“This is the end.” – Femianne
Episode 6 Synopsis: The Emperor of Mars broadcasts an official declaration of war against Earth. Inaho and his friends are drafted into the military and Slaine is on the run.
Episode 6 Impression:
So now it’s official – Earth and Mars are officially at war. This clears up any issues regarding the question “Well what does the Emperor think about what’s going on?” and thus we can continue smoothly down the path towards the first cours finale (we’re half-way there already!), although I do have to wonder when Aldnoah Zero is going to kick it up a notch and delve into the meat of the show because, and let’s be really honest with ourselves here, not a lot has happened. I feel like we’re watching Naruto with mechs! Battle after battle followed by yet another battle with minor plot details sprinkled throughout until, perhaps – hopefully – we begin to see some semblance of the epic plot Gen Urobuchi’s name promises. The large cast of character doesn’t allow for the same amount of rapid fire plot development that, say, for example, Puella Magi Madoka Magica received ‘back in the day’ (I’m looking at you, episode 3), but I’m still looking for something other than the soundtrack to get excited about and it’s just not there!
Inaho and the rest of the humans on the ship are conscipted into the army (or are assigned in some way to assist the war effort), only Inaho and Inko officially becoming soldiers leaving Calm to become a mechanic. However, it was Rayet and her reaction to the question, “Don’t you want to do your part to protect Earth from the Martians?” that interested me. She’s at odds with herself – on the one hand her father, and thus by pseudo-proxy her, are responsible for the Martian attacks on Earth. In fact only a couple of episodes ago she was about to become a Martian citizen herself (again, by proxy, I suppose). But then of course you have the fact that the Martians killed her father, leaving her with a understandbly antagonistic nature towards any and all Martians. The next few episodes are going to prove very revealing for our purple haired companion and the appearance of the pseudo-Martian Slaine will put her tolerance to the test… That is, if Slaine ever makes it to the ship (he’s been having terrible luck lately…then again, every shot fired at him during his escape missed so you really have to wonder just how lucky this guy is…)
Small little tangent here, but let’s talk about the Princess. Seeing her become so flustered in defence of Slaine was amazing! At least we know where her loyalties lie… This also bring into question the nature of Inaho and the Princesses relationship. I don’t see it becoming romantic, not unless they decide to throw in a love triangle alongside every other cliché in this show (princess on the run, political drama, overpowered supermechs, etc.), so again I ask just how these two characters are going to play off one another? They seem to have the same agenda – peace – but one of them is clinical, utilizes cold, matter-of-fact logic and the other believes “It truly is lovely…” alluding to the world despite its war-torn nature. They’re going to clash in their views at some point… I just wish it happens sooner rather than later.
The episode ended with yet another ‘epic’ mech battle, but not before the issue of Lt. Marito’s PTSD was brought up again. In my opinion, the best scene of the episode came from the ‘adult’s chat’ up on deck. Everyone’s favourite Doctor Yagarai joined Marito for a quick drink and a reflection on events gone by, Captain Magbaredge then joining them and informing the already melancholy Marito that John Humebray (whose name tag Marito carries around and for whose death Marito is blamed) is in fact her brother… Que horror! This small conversation again raises several question: how exactly is Marito responsible for Humebray’s death? Why was Tanegishima covered up? Will Marito and Magbaredge ever get it on (almost certainly)?
Overall episode 6 was…well, it was exactly what I’d expect from an episode of Aldnoah Zero at this point. I’m waiting with bated breath for a plot twist or a ‘big reveal’ and, so far, nothing. At this moment in time I don’t believe that Aldnoah Zero has done anything to set itself a part from other mech series other than have an amazing OST and some pretty darn nice animation. On the plot side of things (and looking towards episode 7), I’m hoping tha the series finally gives Slaine a break and allows him to be with he beloved Princess! He’s been beaten and ostracized, he’s escaped and is now hunted – and you know what? I don’t think the group’s going to accept him. I think Inaho might give him a chance, but with Rayet there waiting to rile up the masses and spill the Princesses secret, I don’t think Slaine will be there for long…
Episode 7 Synopsis: Lord Saazbaum decides to hold back on chasing Slaine, and instead tracks as he flees to Earth. Meanwhile Inaho and friends have arrived at Tanegashima, a mysterious location.
Episode 7 Impression:
Wow. I did not see that coming. If this is what I think it is, then this is the kind of plot twist/game changer that I’ve been waiting for. There are a few ways that some people are trying to justify Inaho’s actions, but I’m going to focus on the ‘main two’. The first idea states that Inaho shot Slaine down because he failed to give a satisfactory answer to Inaho’s question and Inaho, acting in an effort to protect the Princess from a potential Martian ‘assassin’, eliminated a potential threat. The other idea is simply that Inaho is slowly but surely becoming a ‘Lelouch’, using people to reach his own ends, achieve his own goals. I’m still on the fence about which side is more plausible because the series has yet to take a sharp turn in either direction, however I’m vying for the latter due in part to the fact that’d it’d at least give Inaho some semblance of a personality (that is, the psychopath)!
Femianne and her Hellas were probably the worst part of this episode, not only because I’m tired to seeing the same old combat methodology – ‘seek out weakness and destroy’ (which, to be fair, is a pretty sound combat method and the only one there really is) – but also because her character was just so…pointless. The most interesting parts of the fight came from the character development it evoked, for example, in Rayet, her declaration of “All Martians will pay for father’s death” clearing outlines where she stands and who she stands with. It was also fun seeing the ‘Bat-Orange Combo’, the dynamic created being both amusing and interesting to watch as they worked almost seamlessly together to combat a mutual enemy… That was, until Inaho clipped the Bat’s wings…
With the discovery of the Martian Battleship Deucalion underground, our humble group of teenage warriors grows ever stronger. Seriously, everyone but Slaine seems be having a great time in this war! If anything, the underground cave served to give rise to even more questions. I don’t think there was any doubt in anyones mind as to whether Marito was telling the truth or not about Tanegashima, but you do have wonder why exactly it was kept a secret and how much the ‘demon’ they found has to do with that fact. Perhaps the human mech’s were reverse engineered from the Martian Kataphrakts and that’s the ‘big’ secret (which is a rather poor one if it is indeed the case as this happens in war all the time – I mean, look at the introduction of tanks into World War One, for example: Germany soon stole that technology!)? Perhaps there’s more to it than meets the eyes. Perhaps they weren’t shocked by the discovery of the Martian Airship as they were by something else that was down there that we have yet to see… So many mysteries.
The episodes conclusion pretty much revealed that the Princess has revealed her identity to the Captain and a select few crew members at most, setting up next episode to explain a few things before the story starts moving again. I’m most interested in seeing the reactions of the Vers-phobic Terrans who have professed a hatred for anyone from or to do with Mars, namely characters such a Calm and Rayet.
Note:I apologise for the lateness of this post. Also, there will be no gallery for these two episodes. Again, my sincerest apologies.