Aldnoah.Zero Vol. 1 Limited Edition (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 1, 2015 by Dennis Amith
As the first six episodes are no doubt thrilling, smart and exciting, I look forward to see how the story for “Aldnoah.Zero” progresses overtime! So, if you love deep, well-written and exciting mecha sci-fi, then definitely give “Aldnoah.Zero” vol. 1 a try! Recommended!
Images courtesy of © 2014 Olympia Knights/Aniplex, Project AZ. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Aldnoah.Zero Vol. 1 Limited Edition
YEAR OF SERIES RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 1-6 (150 Minutes)
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese and English Linear PCM Stereo 2.0, English Subtitles
COMPANY: Aniplex Inc.
RATED: Suggested 13 and Up
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Original Created by Gen Urobuchi
Directed by Ei Aoki
Series Composition by Katsuhiko Takayama
Music by Hiroyuki Sawano
Character Design by Masaki Matsumoto
Art Director by Akira Ito
Anime Production by A-1 Pictures, TROYCA
Featuring the voices of:
Kensho Ono/Zach Aguilar as Slaine Troyard
Natsuki Hanae/Max Mittelman as Inaho Kaiduka
Sora Amamiya/Erika Harlacher as Asseylum Vers Allusia
Ai Kakuma/Christine Marie Cabanos as Nina Klein
Ai Kayano/Julie Anne Taylor as Darzana Magbaredge
Hiroki Yasumoto/Patrick Seitz as Vlad
Inori Minase/Sandy Fox as Eddelrittuo
Kazuya Nakai/Matthew Mercer as Koichiro Marito
Kengo Kawanishi/Kyle McCarley as Kisaki Matsuribi
Kousuke Toriumi/Ethan Murray as Soma Yagarai
Makoto Furukawa/Alan Lee as Shigou Kakei
Mikako Komatsu/Erica Mendez as Inko Amifumi
Sachika Misawa/Cristina Vee as Rayet Areash
Sayaka Ohara/Erica Lindbeck as Yuki Kaiduka
Shinji Ogawa/Geoffrey Chalmers as Rayregalia Vers Rayvers
Sho Hayami/Lex Lang as Cruhteo
Sōma Saitō/Lucien Dodge as Yuutarou Tsumugi
Taishi Murata/Bryce Papenbrook as Calm Craftman
Takahiro Sakurai /Todd Haberkorn as Trillam
Toru Ohkawa as Saazbaum
Yoshitaka Yamaya/Bobby Thong as Okisuke “Okojo” Mikuni
Yu Shimamura/Trina Loo as Kaoru Mizusaki
Yuki Kaida/Carrie Kernanen as Femieanne
Fifteen years have passed since the hypergate collapsed on the moon’s surface – a catastrophe known as the Heaven’s Fall. The war between Earth and the VERS Empire of Mars is now in a cease-fire.
The VERS’ Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia descends upon Earth as an ambassador hoping to encourage reconciliation while some citizens are not willing to compromise. Inaho Kaizuka, a Terran high school student… and Slaine Troyard, who swears his allegiance to Princess Assylum… Their fates cross as both societies watch in horror as a missile crashes on Asseylum’s motorcade. This incident marks the beginning of a new war.
From Gen Urobuchi, the creator of “Fate/Zero”, “Phantom – The Animation” and writer for “Psycho-Pass” and “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”, comes the 2014 sci-fi anime series titled “ALDNOAH.ZERO”.
Featuring anime production from A-1 Pictures and TROYCA, the series is directed by Ei Aoki (“Fate/Zero”, “Ga-Rei Zero”, “Girls Bravo”), screenplay by Katsuhiko Takayama (“Cat Planet Cuties”, “Baka and Test – Summon the Beats”, “ef: a tale of melodies”, “Stratos 4”), music by Hiroyuki Sawano (“Blue Exorcist”, “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings”, “Attack on Titan”), character designs by Masako Matsumoto and art direction by Akira Ito (“AKB0048”, “Baccano!”, “Durara!!”, “Elfen Lied”).
The 24-episode anime series debuted back in July 2014 and ended in March 2015. And now the anime series will be released on Blu-ray in July 2015 courtesy of Aniplex Inc.
“Aldnoah.Zero” Vol. 1 sets up the story of how Earth was attacked by the Vers Empire.
Back in 1972, an ancient alien hypergate was discovered on the moon and humans have used this technology to migrate to Mars and begin colonizing the planet. The settlers on Mars discovered new advanced technology and would create the Vers Empire and later claim the planet Mars and the advanced technology as their own. The Vers Empire look at them as elite and evolved versions of humanity and are prejudice against the Terrans (Earth-born humans).
The Vers Empire would declare war on Earth and in 1999, the hypergate on the Moon was destroyed but in the process, shattering the Moon leaving debris floating around the planet Earth.
This would lead to a cease fire for nearly 15 years until the Vers Empire would once again launch a new attack in order to conquer Earth.
We are introduced to Inaho Kaizuki, a pilot in training, who lives in the city of Shinawara with his sister Yuki, a Kataphrakt pilot for the Earth’s military.
One day when Inaho and friends go to see the arrival of Asseylum Vers, the Princess of Vers, terrorists attack and it is assumed that the Princess was killed. In retaliation, the Martian Vers Orbital Knights do a full assault on Earth and destroying a number of major cities.
While holed up in school, Inaho and his friends decide to fight against the Vers.
“Aldnoah.Zero” consists of the following main characters:
- Inaho Kaizuka – A pilot in training living on Earth and the top of his class. He lives with his older sister, Yuki and is often stoic and showing no emotion. He is good with coming up with strategies to fight against the Martian Knights.
- Slaine Troyard – A Terran (Earth-born human) who is a slave to the Versian County Cruhteno and the nemesis of Inaho. He is close to Princess Asseylum and is responsible for saving her. He is very loyal to the Princess.
- Asseylum Vers Allusia – The First Princess of the Vers Empire and is close to Slaine. She is curious about Earth and unlike the Vers Empires, she has no ill feelings towards the Terrans.
- Inko Amifumi – Inaho’s childhood friend and classmate. She is a member of the Student Council Committee and has feelings towards Inaho.
- Rayet Areash – A Martian girl living on Earth. She and her friends are responsible for the assassination attempt on Princess Asseylum, in exchange for the promise of extraction back to Mars and knighthood under the Vers Empire.
- Eddelrittuo – A young Martian girl who serves Princess Asseylum as her maid.
- Cruhteo – A Count of the Vers Empire and one of the Martian Knights who often abuses Slaine.
- Saazbaum – A County ofthe Vers Empire, one of the Martian Knights and one desperately wanting a war between Mars and Earth.
- Yuki Kaizuka – Older sister of Inaho and a Warrant Officer in the United Forces of Earth. She can pilot a Kataphract and often worries about her younger brother.
- Koichiro Marito – A Lieutenant in the United Forces of Earth. He is a training instructor at Inaho’s high school. A veteran of the War of 1999 and suffers PTSD due to the war, he is fearful of the power of Aldnoah, having witnessed it first hand. He also is aware that the governments of Earth has not publicized any information about what happened 15 years ago.
“Aldnoah.Zero Vol. 1” is presented in 1080p High Definition. One of the first things you will notice is how detailed backgrounds are and also mechanical designs. As a sci-fi series, the futuristic settings are gorgeously painted, the mecha are welldesigned and as for character designs, while line art is simple, but shaded, it’s the backgrounds and environments that helps boost the overall presentation of the anime series.
But overall anime production from A-1 Pictures is very good and I didn’t notice any banding issues or artifacts.
“Aldnoah.Zero” is presented only with a Japanese and English Linear PCM Stereo 2.0 soundtrack.Both Japanese and English soundtracks are well-acted and with that being said, dialogue and music is crystal clear through the front channels.
“Aldnoah.Zero Vol. 1” comes with the following special features:
- Textless Opening for “Heavenly blue”
- Trailers – Featuring two trailers for “Aldnoah.Zero”
- Commercials – Featuring six commercials for “Aldnoah.Zero”
- Count to A/Z – (23:43) A featurette about the making of “Aldnoah.Zero” and featuring interviews with the staff.
“Aldnoah.Zero Vol. 1” comes with a slipcase, a 36-page booklet titled “ALDNOAH.ZERO x TAKAKO SHIMURA ‘CHARACTER ARCHIVES'” (featuring character information and sketches) and two collectible pin-up postcards.
For sci-fi and mecha fans, every few years, there is an always an anime series that captivates you because of its deep storyline, high attention to mecha, its characters and typically revolving around some sort of war.
While the concept is quite banal in Japanese animation, what’s more important is how the story sticks out, while others await for an anime series that can deliver in serious plots and battles in comparison to anime classic “Mobile Suit Gundam” or “Neon Genesis Evangelion”.
While “Aldnoah.Zero” has elements that people have seen before, in some ways, the anime series feels as if it was inspired by classic “Mobile Suit Gundam” and the sci-fi series “Stargate”.
While I don’t want to spoil the anime series for those interested in watching the first volume which includes the first six episodes, the story does show parallel lives of one living in Mars and despised by the Martian inhabitants because he is Terran (an Earth-born human), while we get to see another side of a Martian in Earth, with the perspective of the Princess.
Of course, the early episodes is more about introducing us to the war and the history between Earth and Mars, the Vers Empire and its main protagonists and antagonists, but trying to show how war was inevitable and how far others would go to see both planets break the peace treaty and fight.
As for the Blu-ray release, A-1 Pictures has done a great job in providing a series with gorgeous art backgrounds and mechanical design. Picture quality is very good via HD and the lossless audio soundtrack is stereo but dialogue and sound effects are crystal clear, as with its captivating musical score. Both Japanese and English soundtracks sound great and voice talents on both ends are well-done! Also, included on the Blu-ray are several special features including a “making-of” with interviews with the Japanese staff of the series.
As for extras, you get an awesome “ALDNOAH ZERO x TAKAKO SHIMURA “CHARACTER ARCHIVES” booklet plus two pin-up postcards.
Overall, as the first six episodes are no doubt thrilling, smart and exciting, I look forward to see how the story for “Aldnoah.Zero” progresses overtime! So, if you love deep, well-written and exciting mecha sci-fi, then definitely give “Aldnoah.Zero” vol. 1 a try! Recommended!
J!-ENT has not received any compensation from the company for this post. J!-ENT has no material connection to the brands, products, or services that are mentioned in this post.
For Product Reviews:
For product reviews, J!-ENT has purchased the above product for review purposes or may have received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free by the company which in no way affects our reviews, may it be positive or negative. We only recommend products or services we have tested/reviewed and believe will be good for our readers.
Some of the links in our posts are "affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, J!-ENT will receive an affiliate commission.
J!-ENT is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”