Aldnoah.Zero Episode 13 Recap

We waited a good three months and I must say I’ve never been more excited. The war goes on and they’re taking it to space. Our favorite characters return with a few surprises and a whole lot of ammunition. So how did things turn out?

Four Terran kataphrakts approach a Martian castle. Both sides have difficulty fighting within the Satellite Belt. A Martian kataphrakt comes in to aid the castle. It is Sir Slaine Troyard. After a display of magnificent maneuvering skills, he easily destroys the enemy kats.

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Nina, Rayet, and Inko watch a propaganda video of Asseylum about the people of Earth, how they do not appreciate the bountiful blessings Earth provides for them. The three girls muse that it’s only natural for the princess to side with the Martians. They are drafted and are to take off for the war.

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In the ship, the crew prepares for take off. Captain Magbaredge and E.O. Misuzaki discuss their apprehensions about letting “him” fight with them and that it’s a miracle that he made it back alive.

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Slaine vanquishes a squadron of Terran Kataphrakts in the Satellite Belt. He returns to the mother ship, greeted by Count Saazbaum who praises him for his ever-growing skills and mentions that he is glad he granted Slaine the title of a knight. Saazbaum’s assistant also compliments him.

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They visit a Princess Lemrina, an incapacitated Martian princess, with Edelrittuo attending to her. Saazbaum gives her a report of the ongoing war on Earth. She speaks out about her wanting to visit Earth. She is angered when Saazbaum emphasizes her inheriting the ability awaken Aldnoah. She expresses her frustration, thinking that she’s only valued for her blood. But she forgives him, saying that she is thankful for reaching out to her. She then asks Slaine if he could tutor her about Earth.

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Just as they get on board, Inko, Nina, and Rayet are met with a red alert. A Martian kataphrakt approaches them. Nina arrives at her battle station at the bridge. Misuzaki scolds her for not wearing her uniform but the captain lets it be since it will not hinder operations, evoking once again the question on why Misuzaki can’t get a date. Magbaredge orders to launch all their kataphrakt units.

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The imminent Martian kat’s unique capability enables it to sap the molecular motion of all matter inside a field, freezing its surroundings in effect. Rayet aims to destroy it instead of just slowing it down.

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The front lines are immediately overpowered. Inko and Rayet’s rounds don’t even reach the Martian kat even when it doesn’t have a shield.

“Measuring bullet trajectory. Fall back, you two,” says a familiar voice before the two girls call defeat. It’s Inaho in his signature orange trainer kataphrakt. He launches several initial attacks to determine the circumstances of the Martian. He finds a weakness, approaches the middle of the frozen field, shooting rounds in his path. When he gets to the kat, he shoots it in the head. The pilot admits defeat and the field is set ablaze. Taking in more damage that he thought, Inaho wonders if Calm will get mad.

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In the aftermath, Inaho and the others alight their kataphrakts. He greets Inko and Rayet with a salute. Inko remarks that he hasn’t changed but Rayet disagrees. Inko then hugs him, welcoming him back.

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The episode then flashes back to the climatic events in the previous episode. Slaine finally chose a side to fight on, taking Saazbaum and Asseylum with him as he escaped the UFE headquarters nineteen months prior. Yuki arrives to find the princess gone and a barely alive Inaho. She brings him to the Deucalion to be treated but the doctor says that immediate surgery is needed. Yuki tells the captain to launch the ship. Everyone is injured and the Aldnoah Drive is offline. Clinging on to dear life, Inaho points to his chest glowing of Aldnoah Light. Yuki smears his blood on the orb, activating the ship.

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The Deucalion launches into outer space and heads for a UE base in the Satellite Belt. The crew watches another propaganda video by Asseylum containing more negative messages about the Terrans. Inko asks Inaho if he is okay with fighting her but he knows that who they are seeing in the video is not the princess.

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The one in the video is then revealed to be Princess Lemrina in a holographic disguise. After the affair, Slaine goes to a room where the real Princess Asseylum is kept recovering.

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Last season was love or hate for most people. I can’t blame them. There were some inconsistencies and repetitions in the storytelling that it didn’t seem like it would get anywhere. The ending itself was certainly out of the blue (for me anyways). But I don’t believe it could have gone another way.

I spent the last three months cursing at Slaine and Inaho. After seeing this episode, I feel at ease but still frustrated at how Slaine became useful only now. Better late than never, I guess. Go ahead and redeem yourself, Slaine. And I’m still torn between rejoicing and giving myself a facepalm upon finding out Inaho’s still alive. He could’ve died and I would’ve been fine with it. But they had to make him live for the story. I’m not at all that happy but still glad. Now that Slaine has his own kataphrakt and Inaho has a new eye (I don’t know what it’s for though), I can’t wait to see these guys battle it out.

On the bright side, this episode doesn’t lag but it’s probably because of the many things going on – the aftermath of the big UE headquarters commotion and what actually happened there. The signature per-episode-battle-with-a-Martian-kat makes an appearance and it’s less awkward unlike in the first cour. But nevertheless, the animation sequences were still excellent.

Inaho still makes analyses and it baffles me how it’s become formulaic – a seemingly overpowered enemy kataphrakt destroying all those who oppose only to have a genius with an inferior kat overpower him with his smarts.

Now that everything’s been put in perspective, I can see where Aldnoah.Zero is headed. But I learned never to trust that instinct. A lot of people gave up on this series but I’m willing to see through this to the end.

What do you think of Aldnoah.Zero‘s comeback?

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