Aldnoah.Zero: Then and Now (The Day We Saw the Bird)
August 24, 2014 7:08 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Magbaredge and her crew discover a ship hidden underground. They realize it was an Earth ship designed to be powered by an Aldnoah drive, but abandoned when it could not be activated. Princess Asseylum reveals her identity and activates the ship's Aldnoah drive. Meanwhile Cruhteo interrogates Slaine in his landing castle as Saazbaum observes. As the interrogation proceeds, Saazbaum makes a decision.
posted by needled (14 comments total)
A certain segment of the show's followers finally gets the fanservice they've been wishing for and... it makes them feel bad.
posted by ardgedee at 3:14 PM on August 24, 2014

Ep. 8 script cover - even the show's staff enjoy tormenting Slaine ㅠㅠ

Rough translation (from Korean translated from Japanese):
Slaine: AAAAAAAARGH! Lord Cruhteo!!
Cruhteo: You like it here!!
Saazbaum: I should go rescue him ... No, a little bit more ....... With Dioscuria's flight speed ...... Yes! Things are still okay! Let watch a bit more LOL
[Saazbaum did not arrive to rescue him for a long time.]
posted by needled at 3:44 PM on August 24, 2014

I wouldn't call Saazbaum's actions a rescue as such. Also, I hope Cruhteo is alive or else what was the point of any of that.
posted by Pyry at 8:54 PM on August 24, 2014

Bits and bobs regarding this episode and the show:
  • Slaine uses 'watashi' to refer to himself when speaking to Asseylum and his superiors, and 'boku' when talking to himself or to Inaho. Slaine uses 'boku' when speaking to Cruhteo when he's being tortured. 'Watashi' is typically what you'd use when you are the social inferior in a situation, and 'boku' is what you'd use with peers.
  • Saazbaum's kataphrakt is named Dioscuria, or "Land of the Dioscuri." The Dioscuri are the twins Castor and Pollux. Is this an indication Saazbaum's kataphrakt can split into two units?
  • From Saazbaum's reaction, it's not clear if the Deucalion he is referring to is the Mars kataphrakt found on Tanegashima, or the flying ship. If the former, it breaks the pattern of Mars kataphrakt being named after geographic formations on Mars. If the latter, it implies that Saazbaum was aware of the ship being built in Tanegashima.
  • Character heights and ages. According to the timeline (some parts translated here), the first Mars colonists arrived in 1980. The Vers Empire cut off contact with Earth in 1985. So this means that Cruhteo, Saazbaum, and Vlad were all born on Earth, with the latter two having been old enough to remember Earth when they arrived on Mars.
  • Cruhteo is presumably dead, and we didn't get to see his kataphrakt Tharsis, which was name-checked twice. Does this mean we'll get to see Tharsis in a later episode, perhaps manned by Inaho or Slaine?
  • In the OP, we see a flower growing in the pavement cracks in the sequence for Inaho, and a black-tailed gull in the sequence for Slaine.
  • "Dark" ending song again this episode, so things probably aren't going to improve for Slaine at least. ㅠㅠ

posted by needled at 6:55 AM on August 25, 2014

I'm still enjoying the show, so I shouldn't complain too much, but this show is so very formulaic in its structure. 20 minutes of tension building, peak conflict in the last 4 minutes, with some sort of cliff-hanger ending. In this episode, it was Cruhteo's punishment of Slaine, until he was enlightened just in time for Saazbaum to attack and take Slaine off. I'm half-tempted chart the episodes to see how they compare to this pattern.

And why is no one more concerned about Rayet just showing up in the midst of Really Important Discussions? "Oh, you're no soldier, but come on in, sullen teen! Listen to our plans."

I won't believe Cruhteo is dead, because as Pyry noted, what was the point of the bulk of the episode. There wasn't any supporting character seen long enough to become Cruhteo's fill-in, someone who would avenge Cruhteo against the plots of Saazbaum and company.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 AM on August 25, 2014

Principally, Cruhteo's mecha was finally introduced in this episode, by name at least, so it's going to sit there like Chekhov's Gun until somebody climbs inside it. And so far the only people to pilot the Vers Knights' mecha have been the people they were built for. I'll still put a 50% chance on Cruhteo's death in this episode, though. Either way this resolves it won't surprise me.

And, yeah, Rayet is a nuisance just for being proximal to the action at all times without ever doing fuckall. Nobody seems to have twigged to her being the daughter of one of the members of the assassination plot, or consider her sullen, ambiguous behavior to be threatening either to the completion of the mission or the welfare of the princess. Kind of wish she'd be killed off because she exists solely as the writers' Plot Complication In Reserve, the figure that the audience knows is going to fuck shit up but which nobody within the story seems to think is a problem.
posted by ardgedee at 1:55 PM on August 25, 2014

Now this person is a true fan: Is Cruhteo really dead?

(Conclusion: It's estimated there was a 3m distance between the outermost part of the plasma beam and Cruhteo. So he could be dead, or he could be alive looking like Two-Face?)
posted by needled at 2:45 PM on August 25, 2014

Another thing to consider, I guess, is that Cruhteo and Saazbaum have been frienemies so far; for Saazbaum to act directly against Cruhteo breaks that tension, if Cruhteo remains alive. So that can become a thing.
posted by ardgedee at 4:42 PM on August 25, 2014

I vote for Cruhteo being dead, because this is "George RR Martin's Voltron". If Cruhteo is alive, then this will throw a major block into the war opposed to Saazbaum being able to pin it on the Terrans, and intensifying the war even more.

Basically, think of the worst possible outcome for this action, and that's probably what will happen.
posted by happyroach at 10:27 PM on August 25, 2014

So Count Crouton finally catches on but only after Slaine passes out. The entire scene, Saazbaum was the one trying to keep Slaine alive while Slaine was able to actually witness things. Slaine also, presumably, doesn't know that Trillram wasn't of Cruhteo's clan.

I wonder what might possibly be discussed in Castle Saazbaum this Saturday.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:49 AM on August 26, 2014

From latest interview with series director Aoki Ei:
  • There will be a major battle scene near the end of the first season.
  • The first season will end at an appropriate point.
  • We're still working on the season 2 scenario.
  • We plan to reveal the meaning of "Zero" in season 2.
So it looks like the first season won't end on a cliffhanger.
posted by needled at 4:56 AM on August 27, 2014

Spoiler: zero doesn't have any deep meaning, anime producers just think it sounds cool (fate/zero, .hack//zero, zero escape, etc.).
posted by Pyry at 3:35 AM on August 28, 2014

> I wonder what might possibly be discussed in Castle Saazbaum this Saturday.

I believe it involves cutlery: ep. 9 preview.
posted by needled at 5:17 AM on August 28, 2014

Fiat justitia ruat caelum, "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

Interesting that this phrase has been used in both positive and negative ways: there's the "no matter what happens, I will relentlessly pursue justice" interpretation, but there's also "the sky has fallen and you're still concerned with 'justice'?"

I wonder if the latter will come into play in this series; it certainly fits the tone of the series better than the more common interpretation.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:09 AM on August 29, 2014

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