Aldnoah.Zero – Episode 3: The Children’s Echelon
“What kind of regrets will I have in that moment?” – Inaho Kaizuka
Synopsis: The Earth Forces are in full retreat after the devastating attack from the Martian Kataphrakts. Inaho and his friends are hunkered down in a local school, preparing a counter attack.
Just a little side note before we dive in… There are what, seven billion people on Earth? How many of those people are scientists? Thinkers? How many can solve a rubix cube or recite pi to thirty digits? And yet no one in this 7 billion could figure out the Martian Kataphrakts weakness? Apparently, on this alternate Earth, only one person on the entire planet is capable of performing competent analysis of the enemy and that person just so happens to be a Japanese teenager… I mean, what have these people been doing for 15 years? When someone attacks you with bigger, better weapons you don’t just sit there, pretend as though nothing has happened and fail to prepare for the inevitable second assault! You analyse and adapt: how did they attack you? What with? How can you counter that attack? Sure, they developed their KG-7 Areion to combat the Kataphrakts, but they must have known it wasn’t enough? Maybe I’m being ignorant: perhaps over in America another teenager figured out the exact same thing and the prism through which I viewed this episode didn’t allow me to see the full-scale of Earth’s counter attack. Then again, you have to wonder how ignorant Earth’s soldiers are not to notice spy satellites floating about in the sky…
But I digress.
Episode 3 of Aldnoah Zero depicted Inaho, Calm and Inko’s counter attack in response to the death of Okisuke Mikuni an episode prior. Inaho’s deduction culminates with the realization that the Light of Aldnoah is “A barrier that absorbs anything that touches it: matter, light sound radio waves, everything.” Thus, Trillram is ‘blind’ to the situation outside. Or, at least, he would be were it not for the spy satellites providing images from above. This leads Inaho to devise an attack involving the Kataphrakts submersion in an attempt to gauge where its structural weaknesses lay, other than beneath it’s feet. Inaho is proving himself to be somewhat of a tactician, staying behind at the back to observe and analyse like a true Zero disciple. Naturally, it was somewhat predictable that Inaho would figure out a way to fight back against an enemy infinitely stronger than them (until it’s submerged in water where it apparently becomes that grown adult at the swimming pool wearing arm bands and woggle (apparently named a ‘pool noodle’ everywhere other than the UK), although I have to admit I’m a bit surprised by the lack of death… Oo, my impish side is showing…
In another news, in an attempt to quash my earlier confusion in episode 2, Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia is almost certainly alive (even though her double is dead, something she seemingly has shown no remorse for)! And, she’s a magical girl… Plot twist? The return of the princess has almost certainly thrown a spanner in the works for Vers and their armies, she being the catalyst and – I assume – the cure. I don’t know enough about Vers and the nature of what was discovered on the planet to begin speculating as to what exactly the Princesses powers are and what she can do, but we can postulate that the Light of Aldnoah and her own powers aren’t entirely un-similar. I’d say that she might provide Earth with their own ‘secret weapon’ (she being the weapon herself), but I don’t see her fighting in the near future, especially seeing how she could barely figure out how to figure her weapon in episode 3 itself. Slight tangent here, but I thought it was hilarious how Asseylum and Rayet sat next to each other, especially considering how Rayet was involved in Asseylum’s pseudo-assasination. Just a lil’ tidbit.
The other important event of the episode was Slaine’s decision to murder Trillram in retaliation for Ver’s (or, at least, one faction within Ver’s) attempt to use the Princess as a means to an Earth like end. From here on out I see Slaine joining our ‘main group’ via the Princess and her newly formed ties to the team. Slaine has the furthest to grow out of all our main cast, he still not really knowing who he is or where he stands when it comes to Earth and Vers. Now that Slaine is no longer confined by the slave-like constraints of his former life he has the space to grow and develop his own stance on the world, not simply the one imposed on him. He’s almost certainly going to have to fight for that freedom however, and this is where, I assume, most of the growing will be done.
Ultimately, Aldnoah Zero has proven once and for all that it’s a mecha show of grand proportions. To enjoy it fully however, slight oversights must be disregarded: for example, is Rayet even old enough to know how to drive? If not, how did she learnt to drive so quickly? Just saying… Another small gripe I had about this episode was how the mech’s themselves were animated. When running, they were a bit clunky in a way that made it seem as though they were floating before coming down hard against the ground in a way that seemed wholly unnatural. Just saying…