Aldnoah Zero ep2 (so this is a fair fight how?)
There’s already tons of negative feedback building up around this show. And I’m part of that. Still I refuse to judge a show on who is directing, or on one episode if I like the concept enough. There’s far too little about this that I know, so I don’t think it’s fair just to shove it into the bin of dropped series. I have to live with the fact that if I gave Valvrave a chance and gained entertainment from that stupid show, then I can give a few other series that fair treatment as well.
My opinion on the first episode was just my opinion as someone who has seen tons of anime, and especially alot of mecha anime dealing with war. The set up for the first episode wasn’t very interesting. And the story looks like it’s going to be ripe with tons of racism. Something I don’t enjoy seeing in any series. But that was then, and this is now. Episode one is in the past, and if I’m going to take anything away from that first episode with me, it’s that the show is going to be violent and have great animation. And for me, that’s what truly counts.
And I said all of that with a straight face. I’m American. I like violent media. What do you expect?
Begin episode two… and people are dead! A lot of people are dead! It seems the spacenoids have some impressive technology on their side. That was evident before, but the beginning of the war really makes the difference in technology clear. There isn’t a ton to be said here. It’s a massacre! Whatever the spacenoids received when they got to Mars, it pushed their technology to levels you see in far space TV series. They have no issue defending and attacking with minimal effort. It takes minutes for most major communication on Earth to be disabled or jammed. The military is just swatted away like bugs. And because of those titanic space castles that dropped from orbit, the whole invasion looks like an alien attack. I was greatly reminded of scenes from Independence Day the movie, and the first couple of episodes of the Justice League TV series. I actually liked it. It seemed like a well thought out invasion strategy, at least this beginning phase.
The Earth side of the invasion is just looking violent and dire. With communications severed, they just die alone and quickly. And it seems that no one can even fathom how they are to fight machines that refuse to take any damage. I want to complain about how the soldiers just keep firing away without much of any strategy, but this is the first time they appear to have encountered the technology. For the civilians, it’s evacuation time and we get to Inaho get b*tched out by his older sister in the military for not evacuating.
I swear, every time I see him in a scene, there’s some strange disconnect he shows from the rest of the world. At times, he seems to have his wits about him, but it’s only when crazy and dangerous sh*t happens. The fact that he stuck around in his house when there’s clearly a mass evacuation order being sent out throughout the city is bemusing to me. I guess it was the best the writers for the show could do to explain how he’s only one who happens to wander across the clearly not dead spacenoid princess, Asseylum. Man, that encounter was weird, too. I guess I could understand Asseylum being extremely cautious given all the propaganda she’s been fed, the fact that as far as she knows the Earthlings tried to murder her, and she’s almost completely alone in a foreign land. But Inaho’s lack of reaction to anything to brings even that scene down. God I wish the show would put some effort into explaining why he’s this bland, emotionless blob of a personality. The angry and annoying kid who can’t follow orders is a bad enough mecha stereotype, but this one, the complete opposite, is the one that really breaks my patience.
Not knowing the treasure that he’s uncovered, he helps the princess to a transport with some of his schoolmates and other evacuees as they try to make their way to the ferry. This is when we’re given our poor little tortured friend Slaine again to add to the narrative. One of the junior nobels is sent down to Earth to retrieve some intel (the people involved in the assassination attempt). Man, the racism in this show is already thick and prevalent, but this dude loves laying it into Slaine. Even as the Earth fighter jets are mercilessly slaughtered, this Trillram dude can’t seem to get enough of that easy winning. Once Slaine drops off his fat ass mech on the surface, he meets up with the conspirators and promptly kills them. Because they know too much of course, and he’s obviously in with the hawkish nobles who started this whole war in the first place. The problem is that he didn’t kill the head conspirator’s daughter who was just a few feet away when they got wiped from existence. This is when Inaho’s sister and the squad she’s with see Trillram chasing the girl and go to her rescue, of course not knowing that she had a hand in starting this whole war.
I won’t get too far into the politics of the squad since
- They’ll all likely be dead soon.
- No one cares.
But Sgt. Marito, the shell shocked dude who is always drinking and is never happy with how the world hasn’t fully taken the spacenoid threat seriously, takes it upon himself to do something smart about the situation instead of just firing away like a DUMBASS at the machines that can’t be hurt. They end up saving the girl, but most of the squad is dead, with just Inoha’s sister left to take the girl away to safety. The best she can do however, is shove the little girl off onto the transport when they run into her. Crazy crap happens, this synopsis is getting too long – blah blah blah-! Long story short, one of the kids dies trying to be heroic and help save Inoha’s sister. Inoha has virtually no reaction to horrible, yet somewhat cool death. And Sgt. Marito is alive and tells the students to act as a distraction for the civilian ferry so it can escape. It’s a really dumb idea in my opinion, but the kids are practically conscripted soldiers already trained in war. And the series won’t matter much if the hero(es) just scurry away for most of the show (I’m looking at you in judgemental fashion Gundam SEED).
End of episode.
And I liked it! F*ck! I actually liked it! It wasn’t full of stupid moments, and it didn’t bore me. That’s a hard thing to get sometimes, and it isn’t even a lot to ask. Slaine is still a non- factor who doesn’t feel substantial in anyway. Inoha is an emotionless anchor that is holding this show down. And the way the writers write the way the military handles this situation is somewhat baffling and annoying to me, but it doesn’t cripple my enjoyment at all. I liked seeing the various spacenoid mechs display their cool abilities as they “Dynasty Warriors” their way through the battle field. The animation is just lovely… aside from the sh*tty CG that most anime seems to want to employ now. And overall it really feels like a high quality, high stakes, fleshed out series. I enjoy how even though you get characters in some scenes that are clearly going to die soon, they don’t give them the sh*ttiest stock character designs they can think of. I enjoyed how the episode really felt global, and even the boredom and emotionless demeanor of the nobles/knights piloting their unstoppable mechs makes for an interesting touch. And I especially love some of the cool technology deployed in this episode. Trillram’s mech used its shield technology in an interesting and offensive way, using it not only to destroy anything that attacked it, but using that ability to actually erase matter from existence. It hits home that each one of these machines isn’t just super technology, but a super battleship all to itself. They have fighting power of nukes wiping out whatever they please, as they please.
Perhaps the thing I’m most excited about is that there’s no guarantee of a super mech on the Earth side just yet. And for the most part, the spacenoids are doing their damage with these lone super mechs. It gives the feeling that as we see each of these nobles do their damage on Earth, we’re getting a peek at a boss character, like you would in a video game. Each one of these characters holds possibility of being its own memorable battle.
Going forward, I’d really like them to work on explaining or at least clarifying certain issues. I don’t quite understand what happened when humanity discovered the hypergate in 1972. Did they travel through time, did they just discover super alien technology? I need clarification behind this rift. I also need a little more clarification as to how Earth stopped the invasion 15 years ago, and why it looks like they can’t do sh*t now? What strategy was used? Did they have some weapon before that they have trouble using now? It honestly looks like the only thing holding spacenoids back now, are a few powerful pacifists and hope. And both of those things seem completely useless now. Either way, episode three is one I’m looking forward to watching.