I return with part two of my Aldnoah.Zero review. Can it keep up with the pace of the first episode? The last episode ended with some action… perhaps we will see more.
This is JustintheThief; Here’s my review.
The episode starts out where the first episode ends, with the “Landing Castles” touching down. However, though we seem led to believe that the earth had no idea what was happening and was completely taken aback by the attack, we see here that is not the case. A military official is seen engaging a plan that the earth has apparently been preparing for 15 years. Since the attack that left them cowering, they’ve been preparing. And by the look of the response, they were ready for this. The plan is to destroy the enemy before the ground troops can be deployed.
After a nice OP (finally got to see it), which is “heavenly blue” by Kalafina it’s back to the military attack on the “castles.” However, the castles were ready. They fired on land and communication lines, including satellites, taken care of by the still orbiting Landing Castles. They rendered communication between other places useless, probably making most of their plans useless too.
The defenses on the ground and in the air are quickly annihilated by an unfamiliar and very advanced mech, obviously made with the Aldnoah technology. We watch all the plans of Earth fall quickly and easily to these monstrous powers. Though we finally learn their names. Something mentioned in the previous episodes. Martian Cataphracts. Also, a Cataphract was a type of heavy cavalry employed by European and Eurasian societies.
We see Cruhteo at the help of his Castle, as someone enters . He, Trillram wants to make sure that the people of Earth know it is because of the death of the Princess by taking over the spot she was killed. Trillram volunteers to do this. Is he a Knight or isn’t he? I thought he might be in service to Cruhteo, but he also has one of the mechs? Thoughts?
We see the major cast as they go through the city in an armored vehicle, trying to get people to safety and evacuate them from the danger. They talk of drafts and conscription if the war gets bad.
Inaho gets a call from his sister. He’s been waiting for her to come home, possibly cooking dinner, if the apron is a give a way. His sister retorts angrily that he needs to adapt his plans and get out of there immediately. He promises to get to one of the transports. Is he just stupid, or does he just have no motivation? I know he isn’t actually dumb, but he seems so bland and unemotional. I hope there’s a reason and not just something dumb. Whatever, I’m just nitpicking. It’s only the 2nd episode after all.
Anyways, As he is leaving, Inaho sees a couple of girls walking by. One of them is a familiar, silly named girl who dislikes Terrans… Being a good Samaritan, he stops to inform them they should be trying to take cover, but one of the girls grabs him and pins him to the ground, asking him questions about why there was an emergency. He explains about the assassination of the Princess, who denies that she is dead (because this is obviously the Princess Asseylum) and gives an explanation. Inaho is obviously doubtful, but tells her Inko is coming to pick him up shortly, and they should come with him.
Back on the ship, Slaine is now the navigator for Trillram, neither of whom seem to like each other. But Slaine is doing it due to orders from Cruhteo.
Inoha, Asseylum, and Eddelrittuo have all been picked up. Okojo flirts with the girls, much to the irritation of Inko. However, they are stopped by an Earth Cataphract, who turns out to be Inoha’s sister Yuki. She explains the Martians are coming here and they need to find a place to hide. Inoha agrees, though reluctantly, I assume worried for his sisters safety… I hope she doesn’t get the Urobutcher…
We see Trillram and Slaine encounter Earth pilots. Trillram is dismissive of them, calling them “suicidal.” The attack is useless, as the Martian Tech is too advanced. And thus comes probably my favorite part of this episode. Slaine being forced to fire on his own people. Or perhaps it’s just attacking to kill. However, his struggle, then failure, was done well. Not overly emphasized, just there. And made even more poignant, at least for me, by then being berated by Trillram who takes over and does what Slaine could not.
We are taken back to the Earth Military personnel and Yuki, who is the first to find the attack has started. And we find out the truth of Marito’s earlier words about how people don’t know or remember what happened 15 years ago as his commanding officer calls him a “fraud.” As his hand trembles on his grip, I wonder if it’s fear, the alcohol, or maybe something else…
Trillram absolutely decimates the Earth forces, his attacks too powerful and agile. As he mocks Slaine for his inability to do anything but watch, he flies directly into a pilot who ejected, killing him on the ship itself. Slaine, watches, shaking and horrified. Yuki informs the company that the entire airborne company has been destroyed. On the ground, we see a ground of the Martians who bombed the Princess. With them is a young girl, who seems to be going along with it all. I feel she, Raynet, will be important, somehow, or she wouldn’t have been featured.
Slaine disengages Trillram’s mech, Nilokeras, and drops him to the Vers Supporters on the ground, expecting to be brought up and made knights. However, to keep them quiet about what they did (killing the Princess Asseylum) he kills them all except Raynet. We also see one of the first of the Aldnoah abilities. It seems he has a shield that disintegrates matter around where he touches. It’s pretty cool. Raynet tries to run, but Trillram gives chase, finding it fun.
The mech group with Yuki and Marito try to destroy the Nilokeras, but it’s too powerful. Marito tells Yuki to get the girl, even though he isn’t in command. Yuki manages to get Raynet, but the entire company is destroyed in the process. To buy them time, Marito sacrifices himself in a suicidal attempt to give them time, but is defeated. However, he didn’t seem to destroy the cockpit, so maybe he’s still alive. I feel the Urobutcher wouldn’t leave it open-ended like that. If he’s dead, he’s dead, and you’ll see it. But who knows.
Yuki and her mech find the armored transport and get Raynet on board, but Trillram finds them. He destroys a good portion of the mech, and the driver of the car runs or gets out to help and is immediately killed (what an idiot), but the mech gets stuck on the car. Inko gets in the driver’s seat, but they’re too heavy to escape with the mech attached. Inaho hatches a plan where they brake hard, the mech dissolves part of the lower half of the mech in its step, then accelerates again, now much lighter with less drag.
Okisuke (Okojo) gets out to help Yuki, but is sent flying. He manages to attach a cable from the vehicle to the mech, but is bucked off. Inaho manages to grab him before he flies off. However, in a classic Urobutcher moment, Trillram causes the vehicle to bounce, sending Okisuke flying into the Nilokeras, where he disintegrates. The vehicle flees into a tunnel, and Trillram leaves them there, having wasted too much time with his “game.”
The other rejoice in the escape, but it’s short-lived when they realize that Okisuke is dead. As Inaho opens his sisters cockpit, we hear Marito (Yay!) telling them that the dock hasn’t been attacked by the mech yet. Inaho decides that they don’t need to hide. They need to act as bait, so that the ferry full of refugees can escape. His plan, make it to the school, and use the training mechs and live ammo they were using earlier that day to pick up where his “sister and her squad left off.” Woo!
Well, there you go. Episode two. Once again, I say I’m not a huge fan of mech shows. It just goes to show you how so many of us have to eat our words sometimes. This episode took the info we gathered in the first episode and put it into great use. There was much more action than in the first episode, and not so much info is dumped into you in this episode either. It’s a little more of a breather episode, giving the action fans what they’ve wanted the whole time.
Visually, just as stunning as the last episode. I’m really impressed by the CG in this show. Maybe some animation purists will disagree with me, but I thought that it was really well done. While not a seamless flow between animation and CG, it’s so well done that, sometimes, it’s very hard to tell what’s animated and what is computer generated. It’s some of the most fluid I’ve seen. And it works well making the mechs look and move the way they do. Well worth it. We finally got to hear the OP, as I mentioned earlier, and it’s great. The ED is “A/Z” by Hiroyuki Sawano and Mizuki. It is quite as good as the opening.
This was a great second episode, and I liked it better than the first. If they can keep up a good pace like this, a good mix of action/sci-fi and the incredibly detailed storyline, I think this could shape up to be a must see kind of show. It’s got my seal of approval. I can’t wait for the next episode.
Once again, any questions or comments or cries of outrage, just post them down at the bottom. I’d love to see your thoughts on the episode and the review. Who do you think the Urobutcher will kill next? Anyways, until next time!