Anyhows, spoilers under the cut!
- The scenes from S1 that we flash through at the very start of the opening: (*) the first time Inaho and Asseylum come to understand each other, the initial assassination attempt, the shot that killed Trillram, Asseylum being shot, Asseylum saving Slaine in 2012, Inaho - Asseylum ‘kiss of life’, Asseylum - Slaine ‘kiss of life’ (2012), Asseylum’s hand being torn from Inaho’s… A total of 8 moments that are important for our three protagonists. However, the real question is: exactly why is each scene important? Most are probably obvious (even if two explanations might be plausible)…but the one I’m least sure of is definitely the one I’ve asterisked.
- In this opening, Inaho is in the world that Asseylum was in in the first opening, and she leaves that gun behind when she disappears. However, given how she was reaching out to him with both hands at the start of that shot, I doubt that the person she was pointing the gun at was Inaho. Theme-wise, going by where I think the story’s going (by what the creators have said about it), and also going by that shot of her with a tear running down her face as she’s sedately watching Slaine in this second opening, I have the feeling that it’s more likely to be Slaine… The answer to Slaine’s question about whether Asseylum would be sad…should be ‘yes’. And I also think that she would disagree with what Saaz and Slaine are trying to do: basically conquer the people of Earth and subject them to Vers rule. Even if the ultimate aim is to change Vers society for the better… Of course, this is merely my speculation at this point — we’ll have to see where the story heads.
- The shots we see of the Tharsis and Inaho's Kat chasing after the same light are really interesting... They look like they could be competing against each other in trying to reach that light, but an alternative possibility is that it foreshadows them working together again. Hm...
- Loved what we learned about Lemrina in this episode: she’s jealous of what her sister had that she didn’t, and is going to take what she can. Caused in part by the way that her grandfather and all of the court is suggested to have marginalised her whilst Asseylum was around. But she knows the politics of it all, and is trying to work it herself. And the Emperor is on his deathbed, whilst Asseylum remains in a coma. It’ll be interesting to see how Saaz, Slaine and Lemrina all play each other as they work towards their respective goals.
- Oh, and on that topic: well-handled, Slaine.
- That eye is insane. Totally unfair. Though I suppose Tharsis’s ability is pretty unfair too. But I have a question about the ability of programs/algorithms to calculate the ‘wind’ in space (i.e. the gravitational pull of the objects in the satellite belt) and thus allow their user to plot the path that something has to take through a debris field, for example. I know that this is really complex: what I’m assuming at this point is that there probably is some sort of algorithm that the UFE has been developing for this, which might require its users to input certain parameters associated with the debris field, which I’m guessing has not been fully mapped. Is it even possible to fully map that field? Or is the program in a much earlier testing stage, so only someone like Inaho has it (perhaps associated that that artificial eye)? Pity I don’t know any engineers who specialise in astrophysics. I’ve love to ask about this. On this point, however, if what they depict in Shirobako is true, then Takayama would have researched this, or delegated it to someone. Perhaps it’ll be discussed in the S2 guidebook?
- Rayet’s right: Inaho is an idiot, though I still enjoyed that scene. But more than that, I enjoyed the twitter exchange about it between Komatsu Mikako (Inko) and Hanae (Inaho) ^^;;
- So now we have full confirmation that Aldnoah activation rights can be transferred through a kiss. Two caveats, however. First, the implication is that it was a once-off granting of rights: if Tharsis’s drive is shut down again, for whatever reason, then Slaine will have to ask someone else to start it up again. Does that person have to be a person from the royal family? This is unclear — in EP 12, Slaine talks about “activation rights,” whereas Asseylum in EP 6 tells Inaho that her grandfather granted them the “activation factor.” But what Asseylum and Saazbaum say about the drives in EP 11 don’t confirm or deny whether the granting of rights is always a once-off, or whether the rights can be permanently granted. Asseylum only talks about shutting the drives down, and what Saaz says might be more accurately translated as “But with Orlane dead, it would not have been operational. So it would have been Princess Asseylum who reactivated it.”
- Given what we know, either option seems possible (the one-off, or permanent activation rights, except that it cannot be passed down). The mere possibility of restricting it to a ‘once-off’, however, would give the Emperor and his family far more power over the people of Vers, because they are forever reliant on him if they want more Aldnoah drives in order to power a new unit, castle, or for any other purpose.
- Second, when Lemrina kissed Slaine, there was a glow indicating that power had been granted. We didn’t see this in the other two ‘kisses’ so far: so does that mean that the rights weren’t granted at those points, thus implying that it has to be consciously granted by the rights holder? Which might also mean that, frankly, a kiss might not be needed. In Inaho’s case, it seems like Asseylum’s blood was what granted him the rights of activation. If that was also a once-off, then Inaho won’t be able to activate any more drives. But given how different it was for Inaho — his entire body started glowing, which was why they realised he could activate the drive — does that mean that there are different levels of activation rights?
- Speaking of this, one thing that’s interesting to note is the tone of the light of activation. So far, we’ve seen the following people activate drives: Asseylum (EP 8), Slaine (EP 12, EP 14), Lemrina (EP 14) and Inaho (EP 13). Out of these, the light that envelops both Asseylum and Inaho have a coolish, white glow (though the latter’s seems to have more blue in it). The light that envelops Lemrina seems to be a warmer white. On the other hand, Slaine’s two activations have involved less light — which might possibly explained if the Aldnoah drive powering the Tharsis is not actually visible in the cockpit, whereas the ones for the Stygis units were? However, take a look at this shot from the second opening… (NB: this really is just speculation at the moment. It might well be the case that these slight differences aren't really significant...)
- The conversation between Saaz and Slaine: the answer is “Aldnoah. Those who possess Aldnoah control everything. That is the problem in a nutshell.” “It was a grave sin to hoard that power and create a society where the powerful control all.” True. However, conquering the Earth in order to change that system: is that justice? Because these last two episodes have raised so many questions for me, I still haven’t finished the interviews and articles that go into the history of the world of A/Z (mostly the S1 guidebook and Febri vol. 25). What I’ve read so far suggests that the story presented by both sides is quite biased towards their own…but I want to sit down and digest it before I write more on this.
- Inaho and Slaine have both found out each other’s names. The question I’m most interested in at this point is: does Inaho remember Asseylum voicing Slaine’s name back in EP 8, when he told her that the birds in front of them were black-tailed gulls (umineko)? If so, then Inaho upgrading Slaine from ‘Bat (koumori)’ to ‘Gull (umineko)’ could have some interesting implications… And if he's remembered that Slaine is the name of the person who told Asseylum that the sky was blue due to the refraction of light the large volumes of air...
- And finally, where in the world is Yuki?! And Marito?! Will they be involved in the humongous space battle we should be getting next week? Hopefully, we'll also see a few other Counts and other knights....I honestly don't see how Inaho and Slaine are the only personnel of interest in that battle...
Edit: Oh yeah, forgot to mention - just where have they gotten the information from the Martian forces from? Like, who figures out which knights are under which counts, and what their names are? Is there propaganda that the Vers forces are distributing?