「火星のプリンセス -Princess of VERS-」 (Kasei Po purinsesu -Princess of VERS-)
“Princess of Mars -Princess of VERS-“

If the role of a premiere is to capture your attention, this one certainly did the trick.

There were a number of interesting questions going into the premiere of ALDNOAH.ZERO.  Most obviously, what would be the extent of Urobuchi Gen’s involvement?  Many Gen series (like Madoka Magica) featured him writing everything up to and including the lunch order – that was his m.o for much of his career.  Gargantia saw him step back a level, credited for Series Composition but writing only the first and last episodes.  And here we see Gen credited only as "Original Creator" – series composition is being handled by by industry veteran Takayama Katsuhiko.

Based on the premiere, it’s clear this is a Gen concept through and through – it bears all the hallmarks of his large-scale storylines.  Which is good, because another question in my mind is whether it’s really possible to find anything original in a story such as this after anime has done so many variations on it over the decades.  Generic LN adaptations with inane pseudo-clever dialogue and ridiculously long titles may be the current cash cow, but angsty mecha stories about planetary conflict and brooding teen pilots have been the stock and trade of the medium since the beginning.  It’s been done a lot, and there’s always the risk that a show can play as incredibly formulaic if it doesn’t bring a little spark, not least of originality.

Rest assured, ALDNOAH.ZERO brings plenty of spark – explosively so (pun intended) – even if it’s obviously built from tried-and-true raw materials.  In Aoki Ei (Hourou Musuko, Fate/Zero, which makes him an interesting bridge between Gen and character designer Shimura Takako) we have a very strong director, and it shows in the premiere.  I’m of two minds about the first part, which consists mostly of exposition and character introductions.  This is the portion of the episode that feels most generic, and I’m not crazy about the expositional style of characters telling other characters what’s happening for no reason except to make sure the audience gets the information – it’s lazy writing, and the A-part has a lot of it.  But the flipside of that is that this is a pretty detailed premise being laid out, with lots of permutations, and I did arrive at the end of the episode feeling well-grounded in what was happening.

The second half of the episode, however, was another matter – it was pretty gripping stuff.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.  I’m not going to try and encapsulate everything that’s going on in this storyline, because it’s just too much detail – the gist of it is that we’re looking at an alternative storyline where it’s 2014, but in a world where an alien artifact was discovered on the moon by Apollo 17, leading to the development of a human civilization on Mars.  Conflict grew between the two world, and in 1999 the Martian VERS Empire rained destruction on Earth and destroyed the moon (tides affected how?) in "Heaven’s Fall" using that alien technology.  15 years later, humanity is still struggling to recover and an uneasy truce exists between the two sides.

Earthlings and their offshoots on Mars at war with each other?  You could hardly get a more classic anime mecha premise than that.  But ALDNOAH.ZERO is shot through with the things that fascinate Gen-sensei – racism, politics, terrorism, despair. Gen uses whatever premise he’s adopting as a canvas, but the picture he’s drawing is always a musing on these themes.  The vibe and tone of the premiere is something like Gundam meets Psycho-Pass, and it really asserts itself in the second half, which is when the episode takes off and becomes truly engaging.

Key players to watch out for start with Kaidzuka Inaho (Hanae Natsuki), the so-far emotionless male lead who’s destined to be at the heart of the storm.  His sister Yuki (Ohara Sayaka) is a drill instructor at Inaho’s high school, where she works with Lt. Marito (Nakai Kazuya), – who’s playing the Kaji Ryouji role so perfectly he even looks like him – someone who knows how desperate the Terran situation is and resents being a part of a system that’s lying to and abusing the students.  There’s also the princess of VERS, Asseylum (Amamiya Sora) who’s coming to Earth as an ambassador and seems to genuinely want peace between the sides, and her Terran attendant Slaine (Kensho Ono) – who’s clearly in love with her, and of whom she asks many questions about the blue planet.  Her minder is Count Cruhteo (Sho Hayami) who seems destined to be a nexus point between the true hard-liners on the Vers side and those on both sides who want peace.

These characters are all fine without making a huge impact, but it’s when Asseylum arrives on Earth that things get riveting.  A terrorist group targets her motorcade with missiles and seemingly (I’m skeptical – perhaps this was a dummy motorcade) kills her.  The crucial question here is whether these are Terrans who hate Vers and the idea of peace, or whether the whole thing was staged by the "Orbital Knights" – the 37 Clans of VERS nobles/warlords who’ve been orbiting the Earth in the wreckage of the moon and would clearly like any excuse to literally blow up the cease fire and take out an Earth they see as defenseless (for the record, my money is on the latter).  They make a pretty good head start of it on the pretext of revenge for the Princess’ death, starting with New Orleans (I suppose in an anime you’re not going to see Tokyo get it in the first episode, but I’ll miss beignets and chicory coffee – what they sell at Kyoto Station just isn’t the same).

That’s all a lot to take in, but it really works a treat – the tension in the second half (helped along by Sawano Hiroyuki’s driving soundtrack) is thick enough to cut with a knife.  Again, this is all prime territory for Gen – children being exploited by cynical masters, a hopeless situation, the clear bigotry felt by both sides (especially the VERS-ians).  It’s classic mecha (though we see no mecha action at all and only a few seconds of mecha, period) filtered through an Urobutcher lens.  Of course my history with Gen is that his record is virtually perfect as far as coming up with interesting beginnings, but he struggles to see them through to the end.  Perhaps, then, it’s not such a bad thing that he reportedly told an Anime Expo audience that he’s not working on any episodes past the third.  We reportedly have two cours to work with here – they’ll be split between Summer and Winter – so there should be plenty of time to get into the subtleties of this premise.  The introduction is always the easiest part for a Gen series, but there’s no doubt in my mind that ALDNOAH.ZERO nailed this one.


Note: Zephycles and I are joining forces on this one – Z will be providing capping assistance, and his own observations from time to time.  Thanks, Zephestopheles!


Zephyr’s Quick Impressions:

Created by Uro Gen, led by Aoki Ei (Fate/Zero), and served by a Sawano Hiroyuki x Kalafina x Yuki Kajiura accompaniment, ALDNOAH.ZERO comes in as a near perfect combination of some of my favorite staff and genres, and this first episode ends up meeting all my expectations.

We’re thrust into a post-war (and now moon-less) world right off the bat, and true to Gen’s nature, it’s precarious situation highlighted by a false sense of peace. Deaths are the name of the game here as usual, and there’s nothing like an assassination everyone saw coming (but did nothing about) to trigger what could be the last war “old humanity” fights. The impact/wow factor is just off the charts here, and that’s without even talking about the 19 ships landing with the equivalent force of a nuke (cue Mass Effect 3 references) or the fact that this all happens while accompanied by yet another epic vocal insert from Sawano Hiroyuki.

ALDNOAH.ZERO looks as promising as any other show this season, and there’s a lot to be said about the story that can develop from this premise. There’s “old” humanity’s fight to survive, the competition between the orbital knights, the fact that the “godly” Aldnoah’s still lying around, the obvious disconnect here between some of the higher ups on Earth and the soldiers (both literally in terms of the information they seem to have been given and figuratively in terms of difference in views they seem to have), the oddity behind Inaho’s calm reaction to it all… the list goes on. There might only be 12 episodes scheduled (note: Yaoran is reporting two split cours and 24 eps ~Enzo), but director Aoki Ei and series composer Takayama Katsuhiko (Full Metal Alchemist, KoiChoco, Mirai Nikki etc.) have a gold mine from which to work with here with Gen’s idea, and it should be a great ride you can enjoy with both Enzo and I, as we’ll be combining together to cover this series over the course of these next few weeks.


OP Sequence

OP: 「heavenly blue」 by kalafina


  1. Even though Sawano’s OSTs are starting to meld together (in my opinion), the BGM is still unbelievably epic and really did the trick. I think this was definitely one of the better premieres this season. Looking forward to seeing where this goes! *mentally prepares for certain death*

  2. I already like this main character. He’s not hot-headed or some super nice guy who’ll automatically jump in to help everyone without thinking. He’s not even the cool loner who actually wants friends.

    Just calm….and prefers eggs on sale more than seeing a princess.

    1. Personally I’m not a fan of the super emotionally disconnected MCs, on full display during the scene where he casually points out the missiles. I hope theres some underlying reason for his personality.

    2. @Cybersteel

      God freaking damn it man! And here I was already cured of my Muv Luv Alternative depression! Damn you to hell!

      EDIT: Yeah, I removed the comment cause it was spoilers for MLA. Just a heads up. – Zephyr

    1. I don’t know about that… I wouldn’t jump to conclusions so quickly.

      It feels intentionally done that he had no real reaction to the missile, as he was cold and calculating not only during that scene but during the subsequent ones too. It’s too long of a sequence and too jarring of a opposite the norm reaction for it not to be. Not to mention it’s not too far-fetched to say at this point that he might’ve expected this to happen or something of the sort.

      1. Well, I can think of some possibilities, like the guy being too cool and awesome to react, or he being able to tell what will happen a few seconds ahead in the future… But even if they give us an explanation, it will still be pretty stupid. I think the director was just trying to say that the main character is a badass, but that just didn’t really work.

        In fact, that whole scene was stupid in my opinion. In live in Brazil, in a street near the airport, so I could see all the national soccer team buses passing here, and every time one of them would pass here, we would see dozens of police cars, bikes and two military helicopters. And all this to protect a soccer team in a country with zero history of terrorism.

        What they showed in the anime was pretty much the most important event in history, with extremely high chances of them having a terrorist act, and they had pretty zero security there. When I watched it, I was: “really, two bikes and two cars? That’s it?”. In fact, I believe that in a real situation like that, they wouldn’t allow for a open parade like that.

        The episode was interesting, but not very intelligent…

      2. The security in Brasil, is not for Terrorism. It is for not having “Bad Pictures” get out into the world.Like some peoples blocking the buss for demonstrate and so on

      3. @Andre:

        First off, he is not just trying to make Inaho a badass. How would you even get that impression? He wasn’t even close to being badass. He clearly has something going on with his emotions as is shown throughout the episode. Is he being a ‘badass’ when just sort of ignores his sister and informs her she’s late?

        Secondly, the situation in Brazil is a little special. Frankly, the country is semi-dangerous and as such tends to have higher security than many countries. You can’t compare motorcades and security precautions in Brazil to the rest of the world. In America for example, this motorcade wouldn’t be completely out of place, though it was maybe a little small. And you have to remember that this is made by Japanese, people from one of the safest countries on Earth. Their concept of acceptable security measures is going to be completely different from that of a Brazilian.

    2. That whole scene was so unrealistic I couldn’t quite get into it. A missile explodes maybe 100 feet max from the parade observers and they ALL just stand around like nothing happened? Setting aside the physical issue of collateral damage, no human is going to just stand there after an explosion like nothing happened. It actually makes me worry MORE about the main character because it seems things like logic and base human instinct are being thrown aside for the sake of coolness. I get suspension of disbelief and all that, but that scene was asking for too much.

      1. uhhhhhh..Anime, realistic? pffff! XD It’s all about bending logic, reason and physics since its inception. If you want a bit more realism go watch “Legend of Galactic Heroes”, a classic.

        Helvetica Standard
      2. It’s actually more believable that people don’t react, especially in a crowd. Humans are very good at ignoring things that fall outside of our expectations. There’s also the bystander effect which says that the more people there are around a criminal incident the less likely people are to respond and help.

        As for our MC watching the missile .. I doubt in real-time there was actually a lot of time to respond as missiles are .. you know .. pretty quick!

      3. Good fiction is realistic within a consistent internal logic. This is a world where just 15 years ago Earth was devastated by war to the point that military training (however half assed it is) has become mandatory for all children. All the bystanders having zero reaction to a missile attack does not follow the logic presented in the story.

        If you want a real world example, think of how 9/11 changed American awareness/preparedness even 10+ years later during the Boston Marathon bombing. Was there full fledged panic in Boston? No. But there was an immediate reaction from everyone to either help out (police) or start evacuating (bystanders). The motorcade scene does not live up to this type of consistent logic.

    3. You described the Normalcy Bias. When shite hits the fan without warning, act like it is perfectly normal because your brain still hasn’t registered the threat and you subconsciously hope the bad thing would blow through if you ignore it hard enough. It’s very common IRL. It’s why we had emergency drills at all, to hopefully beat the Normalcy Bias out of our system so we can bloody evacuate in case of fire instead of acting like everything is fine.

    4. “Hmm, there’s a missile coming. It’s incredibly slow, so my guess is that it’s not headed for a crowd. Yup, I’m still watching the missile and it hasn’t incinerated us. Trajectory’s probably aimed towards the limo, so it’s a targeted kill. Can’t do anything about the princess dying myself, most practical solution would be to advise my friends to get out of here.”

      I can follow his line of thinking.

  3. Wow, I really loved this. There were some usual mecha tropes such as Princess Pacifist and the blond Char-clone, and it looks like even a version of Zeon showed up as well, but other than that, this was a really nice breath of fresh air.

    We have two main characters, one who has heart but is pretty much enslaved to the Vers yet is in love with the Princess. Slaine seems like a nice, strong, smart guy and you both like him and feel sorry for him which is great for a main character.

    As for Nao, i really like him too despite his dispassion for pretty much everything and his over analytic mind. Both Nao and Slaine seem a little over analytic, but Slaine shows a lot more emotions than his Japanese co-MC.

    I like the supporting characters of the schoolmates, the elder sister, and the lieutenant. The attack on Princess Pacifist was rather obvious and telegraphed, including the fact that it would be her own people who were the cause. However, we all know she isn’t dead so we’ll just have to wait and see when she pops up again. All the other counts are basically going to be fighting for the throne while using the Earth as a battleground. Neither MC has gotten their own mech yet (which is surprising and refreshing for a mech show) but it’s only a matter of time.

    This had all the spectacle and freshness than Argevollen didn’t and I’m excited for what is to come. The music is excellent, the visuals are awesome, and the story looks good so far. I’m liking this all around.

    Also, really Japan? The moon gets destroyed, causing massive destruction and literally changing the shape of the Earth, and somehow your little archipelago that has some of the worst geological risk on the planet, is somehow still in one piece?

    I think my city is gone, I’m trying to see the Great Lakes on that map, but I either barely made it, or my city is underwater.

    1. while I was about to say “no, the Moon wasn’t completely destroyed. see cap #2!” I wasn’t paying attention when they showed that map. well, that’s just a really weird map. oceans wouldn’t change like that, especially if there’s no extra source of water. http://flood.firetree.net/ for rising sea levels. even at 60m, a lot of things still look ok-ish.

    2. The map looks to be a combination of natural effects and artificial tinkering. Look at North America and the massive craters where the west coast and Bangladesh are for example, that is definitely not natural. Otherwise the minor coastal changes are what you would expect from the disappearance of the ice caps.

      Have to agree about Japan too, in this scenario little if anything would remain above sea level. You might be able to make an argument for some Holland-level sea defense, but not across the entire island group.

      1. Little of Japan would be above sea level???? Really??? Just how much lowland do you think Japan really has? Much like New Zealand Japan has Mountain ranges running up it!

  4. As Enzo said. Aldnoah-Zero nailed it. It also nailed me to the chair.
    Yes, what happened was predictable. BUT, that doesn’t change the fact that it was spectacular, epic and brilliant. Especially the second half, which blew me away (pun intended).

    I hope that this could be the “it” for the mecha genre. Because as of episode 1 this clearly has the potential be one.

    Here’s to hoping that Urobutcher will be able keep the exhilarating start he gained through this first episode.

    1. I’ll say the key thing to look out for is how much Urobutcher influence we’ll see from this point on. The beginning clearly utilizes a lot of his sticking points, but as we get farther away from the initial episodes (and the general idea thought up by Gen), Aoki Ei/Takayama Katsuhiko’ll be the ones firmly at the helm, which is when things really get interesting.

  5. When it comes to Urobuchi Gen, you sort of just come to expect certain things and normally I would think that having that sort of mentality would leave you feeling as though you might not come away with a truly riveting experience. That has yet to happen with this man however. Even when you have an idea of what to expect, it’s never really in the way you think and it’s refreshing when ideas that have been used countless times can still grip you and come together in an enticing and captivating way like they have here.

    1. we never really saw the face of the person that stepped out of the car. plus with her dead, we wouldn’t have much to empathize with on the Vers side besides the Terran that had enemies surrounding him. poor Slaine when he finds out.

    2. I think it’d be more of a twist if in fact it did turn out the princess had died but I’m not quite sold on that being the case. I can’t put my finger on why but as calm as Inaho was shown to be, I can’t help but wonder if there’s some unique connection between he and the attack. Crazy and unlikely as the idea is, I’d be fascinated if that were the case.

  6. Step aside Captain Earth and Argevollen, this is the mecha show we’ve been waiting for. Immediate impression is a twisted take on Edgar Rice Burrow’s Barsoom saga. These Martians ain’t just fighting amongst themselves, they’re fighting among themselves with the destruction of humanity serving as scoreboard. Think War of the Worlds flavoured with some very vicious invaders. That combines too with nice homage to H.G. Well’s The Time Machine in the form of the fractured moon and resulting environmental devastation. Also those Martian ships are almost how I pictured the Race’s ships landing on Earth in Harry Turtledove’s Worldwar tetralogy. Lots of potential sci-fi homage here, I love it.

    Definitely going to be watching this, the Urobutcher only solidifies that as we can expect some pretty sick and sadistic twist later on. After all, how can you ignore a series that shows a map with 2/3 of the US literally missing and ends its first episode with wiping New Orleans off the face of the map?

  7. >Watch the episode
    >Hear the OST
    Thats’s Sawano Hiroyuki, no doubt about it.

    Interesting first episode, aside from the expressionless-“my_pace”-MC everything was good.

  8. As expected from Gen “The Butcher” Urobuchi; no mercy right from the start.

    Really though, a pretty damn good premiere episode; perhaps even the best of season. Also, Sawano Hiroyuki’s soundtrack? My mouse clicker’s practically itching to buy it. Don’t make me wait too long or there will be consequences. Perhaps even, you might say, earth-shattering consequences?


    Anyhow, if there were just one small, teeny-tiny problem I had with this episode, it would be that the princess came away a little too cliche for my taste. In all fairness though, it is the Urobutcher we’re talking about, so no one ever stays boring for too long.

    So yeah, that’s about all I’ve got there. Seriously looking forward to the next episode.

    Let justice be done though the heavens fall.

    Ryan Ashfyre
  9. I actually just discovered that Urubutcher was involved in this a few minutes before I watched the episode.

    I was like: “Urubutcher? Weird… why hasnt anyone die-…. nevermind”

    Now THIS is how you make a mech anime! Unlike that other mech anime earlier this season

  10. So finally, after a whole lot of watchers bitching about “wussy” MCs, we get a dispassionate, ice-in-his-veins lead. Not even self-guided missiles can faze him!

    . . . I can’t say it’s much of an improvement though. Still, this is a terrific start. And that whole bit about how Mars’ attack force is 37 individual armies instead of a unified force is definitely gonna bring a lot of difference to how this war (massacre more like) is fought.

  11. Another enjoyable first episode this summer season!


    I did not expect the Princess to become a martyr for the war though of course it seemed inevitable ever since the Counts’ quick conversation. But now I’m curious how the princess is going to play her part since its most likely that she’s alive, yet there could be some conspiracy that well revolve around her presence.

    Anyway, great episode and certainly an interesting impression among the mecha genre-based shows this year.

  12. I’m leaning towards the assassination being staged by the Knights.

    Anyway, they sure did “kill” Lacus quickly. I placed that in quotations because I don’t really think she’s dead.

    Dat music though… one episode in, and I’m already eagerly anticipating the OST!

  13. For some reason I was expecting one of them spaceship nukes to have landed on the kids wishing for peace in the end. Oh Urobutcher, how you have thoroughly warped people’s expectations.

    Still looking at that world map…good lord all of the East and West Coast of North America wiped out in a semicircular fashion sent more chills down my spine than seeing New Orleans destroyed (again)

  14. Best first episode I’ve watched this season so far. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

    Also expecting a dummy princess, especially involving some setup from the knights. Although I was initially hoping she’d pull out some kind of energy shield, lol.

    Getting childhood trauma vibes from the cold guy. No parents + worldwide calamity seem like the cliche setup for it anyway. Hopefully they explain it somehow, since it seemed kind of awkward otherwise.

  15. by far this is the best premier this summer season, i’ve watched all the new animes premier, and aldnoah zero’s premier just blew me away.
    now it’s just a problem of how am i going to spend a week waiting for this

    1. also i still don’t quite believe that princess is dead, even though urobutcher is involved, but i still got the feeling things aren’t over yet for the princess (btw Amamiya Sora is the seiyuu, a rising star, so i don’t think that’s all we’re gonna see her in this anime)

  16. Created by Uro Gen, led by Aoki Ei (Fate/Zero), and served by a Sawano Hiroyuki x Kalafina x Yuki Kajiura accompaniment, ALDNOAH.ZERO comes in as a near perfect combination of some of my favorite staff and genres,

    That, all of that…(Urobuchi Gen once more did not disappoint us with another crazy opener and premise)

    Anyway, I do have to question the fact that a good chunk of ppl here also noticed that the moon isn’t exactly “destroyed” per say:


    …is “getting a chunk bitten off” count as destroyed for a moon???



    … a lot of people being depicted as “older than they’d look”…/troll

  17. and the Urobutcher strikes!

    Prediction: 3 (or atleast 2) of the teens in the bus ride wont live past the 4/5 of the show.

    anyways the first chapter was interesting and it certainly made an impression!

    mm would be interesting if the original mars’ settlers were not extinct and they come back to reclaim their stuff xD (really… if you can make inter-dimensional gateways… why make just one to a satellite in the SAME SYSTEM! .. mars is just in average 12.5 light minutes or 140 million miles away!) … thinking about it it would make sense if they had gates in other places like.. Pluto.. Earth or Alpha Centauri. The fact they got a gate ON the moon is just too convenient for the Vers empire.. it would make sense if in the past Mars was once at war with Earth (is a prefect place to launch and invasion/siege!)

    PS: just to be fair ill point that the “Asylum” Vers princes died way faster than Mami.. IF she is indeed dead .. mebe it was a dummy? dunno but ill give it a 5% chances of that being the case.

  18. Urobuchi just did an Archduke Franz Ferdinand on the Princess. It’s just after the 100th anniversary of his assassination as well.

    While there’s still the good old “no face = no death” rule to hope on, I wouldn’t put it past Urobuchi to actually kill her off for good. Or worse still, have her survive but horribly disfigured by the explosion. o_O

    1. That was the first thing that sprang to my mind in that scene. And I’m pretty sure the Vers Empire are Nazi who fled Earth to Mars during WWII. There’s a lot of germanic sounding names besides the nordic mythology reference.

      1. Wasnt exactly thinking of Nazis when I wrote that. Besides, you don’t need to be a former Nazi in order to go all supremacist on other races, less of all the inhabitants of your ancestors’ homeland.

        I see more similarity of the Vers Empire with the Principality of Zeon, both formed by colonists with delusions of grandeur that they’re somehow the next phase of evolution for mankind, and that those earthbound are destined to be obsolete.

  19. This was a fun, exciting show. Can’t say I was bored for a second while watching this. The infodumps were maybe a little bit too much, but they did illustrate an interesting world. And when everything went to hell in the second half, it was pretty much edge-of-your-seat material to me. Not sure about the main protag yet, and I do have some reservations about how well this show will continue to perform, but for now they’ve got me watching.

    Certainly the mecha show I’m watching this season. Not that it has much worthy competition, but hey…

  20. So in the end the falling stars is a Invasion Castle cause a nuclear detonation as they hit the ground ad destroy cityes? and there is 19 falling? = 19 citys in the first day?

    Millions die in the first episode?

    Good work Urobucher! 🙂

    1. i think the “nuclear” explosions are actually just the force of the kinetic impact of such a huge thing hitting the ground.. much like meteors and other such impacts

      PS: there are plans to use such kinetic bombs: all the force of a nuclear bomb w/o any of the radiation or fallout, other name they go by is “rods from god” or “kinetic bombardment” as far as I know it is still science fiction… but is one of those “futuristic” weapons that could be actually finished/deployed rather soonish.

  21. This and Barakamon are my favourite first episodes of the summer so far!! The atmosphere, animation, voice acting are great. Did get the Valvrave vibes when the Vers princess was seemingly killed though.

  22. Not a bad start. The pilot episode makes a bang of an impression with the expositions and explosions. I didn’t find the exposition too heavy for my liking. Explains enough for me to watch the show and yet look forward to future developments. In effect that was setting the stage so we can just dive straight into the story from episode 2 onwards. And that music at the end…Good, good stuff.

    The 3 most prominent thoughts I have are pretty similar to what Enzo shared – It is likely that the princess isn’t dead (you don’t see her face from behind) but what does that mean for her now that her cause for peace is lost? Or what if she’s really dead?

    Secondly, it goe sto show how utterly stupid terrorism is. We’re not even talking about military installations or key figures in military leadership, but a member of the royal family on a goodwill visit. Killing people and hurting your own in the process for a ‘greater good’? Pure, undiluted crap.

    Thirdly, it is likely that the real (or at least part of) instigators might be the Knights themselves, who yearn for war and subjugation of Earth. It is clear most of the Knights yearn for the destruction of Earthkind (since saying humankind is kinda ironic). How though, would the Earthlings fight back, especially after Lieutenant Booze sets a depressing tone for the kids who will be fighting and some of them probably dying in the ensuing, losing war?

    Very interesting stuff going on here. This looks like a keeper for me, just based on the pilot episode alone.

  23. talking about the security , is that the best they can do? LOL , The most important person that if assassinate can cause a great war , guarding by a bunch of police car. they shouldve security guarding the perimeter.

    1. Well, they did mention they were extremely short handed, which would make sense if they’re diverting a lot to the rebuild efforts following the initial Heaven’s Fall (and if they lost a fair amount of the population after that).

      The big thing here is that there’s an obvious struggle between views here, with most people on Earth seemingly accepting of the peace (most probably because there’d be no hope in winning), and only a very small percent wanting war/revenge in some shape or form. And when you think about it, the guys that did the assassination might not even be members of old humanity at all, as it looks like they were itching for this moment for a while. With that considered, it would’ve meant the security technically was enough, as if the new humanity guys really wanted to kill the Princess there’s nothing they could’ve done.

  24. One of the things I am really enjoying about the Aldnoah.Zero is the fact that the main character Inaho and the rival character Slaine personalities are swapped.

    Usually in a mecha anime (or any anime really), it is the MC who is full of emotions while the rival character is usually cold and calm and chooses logic over emotions. I don’t know if Gen did this intentionally but I like this change.

    Aldnoah.Zero is already my top favorite anime of this season…beside Tokyo Ghoul.

  25. You will notice that this episode did not include an OP. Not an insignificant detail since if we assume that Princess survives she will be featured heavily in it, making the OP a spoiler. So it’s likely her survival will be made evident next episode.

  26. https://randomc.net/image/ALDNOAH%20ZERO/ALDNOAH%20ZERO%20-%2001%20-%2012.jpg

    https://randomc.net/image/ALDNOAH%20ZERO/ALDNOAH%20ZERO%20-%2001%20-%2021.jpg “That dude is gonna bang your sister bro”

    When the castle dropped and the Kill la Kill style insert ( seemed a little more like SNK to me, but KLK popped up in my mind first) HOLY SHIT!

    Aldzero reminds me not only of the obvious Gundam plot, but also of the Zone of Enders franchise.

    I completely forgot that Urobutcher had anything to do with this too. My mind is ready for the death flags!

  27. Great introduction to the series so far colony drop on New Orleans (good bye mardi gras), missile attack (though at tad strange) and the introductions to (what I assume anyway) the two main characters, Slaine and Inaho.

    Inaho seems to be disconnected to reality, probably hints at in my opinion either that he is emotionally disconnected (the fact that he lives with his sister, and no parents to be seen seems to suggest that he losed them at some point in time, probably violently) or there’s something more out there, such as him being a child soldier maybe or if not possibly at least trained to a higher extent than his peers? Given that he seems to be at the top of his class, and the way he calls his sister warrant officer, seems to imply a very different past.

    Slaine at this point doesn’t seem to be much, but given that he’s a Terran with the Orbital Knights suggests at hidden depths or motivations of how he came there to be. They seem to trust him enough to educate the princess what I believe is probably in Terran affairs and history, but not enough to be treated as dog by the resident count. Suggesting that affairs wises the vers are a futuristic feudal society, with racial and darwinistic overtones.

    All in all this series is giving me vibes from Code Geass, Gundam Wing and Gundam 00, and a bit of guilty crown (a worrying possibility). Not to mention all the expies I’m seeing, Slaine seems like a Suzaku from Code Geass, Inaho when I first saw him first saw Heero from Gundam Wing and the princess is either a mix up of lacus clyne or euphemia britania depending on whether she’s a live or not. A promising start that is dampered a bit by the stereotypical infodumps, and talking about stuff they already know, I know why it’s done but confusion isn’t bad either, sometimes a mystery can a be compelling reason to keep coming back for more.

      1. Yes 18 other cities were impact points, but what was shown? It’s is just a continuation of the long time trend of using America as an punching bag to demonstrate an aggressors power. Also if it has anything to do with nukes or facsimiles thereof, you can be sure its either America sending or receiving them. I’m sure there are a few exceptions out there, but it’s a trend nonetheless.

      2. It’s is just a continuation of the long time trend of using America as an punching bag to demonstrate an aggressors power.

        Are you familiar with the Worf effect?

        Also if it has anything to do with nukes or facsimiles thereof, you can be sure its either America sending or receiving them.

        Why wouldn’t America be associated with nukes, being the only country who (for a valid reason) used them in anger and being one of two nations with a huge number of them for as long as most Japanese have been alive.

      3. IIRC the Sovietic Union made the biggest and deadliest nuclear bomb: the Tsar Bomb, that had aprox 1500 times the combined power of BOTH the Hiroshima and the Nagasaki bombs combined .. Soviets claimed they ever made one and that it was used on a test….

        PS: just to give you an idea: the Tsar Bomb detonation yield as about 10% of ALL nuclear explosions combined to date (excluding itself).

        lol i wonder if this AU humanity has a few of those bombs laying around xD

      4. Yes I am familiar with the worf effect, and I can see your point. However this does not mean it’s a desirable trope, nor does it excuse it prevalence in Japanese media. Also, as you said, America is ONE of two nations with large stockpiles of nukes. Where is Russia’s time in the limelight? Why isn’t China, India, the UK, or France ever mentioned in the same sentence as nukes? Because America is stereotyped as a nuclear aggressor. This is why I expressed my exhaustion in my OP.

      5. yeah, with the new found Nuclear Power in her backs(they dont know yet the bad side-effects) they began to befriend the World, if they want it or not. It was under some President and General in their time, that made USA a bad name reputation in Asia at that time, and that still holds until know.

        You see, Power corrupts. Even if they wanted to be used in a good way

      6. and the strongest Bomb was Hydrogen Bomb. You still can see the big hole it made, in this island. Because the high possibility of a endless chain reaction with the Air Hydrogen

      7. it was a time, where “kids” where playing with more then just Fire. They began to fear this new power, until they found out the nuclear fallout and other ill effects. After that they began who careless and lucky they where. No one should use this weapons

      8. Is kind of funny how North America appears to have bored the majority of the damage here while Russia and Europe are largely unaffected. Even more strange is the gaping hole where Bangladesh is, but almost no damage around India-Pakistan and North Korea. Should I also mention how Israel and China still stand intact?

        Probably the reason for it here though is the Worf effect like Longhaul mentioned, the US remains the sole military hyperpower in the international community and it’s hard to get the effect of humanity powerless in the face of an external threat by showing Russia or China devastated for example. Still leaves the map above a curiosity though because the US is not the only state that would fight tooth and nail against a foreign invader; hell it’s one of the most likely states to survive any form of invasion.

      1. The Earth Defense lost their Spine long ago in the first War. So, they are not really a thread.

        The Only hope Earth has now, is that this 18 Houses gone into “Civilian War” themselves. Princess Lovers vs conquistadors

  28. If you look closely at the UFE map you can see that the West and East coasts of the US were basically reduced to being PART OF THE OCEAN, so yeah, the Heaven’s Fall of 1999 really showed how the Martians disliked the US, and all of Brazil and Argentina…

  29. Anybody else think that something peculiar is being suggested about the flow of time in this episode? Apollo 19 was supposed to have been in 1972, a bit over 40 years ago, yet Saazbaum speaks of the Vers conquest of earth as “The grand task that has spanned generations.” How many generations could have come and gone between then and now?

    Is time flowing faster for the Vers? Or are they shorter lived with faster metabolism?

    1. Anime Magic..

      But your right, Mars need more time to circle the Sun, then Earth. So a Mars Year will be longer then a Earth Year.

      Perhaps the Mars atmosphere is weaker then earth, and they receive more Radiation from space, and have shorter Life

      But, if all fails here, see my first line

    2. The Nazi Party existed for 25 years, and look at what mindset it established among the German population.

      Imperial Japan lasted for about half a century, and it established a cult where people believed its emperor was a living god.

      When you look at recent history, 40 years is plenty of time for things to happen.

  30. That map of the world really doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you had meteors that blasted Brazil, half of North America, various bits off Africa, and half of Australia, the resulting fallout would almost certainly wipe out pretty much all life on Earth. Even if this was more a case of rising tides (which doesn’t make a lot of sense as well), why would of all places New Orleans not be affected!? They really did not think this through when they made that map.

    Overall though I’m quite excited for this series.

  31. Ah yeah i forgot to add this one to my list of highest expectations when i replied on Agame ga kill.

    Looks like I get to have my cake and eat it this season :9 Inahou, he’s too cool so either badguy or not human imho

  32. Ooh. Now this I like.

    There are similarities with the Gundam premise to be seen, yes – but one of the biggest differences right now, I think, lies in the premise that the Orbital Knights are more in competition with each other than with the people of Earth. In Gundam, Spacenoids and Earthnoids often hated each other, but still appeared to have some level of mutual respect – something which is quite completely absent from the Vers knights here.

    That, and the whole ‘Aldnoah’ thing. It’s an ancient supertechnology in a show concepted by Urobuchi Gen. Expect some horrifying truth behind it that probably wants to kill everyone. Newtype abilities in Gundam were written as a hope for mankind that ultimately keeps failing and keeps trying. I seriously doubt the supertechnology in this one is anywhere near as benign.

  33. This got off to an impressive start. I am curious about the timeline; I am sure a flashback episode will be forthcoming. Also Marito reminds me of Kaji from Evangelion (in terms of design and attitude).

  34. Dropping a mothership on New Orleans aside, most interesting part of the show is the mystery of who was really behind the new edition of Gavrilo Princip.
    Because there are definitely some in the Vers Empire who sought to break the ceasefire, doesn’t mean there is not someone on Earth who has ace in own sleeves, and is itching to use it.

  35. So Shu Nitori finally became a girl. And welcome to Aldnoah Zero.

    Since the design for this and Hourou Musuko’s the same I was imagining that this is how Nitori would be like if he was born a girl, LOL. There’s just too many same face, I was imagining that Aldnoah Zero is Hourou Musuko’s AU. It’s kind of weird for me to see the art style I related to a SOL as profound as Hourou Musuko be used in a Sci-Fi like this, its really cool.

    I think I love this show already.

  36. From what I gathered it wasn’t that they blew up the moon, but that they were fighting on it so much that it’s surface is just ruins. That was my interpretation of what they said.

  37. I don’t think anyone pointed this out, but from one of the PV shots, the bedroom design is taken straight from the white room in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Someone in the staff must’ve really liked it.


    compare to 2001 (look at the cabinet design, the wall design and accents around said cabinet, painting frame):



  38. Holy shit it’s TurnA gundam with amazing graphics.

    TBH, I think this show has a lot of potential but also has lots of signs that it’ll mess up. The political scene isn’t being handled discretely… I don’t like the fact that I could just say… oh he’s bad… he’s good… he’s bad now but will most likely become good…

  39. Yeah, this just uncanny valleyed for me. It is, what, tops 45 years that people have gone to Mars, so most people from Mars were born on Earth yet ‘We are a separate race’. Really? And a bunch of people from a capitalist society goes to Mars and in a few years develops a full fledged aristocratic system?

    I had hopes but this would be the poorest thought out Gen show i have seen.

    1. right now Aldnoah.Zero is winning against Argevollen in action

      Oh, i think it is no spoiler, but these Mars guys see the Earthlings as insects

      and the Gap of Power prediction was right

      1. That’s because Aldnoah has the Fate/Zero creator behind it 😉

        And of course, the Mars guys are the bad guys, the bad guys usually have a superiority complex, it’s up to the people of Earth to put them in their place 🙂

      2. yes, i know. But Earth need power of the Mars mechas, to have a change. until now it is only buying time. i think this Earth guy under the Mars invasion troops, will be the Key to turn the power

      3. right now, in Aldnoah.zero the military is not dump. but helpless, because the Mars technology is god like powers to them. even if someone at the beginning they could kick some butts…

        Arrogance comes before the fall. in this episode it is the Human defense force. But i must admit, they where feared. but they dont run away.. only the shuttle tank driver

        p.s. we are here in ep 1 thread. we should continue it in ep 2 when it comes alive. to avoid most of the spoilers

    2. a joke

      Guys and Girls. Train you Hands muscles to have a grip like a vise. Perhaps you can save someone, even if you crush his hand as side effect, but you will not lose him/her


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