Home > Check-in Station > Check-in Station: Aldnoah Zero ep1 (grow a personality)

Check-in Station: Aldnoah Zero ep1 (grow a personality)

Oh f*ck me!  Another military mecha show?  I already watched one of those this season!  Please Aldnoah Zero!  Show me that you have some personality or uniqueness!  I’m not even going to fathom watching more than one bland, uninspired mecha at a time.  If so, you better plop down that Gundam name on the desk.

Okay!  I went into this show completely ignorant, and I did my best to be open-minded.  And I completely understand that this is only the first episode of a series that can run from twelve to twenty five or more episodes.  But I just plain didn’t find anything to be excited about.  I’m getting kinda scared guys!  Have I watched so much mecha that I’m just uninspired by the whole genre now?  This is the third mecha series in a row where I’ve looked at the material and gone, “nope!”  I’m sorry, but I just watched this show and it was kinda like a painting by numbers.  Once you saw the connections, there was no where else to go.

I saw the space racism coming:  there are clearly two different “races” of humanity, and I get a very snoody, high-borne Zeon vibe from the people in space.  While the people on the ground seem to begrudge those that ruined their cities and took so many lives, the people “of Mars” seem to just look down on humanity like they’re monkeys with sticks.  Illogical, irradically violent and uncivilized.  There is one boy who is of Earth decent (which is stupid because every human is from and of Earth), and though he seems to have good responsibilities and respect, he’s just openly abused and looked down upon at the first possible chance.  It’s too early to think or wonder about this, but I wonder if he (the name is Slaine) is going to be the Uncle Tom of this series?

I saw the attack on the diplomat coming.  From the moment she said she was taking a diplomatic mission to Earth, and everyone started hinting at how dangerous it would be, I knew she was in trouble.  And I highly suspect that the attack was orchestrated by her own people.  All these damned pompous jerks smirking and sauntering about, clearly itching for their chance at combat again.  It reminded me of a similar situation in Gundam Wing, where the parties involved just saw peace as an annoying obstacle in the way of their goals.

I don’t particularly find the characters involved in any form on any side interesting at the moment.  While in Argevollen I had to deal with the annoying, hot-headed lead pilot who couldn’t follow orders and was naive to the point of praying towards the Gundam gods for a Bright Slap; in this show, the character who looks like he’ll become the lead reminds me a little too much of Heero Yuy and Setsuna F. Seiei.  He doesn’t have nearly enough personality, and I fear having another show where I have to see a character wrestle through a show with his humanity (re: lack of personality).  Good grief!  Learn from other genres like shounen, shoujo, fantasy and so forth.  You give me a good character I can latch onto, and I’ll sit through the worst of shows.  You give me a show with awesome mech designs, I may watch, or I may just wait for the figures or model kits to come out and just get those instead.

I sincerely hope this show doesn’t focus too much on being grand and pompous with a giant cast of a-holes.  G0ing into the next episode, you better wow me and set this yourself up for success Aldnoah Zero.  I’m demanding some awesome mecha designs and even better fights.  And some goddamn character to this show.  I got enough exposition to fill up a few chapters of a book.  Set things up after you’ve given me a reason to care.  When it comes to mecha, I don’t need to understand more than I need to be entertained.  Michael Bay a few episodes you f*ckers!

As almost an aside; I did think there were some interesting moments and people in this show.  This Lt. Marito, a guy who can’t stop drinking – even on the job makes a very good point in one scene where he points out how they’re feeding their young students lies and propoganda constantly, and he’s worried about the kind of people they’ll become.  Evidenced by one of his teenagers, it’s already taken on bad effects, or maybe he’s already seen through the garbage his adult superiors are trying to feed him?  Then there’s the female diplomat who sees all the hatred being radiated towards the boy of “terran” descent , says in very pragmatic fashion that they shouldn’t people who come from the very same roots as the rest of them up in space.  She shoots down the racism so nicely and with such a smooth tone.  It’s easy to see why she’d make a good diplomat.  And while I thought very early into the episode that I’d hate her, her personality did quickly grow on me.  Now as long as she doesn’t utter any of that pacifist crap that I hate addressing in war shows, then I think she’ll be alright with me.

Finally, I think something poetic could be pulled from this, and it very well could be the ultimate aim of this show: seeing a piece of humanity to rise above the rest, only to not be allowed to return to Earth.  I think it’s an irony well worth exploring…

Further Reading:

  • Valvrave!  It was dumb as a box of rocks covered in cement and tied to a tree, but at least it was unique and entertaining.
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