidy defeat of the Kat via A/Z episode formula, and some of the now tired side character banter deserve mention. (CO making fun of the XO’s dating skills, high school girl not wearing her uniform because it isn’t cute, etc)

    Not enough to drag it down to a 7 by any means and, like all the shows with strong presentation values and long term mysteries (what will happen to the princess?) it’s worth following for a few episodes.

    Still, I can’t honestly say this was the strongest opening… even if it was good enough and ultimately the one I was expecting.

    1. evrything you said about why this ep absolutely bugged me is spot on, but the cherry on the top is when fake asseylum just randomly mentioned the explanation for why the sky is blue in her “we will exterminate earthlings speech”. That felt soooo forced; it came out of now where, there was no flow to the dialogue. It sticks out so much because you know the writers just put that line in so that inaho could suspect that the princess is fake. The execution was so sloppy that i couldnt help but just shake my head in dismay. And then some guy comments about wind in space…ok guy

      1. Technically, there’s still a bit of wind (though not much) at around 70,000 feet, or “near space.” However, I assumed they were talking about solar wind.

    1. Slaine is but one small part of this episode. Inko had more to say and do, frankly, which was a good thing.

      I’d hardly call the rest a “trainwreck.” Sure it did some narrative gymnastics to get to where we are now, but now that we’re there, it should be fine.

      On that note, however, neither Zane or I even feel like hate-watching Gundam G anymore!

      1. I dropped Gundam G by episode 3 (or was it 4). Can’t really remember. Don’t
        really care much. It’s still in my “to watch” column, but only now with a caveat:

        “Tis the season to binge watch with egg nog….. LOTS of egg nog”

      2. The weirdest thing happened. At the beginning of Gundam G, everyone would stare at me like I was crazy while I was shrieking under my desk to make it stop. To be fair, I was the only reviewer to watch 90+ hours of classic Gundam over the summer and Gundam G is nothing if not pure-classic-Gundam, but still! I thought everyone could see why it was so horrible without that background.

        Then, when Zane picked it up from Hannah, (and hannah stopped screaming about how terrible the show was) the weirdness began: Zane just took screen caps of the weirdest, most nonsensical moments of the show and it was all so funny now. Sure, he cut like 90% of the show in the process, giving it an unfair and unearned sense of humor, but the humor was there!

        So I send a challenge to the fans of Gundam: make a fan-cut of Gundam G, with as little context and content as you can, and make it funny. There’s a brilliant parody of sexist, nonsensical 80s culture hidden in there waiting to be unlocked!

  4. Aldnoah really has shaky writing all around. I mean seriously what was with the sun bathing scene near the start? Way to reduce all tension and seriousness built up from the end of last season.

    I didn’t like the way Inaho survived either. I mean he was SHOT through the head! I like Inaho and his hyper-logical fighting terminator fighting style, but I wished for a more plausible explanation than “Slaine’s bullet JUST so happened to pass through in such a way that all of the important bits in Inaho’s brain weren’t damaged!”. Sure it’s POSSIBLE but just… not very plausible. I was hoping for something like Inaho was a cyborg all along! Or another such twist that would explain his emotionless state of mind and unreasonably skilled piloting ability.

    Oh well I’ll keep watching Aldnoah for the mecha battles and good music. It’s got that much going for it at least. Aldnoah’s weakest points seem to be writing and characters.

  5. At this point it’s all about the inertia.

    It’s the “How will Inaho pwn the next bit of Martian Arrogance”

    On that score, this episode didn’t let me down in the slightest.

    From the did-they-really-mean-to-do-that-thar dept: Inaho made that point about Reyleigh scattering back to Asseylum before the train-wreck that was episode 12. Anyone who has been paying attention should know that he’s already picked up on the fakery. It was the whole point of that scene.

    Here’s to next episode. It’s always fun watching writers try to dig themselves out of their own graves.

    I’ve been on the other side of this equation too many times.

    Misery loves company.

    1. Last season I commented that Inaho’s correction of Asseylum was the first unofficial instance of Inaho and Slaine ‘butting heads’, albeit indirectly, because it was Slaine, Asseylum’s tutor on all things Earth, who taught her the wrong information.

      I imagine that Fake Asseylum got the info from Slaine as well, and because Inaho never corrected Slaine directly, it’s a mistake he’d make again.

      For those who’d say Slaine probably wouldn’t have any input in a propaganda speech, than it’s simply a matter of Slaine and Fake Asseylum learning the wrong info from the same source,

      In any case, of all the writers’ contortions this week, I actually didn’t mind this one.

      1. Yeah that was a solid call and possibly AZ’s subtlest plot element.

        There was a short scene towards the middle of ep13 where the princess says ‘please teach me about earth again’ or something that I think foreshadows the ‘we’re going to have the same events happen again’ too but I’d have to rewatch it.

  6. That whole “again” thing worries me.

    Here’s some random princess we have who: was never mentioned in the first series; has Eddelrittuo as her serving girl; is imitating Asseylym (who we saw _shot in the head_ at the end of the first series); yet who is awfully familiar with Slaine, who has done the most curious 180 in anime history, it may as well be a 1260 (count the full spins there, and let me know if I’m _understating_…. I dare you).

    If it hadn’t been for the last scene I would be wondering if there might be a bad case of “resurrection by proxy” and “bad character retconning” in our future. Even so, there may be repeated-headdesk-foreshadowing because the way the plot resolved itself from Episode 12 is so full of holes, it’s like riding the worst roller coaster in the world…. without a seatbelt.

    OK. So I’m a plot-twist adrenaline junkie, and that totally sounds like a reason I might stick around for the answers.

    I might need a liquid medicine injection by episode 15.

    Franklin: any suggestions?

    1. You mean for Booze that pairs well with Aldnoah? uh… I either have a glass of table wine next to my desk (left over from dinner) if I’m watching in the evenings or a low ball of Rye or Bourbon with a splash of orange if it’s on the weekend? My brand of choice is Blleit ( http://www.bulleit.com/ ) for taste-per-dollar-spent.

      1. (Google+ is being a ‘tard, again)

        Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll definitely look into it. For now, I’m thinking White Russians. It goes with the Egg Nog I’m planning for Gundam G.

        Of course, that’s a lot of milk to down in one weekend, so maybe I won’t do them at the same time.

    2. I guess I tend to have a coffee-stout or oyster-stout on mondays… sometimes a saison style or cottage ale. Depends what’s on tap at the tavern?

  7. After the first season I lowered my expectations significantly, but I think the show is still worth watching, if only to see how it turns out.

    1. agreed. i think most of the frustration with A/Z is that we all wanted more from it — expected more from it. At the end of the day, it’s decent, if not the show everyone was hoping for.

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