Episode 9 Impressions: Aldnoah Zero

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Out of the frying pan and into the fire as they say. Slaine Troyard, now free from his captivity, awakens to find himself in yet another potentially hostile environment. Only thanks to his father’s influence.

e9aldnoahzero8Synopsis
Now in Saazbaum’s castle, Slaine is greeted by Saazbaum who quickly reveals to him that he saved his life to repay a debt he has to Slaine’s father. Turns out during Heaven’s fall, Saazbaum was spying on Earth when he was mortally injured and Slaine’s father arrived to save his life. Despite this, Saazbaum is no friend of Slaine as he openly admits that while Count Cruhteo was loyal to the princess, he himself plotted her assassination.

Back on the Deucalion, many of the pilots undergo simulations for combat in the Kataphrakts. Many of the students converse about Inaho’s relationship to Asseylum to which his sister admits that his expression, while quite subtle, hints to his affection for the princess.

e9aldnoahzero4Rayet finds this appalling as she still holds distaste for martians and turns her frustration to trying her hand at the simulation. She’s rather skilled and easily passes the test, contributing her success to her gaming experience.  However when Yuki ramps up the test difficulty, Rayet finds herself having flashbacks to her father’s death due to the simulation showing her father’s killer.

Following these tests, Dr. Yagarai attempts to use this same system to perform therapy on Marito by simulating the battle against the Aldnoah Kataphrakt many years ago. This triggers a flashback of the beast using anti-gravity to throw an entire platoon of tanks around like toys. Including the one carrying Marito and Humeray. After Humeray was trapped in the burning tank, he calls on Marito to end his suffering with a bullet. Which after much hesitation, he complies.

e9aldnoahzero7Back on Saazbaum’s castle, Saazbaum and Slaine sit down for an awkward meal. While Slaine pleas for him to spare the princess’s life, Saazbaum confesses his hatred for both Earth and Vers. As his colony has been barren for many centuries, he and the other knights were whipped into action to take the beautiful Earth as their own. This lead to the battle for Earth which lead to the death of his betrothed Orlane. Leading him to hate the Vers, including Asseylum.

Though it seems Saazbaum’s wishes may come true as Rayet’s patience with Asseylum’s attitude pushes her to a dark corner…

Thoughts
Oye! The cliffhangers, how they pain me so. I kind of enjoyed seeing Saazbaum have some real reasoning behind his actions. It seems the life of an Orbital Knight isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Service and bitter lives that can only lead one to hate the hand that feeds them.

e9aldnoahzero6On the flip side, I’m glad to finally see what the heck happened during the battle that Marito was involved in. Though sadly, as I mentioned before, this is a situation that is LONG overdue to be wrapped up as it’s been dragged out a bit too long. Hopefully this revelation will mean we can finally stop revisiting it.

I was glad to finally see more of Rayet and her internal conflict being brought forth, though I’m still confused as to her real motivations here. Yes, she hates martians for the death of her father, but it’s obvious that Asseylum is an oddity in the grand scheme of things. What would drive someone who has merely finishes off a threat, to then be able to do what she does is confusing to me. Granted it was an insane scene, it makes little sense.

I’m sort of sad the direction they are taking Rayet, and unfortunately this will only lead to a possibly broken conclusion for her. Either she has to be thrown out, or they will just brush over it once everything settles. (Because we all know how things will turn out next episode.. right…? Right?!)

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Episode 9: Darkness Visible

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great!

Pros:

  • Well executed drama
  • Impactful scenes
  • Insane cliffhanger

Cons:

  • Dislike Rayet’s motivations
  • Fear the followup to events

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.