「楽園の瑕 -Here to There-」 (Rakuen no Kizu -Here to There-)
“Stained Paradise -Here to There-“

The arrow is loosed, in more ways than one.

I would adjudge that the course of events in this week’s Aldnoah.Zero has been cast for some time, but the awakening of the real Princess Asseylum was probably the last event that could have turned Slaine’s arc from it. Based on what we saw in this episode it seems as if the opposite has happened – Asseylum’s revival has persuaded Slaine to go all-in on the mad dictator and conqueror route, in the belief that that other door has already been closed forever. What he’s already done has ended any chance that he could win Asseylum’s heart, so the only option left is to possess her. A caged bird, indeed.

At this point, all the pieces for Slaine’s tragic downfall at the hands of his own arrogance seem to be in place. He’s launching a Stalin-esque purge not just of any Knights that oppose him, but those that might potentially oppose him. He’s moving to crush Earth utterly so that he can remake it in his own image. He’s decided to imprison Asseylum in secret (or worse, if you interpret his "tragedies do happen" comment in a certain way – though I suspect it refers to faking Asseylum’s death), locking her away in a gilded cage of his making and telling everyone – most especially his fiancee – that’s she’s taken a turn for the worse and is near death. And in all these machinations he seems to have a willing partner in Harklight, who questions none of his master’s increasingly outlandish orders and indeed, seems intoxicated by them. So much for that notion of a democratic revolution.

I suppose we’re intended to feel sorry for Slaine because we see how conflicted is over how evil he’s become – he cries and punches walls and all. But in the end, I think he’s right – he’s chosen this course, and he has to live with it. If knowing how horrified Asseylum would be at what he’s become tortures him, well – it should. And he’s quite good at being a strongman, unsurprisingly – even Barouhcruz is toeing the line for now. Mazuurek seems likely to fall victim to Slaine’s purge – he’s back behind VERS lines, and he seems pretty naive about what constitutes the new normal there. Baroucruz tries to warn him off being careless – perhaps hoping that by biding his time, he might use Mazuurek against Slaine later – but caution doesn’t seem to be Mazuurek’s strong suit.

Slaine isn’t without worries, that’s for certain. There’s still Inaho, who surely represents the greatest threat to him both militarily and personally, and the rage Slaine surely feels after hearing Asseylum speak fondly of Inaho surely isn’t going to lead to calm and detached thinking. Eddelruito is smart enough to know what’s going on here, and it seems quite clear she’s turned against Slaine – though how that will manifest itself is unclear. And when Lemrina – who to her credit seems genuinely aggrieved by what she’s been told is happening to Asseylum – discovers the truth, things are going to get mighty ugly.

For now, though, the pendulum is solidly swinging in Slaine’s direction. Meeting no internal resistance, he’s launched an all-out strike on Earth led by Harklight. And with the Martians finally abandoning their practice of politely attacking one Knight at a time in order to let themselves be slowly decimated, not even Inaho’s superhuman ability is going to have an easy time fighting them off. And there seems little hope of help from Earth’s military leadership, who are incompetent and complacent as only anime military bigwigs can be. The Deucalion is really the only weapon Earth has that’s capable of bloodying VERS’ nose, and the authorities don’t even trust it – and even with Inaho doing the thinking, can the Deucalion really hold off multiple landing castles and kataphrakts at-once?

Something is going to have to happen soon to change the momentum or else we’re reaching the endgame too quickly – perhaps some freakish new bit of genius from Inaho, a clumsy overreach by Slaine, or Asseylum breaking free of his clutches and causing trouble back home. If I were Slaine, I’d certainly be doing everything in my power to make sure Edelruitto has no access to the outside world – indeed, I’d be nervous even allowing her access to Asseylum, given what she might say. Superficially Slaine might seem to be in a position of security and strength, but it’s built on an increasingly complicated web of deceit – and when it comes crashing down, it could do so quickly and spectacularly.

Author’s note: Enzo’s impression is that “Zephyr’s Impressions” will return next week…


  1. I thought the same. I really liked Slaine’s innocence and his loyalty in S1, but it really feels like he’s going to turn into a slimeball due to his own greed.

    I don’t feel sorry for Slaine. There’s just something missing… something to make it believable. The story has been fixing Slaine up with too many facades that I’m having a hard time seeing what his most earnest desire is. I get the feeling Slaine’s rallying the martian troops to get a chance to kill Inaho, to get rid of his rival in love. I don’t believe he cares about Ver’s ideals at all, much less seeking opportunities to reform it.

    Lastly, I don’t think Mazuurek will fall victim to Slaine’s purge. There’s been enough developments in his character to let me believe he’ll play a plot changing role in the rest of the series. I’m really hoping he becomes a crucial figure that would go against Ver’s momentum. I’m also expecting great things from Harklight, now that he’s given control of the Hershel. Perhaps he’ll backstab Slaine and become the a sub/final boss.

      1. They made Inaho too much of a Gary Stu to begin with, only way that can be topped is to make him see the future with his mechanical eye using Tharsis aldnoah drive, kind of like they made Tatsuya from Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei a god after he already proved to be super genius.

      2. @Dwarg
        Just want to put this out there. In the anime adaptation, Tatsuya’s strengths were HIGHLY focused on with little regard to the darker weaknesses that he possesses. They also did not explain anything which bored the hell out of everyone. He is a walking contradiction in the LN (imperfect perfect being) and he’s much better that way.

        With Inaho, much can be said about his mannerisms, his genius, and his battle skills that came out of nowhere. But i want to hold out and say that the princess provoked a change that puts Inaho closer to that of a normal high school boy, and that we’re just not seeing it. We just get the “anime vision” which tells us what the producers want us to take away from it – basically a formula. Like with Mahouka, they are probably withholding information that would otherwise make us think that “well shit, Inaho is going through some tough times too.”

        I’m not denying that Slaine isn’t, his story is much more open which is the complete opposite of Inaho who is quiet, reserved, and tends to keep to himself. Slaine is flaunting his new found power for all to see. But Inaho has been chilling on the sidelines in terms of his own progression. Maybe the writers are using this approach to make an even greater effect on the twist that will inevitably happen. Remember people, Urobutcher serves as inspiration to this show. You think you know something and then all of sudden everything you knew is a lie…

      3. Agreed, Slaine is going through a very Breaking Bad-esque arc right now which makes him an infinitely more interesting character to watch than Inaho. It’s a pity this kind of arc can only end in tragedy, but one can hope!

      4. I find interesting that people keep bashing Inaho as a Gary Stu and yet no one has called out Slaine’s implausible rise from the bottom to the highest position among the Vers. In just 6 episodes he has shown mastery of physics, code breaking, expertise on VERS politics, and military strategy. All qualities he has never shown before and now he suddenly has them. Don’t misunderstand, I do enjoy Slaine’s rise to power and loss of innocence, its pretty much the most compelling plot right now. He certainly is a breath of fresh air compared to the VERS, “Moron of the Week” we got before. I just think the narrative would have been easier to swallow if Season 1 had actually built Slaine as a foil to Inaho rather than being the universe punching bag that he was back then.

        And no, neither Inaho or Slaine can be classified as a Gary Stu. It still amazes me how so many people don’t understand what that term implies.

      5. Well the term Gary Stu has had multiple definitions and has been used loosely, but arguably Inaho and Slaine can’t be considered Gary Stu. But they do share certain traits that, in my opinion, don’t serve well in character development, especially with Inaho; he has been consistently successful defeating Vers knights that practically everyone has to depend on him to help defeat the Kataphrakts every time they appear in the show. In a way it feels dull since Inaho doesn’t seem to have any weakness to exploit or have any traits that Inaho has to learn to change when fighting the Martians. Instead he’s simply there just to defeat the opposition, making all the tension and suspense depend on the other characters. Slaine is in a similar position, but he shows more emotion and has several factors pushing against him that are changing him, from the Vers intolerance of terrans to Princess Asseylum almost dying in front of his eyes. Slaine has developed into this person that it makes it interesting and exciting where he’s going to end up and if how’s he’s going to reform Vers in the process. But back to the point, Slaine and Inaho share similar traits (after referring to Tv tropes) to Gary-Stu/Marty-Stu but they might not be considered to the term at all.

        (For considering Slaine’s rise in power, it is a little amusing how he became an expert in so many fields of war, regardless of his position when Count Cruthteo was alive and his affiliation with Princess Asseylum)

  2. Frankly, at this point, Slaine is the only human character (evil, good, and all, wrapped up in one confused and aggravated package) in a roster of unbelievable personae and characters, particularly Inaho and his magic eyeball.

    I honestly feel sorry for him because even the grim reaper, at this point, has shat on him and his luck.

    1. I´m gonna be honest here, I dislike Slaine with all my heart for many, many reasons but I have to reconize that at the very least he has decided to go down with his ship by his won choices; it´s like he has sunk so deep into the darkness that he sees no point in trying to get to the surface and wants to see what lies at the end of the path he has chosen.

      P.D.: Lemrina is not the only one tha worries me, once Seylum puts together her memories it´s going to be explanation time and that´s going to be dangerous for her because Slaine seems at the edge of his sanity, if he ever had that of course.

  3. At this point I’m really hoping Slaine gets a “nice boat” ending. Even with the convenient amnesia Eddy’s going to fess up to her sometime soon, and then Slaine’s chickens will finally come home to roost.

  4. Slaines possessive controlling behavior over Asseylum will be his downfall. The realization that he doesn’t own her, and will never own her, and that she will never love him will break him.

  5. I actually like Slaine’s complexity now. One of the inprovements of the show is the more in-depth development of our characters, and its fun and exciting to warch despite the misses on realism in warfare. You see that he’s conflicted and has a great deal of doubt, but hardens his heart when he’s done everything for his gosdess, and she remembers his rival. Classic.

    I don’t feel sorry for Slaine, and doubt he wants sympathy either, though. He knows what he’s going for and if I know the rivalry well enough, he would probably concur with Inaho’s chilling conclusion – albeit grudgingly – that Asseylum can no longer be credible as herself. A caged bird, indeed. By lying about Asseylum’s condition, Slaine has caged TWO birds for now in one fell swoop. His villainy levels are rising at a delightful rate, but there will be hell to pay when Lemrina finds out the truth. And maybe when Yuki-nee gets to the ‘kusuyaro’ who shot her precious otouto. :p

    I’m not entirely surprised by the incompetence shown, since that does exist on real life. Doesn’t make their stupidity any less galling. In any case, that illusion of victory is about to be shattered as Slaine puts Earth into a seemingly hopeless check. More fun now tosee how Inaho and The Eye deal with multiple enemies who actually needed a dictator-to-be to get them to team up.

    Another point of interest is Harklight. His allegiance seems clear, but that man feels more like a wolf than a dog somehow, perhaps due to the OP.

    I’m really enjoying this second cour. More competence from the ranked Earthlings would be nice, but that focus on the characters is really good.

    1. He may be a little complex, but his behavior is ridiculously creepy. Confirmed by using a fake Asseylum to tell the world that he’s marrying Asseylum, and basically having her repeat the calls to attack Earth and make a new empire. He pretty much assassinated her character to the world, and she did nothing to deserve it. Only Inaho can see through the lie. He also took away years of her life by keeping her as a pet in that tube on life support.

      He could have told the Vers counts that the Earth forces had brutally attacked Asseylum and rallied them to his side when they saw the state she was in. She’s quite important to all of them, that could have been and should have been what brought them together as a unified force.

      1. I’ve mentioned earlier when Asseylum first appeared in the tank that his behavior was creepy, and I concur with you that it still is when I pointed out how he caged two birds with his actions (should have elaborated on that). Lie after lie to advance his own purposes and the two sisters are being used and locked up at the same time. That is douchebag level, yet I liked it when they actually showed he did struggle with some of the decisions he made.

        Maybe not so much anymore. Thanks Inaho. 😛

      2. And what is so creepy in keeping her in a medical device? He even mentioned that the substance was therapeutic.

        This is not creepy at all. If you know a bit of history, what about Henry VIII executing his wife to get another marriage? Surely that is even more bizarre.

      3. @Actus

        Because it’s strongly implied that he’s keeping her that way. Asseylums sister messing with the machine is clearly what woke her up. Slaine didn’t plan for her awakening and doesn’t want anyone else to know about it either. This is a controlling possessive and downright creepy side to him.

      4. @Actus:

        Yeah, I don’t really get how anyone can defend Slaine AS A PERSON anymore. This episode made pretty clear that he is a (tragic, conflicted) villain, and his treatment of Asseylum and manipulation of her person and position is a clear example of that. Now AS A CHARACTER, he continues to improve and the whole show is improved by his increasing complexity, but he’s a manipulative bastard now.

      5. I see Slaine as a villain but I wouldn’t describe him as ‘creepy’. Well, he isn’t the creepiest villain I’ve seen in anime, the one of recent note is Embryo from Cross Ange. He’s a creep in many ways, manipulative, have magical powers to induce pain and pleasure in people, and Slaine doesn’t even reach his ankles in creepiness.

      6. @Glutton

        He’s creepy with regards to his behavior and actions relating to Asseylum. When you remove Asseylum from the equation, he’s just er.. Well I think some of you have described better so I’ll leave that.

  6. REMINDER THAT: Slaine got mad because of the bird viewing, because as a child it’s what kept him alive and sane and was one day thinking he will show the birds to the princess. It was his last remnant of childhood so Hime mentioning that she saw the birds with Inaho raped his first purpose in life.

    1. Yes, and that’s TOTALLY not obsessive and creepy. Not at all.

      Slaine still has little reason at all to dislike Inaho other than obsessive jealousy. Inaho has done nothing that in any way hurts Slaine, and is in fact personally responsible for the survival of the girl Slaine supposedly loves.

      Slaine’s hatred for Inaho is built on complete irrationality. Which is fine for the story, because one of Slaine’s defining characteristics is that he’s semi-irrational as compared to Inaho’s hyper-rationality.

      1. I overstated that a bit. Obviously they’ve had a couple of minor run-ins. But I mean generally, Inaho was not at odds with Slaine’s goals aside from him trying to conquer the earth (which wasn’t his goal at first) and manipulate the princess (which also wasn’t his goal at first). That was the tragedy of their conflicts in the first season.

  7. Enzo, just so you know, the “tragedies do happen” line is one of two major mistranslations in this episode (there are others I spotted, but they don’t really change much).

    This is how Slaine’s conversation with Harklight went:

    Slaine: She will wake up soon. I know it.
    Harklight: I eagerly await that day, Milord.
    Slaine: However…it is also something I fear. (恐ろしくもある)
    Harklight: Milord?

    The other major miss was when Darzana was talking to Marito in the lift, though I think most viewers would have figured out that the translation didn’t make sense…

    Marito: (The brass) are doing the best they can.
    Darzana: I’m not complaining about how they’re using the Deucalion. They’re underestimating them.
    Marito: Them?
    Darzana: The Martians. The war has tilted slightly in our favour, but the brass seem to be wildly misinterpreting it.

  8. I was literally clapping during parts of this episode. So many things happening that I’ve wanted to for so long.

    First things first. They focused almost exclusively on the Martians side. That is ALWAYS a good thing. Second, we actually get some internal monologues from Slaine which give us a bigger picture of what he’s planning. This is something that Inaho and Slaine have lacked for a while now so it’s nice to finally get incite to how their characters are thinking.

    That aside this episode really made me feel bad for Slaine. It’s obvious he doesn’t really see Lemrina in the same way he sees Asselyum but lying to her does still hurt him. He’s acknowledged that what he’s become isn’t exactly ideal but continues to truck on to complete his goals. Yes he’s becoming more underhanded now but you have to admit he’s been very smart about covering all his bases and making it tough for anyone to go against him. This is necessary for his goal which if i had to guess is to become the new ruler of Vers by proving himself in this war which is the fastest way he can climb through the ranks. People now have confidence in his leadership and look up to him as a true warrior. If that isn’t rich character development I don’t know what is. That “tragedies do happen” comment makes me a little worried though…….

    When i saw other Martians coming to fight I couldn’t stop cheering. FINALLY THE VILLAINS HAVE THE BRAINS TO TEAM UP! I made an off hand comment that Slaine would change the “attack one at a time” tactic they’ve been using. I didn’t expect that he’d actually do it in the very next episode. If these fools had done this earlier Inaho would have been dead and Earth would be taken over already. Anime over.

    Asselyum having temporary amnesia is honestly a little convenient for the plot right now but I’ll let it slide since it’s not COMPLETE amnesia. And we just HAD to have the cliche “boy hears his love talking fondly about another guy as soon as he comes to see her”. Get that shit outta here! >:/

    Also did the landing castles lose some of their power? I mean we saw an entire city obliterated when one landed in the first episode. How was everyone completely ok when one landed so close to them?

    1. I don’t see this as underhandedness. It is unheard of in both ancient and modern history where people achieve status and power without subterfuge and political infighting, and perhaps a few political marriages to secure it.

      For that purpose, I would think getting rid of the real princess a la Henry VIII is probably the best course of action for Slaine.

  9. Slaine could get all the char development in the world and I’d still like Inaho more.
    I’m guessing it’s because I’m more and more turned off by the excess of melodrama that surrounds Slaine.
    With Inaho, I can see the plot has intention of taking his character somewhere than just keeping him as he started, so I’m more curious about his transformation.
    With Slaine it’s just case of ‘how morally bankrupt can he make himself become for the hopeless sake of satisfying a woman who’ll never be satisfied with him now’.

    1. I cannot upvote this enough.
      Slaine feels like a character from Shakespearean novel. Confused and misguided. His behavior allows for drama to happen in his life.

      Inaho isn’t like that. Because Inaho isn’t like that they can use him to develop the other characters around him like Rayet.

      1. Yup.
        Most of what’s going on with the plot wouldn’t happen if Slaine was simply a more coherent thinker and capable of making a solid claim on what he wants.
        Him allowing himself to get so entangled with Saazbaum is essentially where everything went ridiculous.
        I often think about the other awesome angles this series could have played through if Slaine hadn’t caved to Saazbaum so easily upon re-capture.

  10. Slaine is the only one reforming the chain of command and reorganized into a Elite Forces unit.

    What now Inaho?
    Your platoon are Outgunned,
    Exhausted from the long hour dealing a one optical camo knight,
    Ammunition and smoke grenade have used up,
    Cutoff from 3 direction.

    1. it reeks of Deucalion for the Rescue scene, and in their Belly is an Upgraded Earth Aldnoah Power drive Mecha, that cap at Speed. Faster then these 3 ones…

      just to be sure, it is a speculation out of my Mind

  11. I was watching AZ for “so bad that it’s so good” from around middle of season 1…

    Gonna admit that S2 slowly changes that. Now it’s already quite good and all of the bets has been set. There are still a lot of unmet potentials, but I think what they have right now are enough for some satisfying finale. Crossing finger that it will not lose the way anymore!

    1. I was almost in the same camp, thinking A/Z was headed towards the Valvrave end of the spectrum but without as much gleeful self-awareness. But S2 has surprised me – it’s been quite coherent, very engaging and frankly, well-written. All sorts of things can happen in five episodes, obviously, but for now it’s definitely been a much more logical and articulate season than I expected.

      1. I will partially agree with that. S2 is actually getting around a lot of the problems S1 had – lack of scale, one-note characters (both Slaine and Inaho most glaringly, which was one of the biggest issues), repetitive action. And I do in fact like the graduation of Slaine from self-absorbed loser to self-aware villain, and of Inaho from implausibly calm tactician to quietly princess-obsessed soldier shaving away at his own health.

        What keeps me from wholly agreeing is that while S2 is much better, it isn’t so in a way that justifies S1. To use a comparison – Symphogear S1 was pretty much bubblegum of the worst kind, riddled with plot holes and contrivances, and lacking in character depth. Symphogear S2, on the other hand, managed to keep what was actually enjoyable from S1, while fixing most of the above issues – in the process also reasonably filling in most of the holes left over from S1. Aldnoah S2 isn’t quite managing that – as an earlier comment stated, Slaine’s sudden competence in multiple fields comes off as rather contrived, the sudden influx of more reasonable and/or savvy Martian counts makes you wonder if the Deucalion crew somehow managed to roll every douchebag count on their Random Encounter Table in S1, Lemrina basically appeared out of nowhere because someone had to have her role (and she should be happy – she’s successfully stolen ‘most interesting female character in this show’ from her sidelined sister) despite her existence not quite jiving with some of the actions Saazbaum took in S1, and of course there’s the amazing disconnect in how much damage Asseylum and Inaho respectively took from the end of S1.

      2. Yes, S2 is still no masterpiece, but I gotta praise the S2 scriptwriter (It must have been changed, right???) since he saved that narrative spaghetti mess from S1.

        Just imagine :You were tasked to make coherent story after that mass cop-out ending (which supposedly killed almost the entire of main casts), which left you:
        – a barely believable war between two factions without any solid leadership
        – adult decent number of adult casts, featuring a crapton of disposable martian “knights” and earth “soldiers”, a soldier with PTSD + few episodes worth of drama which leads to nowhere, and a XO which could never get a boyfriend.
        – A cast of teenage boys/girls copiloting mankind’s greatest hope. With no depth whatsoever.
        – And don’t forget : A big sister and an Inko. Both didn’t think of anything except Inaho (count how many times they shout Inaho’s name in the series). Plus a loli humvee driver.

        In 5 episodes he managed to fix that, and he even add some sense of humor while he’s on it. “How to solve Marito’s PSTD? Oh, no need to solve drama with drama. Just make him cope with it by himself, and Tada~ We finally get that badly needed additional capable adult in Earth’s faction”.

        While Lemrina and some other new characters out of nowhere is quite a “cheat” narrative wise, at least current scripwriter utilize them good enough that they could finally fill some empty roles in VERS and making all of events revolving them effective. Heck, they even gave Inko and even that mechanic blond guy some little bit of depth! Since fixing a giant fuckup most of the time is harder than creating a new one, I think it’s the best result of A:Z S2 which we could realistically get.

        TL;DR: Anyone who could save that mess into what we could get right now without relying to far timeskip/mass characters swap should be given a lot of cookies.

      3. S2 has really been a lot more coherent than S1 and you really have to give the writes praise for that especially as they had to spend a lot of the time correcting some weird story lines that carried over. It’s still far from a great story but I don’t think anyone will deny that it’s entertaining and in the end that’s what really counts.

      4. Eh? That’s weird, especially since I remember Gen claimed that the script of S1 is very far from what he planned at first. Then what cause disrepancy between S1 and S2 script quality?

        If it’s true that one same person writing both S1 and S2 without much different outside interference, then he is the one who have the most character development in this series. I guess I’ll investigate a bit… (Read: asking in forums and such)

  12. Hmmm I might be interpreting the hierarchical Vers society a little bit too similarly to Earth insects with their caste system of warriors, workers etc….
    But there can be no TWO QUEEN BEES in one hive.
    Perhaps the most important duel won’t be between Slaine and Inaho but between the two Vers princesses.
    On another note, I wonder if Barohcruz is genuinely supporting Slaine, or just lying low waiting for opportunity to backstab him in more opportune moment? Actually this would be showing a “dangerously genre savvy” level of competence as we see Slaine preparing purge of those deemed disloyal. I wonder hof Mazuurek will fit into this power struggle…

  13. Cool! Third episode in a row where Inaho is NOT the super mech-killer. I like that they’ve toned that down for him.

    Asseylum life may well be in danger, if Slaine comes to love power more than her. I am beginning to think he prefers to be in love with the “inassailable princess” ideal he worshipped, and not the living woman that she really is.

    I’m glad to see how much they’ve actually been able to flesh out a few of the supporting cast, such as Marito, Magdebridge, Rayet, Yuki and even Inko now a little.

    Looks like the Earth’s war effort is being run directly by politicians rather than soldiers. That is not good.

    I have been hoping for El Dorito to break out of that servant mindset of making no decisions on her own, but so far that hasn’t happened.

    Are we making book on who kills Slaine? Who are the favorites? Lemria when she finds out Slaine’s been lying to her and using her? Asseylum when she learns Slaine is propagating the war she died twice to prevent? Will El Dorito shock us all and stick a knife in his kidney if he poses a danger to Asseylum? Stay tuned!

  14. I’m pretty sure that this face is the proper face for a mad-man dictator…

    OTOH, our UEF peeps are either in some deep pit of despair:
    Or we’re looking at some odd-ball mecha-style reenactment from some big budget action film involving nukes just because-coolness-factor and/or because-lens-flare …*gasp for breath*

    Other things:
    -Having Eddelrittuo caged with taking care of Asseylum might not be the best choice there…
    -The second to last set of dice has be cast, seeing that many counts operating in the same combat zone
    -Seeing Slaine continuing the use of the blue rose made me think that he (symbolically) raised the NTR flag by himself, and not by anyone else.
    -At least I can see guess that Mazuurek would be coming to the rescue or something similar…or something that allows Inaho to hog majority of next week’s episode.

  15. Only logical outcome now is for Slaine and Lemrina
    But then again, this is AZ, so logic can fly out the window just like that.

    All in all, good episode, and even though I’m not fond of Slaine, gotta admit here he’s got character for sticking to his guns beyond his point of no return.

  16. So asseylum got sleeping beauty treatment? Got married to without consent when she’s unconscious, glad that she didn’t woke up because she gave a birth to baby like sleeping beauty.

    And poor Lemrina, the guy you like is willing to betray the trust from girl he really likes, so he will more than willing to betray you whose value was only as a subsitute…

  17. Some named character from the Earth forces is bound to die or get incapacitated next episode. Otherwise, that 3 combined attack from Counts will not have THAT much impact if the Deucalion Team gets out of it unscathed. Immediate tactical retreat is their only choice while avoiding to be pinned down by the Stealthed Archer Kat.

  18. Well, I’ll be the first to say that that was a really good intermediary episode, and that Slaine has begun going down a path of darkness that even he can’t find a way out of.

    In his efforts to gather support and power in Vers, things have begun to spin a little out of his control. His morality has been skewed and while in his heart he does not wish to do these things, he sees no way out of it but by continuing on no matter the doubts. It’s almost like the infection that is Vers politics have begun to infect him because he has had to embrace it wholeheartedly. I can’t help but think a tragic end is in store for him unless he can be pulled back from the abyss, and I truly hope that someone can.

    Asseylum has awakened, and is now in a wheelchair, however, she seems to have lost some of her memories, but they don’t seem to be all gone. She is happy now, but I fear that she will be saddened at what Slaine has done, though unlike others, I doubt she will abandon him or even yell at him. She will try to save and help him as best as she knows how. Slaine is her best friend, and really she’s not a person who would abandon a friend who has lost his way.

    As for Lemrina, that is a tragic figure right there, a girl that loves Slaine, but knows that he will never love her back, who is angry at her sister but still cares for her. I don’t know what she will do.

    Slaine is organizing the counts under one flag, and is having them fight together, which should have been their game plan all along as Inaho and team can’t fight well multiple kataphrachts that are fighting all at once. So, Slaine has gained control of Vers and sadly seems to be trying to bring Earth to heel as well. He knows this will hurt Asseylum, but at this point he’s gone too far to go back now.

    1. That was one of my gripes with the counts; fighting to claim their territory for themselves while Inaho and the others were picking them off one by one. Their main advantage was technology, but they didn’t use it to their full potential because they were fighting the Earth forces individually. Fortunately enough, Slaine realized this and decided to bring them together.

      Now looking at the scene where Slaine dropped the flowers on the ground, I’m going to presume that he’s starting to grow some jealousy towards Inaho and certainly the Vers politics/pressure from his opposition is going to corrupt him. Hopefully Asseylum (or maybe even Lemrina) can save him when he reaches his lowest in the war.

      1. Part of the problem is that the Counts are too arrogant, they don’t view people on Earth as equals. They’ll happily sit in their advanced mecha thinking they can pick off humans one by one without realizing that they’re actually better than they thought. Pretty much all of them have sat there using their machines ability thinking they are untouchable, buying the time for anyone with common sense to analyse their machines weakness and blow them away.

      2. Unfortunately, that was one of their big weaknesses: arrogance. That was how they lived and thought for the rest of their lives, while never really considering the many dangers of letting their arrogance get the better of them, so it was understandable how some of them went down one by one. Yet, its still baffling how they never tried to learn from the mistakes of the previous counts that died facing Inaho and the others, resulting in inefficient fighting, strategy, and the major losses of their knights.

    2. You overstate it as usual. Asseylum is basically an angel, but she is also a fighter. This is the woman who turned against her entire people and actively helped the enemy war effort because she felt that what her people were doing was unjust.

      I don’t see her pulling a gun on Slaine anytime soon (though for drama’s sake, it could happen) and I do think she will likely try to get through to him, but this implication that she’s just made of light and never takes a stand on anything is doing her a disservice as a character.

      Also, whatever her relationship with Slaine was, this episode makes a point of showing that Inaho also now occupies a large spot in her heart. She will be played both ways. Again, for drama’s sake she has to be.

  19. Damn it A/Z writers, I said that giving the princess amnesia was cheap writing, but I didn’t think that they’d actually do it. That’s the kind of plot contrivance used to pad out the significant developments. Bad enough that she has been written out of the show for half the run of season 2, but now she is still only a plot device for Slaine and Inaho to moan at.

    That subplot aside, I do enjoy the tragedy of Slaine, who has now embraced his inner douche. Its the kind of Shakespearean tragedy to see how one gets so high and loses his humanity. I have no love for Slaine, but I can feel sorry for his unfortunate turn.

    1. She doesn’t seem to have Hollywood amnesia so much as some natural confusion from her physical trauma. She remembers Slaine, Inaho, the little girl, things she saw on Earth, and so on and so forth. The point seems to be more to show that she’s not completely healed yet than to do some kind of amnesia plot where she already remembers all the important bits.

    2. I would have preferred if she had just died at the end of season 1. The show would be much better if she was just removed from the show entirely. She causes too much needless drama and worthless plot devices.

  20. magoiichi
    1. https://randomc.net/image/ALDNOAH%20ZERO/ALDNOAH%20ZERO%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2003.jpg
      “Oh what’s this? Inaho x Seylum H?

      “God damn it… Didn’t I tell you to purge doujinshi’s that support Inaho x Seylum?!”

      “Why aren’t there any H about me and discount eggs?”

      Makise Kuristina
  21. Lol at Slaine dropping the flowers. Orbital cockblocking, he couldn’t even see it coming haha. If he turned sour at the mere mention of Inaho, wait until the princess learn about all the shenanigans he has been doing(including the non-consensual engagement). Considering how over-emotional he is when it comes to the princess, i wouldn’t be surprised if he loses his sht. Lying to that psychopath of Asseylum’s sister, even though it was a smart move, is going to bite him in the ass by the end of the season. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
    Inaho is in a hard pinch now, i honestly don’t think all of the team members are going to come out of this alive. I nominate Inko and Inaho sister as potential candidate for deaths of the week. Inaho needs to get his hands on a martian mech. Hopefully, that will be the one Slaine offered to his Valet lol.

    1. If all the lies, creepy obsessive behavior, killing, and other machinations isn’t already evidence of his “losing his shit”, I’m not sure what you would possibly feel could satisfy that label. lol.

    1. You know, a great plot twist would be some of the counts who are opposed to Slaine coming to Inahos aid. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. But they probably won’t do that. I just think it would be a great way to wrap the series, to have a big one side vs another battle winner controls the Earth.

      1. A probably epic finale would be the counts “letting” Inaho arrive at the moon base (or Slaine’s recently inherited Landing Castle) and wreaking havoc there in his search for Princess Asseylum.

        In before “We’re sorry, your princess is in another castle” joke XD.

    1. We have been getting a lot more expressions from Inaho lately. I still want to know what made him the way he was before though. I hope they touch on the matter and not merely leave it as something that was just that

  22. … Slaine didnt deserve this. If Inaho hadnt been a f00ktard and let him see her before all of this.. It would be a different story. Why didn’t Inaho just Die- leaving Slaine to engineering a middle ground solution. This SUCKS!

    Why does Slaine have to be vilified and ultimately killed. Inahaho shodl be dead. THey better @least BOTH die. So pised right no. I knew the halfassed writers would do this.

    Why WHy WHy- wine wine wine..

    Okay now that that is off my chest. Slaine better go out like a boss… That is all I am saying.

    1. Inaho didn’t know his backstory at that point, to him he was an enemy, it is a war after all. And knowing that there was a conspiracy to kill the princess, he had to be careful. You wouldn’t let an enemy soldier walk into your base, let alone your ship during a time of war just so he can see a friend.

      1. That’s actually not an accurate assessment of why he did it. Inaho did imply he would be willing to let Slaine see her when they talked. It’s because Slaine reacted the way he did that Inaho didn’t want him on the ship. Inaho knew that he would have to exploit the princess in order for the humans to survive and considering Slaine was obviously over protective of her it would be a risk to take him on board. He later mentions how Slaine was really worried about her which shows he didn’t exactly feel good about what he did and knew under different circumstances they might have been able to work with him.

        Of course it still baffles me that they didn’t jus take him prisoner with heavy survillence but the show never really explained that anyways.

      2. But it was clearly a factor. He didn’t know enough about him to trust him. Perhaps I over analysed possible reasons a bit, but realistically he wouldn’t have been able to see the princess without being taken prisoner first. I do agree that Inaho did show some empathy to his situation but still..

    2. At least it was Slaine who opened the fire. He missed and Inaho fired back and hit. Inaho seemed very skeptical about Slaine before that, and then this shooting incident convinced him that this mysterious guy is his enemy.

    3. Most of what has happened to Slaine is of his own making. That’s what makes him a tragic figure. Yes, the world around him sucked, but the key is that in nearly every situation he did the wrong thing because he wasn’t thinking well enough and just ran headfirst into whatever situation.

      Eventually that cost him everything and he responded by learning to become a manipulative bastard. Basically he moved between two extremes: victim and villain, without ever finding the middle point where he could have been a more heroic figure. At least as far as we’ve seen so far.

      I’m still hopeful that actually we will get some kind of middle ending with the main four leads, but whatever happens, Inaho is clearly the ‘hero’ and Slaine the ‘villain’ (though tragic)

  23. I think I’ve seen enough anime to say that no one is past redemption.

    I won’t bat an eyelash if, by the end of it all, Slaine has repented and made a final decision that helps to save the day, with the princess expressing joy towards him.

    It’s practically a trope (actually, I’m sure it is; I’m just not hip enough to know what it’d be called; shounen anime is practically built on the piles of this specific scenario).

    I’m always interested to see what arsepull Inaho will have. Despite his success, I think the show has done a good job of introducing enough doubt, via Slaine’s surprisingly high competency, that I’ve never really felt all that confident that Inaho is going to “win” this fight (and, I still think the most likely outcome is that Slaine-in a poorly done sequence-redeems himself more than Inaho defeats him). It helps that Slaine has already “beat” Inaho in season one, by shooting him in the head.

    So…theories on how Inaho is going to pull everyone’s arses out of the fire in the next episode?

      1. They did explain that the Aldnoah drives were created by an extremely advanced civilization and were discovered by the Emperor who was given the power by said technology. It obviously effected him on a cellular level which was how he passed the ability down the bloodline to his immediate family etc. He then passed the ability to those deemed worthy of it.

        Any civilization advanced enough to create the drives obviously would be advanced enough to effect someone on a cellular level.

  24. Well, with this our Slaine has now his own Castle. I was wondering in the last minutes, that he could be the one dropping from Orbit. Alone this Droping is a “natural” Atomic Bomb, without the negative effects of radiation. But i think if the want, they could use the Asteroids in the Earth belt, like in S1, to destroy a entire City and more from Space

    I need time, to get into under the skin of the “new” Slaine, so right now i can not predict anything.

    What i can predict, is that Inaho’s Squad is in a pinch. i think he will now try with all might to break out of this triangle Trap. To do that, they must breakthrough 1 Side, and try to Escape. And with the Smoke still there, i see the weak corner on this Invisible Mech now. But let us see, perhaps Deucalion will but in, to demonstrate their Firepower and to impress in a long Way the Earth Defense Force “High Ups” what she is capable of

    But Slaine is now a Black Box for me. So stick with Inaho now is easier. What can he do except for being the Best Ace Brain Pilot?

    Perhaps some Death Flags will now fall. Perhaps some dear to us, will hit the ground… Just wait and see. perhaps they let these Seiyus die, that has to many other Show now, to easy the stress for them.. But not all Animes can do this “Log Horizon” trick

    1. Not sure if I missed something but isn’t the explosive effect more of a means of them to anchor their landing castle into the ground or something? I don’t really get the science of it.

    1. Oh yes!!! Lots of old Mecha got trashed. Good point!

      Also, about WorldwideDepp’s ranking of this ep. (6/10), I agree, too. At least, the production team had really started to tell this ‘Slaine’s tale’ more. Example: for the first time in this entire season, we saw Slaine’s office and finally got to see how does he see himself when he is all alone and taken off his mask in public. That’s good.

      And, of course, TERMINATOR INAHO and his MIDNIGHT EYE have finally met a challenge that they might not be able to overcome. So, what will our TERMINATOR INAHO do? Or someone in the Aldnoah Unit/ Ducallion have to sacrifise themselves to save U.E.F.’s ultimate Knight Killer? I can’t wait for it.

      Problem: aren’t things like these were usually done earlier in the season?

      Well, I got tons of comments and emotions about this ‘Slaine Tale’ holding down and eager to let them all out. However, consider the ending of this ep., I will keep them for next ep.

      At least, if the next ep. happened to be exactly like how I predicted, I don’t need to worry is the produciton team ‘reading my mind’ like last time.

      1. My apology:

        There is an editing error here: The sentence “Problem: aren’t things like these were usually done earlier in the season?” is referring to the portraits of Slaine, not TERMINATOR INAHO’s actions.

        Sorry about that.

  25. Something I’ve been wondering for a while is, why did the Mars soldiers stop using the forcefield which destroys anything that comes into contact with it? Those shields were the reason the Mars force were able to destroy entire armies and cities with single machines, and only Inaho was able to figure out how to get past them.

    Now they’re just using superior machines with regular armor that regular earth troops can destroy. What gives? I get why the Earth’s weapons haven’t really advanced, but why did Mars’ take a step back?

    1. It’s not clear to me exactly how much of the Aldnoah technology they are able to reproduce (like the Hershel’s drones), but they probably can’t make new ones from scratch – they all came from the same place as the Light of Aldnoah. They only had 2 units with that supershield – the first one, and the Dioscuria. The other knights managed their respective victories with whatever units we’ve seen them use, and no supershields. In short, they introduced the most overpowered, stupidly invincible one first, and have been steadily lowering our expectations ever since (rocket fists? come on).

      1. They didn’t really ‘stop’ using anything. For whatever reason, each of their mechs is a one-off. There HAS been mention of upgrades, customization, and repairs, and Earth has been shown to re-purpose aldnoah technology, so exactly why all the martian Kats are one-offs is unclear, but they just are.

        Except, of course, for Saazbaum’s, which was a megazord for some reason (and easily my least favorite, I’m glad that’s not the one Slaine got).

  26. Ep 20:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Do not touch, until you watch Ep 20


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