Episode 14 Impressions: Aldnoah Zero

e14aldnoahzerohdr

After a few questions were answered in this season’s premier, it’s time for us to dive into the guts of what we can expect going forward.  As the new cards in play take their much-needed step forward.

e14aldnoahzero01Synopsis
Within striking distance of the Earth, Saazbaum and Slaine seems to be putting into play their plan to take on the UFE. Seemingly stringing along their new puppet, Princess Lemrina, and having her activate their latest fleet of Aldnoah driven machines. Not only that, but she is also used to deceive her grandfather, the Emporer of Vers, by disguising herself as Asseylum.

As their fleet becomes prepared, it seems that Saazbaum and Slaine come to some sort of agreement for the future of the Vers Empire. Not under its current rule, but under a new type. No longer ruled by the wealthy upper-class at the suffering of the poor, but ruled by those with power and the Aldnoah.

While Saazbaum’s fleet begins to prepare to make their move, Slaine is left powerless due to his Tharsis’s Drive being deactivated. Seeing that Lemrina is the only one capable, he would confront her to discover her doubts.

e14aldnoahzero11Thoughts
Now that re-introductions are out of the way, this episode really did seem like plot lines being put into place. Probably the most stand out one being in Lemrina’s position in it all. No longer just a tool, but rather a viable threat in the entire situation.

In stark contrast to her sheltered and naive sister, Lemrina seems to have a legitimate stake in everything. A tool turned into a rather selfish girl who can come to wreck Slaine’s ideal of a grand future. For that very reason, I’m really excited to see where they take her (and her obvious jealousy). She’ll make a perfect match for Slaine!

Outside of that crucial part was some light finally being shined on the relationship between Slaine and Saazbaum. Why exactly can they find a middle ground despite their difference in tactics. Seeking to not only take Earth, e14aldnoahzero05but finding a common ground in reshaping the Vers while utilizing the Vers’s power.

I feel that the bestowing of Aldnoah’s power definitely needs explaining.  It’s not simple spit swapping, as Slaine and Inaho have tapped lips with Asseylum before (and I doubt the Emperor kissed all the Knights).  All I can say is that it has to be a choice by the royalty.  Did Asseylum bestow it upon Inaho?  Or did her blood mix with his and give him royalty?  If that’s the case, then why don’t they just drain the blood of Lemrina?

It was exciting to finally see Slaine and Inaho finally exchange shots since their last meeting. Their first real combat against each other was a long-awaited thing. However I can’t help but still feel that the production quality has gone down in comparison to the first season. After rewatching a few clips of the first season, it’s pretty obvious.

It’s not that the visuals aren’t good, despite the CG being a bit more obvious e14aldnoahzero10when in space, but that the musical queues and timing isn’t at all in sync with the animation. Sure, season one reused quite a few tracks from Sawano Hiroyuki’s fantastic work, but it always seemed like the chorus and musical peaks matched the action in each scene. Not so in this season. Which is not a big deal, but still rather disappointing.

Lastly, while I am a fan of Inaho’s epic nature, I can’t say that I’m thrilled by the writing’s reliance on that fact.  He’s epic, which is especially ironic as he uses his new eye against the one who took his old eye, but drowning out the significance of the remaining cast has taken a lot of the flavor from the show.  One of the best elements in the first season was the reliance on all of humanity joining in on the fight.  Here, everyone is useless except for Inaho.

That all said, I was happy to finally see mizuki’s new opening “& Z” with Sawano Hiroyuki.  Quite an awesome song and visuals to boot.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 14: The Beautiful and Damned

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great!

Pros:

  • New OP is great
  • Lemrina’s new path
  • Slaine and Saazbaum explained

Cons:

  • Aldnoah power bestowing needs explaining

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.