Because people die when they are killed.
Nineteen Months Later
This… this was not how I envisaged the continuation of Aldnoah.Zero to go. There was a lot of buzzing generated from the cliff-hanger they pulled off at the end of the previous season, in which Slaine, having helped facilitate the death of his beloved Princess, kills Saazbaum in a fit of grief before deciding to kill Inaho too, as he was getting a bit too close to Asseylum for his liking. While Chris, who covered the initial season of A.Z, reacted to a lot of the developments with distaste, I was actually rather happy about how things turned out. Because after all, everyone I hated was dead. Not that I have a character I like, that is – I hate them all. There is no best girl with Aldnoah.Zero, and I don’t even like the loli – because lolis shouldn’t be driving Humvees. This isn’t a slice-of-life, where I gush about how cute they all are and how everything is light and fluffy. I love those, but that’s not what this is. This is war, and Princess Peach’s naivety has no place in it. At least, it attempts to be war. At any rate, everyone was dead and I was ready to worship Slaine as my new hero.
And then today, I learnt just how shitty his aim was.
Let’s talk about Slaine first. To be honest, I’m quite confused by his actions. He’s known all along that Saazbaum has been trying to kill his waifu, and that he’s in essence the leader of the ‘rebel’ faction of Orbital Knights attempting to kill Princess and decimate the Terrans in the aftermath. Saazbaum even killed Cruhteo after the latter revealed himself to be a royalist – oh yeah, Cruhteo was a faggot too, but he died for real didn’t he? So the last straw should be the realization that Saazbaum has in fact successfully ‘killed’ Princess, and that Slaine is partially at fault for that as well. So why did Slaine decide to return to Saazbaum’s command, right after riddling him with bullets in revenge, and in doing so decide to do the very thing Princess Peach would not have wanted? Slaine should have lost everything he was fighting for with Asseylum’s death – did he think she could be saved? To be honest, even Saazbaum should have been dead by then. It was almost immediately obvious that Asseylum wasn’t actually dead nineteen months later, regardless of video propaganda and all that, because there’s no way either Slaine or the loli would submit themselves to fake!Princess wholeheartedly as if nothing was out of order. I’m not too sure how I feel about Asseylum being kept in what seems to be a life support tank of sorts, by the way. On the one hand, it leaves her survival as a possibility, alongside a chance that Inaho might rescue her. On the other, I’m sitting here thinking to myself: “This is where all that hope and goodwill got you. Huhah!”
A bit more on the Versian front before we move to Earth. They seem to have been far more successful in invading than the Terrans have been in defending, probably thanks to the combined efforts of both Slaine and Saazbaum. They never really told us much about what happened in the space of nineteen months – I mean, they seem to be losing, but it doesn’t feel like much happened at all when the first sight of any relevant character is a fanservice scene for Rayet, Inko and Nina. There are apparently anti-gravity Kataphrakts now, much like how all the Knightmares started flying after a similar timeskip in Code Geass. Except when people died in that, they stayed dead. Meanwhile, good old Inaho is still using his orange trainee-level Kat to destroy unique, Aldnoah-powered Versian ones. He should really steal one at some point – apparently, the activation factor for the Aldnoah Drive is indeed a kiss, as many have speculated. It’s what I’d presume would happen when an Orbital Knight becomes a knight, except Princess would probably kiss their hand instead of on the lips. Slaine and Inaho have both satisfied the conditions, and so they can suddenly both use Aldnoah. Cool story, right?
So I dislike Princess. That much should be clear. However, I dislike Inaho even more. And this isn’t even anything to do with his philosophies or world view like it is with Asseylum – he’s just a difficult character to like, because he displays zero emotion regardless of the situation. He even needs his sister to help translate his emotions to other people around him. This apparently has some sort of mitigating explanation now that he’s become a part-cyborg after the time-skip – not that he should even be alive, that is. It sounded like Slaine’s bullet went through his eye and into his brain. He should be more dead than Princess, who was also shot in the head but has the happy coincidence of Versian technology to help her out. So what saved him – the Aldnoah? The only reasonable facet of his survival is that he took nineteen months to do it, although it doesn’t seem to have reduced his capacity to take out far superior Kats with classroom physics. I really should have expected it, but I’m honestly disappointed that Inaho is still alive, because he is not likeable as a main character. And admittedly, if I had to choose between either Inaho or Asseylum being ‘Slaine’, a la what should have happened last season, I’d rather see Princess survive. Just a tiny bit more.
For how unsatisfied I am with everyone surviving, Aldnoah.Zero did manage to surprise me. The initial video broadcast to Earth had me believe that Princess had finally had a change of heart (i.e. grown up), until they revealed that there was actually a second, whole new Princess who doesn’t seem very happy being ‘used’ for her royal blood. It’s quite unfortunate that she’s just as interested in Earth as Asseylum was, because I can guarantee now that Inaho will deduce that this Princess is not his Princess from her remark about why the sky is blue – since Slaine would have told her the same false response he did to Asseylum.
At any rate, I will be blogging this. The events and plot twists are still quite interesting, I really like the mechas, and I do want to know how everything ends. I don’t have too much of a problem with the setting and stuff, it’s the characters I hate. My ideal ending would therefore involve everyone dying in a massive fire, and perhaps Urobuchi’s increased involvement for this season can finally make that a reality.
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed