Aldnoah.Zero: Beyond the Horizon (The Longest Day on Earth)
July 23, 2014 2:30 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

The Vers invasion has started. Vers landing castles crash into Earth cities, while the ones still in orbit destroy Earth communication links. Earth defense forces are overmatched against Vers weaponry.

In Shinawara, Inaho encounters Princess Asseylum and her attendant Edelrittuo. It was actually a body double who had perished in the terrorist attack. It is revealed the assassination was planned and carried out by a Vers faction. Baron Trillram of the Vers Empire kills the Vers sleeper agents who carried out the attack to erase the evidence, but Rayet, daughter of one of the sleeper agents, manages to escape. She ends up in the transport evacuating Inaho and his friends, which leads to their being chased by Trillram in his kataphrakt Nilokeras. Inaho and friends temporarily escape by entering a tunnel.
posted by needled (10 comments total)
Keep calm and continue watching: the show doesn't hand wave much of anything. Your burning questions and concerns will be addressed come episode 3.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:15 PM on July 23, 2014

Man, those imperialistic assholes really do not have any concern for human life, y'know, thinking they're gods and all that.
posted by Small Dollar at 5:34 PM on July 23, 2014

For once the invading forces seemed to know what they were doing - knocking out communications was a good start.

So why are both Earth and Mars covering up that there was an earthside skirmish 15 years ago?

And Slaine, why am I getting Eru Erufu vibes from you?
posted by needled at 7:44 PM on July 23, 2014

Let's go ahead and put this on the table: the CG is TERRIBLE. It never feels integrated into the animation and when more than one element is on the screen you might as well be watching Beast Wars.
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:20 AM on July 24, 2014

I'm interested to see where this goes. It seems kind of uneven, but the good parts were good enough to hook me. I have no idea where it's going at all.

Two things I really liked:

I thought that purple kataphrakt was wonderfully creepy even though the guy piloting it was so over the top evil. The way it just walked through the elevated roadway (disintegrating it along the way) seemed so wonderfully alien and unbeatable.

(Though maybe they'll beat it?)

I hated the princess in the first scene in the first episode. I'm just tired of the preciousness that all these princesses-on-pedestals have. I was hoping that she would either get killed or turn out to be a secret killing machine. I'm not completely won over, but the way she apologized politely before taking down Inaho and then proceeded with such a calm manner made me like her a little bit more. I hope we see more of that.

I also have a question: What is up with Inaho? Dude seems to have emotions dialed down to .5.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 2:24 PM on July 24, 2014

Inaho and friends are what, 15 or 16 years old? And Heaven's Fall happened 15 years ago in the Aldnoah.Zero universe? I wonder how many of these kids, including Inaho, are orphans. I'm sure we'll get some explanation later on of why Inaho is the way he is, maybe in the second cour - I'm thinking of the progression in Fate/Zero, where in the second season we got 2 episodes on Kiritsugu Emiya's childhood. On the flip side, Slaine seems to have enough emotions for both himself and Inaho.

Regarding the CG - I hadn't noticed it on first viewing, with things getting from worse to worser for Earth in this episode, but it was jarring on second viewing.

And I changed my mind about Slaine and Eru Erufu - Slaine got Eru Erufu's looks, but Inaho seems to have gotten Eru Erufu's brains. Inaho and Slaine from the opening sequence.
posted by needled at 2:43 PM on July 24, 2014

That last shot of the opening credits, with the princess swinging towards the camera with a gun, is really stunning. I can't really even articulate why I love it so much...something about how she seems both benevolent and efficient at the same time. I dunno, it's just really arresting.

So this episode has the tonal shift I was talking about appreciating in the last thread: this isn't a war story, it's a disaster story. Our side isn't going to fact we've essentially already lost. But maybe if we can band together, keep our heads despite the insanity all around us, and get very very lucky, we might be able to make this a tiny bit less worse for the people we care about.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:49 PM on July 24, 2014

So the Vers Knight who's laying waste to Tokyo, I keep thinking he looks like Urobuchi Gen.
posted by needled at 1:54 PM on July 25, 2014

Ian A.T.: It looks to me like they attempted to make the military vehicles detailed in the way the backgrounds are painted, rather than flat in the way the characters are drawn. I don't think they quite pull it off, but it's an interesting thing to try and doesn't look terrible to me. It's an interesting play on the visual conventions of animation, and shifts the semiotics a bit; the machines are not to be associated with characters, but with buildings.

I agree about the last shot of the opening credits, though. Makes immediately clear that the princess has more going on than appearances imply.
posted by ardgedee at 5:34 PM on July 25, 2014

The integration of the various styles of animation in this is a bit off: the assassins from the previous episode seems to have come from a much more realistic anime than the rest of the cast, while the CG is indeed terribly noticable.

Inaho and friends are all awfully similar looking as well; luckily that the other dark haired died now. Princess is unrecognisable though.

The battle scenes are typically anime overkill for the baddies, with the heroic Earth defenders once again so outmatched that there's nothing they can do and for all their preparation, clueless to the true capabilities of their enemy.

Tactics could be better; why do the "big old swarm of fighters" when you're in an F-22 and can try and fail to dent these things from beyond visual range? Where's the arty? Or the nukes for that matter? Why do they have mecha but beyond that nothing more advanced than an F-22 and why does that actually exist in an alternate history that diverged long before it was made as an air superiority fighter against the USSR?

Onwards to episode three and seeing how a bunch of ragtag school kids with training mechs can survive longer than the professional military.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:04 AM on July 26, 2014

« Older WWE Raw: July 21, 2014 (Post-B...   |  Doctor Who: World War Three... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments