Aldnoah.Zero Episode 20: The Light of Day
“I had waited with such hope for Her Highness to awaken. But now, what I hope for is that her memory never returns.”
The Light of Day
The jig is up. It was inevitable that Count Troyard would eventually have to face his very own Heaven’s Fall, given the snowballing catastrophe of lies, deceit and betrayals that he has engineered thus far in order to facilitate his rapid rise to power. In reality, what I remarked about Slaine and his growing fortune really didn’t turn out to be all that – at heart, he remains a very unlucky individual, and the true tragedy in it all is that his good fortune only ever existed in order to facilitate an even greater suffering for him at the end of the day. Or he could have just used up an entire lifetime’s worth of luck. It is true that he became a real bastard, and it would be very difficult to claim that he doesn’t deserve what’s coming to him. Whilst attempting to reason with an uncomfortable Eddelrittuo, perhaps Slaine himself realized that he was in need of a good retributive slap or two. But at the same time, we are reminded that his cold cynicism today is very much the product of his past suffering, and the short flashback near the start of the episode proved as much – the pure anguish he felt upon seeing Princess suspended in stasis was something he ended up having to grapple with for a couple of years. It also reminded us that his sole allegiance lies with Princess, and Princess only. For all the guilt Slaine might have for stringing along a very compliant Lemrina, it nevertheless remains something he is willing to do.
Of course, this means that we can now all anticipate a lot of shouting and emotional tension from the fallout of Lemrina’s accidental discovery. She has clearly been in an unstable mental state for a while now, and the final straw of Slaine’s continued absence has now broken the camel’s back. What’s really unfortunate for Lemrina is that -and I think I’ve mentioned this before- she was doomed from the start. I can concretely state that if there is to be a winner of this very messy affair, it will not be Lemrina. She can achieve neither her political nor her romantic aims – Slaine has instead made good use of her as a tool, and has stated his willingness to cast her aside if necessary. It might be more apt to say that Lemrina is more tragic a character than Slaine is, who at least had a taste of autocratic power and came very close to achieving his endgame. I do feel sorry for the both of them, as their actions do reflect the underlying reality that they have been royally fucked over to some extent.
To be honest, Slaine would have had enough of a problem with Lemrina realizing that he was hiding certain secrets from her, because her refusal to comply with his desires would have effectively collapsed his political endeavours. As his luck would have it, though, our very lovely but foolishly naive Princess has also regained her substantive memory, and this will not make for a happy Slaine at all. It’s interesting to note that the actual jogging of her memory was indirectly instigated by Inaho, who is ironically suffering what appears to be minor brain damage with the overuse of his eye. I’m taking this to mean that her memories were truly hazy before she saw the pendant, to the extent that she wasn’t really aware of the war or any specific developments – not that Slaine would want to tell her, that is. I predicted that she would end up remembering through someone uttering the name of ‘Kaizuka Inaho’, be that Eddelrittuo, Count Mazoo or Slaine himself – but I must say, the way Mazuurek handled things really was omega good job. His ship never really broke down, did it? Alongside that neat excuse, he picked up on the reality of things extremely fast, and was able to quickly discern the fact that the Princess speaking to him was in fact an impostor by asking a few choice questions – and that was before Eddie then failed in corroborating the details of her time on Earth, although she is definitely far too young to be playing the politics game. Funnily enough, Mazoo was called out by Barouhcruz for apparently wearing his ambition on his sleeve and trying to curry favour with Princess – which was of course not the case at all for Mazoo, rather being something that Barouhcruz would be after. Slaine was right: nothing really is less reliable than a knight’s vow of loyalty.
I’m looking forward to this fallout. Very, very much. It’s something we were all immediately expecting upon Asseylum waking up, and we don’t know exactly what impact this will have on a tyrannical Count Troyard who has supposedly chosen to give up on love instead of remaining invisible, unlike the girls of Yuri Kuma Arashi. To that end, the issues faced by the Terrans as to the newly unified approach of the Orbital Knights may not remain issues for much longer, as they were only ever acting in tandem under the instruction of Slaine – although I think he accepted less credit than he was due with that clash. Were it not for the timely intervention of the Deucalion, a large chunk of the Terran cast would have died right then and there, including Lt. Marito and Inaho – even if they had managed to deal with the invisibility and lightning attacks, they would all been overwhelmed by the duplication effect of the third Kataphrakt. While it really is depressing that Inaho has managed to avoid death yet again, he may very well instigate his own destruction before then if he continues playing the hero with that eye.