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Notes on Aldnoah.Zero 2nd Season Episodes 4 + 5

Posted on the 12 February 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG
Notes on Aldnoah.Zero 2nd Season Episodes 4 + 5

In our next BIG TWIST, Inaho summons Yuki to his hospital bed in the middle of nowhere to clumsily dump exposition on why being a magical girl actually sucks

  • So… yeah, sorry about missing last week’s post. At a certain point it honestly just kind of became an experiment to see if I actually could get away with putting it off for a whole week without ever even being asked about it or anything. That experiment was a resounding success, but I promise I won’t take advantage of this discovery. Every post from now on will be completely on-time, probably, maybe.
  • ANYWAY regarding my thoughts on episode 4, if I recall correctly I was mostly just upset about Inaho’s surprise intervention in the battle against Mazuurek. I had actually written a fair bit about it while watching – mostly positive stuff about how they were finally letting some other characters overcome a difficult challenge without his help. I mean, I had considered the possibility that he might show up just in time to help them, but for whatever reason I still had enough faith in Aldnoah.Zero to doubt it would actually pull something like that. At this point it doesn’t even feel like they’re unaware of the problem – the show is clearly just going really far out of its way to perpetually fellate its protagonist, and it gets more annoying each time it happens. Is there any reason Marito and Yuki could not have won without Inaho? Even if it was literally impossible within the situation they wrote, that’s the thing – someone wrote it. It’s all just made up bullshit no matter what, and there’s no way they couldn’t have given them a way to win without requiring Inaho’s help.
  • Are people supposed to be cheering when he shows up to save the day? Because to me it just felt like a huge middle finger from the show after it had tricked me into thinking it was finally going to do something different.
Notes on Aldnoah.Zero 2nd Season Episodes 4 + 5

SIGHHHHH,,,,,,

  • As for episode 5, it consisted pretty much entirely of just people talking… which actually made it the best episode this season has had so far. It’s still nothing all that new or amazing, but it at least reminded me of the better parts of the first season rather than sticking to the disappointing formula this season had been using so far. If it continues in this direction, I might at least be able to remember Aldnoah.Zero as a decent show instead of a bad one.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever actually mentioned this yet, but I think a lot of my disappointment with season 2 is because I was hoping for something totally different. Somehow I got the impression at the end of season 1 that the war had basically ended. Looking back, I guess that was kind of a stupid misinterpretation – but with a big climactic battle that resulted in the apparent deaths of both the protagonist and main villain, it certainly at least felt like a sort of resolution. So in the wait leading up to this season I had assumed we would be getting some totally new direction for the story, like the second half of Gurren Lagann or something. But instead we’re just still dealing with the invasion of Earth by the Vers Empire, complete with the same formulaic mech battles that Inaho always wins. Nothing has really changed except that the stakes somehow feel lower. And I suppose I only have myself to blame for expecting the story to be something it was never intended as – yet at the same time, I still can’t help but feel like what I was hoping for would have been a whole lot more interesting.
  • I still don’t have much to say about Slaine in either episode, because I don’t feel like we’ve gotten much indication as to what he’s actually planning at this point – assuming there even is some big coherent plan at all. I have no idea whether his ultimate goals are good or bad, but I can at least say that the way he’s gone about it seems pretty questionable. Like, did he know when he decided to rescue Saazbaum like a fucking idiot in the first season’s finale that Saazbaum would go on to adopt him so he could inherit a position of power? Probably not. So even if Slaine turns out to be a “good guy” in the end, it’s not like everything that happened was a necessary component of some convoluted plan – he just managed to make his ridiculously terrible past decisions work in his favor.
Notes on Aldnoah.Zero 2nd Season Episodes 4 + 5

God damn it Slaine, just when you were finally starting to seem less creepy

  • As for our other overpowered protagonist… well, he’s still Inaho, but he at least did something interesting in this week’s episode. I’ve always thought Slaine was the more entertaining of the two, just because his actions tend to be less predictable. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not necessarily a good thing writing wise. I’ve ranted enough about what I think of him as a character here, and I might say he’s even less believable than Inaho. But when the show is mostly just following the same stagnant formula that it was in the first four episodes of this season, a character whose actions are unpredictable is the kind of thing that will actually keep my attention. Up to this point, Inaho has mostly just been winning battles for Earth, and not doing much else. In this episode he finally takes matters into his own hands, outside of the context of the usual mech battles, and does something bold and risky enough that his superiors probably would not have allowed it. And that’s the kind of thing that makes him feel like an actual character, instead of just a secret weapon for the good guys to pull out in every battle and automatically win. If they’re going to make him seem like the only competent person on Earth’s side, they should at least give him the freedom to act like it.
  • It’s nice to finally see another Martian who isn’t just a forgettable villain of the week and might be willing to help out the good guys – but at the same time, I can really only call Mazuurek “reasonable” by the standards Aldnoah.Zero has previously established. He still seems to care more about his planet’s royalty than the population of Earth. He’s just Cruhteo again but less of a dick, basically. And with that considered, what incentive does he have to not just join Slaine once he finds out the truth of the situation? Slaine already has the princess safe, and would go further than anyone else to ensure she stays that way. In that sense, his main goal is the same as Mazuurek’s. I’m not saying I think he will side with Slaine, of course, unless it turns out Slaine really is secretly trying to end the war through some elaborate scheme or whatever. I’m sure his brief interactions with Inaho and Rayet have somehow imbued him with complete, unwavering loyalty to their cause. And I’m not sure that’s very realistic, but not much else in this story is, so it’s pretty forgivable.
  • THAT SAID, I’m not sure there’s much point in contemplating either of those possibilities, because for some reason I really feel like this guy is going to die. I don’t even just mean eventually – I’d be surprised if he lasts beyond next week’s episode. Not really sure why; that just seems like how Aldnoah.Zero does things.

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