Aldnoah Zero Thread

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Xenosynth
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Xenosynth » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:18 pm

Random, but the computer in the mech displays selections from this document of all things during episode 5.

I dunno why but I have a sort of hobby of freeze framing English text and looking it up on google. Sometimes the sources are so strange and obscure I have to wonder how/why they found that particular document to copy-paste from, especially when the site isn't referenced anywhere else on the net.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Compass » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:28 pm

Monaco is the default but leaves screen turds.
O_O
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Ryujin » Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:26 am

Wow, I didn't expect Slaine to make a move & then get countered immediately.
Compass wrote:The conclusion of the fight made me laugh. I've found the weakness of Martian cataphracts.
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Water. Any amount of it.
It makes sense, given the lack of it on the Martian surface. :lol:

Seriously though, I was only expecting #2 to be disabled by that move, and not turned into pieces of scrap.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by FieryBlitz » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:52 pm

Just got through episode 3, and I have to say, I love how the characters have to use tactics to take down the "Pillbug". Forget the leap of logic you guys mentioned, I'm just glad this isn't another anime where everything has everyone charging in headfirst without a plan.

Love the machines used by the "Terrans", too. I feel like somebody is trying to bring back the "Real Robot" feel 08th MS Team was well known for. Excluding the super robot-like elements of the Martian Kataphracts, anyway.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that if this ever gets into Super Robot Wars with Martian Successor Nadesico, that "Pillbug" Kataphract is as good as dead. Seriously, those Distortion Fields screw up barriers, and I doubt the royal snobs are an exception.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Compass » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:26 pm

This episode ramped up on so many levels. Slaine hype!
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Raikoh » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:53 pm

I wanted to be optimistic. I really did, but we've officially hit the midway point and I just have so many issues with Aldnoah. As per usual, I'll keep them to a spoiler tag, since I get the feeling I'm going to be going off for a while. Skip this if you don't want my bad vibes (though I like to call them "critiques").
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So, where to start? I suppose that the elephant in the room that are the "combat" scenes is better addressed sooner rather than later. I put "combat" in quotation marks because it's combat in name only. The mechanics are wildly inconsistent, to the point where plot armor is the only thing preventing major characters from dropping like flies in every encounter. Not to mention that anything that involves our main characters is unashamedly a curb stomp in their favor, in some of the worst examples of "Boring Invincible Hero". We're supposed to think of the Martian Kataphrakts as "so much more awesome than the Earth machines, and so they're nearly unstoppable," but the way it's displayed just spits in the face of "show, don't tell."

One of the most egregious examples of horrendous continuity when it comes to the Kataphrakt power is in the very latest episode: the rocket punches crush the Earth machines like paper cups, but then when it lands a direct hit on one with a named character inside it, it just knocks it over. Doesn't even damage it to the point where it becomes unusable. It just staggers it. The worst is when a Martian Kataphrakt, designed for melee combat (and only melee combat), is inferior in terms of raw power and agility to a training Earth machine, that's when I throw up my hands and just give in. Their "superiority" only comes in terms of one gimmick per machine, which they didn't even have the foresight of putting on multiple models. Say what you will, "Oh, they're lost technology so Vers couldn't have replicated their gimmicks," but that doesn't say much for the original "Martian intelligence" that created them.

Now, then, I'm not even done complaining about the mecha elements, because I need to point out that Inaho is being built up as the "planning" type, but that relies entirely on the "competence ball" being tossed to him. Every assumption he makes is correct (including "I can overpower a Martian Kat with my trainer" - yes, I literally just brought that up but it bears repeating) regardless of how sensible or senseless it is. But what's worse is that nobody in the entire Earth military seems to understand even basic tactics, just so that they can be the grunts that are mowed down with no effort to show off the enemy machine. It isn't even like Inaho's assumptions are smart ones, either. He makes wild guesses that he's lucky to be always right on, to the point where the only explanation is "plot armor." Just to illustrate how bad this gets, let me recap the plan in the third episode. For convenience's sake, I will put every assumption, case of pure plot convenience, or horrendously bad mechanical design in bold: they just so happen to be correct when guessing that the Pillbug can't see, and it just so happens to choose to go around half-blind rather than, I don't know, shutting the shield off over its external cameras for a little bit? Then, when they knock it off the bridge, it just so happens that the exact area where its barrier is not functioning is at the exact level where the water ends, and so they knife it. Where it just so happens that, in the absolute worst forethought in the history of mechanical design, the one weak point is the area that, when punctured with a tiny knife, would cause the machine to completely shut down... After about twenty seconds, where the machine doesn't budge an inch instead of... I don't know... Hitting him? Somewhere, William of Ockham is weeping.

The characters are a mess, and that isn't to say that there's nothing there (although you can sum up pretty much every character in less than two sentences - less than five words for some... I think I could get some of them down to even two words... "Smug Knight"). On the contrary, there's way too much. There are so many characters and the show seems to want to dance around with having at least two characters sharing the "main character" spot, about a dozen side characters, and each episode introducing on average I'd estimate about three new characters. This causes any characterization or development to be spread so thin if you put it in a sandwich it would essentially be bread. It's been half the series. Marito, for example, has been doing the same thing since episode one. His character arc is more like a character line that may have some payoff eventually, but in that case it'll end up just being a cubic function and this is where my metaphors are starting to fall apart. And while we're on it, how did he survive after episode 2? I saw him charge the Kat and legitimately thought he was dead meat, but then "j/k nope."

I don't even know most of the character's names even though they say them quite a bit, since none of them are leaving enough of an impression. Every character has worn their thesis like a name tag, and not being able to actually focus on them makes each one just feel like an archetype rather than an actual character. It's a bit sad when you can predict the direction a character's going to take (people calling out the Princess on being just "Lacus" and being spot-on, the obvious prediction that Slaine was going to defect, or my own catching on to the obvious foreshadowing that ruffled-brown hair girl is a spy that could probably be more blatant, but I'm not sure how). Now, I've watched other 12 episode anime that have had loads of characters and managed to pull off their characterization... Well, better than this. Example: Recently, I saw "Girls & Panzer", and while it's safe to assume that you can ignore most of the characters outside of the main characters (i.e. the five in the main tank, the Student Council trio, and the commanders of the enemy units), they put effort into giving everyone a little bit of flavor. This is because, to the directors, it was a labor of love and they wanted to live by the "show, don't tell" rule - which worked wonders, since it makes the cast more lively (and makes it easier to manage a massive one) when they're allowed to bounce off of one another to show their characterization and development (Rabbits in the final battle, man). You might say it's going off on a tangent, but it's using an example to illustrate how the writing and direction haven't been doing anything for the characters.

Doesn't help that Inaho is a complete cipher and ends up a horrendous protagonist. There's nothing wrong with a stoic main character on paper. The important thing about stoic characters, however, is that they aren't emotionless, they're just reserved. There's a difference. Chirico, Sousuke, and Setsuna all are joked about being as emotive as rocks, but those are just jokes. They get sad, they get happy, things can surprise them, and they freaking respond when someone close to them is injured or dies, not just stare at them with the same expression you'd stare at a glass of milk you're pouring.

Maybe if they had 24+ episodes to actually develop some stuff, the plot could be more solid, but they're juggling no fewer than four storylines. You might want to say, "Eh, it's a Super Robot show, just shut up and stop thinking so hard." Well, the only reason I'm thinking so hard is because the presentation seems to want the audience to think and analyze... Even though when they do, the results aren't pretty.
In short, it all seems like they most definitely bit off more than they could chew. They tried to make something "bigger than Gundam" (look it up, they actually said that was the goal), but they tripped, stumbled, and fell flat on their face with ludicrously bad choices in the series composition, script, and direction. It's just going through the motions of a mecha series without any real meat to it. Probably more absurd in that it's been hyped to hell and back when it's no better than Argevollen (I'd say it's a bit less enjoyable since at least Argevollen isn't nearly as ambitious, and has twice as many episodes to work with so it might still surprise me).

If I can squeeze out a six paragraph essay in one sitting with multiple digressions (and I probably could say more, but my mind's blanking at this point) about why it doesn't work... And we're only at the halfway point... Well, I'm quite frankly shocked.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Xenosynth » Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:29 am

Erm, I can't really find a way to respond to all that. In terms of me really enjoying that... none of those issues have really come up for me naturally. I've watched every episode as it comes about 3 times over and always have fun. I mean, when I read your critique, I can't necessarily object to it. But maybe I just... I dunno. I don't care for those things. I'm having fun with the series watching it. That's all that matters to me.

And... blah. Like I said earlier, this is why I feel dumb. I can read smart critique and for me, in my head, it does make sense... but it's something that to me just doesn't care if I can watch and have fun and find things interesting and somewhat believable. Maybe I have too high of a threshold for suspension of disbelief. But for me, the series has been interesting and fun. I like how it has some allusions, and you can always notice things that they are setting up on rewatch/notice new things. I think the mecha fights have been really fun to watch and some of the better mecha CG with flat animation I've seen. The idea of supers vs reals like that appeals to me. The music is really appealing to me. The characters have all hit the intended goal I imagine with my feelings on them (I like most everyone, and dislike a lot of the arrogance displayed by the martians.) I'm digging the alternate history scenario.

I just... guess I'm not finding anything in this series any more contrived than any other mecha series I've watched and enjoyed (Gundam, SRW The Inspector, Votoms, etc). I've seen a few forums where people complain about certain physics (Like being able to see the pillbug when the shield atomizes everything, not considering that it could be some kind of hologram given that when it turns on the shield we see it block out the light), when they'll be more forgiving in other series.

I mean, I don't think I'm swept up by the hype train (Given I just found out about it online and thought it looked interesting) but given that I've seen a few really heavy critiques like this, I feel like it's wrong that I like it I guess, if people can consistently post multi-paragraph critiques on why it's bad. But I mean, I've seen people be more forgiving with other shows that have way more contrived elements, so that's where my sort of conflict comes in.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by FieryBlitz » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:08 am

Just ignore Raikoh. He's trying to copy-cat an internet critic known as "TheSpoonyOne". Frankly, he's a one-trick-pony that only knows to be hateful. Kind of a poor-man's impersonation of the 2nd Meijin from Gundam Build Fighters, even.

Anyway, before I end up causing a much unwanted flame war, allow me to say that Aldnoah.Zero is, by no means, a show that should be taken seriously.

I'll give them points for wanting to make a show bigger than Gundam, but that's a goal doomed to failure. The Gundam franchise is simply too big, backed up by how much it's had an impact on Japan's culture.

Still, that doesn't mean the show itself is terrible. I find this one a good way to pass an afternoon.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by EZero8 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:12 am

As far as I'm concerned, I still find it entertaining even with its obvious flaws. For something I stumbled upon while browsing on Hulu, it's done a decent enough job if I'm still tuning in at this point.

Those expecting a masterpiece were bound to be disappointed.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Amion » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:25 pm

I'm enjoying the series so far. I came on here hearing bad things and thus tossed all grand expectations to the wind. In return I've gotten a pleasant surprise. The fight scenes are entertaining and tense, regardless if the plot gimmicks are required for characters to win. I for one am very, very, very pleased and almost excited that the characters' mecha are underpowered. I mean, since when did the MC get a trainer as their current main mecha? That's bound to change, but I have to give this show guts for that as I've never seen it before. It's always a standard mecha or a super duper Gundam/Gundam stand-in.

As for the characters, they're surprising me more with each episode. At first they appear bland, but I'm almost convinced part of that is the bland facials, not personalities. Sure the artwork is flawed there, but the characters are starting to come through that hurtle.

If anything it is a good way to pass an afternoon, as EZero8 put it, and should be taken as such.

That said...anyone else want to make mention of the Martian fists being treated to Inaho's Water Factor? :D Betcha those arms that fell into the sea won't be coming back. :D If they keep this consistent, I'd be really and truly impressed. :D
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by FieryBlitz » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:15 pm

Amion wrote:If anything it is a good way to pass an afternoon, as EZero8 put it, and should be taken as such.
B... But... I was the one who said it's a good way to pass an afternoon... *cries in the corner*

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Xenosynth » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:36 am

Counterpoints to a few complaints (Mostly the Rocket Punch/Plot Armor):
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On rewatch, to address Raikoh's complaint about the fists.

The first unit is hit by the bladed parts on the upper portion of the knuckles, and hit on a particularly small area, so knocking the legs off + position of the rocket punch doesn't really make that entirely implausible to me. The second is destroyed from a knuckle coming down rocketting from the sky, and again, when we see it pull out, it's the bladed protruding upper knuckle that caused it to pierce through. The third that is destroyed by the fist is from two of them rocketing into it on each side, and even that doesn't flatten the upper torso (the picture there is right before it is fully destroyed, the very last frame). The main character that is hit by it isn't destroyed because 1. The structural integrity of it is probably a bit more stable because it was leaning on another machine and 2. We see it activate thrusters away from it, so it's not being as pushed along by the fist. Only the solid portion of the knuckle has hit the machine, the upper, bladed area didn't hit it, and it's not hitting the unit dead center, and on an angled surface no less.

So to me at least, using the animation as a guide, this all seems perfectly fine to me.

And his earlier complaint about feeling too derivative of AGE, that feels to me a bit too broad (Given that the Martians in both are pretty different from one another, both tech and logic-wise). That's like saying Alien is too derivative of It: The Terror from Beyond Space (Space creature terrorizes crew of everymen/women). You may as well say both are derivative of Mars Attacks! or War of the Worlds. For me, I kinda like Mars being back 'in.'

I do apologize for the long counterpost. I don't have any problem with you not liking it (since liking something is a personal thing), I just felt that some of the things you presented as negatives weren't really 100% objectively correct.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Amion » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:13 am

FieryBlitz wrote:
Amion wrote:If anything it is a good way to pass an afternoon, as EZero8 put it, and should be taken as such.
B... But... I was the one who said it's a good way to pass an afternoon... *cries in the corner*
*Gapes in shame* Jinkes.

Sorry, Blitz. I wasn't paying attention. *facepalms*
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Ryujin » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:53 pm

So...going back to the last few seconds of the episode, is that a pair of Martian Kataphract legs that I see peeping out from the stern of Slaine's sky carrier?

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Amion » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:55 am

Ryujin wrote:So...going back to the last few seconds of the episode, is that a pair of Martian Kataphract legs that I see peeping out from the stern of Slaine's sky carrier?
I was thinking that I saw one when he prepped to escape from the castle. But I'm not sure and didn't go back to check. It would make sense that somebody on Earth gets a weapon on even technological terms with those martians. Wanna bet it has Gundam esthetics? The classic cameras on the trainer seem to do it wonders of good, after all. :D
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Compass » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:23 pm

I went ahead and checked for you.

http://i.imgur.com/G0IG2zm.png (ep 2)

It appears that the "leg-like" things serve to carry a cataphract's feet when they are carrying one (notice the thrusters are very low)

http://i.imgur.com/mdEH81H.png (ep 5)

This image is right after Sir Vlad's cataphract is dropped. Notice that the "boot" things towards the back are folded flat to let it slide out.

http://i.imgur.com/ntjevDz.png (ep 6)

This is of Slaine's current Sky Carrier, with the foot-rests flush with the vehicle.

So, sorry, Inaho. Unless Princess Seylum can literally create a Cataphract out of thin air, it looks like we're going to be seeing a lot of Trainer Unit 02.

WHICH IS FINE BY ME.

Also, speaking of which, the Cataphract platoons of this carrier seem to enjoy launching alone.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Compass » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Well, this episode seemed to break my mind quite a bit.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by zetatype » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:13 pm

Compass wrote:Well, this episode seemed to break my mind quite a bit.
Yeah...gotta say i did not see THAT coming.

And it seems that not matter what side Slaine is on the show just can't pass up a chance to smack him around.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Destiny_Gundam » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:49 am

How Slaine was dodging his question was sure to raise some flags. Just because he helped you doesn't mean he wasn't putting on an act to gain your trust so Inaho was right to not trust him.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by zetatype » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:29 am

Destiny_Gundam wrote:How Slaine was dodging his question was sure to raise some flags. Just because he helped you doesn't mean he wasn't putting on an act to gain your trust so Inaho was right to not trust him.
Agreed, it also probably didn't help that he turned his guns on Inaho at the end there.

Still, I cant help but feel sorry for the guy even if it was his fault he got shot down this time. We are only seven episodes in and I feel that the poor sap has been smacked around (literally and figuratively) more than a teenager in a gundam series.

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