August 28, 2015

Here we go again. It is that time that I catch myself being a hypocrite. Despite still not liking the mecha genre, that never stopped me from watching a handful of mecha themed animes year in year out. And now here I am, having a go at Aldnoah.Zero. There must be some sort of better excuse, if you’re asking? As far as I can remember, I don’t know, it could be that I have misread it somewhere over the internet that this mecha show is somewhat similar to Shingeki No Kyojin. The only difference is that you replace the Titans with big giant robots. And I remember that Titan show was pretty epic enough so it made me assume that Aldnoah.Zero is also as epic as it except that it would just be mechas. Yes people, you can laugh at me for that pathetic reason but after watching the series, I don’t see how similar it is. Maybe there was but I couldn’t connect it. Anyway, as far as this story is concerned, the reason why you need big mechas firing at each other is because different nations are at war, right? Yup. Turn that into an inter-planetary level and it is all the reason you need to see such robot fights.

Episode 1
Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia is talking to Slaine Troyard that she is looking forward to her goodwill trip on Earth. Back on Earth, Inaho Kaizuka joins his friends, Inko Amifumi, Calm Craftman and Okisuke Mikuni to school as we are given a brief history of what happened. Thanks to the discovery of some ancient artefact belonging to some Martian civilization, Hyper Gate paved the way for human colonization and development of Mars. This resulted in the appearance of Vers Empire who claimed the technology like Aldnoah as their own and this resulted a war between Earth and Mars on the moon. The intense fighting caused Hyper Gate to go berserk and destroyed the moon. Heaven’s Fall happened 15 years ago. Lt Kouichirou Marito is supervising the kids in a live fire exercise. But he is already drinking this early? Later he talks to his friend, Souma Yagarai about some cover up on Tanegashima by the top brass 15 years ago. Nobody believed him now but he know what he saw. He is also concerned about the kids now having to take up military practice and what will happen if they actually find out the real truth. Everyone believes this transitory peace will last forever but what happens when those kids have to fight those guys lurking in the moon’s wreckage. How will they make up for their lies? Before Asseylum’s departure, Slaine gives her a pendant as a protective charm since he is grateful for her help that saved him from death’s door 5 years ago. However after that, Count Cruhteo beats him up to make him know his place. Later he talks to Count Saazbaum and it seems many of the lords are against their princess on this trip and tried dissuading her. Of course they know there will be retaliation if something happens to her. Or maybe they’re waiting for just that? Inaho and friends are at the procession of Asseylum’s arrival. There are terrorists working in the background and when the time is right, they let loose several homing devices that take out the security and one right on Asseylum as she crawled out of the limo! Of course this means Vers Empire won’t take this lightly as they begin their hammer of justice on Earth. Orbital Knights, its 37 clans who are also independent military units are crash landing their gigantic Landing Castle on selected cities over the world in a race to become king of the hill. As though, they have been waiting for this time for the past 15 years to fight again. A Landing Castle touches down in New Orleans. Massive explosion that burns everything away! Massive destruction. Massive blackout. And young kids are innocent enough to think those are shooting stars and make a wish for world peace. If it only was that simple…

Episode 2
The Martians begin their full assault. First they take out undersea cables and satellites so you puny Earthlings are cut off from communication. Then their Martian Cataphracts destroy all of Earth’s military and mechas so easily. It’s like they never put up a fight to begin with and head to the battlefield to get slaughtered. Inaho is back home and calls his sister Yuki who is on military standby. They’re supposed to meet up and evacuate via her car but she is appalled he didn’t use his guts and evacuate with the rest of the town. Inaho makes his way out and finds a couple of lost foreigners. Trying to tell them to evacuate, he gets pinned down. He thinks they are from some embassy and wants to make contact. But they tell him Asseylum is still alive as she was feeling sick from Earth’s gravity and did not participate in the parade. A double took part. Inaho meets up with his friends and brings along the chicks with them. They come across Yuki and her unit who are going to engage the enemy soon. Better leave quickly as this place is going to turn into a battlefield. Cruhteo sends Trillram and Slaine to go find out what happened to Asseylum. As Slaine is an Earthling, he cannot bear to kill his own men. Thus Trillram is going to ‘educate’ him about war and kills all the fighter jet pilots. Their weapons can’t even harm his Cataphract. Trillram then rendezvous with the culprits who began this whole mess. They think they can return to Vers and collect their knighthood but Trillram kills them! The leader’s daughter, Rayet Areash is the only survivor as Trillram chases her. Marito’s unit engages him but he and Yuki defy orders to go save the girl. The other units get owned. Trillram defeats Marito and goes after Yuki. She bumps into Inaho’s group (they’re going around in circles?) and leaves Rayet to them. Too bad she too cannot best Trillram. Inko takes over the driving after the driver runs out and gets owned by a slab. Trillram chases them throughout town and Okisuke perished when Inaho tried to go rescue Yuki in her cockpit. It ends when they enter an underground shelter. Marito contacts Yuki and wants her to act as bait to buy time for the civilians’ evacuation at the port. But it is Inaho who picks this message up and suggests to his friends to fight back. Their school has got some units and live ammunition.

Episode 3
Trillram contacts Saazbaum and the latter is not too happy he got 1 rat got away. Anyhow, he will order some meteor strike. Although Cruhteo’s Landing Castle is close by, sacrifices are necessary. Marito is back at his base and is not pleased there are orders for them to evacuate. A colleague of his is still fighting, the reason this place isn’t turned to rubble yet. But Darzana Magbaredge says he is the only survivor and communications are cut off so sending a rescue team is not viable. Marito says some of his students are not onboard the ferry list yet so Magbaredge will request for a search party and give him a landing craft. But if he can’t find enough people to crew it, he will abandon his mission. Yuki wakes up in the school infirmary and is not happy Inaho is going to fight. He says it back to her about adapting in situations. Now is the time. With his friends, they discuss the Martian Cataphract’s ability, its barrier seems to absorb everything and making it invincible. However this means his vision is blinded although he could attack with deadly accuracy. Something like an aerial satellite must be providing its vision because he stopped when they entered the tunnel. Inaho has a hunch this guy is persistent in getting them and they will buy the time needed to get evacuees out. Since they are going to fight, they need somebody to drive a decoy truck. The foreigner girls and Rayet volunteer. They start moving at the light of dawn. Then they release giant smokescreen all around. Trillram panics because now his vision is blocked. Slaine comes in a jet to blow away the smoke and also assist in Trillram’s vision but Inko shoots him down. Trillram goes after the truck and successfully crashes it. Rayet wants foreigner girl to escape but she won’t. She steps out and tells Trillram to stop this violence. She reveals herself as Asseylum. Trillram cannot believe she is alive and falls into shock. Marito and Inko fire all they got. The bridge collapses and Trillram is trapped in the water. Noticing that water is not being absorbed, Inaho also finds the gap in his barrier and pierces it open. His invincibility cannot be perfect and cover himself completely because for example otherwise the ground that he steps on will also be absorbed. The Cataphract goes offline. Slaine picks up Trillram who is freaking mad. He wants to go kill the princess himself or else his clan will be branded a traitor. Slaine realizes he is the one who planned Asseylum’s assassination and steals his gun to pump several bullets into him.

Episode 4
The meteor strike is here. Thankfully everybody escaped before it hits. Asseylum is back in her disguise and her maid, Eddelrittuo is glad she is safe. However Asseylum decides to reveal her true self only to Inaho. She needs to get to United Earth (UE) headquarters to contact her grandpa. Once he knows she is alive and well, the attack will stop. She doesn’t want Inaho to let others know because there may be spies among them who are out to kill her. Slaine reports to Cruhteo about Trillram’s death in the meteor strike. Cruhteo is mad and sends out a troop to find the culprit and dispense justice. Slaine wants to take part in the fight but was beaten up. Cruhteo tells him he has no place in their war and this is the moment they have been waiting for since the princess paid with her life for this. Slaine wonders if he too is trying to take advantage of Asseylum’s death and could there be a ringleader in this assassination plot. Magbaredge and everyone else is docking and refuelling while waiting for her destroyer craft to come pick them up. However an enemy is spotted. Vlad is sent by Cruhteo to kill them all and his laser sword slices through everything. The ship takes some damage as Marito and Yuki tries to repair the engine. Asseylum wants to go talk to that knight but Inaho tells her to sit put. Inaho tests out a few different ammunition to see if it is effective. But Vlad knows Calm is sneaking up behind him. Vlad does a sneaky move but Inaho closes up on him. Inaho’s mecha can’t stand the force Vlad’s Cataphract is putting on him. Inko does a surprise attack and slams the container into him, damaging his main visuals. The destroyer craft is here and lends its support. Once the engine is up and running, everyone retreats. Slaine goes up to Cruhteo to beg to take part in this war and wants a chance to avenge Asseylum.

Episode 5
5 years ago, Slaine crash landed into the Vers Empire palace. Asseylum kissed him to suck out the water in his lungs. Cruhteo reports to Saazbaum of their conquest on Tokyo but also the death of Trillram. But Saazbaum is puzzled he died in the meteor strike because he personally informed him about it. The emperor of Vers, Rayregalia Vers Rayvers cannot understand his fellow men’s actions for a full assault on Earth if his granddaughter’s death was just at the hands of assassins. His subject thinks UE is guising themselves as terrorist to assassinate Asseylum as her blood is capable of stirring the power of Aldnoah to life. That bloodline is the very foundation of the empire’s might. It still doesn’t make sense so Rayregalia calls for armistice/truce to UE. Magbaredge sees Inko and Inaho and praise their actions for repelling a Cataphract. Though, Inko credits Inaho for coming up with this operation. Cruhteo is not pleased the emperor has come up with an armistice so he is going to advise him. Saazbaum has his men investigate to uncover the truth behind Trillram’s death. It is confirmed he didn’t die in the bombardment so he wants somebody to infiltrate Cruhteo’s castle and investigate. After Cruhteo’s failed advice, Slaine sneaks into the room to communicate with the emperor that Asseylum is still alive and he saw it with his own eyes. The assassination must have been plotted by the Orbital Knights. Please stop the war. Vlad ignores the truce and attacks the destroyer to avenge his honour. As usual, the other mechas are no match for him so it is up to a high school kid to fight him. Vlad thought he can have this over in a second but Inaho has planted explosives in his armour that explode upon contact (this was originally designed to detonate and deflect incoming fire). Inaho then has the destroyer tilt to a side as he drags Vlad down into the sea. But before the mechas fall into the ocean, Inaho ejects. Vlad is killed in the undersea explosion. Because his laser sword gives out enormous heat energy, it instantly converted into high pressure steam and thus the impact destroyed him. After Slaine finishes his audience with Rayregalia, the emperor calls out to Saazbaum who has been listening. Saazbaum argues Earthlings cannot be trusted as their spies are everywhere awaiting opportunity to overthrow Vers. And so Rayregalia resumes the war on Earth. All those who harm his flesh and blood will burn!

Episode 6
Slaine is ordered to be found and killed but Saazbaum wants him alive because as the son of Dr Troyard, he might be useful in answering questions about Aldnoah’s research. Too bad he managed to escape. Asseylum is shocked that grandpa has formally declared a war. Marito lets them know about reality that they have always been at war. They chose to ignore it. Despite Asseylum was sent as goodwill to build a friendship between Earth and Vers, she became the very reason why this war ignited. Yuki makes an emergency announcement for everyone to gather. Magbaredge announces everyone will be drafted into military to fight this war. Calm isn’t happy he is drafted as a mechanic but Marito points out everyone who has been in war 15 years ago died. Technically they are all war virgins. However Inaho points out he is a survivor. That is not what the records said. He recalls the trauma of how the Martians levelled them. There were no solid evidence and his report was written off as ramblings of a madman. As long as they don’t have Aldnoah, their technology will be far behind Vers. Inaho thinks about this and asks Asseylum about it. When her grandpa first made contact with this ancient technology, it activated and recognized him as its rightful inheritor. Only his descendants have this innate ability to command Aldnoah. In exchange for loyalty from the Orbital Knights, Rayregalia gave them Aldnoah. They used it to build grand castles and Cataphracts and ruled over the colonies. Now they are setting their sights on Earth. The next refuelling station is at Tanegashima and this of course brings back trauma to Marito since he best friend John Humeray was killed. He believes it was his fault he died. Magbaredge joins him in drinking. She heard about the reports of Tanegashima and doesn’t consider him a liar. She reveals her brother fought in that war and died. Magbaredge is just her adoptive name. Her real surname is Humeray and her brother is Marito’s best friend. That too much shock for you to handle? They are suddenly attacked by gauntlets belonging to the Cataphract of Femieanne. As usual, other mechas get owned by it. The destroyer is beyond saving so Magbaredge calls for everyone to abandon it. Just before it gets destroyed, Inaho fires some kind of ammunition to blast it away. It may not be enough to destroy it but the explosion is enough to repel it off track. Then the last gauntlet and Inaho runs out of bullets. Has his luck run out? Inaho is really a lucky kid because that last gauntlet is deflected away by Slaine.

Episode 7
Cruhteo wants to go after Slaine but Saazbaum wants him to stay put. He thinks if Slaine is a spy, he might have accomplices and he will see where that rat is going to. Femieanne targets Slaine and he has a hard time running away. Inaho returns the favour to deflect the gauntlets. As the attack continues, one of the gauntlets destroys a cliff to reveal a hidden dock. Magbaredge orders to enter it and once in, they shoot the cave mouth to completely close it, leaving Inaho, Yuki and Inko outside. But I suppose it’s time to take on the big boss. Inaho thinks that Cataphract has no other weapons beside its gauntlets since it is just standing there. Inside the base, everyone is horrified to see a huge Martian Cataphract lying dormant. This was the Cataphract that levelled the place. They realize the reason the Tanegashima report was quashed was so as to hide this. Inaho teams up with Slaine to fight the gauntlets. Inaho deduces there are weaknesses in it that makes it not completely invincible. For example, its tail and its engine are not protected and if they fire in there, the gauntlets can be destroyed. Femieanne is upset that her ‘children’ are destroyed. Her Cataphract turns into a giant missile gauntlet as she tries to finish them. The duo pull off crazy stunts to avoid being quashed. Suddenly a giant flying battleship bursts out of the island. It is being powered by Asseylum. After Inaho shoots out Femieanne’s engine, the battleship collides into her and Rayet shoots the final shot to blow it up. All Martians will die for her revenge, says she. Slaine is happy to see Asseylum again and wants to meet with her but Inaho wants to know how he knows the princess is alive. He won’t answer. Inaho shoots him down. Now they’re enemies.

Episode 8
Short flashback shows Magbaredge and the rest spotted Deucalion the flying ship resting below. They are puzzled why such a good working condition ship was left behind and has no fuel garage. They realize it has Aldnoah Drive. That is when Asseylum reveals herself and uses her power to start it up. Slaine is captured and mercilessly tortured by Cruhteo to reveal his intentions but his mouth is tightly zipped. Saazbaum doesn’t want him killed or else they will learn nothing. Magbaredge talks to Asseylum, Inaho and Rayet and learn that Orbital Knights are the ones behind her assassination. But letting the public know Asseylum is alive may not be a good idea. All satellite communication is down and there is no guarantee it will reach the correct parties. Rayet is still bitter that her team was betrayed and still doesn’t trust Martians. Later Inaho tells Asseylum that the Martian he met on Tanegashima was looking for her. It shows that there are some who know she is still alive. Asseylum takes out a pendant that Slaine gave to her as charm. As his father came to Vers to study about Aldnoah, Slaine told her many stories of Earth that fascinated her. Slaine continues to endure the torture and how he will remain silent on Asseylum’s life to avoid others from exploiting her. After all, he owes her for saving his life then. Cruhteo has had enough of this farce and wants to kill him, much to Saazbaum’s dismay. Cruhteo sees Slaine smirking and beats him up. His subordinate reports the wreckage of Femieanne’s Cataphract and also that Cataphract at Tanegashima with its Aldnoah Drive ripped out. Cruhteo doesn’t think any importance of it since no Earthlings can pilot it anyway but when Slaine smirks, he senses something amiss. A few more beatings and that is when he starts to realize Asseylum is alive. Slaine also reveals he killed Trillram. He won’t let Cruhteo get what he wants and crush Asseylum’s goal of peace. Realizing he risked his life to protect Asseylum, now Cruhteo commends him for his unwavering loyalty and has his mend tend to his injuries! What a big change! Cruhteo will now find out which Orbital Knight tried to assassinate Asseylum. He wants to call for truce with Earth and seek their help to find Asseylum when suddenly Saazbaum’s Cataphract crashes into his Landing Castle. Just as Cruhteo connects all the dots he is behind Asseylum’s assassination plot, he gets killed. Saazbaum retrieves Slaine.

Episode 9
Slaine wakes up in the care of Saazbaum. He saved him because he is indebted to his father who rescued him when he was caught in the events of Heaven’s Fall. Saazbaum did not hesitate to reveal he is the one who plotted Asseylum’s assassination. Yuki is talking to Calm about how she knows what kind of face Inaho puts despite he’s looking that same grumpy view. It’s because she is his sister. Inko really gets concerned when she starts talking about Inaho and his possible girlfriend especially with a certain Martian princess (because that guy is listening to her so attentively) that Inko got out of her simulator just to go ‘take a break’. When Rayet is practising in the simulator, she starts panicking when faced with Trillram’s Cataphract. She loses the simulator. Rayet cannot understand why Asseylum is still being calm despite being betrayed and all. Lots of why this and why that but yet no answers. Yagarai has Marito undergo some post traumatic stress disorder treatment. He is to relive his trauma via simulator till he gets over it. With bad graphics and polygons? Well, it gets real all in his mind. When Marito was leading his platoon they never expected to encounter that Cataphract. Everyone got owned and Humeray was trapped in his tank that is on fire. He told Marito to kill him and reluctantly he did right before the tank exploded. Marito went crazy. So can he relive that simulator again? Slaine asks Saazbaum his reason to wage war with Earth. Something about his duty as a lord to expand his territory and also to seize Earth’s resources that they are blessed with. But does Asseylum have to die for it? Being a royalty itself is a sin. Because 15 years ago the royalty whipped the knights into a frenzy and set them on Earth. They will atone for that with their own flesh and blood. Then there is this propaganda of how Vers are brainwashed to hate Earth in a feudal system surrounding Aldnoah. To keep Vers within their grip, the royalty chose to kindle the flames of conflict and as a result led to Heaven’s Fall. Saazbaum’s fiancée, Orlane died in that conflict and this war is his vengeance. Rayet strangles Asseylum in the shower with an iron chain. Oh great. She did it this time. So who is powering Deucalion? It is losing speed and altitude. Brace for impact!

Episode 10
Inaho finds Asseylum unconscious and with no pulse. He employs CPR, defibrillators and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation till she comes back alive! Before she can reveal who attacked her, Rayet steals Magbaredge’s gun and reveals her father, a Martian spy living on Earth was the one who assassinated Asseylum after being promised nobility and riches. But after he was successful, they got rid of him to eliminate all witnesses. So no Rayet is blaming EVERY SINGLE THING that happened just because Asseylum came to Earth?! She thought Asseylum was the same like her but turns out she wasn’t (in the sense that she had no qualms revealing her identity and was calm). All Asseylum can do is apologize and cry. I don’t know what Rayet wants. She’s not happy that she doesn’t hate her that she is trying to kill her. Rayet turns the gun on herself but Inaho was fast enough to tackle and disarm her. He says he doesn’t care which side she belongs to but so far she has been helping them. Whether or not he trusts her, he thinks at least they are not enemies. Magbaredge then has Rayet taken into custody. Yagarai gives Magbaredge the medical file condition of Marito and also his prescription for her. Marito ponders about the irony about Martians killing Martians (Earth had nothing to do with it in this case, right?). He wonders how Humeray felt to be shot by his own side. Saazbaum shows where Deucalion lies after Heaven’s Fall. That Cataphract was piloted by Orlane. He explains due to Mars’ atmosphere, no matter how much land they have, they cannot harvest from it. The population grows and the people are in misery. The royalty ignored that and at the height of hatred for Earth, Vers came to believe they were superior and Earth was hoarding all the resources and trying to rule over them. An invasion was plotted and as the forces gather at the moon where the Hyper Gate is located, Saazbaum and Orlane were part of the first invading forces. It was a walk in the park overrunning those Earthlings. But suddenly the Hyper Gate collapses and the moon shattered into pieces. Saazbaum ordered a retreat but Orlane was stuck (something about her Cataphract’s gravity thingy) and thus killed. Saazbaum has vowed to lay her ghost to rest. Deucalion finally reaches UE headquarters in Russia. The refugees are taking refuge in an underground shelter that is designed to stave off nuclear attacks. But the numbers are not adding up since many refugees never made it here. So if this place is attacked, humans will be extinct. Asseylum makes a broadcast that she is fine and alive and to stop this war at once. Of course Saazbaum isn’t going to listen. He has intercepted the princess’ transmission to not reach his comrades. They are going to war. Saazbaum frees Slaine as his last repayment to his father. He is now free to fight alongside them or flee to Earth. Saazbaum’s Landing Castle is arriving at UE headquarters.

Episode 11
The attack begins. As usual Earthlings’ defences and attacks are so puny it’s like as though they’re just standing there to die. Yeah. 50% casualties already! And the missiles are digging deep into underground so easily. Asseylum is a sad princess because the war is not stopping. Was it really war they want? Her life was irrelevant from the beginning. But she’s not going to sit around and mope. She contacts Inaho about her plan to cut off the Landing Castle from its Aldnoah Drive. One with royalty blood can do so. Inaho agrees to send her there but Yuki ticks him off for being reckless again. However he tells her this is war and now that negotiations are useless and Asseylum is no longer any use to them politically, this is their best shot to reduce casualties since the only chance they’ve got is a tactical one. If they lose, she’ll die anyway. Eddelrittuo drives Asseylum in a humvee towards Deucalion with Rayet protecting them. Once Asseylum is on board, Inaho briefs his plan on how to get Asseylum to the Landing Castle. First, they’ll drop lots of decoys for the enemy to take countermeasure. Then the first wave of assault team will land and take out the other turrets and assure a safe landing zone for Asseylum. It is a freaking crazy stunt enough to earn Yuki’s wrath but is there any other choice? The plan goes well and Inaho becomes the hero taking out the turrets himself to save the rest from being blown to bits. When it is Asseylum’s turn to dive, Saazbaum shoots Deucalion down. With many systems offline, Magbaredge orders to crash Deucalion into the Landing Castle. They’re going to let Asseylum dock directly.

Episode 12
Of course with that impact, everyone is knocked out but thankfully they’re still in one piece. Asseylum’s gets into her usual guilt mode and thinks Earth hates Vers, blah, blah, blah. Leave it to Inaho to say something to calm her down. First he asks what drives war. No, it is not hatred but rather ideology, resources, territory, pride, religion, etc. Therefore war ends when such goals are achieved. It can also end another way: When too many people have died that it is no longer economical. Anger and hatred are only tools to tilt the war in your favour. He is not interested in those emotions and that is why he will not hate Earthlings and Martians. Great words. But Saazbaum is not impressed. He hates Earth for existing. Inaho becomes hero once more to slow down Saazbaum so the rest could deliver Asseylum. And this is why Inaho must be a hero alone because all those who come to his aid got easily killed by Saazbaum! Slaine is still looking for Asseylum and he is in a dilemma on which side he is fighting for. Make up your mind! Anyway he steals a Cataphract to pilot. I don’t even know how he activated its Aldnoah Drive. Inaho and Saazbaum’s fight crashes right before Asseylum and co. It might be that Inaho was using Inko as bait to test and observe Saazbaum’s Cataphract’s abilities. He realizes that whenever he shoots his gauntlets, he cannot have his barrier up and uses this chance to attack. Also, he knows that not every part of the Cataphract will be covered in that barrier. Then a close up shot I think to disable everything. But the mechas are still functioning. So how? Fist fight! Saazbaum is pissed and talking about he’ll never know the hatred and loved one being taken, blah, blah, blah. You think Inaho cares? Slaine sees this fight and intercepts. Asseylum makes her way on foot into the room and shuts everything down. Then Inaho and Slaine crashes in. Slaine is glad to see Asseylum but she goes to tend injured Inaho and happily tells him how their mission is a success. Suddenly she is shot! OMFG! Who the hell did this?! Saazbaum is not dead yet? Well, he thanks Slaine for coming to his aid. Oh Slaine, did you screw up? Slaine is so mad that he pumps bullets into him. Can you believe he missed many of his shots?! So much so Saazbaum hints by pointing in his forehead! Now what? Got no balls to do that? Slaine sees Inaho crawling up to Asseylum’s dead body. Lots of happy memories… Slaine chooses to point his gun at Inaho. Don’t even think of touching the princess. They recognize each other. They meet for the first time face to face. Inaho pulls out a gun. Slaine shoots him. Dead. With Saazbaum defeated, UE claims victory but with high casualties from both sides. Asseylum has not been heard since…

Season 2

Episode 13
19 months down the road… They’re still fighting! At least in the asteroid belt. But Slaine has powered up so much that he actually kicks ass in his Cataphract! Not a single resistance can touch him! Down on Earth, we see Rayet, Inko and the other girls sunbathing on some beach while Deucalion undergoes maintenance. Time to take it easy? There is this video of Asseylum how she discovered the truth about Earth after her ‘death’. They take the blessed resources for granted and wastes them. So now this war is to free Earth from those exploiters? Slaine returns to Saazbaum who praises him for his exceptional skills and that it was right to have knighted him. Yeah. Now he has his own personal manservant, Harklight. They go see Princess Lemrina to report their progress on Earth’s conquest. Although she is royalty, she hates the blood she has as it only serves to power Aldnoah. But nevertheless she is grateful to Saazbaum for extending his hand of friendship to her. Fun time is over as Deucalion makes a sortie when a Martian Cataphract attacks them. It freezes everything in its radius so you can’t get near him. Not even bullets. Suddenly! Inaho comes back! He wastes no time going into analytical overdrive to calculate this and that. Thank his left mechanical eye for that? In no time, he perfectly closes up on the Cataphract and kills it point blank! It thought it was overkill when the entire area went up in flames. Inko is so relieved that he is back that she instantly hugs him. So this is his first actual return? Want to know how this happened, right? Right. Flashback after Slaine shot him, he went over to Saazbaum, doesn’t kill him, swears his loyalty and ‘threatens’ him to take Asseylum and leave together. Die with his goals unrealized or live with Asseylum. I guess we know what he chose. When Yuki and Inko came, they are devastated to see Inaho in his pool of blood. They bring him back to Yagarai and I think they’re hoping some sort of a miracle this doctor can bullet. I mean, what are the chances of him surviving after a bullet went right through his eye socket? Suddenly Aldnoah’s light starts emitting from him. Is he a Martian? Actually, he might have got it during Asseylum’s CPR. It was enough to power Deucalion as it makes its way to some base up in the atmosphere. That video of Asseylum declaring war on Earth is actually Lemrina in disguise. Nobody could tell the difference, eh? Slaine goes to visit Asseylum whose body lies in some chamber and on life support.

Episode 14
Deucalion docks at Trident Base in space. Inaho is testing out a software for his eye. Its analysis is so freaking accurate that he could tell Inko’s weight as well as her nervousness in emotions that makes her lying! I don’t think this feature will bring in the chicks. But then again, does he care? Also, this same nervousness is what he detected in that Asseylum’s war speech video. It could mean this video is fake. I guess Lemrina’s disguise is so perfect that Rayregalia still believes she is Asseylum. But he is now on his deathbed as he seeks Saazbaum’s help to look after his granddaughter. Saazbaum feels bad about lying about Asseylum twice and asks for Slaine’s opinion of Vers. Something that even if they conquer Earth’s resources, the commoners’ lives won’t change. The solution is Aldnoah which is also the root of the problem. Saazbaum is grateful that the royalty gave the knights Aldnoah but are also to be blamed for creating a highly stratified society. He will bring change to Mars and wants Slaine’s help. As he orders his unit to sortie, Slaine realizes his Cataphract is not activated. Aldnoah drive is disabled. He requests Lemrina to activate it but she won’t. She thinks he is just using her as replacement for Asseylum and only admires her Aldnoah power (they might have the same father but different mothers). He disagrees and shows his scarred back and explains his tough circumstances. He might not understand the burden she carries but assures his loyalty. She kisses him to transfer her Aldnoah power. But only good for one use? Trident Base knows they will be passing Mars’ space base, Marineros Base. And within that close distance, an epic battle is inevitable. However Saazbaum’s unit makes a surprise attack on Trident Base from behind. Time for action. Both sides cannot land hits on each other thanks to the asteroids and space wind. But one can. You guessed it. Inaho! Thanks to his super eye, right? 100% accuracy! Of course, there is only another person who can rival him. You guessed it. Slaine! He has improved so much that he can dodge Inaho’s shots! And Inaho can even replay that scene to see how he super dodged it! Both guys are curious to know who they are fighting and boy, are they ‘glad’ to see each other again? It’s been 19 months…

Episode 15
Magbaredge talks to Inaho that everyone on Deucalion owes their lives to him. So if he wants to go to fight in the front lines, they will support him the best they can. She reveals they have been doing experiments of Aldnoah activation with the princess’ blood samples but cannot get it to work. Only Inaho seems to be the exception. It might have to do with that transfer during resuscitation and his exposure to her blood when she was shot. When Slaine returns from practice, Count Barouhcruz and Count Marylcian do not like him so much and are about to beat him up when Saazbaum intervenes. They do not approve of Slaine because despite if Saazbaum want to keep this Earthling as his pet dog, it is fine but knighting him has gone too far. They are sure he will betray them. Slaine dares him to cut him down now. They are about to but Saazbaum announces to adopt Slaine as his own son. Touch him, you die. They back down for now but if they suspect the slightest betrayal, they’ll kill him. Saazbaum has been thinking of making Slaine his son for some time because he needs somebody to be his heir. Then it is time for another space fight between the bases. Inko is in trouble and once again, Inaho comes to her rescue. He must be so cock sure with his analysis that he goes ahead into the battlefield of the enemy’s territory. And once again, he faces off with Slaine. Trident Base is able to shoot and break off Marineros Base. Orders are given to pull back and make defend the base but Inaho and Slaine are busy engaging with each other. They’re so good in predicting each other that it looks like a draw. Saazbaum wants to take over the fight since he has a score to settle with Inaho. His Cataphract has powered up too as Inaho fires all his got to locate gaps in his barrier. With Inko’s split second help, he manages to locate it but Saazbaum is hit with a rain of debris. Slaine explains it is not. They are bullets he fired in advance. It was a trap he devised to defeat Inaho. Although he did not factor in his barrier, he knew Inaho would somehow figure it out. Saline reveals that he never really swore loyalty to him. Especially the one who pulled the trigger on Asseylum. Goodbye father. The second rain destroys Saazbaum. Saline gives a magnificent eulogy in the aftermath and calls for the knights to unite and destroy Earth. He takes over Saazbaum’s position and wants Harklight to join him to bring a new revolution to Vers where it will be a new era for people like them. Inaho analyzes Slaine’s speech and can tell he is not lying. This means Asseylum is still alive.

Episode 16
Deucalion is set to return to Earth. Slaine talks to Lemrina about the nobles’ act after Saazbaum’s death. As of now they do not want to show their disapproval or fight over his inheritance while some still mourn him. Lemrina believes Saazbaum was a great loss to Vers. She was a result of indiscretion of her father, the second emperor Gillzeria on the moon. His second sin was Heaven’s Fall which cost him his life. Saazbaum found her and swore allegiance to her when she had nothing. She doesn’t know if he had ulterior motives but that is fine. She finds it difficult to trust someone without Machiavellian ambition. Now all of Saazbaum’s privileges are in Slaine’s possession including guardianship of Asseylum. She hopes he won’t forget the princess he is supposed to protect before him. Barouhcruz and Marylcian contact Count Mazuurek that they are suspicious of Saazbaum’s death right after he named Slaine as his heir. They suggest putting aside their differences and teaming up. Mazuurek launches his attack near Yemen as Marito and Yuki’s team head in to engage him. It’s going to be tough as always without that kid. Especially Mazuurek’s Cataphract causing a desert storm by manipulating gravity. Yeah, it’s causing their heads to spin too. Marito is taking pot shots at it for distraction when his trauma begins to work up. As always, you need Inaho for victory. A well timed shot from above disables the Cataphract and ensured their victory. Meanwhile a lone Cataphract attacks Trident Base with speed and accuracy despite the dense debris. I know who that is… And I think Inaho also has an idea who can pull all that stuffs alone. Marito talks to Yagarai about his returning trauma but the latter believes the shock therapy may be working because he is unconsciously using that trauma as a reason to fight. Reward? A glass of liquor?! When Slaine returns to base, everyone gives him the salute so the counts that are against him will now think twice about going against him. He delivered results with flying colours and no one can call him a traitor now.

Episode 17
Mazuurek has been taken prisoner. Yagarai takes a look at Inaho’s left eye and was told he wrote and expanded the software himself. He is also warned not to use it too much as there is a risk. Yuki talks to Inaho about joining this fight when he could have stayed put at the hospital. She is not like him who became a soldier to protect him. So it must be that princess, right? He believes she is still alive somewhere. He saw before his eyes that she was shot and therefore will rescue her. Inaho then interrogates Mazuurek. His loyalty to Vers is what makes him perfect for this interrogation. First he asks his loyalty to Asseylum and then reveals that the one seen in the video is an imposter. The real one is alive and being hidden somewhere. Rayet joins the interrogation after Inaho details of the events when he was with Asseylum during the assault. She is still bitter her father was killed that way but Mazuurek says in any event her father would have died sooner or later and it is better than being branded a traitor. Inaho ends the interrogation. Rayet thinks he must think she is the same stupid Martian who is living in the past. All she does is blame, hate and kill them. Although he believes she is different, she asserts she still hates Martians especially herself. Marylcian contacts ‘Asseylum’ when Slaine isn’t around. Mazuurek has escaped thanks to Inaho and Rayet. They want him to return to his Landing Castle to investigate Asseylum’s whereabouts. Inaho sees Mazuurek having the same eyes as Asseylum because both do not want war with Earth and are interested in the nature of this planet. Inaho also wants him to help investigate Slaine’s objectives. Slaine is not too pleased that Lemrina has granted an audience with Marylcian. With Barouhcruz, Marylcian wants to serve as her personal knight. Slaine disagrees but Marylcian tells him to shut it and then starts badmouthing him about his lowly Earthling status that he has no right to even set foot in this place. Marylcian challenges Slaine to a duel to see who is worthy to be Asseylum’s guard.

Episode 18
Slaine speaks to some of the Orbital Knights who support him. They find it contradictory despite Slaine wants all of them to unite but he himself is picking a fight with Marylcian. Slaine believes that Vers sees themselves as superior to their Earth counterparts and this had led to their carelessness and ultimately undoing. This is the state of Orbital Knights now. He believes some things are better seen from an outside perspective. I’m not sure if Lemrina feels bad about letting the duel happen but Slaine couldn’t be more grateful as this gives him a chance to quell any opposition. Lemrina wants to help him even if it means being Asseylum’s substitute. Marito and his team are engaging another Orbital Knight. They’ve been lucky so far because nobody has died! Then you need Inaho for victory because he is from a safe distance, pinpointing the exact location and when to shoot your weapon! Even if the knight takes out the communicators, Inaho fires some tracer rounds but Yuki decides to play hero this time and with luck, destroys the Martian Cataphract. Inaho didn’t like her sister for disobeying his order to stay clear (her mecha luckily lost only an arm) but she says there is no way a little brother can order a big sister around despite he ranks higher! WTF?! Slaine and Marylcian’s duel begins. The former is seen only running away from the latter’s many laser turrets. No letting up as it shoots from all angles. But Slaine overcomes this by hiding in some tunnel to limit its attack to only 1 angle and takes out all the turrets. Now Marylcian is the one running. Slaine then cuts open his hatch to let that bastard get suck out into the vacuum of space. Barouhcruz is forced to acknowledge Slaine’s victory as witness and as per the rules, Marylcian’s entire estate will be transferred to Slaine. Inaho’s eye is the most useful eye ever because he has been watching the entire battle from the ground!!! HE CAN SEE THAT FAR UP IN SPACE???!!! Lastly, Asseylum makes an official announcement that she will become Slaine’s husband and their new kingdom will be Earth. What is the best way to stay as that? Lemrina shuts off Asseylum’s life support system! She will be her from now on… Then… Just kidding! She switches back on and can’t kill her because she is still her sister despite their differences. After she leaves, Asseylum’s eyes slowly open…

Episode 19
Asseylum also rallies Vers to unite. This means Slaine also holds the same authority as her and this includes the power to utilize Aldnoah. Magbaredge is talking to the higher ups who would love her to continue operating Deucalion. They thing Asseylum’s announcement is just a ploy to rally Orbital Knights. However she feels they are being complacent and letting their guard down just because the tide is in their favour. Eddelrittuo reports to Slaine about Asseylum so he orders her to transport her to his castle. No one is to know about this. Not even Lemrina. So Slaine tells Lemrina about the worsening condition of Asseylum. She feels bad that he is in pain right now and that he doesn’t need to hold back in front of her. It’s because she is already his. Lemrina’s monologue tells us she has always admired Asseylum and wonders if that incident triggered it. But rest assured she will be there for Slaine in her stead. She will support him when she cannot. She can’t control herself and starts crying. Yuki talks to Inaho about recent Asseylum’s announcement. She still hates Slaine for being and asshole for shooting her brother. To Inaho, it doesn’t matter if Asseylum is fake or not. Nobody will listen to her again if she seeks for peace between the planets. Slaine goes to check on Asseylum’s condition. Suddenly she regains consciousness. Her first words were Eddelrittuo’s name. Slaine wonders if she remembers him and keeps saying his name. Of course she does. Proof of that is how she repeats his name like a broken recorder. What a lovely reunion. While they’re at that, the ugly war is still ongoing in the background. Then Slaine goes to lie to Lemrina about Eddelrittuo taking some time off to take care of Asseylum’s ‘worsening condition’. Lemrina agrees but is worried about him too. He assures her she is the only one he can rely on. My, what a player he is. Mazuurek returns to his Landing Castle and communicates to Barouhcruz. After being informed of the latest updates, Mazuurek is in a dilemma on what to do. Barouhcruz brushes off rumours that Saazbaum was killed by Slaine. And now back to some mecha action with Inaho and co fighting the Martian Cataphracts. He knows Slaine has made his move because several Landing Castles and Orbital Knights join in this coordinated attack.

Episode 20
I guess when you’re fighting against 3 Orbital Knights, it is only wise to pull back. Too late for some of the platoon divisions. Easy kill. Annihilated. Slaine orders the offensive to be continued as he remembers the first time Asseylum was put in the chamber on life support. This was the best Saazbaum could do and all that was left was to pray for a miracle. Slaine couldn’t accept this reality and goes crazy. Deucalion arrives in time to pick up its mechas but a Martian Cataphract that is able to clone itself is hot on its tail. Although Deucalion escapes in time, it takes a major damage as all electronic communications and readings are out. How can they pilot the ship then? Don’t worry. There’s always Inaho’s to guide you! Heck, he should just pilot the entire ship himself. And then orders from the higher ups came. An all-out attack to reclaim their lost territory. So they’re just throwing in the numbers now, huh? Mazuurek will pledge his loyalty to Slaine but wants to have an audience with him and Asseylum. Slaine doesn’t mind this request as long as it helps grow their power for the time being. Slaine’s guilt must be increasing as he talks to Lemrina about making Earth their new kingdom because either way, he never had a home. She too feels the same but notes whenever she is with him, that is her home. Slaine talks to Eddelrittuo about her concerns about that proclamation. That proclamation as he says was born from the weakness of his heart, holding on to his faith that Asseylum would wake up someday. And now that she has, the irony is that he doesn’t want her memories to return (her mind is still a little hazy). His priority now is to make Asseylum happy and couldn’t care less about everything else. As for Lemrina, he knows she is looking a place to belong but knows that people like them can never attain it. Mazuurek sees Asseylum and as he talks to her about Earth, the more he feels suspicious about the way she says things. Later he talks to Eddelrittuo and since the little attendant isn’t a good actor, he can tell something is wrong. Lemrina is upset that Slaine wasn’t with her during Mazuurek’s audience although Harklight told her he is preoccupied with new mission plans. Yeah, he seems to be spending more time in his Landing Castle than anything else. That includes being by her side. When Eddelrittuo passes a gift to Asseylum from Mazuurek, suddenly all her memories come flooding back when she sees the pendant. Lemrina laments how long it will be till Asseylum releases her grip on Slaine’s feelings. She goes to check on her but is shocked to see the chamber empty.

Episode 21
I’m sure everyone is depending on Inaho to analyze the enemy’s Cataphracts. Based on their abilities, they are nicknamed Ninja (cloning), Sparky (lightning/electricity) and Houdini (invisibility). Slaine contacts Lemrina and propose to do an announcement of their progress victory to rally support. She agrees and asks about Asseylum’s condition. Of course she knows he is lying when he tells her that her condition is still in critical state. Asseylum learns the war has been going on ever since she went into coma and is supposedly started by Slaine. She wants to see him to ascertain the truth. As she walks out, she sees herself (Lemrina in disguise). Lemrina is not happy. She points her gun at her and claims she is her. Inaho and co go into battle with the Orbital Knights. As usual, tough opposition till Inaho steps in with his plan. I can’t be bothered to think how it works because I know it’ll work in the end as Sparky and Houdini get destroyed. Now all that is left is to face Ninja. Make that Ninjas. Inaho gets so technical explaining about Ninja’s abilities that even his comrades tell him to get to the point! It seems that all the clones are real! Say what? And then with this plan of his, he synchronizes all his allies’ mechas to fire simultaneously at all the clones. Because they’re all real and linked so they’ll be destroyed simultaneously including the original one. I don’t get it, but hell, it works, right? Lemrina summons Slaine to explain about Asseylum’s awakening. He tells her Asseylum’s memories have not returned and still needs to use her to act as the princess till he creates their new world. Even if this is not what Asseylum wants, that is why he will create it and present it to her. Noting he has changed a lot, Lemrina than stands up. She is actually Asseylum in disguise. The real Lemrina reveals she told her everything. Asseylum points her gun at him and orders him to call an immediate ceasefire. However he is not afraid, claiming he is no longer under her authority as he is not a citizen of Vers anymore. He has his men take the princesses into custody. Just when the higher ups praise Deucalion for another great victory, they are going to send them into battle again. This time it will be way up in space. They think they’re on a roll. Meanwhile Klancain, the son of Cruhteo seeks permission to see Slaine.

Episode 22
Deucalion leaves orbit for Parnassos Base. Seems their two-pronged operation this time is to divide the enemy forces and be the bait. Magbaredge of course doesn’t intend to follow that suspicious plan. Eddelrittuo apologizes to Asseylum. Asseylum blames herself and takes responsibility for this. Lemrina blames her for waking up because had she not, she will be in full control and Slaine would not have been this confused. Klancain sees Slaine and they talk about things when the alert sounds. The Terrans have begun their assault. Inaho deduces that HQ has a bigger plan for this mission. Since the assault team is using their offensive cover for infiltration, it could only mean that the plan is to assassinate Asseylum. However they are ambushed as Slaine predicted this. Inaho also personally infiltrates the base to find her. I guess he used too much of his eye and it’s starting to hurt. And I thought he’d always be untouchable forever. The princesses are being evacuated but come into contact with the assault team. They barely escape. When Slaine hears about this, he personally goes to handle this himself. Lemrina decides not to go with Asseylum because this is her place. Where else will she go? Where else can she run to and from? Inaho is looking for Asseylum but encounters Slaine. A gun fight ensues as Inaho tells him to leave Asseylum out of this. Slaine believes their goal goes hand in hand so Inaho says he is only using her. Inaho manages to shoot the steam pipes for distraction and get away. He finally meets with Asseylum and since he is glad she is okay, he falls unconscious from his wound. His mechanical eye then takes a life of its own. It even speaks on behalf of Inaho to give escape information to Asseylum. There is no time for her to take him so they have to make haste. She leaves her necklace with him and leaves a message of thanks. When Asseylum is at the dock, she is ambushed by an assault team member but Klancain saves the day.

Episode 23
Klancain takes Asseylum aboard his ship to escape. The real Inaho wakes up and receives information from his eye. He contacts Inko if Asseylum has been retrieved. Despite the negative answer, he knows the mission is a success because she has escaped the base and calls for Inko to pick him up. The strain of his mechanical eye must be taking its toll. Yagarai fears that since he has used it too much, it is like giving part of his brain to the machine. Deucalion is ordered to retreat since HQ has claimed to achieve their objective. Slaine contacts Klancain on what he is doing and tells him to turn back as the base is the safest place for the princess. Asseylum even pleads in tears to Slaine for him to make peace with Earth. He will talk about that if they turn around now. Klancain doesn’t listen to Slaine’s orders to turn around but his loyalty is to Asseylum. She is still bent on stopping the war and wants to address the Orbital Knights but Klancain says that no longer is enough because they have swore loyalty to Slaine. Everything hinges on their marriage now. Remember, Slaine still has Lemrina who can be her. Speaking of which, she meets Slaine and pities him and her sister. Asseylum is brought to Mazuurek who is glad he is able to show his loyalty to her and also repay his debt to Inaho. Shortly, Slaine orders the commencement of an all-out attack on Earth. He will show Earthlings what it is like with no place to return. You know what? Inaho’s eye pick this news up and despite his condition, he is going into battle. Yuki must very well know this is coming and whatever she says won’t stop him. But what about Inko? She’s crying about him trying to be a hero. He might be lucky surviving the last few times but miracles don’t always happen. I suppose this guy must have run out of ideas to assure her so he guarantees they’ll all come back alive. Because his eye says so! Asseylum seeks an audience with Rayregalia whose health is very frail. She wants him to stop the war but he won’t. He cannot forgive Earth. Seems he is senile and talking about his dead son and the glory of obtaining Aldnoah that would advance mankind. Once he finally recognizes her, he hopes she’ll be a good princess and lead the people. The assault begins as Slaine rallies every Orbital Knight to attack with full power. Suddenly his transmission is hijacked by Asseylum who makes her broadcast everywhere about the regrets and suffering of this war. Therefore she is claiming her right to the throne as Empress of Vers. She also announces her engagement to Klancain and will extend an olive branch of peace to Earth.

Episode 24
The Orbital Knights are confused over Asseylum’s announcement but some still continue their attack on Earth’s forces. I guess with Slaine screwed over this unexpected turn of incidents, the only person he can turn to now is Lemrina. Yeah, she’ll always be by his side. So when Barouhcruz demands an explanation from Slaine, he orders all forces to surrender to Earth and abandon the moon base. This means Lemrina is forced to evacuate against her will while Slaine tries to be a martyr and self destructs the base! WTF?! Did they really install this feature in the base?! But Harklight and some Slaine loyalists turn back to fight the Earthlings. They won’t listen to Slaine anymore. Can’t blame them. Everybody is so confused. Just when Slaine is to resign to his fate, then he sees a familiar Cataphract approaching. Inaho is coming to get him. Rather, time to settle things between them once and for all. So in between the battle of the ‘emperors’, the rest also need have the obligatory minimum screen action time. You can tell the Terrans will be victorious since the Mars’ side are out of ammo, damaged Cataphract parts and only a small number remain. Yeah, they all become martyrs and die in battle. Eventually, Slaine also lost but instead of resigning to his fate of burning up in the atmosphere’s re-entry, Inaho goes with him to soften his fall. They crash land safely on some shore. They look okay. This time it is Inaho who is pointing his gun at Slaine. He signals and points at his forehead. Like father, like son? In the aftermath, the news reports Asseylum officiating a ceremony of the construction of Aldnoah Reactor as goodwill between Earth and Vers based on Dr Troyard’s research. It’s a symbiotic relationship with Earth using the technology to rebuild and spur the economy with Aldnoah based industries while Vers earns good foreign capital. Although some Orbital Knights still occupy Earth’s territory, Asseylum will go negotiate with them to return it. Slaine is reported to be dead (which allowed this treaty possible) but he is actually held in a high security facility. He’s like so lifeless with nothing to live for. Inaho visits and talks to him. If you’re wondering about Inaho’s pirate fashion sense not because he wants to be Captain Harlock but rather he has removed his eye due to the strain it is causing him. Besides, the war is over. He doesn’t need it anymore. Slaine is bitter that he saved him. A person who stole, lied and killed his comrades deserves death. However Inaho says this wasn’t his decision. It was Asseylum’s. Her request was to save Slaine from his misery. This turns Slaine into an emotional wreck. How can still she be so considerate for an asshole like him? Asseylum and Klancain tour the vast beach and are impressed of the endless blue sky.

W.A.R. is for We Are Right!
What the heck is this unsatisfying ending? It feels like a rushed job. Because I feel like they didn’t tie up things properly with the rest of the characters and just rushed to give a good ending. Good as in peace between Earth and Vers. Until the next conflict arises. So rushed that instead of showing snippets and montage of other characters to tie up loose ends (those attending Asseylum’s officiating ceremony isn’t counted), they feature the full 3 minute length of the first season’s song just to fill in the remaining space. Uh huh. And they didn’t even show any clips or animation during this either. Just a pitch black background while the credits of everyone and everything keep rolling as long as the music’s duration. Like as though you are leaving a cinema after the long movie ends. Yeah. That.

Honestly, the first season felt great and it was interesting enough to keep me focused on what is going on despite I may not understand everything. The cliff-hanger ending wasn’t that all bad and heart pounding enough for me to keep wondering how they will play it out. And then they had to ‘reset’ it in the second season and the war becomes more like something personally. Reset as in bringing back characters like Inaho and Asseylum who are supposed to be dead. I know they are important to the series and it wouldn’t be the same without them but somehow that is where I felt it went downhill. Not very steeply but it wasn’t as great as when I watched the first season. A hero and a princess die at the end? Not good! Might as well revive them. Feels lame… Catch-22 situation.

This is what I summed up for both seasons of this series: For the first season, it is the rise of Inaho because you get to see how this kid performed miracles to earn Earth’s victory in otherwise would have been an early loss. For the second season feels more like the rise of Slaine because you get to see how this kid fuelled by the unfortunate event that befell his beloved princess, to take provocative and aggressive action to work his way up to where he is now and surprisingly as the one leading the Orbital Knights. So while you see the rise of one of them, the other plays a secondary role in that season. Like when it is Inaho’s first season, Slaine feels like a character who just screws up everything including the one where he got Asseylum killed. When it is Slaine’s turn to lead, Inaho is reduced to being in the background doing things that lack making any big impact. Therefore this show is really just about these 2 characters as far as I can see and everyone else somehow feels and falls flat.

Inaho as the main character sometimes feel like a big fail. Because he is already such an emotionless kid unlike your puberty-hit angst-ridden main characters, you don’t even this guy doesn’t scream from the top of his voice! Where is the passion in such characters?! I mean when Okisuke died, this guy didn’t show a shred of emotions! I thought there was something wrong. Yeah, maybe his expressionless personality is something wrong. And then you see him become the genius and super kid because he always has a plan that never fails. I know he is perhaps trying to live by the motto that you won’t get anywhere if you don’t take risks but sometimes I feel that he is too confident that it will work like as though he has read the script beforehand and knew the outcome. That is why he is so calm. Oh man, this guy should switch name with his engineering pal. And now that he has got a mechanical eye, this guy is a step closer in becoming God. I think he is already one. Accurate calculations, thorough analysis, detailed computations… Wow. Unbelievable that I almost suffered stomach cramps ;p. How can you not win the war with this kind of ability? Earth should just send this one-man kid to save Earth while everybody just sit back their ass and relax. Besides, don’t you think he did most of the work in ensuring Earth’s victory? Come to think of it, who the heck designed the programme for his eye anyway? It is such a big waste for it not to be patented or anything since it has a mind of its own while you’re unconscious. Yeah right. Nobody cares…

Then there is this Slaine dude who seems to have tremendously changed. From the first season he is like the whipping kid and the subject of Cruhteo’s torment and he is only enduring it because of his loyalty-cum-love for Asseylum. He is submissive and screws up and he must be one hell of a lucky son of a gun to survive it all. And when he cleverly planned his way to the top and killing Saazbaum after legally seizing all he could, he becomes the major ‘antagonist’ fighting a meaningless war despite his calls for taking back resources, supremacy, blah, blah, blah. But as Eddelrittuo said, Slaine might not have changed all the while because his hope of having Asseylum come to was always his priority. But how is that different now that she is awakened? I guess he got confused. It’s like he is trying to cover up his mistakes with this war. Well, winners get to write and rewrite history, right?

Asseylum who was the culprit of the war and how it all started despite the irony she longs for peace on both sides. The biggest mind boggling thing about her is the fact that after she really revives, how come nobody actually questions her about her earlier decisions to wage war on Earth? Okay, assuming some may suspect the video is fake but in general, shouldn’t everybody be suspicious of her when she makes a sudden u-turn in her decision? Even more mind boggling is how she is officiating the construction without all those watching Earthlings having the slightest grudge on their face. This was the princess who came to Earth at first for goodwill. Then she declared war and now she pronounced ceasefire and peace? What kind of crap is this? Shouldn’t there at least be disgruntled humans and assassins trying to assassinate her? Because she looks so open and unguarded. The lax in security is even worse when she first arrived. I guess humans have suffered so much from the war that they also suffer from having a short memory.

The other characters just feel fleeting. Especially the final episode, the host of surviving characters are just shown for the sake of that. It’s not like they bear anything significant or anything. Like Lemrina. So what happened to her after that? Where will she go? Even if they show her making up with Asseylum or being by her side, it wouldn’t be that bad. But she is nowhere to be seen after the evacuation. Nowhere. Yuki could have seriously died of a heart attack every time she has to see her little brother take risky risks. Each time he amazingly comes back alive. So can you not blame her for being overly worried like an overprotective sister? Only that Inaho is being stubborn and doesn’t feel like sitting back. Marito seems to have his problem of overcoming his trauma. Each time he goes into battle, his trauma gets in the way that prevents him from completing his mission. In a way, it gives Inaho the very much opportunity he needed to earn his reputation. Although it might seem Marito has gotten over his trauma (because he seems to be piloting decently without reliving that nightmare), I feel he doesn’t make an overall impact. I don’t know what Magbaredge’s deal is because initially this feels like a running joke as she from time to time loves teasing her XO, Kaoru Mizusaki. Because of the decisions or opinions, she always have to remind her isn’t it any wonder this is why no men like her. WTF?! I know she looks a little tomboyish. So what?! What about you yourself, captain?

Eddelrittuo feels ‘amusing’ because in the first season, she is like suspicious of every damn Earthling who talks to Asseylum. I know she’s trying to be a good attendant trying to protect Asseylum for her own good but she’s doing it enough to make it look annoying. Can you cut that princess some slack? Then in the second season, it feels like she has been reduced to a side character in the background. Like part of the furniture or something. Haha! Just kidding. You see her more worried than before, before and after Asseylum’s revival. Lemrina also feels like a confused princess just like Slaine. All she ever wanted was a place she could belong to. And she thought by taking over Asseylum’s place she could have it and at least Slaine. And that princess had to wake up. Already a second fiddle, won’t you get upset when the first fiddler withdraws and just when you thought you’re going to get the limelight, that withdrawer returns. Frustrating, right? I assume Rayregalia must be dead, right? Is it right for Asseylum to assume the supreme throne when grandpa hasn’t kicked the bucket yet? Maybe emergency times call for emergency measures. Yeah. They didn’t even have the decency to show him breathe his last breath. Who cares for an old geezer anyway?

No time for romance on board when you have an inter-planetary war. I wasn’t putting my hopes to seeing Inaho in any romantic scenes with Inko or even Rayet. True enough, nothing of that sort happened although it might just be hinted on Inko’s side. I mean, with a guy with no expression or that sort, how do you expect any romantic clichés? I guess those are the reasons why those 2 girls are still alive and by his side. To troll us if the prospects of a love triangle would happen. Isn’t that what Rayet’s character is for? For the potential of any romance if there would be but nothing actually. This girl keeps regretting about the death of her father and won’t forgive Martians, blah, blah, blah. That’s about it. Just like Inko, in battle they are just pretty decent in holding out because Inaho is still the main man. They’re just there for the numbers, huh?

In a bigger picture, it seemed like Inaho and Slaine are fighting over Asseylum because you can sense that they both don’t want to give up on her and are doing things on behalf of her as they believed. Their whatever excuses otherwise feel like a cover up. So in the end, neither of them got the girl because for Klancain to show up at the penultimate episode (actually he showed up right at the end of 3 episodes from the finish to be exact but that doesn’t really count, right?) to usurp them both and land the big fish herself. Wow. Didn’t see this coming. And sometimes you thought it was going to be Inaho or Slaine who will get her and in worst case scenario, none of them. But no. The son of Cruhteo got her instead. Yeah, I guess the guys, the main character duo are the biggest losers. Even bigger than the loss of the war. Oh, and no Marito x Magbaredge or Marito x Yuki romance (not even any hinting ones) because we don’t want complicated adult romance in animes. Watching high school kids’ romance is better. If it ever happens here.

As this series isn’t as original as you may think it is, it is because it seems to borrow elements heavily from other animes before it. Sometimes it feels like plagiarism but it isn’t. With so many animes churning out every year, you can’t help feel the similarities the more animes you watch. So a similarity that I can see with Shingeki No Kyojin is the Martian Cataphracts that are like Titans. Earth’s forces are puny and nothing against them. They are just defenceless against those superior robots. All the shots fired at them feel like pot shots. You can never win. Unless… Then there is that Code Geass feel because you have got Slaine who is from Earth fighting for Vers whereas Asseylum who is of Vers royalty trying to make peace with Earth. But mostly, I read that many said its borrowed elements are from Valvrave The Liberator especially the similarities between the main characters and the different human factions at war with each other.

The actions bits are satisfactory. Even if I don’t feel anything extraordinary about it but at least it keeps you entertained and the norm of what mecha themed animes are supposed to be. It defeats the purpose if you don’t have cool big robots pounding each other, right? But I just keep wondering why there are so many soldiers/pilots/fighters on either side because during action sequences, we see so many Cataphracts explode and its pilot die from both sides. I think they want to rake up the body count but seriously, after all that fighting and there are still so many left in the army? While the Earth’s mechas are just plain boring because each one is about the same (of course they do not have the technology for better arms), the Martian Cataphracts are more interesting because there are no 2 Cataphracts that are the same. At least for the Orbital Knights. Each come with their own unique abilities so each time you engage with one of them, you’ll need a new plan or meet your maker. I thought the side characters should just die in the last episode’s final battle because it didn’t really matter. To save us from tying up the loose ends of where they will be, maybe they should have just killed them all. Because like for example Marito who is having his trauma problems the entire way, he should have did some last action hero thingy and succumbed to death on the battlefield. Not like he did anything much in every battle either. Yeah, I’ve said it so many times. It is always Inaho who gets the job done.

I have to admit that the animation and art are of top notch quality. I suppose when you have a mecha genre, you need to have majestic and shiny robots to appeal to the audience. Therefore in this department, the mechas of both sides look pretty neat (thanks to the help of CGI effects of course) although I feel the ones from Earth are a bit bland. They still look cool except for their ‘oversized shoulder pads’ that somewhat made me feel that if they’re going to some intergalactic American football game. Of course our hero Inaho gets to be ‘different’ as he rides an orange coloured one since it was the one he used at the start as practice. It gives him luck, right? Yeah well, they should try painting the other dull coloured ones the same and maybe the death ratio will be lowered. Then again, maybe not. Therefore I prefer the designs of the Martian Cataphracts because with different Orbital Knights each having their own Cataphracts, each with their own unique power and ability and thus their designs seem way cooler than their Earthling counterparts. Other than that, the human characters are okay as well as the sceneries. Well, I personally thought the sceneries and structures in space are better looking anyway. On a trivial note, the first time I looked at Lemrina, I thought her hairstyle looked like a pair of balls hanging on her side! Really!

Voice acting seems pretty okay and nothing to shout about. New kids on the block are taking the lead with Natsuki Hanae as Inaho (Kousei in Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso), Kensho Ono as Slaine (Hakuryuu in Magi) and Sora Amamiya as Asseylum (titular character in Akame Ga Kill). The rest include Mikako Komatsu as Inko (Tsugumi in Nisekoi), Sachika Misawa as Rayet (Black Lotus in Accel World), Shiina Natsukawa as Lemrina (Nonoka in Sora No Method), Sayaka Ohara as Yuki (Erza in Fairy Tail), Kazuya Nakai as Marito (Zoro in One Piece), Ai Kayano as Magbaredge (Inori in Guilty Crown), Kousuke Toriumi as Yagarai (Gennosuke in Basilisk), Inori Minase as Eddelrittuo (Chino in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka), Toru Ohkawa as Saazbaum (Roy in Fullmetal Alchemist), Daisuke Hirakawa as Harklight (Muneakira in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls), Sho Hayami as Cruhteo (Tokiomi in Fate/Zero), Takahiro Sakurai as Trillram (Suzaku in Code Geass), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Mazuurek (Shun in Kimi to Boku), Ryota Ohsaka as Klancain (Marco in Shingeki No Kyojin), Shinji Ogawa as Rayregalia (Stresemann in Nodame Cantabile) and Taishi Murata as Calm (Eiichirou Maruo in Baby Steps). Not forgetting this, maybe it has become a little joy for me now to spot short cameo appearances of my favourite Mamiko Noto as she rarely takes on main roles these days. Despite only a short scene, she is the voice behind Orlane.

If the first opening theme sounds familiar, it is because Heavenly Blue is sung by Kalafina whose trademark voices can be heard in anime songs like Kuroshitsuji and Fate/Zero. I prefer this compared to the second opening theme, &Z by Sawano Hiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki. I don’t even know how to pronounce the title and the artist’s name. Seriously, I thought it shouldn’t have changed but new seasons call for new themes. That same Sawano whatever-this-group-name-is also sings the ending themes for the first season. I think they have a penchant for weirdly naming their songs too. The first ending theme is A/Z and sounds okay as a rock piece while the second ending theme, aLIEz has a little techno feel. Both songs aren’t that bad. For the second season, it is Genesis by Eir Aoi as the main one while Harmonious by Sora Amamiya is a mainly a rock drum cover and special ending theme only appearing for the penultimate episode. There are also a handful of insert songs but nothing that memorable for me although it does quite fit the scenes well.

Overall, if you want to pass the time for some explosive mecha action without thinking too deep about the plot or characters, this should be good to pass the time. Don’t worry. It will fly by as you are flabbergasted at Inaho’s super human intelligence, tactics and action. If they could clone and make soldiers out of him, you’re screwed. Thank God nobody did. So it goes to show that how something so minute can spark a full scale war that will leave a scar for generations to come. Hmm… Doesn’t this mirrors how World War I was started in the first place? I think everybody on Vers should just return home to Earth and humans continue to live as one big happy family. There, problem solved. Oh wait. This would give rise to a new form of discrimination for those migrated/returning people. It is perhaps a vicious cycle that would make humans learn and appreciate but then again, they never. So when is the next justice through Heaven’s Fall?

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