Home > Episode by Episode > Aldnoah Zero ep10: some issues with forgiveness and reality

Aldnoah Zero ep10: some issues with forgiveness and reality

I found this to be a very forgiving episode, in a completely literal sense. There’s a lot of unrealistic forgiveness and reactions in my opinion. But I still find myself enjoying the show and letting these things go because of it. I guess the theme of forgiveness extends to the viewership as well.

There’s no where else for this show to start aside from the death of Princess Asseylum. And despite how things ended, she was essentially dead. The Deucalion has crashed, everyone’s like “WTF!” and we got a dead teenage girl in the shower. The following scene is very similar to something I’ve seen in Gundam SEED, and it’s a situation that you’ll see in anime of this type. It’s the situation where you find discord between characters trapped in somewhat tight spaces. In Gundam SEED, we see one character attacked by another because the attacking character has learned that the victim actually killed her boyfriend. In contrast, we see last episode how Rayet freaks out when inadvertently left alone with the perceived agent of all her woes. She freaks out and murders (almost) Princess Asseylum in brutal and extremely deliberate fashion. Strangling someone takes a lot of effort and strength, and you have to continually apply that effort throughout the act. it’s different from pulling a trigger with the lightest of touches, and forcing a hot tiny hole of death through your foe. Strangling is like continually pressing a button that says you are going to hurt this person. At any point, you can stop and allow the person to live, up to the actual moment where they no longer have enough air to breathe. My problem with this scene comes when Rayet confronts the princess again after she’s been saved.  While she also has a chance to reflect on and regret her actions, she also has a much, much easier opportunity to kill the princess.  She has a gun, she’s under much more pressure with so many more people around (the stress can also lead to “forced” and unclear decisions), and the princess actually walks up to her at a distance where’s it’s impossible to miss without suffering from muscle spasms.  And somehow Princess Asseylum still survives, while Rayet is still allowed to live, only so far suffering the capture and confinement on the ship.  I guess she’s such a pitiful anomaly that they didn’t really know what to do with her.  I find the military response to this crisis a little ridiculous, but the fact that Rayet did fight along side them, and they did get to know her a bit may have played into this as well.  I can’t imagine why they allowed Princess Asseylum to walk into point blank shooting range of a woman who already tried to kill and damn near succeeded.  It was all very weird and off to me.  Sadly, I still found this scene handle in a better, much less campy way than a similar scene in Gundam SEED.  I guess it goes with the overall theme of my viewings of this show.  Things are done wrong, or in an unsatisfactory way, but because they are still better than the alternative, I still find positivity in the situation.

I come across this feeling again when I see how Slaine and Sauzbaam end their elongated encounter, that turned out to be a very brief imprisonment.  Sauzbaam is very serious about getting his revenge, and I still respect this petty, yet intense burning passion of his.  But I can’t respect his ridiculous decision to give Slaine Count Cruhteo’s mech.  He owed Slaine’s father a lot apparently, but he’s basically tossing the dice by sending Slaine out with a powerful weapon like that.  I can’t tell if he doesn’t respect Slaine’s fighting prowess, doesn’t really care how the battle turns out, or has just given up on life in general.  It’s very strange and contrived to me.  And it just appears to be a very convenient and easy way to get Slaine back into the story.  Even the flashback which featured his fiance and the events surrounding her death felt a little too quick and shallow.  Though I don’t have any issue with Saazbaum’s traumatic event taking place at the exact same time and location as the events that scarred Lt. Marito.  In this case, I don’t have any issues with the show giving me some answers and perspective.  I’m just underwhelmed by the emotion behind it.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the episode was seeing the Deucalion and its crew make it to their destination finally.  I know the place is in Russia (or the Soviet Union considering that famous sickle, hammer and star symbol), but it reminds me a lot of the South American base made famous in the original Gundam and Zeta Gundam known as Jaburo.  It essentially serves the same purpose.  You could tell as the Deucalion got their though, that things were ominous.  And it brings me to another gripe with the show.  We’ve spent so much time following Inaho and his comrades, and worrying about Princess Asseylum that we haven’t truly gotten the scope of what the Orbital Knights are doing to the Earth’s militaries, governments and populations.  It’s only once we get here, that we’re given some disturbing hints about the situation.  There’s a moment where we hear that Earth’s population may be in jeopardy.  And I find it astonishing how underplayed this aspect of the show has been.  You’d think that if the Orbital Knights were doing so much damage, we’d get more hints and signs aside from the calamity of the Landing Castles in the first episodes.  At least in other mecha shows of this kinds, we’re given moments where we get to see the suffering of the people at large.  Despite the knowledge in the show that worldwide communications have been crippled, we’re given a surprisingly narrow set of views from a show that takes a very omniscient position with its narrative.  It makes the show more intimate and small in atmosphere than I think is best for it.

Overall, an episode with a lot of flaws, but not terrible in my opinion.  I think that my lack of knowledge on the show’s length, or even on its direction at this point is making me a bit nervous.  If you were to tell me this show is supposed to go on for 50 to 75 episodes, I think I’d be more comfortable with this pace and lack of world development.  If you were to tell me it’s 24 to 26 episodes, I’d think that things need to pick and more needs to get done to make me care about this world.  But I wouldn’t be too nervous.  However, if you were to tell me this show is only 13 episodes, then I’d tell you that this show needs to f*cking put the pedal to the metal!  Not nearly enough has been done at this point, and it feels like we’re still well into the introductory stage of most aspects of the show.

It will be interesting to see how the show’s first potential major, large-scale battle will work out.  Slaine is supposed to be a wild card, but I can’t tell if he’s meant to be Inaho’s rival at all.  There’s so little evidence or chemistry at this point.  And with Sauzbaam’s allies still well in control of communications and the military, I have a hard time seeing the goals for the Deucalion at this point, aside from fleeing again and attempting some form of survival.  They need either much more power on their side, or much better allies.

Further Reading:

  1. September 7, 2014 at 07:49

    I thought Aldnoah.Zero was only slated for 12 episodes? That’s what it looks like at this stage, anyway – although a second season could always be announced I suppose, as often seems to be the done thing lately.

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