The Deucalion has just crash landed onto the landing castle. What’s going to happen to those inside? Did anyone even survive? This is the Finale for the first season of Aldnoah.Zero, with a definite season 2 on the way. I’ve enjoyed the ride, but let’s see how the last one does in comparison.
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The Mustang unit is startled by the giant hurtling ship coming out of the sky, and even more so from it being their own ship. Inside, the crew appears to be mostly unconscious… or dead. Inaho rips open the hatch to the launch deck of the ship and Yuki gets out of her Cat to find the princess. She finds her, thankfully, alive, though the pilot seems to have died.
Control contacts the Mustang Platoon. It’s Marito. He’s bloodied, but seems alright. The others are alive as well, Nina even apologizing to Inko. Magbaredge asks Yuki if she thinks they can finish the mission. She says they can. Marito instructs Inaho and Inko to protect them.
Yuki takes over as the pilot for the Princess 1. We see an injured but alive Calm check on the dead or unconscious pilot. He gives Inaho some encouragement.
Asseylum wakes up, surprised to find Yuki piloting. She grows sad in realization as to why Yuki is driving. She thinks they all hate her for this. But Inaho asks her when does war truly over? She answers when both sides settle for peace, but he disagrees. He believes war is a continuation of politics for a particular purpose and war only ends when a goal is reached. The other way it ends is when there is so much loss that it is no longer economical to keep a war going. However, he tells her that he has no need for the emotions that drive wars and move the people towards one side or another. So he doesn’t hate her just for being a Martian.
However, the sentimental moment is interrupted when Saazbaum comes over the intercom, telling them he hates the Terrans just for being themselves. He fired his missiles, but his words gave them enough warning to dodge. Which is why you shouldn’t talk as a villain. Saazbaum jumps off his goblin flyer in front of the group. He introduces himself and begins the attack. Inaho steps forward to sacrifice himself for the group. He tells the others to continue the mission while he holds off Saazbaum. The others tell him it’s crazy, but he doesn’t listen, only wanting to hold Saazbaum off. Seylum wishes him luck, and the group heads off without him.
Saazbaum fires his missiles at Inaho, who dodges them and shoots his own back. Neither are effective. The others enter the Castle, and Saazbaum grows angry that they’re succeeding. Maybe he should stop them with his crazy firepower instead. He could have just skipped his monologue and kill all of them with missiles. But he releases the Light of Aldnoah, whatever that is.
Rayet is still fighting the other Cataphracts, then they suddenly break off from fighting them, climbed aboard some hoverboard thing and head towards the surface. Rayet thinks that’s weird. Eddelrittuo climbs out of the jeep and surrenders, surrounded by infantry men.
Apparently, the other mechs can attach to Saazbaum’s body, Voltron-style, making him even more powerful and intimidating. I also think that means that the other mechs might be automated, not piloted. But now, with all the added parts, he’s huge and obviously much more crazy powerful. He looks more like a Gundam now.
Inaho seems somewhat unfazed and continues his attack. But his bullets are stopped and disappear, possibly disintegrating? There’s talk of a dimensional barrier. Saazbaum also activates a beam sword. So it seems he has most of the abilities of the other Cataphracts that Inaho has fought up to now. He manages to dodge the blade, but just barely. He seems to realize something.
Slaine is flying over the battlefield, trying to find the princess, again thinking she’s on the Deucalion. But he’s attacked and hit by other Cats that came from the Deucalion to help Inaho. Inaho calls for them to stand down, and they are immediately mowed down by Saazbaum’s crazily overpowered mech. Inaho manages to keep out of the way by just being better than these professionals and having a marginally faster machine.
Slaine is out of his Sky Carrier and is held up by a Terran Cataphract. Stupidly, he holds his pistol to the Cat, like that would do anything. But someone else shoots the Terran and he’s saved by part of the Martian Military. Slaine asks why he was saved, since he must know that Slaine’s a Terran, but the man tells him that no one aims a gun at their comrades. The man is shot by, what looks like Rayet, and Slaine keeps running, tearing up, probably in conflict about which side he is really on.
Slaine enters the Tharsis, Count Cruhteo’s old Cataphract. But it won’t start because the activation factor is gone. But then, magically, like we all knew it would, it started up! Was it the spirit of Slaine? I hope not, because that would be stupid. I hope Cruhteo’s still alive. But who knows what it means.
Yuki and Asseylum are blocked by some of the defenders, but Asseylum tells her about a detour. It’s an inspection corridor that heads to the Aldnoah Drive. However, they have to leave the cat cause it’s only accessible on foot. That’s stupidly convenient.
They block the door and start to head out when suddenly, Inaho crashes through the ceiling, followed immediately by Saazbaum. They fire on Saazbaum, but to the same effect anyone else has had on him. An injured Inaho tells them to get out. They don’t and Saazbaum launches his fists at them, nearly taking out Inko, but Inaho shoots off part of his back, startling him. He had to release the barrier to launch the fists. Similar to Trillram’s ability. We even see a clip of Trillram as he explains him spotting the gap when the barrier goes up. They continue to damage the Vers Cataphract with bullets, with Inko realizing that she was actually bait to set up this plan of attack.
Inaho had waited until he got close to attack, and destroys part of Saazbaum’s Cat in close combat, knocking the Cat off it’s feet with an explosion. The Count tries to recover, but Inaho is already there, and he shoots the place where the count is located.
Slaine has gotten the Tharsis to work. Yuki, Inko, and Asseylum are out of the Cataphracts and are heading toward the Aldnoah Drive. They want Inaho to come too, but Saazbaum is rising and he’s staying to defend them. He tells them he’ll catch up. After a moment of hesitation, Asseylum leads the way down the hallway.
Saazbaum is indeed still alive, but he is not in good shape. His perfect hair is disheveled. Inaho taunts him into attacking, which honestly gives Inaho the advantage there. He’s angry and attacking recklessly. Inaho seems to want to fight hand-to-hand now, as he’s put on some extra armor to give him more power I assume. Saazbaum tells him that they were indoctrinated to hate the Terrans not of their own will, and because of that, their souls were tarnished and they were robbed of humanity, which wasn’t their fault. The girls are clearing a room to get to the Aldnoah Drive. He’s angry with everyone because of the indoctrination they were forced through, and for (mostly, I assume) the death of his lady friend.
Saazbaum punches off the head of Inaho’s Cataphract, which seems to do nothing. Inaho hits the Cataphract in the chest, which jolts Saazbaum who spits blood. Not a good sign. He falls as Slaine enters the fray, recognizing Inaho. Inaho begins rerouting his visual inputs to other places, since his head was knocked off.
The girls make it to the Aldnoah room. Inko and Yuki tell Asseylum to do her thing, and they’ll protect the entrance. That doesn’t sound safe. I worry one of them will die in the process. Saazbaum promises to keep fighting and Slaine jumps at Inaho. Then the power shuts down as Asseylum shuts off the Aldnoah Drive. The whole castle powers down. Slaine and Inaho smash through the Aldnoah room right behind Asseylum.
Slaine gets out of his Cat and starts to look for the Count, but is interrupted by hearing Asseylum looking for Inaho. He watches as she find him, injured in the wreckage, and wants to go find the others, talking about how they are now together. Probably not good for poor old, Slaine. Then she is shot from behind by someone.
Slaine watches in horror as she turns and is shot again in the head. Her medallion falls from her, and she loses her grip on Inaho’s hand as she falls. It’s Count Saazbaum, of course. He commends Slaine for saving him, and Slaine realizes what he has done, horrified. He screams and shoots Saazbaum repeatedly, though his shooting is wildly inaccurate. Saazbaum is still alive, and points to his head, telling Slaine to shoot him there. Tears streaming down his face, Slaine can’t seem to do it.
He hears something and see behind him Inaho climbing out of the ruined Cataphract. He falls to the ground and crawls towards the motionless body of Asseylum. He struggles desperately to get to her, thinking about all the things that they had done and seen together, thinking of her as he had seen her over the previous days. He smiles sadly.
Slaine comes behind him and clears his weapon, telling Inaho not to touch Asseylum. He calls him Orange. Inaho turns back to him, and smiles slightly. “Bat” he says. He looks back down and turns, gun drawn. One pistol fires and Inaho’s head is thrown back as the bullet passes through his skull. He falls by the girl he loves. Slaine walks off, back towards the Cat.
We hear a voiceover. They talk of the many who have fallen, friend and foe alike. They say that the UE Force was victorious over the Landing Castle. It also says that Princess Asseylum was never seen again.
Wow. What an episode. I don’t rightly know how I feel about it. I felt like parts of it were really good, and parts of it could have been much better. The ridiculousness of Saazbaum’s Cataphract was beyond a bit silly. Why could it do so much when the others couldn’t. And yet he was still defeated because he used it ineffectivelly. Also, Inaho was still very much Gary Stu all the way through. I thought it might end with him messing up and having to right his wrongs next season, but I don’t think that’ll happen now.
The ending was shocking and brutal, but I am not surprised. The Urobutcher is known for killing off major characters that we love. He’s like George R.R. Martin of the Anime world. And I hate George R.R. Martin. I don’t hate the Urobutcher, but I kind of knew that this was coming. I wasn’t thinking it would be one of the main characters like Inaho or Asseylum really, though I thought Asseylum might be on the list. But after watching many of his shows (Blassreiter, Phantom, Fate/Zero) I’m honestly not that impressed. I don’t think the two of them had to live, but I don’t know why they had to drop in the last five minutes of the last episode. It just feels like it’s trying to force us into some feels, and I don’t like being manipulated like that.
Now, this isn’t to say I don’t love the show. I did. Though I’d probably give the final episode a lower score than most of the other episodes that I watched. This episode gets a 6.5/10 from me. I expect some backlash for this as I have praised this show for most of its run, but I felt the ending was a bit weak. It leaves us directionless, a little loss. Who will we follow now? I have no doubt the second season will give me more hope (only to kill off more main characters) and will do a fantastic job, but I felt a lot of the episode was rehashing previous episodes, with the Saazbaum fight being a bit unclear, what with all the extra stuff Inaho has now that isn’t explained in the least, and in the fact that Saazbaum’s abilities are just rehashing of all the other abilities we’ve seen so far. Just not as good. Now that Inaho has seen them, they don’t pose much of a threat. And the attempt at a shocking, tear jerk ending just kind of irritated me.
But the whole show was good, and I love the world. I still have so many questions about the technology and the timeline that will surely be brought up in the next season. The whole series from me gets a solid 8/10. I really, really liked the show. I don’t think it’s up to some of his other stuff (Gargantia is my favorite Urobutcher show), but I did love it. I’d certainly watch the second season. Sorry if you loved the ending and didn’t like that I didn’t, but there it is. The show was good, I was unimpressed with the wrap up. Thanks for reading. See you with the next installments of Zankyou no Terror and my next season reviews!
Hey? Hate my guts because I hate that Gen Urobuchi is still doing Gen Urobuchi things? Let me know what you think? Do you agree that you were unimpressed with the ending? Support me in the comments. Seriously. I’m kinda worried for my life here.