Aldnoah.Zero is like my college life: it began full of hope and thunder, but slowly and surely descended into the depths of depraved mediocrity. A simple premise of aliens invading earth, taken to its very extreme in terms of urgency and despair, coupled with spectacular animation and well-designed mecha, seems to be the perfect match for Urobochi Gen’s considerable skill. But then the Main Man left the team and lesser writers took over, leading the show into an inevitable downward spiral.
The fights became monotonous and repetitive, the timing became uninspiring, the story became clichéd, the characters went from grimly determined to flat and hopeless overpowered. Any sense danger that Gen have built up was thrown out the window as the main character, Inaho, duly tackles each incoming difficulty with overt ease, so much that it leaves very little room for tension. While there are various enjoyable, overpowered main characters, such as Lelouch of Geass and [ ] from No Game, No Life [Citation Needed], there are far more that fail to deliver, as in the likes of Kamina of Gurren Lagann (I can feel the butthurt radiating through my screen already), Kirito of SAO and Tatsuya THOU SHALT NOT INSULT OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR TATSUYA THE MAHOUKAMAN. While I still have a sense of partiality to Inaho’s cold, uncompassionate coolness, he is distinctly leaning towards the latter group.
The show still has a little to its name. The animation budget hasn’t dropped to Tokyo ESP levels yet (more on that later), the opening and ending songs are great as usual, and the scale of the conflict previously set up by Gen still offers some backbone to the series.
There are rumours that the show is split cour, and it may have another season of episodes to either redeem itself, or most unfortunately, descend further into inferiority.
Expected Ranking: 5/10
…This is going to be a looong two weeks.