Aldnoah Zero – Season One Finale (Episode 12) Review – “Childhood’s End”
As Saazbaum’s forces invaded the United Earth Base, Princess Asseylum came to the realization that her life was meaningless to the Vers Empire. She decided to work with Inaho to shut down Saazbaum’s landing castle by deactivating its Aldnoah core. Inaho drew up a plan – but not everything went to plan, as the Deucalion was shot down, with the Princess still inside of it. Slaine was stuck on “your princess is in another castle” mode the whole episode.
Marito radios Yuki, Inko and Inaho to tell them that the Deucalion crew is ok, but won’t be a factor in the rest of the battle. Yuki takes over escorting the Princess to the Aldnoah core. It’s Yuki, Inko, Inaho and Asseylum against the forces of Saazbaum. The arrival of Slaine into the fray leads to a shocking conclusion to the first season.
Let’s start with the biggest discussion maker for the season finale – the final few minutes. You could say that you were expecting death to be coming since Gen Urobuchi was attached to the show – but as it has been pointed out, Urobuchi did not create the characters or any of the plot after episode 3. The body count in the finale was obviously there just to advertise for the second season. It’s an effective measure despite that, as it has me interested in checking out what’s to come.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS! Having Slaine show up only to shoot Saazbaum and Inaho really felt like a waste of the character – yet again. He barely did anything else in the final battle, and as I have said before, was way too underused across the season. If Inaho is actually dead (I doubt it, people have survived gunshot wounds before), then I hope Slaine takes the position of the main character. But he probably won’t. Also – this is the third time that Asseylum has been killed off in 12 episodes. Seriously Takayama, make up your mind if you are going to keep her around or not. Each time you fake kill her the impact is lessened more and more.
Saazbaum felt like an afterthought in the episode to be honest. Sure he initiated the bloodbath during the climax, but otherwise he didn’t seem that much in control of the situation. He didn’t feel like he was the major obstacle that the heroes had to overcome. On a side note, he was the only character that got a transformation sequence in the whole show to this point. It’s odd that neither one of the two protagonists got one but the main villain did.
There’s been an odd theory bandied about (mostly by JesuOtaku of ANN) that Inaho and Slaine are both immortal through the power of Asseylum’s kisses, and that will be the reason why Inaho isn’t dead. Honestly, it sounds too crackpot for me to be true. Even with the issues that the show has had so far, it’s mainly stayed away from such silly plot devices. So while there are some significant flaws to Aldnoah Zero, I’ll be watching the second season when it hits in January.
Series Recommendation: Stream It (For Now)