The lost child finally brought under control. The second half is definitely inferior to the first season in almost every possible point, but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t enjoy it just as much. The ending here was rather quick, but I think it did a fine enough job of resolving the main issue between Vers and Earth on a very very superficial level. If you take this second season seriously enough though you’d have an aneurysm just thinking about it due to the pointlessness of it all. Plot lines thrown away, secondary characters neglected, and any character relationships *cough* Inaho and Princess Asseylum *cough* just completely forgotten. For me Aldnoah Zero’s 2nd season was a definition of a “fun ride” but for others it’s easy to see it as a crash and burn.
Your enjoyment of Aldnoah Zero is going to heavily depend on whether you like Inaho or not, and I’m all aboard the Inaho hype train. This kid is a refreshing breath of air in a sea of weak push over male protagonists that infest the mecha genre. Inaho is not groundbreaking by any means, but his get shit done attitude just appealed to me every week as he outwits and outsmarts the smug Martian Knights continually.
The rest of the characters are fairly weak, the bumbling princess is quite useless and Slaine is just a sore in many ways. Lieutenant Marito’s PTSD sub plot gets shoved down our throats a bit too much, and the overarching antagonist’s motivation sadly dwindles down to a very shoddy revenge plot due to love and other fluffy stuff that we are so far removed from to even care about.
Despite its flaws though, Aldnoah Zero is just fun to watch with a huge grin on my face every week. Fuck this ending though. Fuck it to all hell. Until Season 2!
Another steadily develops an intriguing hook and runs with it to the show’s satisfying conclusion. Caught in the middle of it are Kouichi and Mei, two students who are quickly shunned by the rest of their peers as the mystery of their Class 3 slowly unravel. The two play well-off against each other’s contrasting personalities and luckily Mei didn’t turn out as mute as I had thought her to be. She slowly becomes my favorite character of the show. Another does a good job of allowing plenty of time for character development between Mei and Kouichi, and with its efforts in character building, Another is just as good when it comes to unfolding its story.
It’s not until the last episodes does Another almost decide to forgo what it had been doing so well and almost jeopardize everything it had created. From mood to pacing, Another had firmly established its characters and its mystery as dark and foreboding. It was slow and calculated, peeling off the layers to its story bit by bit and revealing what it needed to of the central mystery. With an ever-growing sense of tension and tragedy surrounding the class, the last episodes managed to shove the set standard to the corner in favor of a more traditional bat crazy Japanese scare and violence flick.
In retrospect the shift in urgency and what happens to Kouichi, Mei, and the rest of their classmates in the last episodes weren’t really needed. The misfortunes of the students were almost comical and insulting on how dumb things were becoming. By means the story itself was still intact and setting up for a good finish, so it wasn’t a horrendous end or anything. It was everything surrounding the events leading to the end I really could have done without. An alternative would have been nice, but since it was all in the book I suppose I have to respect the author’s vision. However, I still do think we could have arrived at the conclusion in a smarter way.
As for the ending, I enjoyed it. I’m not overtly analytical when I’m watching any show. I just sit back and let it all soak in. I understand what I can and fill in the rest from online sources after the fact. To me the big revelation definitely caught me off guard, so as mystery anime go, Another kept me guessing and entertained to the end.