Aldnoah Zero ep4: quick and satisfying
Damn that episode went by fast! I know the run time was completely normal, but the episode blew by! Perhaps this show is turning the corner in my eyes. And I don’t mean that in the sort of “turn off your brain and enjoy” kind of way either. I just sat down and enjoyed this without issue at all. I’m thinking that maybe I can have three shows this season I can watch and respect?
It was a pleasure to see that most of the military in this area wasn’t just a group of brain dead hot-heads, firing bullets into an abyss in hopes of getting lucky. There are strategy and tactics being employed here. And slowly we’re starting to see chinks in the Orbital Knights’ armor. Finally.
With the crew escaping the orbital bombardment by moments, we see the weight of the situation start to really wash over the survivors. There’s also the knowledge of Princess Asseylum’s presence alive, on Earth and next to them that some of the characters have to deal with. While Inaho seems perfectly comfortable protecting her, it’s understandable that Rayaet, the girl assassin that is the lone survivor of her group has no qualms about selling her out if the going gets tough. That’s a very differing opinion between the two people who have this knowledge. But for now at least, there is peace. I am still quite amazed that Princess Asseylum is so cavalier about revealing her identity to even a few. But at the moment, the situation is so muddled in the fog of war and politics that I guess I can’t blame her for forcing some level of clarity on her situation. She strikes me as the kind of woman that doesn’t care to deal with bullsh*t. Perhaps time will tell if she’s more than just a pretty faced figurehead. She’s headstrong, but with a good sense of ethics and justice. I’m simply amazed at how well she’s turned out amongst this sea of a-holes that spawned her. She’s damn near a mutation in comparison to the racist, hateful, close-minded nobles that serve her.
The constant retrograde continues however, as everyone makes it to a rear base for resupply and for the officers to get a better idea of the situation. It doesn’t take long for an orbital knight to show up though. And he makes quick work of a squad of mechs attempting to intercept him. And this is where Inaho impressed me. And I know what he did is the same basic concept as what he did last episode. But I still like it. There’s thought, planning, observation and skill involved in the way he and his friends stave off the orbital knight. Once again Inaho manages to break down the enemy mech’s seemingly invincible defense in the heat of battle. He’s able to damage the mech using the terrain. In the end, Inaho should have still died, but thankfully the navy managed to work its way around, and happens to have another capable female officer in command. It was a welcome and exciting sight to see the aircraft carrier apply Inaho’s same technique to force the orbital knight to retreat.
The episode ended with Slaine asking Count Cruhteo to let him take part in the offensive, in hopes that he can find the princess. Man, Slaine really barely fits into the story right now. With his main purpose being to give us a more natural look at how the spacenoids are doing things. I really want to see if he actually has a personality and some fighting skill and sense. And it looks like I won’t have to wait long to find out. On the opposite end, I want to believe that Cruhteo isn’t a completely horrible person, and that he has some sense. But it’s hard to try to have a fair view on the guy when he just beats Slaine for no real reason. Slaine just tells him that he wants to help, and he gets beat! I’m gonna have a real hard time sympathizing with the spacenoids on any level with this roster. If they don’t find someone I can care about soon, I’m just gonna start wishing they get nuked so we can end this story cleanly. And it’s going to take more than some naive, ignorant piece of royalty like Asseylum for me to care, too.
Like I said earlier, I’m slowly warming up to Inaho. At the very least, I can respect the way he uses his head and good sense to take down seemingly invincible and over-powering foes. On the other end, I ‘m starting to have serious doubts about this show actually conveying humanity in some of its main characters. At times, I wouldn’t be able to tell Inaho from a robot. While when I look at Slaine, I see more of a whipped pet than a human at this point. That’s not really his fault, but I can’t say I see humanity when I don’t see it either. I don’t need gods, or prophets or holy, magical men in my mecha shows set in a somewhat realistic universe. I need people that are going to be afraid to die, afraid to lose something important to them, or who are more than inconvenienced or “miffed” when something in the heat of battle doesn’t go as planned.
If I had to give this episode some sort of measurement or overall opinion I’d dare say it was without any real flaws. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and wished I could have experience the next episode immediately. I can’t really pinpoint too much why that happened. Nor can I tell you that it was the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. It had the same strange problem I’ve had with an episode or two of Terror in Tokyo. It’s just without flaw. Not overly spectacular, but a show that does everything right in this given episode. It’s puzzling and satisfying at the same time.