ALDNOAH.ZERO We are the Mar­tians

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 30 May 2014 | 15 | Blu-ray/dVd Di­rec­tor ei aoki Cast Nat­suki Hanae, sora aramiya, Ken­sho Ono, ai Kayano

SF anime has a tra­di­tion of de­pict­ing wars be­tween Earth and hu­mans who’ve gone to space, rooted in 1979’s Gun­dam, but Aldnoah.Zero is an in­ter­est­ing tweak on the idea.

It’s set in an al­ter­na­tive present where the dis­cov­ery of alien tech al­lowed some peo­ple to build an em­pire on Mars; the show starts with an at­tack on Earth. In ef­fect, it’s a War Of The Worlds re­make where the ma­chines are pi­loted by other hu­mans who con­sider them­selves a new species.

The Earth­lings, though, have gi­ant ro­bot suits them­selves. We fol­low a team fight­ing back, led by an un­nat­u­rally calm teenage boy. The more ro­man­tic hero is a boy on the Mar­tian side, ob­sessed with a lovely princess. Such char­ac­ter con­trasts, as well as at­trac­tive vi­su­als and some very en­er­getic early episodes, lift the show above most ac­tion-SF anime. Later episodes are more generic and some­times dis­ap­point­ing (not to say silly), but over­all Aldnoah.Zero is de­cently ex­cit­ing and en­gag­ing.

Extras Clean open­ing and clos­ing ti­tles; a preview fea­turette. The Col­lec­tor’s Edi­tion Blu-ray comes with a 72-page book­let full of de­sign im­ages. An­drew Os­mond

At the end of part three, there’s a rather im­por­tant scene af­ter the clos­ing cred­its, so don’t miss it!

Eyes: may be big­ger than ac­tual size.

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