Aldnoah.Zero Episode 21: The Fortune’s Fool

“You have changed. You are no longer the Slaine I once knew, are you?”

Impression

Will the real Princess please stand up? …Oh wait.

#rektprincess

#rektprincess

Aldnoah 21 Img049The tables were turned. And then they were turned again! And the final outcome is something that was very much predictable, but didn’t really cross my mind for some reason. You see, I didn’t think Slaine had become cold-hearted and uncaring to the extent that he has, especially with regards to Princess – my train of thought was that if anyone can change his mind at this point, it’s her. But Slaine had no reaction whatsoever, even when Princess held him at gunpoint – he just threw both her and Lemrina in prison without a second thought. This easily confirms that, at least deep down, his actions have not been for Asseylum’s sake, putting aside her thoughts on his methods – because in the end, he was willing to throw her away as well, without shedding a tear. His desire for her is not as great as his desire for power – and to an extent I think Slaine himself also knew that it never would have worked out. Inaho being the astonishing object of her affections is one thing, but Princess was never actually in love with Slaine at all, and probably didn’t regard him as any more than a friend her age who knew a lot about Earth. I doubt she ever had the guts to shoot him, but the fact she even pointed a gun at him to begin with speaks volumes. And so, the only option left to our tragic Count Troyard is to go after power, for it’s own sake.

Aldnoah 21 Img020In a way, the whole affair concluding like this feels slightly lukewarm, given how they’ve made a big deal out of Slaine’s turbulent relationship with Lemrina, alongside showing us a recurring image of Princess suspended in a tank. And the initial shocking scene with Lemrina turning a gun on Princess ended up defusing itself before its potential came to light – I know they decided to work together, but I’m not sure how Lemrina went from presumably wanting to kill her to spilling the beans and offering to collaborate. At least they can take the time to get to know each other better in prison. I also did expect more out of the confrontation itself, namely a mental breakdown on Slaine’s part if I’m going to be honest, but what I didn’t take into account was that the boy who cried noisily at seeing a near-death Princess was no longer the same person as the young man who must have indirectly killed hundreds by now. The former may have given in and acquiesced, but the latter knows that he doesn’t actually need either princess any longer, and thus no longer gives a fuck. He has more power than the both of them combined anyway, and as long as his private faction and the people around him shut their mouths, he should be able to continue exerting his iron grip over both the Martians and Terrans.

Aldnoah 21 Img046Speaking of the Terrans, I actually wasn’t too pleased about how they kept cutting to the battle against the three Martian Kataphrakts and fragmenting the scenes with Princess – because the latter is where it’s at, really. In the grand scheme of things, I couldn’t really care less about what’s happening on Earth, because the outcome is practically guaranteed to be a win for Inaho, with a potential side-effect of someone like Marito dying. Incidentally, if he does end up dying somewhere down the line an explosion would be very ironic. It’s true that in practice, it turned out to be quite interesting, especially that the Terrans managed to win with minimal casualties against three Martian Kats – who would have been sufficiently difficult to deal with on their own. I especially felt Count Orga’s to be far too overpowered, in that an ability to generate seemingly limitless copies of both yourself and your mecha must be almost invincible in many situations. Sadly, one of the situations in which it is not invincible is when your enemy has a cybernetic eye, and knows how to use it almost too well.

Aldnoah 21 Img052Okay, now we’re hurtling towards the end, and I think I have a pretty good grasp on how things will turn out. The UFE Deucalion have clearly been sent on yet another quasi-suicide mission by a top brass who must be as retarded as they are old, given that a massive Aldnoah-powered space battleship is the most powerful resource they have at their disposal. It’s on this mission -presumably to the moon- that Inaho and Slaine will have their final confrontation, with Slaine now very comfortably sitting as the last boss with a slew of subservient Orbital Knights eager to do his bidding. With the foreshadowing of the ‘Princess pointing a gun’ scene in the previous OP actually coming true, it’s very possible that Inaho and Slaine will both end up dead by the end, given that broken and torn pieces of both the Tharsis and the Sleipnir are lying on the moon in this season’s OP – and this is likely not only because of their battle but also their personal circumstances. Inaho will almost certainly have his brain fried at this rate, and the political backlash will come to destroy Slaine eventually. The only factor I can see shaking this up is not Mazuurek, but rather Count Cruhteo II. What on earth are they doing, introducing someone like him at such a late stage? We don’t know how he thinks yet, so it’s hard to say what role he’ll play for now. Maybe he’ll end up getting tortured by Slaine as a sort of cross-season grudge.

Vantage

I love cute things.

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9 Responses

  1. Wanderer says:

    So Slaine really has become simply a selfish prick after all. Please excuse me while I go somewhere else to vent my disgust for him and his now inexcusable actions.

    • Vantage says:

      He’s an incorrigible douchebag, but he’s also an opportunistic and pragmatic douchebag. I feel myself separating respect and moral disgust here, and to me they exist alongside each other. Watching him claw his own painful and bruised way up to power certainly beats watching Inaho go into battle armed with his physics degree.

      Slaine is a total antithesis to Princess, come to think of it. Alas, love between them was never to be.

  2. I’m wondering if Cruhteo’s son going to cut Slaine off from Tharsis eventually. I suppose that’s not possible since Slaine controls who does and doesn’t have Aldnoah. What a time to introduce a new character though! Also, Cruhteo ;_;

    Wait… does that make Slaine a serious threat to Deucalion? Like, if he lands on it with Tharsis can he shut off the ship through contact? O_O Just imagine him shutting it off, tipping it perpendicular to Earth and then “throwing” it down… let’s not have that happen.

    On the other hand, I’d actually like to see Slaine succeed in a sense! It’s not because of my liking of his character, nor do I hate Inaho. It’s because… I want to learn more about this universe.

    Imagine a series where Slaine’s now building- erm, I guess it’d be Asseylum building a “new” Earth since Slaine intends to hand it over. Of course, there’d be challenges and sabotages, etc. However, it’d be cool to contrast these tribulations with flashbacks as to why peace talks didn’t work out before and the first war happened, no?

    I mean, did Earth abandon Mars and so they struck out on their own when they found Aldnoah? How about more on Versian society, development and knowledge on Aldnoah’s makers (or even discovering where they are/seeing them return) while we watch Asseylum and others build this “new” Earth. Let us see both worlds, you know?

    Granted, there wouldn’t be a lot of mech action if any at all, but that’s not the main meat of the series anyway.

    • Vantage says:

      I wonder what Cruhteo would say if he were still alive today. Slaine never really ‘inherited’ the rights to the Tharsis, given that it was passed on to him by Saazbaum, so I can definitely see Cruhteo II trying to get it back. And if the father was a royalist, the son definitely will be too. This is actually the first time we’ve seen someone actually come from the Versian home-world apart from that little teleporting stint they did in the first season, so it’ll be interesting.

      The mech action is great when it happens, especially in space if you watch all the pretty colours dazzle. But like in this episode, I found it almost annoying that it kept breaking up the thrilling events on the moon. I get that it was meant to mirror Slaine and Inaho’s respective dilemmas, but it’s not great when we all care about one while the outcome of the latter is practically set in stone.

      • If Cruhteo were still alive we’d have a very interesting Orbital Knight Civil War on our hands and Lemrina would have probably stayed a shadow even to us, maybe. I never did figure out whether the Audience Chamber teleported someone, created a bubble or was just a really fancy holographic communication suite…

        You speak truly. I think that the battle would’ve been the icing on the cake. As in Slaine has his cake, but as ever, he can’t eat it too. I’m a little disappointed that even Orga died and surprised that he’d put his original- err, alpha self in that battle. So much for that rebellion material. Oh well, it’s all the more reason I’d like to see Slaine succeed so we can get a season 3 that focuses more on teaching us about the universe and showing us the past.

        I think Aldnoah.Zero’s just about matured to that point where it would feel like a natural continuation, no? Heck, even Gundam 00 had a number of political elements and it was way more action oriented. How do you think the season will end?

        Oh. Shoot. Sudden thought: what if Cruheto’s son doesn’t inherit Tharsis, but inherits the rights of Royal Guard of Asseylum? o_o That could have some interesting impact.

  3. Tenshi says:

    This episode contained a lot less burning and crashing that I expected and was hoping for. I mean, I have to give credit to Asseylum for pointing a gun at Slaine, but he sure did turn the tables back around easily and calmly(I wish she killed him) I knew that Slaine was a selfish good-for-nothing coldhearted loser, but I do admit his actions do somewhat surprise me. We all knew he didn’t give a crap about Lemrina, but even Asseylum? It’s scary how a character who used to be obsessed with and head-over-heels for the princess could change so drastically into a human being who had just given up and didn’t even care anymore. What happened to the “easy going” Slaine who cared for the Princess and broke down when she was in danger? The Slaine who practically dedicated his life to her and would do anything to keep her safe (including KILLING people) Now he just kills people without batting an eye for even worse reasons. Perhaps this change was inevitable for a person as emotionally unstable as Slaine. He probably couldn’t handle Asseylum getting shot and I’m almost positive that that’s when the old Slaine we all knew died. I’m really disappointed in Slaine actually. You know that feeling when someone has screwed up so much that you don’t even have the energy to hate them anymore? Well that’s what I’m feeling towards Slaine. I hope he dies soon, but I’m pretty sure that he will.

    • Vantage says:

      I agree – it was lukewarm, which is how I described it in the post. I guess it shows that Slaine’s transformation is complete. The old Slaine would have mentally broken down at the thought of Princess going against him – burning and crashing, to use your term, is exactly what we were expecting. In previous episodes, I thought he still had a glimmer of life in his cold, dead heart for Asseylum, but even that’s gone now. His statement that he was going to show the results of his new world to Asseylum eventually became lip service – because there’s no way she’ll accept that the ends justify the means, unless she’s in stasis for so long that the integration of the two worlds is complete and irreversible, which is a strong argument for the idea that Slaine kept her in her coma on purpose. Then he could wake her up at the ‘right’ time of his choosing, when he wants her to see what he’ll let her see.

      I’m not sure the change happened when Asseylum was shot, as the flashback last episode with him crying with grief does imply he still has a heart. I’d say it was the long waiting, and a pivotal point was when he killed Saazbaum – which he showed a bit of remorse for doing as well. After he became Count, his expressions and attitude started changing. I suppose the underlying message is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  4. I knew there was a reason I hated Slaine! I was worried since I started grudgingly respecting him a little bit, but luckily he made he hate him again this episode. =_=
    Only three more episodes though, right? How do you think all this will end? I’m kind of expecting Inaho to die, and Slaine too maybe, but I wonder if there’ll be a concrete conclusion..

    • Vantage says:

      I don’t hate Slaine for what he did. I accept that he is a massive dick, but I’m rooting for his success – with this episode, he’s completed his ascent from dirty slave to king of the world. Also, my dislike for Princess means that I don’t really have an issue with her being locked up. She really should have shot him the very moment he began walking towards her. But I guess she’s taken a few steps forward in being able to aim a gun at her former friend, so… she did good, kinda.

      I think Slaine will kill Inaho. They’re doing the whole Norse mythology thing with Inaho, representing him as Odin with the loss of his eye and the Sleipnir. I’ve read somewhere that the myth ends with Odin being killed by a wolf, and Slaine has been referred to as such by his former masters, although I think it was the less attractive label of a mangy dog or something. If they complete the tale of Odin, Inaho will die at Slaine’s hand. But given that the Tharsis is also in pieces on the moon in the OP, and given that Slaine is as tragic as Kaneki, he’ll probably die too – perhaps through political means though. Maybe introducing Count Cruhteo II will shake things up sufficiently in that direction.

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