Episode 13 Impressions: Aldnoah Zero

e13aldnoahzerohdr

The epic battle between Terran and Martian continues as Aldnoah.Zero returns!  The fate of many main contenders were unknown and it seems that the fight had come to some sort of conclusion.  However with new cards on the field, the war had only just begun.

Due to an extensive amount of reveals throughout this episode, the following will contain spoilers from the episode, as well as the outcomes of episode 12. Please read on at your own risk.

Synopsis
As the dust settles from the bullet storm within Saazbaum’s castle, Slaine goes to Saazbaum’s side and makes his choice.  At gun point, he asks the Count if he will die that day, or flee the castle with the Princess Asseylum.  Will he die without realizing his ambitions, or live on at Asseylum’s side.  Near death, he choses to go along with Slaine’s plan to escape, and thus a new order of tactic.

After they flee the castle, Yuki arrives with Inko to find Inaho’s body and administers emergency adrenaline shots.  Upon returning him to the Deucalion, their liftoff is impossible due to Asseylum’s death.  Although they soon find out that blood splatter from Asseylum on Inaho’s face has managed to gift him with the ability to activate the drive.  19 months pass..

Now aboard a ship in orbit, the newly knighted Slaine fights to protect the Vers e13aldnoahzero06vessels using his Tharsis Kataphrakt.  He has his own manservant Harklight, and is respected by the Vers due to Saazbaum knighting him.  Also on the ship is Princess Lemrina, another of royal blood that uses her Aldnoah power to disguise herself as Princess Asseylum to make broadcasts for Vers to destroy the Terrans that have killed the Orbital Knights and waste away the beautiful Earth.  Though later we discover that Lemrina despises her blood, often feeling that she’s only kept alive to power the Aldnoah Drives.

Back on Earth, the Deucalion is soon to take off and continue the war against the Vers.  Awaiting the arrival of a returning member, the ship is attacked by Count Yacoym.  His Kataphrakt, Frozen Elysium, is able to freeze the air around it.  After Inaho returns from General Headquarters, just in time, he jumps into a Kataphrakt and utilizes explosive rounds to beat the freeze and destroy the count at close range.

While everyone enjoys the reunions, back on Saazbaum’s ship, Slaine enters a private chamber where Princess Asseylum is kept motionless inside a tank.

Thoughts
A lot of mixed feelings coming into this season of Aldnoah Zero.  We already had an idea of who was going to survived, based on the many key arts that were hitting walls in Japan.  However, I honestly thought they were going to end Asseylum after the identity of the broadcaster was in fact Princess Lemrina.

There was already some significant debate going around as to Slaine’s actions at the end of season one, but I’m sure his actions in this season will create some significant debate as well.  It works for me personally, as he has always seemed like a tool and never once shown favor to Terrans, as he grew in jealousy and frustration over Inaho.  Of course, there was also significant signs of his favor to the Vers as the battlefield had him being protected by Vers in season one.

e13aldnoahzero11I think the only thing that isn’t quite spelled out so far is Inaho’s obtaining the gift of Aldnoah.  At first, I thought perhaps Asseylum gifted it to him during her final hours, but they specified the blood splatter on his face.  So I can only assume her blood mixed with his, thus empowering his DNA with royalty.

Getting over my initial hatred for them to not adhere to the bullets that flew at the end of season one, I’m relatively fine with the outcome.  It’s more Aldnoah Zero action, starring a new Inaho that people can’t bash anymore over being emotionless.  However I do have to admit that the level of presentation has slipped a little, as the musical queues and animation seems a little off for this first episode.

Here’s to hoping Asseylum wakes up and puts a bullet into Slaine!  I also hope we get some love between Inko and Inaho… and that this isn’t just some death flags going up for her.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 13: This Side of Paradise

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great!

Pros:

  • Return of some good action
  • Interesting new arc
  • Interesting new additions
  • Visually solid

Cons:

  • Inaho’s gift still hazy
  • Production value seems a bit off
  • Debatable outcomes

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.

Share on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

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.