Aldnoah Zero — First Impressions

Whoa, Aldnoah Zero is off to an amazing start! Best first episode of the season, I think. It has Urobuchi’s mark all over it, and looks set to be one of his better anime adaptations. None of Fate / Zero’s walking around in circles, a much more compelling setting than PSYCHO PASS, and let’s pretend Gargantia never happened.

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I like how the first episode plays with our emotions. First we’re introduced to the Princess and her boyfriend, and we want to strangle them for how naive and obnoxious they are.

But then the count comes and beats the boy, and he gains some instant sympathy points. What a dick! How could anyone be as evil as him?

But then another count appears who hopes the princess dies so they have an excuse for invading Earth. I guess evil is relative.

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Another high point is some of the dialogue. I particularly liked the part where the one boy sees a missile in the window, and says, completely calm, “We should leave. A missile is coming.” The others just stare at him in confusion for a second before BOOM!

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Similarly with the kids making a wish on the falling star which is about to blow New Orleans to smithereens ahahaha.

The pacing is perfect— neither too fast nor too slow. It jumps around between perspectives enough to keep things interesting as well.

I even think the tag line is pretty cool, despite how dumb those usually are: “Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.” It’s even proper English! A shocker, I know.

This is one of my most anticipated series now. Assuming the second episode is similar I’ll most likely be blogging it!

17 thoughts on “Aldnoah Zero — First Impressions

    1. I highly doubt the princess is actually dead, if that’s what you mean. This is anime, and we haven’t seen the corpse!

  1. I’m really having trouble guessing whether this is as a whole sarcastic or not, and I’m usually pretty good at this.

    1. I’m betting serious. Someone might have gripes with Aldnoah (I liked it, though I think this first episode was a bit too blatant with its exposition), but it was definitely solid – no reason to go full sarcasm mode on it.

    2. Rereading this I can understand where you’re coming from haha. But I’m serious, I really like this show. Some of what they say is kind of corny but it’s so over the top and doesn’t care that I like it. 🙂

  2. I don’t know if you know, but the reason that the tagline is so good and happens to be in perfect English, is because its from a Latin legal phrase that’s been used for centuries in Europe and North America. Fiat justitia ruat caelum, meaning “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

  3. war is inevitable because that is a type of reality in every world. the cycle of hatred and resentment will never die. the princess is very naive thinking that talking with others will solve everything. The reality is that you cannot reason with the unreasonable.

  4. I win. the princess is naive and she died on the first episode so you have no choice but to write a blog about how naivety is a sin as well as a bad thing to have.

  5. Ok, first impressions:

    The good:
    characters who are actually trained in combat (drill exercises) thus having them not flip out too much in the next episode is a welcome relief than the usual civilians pick up military hardware and magically can use it to full efficiency.

    pacing: not too slow nor too fast. significant developments that help show the nature between mars and earthlings (busted up moon) Even the talky sections are kept brief and to the point as opposed to wasting air time with meaningless angst.

    characters: believable characters reacting normally to the developments of the plot (save one exception) as well as some flat characters to help provide conflict; as opposed to other animes that have nothing BUT flat characters.

    the bad:
    cliched: while the developments of the episode did help to plausibly push both sides to war, the event that broke the peace was something ANYONE with a measure of intelligence could see coming a mile away.

    and now for the elephant in the room:
    Inaho: the lack of emotion and the matter of fact manner in which he talks to others and reacts to situations is starting to set off alarm bells in my head (in a bad way). Now I know that one episode is not enough to fully describe a character but when that character is the supposed protagonist of the series, then there is a serious problem with the characterization. For a main character to have such a detached manner to everything, it implies either a deeper characterization that will be explored throughout the series (which is good), or lazy characterization like the Tatsuyas, the Kiritos, etc. (which is bad) Does that mean I like protagonists who are always expressing their emotions? NO I do not enjoy seeing main characters explode into weepy bags of angst everytime they fight (like the Kira Yamatos and the Shin Asukas). For me, a good characterization of important characters is the delicate balance between being emotional and being emotionless. Characters who are capable of acting out of emotion yet are not ruled by them. Examples of such are Vash from trigun, Shiro Amada from Gundam 08th MS team, and Lelouch and Suzaku from Code Geass; capable of emotion but are not ruled by them.

    Final thoughts: Given it is only the first episode, there is always the possibility I could be proven wrong and I am willing to be wrong if further developments point to deeper characterization (especially with Inaho). I will continue to watch the series to see if things get better or worse.

    P.S. at least they didn’t go with the traditional gundam style introduction with the civilian being thrown into the newest god robot is definitely a welcome change of pace.

    1. Agree with your pros.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anyone being able to see how war was coming. I’d actually argue that the show intentionally set it up so it was obvious and anyone could predict what was going to happen, at least with the start of the war. That’s why they explicitly mentioned things like the princess’ security and what would happen if she were killed.

      Think it’s too early to tell how the main character will turn out. As of the second episode I’m fine with him. He really hasn’t been in the spotlight at all yet, so I don’t think we know enough about him to judge.

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