Aldnoah.Zero: Episode 3 – “The Children’s Echelon”

Aldnoah.Zero is an anime series set an alternate version of Earth, where an ancient alien hypergate was discovered on the surface of the moon. Humanity used this technology and began migrating to Mars to settle the planet. When the settlers discovered more advanced technology, they founded the Vers Empire. This new empire claimed the planet and the technology for themselves. The Vers Empire declared war on Earth. During a battle that took place on the moon’s surface in 1999, the hypergate exploded and shattered the moon. The moon’s debris created a belt around the Earth.

The series begins in 2014, which is 15 years after Heavens Fall. On Earth (specifically in Shin-awara, Japan), we meet a high school student named Nao Inaho and his sister, Yuki Kaizuka. Yuki is a Warrant Officer in the Military Personnel of the Earth Alliance. Yuki helps instruct at the high school, because military training is part of their high school experience. She works alongside Koichiro Marito, a lieutenant who also teaches at the school. Marito appears to be a bit of a heavy drinker, and believes that the kids are being lied to about things. He was in the military 15 years earlier, and saw things that have been hushed up by the top brass.

At the beginning of Episode Three, Yuki awakens in the infirmary at the school. She asks about Nao and the others, and she’s told that they’re planning to fight with the equipment at the school. Yuki tries to stop Nao, but he throws words back at her that she usually tells Nao in order to motivate him. After that, she backs off.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Marito is arguing that they need to assist Yuki. Captain Magbaredge, the captain of the amphibious assault ship Wadatsumi, initially refuses, saying there’s a jamming signal and GPS is down. However, after Marito points out that he has some students who hadn’t evacuated yet, Captain Magbaredge says she’ll give him a landing craft and that it’s up to him to put a team together. However, if he is unable to, then she expects him to let it go.

Nao figures out how Sir Trillram is able to see them even though he has a barrier around him. He puts together a plan that he, Calm, and Inko will carry out. Rayet and the mysterious girl that Nao rescued in Episode Two say they’ll participate in the plan as well.

Marito is able to get a team together, and Captain Magbaredge says she’ll come on as another member. Before they can do anything, they see a signal round coming from the school. This means “commencing attack.”

The remainder of the episode sees Nao and the others launching their attack on Trillram, and Marito heading to the school to see what’s going on. It turns out the mysterious girl has a secret, which she reveals during the attack on Trillram…

I have to admit that I was a little confused right at the beginning of Episode Three. The way Episode Two ended, it didn’t appear that the group had separated like they did. Either I missed something there, or there was a jump in time between the end of Episode Two and Episode Three.

I’d already figured out the mysterious girl was really Princess Asseylum in disguise. But the look on Trillram’s face was absolutely priceless when he realized that the princess was actually still alive. At the end of the episode, Slaine discovers that Trillram was behind the plot to kill Asseylum and that Trillram’s determined to kill the princess himself to make sure the deed is done. Slaine acts rashly, and kills Trillram. I’m sure this will get him into major trouble with the Vers Empire. While he was doing it to protect the princess, the empire will probably still charge him with treason anyway.

Even though I’d already predicted that the mysterious girl was really the princess, that was only one of two things I was able to predict before it happened. Once I saw Slaine hearing that Trillram was behind the assassination attempt on the princess, I knew that he was going to kill Trillram somehow. But outside of those two things, I thought this episode was less predictable than Episode Two had been.

For the most part, this episode progressed the way I expected it to. But now that the princess has shown herself, how is this going to affect her relations with both the Earthlings and the Vers Empire? I’m guessing that her goal will be to find a way to bring peace between the two factions, but that’s obviously going to be easier said than done.

The way Episode Three ended, it makes me want to watch Episode Four in order to find out what’s going to happen to the characters and what will happen in the story next.

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