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A/Z 'running commentary' (Ep 18)

edit (2015-02-21): post locked. Please comment on my latest A/Z post if you want to respond to anything.

Hm…The Rose and the Ring is a satirical novel about four kingdoms and the superficial monarchs that rule them. The ring in question actually makes the wearer appear more beautiful to everyone else… Fake appearances: Lemrina for certain. But is there a mask that Slaine, too, is wearing? As for the Japanese subtitle meaning, "Out of the deep forest" (= 'out of the woods'?) - perhaps it references episode 13's "The sleeping maiden of the moon," which comes from the Japanese title for Sleeping Beauty: literally "the sleeping princess of the woods."

  • Starting with the Earth side, I really liked the way they took out Count Selkinas and his Solis. With its reliance on beam weaponry, over the horizon targeting was always going to be necessary. However, even large scale aerial bombardment was not effective, because his laser beams destroyed all incoming missiles. They needed troops on the ground to somehow keep him stationary, and spotters so that the incoming missiles would not hit their own troops. You’d have thought that the UFE would have tried this during the intervening 19 months — had it failed? Was no one ever able to get close enough to get those coordinates, or did they keep getting taken out? Possible: as was shown here, it took several tries for them to actually hit the Solis. After the communications UAVs were taken out, Inaho had Rayet using signal fire instead, with Magberadge thankfully being sharp enough to understand the message.

  • Loved the exchange between Yuki and Inaho after the battle. No matter their differences over whether the other should be fighting or not, both are STILL most concerned for the other in battle. There was Yuki’s determined look before they launched, and the way she dashed out to draw the attention of the count when Rayet’s signalling gave away their location; then Inaho ordering Yuki to run. I was actually a bit afraid that the missile from the Deucalion wouldn’t make it in time. Thanks heavens it did…but you know, this only keeps making me more nervous when the next episode comes around. (NB: the reason Inaho’s ranked above her is because he’s actually at the lowest rank of commissioned officers; as a warrant officer, Yuki has achieved the highest rank she can without being commissioned. Source. edit: and according to Vs/032, Rayet is a CPO = Chief Petty Officer = 曹長 in the Japanese SDF navy, one rank below Yuki.)

  • Loved the little exchange between Inaho and Inko, where he apologises for not wanting to get her involved in his scheme with Mazuurek. Very subtle. Takayama mentioned in one of his interviews that Aoki removes a fair amount of dialogue that he feels can be conveyed in other ways, and I’m really seeing this in the way that A/Z has been made.

  • Btw, if anyone wants to play with the physics in this episode, to see whether the Solis should actually have hit the Deucalion, here are some estimates. Based on the geography of New Orleans and the time of flight of the missiles (~7s), my conservative estimate for the distance between the Deucalion and the Kat is about 18-20km. Using Pythagoras Theorem, that gives me roughly 25-30 metres within which the Deucalion can be 'hidden' by the curvature of the Earth. New Orleans is low lying, so based on the heights of the other Martians Kats (av. ~18m), the Deucalion would have to lie lower than say 10 metres to reliably be out of range of that laser weapon (and that's assuming that the Kat doesn't find a higher vantage point). Unfortunately, the guidebook doesn't give any indication of the height of the ship, but I'd estimate the proportion above water in the episode to be ~15 metres min. The beam that the Solis fired actually passed over a lower part of the deck (maybe 5m above sea level), so it's quite possible that if it had aimed at the bridge, it would have hit. But just another 5km out, and the height differential caused by the Earth's curvature would have gone up to ~50m, which would be more than enough to hide the ship. At that distance, the Deucalion would have to be fitted with artillery capable of launching missiles to travel at an average speed of ~Mach 10 over those 7 seconds. Might be possible: current experimental railguns launch projectiles up to Mach 8 speed, and theoretically, they'd go beyond Mach 10. The main problem is that it needs a huge amount of energy to generate the magnetic fields, but that would be solved by the Aldnoah Drive. Ain't physics fun!!

  • On the Vers side, I’m glad we finally got introduced to another faction that was actually on good terms with Saazbaum (though it’s unclear if they were in on his plot to kill Asseylum?). Even though both Count Sebring and Count Raffia showed how the Vers attitude of superiority still affects their views in a big way. Might it be that older people are more likely to accept Slaine’s point, because they might have more memories of Earth, or heard them from people who actually lived on Earth before migrating to Mars? Unfortunately for the UFE, Slaine understand exactly what has given them their chances until now. Even Selkinas could have reduced the danger of his Kat’s weakness if he’d kept moving instead of standing still: are the remaining Counts and Knights now going to go into battle understanding exactly what their own weaknesses are and compensating for them? That would make the battles far more difficult for the UFE indeed.

  • And Slaine won…though that was to be expected. And he now has all of Marylcian’s assets (his landing castle and the mostly intact Herschel)…will we see Harklight piloting soon?

  • Mazuurek enjoying himself as he makes his way through the desert…it’ll be interesting to see he does when he joins the rest of the Knights… Then there’s also Barouhcruz, who’s actually the leader of that faction. He’s lost the person who probably most shared his views — Marylcian — will he be putting any pressure on Mazuurek after this?

  • Slaine’s conversation with Lemrina shows that he’s making the most out of any problems thrown at him. He’s really gotten stronger. On the other hand, that line about “there are no such things as miracles”… Was he implying that he can’t rely on chance, meaning that he has to use the methods within his reach in order to achieve his goals, no matter how dark they are? He has no dreams, and no more reservations: all that matters is the goal that he wants to achieve. What is that goal? If it is indeed something noble, such as overturning the cruelly stratified Vers system and giving Aldnoah to everyone, then will that be enough to argue that the scales of justice should weigh in on his side? Can one’s end ever justify the means one takes to get there?

  • What Slaine and Lemrina chose to do…it’s rather painful for me as an observer. Political choices, choices that they need to make no matter what their feelings are. Admittedly, this still happens amongst some of the political and societal elite even in our own world…

  • I also found it interesting that the translator chose to translate “my sister (お姉様)” as “your princess”…

  • Anyways, Lemrina wasn’t able to kill her sister after all. Because they’re sisters? Or because she’s not quite prepared to through away all of her morals? Or perhaps because she doesn’t want Slaine to hate her…?

  • And of course, a potential spanner has now been thrown into the works, with Asseylum awaking from her coma. Possibly because Lemrina (briefly) shut down some of the systems keeping her alive. Who will be the first to realise that she’s woken up? Slaine? Eddelrittuo? And what will that person do? Even if they let her out of the tank, it should take her a while more to recover, given that she’s been in a coma for over 19 months. But are they going to release her? And now that she’s awake, what will she do? Basically, we return to the question of who her gun is turned on in the first opening: might it be Slaine and Lemrina and all they represent? Or Inaho and what he represents? I’m personally still learning towards the former at this point, but you never know…