Aldnoah.Zero leaves two major setup-points dangling in its premiere. The first is the question of what Aldnoah really is, and for now I’m not going to touch this, and assume very simply, that it is an energy source of some kind, plus-minus lots of other, useful knowledge. The second, however, is the origin story of the Vers Empire – that of how the Vers Empire was birthed, and its highly radical belief-system formed, and that’s what the whole post is going to be about. I’m not going to pretend this is anything other than speculation, though, nor that my analysis is in any way exhaustive or perfect.
Yeah, this is going to take more than one post.
No doubt all of you have been out at night at some point in your lives, in proper darkness, I mean. Proper darkness is rare in urban areas because of the ubiquity of electronic lighting, but in less metropolitan areas, or when the moon is new, you can catch some heavy dark. Its rather difficult to describe, and the best I can do is point you at some good representations and bad representations of it in visual media. Dark Souls does it well, Angel’s Egg does it well, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane does it badly.
We don’t really get properly complicated, sprawling stories in anime much. I suppose there is Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but I haven’t watched it and am saving it for a particularly severe bout of disillusionment with anime, if ever it happens. I hope it does, because otherwise I’ll never get to watch it, and will hoard the promise of watching it too long and end up dying on a bed of gold.
That’s a reference. Ganoes Paran says something similar to an unnamed Captain somewhere in the beginning of the book Gardens of the Moon, which, since I have done a bad job of making clear what is post is to be about, is mostly what this post is to be about. Not an anime post.
Mamoru Oshii makes… unusual anime, and I think this has always been the case. The first thing he directed was Angel’s Egg, and that is the farthest thing from normal there is. His other signature works, Urusei Yatsura 2, Patlabor 2, the Ghost in the Shell films, The Sky Crawlers, Jinroh, all share what has been called a distinct ‘personality’, which stems from his unusual directing method and the way he plays with silence and darkness. What I’m going to be focusing on here is the way he approaches three of these films: Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor 2 and Jinroh: The Wolf Brigade. I haven’t seen The Sky Crawlers yet, but I’ll be sure to dedicate a separate post for that which, odds are, will be laced with redundant hyperlinks to this one. For the most part this post will be a series of points of the things Oshii tends to put in his cyberpunk-tinged works.
Basically, Oshii’s style intrigues me. I want to ramble about it.