Aldnoah.Zero Episode 1 (FIRST IMPRESSIONS) – The heavens fall

Aldnoah Zero Anime
So it begins.

Let justice be done.
Aldnoah.Zero Episode 1 Review
“Princess of Vers.”

There are some 2-cour anime that start off slow, and there are some 2-cour anime that start off with¬†giant explosions, genocide of humanity, and enormous structures falling from the heavens. Aldnoah.Zero is¬†most certainly the latter. (The anime¬†will be split-cour. This means that there’ll be a gap between episodes 12 and 13 of at least one season.)


Aldnoah.Zero Episode 1 Impressions

When that’s the first sentence of an Urobutcher created show, things are not going to end well.

Vers Allusia Asseylum cute

Would you commit mass genocide for this smile?

Count Cruhteo


Yeah well, you can shove your face up a pineapple too, asshole.

Troyard Slaine


Kaidzuka Yuki

You have to use a different method.
If you know what I mean.

They should have been prepared.



Well, shit.

You expect to face against those superior mechs with mechs that look like that? Pathetic GERO.

Kaidzuka Yuki and Marito Kouichirou



Kaidzuka Inaho firing

Oh man, another emotionless Stu incoming?!


So, how is humanity going to shove a pineapple up their asses?

Shove pineapples up their asses?…

Princess Asseylum

She’s so dead.
Oh wait.


And now how do you feel being a gero?

Aldnoah Troyard Slaine


So are you the dog or is the pineapple shoved up your ass so far that you’re soiling the carpet?




You and your fucking keikaku.
Do you need a pineapple shoved up your butt too?


Fucking gero.

Real protection.

Kaidzuka Inaho missiles


Kaidzuka Inaho autism


Amifumi Inko Craftman Calm




Not this type of character…


Ok, so I think I somehow survived with a bunch of giant craters really close to me.
What about you guys?
The writers really dislike America, don’t they?


Marito Kouichirou


Mmmmm… here it comes.



It’s time.

It has begun.



Ah, the glorious first episode of a 2-cour anime with capable staff behind it. It is often the case that these kinds of first episodes, especially when there are plenty of explanations like this one, are fun and interesting to discuss because it’s a new world, with new characters, themes, and so on. This first episode is definitely not an exception. Starting off, we have the innocent princess Vers Allusia Asseylum try to create peace between Vers and Earth.¬†But with how imperialistic Vers is, this is merely the wish of a lone princess that is drowned out by the echos of the coming conflict. Indeed, she is even killed off in this very first episode, but let’s look at this a bit more closely because, well, she was being developed quite a bit this episode, and to kill her off like that¬†seems like it would be a huge waste. One thing that’s especially strange about her assassination is how unguarded she is relative to her importance. Sure, there are a few cars, but you’d think that the Japanese government or¬†the people of Vers would add more protection to a princess like her. This is especially true for the Japanese government since if she dies, then war would erupt right then and there. Shouldn’t they bide their time and try to come up with more advanced weaponry in order to fend off the Vers?

Perhaps because of what happened to Earth fifteen years ago, Earthlings, which I’ll just call “humanity” from now on, seek vengeance. Such vengeance clouded their judgement and they decided that they were in a good enough of a position to face them. Maybe humanity has exploited some of the ancient technology¬†and really do want to face against Vers. Or they could just be incompetent. What could also be the case is that some parts of the government did this on purpose. After witnessing what happened fifteen years ago, they may have lost hope and succumbed to Vers by trading the rest of humanity for their own lives. Maybe this is why the princess was assassinated so easily. That, or the¬†Vers commander on the screen plotted to do this all along in order to wipe out humanity and seize Earth for the Vers empire. These are all possibilities, but what about the state of the princess? Is she dead or not? Well, my instincts say that she’s still alive. Why? Because she’s too important to kill off right now. I see almost no reason to have¬†one of the main characters give her a charm only for her to die in such a way. Not to mention how a fair amount of screen-time has been dedicated to her as well. I mean, the writers could think that it’d be too obvious for her to live so instead they decided to switch things up by having her actually die… That doesn’t really add anything to the show though so, at least to me, it’s a bit silly to be slightly unconventional this way. Yes, she is the catalyst for the conflict, but there’s no need for her to be treated as importantly as she is in this episode if she is only¬†a catalyst for the beginning of the conflict when another side-character could have¬†done the same with¬†much less. I suppose she could be a catalyst for Slaine to do something as well. Even then, her role seems to be more important than that. Then let’s say she does survive. How exactly? Well, at this point we’re not sure if this is a double or not or what powers she has from being a descendant of Emperor Vers who “inherited the authority of Aldnoah.” Whether Aldnoah gives the ability to pilot mechs or if they actually give special powers outside of that, we have no idea. (It’d be pretty damn awesome if the princess started piloting giant mechs.) We don’t even know whether it affects the person who inherits it or if it’s just a piece of technology one can use. If I had to guess, it’s probably both.

Then of course there is one of the most typical¬†themes, discrimination, as you’d expect from a type of show like this with warring nations of different races. We’ll probably see more of how Slaine struggles in Vers as this theme gets explored. It wouldn’t surprise me if he wanted to put Asseylum’s wishes to action, and even switch sides to fight for humanity later on in the series because he was born on Earth. On Earth, the teacher talks of war and how they’re giving children the wrong mindset. The¬†grave theme of war, the reality of it, the loss of life, the horrors of killing, the nonstop bloodshed, the burdens of fighting and the despair of facing against an impossible enemy are ideas that the show will probably tread upon soon enough. What they’re taught and what they will soon experience will be two completely different things. We’ll probably be hearing a lot of screaming, seeing a lot of chaos, and students¬†getting killed off very soon. While we’re on the topic of death and destruction, you have to wonder how humanity is even going to face the Vers empire. Their technology is far more advanced, they have Aldnoah, and their gigantic structures that impacted Earth this episode already caused great damage in many important places of the world. It seems that they’d just be eradicated very quickly unless the princess or some other people from Vers come to their aid, or if they somehow have decent weaponry that was developed in the past fifteen years. It’ll be interesting seeing how humanity even puts up a fight.

Aldnoah.Zero Episode 1 Review

Well, that was quite an explosive episode. I expected this one to be kind of slow, but that nuclear bomb-like explosion at the end sure moved things along very nicely. So far, I’m very satisfied with how things turned out since I usually don’t expect much from the first episode of a 2-cour anime. We get some nice explanations of the situation with Vers without it being dragged out as those explanations are executed properly, the fundamental themes of the show are touched upon, and the serious tone of the show is set up immediately. Back when I did the summer preview, I said that I really wanted to see a more serious mecha anime like Gundam 00, and this episode is very much living up to those hopes.¬†The genocide at the end really sealed the deal. With Hiroyuki’s soundtrack playing in the background as the the climax of the episode occurred, I couldn’t help but feel excited for what’s to come. (Dat Kalafina as well.) Now, exactly what else do I hope to see from this anime now that we’ve seen the first episode? Well, firstly, I don’t really want to see “MUH MECH IS BETTER THAN YOURS SO I CAN DEMOLISH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE WITHOUT MUCH OF AN ISSUE.” C-C-Can we just have some tactics for once? Please? Basic tactics even? Logistics, and proper teamwork would very much be welcome. Secondly, strong characters.¬†Some of Urobutcher’s works have really been missing this point, but I wouldn’t worry that much right now since Aoki Ei and Takayama Katsuhiko are in this too. Thirdly, tackling the more serious themes in meaningful ways. I don’t mind¬†if the characters portray angst, but too much angst is never pleasant to see. The key is for them to show instead of tell. While the part where the teacher is talking in the bar serves as a nice introduction to what we will see in the future, I hope it relies less solely on dialogue. I obviously have more concerns, but the rest of the important parts that constitute an anime like this will show themselves in time, so it’s more fitting to talk about the delivery of such things when they actually occur rather than vainly guess randomly.¬†My initial thoughts were that this anime holds great promise, and this premiere only strengthens this thought. This could be quite a ride.¬†Let justice be done. Though the heavens fall.

Aldnoah Zero Wallpaper

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  • Irenesharda

    Wow, I really loved this. There were some usual mecha tropes such as Princess Pacifist and the blond Char-clone, and it looks like even a version of Zeon showed up as well, but other than that, this was a really nice breath of fresh air.

    We have two main characters, one who has heart but is pretty much enslaved to the Vers yet is in love with the Princess. Slaine seems like a nice, strong, smart guy and you both like him and feel sorry for him which is great for a main character.

    As for Nao, i really like him too despite his dispassion for pretty much everything and his over analytic mind. Both Nao and Slaine seem a little over analytic, but Slaine shows a lot more emotions than his Japanese co-MC.

    As for the plot we have Mars that is made up of people of Earth as well as a group called the Vers who used to be human eons ago but are pretty much aliens now. And the Vers Empire is at war with the Earth because Vers wants to take over the Earth? However their war cause the space bridge to be destroyed and thus the moon to break into pieces. I like how here they acknowledge the world-wide devastation the destruction of the moon would cause. And yet, I do question who the Japan still exists anymore considering the changes in the waters and the changes that would have to the geographic masses considering Japan already has tons of problems with earthquakes and tsunamis as it is. And, I’m sorry, but I think New Orleans too would have a bit of a problem, but that place has pretty much been blown to bits by the end of this, so I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

    I like the supporting characters of the schoolmates, the elder sister, and the lieutenant. The attack on Princess Pacifist was rather obvious and telegraphed, including the fact that it would be her own people who were the cause. However, we all know she isn’t dead so we’ll just have to wait and see when she pops up again. All the other counts are basically going to be fighting for the throne while using the Earth as a battleground. Neither MC has gotten their own mech yet (which is surprising and refreshing for a mech show) but it’s only a matter of time.

    This had all the spectacle and freshness than Argevollen didn’t and I’m excited for what is to come. The music is excellent, the visuals are awesome, and the story looks good so far. I’m liking this all around.

    Also, really Japan? The moon gets destroyed, causing massive destruction and literally changing the shape of the Earth, and somehow your little archipelago that has some of the worst geographical risk on the planet, is somehow still in one piece? I think my city is gone, I’m trying to see the Great Lakes on that map, but I either barely made it, or my city is underwater.

    • Entrav

      Yeah, you see that small piece of land with gigantic craters on the western side of North America? I survived. I think. Haha.


      • ovrwrldkiler

        I was thinking that because of the holes in the continents mabye the oceans water level went down because its filling in the massive holes now? Dunno if it is possible but just a thought.

  • The Atomic Dwarf

    Such an amazing episode! They pulled a Franz Ferdinand and then nuked big population centers. And that soundtrack! Well done!

    ” I see almost no reason to have one of the main characters give her a charm only for her to die in such a way.” INB4 the writers admit they’ve been watching Game of Thrones and admire GRRM’s work. Still, it’s an old trick, where if they don’t show the face, that character is most likely still alive. Urobutcher always had a character which represented the naivety of mankind (think Madoka, Saber in Fate/Zero) only to have it’s innocence destroyed.

    I’m really hoping this anime will be a deconstruction of the classic Highschool Boy Rides a Gundam and Saves the World genre. Valvrave did it’s part and maybe Aldonah will go into more details. Maybe they’ll have most of the human Gundam army be utterly destroyed in the opening scenes of the war with our main cast being completely useless. That would be a more real interpretation of the technology gap and inexperience of teenage pilots. Also, like you said tactics and teamwork play a role. Against such a powerful foe, standard war strategies don’t apply. Guerilla tacitcs, cutting supply lines, infiltration, that’s what i want to see.

    Having a Japan which is still intact as well as most of the eastern coast of Asia makes no sense. You don’t need to know much geography to realize that half of the east coast of China as well as Korea and Japan should have been flooded. I also noticed a recurring theme in some anime, where they destroy Brazil (think of Heaven’s Gate in Darker than Black). No point talking about US since cataclysms are being shown even in Call of Duty now.

    On a side note, couldn’t help but google/urban dictionary that pineapple reference…. DEAR GOD!

    • MgMaster

      “I’m really hoping this anime will be a deconstruction of the classic Highschool Boy Rides a Gundam and Saves the World genre. Valvrave did it’s part and maybe Aldonah will go into more details. Maybe they’ll have most of the human Gundam army be utterly destroyed in the opening scenes of the war with our main cast being completely useless. That would be a more real interpretation of the technology gap and inexperience of teenage pilots. Also, like you said tactics and teamwork play a role. Against such a powerful foe, regular war strategies don’t apply. Guerilla tacitcs, cutting supply lines, infiltration, that’s what i want to see.”

      Don’t we all…(and whoever doesn’t want that should!) Although I’m expecting this show to focus more on the political & moral side rather than the tactical one. The former seem’s closer to Gen’s comfort zone,which is by no means a problem.

    • Entrav

      Well, I mean, even GRRM doesn’t kill the main characters without giving them some significance. This episode basically killed her right away which doesn’t even happen in GoT. I know she’ll probably die eventually, but this is just too soon.

      We’ll have to wait and see how they bridge the technological gap. I wouldn’t mind if Earth has a prototype that can match up against a single other machine on the other side. I just don’t want the technology to be vastly superior. That just wouldn’t make sense.


      Oh, and that pineapple thing I just made up randomly. >.> That’s what I do with a lot of what I write in the captions. I write whatever I feel like writing.

  • MgMaster


    The first thing I do when watching a new mecha anime is to look for any vehicle,ship or anything else that could contain an overpowered mech. The 2nd is the annoying hot-headed protagonist that will stumble upon it and will become it’s master or something. When the episode ended,I had this sigh of relief that there was none of that and it doesn’t look like there’s gonna be either.

    • Entrav

      INB4 we’re going to get a cool-headed protagonist that will stumble upon it and become its master.

      • MgMaster

        I’d still give it credit for at least not doing it in the 1st episode…

  • Yatogami

    This show has pretty much already sold me with the soundtrack (but thats to be expected from the guy who did Shingeki no Kyojin and Kill La Kill) but I’ll need a little more before I’m full on in love with this. I’m glad that I am not the only one who picked up the fact that the main character probably should have been a little more emotional seeing a freaking missile flying toward that convoy, I mean i know hes the emotionless type but still. Overall it gave a good first impression so I’m satisfied, this and SAO II look like theyll carry the summer hard not that they really needed to. (p.s. also looking forward to seeing what they do with Akame Ga Kill and Tokyo Ghoul (<- impressive so far)

    • Entrav

      Can’t wait for Zankyou no Terror next week.

      • Yatogami

        Ah I thought no one had gotten around to uploading that yet. That should also be pretty good. I know some people were taking exception to it because of the “9/11” like themes in it

  • Ian Anthony

    That comment on the children wishing on the “falling stars” was so ironic, I had to applaud that level of cruelty. So far, I loved the soundtrack in the end, Kalafina always makes things awesome, I doubt they’d kill the princess early one. It would be wise to put the death on the side of your mind and hope she’s alive and if not well.. urobutcher that.

    • Entrav

      Some people found the “falling stars” part to be pretty funny because it’s so ironic. Can’t blame them.

  • Alexandre Charron-trudel

    hmm. being a history major, this episode had some rather obvious tropes to it, and some major plotholes.

    First is that its seems that 42 years–enough for two generations, admittedly–is a pretty short time to develop the obvious contempt shown by martian nobility to ordinary humans living on earth. To me, that kind of contempt needs to be there from day one. As in, the emmigrants to mars had the explicit objective of independence, absolute monarchy, and a caste-based religion. There are opportunists everywhere–and the martian nobility reek of them–but even this takes time. Nevertheless, that’s what religion does to you. Thus, the first theme: religious and cultural intolerance.

    However the time line strikes me as especially strange because the picture of earth after heaven’s fall is quite accurate, if overstated with nary an understanding for geography and geology; half the U.S is gone: Colorado (at 5000+ feet above sea-level) (where i live), the dakotas, kansas, kentucky, and much of what should be the central U.S and southern Canada are now beachfront property because the map of North America looks like someone took a huge cookie-cutter to it at both sides. Mysteriously, New Orleans, the city which is famously technically below sea-level, remains unharmed. India and Pakistan are simply gone, as is Ireland. The sole of Italy’s boot is now underwater.

    The mapping, it would seem, has been prioritized with removing most major military might from the Earth, though Russia and the PRC are both intact. But this is entirely the point; Earth (now under the aegis of the U.N, it would seem) has invested much of its capital in trying to rebuild, and this is obvious from the fact that the students piloting the new mecha receive minimal training at best.

    So this brings me to the second theme, which is the horror of war; you have the grizzled soldier describing what the war did, and then you have the assassination of the princess, which is the overarching arc of this episode. This is the setup, the calm before the storm–for the martians, any excuse would have done, and their nonchalance at descending to earth suggests that all this was planned and that they have nothing to fear. It isn’t about getting revenge; it’s about purging any threat to their dominance, about vindicating their hatred, about simply removing the trash; no opportunity was given for negotiation (thus the false flag operation against the princess herself). The martians reasons for war are simply lust for power and greed; they can’t get home, so they’re going to carve out their rule by force. Expect the next episode to be filled with images of the various militaries of earth being simply annihilated, and the new mecha being able to put up scant resistance.

    • The Atomic Dwarf

      The map isn’t 100% accurate. Where is the Black Sea? Unlike the Caspian Sea, it is connected to the world ocean so I wouldn’t expect it to magically evaporate. Europe’s dependence on resources from the Middle East and Russia would mean it might be on a decline, but still I feel like the authors completely ignored the continent and mostly focused on East Asia and the Americas.

    • Entrav

      It is indeed unrealistic for them to have such hatred towards earthlings in such a short period of time. Nevertheless, I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt to let it explain itself later on.

  • Lim Cheng Yi

    totally called it when i was watching this, i had a feeling that the princess would be killed? Why? Because she is a symbol of hope, and what does urobuchi do with hope? The usual stuff, cut it into tiny slice and shred it once more..

    • Entrav

      I still think it’s too soon. There was really not that much hope in the first place. If they really want despair, then they’d build up hope and then crush it and not just crush it right from the beginning.

      • Lim Cheng Yi

        well, she is the first and will be the last person who is willing to compromise between both worlds, so to me, that was it. The rest of the martians on the other hand, seems to be looking for a reason to invade.. and now they have it.

        Perhaps, they would say haha, that was actually a clone of princess and that the princess was actually hidden away, but until then, i would just treat it as the princess was killed to spark off this massacre

      • EvilNemesis

        She’s either alive and will live in flashback and memories for all martians to destroy the terran scums. Or…
        She’s alive and she falls in love with eggmc-kun because muh MC swag.

        In both cases Slaine AKA L-elf V2.0 is going to go ham.

        I only see suffering for poor Slaine-kun.

        Also… character designs by Takoko Shimura. While watching this it’s like I was seeing all the characters from Aoi Hana / Hourou Musuko come to life before my very eyes. It was a bit unsettling for me.

        Yuki in particular, I can’t remember which character she was in her manga but she’s literally 99.5% similar to this character design in this anime.

        Best girl is that purple haired cake woman, I’ll join her side and let her dominate me anytime.

        • Entrav

          Man, if you love being dominated then you’ll need to watch Akame ga Kill because later on… a certain sadistic general will enter the fray.

          • EvilNemesis

            > Implying I’m not already waiting for the raw on the 22nd(?) where shit truly hits the fan.

            Plus her domination isn’t that exciting to me, she’s powerful for sure but she’s a bit crazy, would not serve and be her slave. She lack what a real mature woman has.

            Speaking of watching AgK, this might be one of the very few seasons where I watch Shonen/seinen battle manga since I have time… There isn’t really that much to watch for me. Usually I don’t watch them because I already read them, but this might be an exception.

    • Matthew Erik Simpson

      I think she’s still alive. Pay attention–the missile doesn’t explode on impact, like it did with the vehicles. While I initially thought it was a double, I think it was actually her–but she has some sort ability or force field? Who knows. We’ll find out next week.
      Besides, if they were gonna kill her off right there, why not show her face? It would’ve been more poignant and soul-crushing if they had.

  • niknasr

    As one would expect from one of the hype show of this season, that was quite an ‘explosive’ opening episode.. Now, I’m totally hype for this..

    • Entrav


  • Truna



    (I’m high off this episode, if you can’t tell.)

  • QWERTYFish25

    I get some strong valvravpe vibes from this show. Not saying I don’t mind it but let’s hope it doesn’t become such a train wreck.

  • Alexandre Charron-trudel

    just saw episode 2. well, it was exactly as i predicted; a slaughter. curbstomp battle doesn’t even begin to describe it; the Terran forces throw everything short of nukes at the Martians and nothing makes so much as a scratch because the martians have magic force-fields. makes you wonder just how it was that earth managed to fend of the martians the first time. Oh, and most definite false-flag attack.

  • gustave154

    AMAZING EPISODE!!! Urobutcher finally doing what he does best…
    Fiat justitia ruat caelum indeed

  • mARCOS

    You want some old-fashioned Urobutcher “crushing-hope and bringing despair to everyones heart” moment?
    In the end of the third episode it will be revealed that the princess knew that the other Vers Knights were planning on killing her. She will be showed on a tv speaking to the “resistance”. Once on a while you will see the place from where she is broadcasting the message. At the end of the first half of the season the heroes (possibly Slaine and “autistic missil radar” boy) will reach to that place to celebrate with the princess that the 12 knights were defeated. And that¬īs the moment.
    The princess will be either dead and being controlled with some machine, mind controlled. Or we will find out that Aldnoah is something sentient and self-aware that wants everyone dead, Vers empire and humanity as well.
    Just a nice tought.

  • ddab

    ugh… this anime is painfull to watch

    so far all the teran mooks except the MC have been totaly usless, as in “stormtrooper effect cranked up to 11” level of uslessness… and noone seems to give a shit that they are all dieing so they can not even be classed as redshirts

  • no_name_is_needed

    (I have autism si u am angry/excited/sad/amused)

  • Killsqu8d

    Pretty cool anime. I watched the first episode