Aldnoah Zero: The love triangle I really couldn’t care less about

The wrong quote for the wrong show?

Finally onto the first anime review of the more recently finished anime! I know I am always a little behind on times because I always drag out finishing my anime (I watch most anime episode by episode, especially when they are the airing ones. This goes back to my point). But I did want to blog about Aldnoah Zero ever since I finished S1. I only held back because S2 is a continuation of the story and it made more sense to review the entire story and anime as a whole. *some spoilers ahead!*


This story features a war between clashing factions of humanity; those whom we know as the remaining descendants of Earth versus a fraction whose ancestors had migrated to Mars and discovering a new power, Aldnoah. This power was used to found the new autocratic empire of Vers, ruled by a monarchy. Earth remains the Earth we are mostly familiar with, a crippling democracy with corruption and incompetence steaming through its ranks, but bountiful with resources and hence the source of envy of Marsians, who are sorely lacking in such luxuries and only boast of military and technological superiority thanks to Aldnoah. Such inequality in resource distribution has always been a thorn in the side of the Marsians and a cause of the rising tensions throughout the years between Terrans and Marsians. However, the war is really only triggered when Princess Asseylum vers Allusia comes to Earth with the intention of improving diplomatic relations, and is seemingly assassinated by the Terrans.

A semblance of what normalcy could have been on planet Earth at the beginning of the first episode was shown, but it soon explodes into chaos and terror. Earth was never the same since. We see the events unravel through the eyes of a normal student, Inaho Kaizuki, who is caught up in the war together with his classmates/friends. His role in the story clears up when his ability to outwit the enemies through seeing through the technological and scientific defects in Vars military equipment and mecha (called ‘Kataphrakts’ here) is shown. On the other side, we have Slaine Troyard, a former Terran who’s now a Martian as his father was one of the main scientists involved in harnessing Aldnoah for the use of the monarchy. He is, unsurprisingly, treated as scum and as a low-classed citizen and is only comforted by his friendship with Princess Asseylum  which seems to give him all the strength he needs to move forward.

Some people may say this is essentially a story about a love triangle.

Aldnoah Zero is mostly a tale of war tactics and lots of mecha and military action. It delivers an acceptable standard of entertainment value due with its constant attempts to veer off course and set the pace for the next episode with relatively well done cliffhangers. Of course, its also laughable in that as the series progresses, it is clear that all small and large successes for Earth’s side are mostly due to Inaho’s intellect. Its just a tad unbelievable that a 16 year old which no military background whatsoever can rely on the laws of physics, quantum mechanics and science to figure out the fatal flaws of each Kataphrakt that comes to attack them, and he is the only one who can. If so, he is really the budding Einstein of his time and the ones sitting right up the military ranks are merely incompetent imbeciles and clearly display their ignorance by which show in the battle tactics they adopt. This would not have been so out of place if it wasn’t actually attempting to be a ‘serious’ tale, as opposed to, say, the crazy, illogical, bombastic but highly entertaining trainwreck that was Kakumeiki Valvrave that acknowledges its outrageousness but was audacious enough to continue on that route anyway.

It also probably doesn’t help that for most of the episodes at least, Aldnoah Zero adopts pretty much a monster-of-the-week formula. Each episode mainly went like this:

(a) One Orbital Knight comes in one Kataphrakt with a type of special power.

(b) Kataphrakt kills many phlebians, Those Who Will Never Be Named, while arrogantly hurling insults at Earthlings in general.

(c) Inaho climbs into his ‘outmoded’ orange Kataphrakt, ignoring the pleadings of his sister and his friends.

(d) Inaho calmly and dispassionately analyses the opponent Kataphrakt, pointing out its fatal weaknesses

(e) Inaho owns the crap out of enemy Kataphrakt, with said Orbital Knight being utterly defeated, in glorious Team Rocket style. Why didn’t he get promoted to Chief Commander already??

And this repeats itself for x number of episodes. Mind you, they are all in the general scheme of things, but sometimes I couldn’t help wonder whether there was a point to it all.

However, one thing I admit is that it was indeed entertaining to watch Inaho do that. After all, who doesn’t love an OP protagonist?


The most unfortunate flaw that is consistent through two cours of Aldnoah Zero is the lack of balanced characterisation and development. We know close to nothing about Inaho’s motivation for fighting the war, since it was never really quite explored. We do know he cares somewhat about the people he knows, and of course cares for the Princess to an extent as well. He – may – have developed romantic feelings for her, but even that is hinted, at the most.


This certainly doesn’t help either.

On the other hand, Slaine Troyard seems to have gotten the better end of the straw. His character arguably sees the most change and growth throughout the series, though his behaviour at the end that led into the lackluster finale had really negatived whatever positives he had achieved. Slaine is ultimately one of the most pitiful characters I have ever seen, as his initial pure intentions were increasingly clouded by the mistakes in the decisions he makes and ultimately leading to his demise. To make things worse for him, he also seems to be the only one suffering while all other characters enjoy what seems to be more or less a Happy Ending (minus the romantic resolution, of course.)

It is arguable that Princess Asseylum actually plays one of the most pivotal roles in the story despite having none of those characteristics that make her stand out as an anime character, having been merely depicted as both kind and peace-loving. Plot points revolve around her and she was also after all the trigger for the war. Her personality and persona were both manipulated to turn the war around throughout the series. It is no wonder she made a politically correct choice of marriage partner as a form of a conflict resolution strategy, though we know she harbours a torch for Inaho.

The hime can offer us a lesson on how to resolve your own love triangle: choose guy C instead!

One particular flaw in the writing stands out as we inevitably compare her to Lacus Clyne of Gundam Seed, who played a similar political and character role – the mediocre dialogue as compared to Lacus’ speeches (and her songs, as well.)


I am a fan of love triangles. I love shipping characters all over – even crack pairings where if the characters’ eyes ever meet or if there’s the slightest tint of a blush on their cheeks, I’d assume there is something between them. However, I consider this love triangle experience the first where I couldn’t be even bothered about who Asseylum chose – I was glad she didn’t choose either in the end. This actually exposes the deeper problem of lack of character development in this show for two of the main characters when they were clearly many chances to do so (they could have expounded less on Lt. Marito’s backstory, for example! Which was by the way, never actually resolved.)

Don’t get me wrong – Aldnoah Zero is by no means a bad story. Its strongest points actually lie in the plot twists and artfully created cliffhangers. Just don’t expect anything that’s spectacular or any particularly tight narrative, or characters that will make you emotionally attached to them. For me, I admit the main reason I still hung onto each episode on a weekly basis was because I could watch and be inspired by the spectacular OPs and EDs and soak myself in the battle OST, composed by the extremely talented Sawano Hiroyuki.

For those who have watched Aldnoah Zero, what do you guys think? Feel free to leave a comment below! 🙂

*All images belong to their respective owners and do not belong to me.*

Jan 15 and Feb 15 Updates!

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I am going to list out what anime I have been watching so far and have yet to have completed; and also a mid-way opinion on it and whether I recommend that particular series or not 😀 Gonna split this up into two sections here 🙂

*what I mean by episode count is the current episode I am on, not the number that has been released so far!

Currently Airing (Winter 15)

Aldnoah Zero 2nd Season

Genres: AAldnoah.Zero 2nd Seasonction, Mecha

Episode count: 3/12

Plot summary: Seeking for revenge, Count Saazbaum, a Martian, attacked the Earth. Later on, the war between the Terrans and Martians ended with Earth’s Terrans gaining the victory. However, nineteen months later, the battle between them continues. Martians still continues to invade the Earth and the Terrans to protect it.

How’s it so far: Not bad for a second season. Slaine is shaping up to be a more interesting character than the first season. And who doesn’t like watching Inaho being so calmly badass and smoothly dissecting his enemy’s weaknesses and winning? Its pure entertainment for sure. Watching the harems develop is really hilarious as well.

Recommended if: You have watched the first season. And you like mecha fights. And badassery,

Not recommended if: You don’t like slightly one-dimensional characters or bland dialogue.

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu TV

Genres: Action, Comedy, School, Supernatural

Episode Count: 6/22Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (TV)

Plot Summary: A humorous and action-packed story about a class of misfits who are trying to kill their new teacher—an alien octopus with bizarre powers and super strength! The teacher has just destroyed the moon and is threatening to destroy the earth—unless his students can destroy him first. What makes things more complicated is that he’s the best teacher they’ve ever had!

How’s it so far: Interesting premise, hilarious comedy. Some interesting themes about teaching and education. But I personally don’t see what is the rage about this.

Recommended if: you have read the manga, and you would like to see it animated.

Not recommended if: you have too little time to try something new, and teacher-student dynamics are not your thing.

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! (i.e. Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!)

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!Genres: Comedy, Magic, Slice of Life

Episode Count: 6/12

Plot Summary: This is the tale of five unlikely heroes who unite under the name of the “Earth Defense Club” alongside a pink wombat-like alien to defend their world and restore love to all; however, does a sinister organization lurk behind the scenes of Binan High school?

How’s it so far: FINALLY A MAHOU SHOUNEN SERIES. The transformation scenes are totally hilarious; and its a very good parody of the usual mahou shoujo type of anime.

Recommended if: You want to see something that defies typical mahou shoujo gender stereotypes. (Yes, calling all Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki Kun fans here). Or if you would want a good laugh at the end of a long, stress-filled day. Or if … you just like watching bishies prancing around in ridiculous costumes. Oh, and also if you don’t mind the rather strong bromance vibes (Calling FREE! fans)

Not Recommended if: You prefer your mahou shoujo as they are, untouched.

Death Parade

Death ParadeGenres: Game, Psychological

Episode count: 7/12

Plot Summary: After death, humans go to either heaven or hell. But for some, at the instant of their death, they arrive at Quindecim, a bar attended by the mysterious white-haired Decim. He challenges them to the Death Game, wherein they wager their lives and reveal their true natures. Decim himself is the ultimate arbitrator of who wins and who loses, who will go to heaven, and who will go to hell.

How’s it so far: Absolutely brilliant. There hasn’t been a single anime I have encountered that broke me down into a puddle of tears one episode and had me laughing so hard the next. The dark side of human nature is forced to light here so it sometimes comes as a shock that some of those negative sentiments resound within me. For an episodic series, side characters’ backstories are explained so well that enable one to empathise with them and their actions. I personally like the themes explored here, and I have fun thinking about whether Decim’s judgment is morally wrong or correct.

Recommended if: You like your entertainment to be thought-provoking, and you are looking for some depth. You like delving into moral gray areas. I personally recommend this anime to all 🙂

Not recommended if: You are just looking for light, fun anime.

Durarara!!x2 Shou

Genres: Action, Mystery, Supernatural, Urban

Durarara!!x2 ShouEpisode Count: 5/12

Plot Summary: Half a year after the turmoil that rocked the entire city of Ikebukuro – Peace has once again returned to the city and people are living each day normally. The high school students enjoy their days of youth as the strongest and most dangerous man of Ikebukuro works diligently. The informant plots (or plans) a new scheme and the headless rider is pursued by the cops as she rides through the night… But soon this normal will be cut short by the abnormal. Slowly but surely, the unknown will seize the city and face an all new storm.

How’s it so far: Absolutely captivating. This is one series set out to entertain. There may be some confusion sometimes due to its disjunct narrative structure, but it all pays off when the pieces all fall together, like a finished jigsaw puzzle. This series really pulls off quirky, entertaining characters that are unique in themselves. If there’s any cast of characters that I would like to be friends with, its this set.

Recommended if: You have watched the first season. Even if you haven’t, please do give it a try, its awesome 😀 If you are looking for a very unique way of telling a story and you are in love with the idea of one person’s actions affecting another, and then setting off a chain of unexpected events, with an unexpected conclusion.

Not recommended if: You really don’t have brain juice to spare, and you just want a linear plot of sorts. But really, this is NEVER not recommended. 😀

Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor – Exodus

Genres: Drama, Mecha, Sci-fi

Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor - ExodusEpisode Count: 7/26

Plot Summary: MAL doesn’t provide one, lol.

How’s it so far: About as confusing the first season. There is vast improvement in the action scenes though. Some of them look like they belong to Shingeki no Kyojin except that they are fighting in giant robots. Great exploration of the theme of making children fight to protect humanity.

Recommended if: You have watched the first season, and you like the overall feel of the show. Also, awesome action mecha scenes.

Not recommended if: You hate being confused. I personally still have troubles understanding this show, and there isn’t much help online either ><

Tokyo Ghoul √A

Genres: Action, Mystery, Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Psychological, Seinen

Tokyo Ghoul √AEpisode count: 7/12

Plot Summary: In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of Ghouls: mysterious creatures who look exactly like humans — yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary young man, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about Ghoul society, his newfound powers, and the fine line between man and monster.

How’s it so far: More interesting than I would have thought. Though Kaneki doesn’t feature much at the start, we see his involvement behind the scenes. Kaneki gets more development and so do the other characters.

Recommended if: You watched the first season, and you personally like how Kaneki develops and deals with all that crap thrown his way. Or you like tortured, brooding protagonists with a kind heart.

Not recommended if: You are looking for a faithful manga adaptation. Or you just don’t like horror and gore in genre. Other than that, it is a pretty good show ^^

Non-airing anime but planning to finish 

Ashita no Nadja (not sure whether I want to continue this, though.)

Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou


Samurai Flamenco (just started this)

White Album 2 (just started this)

Yep that’s all from me! 🙂 Feel free to comment about anything or agree/disagree with me on what I have said so far 😀 I may not be doing reviews for all of these anime even if I have completed them though, it’ll have to depend on whether I have anything much to write about the anime 🙂

*All images and plot summaries were obtained from and do not belong to me.*