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more thoughts on A/Z episode 15

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

Or rather, where Inaho and Slaine are headed from this point. And a thought on the Vers counts...




  • At this point, I expect that Inaho won't be aiming for Slaine's life. Slaine is his one clue to where Asseylum is, and even though the mastermind behind her assassination plot is dead, I doubt he'd be willing to risk killing someone who appears to be on her side (by all the evidence he has now collected). He does know that she is on the moon base, but I think his priority at this point will still be to try and find out more about her exact status.

  • Or he could be illogical and try to kill him...

  • As for Slaine, he's obviously aiming to reform the Vers system. The question is: does he still see the invasion of Earth as being necessary for that? If Inaho's assessment that he wasn't lying applies to Slaine's entire speech, then the answer is yes. Which means that he would be betraying Asseylum's ideals. But if he was lying (and Inaho's assessment was only about what he said about Asseylum), possibly because he has to put up that front in order to achieve deceive the other Mars counts, then it'll be very interesting to see exactly what he finds himself having to do this season...

  • It was kind of disappointing that the two new counts, Marylcian and Barouhcruz, are so deeply invested in their classist society. More than most other viewers, I do buy the extreme discrimination that the history of Vers society has meant to have created, but I would really like to see more variety among the counts on that front. The sandy-haired count from the opening, who's reading a book, looks like he might be a bit more moderate... I hope he is, so that most of Vers society doesn't end up being regarded as a caricature...



Edit (2014-01-28): those are the specifics, in a manner of speaking. Thematically, however, how would I describe the broad character arcs that both Inaho and Slaine are actually going through in this second cour of Aldnoah.Zero? In a nutshell, they'll be learning the meaning of 'responsibility'. Until now, the choices they've made have largely been about themselves:

  • All of Slaine's actions in the first cour were obviously directed at trying to find and protect Asseylum. Although his impulsive choices did bring about the very outcome he had been trying to prevent, he never had to consciously chose a course of action that would determine the fates of the people working under him: choosing to go to war, choosing how to fight a battle etc. Now, as Saazbaum's successor, the fates of all his retainers and the people of Saaz's territories back on Mars all rest on his shoulders. How will he balance their lives (which are the core of his objective to reform Vers society) against Asseylum's life (the protection of which is his other major objective)? Especially if she wakes up and places herself in opposition to him?

  • In comparison to Slaine, I would say that Inaho consciously took on more responsibility in the first cour, but only with the plan for the Novostal'sk battle. Even in episodes 6/7, Yuki was the person in charge of the Mustang group. With the battle of Novostal’sk, however, for the first time, there are deaths and other losses that fall on Inaho's head, even though he tried his utmost to reduce the number of casualties as much as possible. In that case, however, he had weighed their options and decided that this was their best course of action.

  • Now, however, you can say that Inaho's objective of finding Asseylum is potentially at odds with the survival of the people supporting him, and perhaps even with the survival of Earth itself. In episode 15, Magbaredge basically told him that she was putting the lives of the entire ship into his hands. I'm not sure he really understands what that means yet, given the way he continued his dogfight with the Tharsis despite orders to disengage (maybe he couldn't disengage, because Slaine wouldn't let him? I don't know how to judge that, however). Will it sink in only if he loses someone dear to him in a subsequent battle? In terms of 'classic' mecha anime, losing someone close to them is one way that protagonists often develop, after all. Losing Asseylum may represent this development for Inaho (as episode 15 explicitly points out), but after reading Takayama's comment in Guidebook 1 about how an earlier plan for the episode 7 battle was for Inaho et al to triumph only through the loss of one of his comrades, I increasingly fear for Yuki and Inko in particular...