Aldnoah Zero Thread

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monster
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by monster » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:02 pm

Amion wrote:This episode was quite the mixed bag of lack-luster and sheer excellence. That scene with the Emperor (glad his seiyuu got one last great performance) in particular.

I just find myself shaking my head at Asseylum. So basically, she fell in love with a walking textbook from Earth and decides to side with his planet so she can be with him. I'm not surprised, but it's annoying all the same to see her prattling on about useless conflict simply because it gets in the way of her reasonable but selfish personal life.

Asseylum has revoked everything that should mean anything to her as a Versian princess. And while that part of the speech "I regret the use of this power that wasn't meant for us" bit was awesome and profound, it's the only bit of profundity in her whole logic, assuming she has any going on right now.

Essay inbound:
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First: Cruhteo said it best: exactly what's to prove she's the real princess? Slaine has all the cards still: Lemrina if she's willing, plus the necklace that proves who's princess and who's not. Second: Emperor isn't dead and yet she's blatantly succeeding him. Not beyond her reasonable power or position regarding his critical condition, no. But the Orbital Knights showed in last season that they don't care. Why listen when they have an excuse not to? Are we going to retcon the whole idea of them conspiring to murder her? I doubt Saazubaum was the only one doing this, not to mention the commoners like Harklight who obviously want liberation from their tyrannical leaders.

Ignoring the Knights' decisions as alterable, her ideals have no substance for the future to make me cheer for her. Sure the war's got a point! The people of Mars are in poverty and the Earth isn't fully recovered from Heaven's Fall, which they caused somehow. Slaine's idea is to take the Earth, ensure the people of Mars are free of their cruel caste system and also to eventually make Mars habitable while first restoring Earth with Aldnoah, fixing what his father probably caused. What will Asseylum's ceasefire accomplish by contrast? The Terrans will get to keep their planet under the token Corrupted Federation Government (It's a trope at this point!). The people of Mars go back to their caste system or at least still remain in a state of ecological distress.

If she thinks they're all going to go to Earth and be welcomed back no problems then she's in for a reality check. Remember the girl who strangled you, Princess! She was technically Versian too! But since she thinks herself Terran she felt no compunction about trying to kill you! There are whole armies on Earth out there willing to buy into that kind of hurt thinking!

It would have been nice, at least, if Slaine hadn't been given the role of what amounts to liberator and instead was given a true villain's role. But he's done nothing that counts for war crimes thus far. His only moral sin being to lie to Lemrina about her sister's recovery is petty and technically wrong, but hardly a case of "he's an evil man who lusts for senseless violence so we gots to stop him and spread peace!" Some viewers may not like him, but others like me do. He's suffered, he's grown, he's developed and come up with a solution. Why shouldn't I be rooting for Slaine? Option two is Inaho and his lovestruck Hime-sama. They want Slaine to seem like a nasty person, so why not just have him order the mass slaughter of civilians this episode? Because he's not evil, and instead gave direct orders to engage the military units like he's expected to do.

As it stands, Asseylum has no real reason to fault Slaine for continuing the Emperor's will as well as the best interests of both worlds (in the long run) other than love. It's a pity. It's a shame. And while it's consistent with the story and isn't shamelessly putting her opinion on a Lacus pedestal of Sanctimony, its still infuriating to watch the only man who's ever given us a gameplan have it ruined by his spurned lover who's got the hots for a dictionary with a robot eye that's better at expressing affection than he ever will be by himself.

At least I got my Tharsis in all its controversial beauty, as well as the awesome backstory and Aldnoah special affects.
But hey, at the end of the day it's all cool. After all, the alternate original ending is that Asseylum and Inaho die tragically. :twisted:
You're reading too much into it. Asseylum is not doing this out of a personal love for one person (and no, painting him as a walking textbook doesn't invalidate him as a potential lover, should that be her choice). She's doing it because she recognizes Earth's right to self-governance and the possibility of coexistence between the two people. Is it the harder path to take? Maybe, but that alone doesn't disqualify it. Even Slaine's vision of a united people doesn't guarantee anything.

And regarding Saazbaum's conspiracy to kill her, it may or may not be him alone, but it definitely wasn't widespread among the counts. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been so secretive about it.

As for Slaine's growth, I'll comment on it when I see it. So far, he's just trading one extreme for another. First, it was simply to protect Asseylum, now it's to make a world fitting for Asseylum, regardless if she even wants that world. His entire reason for being has always been and so far continues to be for Asseylum.

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LightningCount
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by LightningCount » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:09 pm

Ep.23 and more:
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Amion, you made a lot of good points. Here's how I see it: Once Slaine wasn't allowed to join the Deucalion after Episode 7, and the very fact that Inaho shot him down to prevent that out of suspicion rather than a greater ulterior plot motive, it shifted the entire character arcs for both of the "leads" into what we see now. For better or for worse, this was confirmed by the conclusion of Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2. It guaranteed that this series, character-wise, would largely be about the development of Slaine over anyone else. And, since they went that route, they've done a good job with it, even if it's not the focus I would have preferred. Like Wellman, ultimately, I think that the presentation of the world and its battles have been the strongest element of this series; the intrigue of it all getting a runner-up status; meanwhile the characters, outside of Slaine perhaps, probably come up a bit short in one area or another when taken as a whole...

I don't find Slaine consistently compelling, personally, but I do find him to be well-written. Yes, he still is working for Asseylum in many respects, but his "agency" and "perceptions" as a person have continued to evolve. I'm actually glad that the ending is shaping up to be possibly more than a Slaine/Inaho duel, though. I had thought Cruhteo Jr. would put a monkey wrench in things last episode, and was disappointed how small his role was. But, once he and the princess had there meeting moment at the end of 22, I sort of figured she might make him her husband to change things up, so 23 made up for 22 somewhat.

Episode 23 was better than 22, but still a mixed bag. I, too, liked the Emperor scene. I wish he would have given me a full Dr. Troyard reveal! That's the very least I'm expecting now from the finale. I need to know about Dr. Troyard! And...if Count Keteratesse makes a miraculous appearance on Earth, that would be a very nice bonus. I think the two princesses thing has not been adequately revealed to the Orbital Knights, so there is especially no reason for them to listen to the pirate broadcast, IMO. As for the necklace, I think that Inaho may have the more important one in proving the true princess, right? Anyway, best-case scenario is that the Oribital Knights do their thing in Ep.24.

...Well, it's been an entertaining ride. Some parts better than others. But I don't see how the central conflict is going to be resolved in one more episode. Amion, like you said, Earth and Mars need one another, but the Earth government has not shown itself to be an open-armed organization, and Mars has too many factions to let things go without a struggle...

I'm surprised that Marito and Magbaredge didn't have a "farewell" moment like him and the doc, by the way. I do agree that some character development was done right in this series (I almost think S1 was more attentive to this than S2, minus Slaine in S2); but on the whole, I just think it was too uneven and narrow, which hampered the entire production. If you were going to have such an intimate main cast, they had to meet more developed people along the way--good and bad--and there had to be consistent development in the handful of leads from those interactions. (EDIT: As small as Count Mazuurek's role is, he is a perfect example of my point. He did a decent amount to the narrative in terms of bringing out developmental value from Inaho, Rayet, and even Inko and Marito to some extent; far more, and more genuinely, than those characters had in S2 by speaking amongst themselves [with no new blood].) Even so, broadly speaking, to get so much out of 24 episodes was notable, and this series still stands out a good deal from others in recent memory.
Last edited by LightningCount on Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by monster » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:15 pm

LightningCount wrote:Yes, he still is working for Asseylum in many respects, but his "agency" and "perceptions" as a person have continued to evolve.
In what way?

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LightningCount
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by LightningCount » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:24 pm

monster wrote:
LightningCount wrote:Yes, he still is working for Asseylum in many respects, but his "agency" and "perceptions" as a person have continued to evolve.
In what way?
Without writing an essay, I am basically saying that he has evolved from a helpless, scrambling man-servant in love with few rights and no vision to a count with authority and an active revisionist view of the future that neither Asseylum nor the Oribital Knights pictured.

In case it was missed, I just wanted to highlight a last-minute edit I made in my previous post, which emphasized what I was talking about with regard to how the main cast, as intimate as it was set up to be, could have benefited from a broader scope of colorful characters, good and bad, Terrans and Martians: "As small as Count Mazuurek's role is, he is a perfect example of my point. He did a decent amount to the narrative in terms of bringing out developmental value from Inaho, Rayet, and even Inko and Marito to some extent; far more, and more genuinely, than those characters had in S2 by speaking amongst themselves [with no new blood]."
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by monster » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:32 pm

LightningCount wrote:Without writing an essay, I am basically saying that he has evolved from a helpless, scrambling man-servant in love with few rights and no vision to a count with authority and an active revisionist view of the future that neither Asseylum nor the Oribital Knights pictured.
Oh, ok, I think in that case, the more accurate description would be that they have changed. To say that they have continued to evolve is in my opinion implying something else, more of an ongoing process. I think, instead, it cannot be denied that there was a definite change (although I wouldn't say growth yet) in Slaine's character throughout season 1. What we are seeing in this current season is the fruit of that change.
In case it was missed, I just wanted to highlight a last-minute edit I made in my previous post, which emphasized what I was talking about with regard to how the main cast, as intimate as it was set up to be, could have benefited from a broader scope of colorful characters, good and bad, Terrans and Martians: "As small as Count Mazuurek's role is, he is a perfect example of my point. He did a decent amount to the narrative in terms of bringing out developmental value from Inaho, Rayet, and even Inko and Marito to some extent; far more, and more genuinely, than those characters had in S2 by speaking amongst themselves [with no new blood]."
Yeah, I think I can see the value in that, although it depends really.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by LightningCount » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:12 pm

monster wrote:
LightningCount wrote:Without writing an essay, I am basically saying that he has evolved from a helpless, scrambling man-servant in love with few rights and no vision to a count with authority and an active revisionist view of the future that neither Asseylum nor the Oribital Knights pictured.
Oh, ok, I think in that case, the more accurate description would be that they have changed. To say that they have continued to evolve is in my opinion implying something else, more of an ongoing process. I think, instead, it cannot be denied that there was a definite change (although I wouldn't say growth yet) in Slaine's character throughout season 1. What we are seeing in this current season is the fruit of that change.
In case it was missed, I just wanted to highlight a last-minute edit I made in my previous post, which emphasized what I was talking about with regard to how the main cast, as intimate as it was set up to be, could have benefited from a broader scope of colorful characters, good and bad, Terrans and Martians: "As small as Count Mazuurek's role is, he is a perfect example of my point. He did a decent amount to the narrative in terms of bringing out developmental value from Inaho, Rayet, and even Inko and Marito to some extent; far more, and more genuinely, than those characters had in S2 by speaking amongst themselves [with no new blood]."
Yeah, I think I can see the value in that, although it depends really.
[/size]

[Hmm. I ended up writing an essay in the end, anyway. :oops: Though, it's more so about the plot's potential directions than Slaine himself...]

Well, "evolve" may have been too strong a term. But it is a definite change and development. The old Slaine would have never thought he could lead not only a revolution, but a reformation of human society. He has a much broader viewpoint than "protect Princess Asseylum" now, and I'm not sure he's so attached to Asseylum at this point that he wouldn't give her up altogether if it meant creating a world with a theoretically better sense of justice. Comparing to other series, Lelouch was ready for revenge and/or revolution right from the start, he just needed the power to fall into his hands; Slaine, on the other hand, didn't figure he could change things at the start, and he was especially frantic and scared when he tried to take action, even up to the end of S1. At least, that's how I see it.

I think for him to have had a different, more unconventional track of development, again, he would've required more rounded interactions with the Deucalion in Season 1. As it is, going into S2, he's only known the cruelty and scheming of the Counts and their caste system, as well as the rivalry of the Earth force members over the love he feels Asseylum should have given him because of all his unseen efforts and suffering.

Now, I don't know if anyone else had this impression, but I'm going to just elaborate a little on what I thought Season 1 was leading us to, and why I still have some inherent disappointment on some things. I was basically head over heels with this series through Episode 7. But when Inaho talked to Slaine before shooting him down in Ep.7, it made me feel one of three things, or a combination of them, were about to happen that would widen things up rather than bottle-necking them: 1.) Inaho is a book-smart schemer himself who sees Asseylum's power and knowledge with the Deucalion as a logical way to end the threat of the Orbital Knight oppression for good (and therefore he's not going to let Slaine snatch her away and/or diffuse the war), or 2.) Inaho is a trained sleeper agent for either the Earth Forces military or another Orbital Knight Count who wants to change the order of Mars/Earth relations in a way similar to what Slaine is doing now (but more clandestinely), or 3.) Slaine would be taken aboard the Deucalion as a prisoner and/or ally, setting off a new set of dynamics among the main cast with his knowledge of the attempted assassination and Martian happenings. In some of those types of scenarios, it's even more possible for Slaine to come out as the hero and Inaho the villain, flipping things around.

When none of these three things happened...and we were then led quickly into a hard reset with Season 2's opening, it was a bucket of cold water on the characters and plot for me. I expected these aforementioned theoretical intrigues with the characters would then lead/culminate to a broader exploration of the situations/leadership of both sides, and ultimately to a big Gundam X "DOME"-type moment regarding the secrets of Aldnoah and the collapse of the gate on the moon. But, as things were set into motion near the end of S1, I don't think they left enough breathing room for the characters to really spread their wings and explore a very interesting world.

As a very minor example, I think Lt. Marito's lack of presence and/or importance following a long character arc in S1 regarding his PTSD, knowledge of the original war featuring Heaven's Fall, and his relationship/conflict with the Magbaredge family seemed to be a largely dropped and underutilized thread. At the very least, one would have expected him to add something to Inaho's development given his experiences with war, and his earlier role as an instructor.

Going back a tad, at least they didn't pick my unmentioned theory #4, which was based on rumors I heard stating Slaine would be brainwashed into an Asseylum assassin after Episode 7. That would have been worse, I think.

Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot of things I like about this series, and they've navigated a number of plot points under a tight schedule more competently and admirably than some similar productions, but I think the things I liked most were not things chosen as focal points in the end. I can't help but see a lot of untapped potential where I let expectations get ahead of me again. But then, we'll see how the finale reshapes things.
Last edited by LightningCount on Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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monster
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by monster » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:42 pm

LightningCount wrote:Well, "evolve" may have been too strong a term. But it is a definite change and development. The old Slaine would have never thought he could lead not only a revolution, but a reformation of human society. He has a much broader viewpoint than "protect Princess Asseylum" now, and I'm not sure he's so attached to Asseylum at this point that he wouldn't give her up altogether if it meant creating a world with a theoretically better sense of justice. Comparing to other series, Lelouch was ready for revenge and/or revolution right from the start, he just needed the power to fall into his hands; Slaine, on the other hand, didn't figure he could change things at the start, and he was especially frantic and scared when he tried to take action, even up to the end of S1. At least, that's how I see it.
To clarify, the reason why I wouldn't use the "continued to evolve" phrase (with emphasis on continued rather than evolve) is that everything that Slaine is doing in this season was established in season 1. The most obvious is of course wanting Asseylum to live a safe life, which had been a part of his character since the beginning of the story. The other, newer aspects are the "liberation" of the common people in Mars and the dislike over those in power in Mars (and Earth as well). Even leading the revolution/reformation of society was already hinted at when he stopped from killing Saazbaum in episode 12 and presumably took the guy with him. Essentially, all we are seeing in this season is the execution of Slaine's newfound "agency and perception," to use your terms, that he obtained by the end of episode 12.

Now, the rest of your post is an interesting read, but I just have a short comment on a small part of it.
As a very minor example, I think Lt. Marito's lack of presence and/or importance following a long character arc in S1 regarding his PTSD, knowledge of the original war featuring Heaven's Fall, and his relationship/conflict with the Magbaredge family seemed to be a largely dropped and underutilized thread. At the very least, one would have expected him to add something to Inaho's development given his experiences with war, and his earlier role as an instructor.
I think Marito certainly could've had more of an on-screen influence on Inaho, but instead, if there was any influence, it was apparently mostly done off screen, perhaps during the time skip. That said, I actually didn't think his relationship with the Captain needed further exploration than what was already shown. I'm glad that they kept that part short and simple.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by LightningCount » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:38 pm

monster wrote:
LightningCount wrote:Well, "evolve" may have been too strong a term. But it is a definite change and development. The old Slaine would have never thought he could lead not only a revolution, but a reformation of human society. He has a much broader viewpoint than "protect Princess Asseylum" now, and I'm not sure he's so attached to Asseylum at this point that he wouldn't give her up altogether if it meant creating a world with a theoretically better sense of justice. Comparing to other series, Lelouch was ready for revenge and/or revolution right from the start, he just needed the power to fall into his hands; Slaine, on the other hand, didn't figure he could change things at the start, and he was especially frantic and scared when he tried to take action, even up to the end of S1. At least, that's how I see it.
To clarify, the reason why I wouldn't use the "continued to evolve" phrase (with emphasis on continued rather than evolve) is that everything that Slaine is doing in this season was established in season 1. The most obvious is of course wanting Asseylum to live a safe life, which had been a part of his character since the beginning of the story. The other, newer aspects are the "liberation" of the common people in Mars and the dislike over those in power in Mars (and Earth as well). Even leading the revolution/reformation of society was already hinted at when he stopped from killing Saazbaum in episode 12 and presumably took the guy with him. Essentially, all we are seeing in this season is the execution of Slaine's newfound "agency and perception," to use your terms, that he obtained by the end of episode 12.

Now, the rest of your post is an interesting read, but I just have a short comment on a small part of it.
As a very minor example, I think Lt. Marito's lack of presence and/or importance following a long character arc in S1 regarding his PTSD, knowledge of the original war featuring Heaven's Fall, and his relationship/conflict with the Magbaredge family seemed to be a largely dropped and underutilized thread. At the very least, one would have expected him to add something to Inaho's development given his experiences with war, and his earlier role as an instructor.
I think Marito certainly could've had more of an on-screen influence on Inaho, but instead, if there was any influence, it was apparently mostly done off screen, perhaps during the time skip. That said, I actually didn't think his relationship with the Captain needed further exploration than what was already shown. I'm glad that they kept that part short and simple.
[/size]

Monster, I see your point about Slaine, and I largely agree. You are correct, except I'm not certain Slaine was willing to abandon Asseylum when S2 started, and I think he's moved into that place in his mind now. That might be a continued evolution. And also, it's worth noting that we only know this entire evolution is a reactionary result of S1 in hindsight, since S2 is what establishes that he saved Saazbaum and plotted to take his place. (If he hadn't turned on Saazbaum during the first few episodes of S2, I think all of us would have been really stymied, however.)

So, honestly, given that they didn't choose the three other theoretical plot thread possibilities I noted in my previous post, I think they wrote the "cause and effect" of Slaine just fine, and his reactionary arc in S2 (alongside Lemrina) has been the primary thing holding the plot together, really. It's just that I did not personally wish for that to be the main focus of the plot, since the world setup has so many interesting topics in it. With Marito, small of a point as it was, I just thought that he and Magbaredge would have at least been more of co-partners in leadership by now given how S1 ended, trying to work between the lines over the narrow-minded government leaders given their own tragic experiences. There have been moments; but he often seems at the fringe of everything--even more than her. The both of them seem more like plot accessories at this point, compared to where they were in S1, which were living, breathing characters, IMO. The mentor relationship we both mentioned with Inaho could have maybe happened in-between seasons, but it's not clear to me, because it seemed like Marito was doing his own thing. That mid-season shift has a lot of gray areas, especially with the Orbital Landing Castles and the under-explored development behind Inaho's robot eye. The side-story manga might help some of those elements, but anime-wise, those are more things that just pop up now as I think and make me a little bit disappointed.

Regardless, I'm curious, what would you, personally, like to have seen in Slaine at this point? It sounds like there is something you have in mind for his development.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by monster » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:06 pm

LightningCount wrote:I'm not certain Slaine was willing to abandon Asseylum when S2 started
Actually, I would point to the fact that Slaine made an effort to save Saazbaum even when he has already stated his intention to kill Asseylum. That said, I would also point out that Slaine has not exactly abandoned Asseylum. Instead, what he has done is put Asseylum into a bigger picture. He still sees Asseylum's wellbeing as a priority, but not necessarily her every desire.
Regardless, I'm curious, what would you, personally, like to have seen in Slaine at this point? It sounds like there is something you have in mind for his development.
Honestly, I don't think I tend to have any specific expectation of how a story/character develops. For all of my criticisms of Slaine, I'm not actually saying that he's necessarily deficient in his development. I mean, sure, I would've liked to see him try more to becoming an ally of Earth in season 1, but that's more a criticism of his actions rather than an expectation of how his character should have developed.

And on that note:
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I don't tend to approach fictional stories as a story critic, but rather simply as a consumer of stories. So in that respect, I usually just let the writer tells his/her own story the way he/she wants. All I ask is that I can be immersed in the story.

Because of that, I also don't analyze a character in terms of whether or not he/she is a well-written character, especially in terms of development. Instead, I just view them as people and give my judgment of them that way.

Of course, one could say that a well-written character (whatever that may mean) may feel more alive or personable or whatever other good thing a character should have, but considering the many charges of Mary Sue/Gary Stu/one-dimensional/caricature/etc. toward characters that I can actually see as people and still be interested in their stories, it doesn't really make me put too much value in whether or not a character is said to be well-written (again, whatever that may mean), especially on the internet.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Lord Dearche » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:26 pm

Well it's over. And seems like a sequel is confirmed already.

I won't spoil anything but Princess Ass-ylum was the worst character in the show. She didn't change one bit during the entire show. She learned nothing about the real world, the conflicts happening, the people around her, or the suffering people of Vers. She was a one trick pony for the entire show. And is actually the REAL mary sue, not Nao.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by teslashark » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:29 pm

Seconded.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Lord Dearche » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:48 pm

THe episode itself was great however. I never gave to ****s about Slaine, but when
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Harklight, and the squad decided to return to him, that part was great. And then even the Count that was with them, eventually doing the same was also great. You can tell that the new series will most likey be Vers vs Vers.
Also the music cues were fantastic inthis final episode. Especially the call back to "Keep on Keeping on" during the Noa vs Slaine segment.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by teslashark » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:05 pm

About the princess, in this show innocent really means unaccpuntable.
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Lord Dearche » Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:19 pm

One thing that's really pissing me off about all this though. Is that Season 2, and especially the final episode hat a lot of great new BGMs over Season ones soundtrack. But the OST 2 that came out had none of them. It's just mostly all a bunch of crappy piano peices that all sound that same, and I don't even think 80% of the OST itself was even in the damn show.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Wellman » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:36 pm

Much better ending then I thought they would manage to do with such a short time, the final fight wasn't the knock down drag out cage match I wanted but it was good and that last exchange on the beach personally would have made for a much better ending but what we got wasn't so bad either.

Overall a very enjoyable mecha show that thankfully didn't go off the deep end one way or the other at the end.

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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Amion » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:55 am

Well, that was a terrible ending. Only good thing was they actually gave Slaine good emotional artwork for a couple panels. Nice to see their ability to draw emotion improved over time.

We are indeed in for an S3? If they don't make it a good 24-26 episode run so we end up with around 50 episodes like there should be, I'm calling foul. Assuming we get one.

The first thing to be done is murder Asseylum. :twisted: Wait, that's been tried before... :P Oh well, at least I now have someone I actually hate more than Saint Lacus and Friends. The Traitor Empress, Asseylum Rem Vers. :(
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by LightningCount » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:28 pm

Interesting notes I found on another site:

1.) The Terran Mikagi family protagonists from the Aldnoah.Zero manga side-story, "Twin Gemini," appear in the crowd watching the princess at the end. (But we all know the real question is did Count Keteratesse survive? :wink:)

2.) There is a countdown on the Aldnoah.Zero website. Currently around 6:50 as I write this. When it hits 0:00...will it be an OVA/Movie/Season announcement?

All right, with that out of the way, A/Z S2 finale...(Safe to say, there will be spoilers)
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Given the way the plot progressed in Season 2, I felt this was a competent and acceptable "ending." It does not do the series' overall potential a lot of favors, but it at least seemed to close off the overbearing Inaho/Slaine rivalry.

There were some good thematic elements, like the shooting star kids from S1 returning to usher in the end of the war, just as they ushered in its beginning. Also, Slaine pointing to his head like Saazbaum for Inaho to exact judgment was a nice touch. The idea of blowing up the moonbase was a welcome early bait-and-switch I didn't expect, and I appreciated it. Then, seeing Harklight and Count Barouhcruz work together in the end was a little more compelling than I ever expected, and the mecha combat in space was really fantastic, even though it bordered on emotionally hollow for the Earth characters. (Of note here: even if any had died, it wouldn't have had much purpose/impact given how they were handled in S2, especially its latter episodes.) I really felt most of the characters from Earth were just there to let Slaine and Inaho have their fight, which was a troubling symptom of S2 I mentioned before.

Nevertheless, that fight was better than I thought it'd be, and I found Slaine's emotions to be rather compelling under the circumstances the narrative did manage to achieve. I liked how they were playing chess at the end, too. (You know, as a total aside, I have to also give credit for this series' use of CG in this respect: I have this personal, somewhat vague impression that the CG they are using is not necessarily on the same level as the kind being used in stuff like Fafner Exodus and Argevollen; and yet, they largely made it work to the point where it didn't distract as much as it could have. Kudos deserved.)

As was basically stated by Amion, the way faces and wind-blown hair were animated and framed in this episode at points were very emotionally charged. I was surprised the epilogue wasn't longer when they cut away from the action so early. (The extra time was instead used for extended credits.) I am extremely curious what XO Kaoru Mizusaki was looking at askance with such interest during the princess' speech. Was she looking at Marito, or someone off camera? Or thinking that Inaho wasn't present? I'm totally puzzled! Speaking of which, still disappointed a bit that Magbaredge and Marito weren't given a quiet moment at the end of some sort...even just a professional acknowledgment of one another.

Probably the biggest missing piece from S2's ending is Lemrina, who was not given any true closure, really. Also, I am curious how money from Earth will solve Mars' population/environmental problems. That statement didn't add up to me. One wonders why a few Orbital Knights didn't carry out some attack or another against the Earth, regardless of the princess (though, I know they left that open-ended). And, in the end, I guess I also wonder about Dr. Troyard. But the way he was handled in dialogue recently, it's like he was never intended to be anything more than a plot device, so I'd sort of given up the expectation that anything would really happen to enlighten me on him or Heavens Fall. Though, as I continue to write this, I can't help but feel they played this ending very safe in many regards.

Since the concepts/arcs of this franchise have been sort of stretched thin by the decisions made in S2 (which I detailed in a previous post), I don't know that it has tons left in the tank if it chooses to continue onward and focus on the cast of characters we've known. I think all the negative talk about Inaho is blown out of proportion sometimes in the grand scheme of anime, but since he didn't have any major twist in either his personal background or the development of his analytical engine, it seems he could only be a placeholder for tough-guy protagonist going forward, which I'm not crazy about. I want to give a shout out here to MAHQ member monster for his last response post, just wanting to say that your approach to watching the show is totally legitimate, so no worries. I was just curious when I asked, and everyone has their own viewing angle.

So, in the end...I'm still mixed about this series as a whole. I'm not as happy as I was with it in the early going, and I'm definitely not free of disappointment by any means, but I don't loathe it or feel it totally collapsed. It did lose a lot of its sharp teeth, but I felt it ended up navigating its second half smoother than, say, Gundam 00, which also had a huge sea change in its run in terms of world and character usage. I do not understand the talk online about how awful this series is compared to other contemporaries, though. It has its flaws, as most things do, and it didn't live up to its fullest potential, but it's still very notable for its world setup, tactical battle scenarios, diverse mechanical design, and sense of intrigue, standing out in the crowd. I have a feeling I'll want to collect at least some of it, depending on how it gets released.

I'm being superfluous, but the biggest shortcoming for me was just the uneven and ultimately bottle-necked usage and development of the cast of characters, and how they were connected to/interacted with their wider world. I want to highlight "uneven," though, because there were points in the series where they genuinely let the characters and world breathe; but too many opportunities for these characters to continue advancing and exploring their world were cut short for me, and I do not know that the timing is logical enough now to have those things fully capitalized on in sequels.

Anyway, credit to this series for making me care enough to analyze it to this level, because not just any show can evoke this kind of reaction from me. And of all the recent mecha anime, this one started out fairly low in my expectations.

If and until we know more about this franchise, I'll look forward to seeing more of Fafner Exodus and Argevollen; however, I'll likely be getting through the rest of Majestic Prince first.
EDIT: Wait a sec...what does the show's title mean? "Aldnoah.Zero"?
My Mecha/Scifi Novels: https://www.goodreads.com/series/168677 ... -war-arm-x
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Most-Wanted Gundam Anime: Episode Zero, Blue Destiny, Rise from the Ashes, Crossbone

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Wellman
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Wellman » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:17 pm

I honest was hoping we'd get an answer to that (my thoughts were that it would be the origin of the Aldnoah powers or maybe some destroy all solution that shuts down all the drives), but I guess adding zero to the end was just another way to make it sound cool.

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Amion
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Amion » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:04 pm

All I know is the Japanese seem to really love the word Zero. They named their plains after it. They named one of the most beloved Gundams after it. They named its system after it. They named several mecha in Gundam after it period, like Moebius Zero from SEED. They named a revolutionary prince :wink: after it. They named a Fate prequel after it. They named Aldnoah after it.

These are a few of what I'm sure are many, many examples of the term Zero. It's an...odd but harmless observation. I like the times they use it, to me it's just good naming convention flavor. But sometimes it does make one wonder. Why?

And I was waiting on your review, Count. :wink: Glad you agree about the facial expressions. For me I was very satisfied and overjoyed to see the expressions so well done. When the story began last year my biggest criticism was the poor expression of emotion for the characters. It was very satisfying on a personal level to see that criticism taken by the show and finally conquered.

The question now is: is there going to be a S3? Or not...?
They don't know the power of a balanced vision.

Mythgarr
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Re: Aldnoah Zero Thread

Post by Mythgarr » Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:08 pm

Lord Dearche wrote:Well it's over. And seems like a sequel is confirmed already.
This collection of logical fallacies got sequel and G-Reco didn't?
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