Coming into the Winter 2015 season, obviously there were a few shows people were excited about. I'm not going to say which show my hype show was (Death Parade - whoops!) but without a doubt Aldnoah.Zero's second half was heavily anticipated on both ends of the spectrum. Why is this the case? Well, the first half had garnered an enormous amount of fans for a variety of perfectly good reasons, be it the action, the premise, the music, or many other potential factors. However, the main reason Aldnoah.Zero has been hyped is because of the insane cliffhanger ending at the conclusion of the summer season, and many (myself included) wanted to see how things would pan out following the drama of the final episode. So did this episode capitalize on the previous ending?
(Warning: spoilers for the first half and the most recent episode of Aldnoah.Zero)
After watching the premier of the winter half of Aldnoah, I know the answer to my previous question, which is a rather definitive 'no'. So what went wrong? The answer is quite simple: the show DOES NOT respect its own audience. Upon the conclusion of the summer, Asseylum was dead, Inaho was dead, and Saazbaum was dead. All dead. In my opinion, this was an atrocious way to conclude the first half, as the bulk of the characters developed, including the MALE AND FEMALE LEADS, were all dead. And the reason? A variety of stupid, nonsensical coincidences and another character who doesn't seem to be able to comprehend the consequences of his own actions. But enough on that. As much as this first ending was terrible, there was only one way the writers could make it worse: by reversing it. And reverse it they did. NONE of the deaths stuck. Much like other instances in the show, they were all fake-outs.
Here's the main issue here: I can no longer trust the writers. At all. I'm literally just waiting for Cruhteo to show up again. Fans waited for months, and in truth, the cliffhanger was only placed in order to insure that they would wait. The worst part however was that the characters weren't even kept alive through moderately clever means. Inaho was saved by Aldnoah magic (literally), Asseylum was presumably saved by suspending her in some sort of life preservation device(?) on the ship of her attacker, and Saazbaum is alive because... he's alive. There isn't even really an explanation, he just kind of doesn't die from his wounds, apparently.
The deaths, or lack thereof, are not the only problem however. The characters themselves remain not fleshed-out, and Slaine's decisions are more mind-boggling than a test in an honors Latin class. Inaho's fight this episode also lacked in the clever maneuvering on his part because he instead was able to identify exactly how to take down the enemy in about 30-ish seconds, and those fights were previously my favorite part of Aldnoah. The sheer level of deus ex machina leads me to wonder exactly what (not who, what) is handling the writing for this show.
So what now? I haven't QUITE given up on Aldnoah.Zero yet, because it still could turn out to be an interesting (although terribly flawed) show. But that's a best case scenario, and if the direction it is going in continues, it is likely to only get worse.
Aldnoah.Zero is available for free and legal streaming on Crunchyroll, with a new episode every Sunday.
Thanks for reading! Disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments, and I'll be sure to reply!
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If you liked this article, you might also like our review of the first half of the season.