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REVIEW: Aldnoah.Zero Episodes 1-12 Streaming


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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1424
Location: New York
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:36 pm Reply with quote
This series was so, so messy. Everything I was even vaguely intrigued by was handled carelessly. I can take a spoiler[faked death or two, but judging by S2 screenshots,] they it's nosediving again. But...I think I'll continue. I don't despise it; it's more a mild annoyance with a nice soundtrack and pretty graphics. I want to at least see if they tighten the writing.

unitmikey wrote:

Yeah let's just hope his outline is more detailed in season two I guess. If it's a three point plan (like if he just had the beginning, very middle, and end), then the show is going to have to work really hard to earn a more solid fanbase.

I'm not even sure if his involvement goes that deep. In one interview, he said he felt no connection to the characters--particularly that Inaho was completely different from what he had envisioned--and it seems he created the outline of a preliminary version.

I think it was a way to get his name attached to a project and draw in some viewers. If they wanted to change it to be edgy or use established tropes, they were gonna.
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DmonHiro



Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 3278
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:50 pm Reply with quote
Loved the show. Most entertaining show of its season. Favorite part of the last episode?
spoiler[ Sazz mocking Slaid for helping him kill the princess (?), and then pointing to his head after Slaid fails to shoot him to death. It was a badass way to die]
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2490
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:38 pm Reply with quote
spoiler[Why would it be a surprise that MC-meck genius and the princess turn out to be alive? They killed the princess twice and she just came back both time, what's the saying already? "Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me"… fool me thrice shame on us all?]

Episode 1 wasn't very good, but 2 and 3 were really good, then the show nosedive, hit rock bottom and proceeded to screech on the bottom floor while spark were coming out from the friction. It actually had some good idea like having the dynamic of 1 powerful mech versus many being reversed (which turned out to be pointless since Inao is just mister perfect pilot that a better mech would surely just weaken him) and Slaine being a somewhat interesting lead (but sadly didn't get enough screen time, except when he was getting tortured, cause that's what people wanna see).
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 1158
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:40 pm Reply with quote
My experience of this show?

It's like going to the beach on ideal weather. Then the clouds come out before you arrive.

I enjoyed how it began, but really, once they got their magic boat it became clear only Inaho could solve all the problems. He himself was praised by some as being 'opposite' of typical giant robot leads. Compare this deadweight Inaho to Chirico. Inaho has nothign going for him at all. no reason why he is dull, no reason why he is exceptional. He just is.

Also to point out he's in a school's training mecha, and insists on continually using it with BRIGHT ORANGE caution paintjob. The machines the military had prepared for an eventual conflict with the martians are so much worse?

Everything about this show is fine on a standalone basis. The moment you link anything together past the opening three episodes and it's boss fight the worse it gets.
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Ian K



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:45 pm Reply with quote
I am one of the few people who genuinely loved this show. I really, really dug what the show was trying to say, even if the execution was lacking in a number of respects.

The show tried to create a contrast between Inaho as a utilitarian and Slaine as a romantic. spoiler[Slain worships the princess, and believes that by rescuing her the war can be stopped and peace restored. Inaho's 'realist' outlook tells him that the princess's death was an excuse for war, not it's cause, so he wants to keep her around for whatever advantages she can provide. This is the thematic logic behind the otherwise poorly explained "You are my enemy" scene.

Whose opinion does the show favor? Inaho, obviously. I liked how the show tipped it's hand with the 'what makes the sky blue' bit. Slaine's understanding of the world is flawed, and his actions inevitably lead to ruin, in spite of his good intentions.]


This 'reason vs. ideals' debate is simplistic, I admit, but it still spoke to me. I'm reminded of the Iraq War, when my country (the US) invaded another to depose a brutal dictator, bring democracy to his oppressed subjects, and promote the values of secularism and liberty (Not to mention the whole WMD thing).

Most people would agree those goals seem pretty neat, if not the execution. But the objectives were based on false assumptions and flawed information, and we all know the rest.

So yes, Inaho is poorly written. Yes, it is ridiculous that the same character dies spoiler[three] times only to be resurrected. But for all the flaws, I really love what Aldnoah is trying to accomplish, the way your mom kept putting your crappy crayon drawings on the refrigerator even though no one could tell what they were.

Seriously, what is that supposed to be? A cat? A mushroom with a tail? I don't even.



Other possible reasons why my opinion is so far from the mainstream on this one:

1) Temporary insanity. When I rewatch the show, I will see it for the monster it is and wonder how I could have ever thought otherwise.

2) The Gundam Effect. In order to enjoy Gundam shows (especially the ones where Tomino was given free reign) you have to put up with a lot of silliness to get to the good parts. In comparison to the beginning of Zeta Gundam, Aldnoah.Zero's writing problems don't even register.

3) Marathon vs Week-to-Week. I watched Aldnoah over a couple days after it had finished airing. Maybe the mid-season slump doesn't drag as much when you can just power through it in one sitting.

4) My Genius is too much for you. Aldnoah is actually a masterpiece, whose true beauty is only revealed to the most enlightened viewers. By trashing this show, you only reveal how plebeian your taste truly is! Mwuah-ha-ha-ha!
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Kaioshin_Sama



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 1215
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:40 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
unitmikey wrote:
It's so hard to really go either way on Aldnoah for me. The show was pretty boring and then tried to make up for it through a "surprising" finale. The main draw seemed to be Urobuchi, but something like episode twelve is so expected of him by now that when all those events happened it just felt like it was reaching that moderate satisfaction level. But it does still have a chance to get crazy next season (which is what I'm hoping for).

Other than that it just feels like Gundam/Geass retread so far and had it not left off where it did, talk about this show would be mostly dead and gone by now.


from what I heard, Urobuchi only did the first three episodes and the outline for the show. This means that while it has his touches, i don't think it has his substance. Call it imitation without understanding


There seems to be this prevailing attitude that had Urobuchi written more than three episodes this show would have been some sort of masterpiece, but I'm not so sure. Urobuchi doesn't even really have a whole lot of substance on the level that people give him credit for IMO and I doubt it would have made much of a difference either way had he stayed to write the scripts or not considering Aoki is on record as saying he had to change certain aspects of the script multiple times at the request of producers like giving Rayet the final shot on the rocket punch robot instead of Marito even though everything about where the script was going with that arc was heading in that direction.

He has like one or two topics (What makes for true justice/heroism/virtue and what makes for an ideal and superior societal structure?) that he likes to very shallowly examine and almost tackle over and over again regardless of series, target demographic or genre typically reaching the same non-conclusion or bad end. It feels like he likes raising the topics more than he actual likes tackling them which makes his stories feel kind of half-assed in a way.

Now I don't know what it is that makes people think he's such an extra special especially deep, clever and introspective writer considering he has virtually no problem working erotic elements and tons of shock value into his series same as any modern anime writer, but considering he came from an eroge background and is a very unbashedly otaku writer for otaku kind of guy that's not terribly surprising. IMO there's really proven to be nothing particularly special about his writing and thematics in the long run beneath the surface, he's just become extremely popular and topical post Madoka and been very fortunate to be given almost surefire commercial successes to headline by producers and a constant stream of work to keep him in the limelight. How I'd rank the works he's been involved in:

Good:
Madoka TV
Psycho-Pass
Fate/Zero 2

Mediocre:
Suisei no Gargantia
Phantom
Fate/Zero
Kamen Raider Gaim

Poor:
Aldnoah.Zero
Madoka Rebellion
Blassreiter

Pretty hit or miss IMO.

Ian K wrote:
I am one of the few people who genuinely loved this show. I really, really dug what the show was trying to say, even if the execution was lacking in a number of respects.

The show tried to create a contrast between Inaho as a utilitarian and Slaine as a romantic. spoiler[Slain worships the princess, and believes that by rescuing her the war can be stopped and peace restored. Inaho's 'realist' outlook tells him that the princess's death was an excuse for war, not it's cause, so he wants to keep her around for whatever advantages she can provide. This is the thematic logic behind the otherwise poorly explained "You are my enemy" scene.

Whose opinion does the show favor? Inaho, obviously. I liked how the show tipped it's hand with the 'what makes the sky blue' bit. Slaine's understanding of the world is flawed, and his actions inevitably lead to ruin, in spite of his good intentions.]


This 'reason vs. ideals' debate is simplistic, I admit, but it still spoke to me. I'm reminded of the Iraq War, when my country (the US) invaded another to depose a brutal dictator, bring democracy to his oppressed subjects, and promote the values of secularism and liberty (Not to mention the whole WMD thing).

Most people would agree those goals seem pretty neat, if not the execution. But the objectives were based on false assumptions and flawed information, and we all know the rest.

So yes, Inaho is poorly written. Yes, it is ridiculous that the same character dies spoiler[three] times only to be resurrected. But for all the flaws, I really love what Aldnoah is trying to accomplish, the way your mom kept putting your crappy crayon drawings on the refrigerator even though no one could tell what they were.

Seriously, what is that supposed to be? A cat? A mushroom with a tail? I don't even.



Other possible reasons why my opinion is so far from the mainstream on this one:

1) Temporary insanity. When I rewatch the show, I will see it for the monster it is and wonder how I could have ever thought otherwise.

2) The Gundam Effect. In order to enjoy Gundam shows (especially the ones where Tomino was given free reign) you have to put up with a lot of silliness to get to the good parts. In comparison to the beginning of Zeta Gundam, Aldnoah.Zero's writing problems don't even register.

3) Marathon vs Week-to-Week. I watched Aldnoah over a couple days after it had finished airing. Maybe the mid-season slump doesn't drag as much when you can just power through it in one sitting.

4) My Genius is too much for you. Aldnoah is actually a masterpiece, whose true beauty is only revealed to the most enlightened viewers. By trashing this show, you only reveal how plebeian your taste truly is! Mwuah-ha-ha-ha!


Congratulations you just described roughly every Gen Urobuchi anime concept like ever. It's not really as compelling the 3rd or 4th time around as each successive work becomes increasingly blunt and less subtle about the point he's always trying to make.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14082
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:53 pm Reply with quote
Kaioshin_Sama wrote:
There seems to be this prevailing attitude that had Urobuchi written more than three episodes this show would have been some sort of masterpiece, but I'm not so sure.


Wow, I agree with you on something.

The first two episodes were pretty dire (the third was pretty good though), so had Urobuchi continued and written the entire show I'm fairly sure that it would still have turned out poorly. Maybe not quite as bad as what we actually got, but still pretty weak. I don't know if his heart was ever in this production or how badly his plans were crapped on by the suits, but I do believe that him writing the entire thing would not have made much of a difference.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
Posts: 373
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:24 pm Reply with quote
Kaioshin_Sama wrote:
snip

Could Urobuchi do better with discussing his themes? Yes.

Could he not put erotic and shock elements in his shows? Yes

At this point though, he is the one of the best at putting themes into his work and in an age where so many anime feel like self-insert, shock or fanservice, that is a real breath of fresh air.

As for the shock elements, compare the first Psycho Pass to the second season and you will find that Urobuchi is a lot more controlled with his violence and can use it to amplify the themes of his work. Compare that to Ubutaka who just throws blood on the wall for no real reason and has stupid twists and even worse dialogue.
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Zetabag



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 202
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:44 pm Reply with quote
Eh... I thought the show was okay though the problem is that after the first three episodes the show just kind of meanders around and doesn't really know what to do with itself. Every time the show as a chance to step it up the show squanders it (the martian emperor being easily duped and Inaho shooting down Slaine and not capturing him particularly stand out.) Overall I don't particularly believe the writing is horrible but it certainly isn't good. At the very least the show usually manages to be entertaining in the action department.

As for the ending and what the recent promos seem to imply I'm a bit torn. spoiler[ On one hand bring back both the princess and Inaho is cheap and it pretty much guarantees that any future "death" scenes involving the main characters are gonna be met with eye rolls since they keep on coming out of them alive.

On the other hand I feel that killing off the two is pointless beyond shock value. Sure the two weren't exactly good characters but despite how the first season turned out I believe that as long as the characters are alive there is a chance for them to improve. On top of that I am kinda glad that Inaho is alive because I don't think that Slaine can carry this series as the sole main character. I would have been fine with the princess staying dead if only so that her death might affect Inaho in some way.]


Anyway I'll definitely be watching the 2nd season for the mecha action and to see where the story goes.
H. Guderian wrote:

Also to point out he's in a school's training mecha, and insists on continually using it with BRIGHT ORANGE caution paintjob. The machines the military had prepared for an eventual conflict with the martians are so much worse?

I assumed he chose it because he's more familiar with it (trained in it and already fought 2 battles in it) compared to the standard models used by the military.


Last edited by Zetabag on Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Kaioshin_Sama



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
Posts: 1215
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:
Kaioshin_Sama wrote:
snip

Could Urobuchi do better with discussing his themes? Yes.

Could he not put erotic and shock elements in his shows? Yes

At this point though, he is the one of the best at putting themes into his work and in an age where so many anime feel like self-insert, shock or fanservice, that is a real breath of fresh air.

As for the shock elements, compare the first Psycho Pass to the second season and you will find that Urobuchi is a lot more controlled with his violence and can use it to amplify the themes of his work. Compare that to Ubutaka who just throws blood on the wall for no real reason and has stupid twists and even worse dialogue.


But like that's exactly what a lot of his shows still feel like, just they have the auspicion of being a little more at times. I feel like Urobuchi is someone that one ought to settle for rather than celebrate as the best the industry can possibly do. Like a best of the worst current set of prolific writers which lets be honest anime really hasn't been all that strong on lately.

Incidentally Urobuchi is on record as saying he likes to have at least one character he feels he can self insert as for each of his series so that he can maintain some level of identification with his casts while writing. To me it's not too hard to see which character is which for each show he's worked on. IMO it's something like this:

Madoka Magica - Akemi Homura
Fate/Zero - Emiya Kiritsugu
Psycho-Pass - Kogami
Suisei no Gargantia - Chamber
Aldnoah.Zero - He claims to have none this time around but I suspect it's Inaho Kaizuka if anyone
Expelled From Paradise - Haven't seen it but the way he was dry humping that life sized version of her at Anime Expo I have a hunch it's Angela Balzac.
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Naotomato



Joined: 22 Aug 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:56 pm Reply with quote
I hate to admit that I came here just to read the comments.

Aldnoah zero has a lot of internet rage/problems.
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Ian K



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:56 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I feel like Urobuchi is someone that one ought to settle for rather than celebrate as the best the industry can possibly do.


I feel you. Urobutchi's clever, but his characters feel distant to me, and that has prevented me from ever loving his stuff (aside from one episode of Madoka and two or three of Fate/Zero).

Which doesn't make my love for Aldnoah.Zero any more sensical.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
Posts: 373
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:01 pm Reply with quote
Kaioshin_Sama wrote:
snip


Honestly, anime has had very good writers before and still do to this day. I doubt it would be good at this point to say that we only have the best of the worst at this point. I do think that the number of bad writers to good writters is way lopsided but well, sturgeon's law.

As for the self-insert thing, can I see myself in Kiritsugu's shoes, yes. The type of self-insert I rail against is Kirito from SAO which are just kind of perfect with their tragedy not affecting them in any meaningful way. At least the "self inserts" Urobuchi makes are fairly dynamic and conflicted with their admirable traits balanced against their less than desired traits. Chamber is the only one on that list and Gargantia is another project that had Urobuchi leaving early supposedly.

That's why Inaho was such a pain in the ass for me, because this is not the Urobuchi I know. Characters like Inaho typically have a tragedy or conflict to support their cynical pragmatic side. Inaho from what I can tell is just a normal kid in this world with no real trauma until the start of the season.

As for Expelled From Paradise, I have no idea what that is about at this point so I have no comment.

Also, I don't think you can compare Ubutaka and Urobuchi and say that they are similar, what they make and do are different as i've stated.
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Raebo101



Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 739
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:20 am Reply with quote
If Gen Urobuchi wrote every episode, would the show have been better?

...

YES! How is that even a question? He wrote the first 3 episodes and they were EASILY the best episodes of the series (my favorite being episode 2). It's a shame he left, because the show kinda fell apart for me after that. But it DID pick back up towards the end, even though the ending is just ludicrous. I am kinda excited for season 2, though. So... there's that.
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 4026
Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:22 am Reply with quote
Stark700 wrote:
Definitely felt the ending was a bit controversial...

Otherwise, I think this show is fine actually and highly entertaining with great music. The story could work a bit but maybe season 2 could throw in some new surprises?


at least it wasnt NEG controversial and there is a season two in the works. if it had ended just like that ala deadman wonderland and tokko, then a lot of people would be seriously peeved.
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