Aldnoah Zero – Episode 3 Review – “The Children’s Echelon”
Cities around the world fell to the absolute power of the Orbital Knights of the VERS empire. Inaho and his friends were tasked to evacuate, but got caught up in a battle between Yuki (Inaho’s sister) and Trillam, an soldier under Count Cruhteo’s command. Trillam is trying to stamp out Rayet, the last person who knows the truth behind the supposed assassination of Princess Asseylum. The Princess is in undercover disguise as part of Inaho’s group. Inaho and company eventually escape the clutches of Trillam, but not before Inaho’s friend Okisuke unfortunately gets killed. Instead of evacuating, Inaho decides to stand and fight.
It turns out that Trillam is working for Saazbaum, who berates him for not disposing of Rayet. If Trillam is not able to locate and eliminate her, Saazbaum will bomb the whole city with a meteor shower, even if Count Cruhteo is still in the vicinity. “Sacrifices have to be made,” he shrugs.
Marito is with some of the remaining soldiers who have not evacuated yet. He isn’t so quick to split though, as he still needs to find and rescue Yuki and his students. His commanding officer Darzana Magbaredge gets him to organize a rescue party. But if he can’t get enough numbers, he is to leave his students to survive on their own.
With Inaho, Calm and Inko, they have already analyzed and deciphered some of Trillam’s weakpoints. He uses overhead cameras to locate his prey, since he can’t see directly out of his cockpit due to his energy field – the same one that killed Okisuke. As such they are safe in hiding at the school. A plan is formulated – they are to ride out of the school in the first light of morning. Calm, Inko and Inaho will engage Trillam while the Princess Asseylum and Rayet will be in a decoy truck. They both volunteered to be part of the plan. Asseylum is still in disguise so to them she is just a brave soul. Rayet wants revenge for her father’s death.
That morning, Inaho and his team uses smoke grenades to block out the cameras. Elsewhere Marito is ready to depart with his rescue squad, Darzana included. She’s taken an interest in Marito. With Trillam occupied Slaine tries to lend a hand, but Calm and Inko shoot him down. When they come to an impasse, Rayet does some quick driving to buy some time. But Trillam gets a lick in on the decoy truck, stopping it in it’s tracks. Then Asseylum steps up – transforming into her true appearance in front of Trillam. He’s taken aback – so much that Inaho has time to jam his mech sword into the barrier’s weakest point. It was where his mech received the camera feeds. Through his binoculars Slaine spies an alive Princess Asseylum.
The episode isn’t over just yet though, as after the ending theme, Slaine rendezvous’ with a defeated Trillam. Trillam is determined to track Asseylum down and finish her off. But before he can do anything, Slaine steals his gun and shoots him several times. It was certainly a striking way to close the episode.
Another high paced episode with plenty of well-crafted action. The pacing feels just right, ramping up into the climax of the episode and leaving us on a high note. That closing scene was the cherry on top. It also capped off an excellent episode for our two main characters.
We finally got to see a bit more of Inaho’s personality as well as his tactical abilities. His friends Calm and Inko displayed their own value, as did Asseylum and Rayet. I enjoy a show that can utilize the majority of its characters to an effective extent. Nobody feels discarded or unimportant at this stage of the game. Especially in the use of the female characters – there’s no Hana from Captain Earth here, for instance. My favorite character moment of the episode was between Inko and Inaho, as they talked about the upcoming battle and not being fearless.
Another plus is that the show is not concerned with complex techno babble, other than naming the mechs. The advantages and disadvantages of Trillam’s Kataphrakt was explained in a straightforward and believable fashion. I hope the show continues down this route.
Yes, I’m definitely going to keep watching. The show does a really good job at drawing me into it through the action and the character development. It doesn’t feel overstuffed, nor does it drag. Looking forward to the next episodes!