First Impressions “Aldnoah.Zero”
“Let Justice Be Done, Though The Heavens Fall”
In an alternate timeline, mandkind’s first arrival to the moon revealed a “Hypergate” that allowed fast travel to mars. Upon landing, the travelers discovered the remants of an ancient civilization on the red planet and quickly claimed the advanced tecnology found on it. The setelers founded a independent force known as the Holly Vers Empire and declared independence from Earth.
In 1999, the Vers Empire declared war on Earth and, in the resulting conflict, the Hypergate exploded, taking a good chunk of the moon with it.
The incident left both sides on shambles, since the Vers Empire was cut from their access to Mars and was left drifting on massive space stations, orbiting around the earth alongside the debris of the moon. Meanwhile, due to the destruction of the planet’s satelite, mandkind’s homeworld suffered trough natural dissaters that ended up changing the landscape of the planet.
Ever since then, the Earth Forces and the Vers Empire have lived on a uneasy non agression policy. However, in 2014, the Princess of the Vers Empire is killed during a visit to earth, prompting the 37 clans that form the martian based force to invade the planet in retilation, armed with the tecnology of the martian civilization that they found on mars all those years ago, that place called “Aldnoah”.
This doesn’t sound like an interesting plot, in fact it sounds like the premise of a Gundam show. However, dont dismiss this new entry of A-1 pictures based on that.
I just finished watching the first 3 episodes and aparently writter Gen Urobuchi (Psycho Pass, Fate Zero, Madoka Magica), seems to have delivered another hit with this solid mecha Gundam-esque story.
Great pacing, concept is not original but it packs enough urgency to the conflict to make it feel relevant. The sense of impending danger is ever present once the ball gets rolling, and once it starts accelarating it becomes a really enjoyable ride.
One thing that I really like about this show is the amount of trust that it has on the viewers intelligence. You can tell what’s going on plotwise without being spoon fed with the information. And the direction is really tight.
The plot twists of episodes 2 and 3 are pretty standard and I saw them coming a mile away, but the execution is what makes them feel special. I’m not going to tell you how they play out, but they actually made me feel proud of my intelligence, but also that of the showrunners and the characters themselves. The display of millitary tactics at the climax of episode 3 is a sight to behold.
Visuals are crisp and goregeous, and the score provided by Hiroyuki Sawano (Blue Exorcist, Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill), really adds up to the experience. The CGI models for the mechs will put off some people, tough.
The cast of characters seems a bit overcrowded by the moment, however, thereâ€™s a great sense of comradey in the main group and you really feel the impact on them once they get hit, but it never falls into the sense of melodrama that you often find in mecha anime. The bombast is left for the fight sequences, and itâ€™s a wise choice to do so. Is a stark departure from the “in your face” approach that served both “Attack on Titan” and “Kill la Kill” so well last year. But it works here and it makes the direction to feel fresh. There’s a noticeable effort to make this a tight plot machine.
The only negative is an admitedly bizarre stoic main character. On one hand heâ€™s smart and selfless, but on the other he seems hillariously unaffected by the madness going on around. The only scene in which he has shown a welcome amount of caring is at the beginning of episode 3 when heâ€™s reflecting an event of the previous episode with a classmate.
Other than that, the key playes have dictinct voices and are pleasant to stick around.
Aldnoah Zero is avialiable from Crunchyroll and it updates on saturdays.