Since it’s mentioned in my info on Dragon Blogger that I also love to watch Anime (Japanese Animation), I was asked to do some reviews on Anime. So instead of going with the reviews of old Animes, I picked some from the recent Summer Season. Well I’m going to start the series of reviews with by far the most interesting Anime of this Season, for me that is. This Anime had me in a constant jaw dropping state from Episode 1 to the last episode and the anime is titled Aldonoah Zero. And if you can’t already get excited for this Anime by just looking at the staff, I hope my article will help.
So the plot of this Anime is basically like in 1972, during a space mission, an abandoned Alien hyper gate on the surface of moon was discovered, which leads to Mars. Soon Terrans (that’s what we, humans are called throughout the Anime) stats exploring the Alien technology and people started shifting to Mars through the hyper gate. Those people who shifted to Mars also had the opportunity to explore more of the Alien technology on Mars before anyone else. Soon they claimed all the Alien technology (also known as Aldnoah in the Anime) for themselves and named themselves as Vers Empire, separated from their origin.
Later in 1999, a war starts between Humans and Vers to claim the hyper gate on the Moon for themselves, but in the process of war, the hyper gate was destroyed, taking half of the Moon with it. This was the event where the war comes to a halt and both the empires starts living peacefully, until 2014.
Actual Story: (Contains Spoilers)
That is just something we get to know in the starting of the first episode. The actual story begins when the Princess of Vers namely Asseylum Vers Allusia descends to earth with the sole purpose of making peace. The humans of Earth were fine with it, but some traitors (who don’t think themselves as traitors) of Vers found this to be an opportunity to attack Earth if something was to happen to the Princess. But since the UFE (United Forces of Earth) were totally fine with it, there was no chance of an event where the opportunity would be created. So these traitors themselves planned to kill the Princess using their undercover forces, making a perfect reason to attack the Earth and claim it for themselves as well.
During the parade, the car taking the Princess through was destroyed with a few guided missiles, the princess was killed, and the Versians landed on earth claiming their revenge. This is where our main protagonist steps in (yup, Versian have their own), not that he wasn’t introduced in the anime already.
Namely we are talking about Inaho Kaizuka, a high school student, who seems to lacks emotions and is unusually calm even in the situation of battles for his life and also he seems to be the only intelligent one in the Anime series. He is the only guy who seems to know how to defeat the Vers mechanical robots called Kataphracts. The interesting thing is, he doesn’t already know how exactly to defeat those Aldnoah powered Kataprhacts, but he develops the strategies to do so in between the heat of situations, where not only he has to survive, but defeat his enemy as well.
Another thing worth mentioning is that he along with 2 other friends Calm and Inko, had only learnt basic maneuver training during their schools, using the old orange colored Kataphracts provided. But these 3, under the commands of Inaho and team work of the other two seems to outmatch all the professional military Kataphracts of UFE, which of course seemed a bit awkward throughout the anime. And throughout the Anime, Inaho only uses the training robot that was present at their school to fight all the Martian Kataphracts, though he does gets some upgrades in later episodes.
Plot Twist: (Massive Spoiler!)
Since the Vers’s beloved Princess was killed, there was no way the war could be stopped right? But in actuality, it didn’t really happen. The princess we saw being killed in the attack was actually a face duplicate, the actual princess wasn’t in the car to begin with because since her landing on Earth, she was feeling ill because of the Earth’s environment. Since the war broke out, the only thing she had to do to stop the war was communicate with the Vers Empire and tell them that she’s alive and they could work things out again, right? But even that wasn’t possible because the moment the Vers Army landed on Earth, they destroyed all the satellite and communication networks. Now the only way to get her voice to the Vers Empire was to get to UFE Headquarters and use their long range communication equipment. And so her journey begins again to restore the peace between both planets, where she unites with Inako and UFE forces.
What I Like
To be honest, I don’t really like Mecha Anime (Animes including robots and futuristic gadgets), I have seen Guilty Crown, Code Geass and a few others Mecha Anime, but they don’t really get my attention much, or get boring between the seasons. But this anime had my attention throughout the season. I just couldn’t wait to watch what happens in the next episode (The worst feeling for Otakus) and so on. The way they put the story, connected the characters from entirely different stages was something good to see.
The way they put the character of Slaine Toryard between the story, wasn’t only comfortable, but for a time being one gets the feeling that maybe not Inako but Slaine is the main protagonist of the Anime. Getting the viewer making wrong guesses and making the Anime unpredictable is just what makes it awesome. And in Aldnoah Zero, we have that situation more than once. There comes an episode where one could easily think that they have figured out the real black sheep of Vers, just to find in the end of same episode that they’re got it figured all wrong. The episode I’m referring to had quite a slow progression, and was a bit boring (the only quite boring episode of season for me), but in the end, one couldn’t help themselves asking, “did that just happen?”
Great Soundtracks and Animation
No doubt the Animation quality is really superb, you might not enjoy it as much if watching in low resolutions like 360-480p, but it’s a really polished Anime at 720p or higher. Another thing I like about this anime is the soundtrack, and the way they sync it with the situations just gets shivers running throughout my veins sometimes. If you’ve seen Guilty Crown, then you exactly know what you’re going to expect from this anime in the sound/music quality. It’s not just the soundtracks during the episode, but their opening and ending OST as well sounds great, couldn’t resist listening to them, something I rarely do.
Attitude Suits Each Character
The story progression itself was great but when it comes to character, damn I think I’ve got my new favorite. Inaho, who seems to be the most cold hearted character, isn’t really like that, we get to see a little bit of his emotions in the last episode. Not that I’m against having feelings, but the character suits the main protagonist perfectly, or just maybe I’m over thinking it, personality problem, period. Other characters from either the good side, or the bad as well were put together greatly.
This anime also has some humor in it, making things lively. We get a feeling of that in the very first episode when Inaho’s Sister gets late for her duty, and make funny faces. And even during the events of war, the humor is there. Not that it feels awkward, but who wouldn’t question if he’s alive or not, when he/she was about to die right?
Finally the most important part, the ending of this Anime, this is something I’m not clear about that whether I like the ending or I just totally hate it? For me the ending of an Anime is what makes a real impact, but the ending of this Anime totally had me like “Seriously? Did that just happen? Are You Kidding me!” I am not going to spoil it, but once again the unprintable and jaw dropping happens. I guess I’ll just say I like the overall anime, but not sure what to say about the ending, because this is a 24 episode Anime, having its second season running in January next year, and I’m not sure what’s really going to happen, or even be able to predict it cause you’ll need to see the end yourself to understand my situation.
What I Don’t Like
There’s not really much I don’t like about this Anime except a few things that of course include the un-even intelligence and performance of Inaho’s team, it almost feels like the life of any other UFE military soldier/pilot is worthless as they die as soon as they appear on the screen. You can even predict someone’s going to die by the immediate reaction of Inaho’s speech.
Secondly neither do I like the idea of putting all the abilities of previous Vers Kataphracts that Inaho defeated with the help of his friends, in the final form of the Saazbaum’s Dioskuria (Saazbaum’s Kataphract). I mean it almost feels like they were out of idea to put together the final form of Dioskuria or even it’s original abilities. I see it like tiny robots merging into one giant robot like what we see in any Power Rangers movie (Yup I used to watch that as well).
And thirdly I would like to mention the ending here once again because they’ve left so much confusion with the ending of this anime that the viewers can’t even think of a possible second season. But of course I guess it *may* mean that they are cooking something great once again.
So all and all, I would say that this Anime easily makes it into my top 10 Anime so far. Loved the story, the way they put the different characters together and connected them. I was expecting that maybe there will come a time when Lieutenant Marito would drop his alcohol and jump into the action for real sometime but never got to see that. It’s an easy recommendation from me to watch this Anime even if you watch Mecha Anime or not, or Anime on top of all.
PS: If you’ve already watched it, or watched it after reading this review, let me know your input about the anime, or any other recommendation you have got.
Buy the Anime from here.
Buy the OST here: