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ALDNOAH ZERO #1 -- Special Review

An info dump that... still smells good?

Well, that was ballsy way to tie this pilot off with a cliffhanger. The title character’s gets assassinated! A whole city gets nuked! Holy shit -- what could happen next?!

I was about to dismiss this episode as another textbook example of why frontloading is one of the deadliest - - and sadly, most common -- pitfalls for a series opener. There was a straight and sharp line separating that parts that worked from the parts that didn’t here. All the scenes involving our sweet-but-woefully-out-of-touch title character played best. Her aide condescendingly explaining interstellar politics to her, the one underling getting punished for speaking out of turn to her; even the recklessness that leads to her brutal assassination. Those all held my interest.

What didn’t? All the scenes of ‘everyday terrans’ (or whatever they were called) exchanging info-dumps about the history of Earth/Mars relations. A faux history lesson is just never entertaining.

Now, that said, I can understand why they included the latter - - even beyond just wanting to just show off this detailed future historia you’ve worked out. If the princess isn’t going to be the main character, then you’d best focus on the people who will be. Obviously. And we’re going to care more about the nuclear war at the end if we have an idea of who’s going to suffer all those nukes.

So, I guess those scenes aren’t bad, in theory – it’s just they could be done better.

And the scenes with the princess are preferable because there’s a character-based through line driving them. Her scenes aren’t just there to explain who she is, and what her world is. They’re driven by this kind of ditzy girl needing to have things dumbed down for her, and causing problems with her ignorance. There’s humor. There’s personality.

I don’t think I’ll be catching more of Aldnoah, but this pilot was interesting, if only to illustrate how scenes in pilots seem to work only by degrees, sometimes.

Watch “Princess of Vers" and decide for yourself.

takashichea moderator is online on July 10, 2014 at 1:56 a.m.

I heard this was written by Gen Urobuchi, and I have enjoyed his works so far:

  • Psycho-Pass
  • Fate Zero
  • Madoka Magica
  • Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

I haven't tried the pilot episode yet.

metalsnakezeroon July 10, 2014 at 7:15 a.m.

I see it as being like Code Geass where it more about the reaction of multiple characters than having one the story surrounding one. We're already see Gen work showing with the death of a high profile character that triggered the mass war and expect lots of craziness to come.

No_name_here staff on July 10, 2014 at 11:27 a.m.

@takashichea: @metalsnakezero: Whoa whoa whoa....

If he's writing this, then I'll have to watch more. He's awesome.

takashichea moderator is online on July 10, 2014 at 12:34 p.m.

@No_name_here:

Agreed!

Oh we do have a Aldnoah.Zero page if you want to attach it to the wiki page. It's just that periods and other punctuation makes the search engine wonky. Any titles that have punctuation marks will disappear from the search engine.

Marshal Victoryon July 10, 2014 at 9:07 p.m.

@takashichea: @No_name_here: He is credited as the original creator but no other writer is listed so hmm.

Also the New Edit of Psyco Pass is out to an worth a look. Does not have a mix tape feel to it but more cybepunk tones.

Where as this series has a lot of depth to it in the pilot. A fast world build an some of the others who made the show have a good pedigree as well. So this could be another canidate for watch an learn? Would suggest 3 episode trial before starting a watch an learn tho.

takashichea moderator is online on July 29, 2014 at 12:06 a.m.
Watch the first episode. It was pretty good. You can tell the difference between Argevollon and Aldnoah.Zero.
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