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.”

Boy, I’m not wasting any time here. That Spacenoid knight bit it hard! I was wondering in the previous episode why they never considered going on the attack, but it looks like I just needed to give Inaho time.  He exposes those knights on an embarrassing level.  This time, the knight just got exposed as one of those enemies in Mega Man games, where if you catch them from behind, they’re toast.  I’m sure someone will say this is simplistic, but I’m enjoying this hard pseudo-science stuff.  I like that there’s a seemingly valid explanation for tactics and weaknesses.  I’ve spent way too many years suffering through plot armor to complain about this.

I was questioning for just a moment whether Inaho and Slaine meeting and cooperating, or the reveal of the new “White Base” for the show along with the reveal of Princess Asseylum’s identity was the big moment.  And it’s definitely the reveal.  The repercussions to this are huge!  The princess is exposed to so many people right now!  But on the other hand, the fact that that ship is flying right now is proof of her identity!  You would think that this would immediately be enough to stop the fighting, but there’s more problems and issues at hand.  The main problem is the wide spread electronic interference actively happening on the planet now.  Then there’s Saazbaum’s ever present attempts at making sure she and Slaine are dead.  He seems to be the most influential knight in the empire.  No doubt, he’ll not only have the other knights, but assassins as well stalking them.  But for now, it’s pretty cool to see that we won’t just outright be seeing the Terrans get massacred because of inferior equipment and ignorance.

It’s a bit jarring though to see a show that before had only flirted with so many of these standard Gundam and overall mecha tropes, and then to just see the show’s Gundam and White Base appear in one episode.  I feel like I’ve already seen the show’s Kira, Athrun and Lacus Clyne up to this point.  Hell, I’d venture to say that a few more senior characters from Gundam SEED have counterparts here, too.  Captain Rommius and Mu la Flaga are in here, too.  It really does feel as though the purpose of this show is to do a “better” Gundam.  It’s like they looked at shows like Turn A and SEED and maybe even Code Geass, and said they could do it better.  It’s all set itself up so well for that point.  And I honestly want that to be the case.  I want them to take the very same elements and tropes and see if they can do better.  Many times this has been attempted and failed miserably, but when it’s done right, the show becomes a legend in its genre.

Focusing more on the individual episode and not the show, it was a very cool moment seeing Slaine and Inaho meet up.  Inaho is an intimidating, hard core soldier at heart.  Slaine may have talents and passions of his own, but Inaho is just an inexplicable void, lacking in naivety or hesitation.  And over the episodes, I’ve gone from being a big hater of him as a character, to someone who is learning to respect his alpha dog presence in this show.  His meeting with Slaine exposed that more than ever.

It’s also important to note that Slaine still hasn’t actually reunited with his princess, yet.  And he’s utterly confused as to how to treat Inaho.  While Inaho seems to openly distrust Slaine, the main reason likely being that he probably suspects him of having something to do with her attempted murders, and even if that’s not true, he’s still technically an enemy combatant.  It’s hard for me to imagine the two of them not having animosity towards each other.

Overall, I’m just having a lot of fun watching this show.  It’s not too goofy, and surprisingly dark, brutal and to the point at times.

Further Reading:

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…

Aldnoah Zero ep5: put all his stats into leadership, none into charisma

I’m actually conflicted on whether I want to like this show or not. But I may not get a chance. I think this show is going to show itself to be so charismatic and appeal that I just can’t help but give my body over to it. Yes, I realize how that sounds. But you may be like me in realizing that this show is a rising star as well. Read more…

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