Aldnoah.Zero: Episode 5 – “Phantom of the Emperor”

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.

In Episode Five, the Emperor of Vers is baffled as to why after the assassination of Asseylum they have gone to war against Earth without so much as a declaration. The emperor then declares that there will be an armistice and they will take the time of the cease-fire to try to uncover the truth. Of course, this doesn’t go over well with Count Cruhteo, and he decides to have an audience with the emperor. Slaine also takes it upon himself to try to find a way to contact the emperor in order to tell him what’s going on. Unfortunately, as is seen at the end of the episode, things don’t work out the way Slaine had hoped. I suspect Episode Six will show Slaine’s reaction to this turn of events.

Asseylum confides to her aide that she intends to reveal her identity to the commander of the ship so she can contact her grandfather and bring an end to the war. Unfortunately, Rayet overhears her and advises her not to, since the rebels won’t obey the terms of the armistice and she’ll ultimately be killed before returning to Vers safely. I was actually quite surprised to see Rayet come out of the shadows and dissuade Asseylum from revealing herself and contacting Vers. I know Rayet’s not happy with the rebels for killing her father, but I got the impression from Episode Four that she doesn’t exactly care for the princess, either. It’s going to be interesting to see how Rayet will act and react to various events as the series continues.

The guy from Vers that Nao defeated in Episode Four comes back for revenge, and Nao is the one who takes him on. There’s quite a fight here, and Nao ends up doing something rather incredible…

To me, it was quite amusing to see in this episode how even the rebels in the Vers aren’t exactly united. They’re not only deceiving the emperor, they’re also deceiving each other, either intentionally or unintentionally. It really does make me wonder if the rebels will ultimately be undermined due to all the deception and underhandedness they’ve been doing to each other.

Aldnoah.Zero continues to be an anime that I look forward to watching week after week, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story will continue.

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