Aldnoah Zero Episode 1 Recap – “Princess of VERS”
Humanity has become two separate factions, those who have been born and raised on Earth, and those who have been born and raised on Mars. There is a clear class divide between the two, and a evident hatred of the Earthlings by the Martians. War threatens on the horizon, but neither side has a clear excuse to engage in it until Princess Asseylum decides to make a diplomatic visit to Earth…
What happens this episode:
We are introduced to the Princess before she heads down to Earth, talking to one of her trusted friends (or is it just servant?) Slaine, who is originally from Earth. Asseylum is the only one who doesn’t look down on him amongst the Martians.
On Earth we meet Inaho, our main lead and his sister Yuki. We also meet Inaho’s circle of friends, a couple of which are in Japan since their own countries are in shambles following the war. That same war also fractured the moon 15 years ago. Inaho and the other kids are being trained in mech combat, with Yuki being one of the drill sergeant’s overseeing them. Along with her is Lt. Marito, who seems to be a former soldier with secret knowledge that cripples him psychologically. He doesn’t know how he will make up for the lies he’s been feeding these kids, including the ones that the government has put in their heads.
Back up in space, we learn that Asseylum saved Slaine and his father five years ago. As Asseylum descends towards Earth, the master of the ship Count Cruhteo both physically and mentally berates Slaine for being a lowly human. After that Cruhteo is contacted by another Orbital Knight (like himself) named Saazbaum, who basically just comes out and says, “something is going to happen to the Princess to help us start the war.” I wonder if he’s an evil character. >_>
As the Royal entourage makes its way downtown, two men detonate remote missiles, taking out the cars carrying the princess. As she struggles out of the wreckage, another missile explodes around her, killing her (?). In retaliation, the 37 Orbital Knights descend to Earth and begin to attack it. Marito reveals their power – each one of them has their own mech. The first city to fall is San Francisco…
This is just starting to get it’s footing so I’m not going to judge it too harshly just yet. It already seems better than last season’s Captain Earth in characters and in plot. Slaine will be an interesting fellow to follow, as he’ll most likely play between both sides, while working for people who hate him. I don’t think that Asseylum is truly dead as of yet, as we did not see a body, nor has the smoke cleared on the explosion yet. Inaho himself is rather bland at the moment, as the only thing I know about him yet is that he is rather daydreamy at times. The class and race division element is done capably enough. I like the added touch that even among Inaho’s friends they don’t agree on if they should welcome and support the Princess or not. I do hope though that we do get to meet some Martians who are not just snobby pricks besides the Princess, especially if she really has bitten the dust.
On an animation note, it’s a definite plus. I like the subtle differences in how they animated the Martians (The VERS Empire) versus the Earth humans. They aren’t glaring right at you, but if you pay enough attention you’ll catch some of them.
At least until episode 3. Final judgment will come after that, and will probably have something to do with whether Inaho excels as a main character of not.