Aldnoah.Zero: Episode 11 – “Wind, Snow and Stars”

Aldnoah.Zero is an anime series set on 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 11 sees Saazbaum launch a direct attack on United Earth HQ. Saazbaum and his men break into the headquarters in the Kataphrakts and start wreaking havoc. His troops are ordered to find Princess Asseylum and shoot her on sight.

Asseylum contacts Inaho and tells him that she has the ability to shut off Saazbaum’s Aldnoah drive since she’s from the Vers emperor’s bloodline. Inaho says he’ll escort Asseylum to the enemy’s Landing Castle, but Yuki argues with him. As expected, Inaho uses his emotionless logic to argue his position; and after Asseylum agrees with his plan, Yuki agrees to forward it to the captain.

Later, we see Asseylum being driven by her assistant in a jeep to get to the Deucalion, but Saazbaum’s men see her and begin shooting at the jeep. A Kataphrakt piloted by Rayet appears and protects the princess so she can get on board the ship. I’m sorry, but I have a very hard time believing that Rayet would help out the princess like this. Just two episodes ago, Rayet tried to strangle Asseylum and kill her; this just doesn’t work for me, because I can’t see Rayet having such a rapid change of heart. I don’t think sitting in that cell suddenly made her realize that Asseylum is someone she should be helping. This just felt forced to me.

As the episode is ending, a plan Inaho came up with launches; unfortunately, something unforeseen happens that has the potential to derail his plan…

And Slaine only makes a couple of quick token appearances in Episode 11, and all we see is that he’s concerned about Princess Asseylum. At this point, it appears that while he doesn’t seem to be fighting with Saazbaum’s forces, he also doesn’t seem to be joining up with the Terrans, either.

In the end, not a whole lot happens in Episode 11. Yes, the action really picks up after the slower pace of the past couple of episodes, but all this action is essentially just setting the series up for the final battle, which will be taking place during Episode 12.

It’ll be interesting to see how Episode 12 brings the story to an end, and to see whether or not these last couple of episodes will be able to improve my opinion of this series or not.

Additional episodes of Aldnoah.Zero:

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