Aldnoah.Zero Episode 22: Out of the Past
“Who… are you?”
Out of the Past
There’s something living in his eye.
There’s an artificial intelligence in there, and it’s now… taken over Inaho? Aldnoah.Zero never fails to surprise. There were many moments throughout the season where it seemed like Inaho was talking to himself, and I really thought that was it – he either really was talking to himself, or had started going delusional from the gradual brain damage he was exposing himself to. Preferably both. But he was talking to his eye. I didn’t expect the robot eye to actually have this much sentience, nor did I expect it to end up assuming control of Inaho’s body when the latter’s thought processes completely gave out – I thought it would just fry his brain and that would be that. So I suppose it means that Inaho hasn’t been ‘using’ it all this time so much as he has been ‘keeping it in check’. I did think it weird that his condition had already deteriorated so much when we’ve still got a few episodes left, because the typical course of action would be to have him strain himself to his very limits during his climactic battle with Slaine – but now I understand why it’s happened as it has.
That being said, none of us can be sure as to exactly what’s wrong with him, so the future implications this will have on the plot are unclear as of yet – will Inaho recover enough to return, and if so will the robot eye submit to his control once again? It probably will, given that it decided to follow the orders Inaho had given it should this ever happen. When it started talking about how Inaho prioritised Asseylum’s life over his own and ended up like this as a result, I was anticipating that the eye might decide to mutiny and kill Asseylum to minimise the risk of harm to its master. At any rate, with such a brief meeting I doubt the Inaho x Princess ship will ever be getting anywhere. The both of them should probably be more worried about surviving the rest of the season for starters. And that applies to Princess especially, whose naivety seems to have returned alongside her memories. Her attempt to practically manhandle Lemrina along with her goodwill was bad enough, but I was really irked by her decision to shield Eddelrittuo from enemy gunfire with her own body. I mean, is she actually a lolicon or something? Does she know what happens if she dies? And when asked who she loves, she answers ‘the people of VERS’ like a good Princess. If that really is true, she ought to put a bit more thought into the meaning behind this war and the implications ‘peace’ will have on the people of her country. Well… at any rate, it’s not like she can do much to change anything now, given that Slaine has spent two whole years shitting all over her public image and reputation. Which is exactly the reason why the UFE are sending troops to assassinate her.
I was right on the spot with Klancain. He may not have done much thus far, but his beliefs and standing put him in an ideal position to massively upset the current balance of things. He is indeed a royalist, and a fierce one at that – according to Harklight. He shakes with rage at seeing the Tharsis in possession of the usurping Troyard, and has a passive-aggressive teatime chat with him over his goals and ambitions. So while he may seem perfectly amiable towards Slaine for now, underneath all that is someone who is most likely very unsatisfied with the current state of things, and is in a position to change all that. With his appearance, I now think Mazuurek’s role is just about over, and that might certainly be the case now that he has run into a fleeing Princess and Eddie. With no guarantee of running into allies should they try to aim for the Deucalion, deciding to follow Klancain is almost certainly the better choice, and that puts Klancain in a very powerful position in the sense that he can threaten to knock over Slaine’s house of cards by revealing everything he’s been up to. Of course, that’s it – it now means nothing to Slaine that Klancain has the princesses themselves, and he even outright admitted to Inaho that he was ‘exploiting her’, as a ‘means to achieving his ends, and nothing more’ (read: ‘she can go die in a ditch for all I care’).
I wonder if this is supposed to be the final battle. The Terrans have certainly brought the battle to the Martians, but it seems like the major confrontations have come and gone now – or maybe it’ll end with everyone on the Deucalion dying, given that it might now have powered down completely with Inaho losing consciousness. If we had more episodes, this would definitely pave the way for a civil war-style sub-plot between the royalists and Slaine’s alliance, with Klancain and Slaine stepping into the shoes of Cruhteo and Saazbaum respectively. At this rate, I’m not even sure Slaine will have an alliance by the end – if he starts to look like he’s losing, I have no doubt that both Barouhcruz and Harklight will turn on him immediately. That’s exactly what Barouhcruz is even here for – to take some of the spoils and glory should he win, and to teach the filthy mongrel his place should he lose. And finally, there might be a bit of foreshadowing in that the top brass have decided to call this ‘Operation Luna Gate’ – could this end with another Heaven’s Fall?