Aldnoah.Zero: Episode 7 – “The Boys of Earth”

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.

Episode Seven has a strong focus on action, and the bulk of the action focuses on Inaho, Inko, and Yuki fighting against the Hellas’ fists that are being controlled by a female soldier of the Vers Empire. Slaine also gets involved in the fight when he arrives on the scene. I have to admit that there were times during the battle where I had a hard time following what exactly was going on. It probably didn’t help that some of the scenes were on the dark side, and it was hard for me to see everything on the small screen I get at Crunchyroll.

Magbaredge manages to get the ship to safety and docks it. As they disembark, Magbaredge’s assistant discovers a Martian Kataphrakt at the installation, and it’s realized that Marito’s report about Heaven’s Fall 15 years earlier was true. We also see that Asseylum follows them and sees this.

There’s a surprise during the battle when a battleship fueled by Aldnoah appears, and Asseylum is inside of it. I was rather confused at this point, because nothing had been shown to indicate that Asseylum had revealed her true identity to Magbaredge. Yet, here’s Magbaredge and some of the other humans on board with Asseylum as herself and not as “Seylum.” To me, this probably would have played better if there had been some kind of scene to show Asseylum addressing Magbaredge. We didn’t need to see Asseylum explain everything, but if we at least had seen her approaching Magbaredge and say that she needed to talk to her, then the scene with the battleship wouldn’t have been as jarring to the audience.

And during the battle, it looks like Slaine and Inaho can at least be somewhat civil while working together to try to defeat the Vers Empire mecha. However, after the battle is over and the discussion turns to Asseylum, it ends with Inaho shooting down Slaine. WTF? Okay, Slaine had asked Inaho if the Earth planned to exploit the princess, and Inaho’s response was to shoot down Slaine. I’m sorry, but this act made Inaho come across as an asshole.

At this point, the storytelling for Aldnoah.Zero has become even more of a mess than what I complained about in my write-up for Episode Six. Sadly, I’m starting to lose hope that I’ll be able to enjoy Aldnoah.Zero for its remaining five episodes. I hope I’m wrong on that, but I’m not going to hold my breath, either.

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