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REVIEW: Aldnoah.Zero Episodes 1-12 Streaming


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JacobC
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:27 am Reply with quote
gedata wrote:
fireaxe wrote:
Hellwarden wrote:

That said, spoiler[screw this show if Inaho and the Princess come back because of some goddamn space magic.]
spoiler[Oh they definitely are coming back.] [1] [2]

spoiler[Part of me looks forward to whatever absurd method they use to bring back Inaho. Hopefully it's not the "bullet grazed him" cliche. There's no good way to write yourself out of such a climax, so might as well not even bother.]


Look, I'm not saying it's magic spit, but it's totally magic spit. That's my guess and I'm sticking to it. BRING ON A BUSLOAD OF DUMB IN SEASON 2!
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:31 am Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:


Look, I'm not saying it's magic spit, but it's totally magic spit. That's my guess and I'm sticking to it. BRING ON A BUSLOAD OF DUMB IN SEASON 2!


I have been willing to give this show somewhat of a pass (i.e. I'm willing to say it's not a terrible show, but just a serviceable show). If it is true that spoiler[both Inaho and Princess are coming back alive], for any reason in season 2, then this show will have crossed into the twilight zone and I will have zero respect for anyone involved in it, whether Urobuchi or any others (unless he totally disowns it and says publicly that he would never create such filth). Aldnoah.zero will be a name that lives in infamy for all times.
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MaxSouth



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:02 am Reply with quote
I have not seen the series, so I am no way judging the merit of it, but I have to say I hate the stupid names shows get those days -- often with the copycat BS like "Zero" or "Killa" or whatever else nonsense authors add to a name.

It is tacky as it is cheap way to draw attention to a project. This approach does not show much of respect for viewers at all; it is tabloidish in a sense. I want authors to keep some class and dignity for themselves as well as for the sake of viewers who do not want to feel they watch a second rate product.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:07 am Reply with quote
As a fan of Urobuchi, I find the draw to his works comes particularly FROM his singular focus. It's the idea that by exploring similar themes throughout multiple works, one creates a more solid statement about what one is trying to say. Not all of Urobuchi's works are really as engaging as the rest, though. For instance, the characters in Kamen Rider Gaim were mostly quite interesting as they were built up, and I saw a ton of potential in its execution and the lead into the conclusion, but... it pulled nothing more than an "upgraded Madoka" ending, which made the contributions of the show to Urobuchi's circle of exploring despair very minimal. Aldnoah.Zero felt more like it was about executing his thoughts than exploring them. Gargantia was entertaining, but while it certainly followed his usual rules on treating the characters and plot, it didn't really further discuss any of his personal themes.

For me, I want him to continue working with the content he's known for working with--it's why I get excited about his work. However, I only really feel satisfied if I get to see more about him than I already knew. I like to follow him as he grows as a writer and as a person, both of which are intertwined.
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Kaioshin_Sama



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:24 pm Reply with quote
MaxSouth wrote:
I have not seen the series, so I am no way judging the merit of it, but I have to say I hate the stupid names shows get those days -- often with the copycat BS like "Zero" or "Killa" or whatever else nonsense authors add to a name.

It is tacky as it is cheap way to draw attention to a project. This approach does not show much of respect for viewers at all; it is tabloidish in a sense. I want authors to keep some class and dignity for themselves as well as for the sake of viewers who do not want to feel they watch a second rate product.


I think that might have more to do with the director than anything since pretty much all the high profile things have worked on have managed to have Zero somewhere in the title.

Raebo101 wrote:
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.


I hate this kind of crap that always tries to make the guy look infallible and how if only he'd stayed on the show would have been some sort of masterpiece. He wrote pretty much the easiest part of any show which is the opening segment before any significant developments, transitions or all of that difficult stuff that comes with carrying the middle of a story even comes into play. The first episode and much of the 2nd episode was basically just a whole bunch of pastiche of Gundam cliches showing how fucked the Earth is and how desperate the situation is for everyone in his usual ham fisted man child sort of rule of cool way (Drill castles dropping down on cities mimicking the colony drop in Gundam on a wider scale, super robots blowing shit up with sneering comments about payback and Earth needing to learn it's place, innocent children wishing for peace upon a start that's actually a falling drill castle most likely about to obliterate them) with it's villains still acting all cliche evil if not moreso than how the succeeding scriptwriter wrote the successive ones (Urobuchi didn't even try to develop characters like Trillram the nail filing bowl cut sneering moron with a superiority complex nor anyone else that appeared in those episodes for that matter, just came up with a scenario and fight for them to get involved in) and Inaho still being a block of wood with zero charisma or intrigue as an MC and then the 3rd episode which is tied for the 7th episode for probably the most interesting fight in the series was basically just the end of the beginning.

I really see very little difference between how the episodes Urobuchi handled were written or the ones that came after in terms of writing style and tone, it's just that by the time he had left the show still had time to actually do something with it's premise and cast beyond just trying to dazzle, shock and wow the audience. I wouldn't say the episodes he wrote were horrible mind you, just kind of generic and par for the course for the show.

Anyway for me the show really started to fall apart around the episodes with the whole Rayet melodrama and them getting the battleship, picked back up again with some actual development, back story and incentive for Sauzbaum even if his reasoning for his actions barely made any sense and then fell apart again during the final arc, never becoming anything other than a mediocre Gundam clone reliant on it's coolness factor (which clashes hard with when it attempts to play itself off as a serious war drama) at absolute best at any given point.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:47 pm Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
JesuOtaku wrote:


Look, I'm not saying it's magic spit, but it's totally magic spit. That's my guess and I'm sticking to it. BRING ON A BUSLOAD OF DUMB IN SEASON 2!


I have been willing to give this show somewhat of a pass (i.e. I'm willing to say it's not a terrible show, but just a serviceable show). If it is true that spoiler[both Inaho and Princess are coming back alive], for any reason in season 2, then this show will have crossed into the twilight zone and I will have zero respect for anyone involved in it, whether Urobuchi or any others (unless he totally disowns it and says publicly that he would never create such filth). Aldnoah.zero will be a name that lives in infamy for all times.


I believe that he has actually stated that the ending of Aldnoah.Zero was not his idea here

if this is true then we can assume that a lot of interference was done to his initial script
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:57 pm Reply with quote
Izanagi009 wrote:

I believe that he has actually stated that the ending of Aldnoah.Zero was not his idea here

if this is true then we can assume that a lot of interference was done to his initial script

I'm inclined to say it isn't true. It's way too blame-y. Not something people generally do in the animation industry, Japan or otherwise. I could understand, however, if the original sentiment was accurate.
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Kaioshin_Sama



Joined: 05 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:09 pm Reply with quote
RestLessone wrote:
Izanagi009 wrote:

I believe that he has actually stated that the ending of Aldnoah.Zero was not his idea here

if this is true then we can assume that a lot of interference was done to his initial script

I'm inclined to say it isn't true. It's way too blame-y. Not something people generally do in the animation industry, Japan or otherwise. I could understand, however, if the original sentiment was accurate.


Yeah this was the comment that made me lose a lot of respect for Urobuchi coming off the heels of the ridiculous Madoka Magica movie ending. It's very poor form to be that brusk and basically just straight up take offense to criticism and directly point to another person by name and say to ask and blame them for misgivings with the show. What's more he even took it a step further and suggested the same thing for a show that hadn't even aired yet and also pointed out someone by name.

If that had been someone besides Urobuchi who fanboys practically worship at this point and are going to obviously react with something like "I knew it, of course the great Urobuchi would never write something like that I didn't like" (even though he's totally written largely out of nowhere sudden character deaths or motivation shifts many times in the past) I can't even imagine the flack he would have gotten for that sort of blame deflecting and pinning. Like imagine if it were Yoshiyuki Tomino that said that? Considering he gets shit on for things he didn't even say I can only imagine the uproar and bile pouring forth from the internet to condemn the guy for not accepting responsibility for his creations and critical fallout. He's lucky that the industry is so dependent on his name branding to move original content product otherwise I figure he'd probably be getting a bit of the cold shoulder by this point for his behavior at conventions of late.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:51 pm Reply with quote
Kaioshin_Sama wrote:
Snip


I can agree that the comment was in rather poor taste and should have been worded better. However, given what happened in Psycho Pass 2, I feel that his sentiments were accurate.

Could the fame be getting to his head, most certainly. However the basic sentiment is that his original outline was overruled and I believe that all artists refuse to have their vision altered. The wording could be better but again, the show's shift after the first three episodes illustrates a radical change in the writing staff

as for the final comment, do you have any examples of Urobuchi's behavior at cons? I have not been too in depth in terms of that type of news so I have no idea what you could be referring to.
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:57 am Reply with quote
Honestly, I don't understand the negative reaction to Urobuchi's statements at all. He publicly stated "No, I didn't write that" when people accused him of making a thing he didn't make, just because characters die in it. I'd be pissed too, if people boiled down my artistic voice to "You kill people, right? So those characters dying in Aldnoah.Zero and Psycho Pass 2, that was you, right?"

It's not like he called the writing of those shows bad, which would be a "crapping where you eat" situation that I can understand making him look bad, he just literally said "I didn't write that stuff" and I think it's totally valid to say that. If you were a writer that poured hours and hours into creating worlds and characters and people started attributing stuff to you that isn't even in your voice, you would want to clear the air too! (And Aldnoah.Zero and Psycho-Pass 2 are definitely not. I'm always baffled by people thinking he would ever write a character like Inaho or literally anything that happens in P-P 2. Writers do have distinct voices, and his prior work and that material are apples and oranges.)

If the "attitude" aspect is a problem to the degree where you don't like to hear such frankness about behind the scenes stuff at all, I guess I get that, kinda. But personally, I think it's great to see a Japanese creator with such a maverick attitude toward PR. Every new interview I read with the guy begets this refreshing, downright shocking honesty and devil-may-care attitude toward discussing his work, who's good to work with, who isn't, what he likes about his work, what he doesn't like, etc. Interviews with him are interesting to read instead of the heavily managed diet coke stuff we get from so many Japanese industry folks.

Heck, I didn't even know he'd publicly stated that he likes to write one self-insert character in all his stories, (need a source on that though,) so it's cool to hear that from the horse's mouth, since I'd always gotten that impression. (Akemi Homura is a 40-year old chuunibyou eroge writer, try gettin that out of your head!) You don't get that directness from a lot of creators, and usually the creators who are that open (Miyazaki, Oshii, Anno, Ikuhara when he's not giving ironic answers to people stupidly asking him what his work means) are the most interesting! Very Happy
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:23 am Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
(Akemi Homura is a 40-year old chuunibyou eroge writer, try gettin that out of your head!)


Oh, don't worry, the fanartists ran away with that concept years ago. Razz I feel like Kyubey is more of a self-insert, though. Literally an inner demon.

Aldnoah's problems partially come from "here's this thing I started writing, somebody finish it" being a bad way to get things written in general, in addition to the new writer being... less talented. It seemed like after the first 3 episodes it killed time with some monster-of-the-week before launching into a much campier, Code Geassy plot than what they started out with. Probably would have been seen as just a harmless goofy entertainment sort of show if it had been written that way from the start, but nothing gets people riled up like a bait-and-switch.

It didn't bother me as much as it bothered seemingly everyone else, but I don't tend to expect much from mecha shows, Urobuchi or otherwise. Maybe I've already adapted to the high frequency of disappointingly deteriorating anime plots...
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Juno016



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:11 am Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
Heck, I didn't even know he'd publicly stated that he likes to write one self-insert character in all his stories, (need a source on that though,)


I can't remember where, but he made a statement that he tends to view his works as an insider, though I wouldn't really call that a self-insert. He associates himself with one or more characters, but he never said that he actually puts himself in their position and writes from that perspective. Every writer puts a part of themselves in their story and characters, so it's not too surprising.

And for the people claiming that Urobuchi is trying to shove the blame for something he wrote going horribly wrong on someone else, I think people have to realize what it means to be a writer in the industry. Especially a popular one. The writers get asked to be hired for projects they know nothing about until they discuss things with those that hire them. They don't always get a lot of details. By the time the story starts getting fleshed out and a role is established, most writers are already under contract. Urobuchi's guiding involvement in Gargantia was successful, so this was probably much like that in his mind. However, his name is being thrown around by marketers pretty irresponsibly, so if he gets frustrated when something associated to his reputation turns out like this, then so be it. He has a right to clarify to the public his involvement. It's not like there's anything inconsistent with his claim.

Aldnoah.Zero will always be an "Urobuchi work", so it's kinda important to recognize exactly what kind of involvement he had. It's practically the same problem I have when people suggest Madoka's success is solely because of Urobuchi when his major involvement as the writer only contributed the foundation of what we ended up viewing on the screen. A ton of Madoka wasn't even part of his plans, despite his original manuscript having minimal final editing itself. Urobuchi is just a writer and his burden is as such. From there, it's up to the director, marketers, among the rest of the staff, to help turn his work (with hopeful potential) into something successful, whether they follow his ideas to a tee or not.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:17 pm Reply with quote
To attack a man just because he defended himself against unfair and false accusations is a real dick move. Certain people around here should be ashamed of themselves. Urobuchi wrote the first three episodes and the general outline, but nothing more, and he has the right to make that known. I know if it were me, I would want to speak out and fight back against those who incorrectly claimed that I was responsible for the entire show and its failings.

So, did Urobuchi turn in bad work on Aldnoah.Zero? Well, yes. For example, the first two episodes were very weak, especially with regards to exposition and characterisation. As the writer in charge of those episodes he should have done a much better job with them. But he doesn't deserve to be attacked for problems that happened in episode five or nine or twelve, because he had no involvement with them. And only the production staff know how much his original outline was changed, so the average fan can't hold specific plot developments or the ending against him.
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ChibiKangaroo



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:32 pm Reply with quote
I am on board with him coming out and distancing himself from AZ. Given that he supposedly didn't write the whole thing, we should know the truth about how he feels on the final product. If he's silent, that just allows us to assume that he's in favor of how the show turned out (since his name is attached to it). The only way he can clear the air is by voicing his opinion.

As I said before, I would prefer if he just came out and disowned the entire project. If he came and said "I had this cool idea to do X, Y, and Z with this thing, but then some other voices changed things up and that's how we have what we have now," I would totally believe him and give him credit for being honest. That's not to say I am a huge Urobuchi fan. I don't put him on any higher pedestal than any other writer who has put out good stuff. However, since he's the fad right now, we should know what is actually his stuff and what is just having his name attached to it.
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meiam



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:49 pm Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
I am on board with him coming out and distancing himself from AZ. Given that he supposedly didn't write the whole thing, we should know the truth about how he feels on the final product. If he's silent, that just allows us to assume that he's in favor of how the show turned out (since his name is attached to it). The only way he can clear the air is by voicing his opinion.

As I said before, I would prefer if he just came out and disowned the entire project. If he came and said "I had this cool idea to do X, Y, and Z with this thing, but then some other voices changed things up and that's how we have what we have now," I would totally believe him and give him credit for being honest. That's not to say I am a huge Urobuchi fan. I don't put him on any higher pedestal than any other writer who has put out good stuff. However, since he's the fad right now, we should know what is actually his stuff and what is just having his name attached to it.


Well that's kinda what happen when you agree to have your name stamped on project where you don't have control, sometime it'll blow up and you'll get caught in the blast. He surely got a lot of money for letting them use his name.

It would be interesting how much control he thought he was supposed to have versus how much they actually considered his input. Although it'd be kinda weird if they just decided to ignore everything he said to go with what ultimately came out, so maybe he asked for more, they said no and decided to make there own script.
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