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Author Topic: Aldnoah.Zero  (Read 46992 times)

Offline MCAL

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2014, 08:44:04 PM »
1:
Two excellent premieres in a row. And just in case you didn't know who was writing this... I present you the ending. Obviously the princess is alive (Not enough despair there), so there isn't much mystery to that (Especially when they didn't show her face) And the animation was excellent.

Offline KS

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2014, 09:49:15 PM »
1:  I definitely liked the first half better than the second half by a lot for reasons I'll explain in a moment.  The first half almost sort of redeemed Gen Urobuchi as a writer for me there by making good use of exposition and some character dialogue.  I was actually like what's this, Gen Urobuchi showing people interacting moderately normally if a little exposition oriented as well as establishing some of the principle casts relationships and roles in the story?  Not to mention it felt like Hiroyuki Sawano was actually trying to have a diverse soundtrack for the first time in ages.  I think the colonel character interested me the most in that he seems to know the most of an Earthling about the things that are actually going on and the things that could transpire and doesn't think anybody is ready to deal with it.  I'd like to think he's the Gen self-insert character for this show but sadly I think it's the Nihilistic Robot Inaho.

This is where the second half comes in and I feel we get to the part that the show wants to sell itself by and I'm kind of left with the same feeling of ham-fisted that Marid King felt.  We have the amusingly evil 37 lords that feel straight out of GHQ from Guilty Crown (the one guy filing his nails all casually slayed me) with their god complexes and their death drill drop ready castle things just chomping at the bit to **** over everyone on Earth for whatever reason, we have the idealistic Princess character that pretty much anyone could have predicted and will likely continue to be the target of Gen's ire because he hates anyone that represents idealism and loves to champion the characters that represent nihilism and malice or at the very least contrive ways to put them on equal footing.  It can make his writing really predictable at times because I don't think anyone couldn't have predicted the nuke the Princess moment.  It had to happen to give the diabolical lords a reason to go ahead and sow destruction, but what I found amusing was how he seemed to know it and figure that's not enough so the show needed another shocker to follow that so people had more to talk about.  How can Gen just **** with people and make them say I can't believe he did that.  Sydney always gets ****ed in these when the colonies or asteroids start dropping, but again that would be too predictable.  They could have tried attacking Sendai, but I think that would be a little too close to home even for Gen and cause the station airing it to pull the episode.  How about something foreign, what horrible tragedy that has happened in recent memory could be exploited to illicit that shocker moment.  Well gee whiz how about New Orleans which is still rebuilding after getting wiped out by a hurricane.  Drop a Death Drill Castle right on New Orleans, that'll shock those viewers and make this show the talk of the town. 

A couple of other kind of painful Gen being Gen moments that kind of make me wonder that sprung to mind too in the second half were what I'm pretty sure his focus/insert character for this show is in the bizarrely detached and seemingly nihilistic Inaho that I mentioned earlier.  His interactions with others don't really make a whole lot of sense at this point with him just seeming like some sort of zombie that thinks whatever if there's a missile that's about to hit the plaza he's at.  Maybe we should move out of the way guys, but you know like whatever.  There's other ways to convey that a character is supposed to be cool and emotionless than doing so in such an on the nose manner.  Not really much of a fan of this Inaho guy so far (Even his sister gets more screen time and is a more interesting character) and found myself sympathizing far more with his apparent counterpart from the opposing side who we unfortunately don't see as much of in the second half in Slaine Troyard.  I assume he'll be one of those characters that Gen will be finding ways to torment over the course of the next couple episodes and in whatever outlines he contributes once Boku no Pico guy takes over since he's an Earthling that is totally downtrodden by his diabolical masters and by all appearances just saw the one person that has ever treated him like a human being die in an event that could see his homeland destroyed forever.  That's a decent reason to be invested in and want to do something in this whole deal so I hope to see more of him and not just to be used as a punching bag.

Overall though this is still the best premiere I've seen so far this season, but that really shouldn't come as a surprise as it's pretty much up my alley.  I just hope it pursues more of what we saw in the first half and not as much as what we saw in the second all action sequences aside and what not.  Speaking of action sequences we have yet to see one really aside from the big obligatory Gen Urobuchi shocker moments.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 02:00:00 AM by KS »

Offline Pebble

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2014, 09:08:13 AM »
1:

So, the Vers Empire is the Advent?
A lot of the backdrop, and what we can infer about it, depends on what exactly Aldnoah is. We know it's a technology of an ancient civilization, and its safe to say that the civilization was not human, despite us not knowing when the show takes place. We see evidence of the destructive potential of this tech in the moon, but we don't know exactly what this is. My guess is that Aldnoah is simply the blanket term for all this technology, so Aldnoah is not a specific technology as much as it is a bottomless well of promises and technology.

They fashion themselves an Empire, and their military wings lie under knights. The system is clearly monarchical, but the catch here is that they have origins from earth, and from an era that is post-monarchical, and incredibly opposed, at least officially and on the face of it, to the concentration of power in the hands of a few dynasties. What went down in space to trigger this shift in ideals for the space folks? It was clearly something big. The predictable response is simple regression, but I really doubt that, and the show is steering away from the Gundamisms in the rhetoric it uses to describe them.
Slayne, and the description of Aldnoah as the "Power of the Gods" is our key here. Versians think themselves as an enlightened race, and I think their choice of monarchy isn't very unreasonable at all if you consider that the show is set in a world where a supranational entity holds a lot of power. Its really not too far a stretch that some person saw the UN, or its successor(s) as simply a first-world imperialist power, and decided that that kind of concentration of power is toxic and needs to be contested; hence the Vers Empire. The system sets in, the intellectual hubris begins to run deep, and eventually becomes plain hate. It wouldn't be the first time an intellectual movement spawned hatred. All speculation tho, but speculation is fun, and the show is giving me fodder.
Or it could simply be that the Vers Empress sees themselves as Godsent reformers; the knights of reason and virtue, if you will. This show could go any which way, but it's in a good spot right now.

There's also this question about the "lies" that are being told, though I can't for the life of me wonder what they are. Clearly this show is going to tread in the "no one-history" area, and I reeeeally hope they don't go the Gundam route. There's nothing wrong with the Gundam route, though I find it implausible for a planetary colony, but I'd rather the show carved its own legacy.
Political manoeuvrings are always fun to watch, and I wonder who planned out this attack, and since they had some really hi-tech stuff on them, its probably the case that they're Vers. Hell, the whole thing is pretty obviously that same incident Hitler used as an excuse to invade Czechoslovakia. I forget what it was called.

On technical fronts, I don't think this is Eriko Kimura's best work by a long shot; the sound direction has this 'blunt instrument' feel to it, and though the OST isn't bad by any stretch of the term, the tracks on display aren't among Sawano's memorable ones. I think the episode also showcases Ei Aoki's sense of casually placing background exposition while other things are happening, which is reminiscent of his work in Kara no Kyoukai. Also, while I'm confident in his ability to produce memorable shots, I worry about whether he has the sense for action and motion that a show like this demands to a degree that Wandering Son and Fate/Zero didn't come close to. What he needs to capture here is not the static, introspections of Kara no Kyoukai's characters, but motion, scope, dynamism, and scale. There's also the issue of him being generally rather uncreative with how he delivers all this explicit exposition.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 09:16:56 PM by Pebble »

Offline Reckoner

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2014, 12:52:23 PM »
2:

A mostly solid follow up episode. I suspect that Gen will eventually weave some sort of moral conundrum into this conflict as he always does in his stories so the fact that the one martian dude they're fighting in this episode is a flat out psychopath without a hint of depth isn't too concerning for me. However, I do hope that's not the actual standard of characterization we should expect from the Martian side. I expect we'll get some more interesting characters there anyhow, so it's not much of a problem. The main thing I want to find out in this story is why they decided to invade earth in the first place and how the conflict really started. Should be plenty of juicy storytelling there.

Sawano's sound track suffers from a bit of the problem he had in Kill La Kill and Attack on Titan. Mainly, too many vocal tracks where the music sounds better without the vocals.It's mostly fine, but yeah less singing please.

Offline Marid King

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2014, 12:54:58 PM »
2:

Yeah baby! The action! The drama! The dramatic irony! Amazing!

I'm really liking how Nao is blithely unaffected by everything that happens around him. It's not surprising to see him stepping up as the leader because of this. I'm also liking how the shields seem to work, though I wonder if this means they are vulnerable to lasers.
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Offline KS

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2014, 01:10:30 PM »
2:  I usually don't mind ham fistedly evil villains terribly much (though they REALLY drove it home this episode in particular whereas last episode there was at least a moderate degree of ambiguity as they were sticking it to those Earthling scum), but juxtaposed with the seemingly uncaring Earth crew driving around a wasteland picking up survivors like it ain't no thing just gave this episode kind of a surreal feel.  I'm not sure I'm enjoying this all that much yet as I probably should be and usually I'm one of the first people to jump on board with a mecha series.  I feel like this shows characters need a lot of work and to be given something to do other than just be given expository dialogue to mutter.  I mean for the sheer spectacle of it all it's kind of enjoyable, but that's really been about it so far.

I also couldn't help notice that the one character to not utter any sort of grim expository dialogue and to show any sort of emotional affectation that wasn't just "GRRR KILL ME GOD YOU INSECT!" was also the one recurring character so far to die and the one named character that showed any sort of positive emotion last episode got the fake death only too by saved by her main character plot armor of not actually being there after all cause she was sick apparently.  Funny how that works as a pretty reliable death flag in a Gen Urobuchi show.  I mean I remember when it was when you make the love confession or say you are going to do something important when you get back that you're probably toast, but it seems like in this show showing any sort of positivism or hope can get you or someone else people think is you killed with in moments.  Pretty amusing.

Anyway maybe it'll be like Gundam AGE where the Martians feel they were abandoned by Earth somehow in their far flung colonies and now that they're all super bitter about it.  At least I hope that's the case cause these antagonists could use a lot more motive other than god complexes and an easy go to source for enacting chaos, carnage and despair.

Offline MCAL

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2014, 06:39:07 PM »
2:
Yeah, this is definitely being written by Gen Urobuchi...

The big question is how do you defeat something that is seemingly invincible. I'm definitely interested to find out.

And the princess is surprisingly strong.

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2014, 06:58:25 PM »
Ep 2

Well, that certainly incites strong feelings of "**** the Martians". A war fought for no reason other than being a stage for Martian courtesans to play out a superficial power struggle. There's no shortage of arrogance and nationalistic pride among those in power from Mars. That's part of the reason why I see this overall as a possible parable for World War I, whose main lesson for history was that "arrogance" and "nationalistic pride" are two things that you can't allow to grow completely unchecked without suffering dire consequences. It's why the Martians seem so anachronistic in many ways: they either haven't learned or have forgotten one of the 20th Century's most important lessons.  In many ways, they are the ones with primitive minds, fighting with primitive tactics with technology that is superior simply because of happenstance (just like WWI). I can't wait to see their arrogant asses served to them on a platter, in all honesty.

Offline KS

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2014, 07:34:03 PM »
2:
Yeah, this is definitely being written by Gen Urobuchi...

The big question is how do you defeat something that is seemingly invincible. I'm definitely interested to find out.

And the princess is surprisingly strong.

Princess characters are always kind of like that in anime culture nowadays though.  It kind of helped though that the MC is pretty much the just lie there and take it kind of guy which I guess was a bit of a calculated risk on her part.  I doubt she tries something like that with an actual soldier unless it's from behind or something.

The way I see it the answer to that question is you kind of do what the 3 powers did in Gundam 00 when confronted with the Gundams, find a way to get better tech (this applies to the original OYW arc of Gundam as well but I figure people are more familiar with 00).  It's kind of the same scenario, the Gundams were just so far ahead of even the bleeding edge mobile suit tech of the error and their solid weapons just bounced off of there GN fields making them look similarly like gods unto an insect but they studied them and captured some of their technology to try and reverse engineer and some characters even managed to jack Gundam GN weapons and use them against them quite effectively while relying on good old fashioned experience.  Of course the world powers were still close to just surrendering to Celestial Being when one of their own turned traitor and gifted them GN drives to equip on their mechs and suddenly it became the Gundams that were on their heels just trying to survive and by the second season things were pretty even.

My guess is somebody, probably the princess since she seems like the only sympathetic person on the Martian side right now (which I really hope changes), finds a way to gift Earth some sort of tech that will at least give them a fighting chance and that there's some drama there in her basically having to fight against her own people to save another and do what is right.

Offline Marid King

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2014, 07:38:27 PM »
The Martians are effectively a new nation; plus with all that power, it's not difficult to justify the arrogance. I see more a lack of self-control.
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Offline KS

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2014, 08:40:54 PM »
The Martians are effectively a new nation; plus with all that power, it's not difficult to justify the arrogance. I see more a lack of self-control.

Just a little arrogance would have actually been nice, but the Martian characters just kind of come across as cartoonishly evil and indeed yeah there's a lack of self-control.  Honestly so far they remind me of the GHQ from Guilty Crown or your typical 70s/80s Toei Super Robot antagonists in how they just seem to absolutely delight in oppressing people and engaging in massacres because it's their role as antagonists.  I mean when I think arrogance Char Aznable had that kind of arrogant swagger in the first episodes as he was duking it out with the Federations new mobile suit and telling his rookies just how it is on the bridge, but he also did things like mourn the death of his men and ponder the possibilities of an enemy that they'd been having their way with up until that point suddenly having a weapon that were it not for his sheer skills as a pilot in baiting it into wasting it's ammo would have and in fact does posed a serious threat to his team.  These things gave him nuance as an antagonist, whereas so far the Martians do not have a strong well written central antagonist

I feel that there's just something missing here in terms of the tension of the battle and the gravitas of the characters that I would expect out of a show that is aiming to be the successor to Gundam in it's creators own words.  Like when I go back and watch those original Gundam movies I can really feel the tension in the battle on either side and like any moment a well placed shot could completely take out a named character, but here it mainly just feels like running away from big bad monster so to speak.  Really the way the Martian pilots are written so far you could have just as easily made it into our MC's running away from a Gauna or Unknown Enemy and it would have achieved just the same effect of terror->death imminent->run for your lives.

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2014, 09:20:02 PM »
2

For honor and glory!  Sieg heil mein Fuhrer!   The martians need a cool rallying cry to embody their ultra-jingoism.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline Pebble

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2014, 12:11:12 AM »
That's part of the reason why I see this overall as a possible parable for World War I, whose main lesson for history was that "arrogance" and "nationalistic pride" are two things that you can't allow to grow completely unchecked without suffering dire consequences. It's why the Martians seem so anachronistic in many ways: they either haven't learned or have forgotten one of the 20th Century's most important lessons.  In many ways, they are the ones with primitive minds, fighting with primitive tactics with technology that is superior simply because of happenstance (just like WWI).

I think that there's a potential slip-up in the background writing to be found there. If the hypergate was discovered in 72, and the first invasion happens in 99, that only gives the story 27 years to expand to Mars, colonize it, discover Aldnoah, have Mars undergo the extreme shift from being technicians and intellectuals (the first Vers Empress was a Professor, too) to deep-rootedly monarchistic, then somehow become independent of whatever Earth power controls (almost certainly the US), and then stake a claim to Aldnoah that they believe they can win. Thats a lot of stuff for so little time, and the show may have selected its dates poorly.
I'm guessing the whole Vers Empire is one woman's megalomaniacal creation; that fits well with the themes here of delusions of godhood, hubris, racism and monarchism, but bodes ill for KS's grievances.

Also, small changes in the setup make a big difference in whether the typical Gundam-route will work here; I believe it will not.
Why so? In the UC gundam timeline, the space programme stagnates until Earth undergoes severe population problems, causing the colonies to become future Australias*: entire continents for countries to shed their undesirables into. All this happens to the backdrop of rising secularization, such that humanity is the locus of moral value, and a people abandoned by humanity is, well, you get the gist of it. The same backdrop cannot be copy-pasted to this show; there isn't enough time in A.Z's world.

*(hell, there's a colony named Australia in Gundam 0080, though I'm not sure. Can someone check that for me?)

Offline ShadowpulseKDH

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2014, 12:49:27 AM »
1: Pretty hype first episode.  I have no clue what the hell Aldnoah is/are and I gotta say thank god for subs or else I would have no idea why the ****ING MOON HAD A CHUNK OUT OF IT!!!

2: I have a distinct dislike for enemies that are basically god-tier.  It conveys a good sense of hopelessness whenever they're around, as well as a great feeling of success when one is taken down.  Still pisses me off though, especially when the enemy is so OP that it's basically death incarnate.
2

For honor and glory!  Sieg heil mein Fuhrer!   The martians need a cool rallying cry to embody their ultra-jingoism.

How about "Heil Dessler" since the Ver's empire is goose-stepping almost side-by-side with the Garmilan's from Space Battleship Yamato 2199

Offline Redgrave

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Re: Aldnoah.Zero
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2014, 03:30:00 AM »
2

For honor and glory!  Sieg heil mein Fuhrer!   The martians need a cool rallying cry to embody their ultra-jingoism.

Sieg Kaiser Reinhard! Oh wait wrong show. Does the Martians even have a charismatic leader? I mean Urobuchi can write an awesome charismatic character(Broshkander!) and i'm waiting for someone like that in this space opera show.
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