Fifteen years have passed since the hypergate collapsed on the moon's surface - a catastrophe known as the Heaven's Fall. The war between Earth and the VERS Empire of Mars is now in a cease-fire. The VERS' Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia descends upon Earth as an ambassador hoping to encourage reconciliation while some citizens are not willing to compromise. Inaho Kaizuka, a Terran high school student... and Slaine Troyard, who swears his allegiance to Princess Assylum... Their fates cross as both societies watch in horror as a missile crashes on Asseylum's motorcade. This incident marks the beginning of a new war.
Notice: This review covers both seasons.Aldnoah is trying to rearrange a lot of tropes that most mecha share without really doing something new with them. For most this rearrangement may be enough to enjoy it simply as an uncommon watch but as a whole the show lacks in several times more points, than it excells at. There was a crazy hype going on before the show began airing because there were a lot of big names in the production team. OWWW LOOK WHO SINGS, LOOK WHO IS VOICE ACTING, LOOK WHO DIRECTS! I didn’t care about that since I was never a fan of any of them and the whole thing looked dull in the promotional videos. And as expected, the first episode tells you right away that this show is not about good characters, or a crafty exploration of its setting. It is all about a spectacle drowning in cynicism and shock factor, trademark of Urobutcher’s writing. I never liked it because it doesn’t have a drop of humanity in it and is all about the deification of treating people as robots and themes as a canvas for doodling messages that never have any logic behind them. Not that any of that matter to your average anime fan of course; the moment they see big explotions and big names, they lose their shit and write fifty pages of pretentious overthinking essays. All of which are for naught, since there is zero effort placed in the making of this series, other than fancy visuals. Take the history of the world for example; it is nothing but one big mess of random ideas next to which even Code Geass is more logical. For some reason some people got their hands on alien technology on Mars and in less than 2 generations they now think they are a different species to the rest of humanity. With that reasoning alone, they plan to wipe out all humans other than them. Which of course is unjustified since as far as genes go, they are still people like us; they simply use different technology. Even the “space Nazi” excuse we see in other shows like Gundam or Space Battleship Yamato, does not count here, since they were never oppressed or greedy for global domination. They just want more resources to create a culture, to which ends they use propaganda and all they say is “We have better technology, let’s kill them all”. Even this Aldnoah thing which gives them control over super mechas is not gene-related. It can be given to everyone that is blessed by some magic light. Best part is how many of them were in orbital stations around Earth for 20 years, with the claim “They were stranded away from their homeland on Mars”. And nobody found it weird to tell these people “Most of your first degree relatives are on the planet below you; not all of them are on Mars and you are not aliens”. Anyways, the backdrop history is not the only thing that is off here; there is also a ridiculous amount of death and mass extermination which obliterates all forms of characterization since all you will be noticing is people dying ten seconds after you meet them. I mean, literally, you can count numerous scenes where they introduce a soldier, they use him to throw in a fortune cookie proverb, and proceed to killing him on the spot. And it’s not like this is the first time we have that in a mecha show. Gundam shows have those as well, but over there genocides had already happened before the story began, and some would happen towards the end as a highlight. But not in this show; it begins right away with the evil space people who think they are superior, descending on Earth and exterminating billions of people. This is what makes the whole thing a big spectacle; focused on the excitement of mass destruction and people getting incinerated while cool music is heard playing in the background. It is not even going for shock effect since the music makes the whole thing look cool, and is not tragic or sad because you never knew all these people and you are only meant to think “Woah, so many die in this show, it is dark and serious”. Next on the list of problems are the laughably cartoony bad space people, who not only make no sense but also have the depth of a footprint on the moon. Well written characters are those you get to like regardless of their actions or beliefs. Johan in Monster for example is a very cool character despite being a mass murderer. The villains of this show on the other hand are the ones you would encounter in 60s comic books. “Growl, tremble before my divine presence you scum. I pity how you will die without even being able to defend yourselves. Get wiped out by my godly hand as I end your meaningless existence.” The joke doesn’t stop there; they are written to be so cartoonishly evil, that they included the classic backstabbing all generically evil beings do. They kill their own royalty and blame it on the earth people as an excuse to kill them all. Such lovely people; very easy to be likable. And despite all that superiority they show, they are manipulated like total tools, falling for the weakest propaganda tricks imaginable. Such as starting the whole war because they wanted to avenge the death of their princess, and when she appears alive, they keep fighting to avenge the bad times she had on Earth because ONE OF THEM tried to kill her. And even then, she is not even the real princess, she is an imposter. Damn, they will believe anything, no matter how dumb it is. There are a few cases when some of them try to question if what they are doing is right, but in just five minutes they either get assassinated or convinced that the extermination of Earth is a lovely thing to do. Such as the emperor of the evil space people, who was hell bent on stopping the war if no proof of the Earth peoples’ ill intentions were found. And as soon as one of his trusted followers reassures him his granddaughter, the person he cared a lot for, is alive and well, he ignores him and allows the extermination to keep going as if he never trusted him for a decade, or loved his granddaughter for twice as much. This keeps happening several times in the show and proves how ill-conceived bad guys they are. The only thing missing is holding huge signs with the words YOU MUST HATE US on them.As for the good guys, the poor innocent Earth people, there is very little to care about other than being the victims of an evil plot. They don’t have any charisma or even brains. Despite all the young people of Earth having received military training, all their tactics in warfare are limited to the amazing strategy of standing still and shooting at the enemy. Which, because of the technological gap between the two sides, has the same effect as throwing pebbles at a tank. And if you think they learn from it, nope, they keep using it in every single episode, which leads to their predictable, unworthy death. Which is also a motif going on in this show; the evil space people attack, throw in a superiority complex monologue, the good military guys try to defend themselves by standing still, they get killed, and then the hero of the show appears to save the day.Ah but yes, even the Earth people have their hero. And he is more capable than all the combined military forces of Earth because he is a teenager. I mean we all know adults are useless and only teenagers are able to do things right. That is why he has a superpower which allows him to move during battles instead of standing still and waiting to die like everybody else. Yes, this is unthinkable, I know. He is also the only person who can defeat enemy mecha despite their superior technology because he is the only one amongst the whole evil space army who has a plan during battle. You see, the villains are busy feeling superior and assuming the super technology is enough to win. They don’t think ahead like the carton cutouts they are and freeze from horror when they realize they can’t defeat an earth guy with simple punches or slashes. This gives more than enough time for our hero to use his ultimate winning strategy of… throwing the mecha in the water. Yes, that is all it takes to defeat these ultimate monstrosities, you throw them in the water and they deactivate faster than the wicked witch of the west. Later on he uses other types of strategies and they are equally simple stuff only he can somehow think of. Well I guess that makes him a wonderful fellow and the only one who actually has personality in this show; right? Hell no! He doesn’t have a personality because he doesn’t have emotions. This trait is even on the name of the anime -> Aldnoah Zero FUCKS GIVEN! I tell you, it is a miracle if the only moving and thinking character in this whole show loses his temper and lets a tiny smirk to escape his permanently frozen to uncaring facial expression. And although he occasionally tries to make you think he actually cares about people even if he doesn’t show it, that quickly ends up being a troll. He will say he wants to avenge the death of one of his friends on one episode with the same interest he asks for his pajamas to be ready when he returns from battle in another. And let’s not overlook how he thinks of a plan to defeat the evil robots only after examining their powers. And by examining I mean sending oblivious Earth soldiers to get brutally killed by the enemy. Lovely Guiney pigs you got there Inaho; their sacrifice is excused if it serves the glory of your exploits. There are more characters that get a focus in this show besides Inaho the Uncaring (meaning they don’t die after 10 seconds) but in the typical Urobutcher fashion they are all plot devises rather than people. Such as the princess who is used as an excuse for the war to begin, as well as surviving the assassination only for accidentally meeting Inaho the Smirkless and give him super technology by accidentally passing by a base that happens to have super mechas in it. No need to have personality or goals, or something that doesn’t serve the plot; is there now? And holy cows, how many times was she killed only to be trolled 10 minutes later by showing her alive again? She is one of the best examples of how dumb a plot twist becomes if you use it more than once in the same show. Well it becomes super dumb when it’s used about a dozen. There is also an errant boy the evil space people kick around just to further show us how irredeemably evil and stupid they are. I mean one of them brainlessly monologues the whole evil masterplan to him in a way that yelled “I deserve to be killed for my stupidity and you to betray us for our satanic acts” followed by him doing so. He then proceeds to escape the entirety of the alien defenses by stealing a ship under their very nose and heads to save the good guys in the nick of time. You think this is heroic and shows character? Nope! He magically finds them using a logic that makes no sense, saves some guys he doesn’t care for, only so the secret base of the mechas is accidentally revealed, and then is shot down by Inaho the Zero Fuck Giver, and abandoned on the spot because his role in the plot is over for now. I can mention more characters or events and they all boil down to how bad the writing is, since everybody is just a plot devise with no humanity in it, and anything they do is staged to happen just so the story can happen in any way the writer wanted. Not how they wanted. You have the princess getting a pardon by everybody because she is the needed battery of the ship when 10 minutes earlier everybody hated her kind and wanted her dead. You have Inaho the Heartless showing no emotion and being a master strategist, falling in love with the princess for no reason, and doing some really retarded things in the finale of the first season because having emotions like a normal person makes you an idiot. And of course there is Slaine, who exists to be kicked around repeatedly by everybody for the sake of drama, only to have him do the most out of character thing in a battle, which leads to the death of the princess (for yet another time). Lovely script Urobucher; can you do worse? Oh but wait, you only wrote the first 3 episodes; the rest were written by the guy who made Boku no Pico. Not that anyone in the anime community cared about that when they made 150 topics about how amazing the mid-season finale was. Anyways, for awhile the series was fun for having the hero using his brains in order to defeat powerful robots which rely on brute force alone. The strategies were ridiculous (a black hole shield that doesn’t absorb air, flying cameras which nobody can see and get blinded by simple smoke) but were giving off a feeling of intelligence. And by intelligence I do not include the forced way he explains his strategies to the audience by basically talking to the wall next to him (meaning there is a lot of lazy infodump going on during pseudo-scientific explanations in the form of breaking the fourth wall). Of course the illusion of brains this show goes for is very easy to break. Just like it happened with Code Geass, the tactics soon evaporate and it all becomes nothing but brainless robot power ups and fan service. Out of nowhere our hero gets his own super ship, which the Earth military had in its possession all this time but did nothing with them). There is a prolonged scene where an enemy mecha transforms as if you are watching Power Rangers, and it means nothing in the longrun, or is even presented as scary. And there is a scene where the princess is killed (again) while she is naked in the bath by another naked girl. Inaho gives her first aid by essentially gropping her, and then the naked assassin pops up out of nowhere and starts bitching about the cruelty of life, as if she was waiting five minutes for the princess to come back to life instead of running away or finishing her off. It was supposed to make you worried and sad but it doesn’t, because all you see is one emotionless dude surrounded by naked chicks. There was also an attempt to have political intrigue and mysteries in the form of two different civilizations clashing, but it is impossible to give a damn when the Earth people are useless before Inaho the Peeping Tom. So goes for the villains, who are so shallow to the point you don’t care what is going on with the story as you care about the asspull Inaho the Mobile will use next time to defeat yet another mecha nobody else in the cosmos has the feet to be able to do that. Despite all these obvious problems, the anime community still failed to see what a piece of crap this show is, evident in the mid-season finale, when they made it seem like most major characters got killed. Hundreds of pages were written full of praise and high expectations for what will come up, and the anticipation for the second half was enormous. Of course I knew it was all a troll but who ever listened to reason?And what a plot twist, turns out nobody was dead after all!... Again. Inaho now becomes Kano; gets a cyborg eye that makes him even more hax in battle and is otherwise the same uncaring bastard who wins in all battles as he always was. The princess is now a decoration, sleeping in a pod, while another princess that was asspulled in the story appears to take her place. Slain out of nowhere becomes a Machiavelian asshole and with a complete character rewrite starts backstabbing everyone and keeps the war going by becoming a super elite pilot for no given reason. The earth military magically learns how to shoot straight and can now kill a few Martians towards the end, again for no given reason. And lots of other shit happen, like the moon blowing up or the origin of the alien technology, or some guy having post traumatic stress disorder. And guess what; they don’t matter in the longrun, since by the time the series ends, none of the dozens of side stories that were going on were resolved. In effect, they were there as fillers and teasers, since the actual plot progressions could fill only a few episodes. Down to it, if you want to watch a somewhat well animated mecha show (the CGI is subpar and there is very little animation in battles if Inaho is not fighting) regarding one-dimensional villains and emotionless plot devises blowing up stuff for the most unrealistic reasons imaginable, go ahead and watch this show, I am sure you will like it. If on the other hand you want to watch a mecha show with worthy villains, charismatic heroes, and noble causes such as fighting for a better future, then watch Gunbuster or 08th MS Team and stay away from Aldnoah Zero. There isn’t a speck of reason or emotion in it; it has as much humane warmth as the extent of the facial expressions the main character shows when his pajamas are not ready upon returning triumphant from a battle where he was running around and pushing robots in the water.Also, eggs are in discount, gotta buy those.
This was originall posted on my old blog, Moe Monster. Also, yhis was originally a recap on the finale (containing spoilers) as well as the following final impressions. Aldnoah.Zero title screen. This was the worst show I’ve sat though in a few years. Usually, I’d drop a show as terrible and contrived as this after a few episodes. For me however, I had fun reviewing and trying to convert people. I’ll start wih a brief synopsis, before explaining why this is a terrible show, and you’re a making the world a worse place if you enjoyed it. I need to disclose the following two bits of information. First, I never ever (ever, ever) care who creates an anime. I don’t care who writes it, directs its, edits it, voices characters or creates the music for it. I don’t care which studio animates the story, which network broadcasts or which American company simulcasts it. I care about one thing — the story and how that story is told. Secondly, I don’t like mecha anime. I don’t like any specific genre actually, and should have added genre to the “I don’t care,” list above. I do tend to lean towards more dramatic stuff, sometimes fun and silly stuff, romantic stuff — but I’ll watch anything with a story that’s told well. Aldnoah.Zero is not a story that is told well. More on this later. First, how about a quick series abstract? Show is ugly and stupid, like the person you despise the most. Aldnoah.Zero takes place in an alternative world. That’s right, it’s not the future. In this world, the Apollo 17 mission from 1972 discovered a stargate on the moon. Not a stargate, ahypergate, sorry. The portal would take Earthlings to Mars, where a human civilization develops. There, they discover the Aldnoah, a powerful technology left by a mysterious and never-explained ancient Martian culture. This new Martian civilization becomes the Vers Empire, and through some bad leadership and political intrigue, the Vers go to war with the “old humans” on Earth. Inaho is smartest person in known universe — everyone else, equally dumbest. Ok, that’s done. Next I’ll explain why you’re dumb if you like this show; maybe just empty-headed, or perhaps you’re just not a critical thinker. Then I’ll go over some other things besides the story and it’s execution, and finally, I’ll rate the show. In a nutshell, here’s my problem with A.Z. The world the series takes place in is completely contrived and the storytelling is consistently convenient for the sake of moving the plot along in that world. Many, many things make no sense whatsoever, and people who champion this series turn a completely blind eye to those things. Fans of this show need to get a grip. Also, there’s more information on the series’ web site than there is on a the show. If you really want to understand the seires, the timeline of events, the character’s name and relationships to each other — in any meaningful way — you have to do more than watch the show. That’s fucking bullshit, sorry. For example, in 1972 humans colonize mars and begin a civilization there. They found the Vers empire when they find the Aldnoah technology. Ok, so what’s wrong with that? First, are you telling me that the governments of the planet Earth would allow that to ever happen? You’re telling me, that they wouldn’t’ keep a firm grip over the happenings on the most important event in Human history? Also why, when the Vers empire was created, did the people in the empire begin wearing clothing from the late 19th century. I’ve looked up thousands real life photos to compare the costume design. Seriously, it’s because the people who wrote the story and designed the world thought it would be cool, no other reason. Count Claudius from Mars. We’re gonna’ go back in time! Anyway, several years before the series begins, the “new” humans on Mars and the “old” humans on Earth duke it out. Only, they really don’t. What’s important to know is that the moon explodes in an catastrophic event. There’s a cease fire, but the Vers empire continue to orbit the Earth in their landing castles. As the series opens, we follow Princess Asseylum of the Vers, descend to Earth for a peace conference. However, not all the Martians want peace, and a bad-element uses the Princess to start the war back up, with maximum escalation in mind. Ok, now comes the fun part. We’re introduced to Inaho and his high school friends. When things begin to go bad, this group of high school students become the masters of the universe. All the adults, I’m thinking people over the age of 18, are almost entirely useless. But if you’re under the age of 18, and wear a school uniform, you can do anything. The sky isn’t even the limit. Vers in the satellite belt biding their time. The Vers political stuff continues, and towards the second half of the series, the plot starts to pick up. Prior to that, the show is episodic with its Vers villain-of-the-week-type-format. That’s really it. The main group of Earthlings fight to survive, while certain characters are involved in the larger plots and attempt to establish peace. So, what’s my problem with that. Well, I could literally go from episode to episode and explain all the plain stupid, entirely convenient and obviously illogical things that take place on this show. From the combat, to how the characters act (and react), to — fuck — everything! I probably should spoil it, but I wont. Ok, I’ll spoil one minor fight scene, without specifics. So the bad guy comes down to fight the good guys, right? Ok, the villain, in his ship, lands (dropping from plane), on an aircraft carrier, that’s in the middle of the ocean. Hes defeated when he’s pulled over the edge and his shit explodes underwater. There’s two connected reasons why this happened, and those reasons cross paths over the course of the series. Complete and Utter incompetence. First, the Vers are the most idiotic, bungling, incompetent people in the history of mankind. Secondly, Inaho, un-emoting high school student and main character, is the most intelligent being in the multiverse, ever X infinity all time greatest boy you could possibly imagine forever. Basically the villains are so inept at doing anything. They’re the worst sort of antagonists in any fiction created anywhere in the world. In the European clothing, they're continually prone to make rash decisions, think they’re superior even though they’re living in the past and generally be idiotic hot-headed characters. Have you ever seen Death Note? Remember the struggle between an absolute mastermind and his adversary who with some supernatural assistance barely just gets the better of him?Aldnoah.Zero manages an 180 degree turn from that. Besides the story, which is all I care about, the show is ok at times, and awful at others. The characters are poorly drawn and remind me of the potato-headed children in Skyrim. I don’t know why, I haven’t played that in a long time. The animation is slightly better, but I will say this — which may be important to some of you — the robot suits, the landing castles and all the “cool little boy action figure stuff,” actually looks pretty good. I should defend that statement above. I have no problems with little boys, that’s not to say that I particularly like little boys, but you know what I mean. I mentioned this in an earlier review, but I have a friend who grew up with Gundam and other mecha anime. Through some conversation I learned quite a bit. But when he compared Aldnoah.Zero to Knights of Sidonia– well — I killed him. No, I’m a non-violent person. But, we debated that point. Yes the main character on Sidonia is a young boy, but there’s a reason why he’s a genius pilot. An awesome reason at that. There’s no reason why the young male main character on A.Z is a genius or can pilot a mech with hair trigger precision. The likely reason can only be this — that boys his age are the series’ target demographic. It’s true and you know it; this show is targeted at 15 year old boys. If you’re older than 15 you should be ashamed of yourself. If you’re under 15, grats for being so mature. Don’t get cocky. I’m off track and I apologize for that. So, the show is ok looking overall. And if all the above appeals to you (weird, but ok), the stuff that matters looks good, and feels good to watch. I should mention the several full-body female piloting shots and nude showering scene as noteworthy as well. It was completely exploitative, even to a 39 year-old who still loves ass, titties and occasional, but copious amounts of fan service. I don’t know what my point is here, but I know that Aldnoah.Zero doesn’t have fan service. It’s a serious show, for serious boys. The fun factor of the show is almost nil. It takes itself entirely too seriously, but has no problem showing crotch shots of the character who wears cut off shorts. I guess the following scene happened, so I could be wrong. I’m putting my kid-gloves on for my A.Z rating. Mostly because I realize that as a fan of the genre, you may have inherently gotten more out of this series than I have. Although, I’ve continually tried to imagine what that “more” is, to no avail. If there’s any deep messages, hidden meanings, or perhaps something I just don’t get feel free to explain the show’s mass appeal. As it stands, for the illogical setting that the creators built, along with the most convenient shitty ass story telling I’ve seen in years, and with its weekly predictability, I’m givingAldnoah.Zero a 2 out of 5. You’re probably asking, “why did you rate it so high?” That’s an excellent question and the only excuse I could make would be that it was because of my friend, who enjoys this kind of shit. He was completely sincere when telling me that he enjoys seeing kids suit up and pilot these mechs and fight enemies. The same kind of sincerity exhibited by innocent empty-headed newborn babies. That seems to have left me with two final thoughts. Well, three. First, I don’t like babies. Next, even though I don’t like babies, it’s not their fault that their brains aren’t as developed as adults. Lastly, and why this received a 2 instead of a 1, if your brain isn’t as developed as others and you make poopy time in your little boy pants, you may like this show. So here, have the 1 extra. Thanks for reading my A.Z recaps you one guy from Duluth!
This review might contain: Some tiny tiny spoilers Large amount of sass Personal opinions which shouldn't matter to you but w/e Haiiiiiii~ ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ So I saw this anime title on tumblr and instagrams and all the people were like ''OMG THEM FEELS OMG SLAINE OMG I'M CRYING WHAT IS LIFE'' so yeah I thought this anime might turn me from a heartless bastard to a beautiful emotional normal human being.... I was wrong Ummm so yeah. Aldnoah Zero review no mercy mode. Let's start off with teh story STORY Just to start it off, I'm not a big fan of mecha anime, I did like Kakumeiki Valvrave and this show is kinda similar to it, to be honest when I started watching it it seemed promising, and I thought it will be even better than Kakumeiki Valvrave buuuut... I don't find anything interesting about the story whatsoever... *shrug* There's robots and mecha pilots, princess who's the only one in the whole show who knows how to dress properly for war (. . .), there's communism (because why not), robots and more robots, flying fists and overpowered robots which are somehow always defeated by basic tiny robots... So yeah, I don't like the story... at all. It's plain, predictable, and hard to watch... at least for me. I mean, it has depth and it's supposed to be interesting but for some reason it's not. The whole concept of this anime is actually interesting. Martians, Terrans, the moon blah blah. But it's just not giving it... AND THAT ENDING OH MY GOD. Like, if I were to watch season 2 WHAT should I expect. I just don't know. 4/10 ANIMATION I liked the animation, there's nothing super bad about it. It's kind of simple though, at least when it comes to characters. I don't like their eyes, they look like they've been sticked to them like freaking stickers. No. 8/10 because of eyes. SOUND Music, meh. Voice acting, meh. Main character's voice, oh god. Nothing special about sound, music is typical war/action music. In one word, boring. 6/10 CHARACTERS HOT. MESS. So the main character has one facial expression. The princess reminds me of snooki from Jersey Shore because she's dumb. That red haired wtf. The generals, useless and irrelevant to the story. His sister was okay, slaine is okay and that's about it. I like the princess character design. . . . It's bad. Some characters have depth and backstories but they made me hate them even more. No. Just no. 4/10 OVERALL This was my face through the whole show. It's just not my cup of tea. A lot of people like this show so I just don't know why I don't like it. And it makes me think: ''They should have made Durarara 2 instead of this trainwreck'' IT'S BEEN 6 YEARS BOO I wanna know what happened to Mitsubishi and his friend and that glasses girl no one cares about! Back to Aldnoah Zero, I just didn't like it. I am NOT going to watch the second season even if they scrap the whole thing and make it an ''Ecchi high school outerspace yet slice of life'' thing. No. I'm done with this overrated waste of time. I'll waste my time with a better show. Like idk date a live or freakin black butler or something. Thanks for reading my review! ^^ I'm not sorry if my opinion offends you because that's kind of your problem not mine HAHA D: Just kidding. . . . . . No but seriously. If you liked this show, that is perfectly fine. Everybody has opinions and tastes blah blah. Okay that's it from me this time. This is actually my first completely negative review >_< yay I'll probably write more reviews now that it's Autumn ^^ which means more new anime titles are going to air (excited) Ok. That's it. Bye. (╯◕_◕)╯
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