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Aldnoah.Zero Episode #18 Anime Review

4 min read

Aldnoah.Zero Episode 18Slaine is doing okay these days.

What They Say:
The Earth forces are slowly making gains, with the aid of Inaho’s abilities they’re managing to challenge the Knights. Slaine, having now become a Count, must work his way into the favor of the 37 Clans.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Because of the cliffhanger the first season of Aldnoah.Zero left off on, it was necessary to make it seem as if Slaine was taking over as the main character in the second. But, while Inaho is of course alive and more well than ever, this season really has been progressing with Slaine getting even more focus than the obvious main character of the first season and presumably the series as a whole. It’s interesting to look at Asseylum as a symbol of the overall plot, as she’s been used as the justification for keeping the conflict going all along and it’s only because of her continued inability to communicate with those who matter in one way or another that it hasn’t ended. That extends to what the storytelling puts the most focus on; when Asseylum was with the Earth forces, that’s where the focus was, and thus Inaho was the obvious main character, and now that she’s back with the Vers Empire, even as incapacitated as she’s been so far, that’s where more focus lies despite that being the blatantly evil side, and Slaine gets to take the starring role as a result. While the series has been a bit more of a mess than it ever should’ve been since that season finale, I can definitely get behind the still much more interesting Slaine being the center of attention, especially since the screen time is much more balanced than when Inaho was the lead.

So just as the end of the last episode promised, this one pits Slaine up against yet another Count, this time in official capacity and initiated by the opposing Count, no less. It’s hardly a spoiler to imply how this ends up, and it continues the trend of Slaine’s power growing, even without him having to execute a plan himself. Even after that, though, Lemrina decides that it’s not enough, and decides to add an enormous leap in Slaine’s path of progress, almost the biggest imaginable.

How can Inaho match up at this rate? While he has advanced in rank enough to order around his elder sister (something that she reminds him he shouldn’t do anyway), but he’s not perpetually annihilating the status quo of his side like his Vers counterpart. With the skills he’s always had along with his continually more overpowered robot eye, though, there was likely never a moment that he wasn’t at least a good match for Slaine. While the bulk of the episode still deals with the Vers side, the Earth forces do get to do their fight of the week, which is a bit more exciting than that description implies. Of course it’s still Inaho that wins the fight, but with the combined efforts and specialties of all of the Earth soldiers involved, it’s still a very dynamic and exhilarating bout.

And while I’d hope that you never have to be told this, make sure you watch past the ending. We get a slick transition from the standard ending footage (something I can always get behind) and, while the events that transpire may not be as big in one way as they first seem, they’re arguably bigger in the way that could mean the most substantial impact on the rest of the series.

In Summary:
It’s more of the same in a lot of ways. We spend most of our time with the Martians, Slaine fights another Count, and the Earth forces take down another incoming Martian mecha, thanks mostly to Inaho. But beyond simply being quite proficient at these usual elements, the episode makes sure to move things forward, perhaps even more significantly than other recent installments.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
HP Envy 14.

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