Aldnoah Zero ep8 : no one is safe – nowhere

September 2, 2014 Leave a comment

I need this show to do me a favor.  Don’t ever dip below the quality of this episode for a moment.  It’s gliding on the thin line between getting away with too many coincidences and sloppy set-ups, and getting called out for them.  I dare say it’s flirting with a harem.  But for now, I’d say that this show has had a spectacular beginning that makes me want to go back and judge it against some of the classics.

The show is good enough to show us a little of the pivotal moments that lead up to episode seven’s spectacular ending.  And with Princess Asseylum’s decision to help the Earthlings, it puts everything on tilt.  Much of the actions being perpetrated in this show up until this point were based on the assumption or lie that she was dead, with only a handful of people in the story knowing the truth.  The episode does a good job of pointing out just how dangerous it is for everyone that is currently on the ship.  It’s not just the firepower, it’s the beacon that will draw all sorts of problems to everyone on board.  Clearly a Spacenoid has to be piloting or helping for this famous ship to fly.  And with that info, and the doubts about Princess Asseylum’s mortality starting to rise, it’s only a matter of time before we get assassins.

I did find it a bit awkward how those who did know of Princess Asseylum didn’t freak out too much when meeting her.  I thought for sure there’d be more hate with all the death surrounding her, but I guess a pretty face really does solve all problems here.  It was much more amusing to see Inaho just flat out tell his superiors that he had no intention of telling them about her true identity.  I can’t tell if that moment was intentionally amusing or not.  Inaho is just a straight up dick at times, and there’s never any repercussions for it.  It’s like everyone is so taken aback by how blunt, harsh and emotionless he can be at all times, it leaves little room for a rebuttal.

I can’t really avoid speaking about Slaine’s torture.  Halfway through everything that was happening, I knew for sure that I there was no redeeming the Spacenoids.  Aside from Slaine and Asseylum, I couldn’t find a single redeeming personality amongst that group.  Plus from the very beginning I had a high level of disgust for them just based on their actions and attitudes.  They were doing everything in their power to perfectly represent what I hated most about the ignorant elite.  I thought Count Cruhteo could be a redeemable character early on, but seeing the torture and how he spouted his heartless dogma about making the inferior Terrans pay for Princess Asseylum’s death, I was fully down to see him die a painful death.  After all, up to this point he’d beaten and reprimanded Slaine with a harshness too coarse even for a dog.  And the torture scenes, which were generously peppered througout the episode just left the bitterest taste in my mouth.  By the time the lost ship with the Aldnoah drive had been discovered, and Cruhteo had enough information to figure out what Slaine had been doing, it was already way too late.

I’m sure this situation will only further spin out of control as Saazbaum and his fellow conspirators work harder and more viciously to cover their tracks and get their way.  After attempting to kill their own princess and murdering a fellow knight and other Spacenoids, it’s clear that there’s nothing they’re afraid to do.  No one’s safe yet, good guys or bad guys.  Spacenoid or Earthling.

Further Reading:

 

Aldnoah Zero ep7: the enemy of my enemy is just as dead as my enemy will be

I’ve heard this show be compared to many other things. But to me, it seems to be consistently doing something right. It’s consistently being entertaining and using its cast to its advantage. Despite my fear that I’m seeing too many familiar elements pop up, I see potential in this show. What this show says to me is, “I’ve seen what you can do, I can do it better.” Read more…

Zankyou no Terror ep5: may I join this game, too?

Episode 5, the moment things really get interesting. You had to wonder how long this dangerous and childish game would continue. And the answer is made abundantly clear. No more. In essence, Nine and Twelve are being told that they’re not as clever as they think, nor are they hidden.

The formula seemed to obvious for it to continue in this show. But it looks like that was the point all along. I could not figure out what Sphinx was trying to get at after all this time. But it seems they’re pointing their way towards extremely high level corruption in the Japanese government. And since Shibazaki has already made a name for himself (and ruined his career) by doing such damaging investigations, it seems only natural that they’d become allies. And that seems to have been the case all along. Shibazaki’s impassioned speech on national TV to Sphinx didn’t draw their ire, but their attention. A lot of hope is being rested on his shoulders to figure out the message they’re so carefully and dangerously trying to send.

The problem is that their attempts to get attention has done just that – gotten them a lot of attention. And it appears someone else has figured out what they’re trying to do. It’s impossible to deny it. Not when Sphinx’s efforts had been so clearly and precisely thwarted in this episode. Sphinx’s plan to set off the bombs with cell phone signals as detonators was completely block with a mass dosage of electrical cell signal jamming that affected all of Tokyo. Their attempts to find the train they’d placed the bomb upon were precisely stalled and rerouted. And they were directly contacted after the bomb went off. There’s plenty of evidence to show that the interfering party has power, skill and very good knowledge on what’s going down.

At this point, Lisa really does seem like an after thought in the story line.  I’d swear she was fulfilling the role of a mascot character or pet, adding little more than awkward moments, humour and pulling some emotion from the daring terrorists.  I still find myself questioning the worth and weight of her presence so far in the story.  I’m willing to continue overlooking it right now though, because I think the change of situation brought about by these new interlopers was a very good payoff for the set up so far in the show.  I’m very satisfied with what I’ve seen here.  And it makes me think that all the talent behind this show could produce something worthwhile – even memorable if the quality continues to improve like this.  The idea of having a young group of terrorists working together with an old, formerly crestfallen detective who once before was defeated by the corruption that they’re now seeking to vanquish is enough to get my manly blood boiling.  I see now that this is what I wanted more than the mystery that the show offered – Focus!  I want to have something to look forward to in this series.

Further Reading:

Tokyo Ghoul ep7: are you choosing to protect, or avenge?

If you want change, you have to act on it yourself.  I guess when it comes to survival, it makes sense that you can’t approach it like a 9-5 job. You can’t just leave work, let your hair out and plop down for a view of the game passively. You always have to take the proper steps to cover your tracks, watch your back and keep just enough proper tension to act.  It’s like being on-call, except there’s no pager to warn you of a call to action. It’s just a matter of being ready.  If life calls, you answer or it will be death there to meet your cries.

It is nothing but a tragedy what happened to Hinami. As I said previously, your world can’t be rocked any harder than having the pillars of your young life ripped away from you as an adolescent. But I couldn’t help but think what a colossal mistake Touka’s making by attempting to avenge Hinami’s mother’s death. She basically attempted a straight hit on the entire team involved. Not only did she fail to kill all of them, but she drew direct attention to their home ward by her actions. Given the circumstances we heard after the funeral for the one ghoul investigator who was murdered, it was beginning to look like they may not focus much longer on the 20th Ward because of Jason’s involvement in a different ward. Instead, she’s sparked what could end up being war with the ghoul investigators.

Ken has surprised me so far, not necessarily in his reactions and actions, but in my reaction to them. What I mean by that is that Ken is a pacifist (when he can help himself). At the moment, the most aggressive actions he’s taken have been nearly killing Nishio (done under a surprise blood lust), and in allowing Touka to eat a piece of him in order to protect everybody. Sure, he’s punched one or two dudes, but that’s all self defense or to defend someone else. And it’s pitiful violence compared to what we’ve seen from characters in this show, ghoul or human. Usually, I’m far more annoyed by pacifist characters in my shows, especially anime. But in most cases, that’s in regards to war. My personal feelings on other shows and characters aside, this is not a war story, not yet anyway. Ken is in his own naive, ignorant way going about trying to fix things in his makeshift home. And while his actions aren’t violent themselves, what he’s probably going to do is enable Touka to act out her violent and vengeful actions.

I’m interested in seeing how this turns out. This kinda thing tends to lend itself far more heavily towards catastrophe than anything good. The combination of volatile emotions, violence and haphazard planning usually get people in a lot of trouble and leads to much failure, in the real world and fiction; the exception generally being shounen battle anime/manga.

There are other intriguing angles that need to be explored further.  Amon is a very stoic and potentially forthright character.  He’s classic Japanese main character type who has a strong sense of justice and duty, distilled slightly by a hidden goofiness and awkwardness with his environment.  I also suspect that he may be some sort of priest, given the cross he usually wears.  But I don’t want to bet too much on that one piece of jewelry.  The Japanese have a “talent” for playing loose with Christian beliefs and actions in fiction.

Overall, a decent episode that pushes things forward in an important way.  Ken is now taking an active role in protecting the ghouls in the ward.  Though only time will tell if he’s helping or hurting.  And it appears that Amon may be being set up to be his rival.  The 20th ward may become far more of a hotspot in the future.  I just hope nobody loses sight of the fact that they’re supposed to be protecting, not seeking revenge.

Further Reading:

Aldnoah Zero ep6: good luck!

This show so far has had a talent for pulling out a good ending to its episodes. It’s as though the show has more of a cadence akin to a mystery show than an action one. Which is fine by me, because it keeps these shows interesting towards the end, and gives me plenty to think about in between episodes.

So it’s war now, full-on official war. Read more…

Tokyo Ghoul ep6: is there no bond in this show not formed through trauma?

I have to say that a show has accomplished something when it makes me care about monsters that generally massacre and devour humans. I’ve said before that I love the world of this show and its possibilities. This episode just goes one step further in showing why I’m loving this world so far, though I can’t say I’d ever want to live in it. Well played. Read more…

KILL LA KILL! ep20: bare-assed and angry

I have unfinished business to attend to. Before I can really move onto a full schedule of watching new anime, this must be complete. There’s no sense in playing around with a bunch of new unproven anime, when I still have just a few more episode of what may be a masterpiece in the end. The final stretch for KILL LA KILL. Read more…

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