P.S This is a review on the anime as a whole and is not based only on season 2, there are SPOILERS you have been warned.
Story- I have heard many people complain about the story being too generic and uninteresting and I have to disagree. War, war can be told in many ways and at some point these tales might cross over yet this does not make it generic. I quite enjoyed the idea of a group of people who believed that they were far better than the common Terran leaving to Mars after the discovery of a new source of power and only returing to wage war over resources. The plot is well thoughtout and tries to deliever a mature story although it can be lacking. Not much is known about the Marsian homeland except for the fact that they have advanced technology and a shortage of resources. It would have done the plot well to explore Mars a little bit more to give us, the viewers a greater understanding of the Marsians instead of what we came to see them as (greedy, pompous bastards). Is this a major factor in the story? Not really although it does affect the series overall as it could have used a tad more development.
Animation- There is not much to say about the animation other than the fact that it was beautiful, if there is one regret I have it would be some of the space scenes as they did lack that finesse the rest of the animation had. Other than that it was a real gem.
Sound- Know I am sure there is no one that will disagree that the music is what truely placed this anime upon a pedestal. I had high expectations coming into this considering it was Hiroyuki Sawano composing, the man that gave us the sound for Attack on Titan, Blue Exorcist and kill la kill to name a few. I can definently say I was not let down and I am sure you won't be either.
Characters- The characters without a doubt was the weakest part of the whole anime, there was a lot of wasted potential I must agree. Character growth was largely missing, back stories were cut short to suit the length of the anime and this caused the characters to suffer a lack of development. Some of the characters became very generic due to this and caused you to distance yourself as you think 'I have seen this before.' Yet some held a dim light of hope that kept this section (Characters) afloat. These characters that held this dim light I can only believe would have made outstanding characters given a bit more time. Its just that with this short amount of time it becomes hard to love a character or love to hate another.
Overall- For Olympus knights' first anime I congratgulate them as they did a good job, I for one enjoyed it till the end and was satisfied with the ending. Did I hope that it would go a bit longer? Sure. Yet it didnt and I am not overly hung up about this. Hopefully Olympus knights learn from this endavour and continue to make even better anime.
Pros- Music you will love, animation you will enjoy
Cons- Lack of character growth, too short
Good, not great, Mecha
There are spoilers in this review.
Aldnoah.Zero is a big disappointment. It starts out promising something very big and then delivers only very little. By the end of the second season everything is right back to where it started as though nothing had happened at all. If this was a skit on the futility of revolution and upheaval then that would be fine, but it's not. It plays everything too strait, as exemplified by the protagonist, and comes across as excruciatingly dull. Many interesting plot devices are introduced and then never used.
An ensemble of mostly dull characters accompany a boring plot. The first of the main three, all teenagers, is Inaho Kaizuka. He is your typical Gary-Stu. A silent and intelligent school boy who nearly the only Earthling capable of defeating the Martian’s Orbital knights. Unfortunately there is not much else to Inaho. At the end of the first season there is the possibility for a progression in his character arch. However it is unfulfilled and Inaho remains as constant as the northern star right to the very end.
Our second protagonist Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia is an attractive and naive Martian princess. After an assassination attempt she spends most of the series hanging around some complex or taking refuge on somebodies ship wondering why everyone is ignoring her. She only gets any attention in the second half when she is being impersonated and suspended unconscious in a giant beaker. At the end she finally deduces that pops or grand pops is mentally not well and with little opposition takes the throne and sets all to right. The hundreds of millions or billions of dead quickly become water under the bridge and everyone learns to live in peace because you know she says that’s the way things ought to be.
Finally there is Saline Troyard. He is the more interesting of the three, though not that’s really saying much. His outlook actually changes a bit over the course of events. His metamorphosis from victim to victimiser is all that really held my attention through the second half. One of the many gaping holes is Aldnoah.Zero’s world logic is Slaine’s back story. His father is/was (which is never made quite clear) the greatest scientist of that era. He reversed engineered the Aldnoah technology from the alien relics found on mars. Yet despite Mars being a society firmly grounded in lineage, Slaine is treated like some kind of page or servant. His father’s reasoning for putting his son in a rocket and firing it at Martian Emperor’s Imperial palace is never revealed, and the warmongering Martians strangely don’t get upset over the rocket crashing into the princesses bathing area. Still Slaine meets Asseylum falls in love with her and she adopts him like some kind of lost rocket puppy.
The secondary characters are mostly boring teenagers as well. None of them influence the proceedings of story. They are Inaho’s cheerleaders. After all what’s the point in kicking ass if there is no one around to see it, right?
The adults are better. The uncompromising short tempered Count Cruhteo is fun to watch. Captain Darzana Magbaredge delivers amusing quips. Count Saazbaum is ‘the man’ of this series. As can sometimes be the case with poorly characterised shows the antagonists steals the spotlight. The Martian society is run by a bedridden geriatric, thus adequately explaining the political landscape of Mars. We never see the leadership of planet Earth and what motivates their decisions. This leads the viewer to assume that it is a style of government that the viewer already lives under. How our present form of representation could survive under these kind of circumstances would be an entertaining story thread. One not explored in Aldnoah.Zero unfortunately.
Aldnoah.Zero is not dreadful, it resides somewhere between mediocre and good. The animation is of a high standard. The voice acting is very good, occasionally exceptional, as is the music track. The mecha battles are enjoyable and pretty engaging if one sided. They unfortunately repeat the following formula: Martian Orbital Knight shows up and slaughters Earthlings. The Orbital Knight appears invincible and all hope seems lost. Then Inaho alone devices and implements a plan to destroy the enemy winning the day and preventing his band of cheerleaders getting slaughtered. The battles gradually lose their intensity as episodes tick past but they are well enough implemented to never become boring.
If you are looking for Mecha series and have already watched better stuff like Code Geass and Gundam then give this a go. Just don’t expect justice to be done or the heavens to fall.
I'm going to use the phrases 'cookie cutter' and 'very vanilla' to describe this anime, because these terms define it perfectly.
Animation and sound are about average for the productions we get these days, so no complaints there.
The characters and plot fall completely flat though. Points of note include:
Characters have very poor decision making skills. More so than your average anime.
***Mild generic Spoilers***
Logical and clear thinking in most aspects of life, but willing to beat someone senselessly out of prejudice, even though what they're saying seems to make sense? Check.
Disregard information that people were conspiring against you, even though most of the information was factual and accurate? Check.
Admit high treason freely to someone you haven't a clue about? Check.
Assume someone who has all manner of reason to bear a huge grudge against you, and even says so repeatedly, has forgiven you? Check.
Think that destroying everything is the answer to all your woes, anime style? Check.
And lots more!
The only interesting thing about this show is how the protagonist uses inferior weaponry to take down a variety of superior foes, but even then, those fights are short and brutal, more like a cobbled together bunch of cardboard cutout enemies than anything else.
If you're really starved for some mecha anime, and don't care about characters and story, this might be worth a shot.
Otherwise, I'd give it a miss.
Based off memory. Also, spoilers. Mature language.
My review to the first season HERE
Aldnoah.Zero's secnd season proved to be well made, however, it's not really what fans wanted. That's okay though.
Following the aftermath of the first season, Princess Asseylum is in a coma, Slaine Troyard is a count and Inaho Kaizuka has a mechanical left eye. We go through killing and fighting like the first season with Inaho, but, we're show more from Slaine's perspective and his conquest against the other humans. Indeed, it was a bit different from the first season. Now I personally liked the ending. Asseylum did the right tihng, for her people and for Earth. Inaho did the right thing with Slaine, but that part could have ended a little bit less depressing. So, the story was good, at the least.
Animation was once again "You're goin' on a fabulous ride today". The fighting and movement were all done very nicely.
The music was pretty good for the most part but personally I didn't love it. The voice acting, like the first season, is done well. I especially like Natsuki Hanae being Inaho in both seasons. I know, a lot of people criticize the Tokyo Ghoul VA's performance in Aldnoah, but I liked it for the most part.
In the first season, Slaine was very... human. And Inaho was more machine and logical thinking. In the second season, however, Slaine is more inhuman and psychotic, whereas Inaho is becoming more and more human. It's like, Yin and Yang. There cannot be on without the other- so they change together, in opposite ways, but they do.
LET JUSTICE BE DONE THOUGH THE HEAVENS FALL
So I FINALLY came back to do this review. Its been like a year since I finished this anime. I will not score it for that reason. However I will leave my thoughts.
this anime. . . the first half was so good. It did everything right and it caught the attention of tons of people.
what went wrong?
well, they shifted gears entirely. This anime was so awesome because it was about a rag tag band of noobs, facing off against an "alien" race that has technology far beyond their capability. The whole point was that humanity was screwed and that they were trying to struggle and fight back. Rather than continuing that struggle, they began to focus heavily on the side of the martians and some crap that happened on that side. spoiler: Suddenly the humans had a huge advantage and they just won the war. . . end spoiler: wait what? its over just like that?
basically , they ruined the whole premise that drew us in. It became a showy, flashy parade of some cool things they did in the first half. The second half threw away the conditions that it set for itself, and ruined the danger and excitement. In return it tried to switch over to the tragic hero story, one that I very much dislike.