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A/Z 'running commentary' (Ep 15)

edit (2015-01-31): post locked. Please comment on my latest A/Z post if you want to respond to anything.

First, because so much of this is speculation that can be confirmed, furthered or debunked with each passing week, please note that I'll be locking each episode's post when the next episode has aired. My posts for episodes 13 and 14 have already been locked. Discussion can always be continued on the new weekly post if necessary. Just please refrain from dragging it in the argumentative direction it tends to go on the forums - I'll try my best to avoid that as well.

Also, I’ve been laughing about this for the last few weeks, but after rewatching episodes 11 and 13 of KimiUso again, I can’t hold it in anymore. I’m just finding it hilarious that the mother of Arima Kousei (Hanae Natsuki, i.e. Inaho) is played by Noto Mamiko (i.e. Orlane), whilst Kaori’s father is Ōkawa Tohru (i.e. Saazbaum). Would have been even more hilarious had Amamiya played Kawori, but I don’t think her voice suits that kind of role ^^;;

Anyways, on to the episode itself. In a sentence: A/Z is getting more and more interesting with each passing episode!

  • First, whilst the new opening is growing on me in leaps and bounds, I’m not sure I like the montage of scenes at the start of it. Whilst I see the point they probably wanted to make with it, I think they could have achieved a similar effect with just 4 moments. With 8 flashing by so quickly, it feels like they’re trying to cram too much information in. Then again, that’s pretty reflective of Aldnoah.Zero in general, at least to this viewer…

  • More information on the ‘activation factor’ (with Inaho and Darzana playing chess — a reference to a certain other mecha series?). I like how the Earth forces experimented with the blood — totally in keeping with what we’d do in science today. What I am a little surprised about is that they didn’t bring this up in the radio — last episode, Amamiya and Minase seemed to focus on the fact that Slaine kissed Lemrina; this time, the radio script writer didn’t even include it as a topic for them to discuss. Does this mean that there’s more that has yet to be revealed? What we’ve got so far is speculation that the activation factor was transferred when Inaho resuscitated the princess, and it was ‘activated’ when he came into contact with her blood (when he ingested it, it would seem). But what ‘activated’ means hasn’t really been outlined yet. Was it just a once off thing? And if it’s the same as the activation factor that Slaine received from Asseylum, then did Slaine come into contact with Asseylum’s blood because of his father’s research? Come to think of it, what exactly about Aldnoah was his father’s research about? Slaine was 14 when his father passed away — going by the manga in BD vol.2, his father really loved his work and left Slaine alone when he was absorbed in it. Does that mean that Slaine really has no idea what his father found out about Aldnoah? Finally, with regards to Lemrina stopping the AD of the Tharsis — another possibility is that forcibly powering down a drive means removing the connection between the activator and that drive. Basically, everything about Aldnoah and how it works is still quite murky, based on what we’ve been shown so far.

  • Another important thing that that chess scene tells us is that Inaho has started to question his own abilities. How will that change the way he fights? Until now, he has always tried to give himself the most dangerous position in any plan that he’s come up with. And even in this episode, he takes on Slaine by himself, though he does recognise that he survived largely because Inko came after him. Will he start to rely on others a little more?

  • Eddelrittuo. I’m a bit surprised that she doesn’t seem to have grown any taller. What I got from her reactions to Lemrina, however, is that she doesn’t actually think too badly of the people of Earth anymore (because of the her time on the Deucalion?). Though she’s trying her best to hide it, she’s really a bit too earnest, too honest.

  • Heh, so Inaho did remember that the ‘Terran friend’ that Asseylum had spoken about was ‘Slaine’. Interesting that Calm brought up Odin, who gained a great amount of wisdom for the price of his left eye — Inaho losing his left eye was obviously planned right from the start then. (*sighs* I still call BS on the fact that he survived that! And er…weren’t you shot in the head? What do you mean about contamination from stomach contents? Or were you actually talking about the internal injuries you received from the Sleipnir being crushed?). And what Calm said about wanting to leave the ship, and why he stayed. Nice. War changing someone in a good way.

  • High-G manoeuvres for Inaho? Long term consequences…? From here

The human body can tolerate violent accelerations for short periods,
including the the prolonged high-g acceleration necessary to reach Earth
orbit. However very prolonged periods of high-g acceleration during travel
between planets would be very harmful to the body, and therefore out of the
question. Imagine travelling to Mars, accelerating all the way at 3
gravities. You would weight three times your normal weight for the duration
of the trip and would barely be able to move, but what would the unrelenting
acceleration be doing to your body? Heavy acceleration is a speeded-up aging
process. Tissues break down, capillaries break down and the heart has to do
many times its proper work. You could not count on being in good shape when
you arrived.

  • So, as long as they fight for too long, or too often, there won’t be major lasting consequences?

  • Loved the interaction between Inko and Rayet in the middle of the episode. Also love how Rayet continues to do what she has decided — fight for Earth — despite how other soldiers keep making snide comments about her being a Martian. The shot in the opening with Inko, Rayet and Nina is reflective of just how close they’ve gotten, huh?

  • Inko!!! I was soooo scared when she came into the fight, especially after reading what Takayama said about how the fight in EP7 may have played out — with one of Inaho’s comrades sacrificed for victory (Guidebook S1). So glad she was there though, in the end! 伊奈帆!気づいてあげて!もう、本当に馬鹿だな、お前は…

  • So, Slaine Saazbaum Troyard… orz (Sorry, the name just sounds so weird!) Well, that OP is misleading. After he came back in S2, I didn’t expect Saazbaum to bite the dust so quickly, though I’m not surprised that it was Slaine that killed him. How patient he was, using Saaz to rise up in Vers society, biding his time until he’d gotten what he needed! Kudos to Slaine and Harklight for that plan, which would probably have taken down Inaho if Inko hadn’t been there. (Inaho finally meets his match? I’m pretty excited about this rivalry now!) Furthermore, he’d also considered the possibility that Inaho was his best bet in taking down Saaz’s dimensional barrier and used that to destroy the person who’d just named him as his heir. This is the boy that everyone loved because of his pure, untainted earnestness. How much he’s changed! (And btw, the first time anyone in the creative team alluded to this was probably back in March last year — in his A/Z Report interview, Urobuchi notes that wars “aren’t something that just extol the virtues of humans. When humans are tossed around by such powerful external forces, it’s not like they always come out of them for the better.” NB: I’ve summarised that interview here.)

  • But it’s clear from the look on Slaine’s face afterwards that he was conflicted about that decision. Why? Well, I’m guessing two reasons: first, Saazbaum was the only person who’d treated him well, who hadn’t looked down on him because he was a Terran; and second, because he had saved him from being killed by Cruhteo (at least, as far as Slaine knows).

  • So Slaine has really become the “revolutionary” knight (see Animedia, Nov 2014) — he’s revolting against the horrible class-based society of Vers, probably seeking to change it. I’m fairly certain, however, that Asseylum would not like what he has become, especially since he truly appears to believe in the ‘righteousness’ of invading the Earth and killing millions there in order to benefit the people of Vers…

  • Finally, since the bulk of the opening is set in space, I expect that most of this second cour will be taking place in the satellite belt and near the moon. And whilst I'm not sure how much say he'll have in where he's deployed, Inaho probably isn't going to want to leave the area that Slaine is in, now that he knows that Asseylum is alive. However, given that Marito and Yuki are clearly on Earth in the OP, will we be heading back there at some stage? There are still at least 20 landing castles involved in taking over much of the Earth, after all — based on peripheral information we’ve been given, I suspect that around seven to eight of the LCs have been surrendered, as Saaz put it in episode 13. Will we be seeing anyone taking on those other counts?