Post Reply ALDNOAH.ZERO season 2
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Posted 2/19/15 , edited 4/3/15
by FloydYoder

So I am going to be honest with you all. Last season I missed out on ALDNOAH.ZERO. Despite the recommendations by my friends and the overall positive buzz that was surrounding the show I simply did not take the time to watch it. So when I was told to review the second season of ALDNOAH.ZERO the first thought I had was, "Cool, I get to watch that show I've been meaning to watch." So now that I have finally watched ALDNOAH.ZERO I have a few things I want to say: 1.) I wish I listened to my friends about this series, it is fantastic and I wish I saw it earlier and 2.) It is never too late to jump in and I recommend that you do so.

So before I hype up season two I'm gonna give a bit of background for the uninitiated and quickly summarize season one. I'm gonna have to be a little vague on this because the last thing I want to do is to spoil some of the surprises in store. So in the setting of ALDNOAH.ZERO humanity has traveled to Mars and while on Mars they discovered a mysterious power source known as Aldnoah. The discoverer of Aldnoah has the activation code implanted in his genes and his bloodline and his family becomes the Royal Family of Mars, or Vers as they call it, via divine right. Using Aldnoah the people of Vers accomplish many technological marvels and eventually separate themselves entirely from Earth. The series begins when the Princess of Vers, Princess Asseylum, annonces her intention to travel to Earth on a goodwill visit. This causes considerable tension on both sides since Vers invaded Earth several years ago and there is still some bad blood between them. In the background we are introduced to many characters but the two most important characters we meet are Slaine Troyard, an Earthborn squire who serves one of the nobles of Vers, and Inaho Kaizuka, a young Earth man training to be a mobile suit pilot who is both a tactical genius and completely devoid of emotions. Once Princess Asseylum arrives on Earth she is subject to an assassination attempt. This act outrages the nobles of Vers, who assemble together and declare war on Earth. The rest of the series focuses on the politics of the war, the seemingly overwhelming power of the Vers kataphrakts, and the nature of loyalty and racism. Or I guess you can say planetism. All in all, it is an excellent first season full of surprises and very cool mobile suit battles.

The second season starts a little after the first series. The Vers-Earth war is steadily escalating and Slaine Troyard is quickly becoming a central figure in Versian politics. Inaho continues his tradition of being brilliant and emotionless except now he has a nifty cyber eye, as if he wasn't enough of a robot anyway. The second season introduces an interesting shift in focus. In the first season the primary focus is on the struggle of the Earth military versus the seemingly unbeatable Kataphrakts of the Empire of Vers. The second season actually takes more time with the internal power struggles of the nobles of Vers and the prejudice that Slaine has to endure simply because he was born on Earth and therefore a lowborn mongrel in the eyes of the Counts.

If I had to describe how ALDNOAH.ZERO feels I'd say take your favorite Gundam Series (ok, probably not G Gundam) and mix it with a dash of Dune. Space politics play a big part in this, and that is actually a good thing. The nobles of Vers are constantly backbiting, lying to each other and one upping each other in order to get more power and more resources. As for the Gundam comparison there is one little twist to it: It's like Gundam if the villains are the ones with Gundams. Don't expect to see our heroes cutting through a thousand mobile suits in invincible war machines. In this series the heroes have to watch their companions die like animals as they try to figure out an exploitable weakness they can use to destroy their unstoppable foe. It makes each combat extremely tense as they have to figure out how to fight their enemy before their enemy kills them. it's kinda like having to solve a rubix cube that explodes and kills you if you take too long.

ALDNOAH.ZERO was a hugely pleasant surprise to me and I endorse the hell out of it. The characters are great, even Inaho and I usually hate the emotionless character archetype but here it just works so well. The animation is beautiful, whether it is the superbly drawn character designs or the computer generated Kataphrakt battles. But most of all, the story is interesting. The history between humanity and Vers is interesting. the relationship between the Royal Family of Vers and the subjects of Vers is interesting. The plots, secrets and betrayals in this story are interesting. If you are in the mood for a giant robot series with some depth and surprises then you owe it to yourself to check out ALDNOAH.ZERO here on Crunchyroll.
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Posted 2/25/15 , edited 2/25/15
Excellent review! I liked how they also shifted characters to see their point of view with Slaine Troyard, and Inaho Kaizuka.
-Edit- My phone has a stupid spell check and changed the character's names.
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