Aldnoah finale, Zankyou 10, Glasslip 12

Aldnoah Zero 12 … whoa, what a mess.

Touchdown!
Touchdown!

Let’s see … (Spoilers) Slaine manages, after being shot at a few times, to board a Vers craft he shouldn’t be able to operate, but it comes to life and off he goes to find the Princess. Meanwhile, Inaho dukes it out with Saazbaum, who, in a ridiculously long procedure, powers up his craft so it has most of all the nasty tricks the previous bad guy mecha had, though the arms aren’t as ridiculous as that woman’s craft. Of course, Inaho had defeated most of those machines already, so with some speed and guile he manages to pretty much wreck Saazbaum’s craft. Slaine then slams into him, for reasons I can’t understand, but it gives Asseylum just enough time to get to the glowing thing and shut down the Aldnoah Drive. Whereupon Saazbaum, not dead yet, shoots her. So Slaine shoots him. The mortally wounded Inaho crawls toward the probably dead Asseylum, but Slaine shoots him too. Fade to black and a voice-over saying that the good guys won, but Asseylum’s whereabouts aren’t known, and then there’s an announcement for season two.

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Let’s start with Slaine, like, where is his mind? I can understand him shooting Saazbaum, since the asshole had killed his love and he was possibly responsible for that, but killing Inaho made no sense at all unless he didn’t want to see him sully the princess, though I wonder if, since he had seen Asseylum treat Inaho like she had once treated him, he was simply jealous. But why did he attack Inaho in the first place? Did he consider him a threat to Asseylum? Maybe he thought Inaho’s cynical views of the war to be a threat to her more high-minded goals? Or he had no beliefs or cares apart from the princess.

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The first half of the episode was all fighting, though half the protagonists were too wounded to do so. For those remaining, we had to squint through the snowstorm to figure out what was going on, and then the battle switched to different parts and we weren’t sure how they fit together as a whole, especially with Slaine acting as a wild card. As I said, a mess, with a nasty, violent ending that suggested that the main theme of the series was “War is bad and everyone dies,” except there’s another season coming up. What story are they going to tell next time? Who’s left to tell it? Slaine, Asseylum, Inaho’s sister, the drunk guy, maybe that’s it. It will be interesting to see, if I choose to see it. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll watch it.

Zankyou no Terror 10 is a little messy too, but at least we know what everyone’s up to.

Why not?  Shibazaki must be used to sociopaths by now.
Why not? He heard more of the same last week.

I thought we were going to have another long, intense scene between Shibazaki and a bureaucratic monster, but the one with Mamiya is brief and used only to clarify the situation and give Shibazaki a moment to confront the man who destroyed his career. Mamiya’s argument that Japan has a loser mentality and he was going to change that isn’t the first I’ve heard this argument, and it’s just the excuse another sociopath has for harming people. I wonder if he’s aware of the atomic bomb that the government is building in secret. Would he be proud of that? Never mind, we, and Shibazaki, move on.

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The Americans certainly ARE interested in this atomic bomb, and it’s the reason why Five and her assistant were sent there, well, so they think. As we have already figured out, Five has her own motives and is using the apparatus to reach it, no matter how many people she killed. The assistant, not a very nice man himself, is so appalled that he tries to take her off the case. And once again I’m reminded that so far the terrorists haven’t actually killed anyone. It’s been the Americans butting in and doing that, well, technically, it’s Five. In the oddest scene of the episode, she reaches him, says she can’t beat him, and kills herself. I frankly have no idea why she did that.

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But there’s a good buildup to that bewildering moment, though I thought Five’s group disrupted the motorcade rather easily. Twelve, convinced by Lisa to help Nine, works as the wild card here and gets Nine a reprieve from meeting Five. But it’s all moot because that bomb’s floating in the air now. Did he mean to launch it, or was it automatically triggered when the conference was canceled? That is to say, did he intend to launch that bomb and kill a lot of innocent people when he and Twelve haven’t killed anyone else before? If so, I’m disappointed. Twelve has always had a humane side to him, but Nine’s only point of sympathy was his non-fatal, if not non-violent means of getting what he wants.

Kakeru introduces the new girl, Touko, to Yanagi, Sachi, Hiro ... hey, wait a minute!
Kakeru introduces the new girl, Touko, to Yanagi, Sachi, Hiro … hey, wait a minute!

Meanwhile, Glasslip 12 decided we weren’t confused enough. Well, I for one was confused because I had forgotten how the last episode ended, at Miwako’s private recital, where Touko notices that it’s snowing in summer again. Even so, anyone would be taken by surprise by a winter scene where Touko moves into town for the first time, meets Kakeru (a happily-settled resident) and his friends, Yanagi, Yukinari, Hiro, and Sachi. Adding to the weirdness is the show’s same, overall cheerful tone, jumping from one character or couple to another, just like every other episode, the only difference being that it’s winter.

Oh what a giveaway!
Oh what a giveaway!

There is the occasional moment where we see through the illusion, such as when Kakeru invites Touko up to the museum balcony and whoosh, they’re there already. But the real cracks in the glass come later, when Touko sees Yukinari and Yanagi and greets them, but they don’t know who she is. Also, the group have assembled to watch the winter fireworks exhibition, but they’re also watching in other places. Finally, there’s Kakeru, who not only recognizes her but knows that they’re in an illusion cast in her mind. And it all came back to me. The glass vase, the piano music, the fragments came together to make … something that they’re not explaining to us. Unless, maybe, all this was Touko’s experiencing what Kakeru feels whenever he moves to another town. She has her explanation, that they don’t recognize her during the fireworks because she had shared unforgettable time with them. Not sure I buy that, but the show is leaning in that direction. Maybe the creators will deign to tell us next week.

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