Friday, March 27, 2015

Aldnoah.Zero and the Loss of Tension

The Journey Ends
The last episode of Aldnoah.Zero is only hours away. Thus, it is prudent to ask how do you lose the tension for a finale?

By messing up the first one.

Writing is all about expectations and the end of the first cour of Aldnoah.Zero was one of those special moments that build up a whole lot of them.

It gave everyone plenty to talk about and even after all had been said people still kept talking about it.

There was just something viscerally right Sazz shooting the Princess. Slaine’s reaction and subsequent shooting of Inaho was excellent as well. All their misunderstandings tied together for one tragic outcome.

Three people had been shot.

People kept wondering was who would be alive when the next season came.

Do they Slaine? Do they?

As it turns out, everyone was.

Inaho even got a fancy robot eye out of the deal.

At least the Princess at least spend half the season in a tube. Sazz, well, his survival was a bit easier to swallow. Plus, he got killed anyway.

It’s one of those resolutions that really dampens expectations. As the next finale nears, I find I’m not that worried about it.

The time where Inaho’s plot armor was not mind-blowingly thick is long gone and every battle with the Martians only cements this fact. The loss of his real eye only granted him one heck of a powerful ability.

Fear the eye. Seriously, fear it. 

Seriously, have you guys seen what that eye can do?

It’s freaking self-aware!

Though the show keeps hinting something bad is going to happen to Inaho as a consequence of his eye… I’m not really feeling it. I can’t bring myself to feel the slightest bit worried about Inaho’s survival.

The tension of the finale is just gone.

El Dorito also worries!

Okay, that’s not quite true.

When it comes to Inaho or the Princess, the tension is gone.

Slaine, however, is another deal entirely.

Slaine’s journey to power and failing struggle to keep things under control has been a joy to watch. He’s without a doubt my favorite character in Aldnoah.Zero.

So, as the end nears, I really worry for him, because if there is one character who has proven he is not immune to bad things happening to him it is Slaine.

Tension is a funny thing like that.

It is about making the audience believe something is possible. Like I said earlier, expectations.

Sure, most of the time we know the good guy wins, but a good story has to make us feel the danger.
Aldnoah lost a big part of that when it put a bullet in Inaho’s head.

Now, it’s possible to survive that type of injury.

Of course, it is. The human body is amazing in what it can survive. But just because something can happen doesn’t mean it is realistic.

Contrived coincidences can happen in real life. Absolutely ridiculous things can happen in real life.
In a story though, you actually need something believable.

Pfft, right

It is all about expectations in the end. If someone loses his job, we expect him to go through tough times. If someone gets in a fight, we expect some wounds.

If someone gets shot in the head, well, we expect that person to be dead.

Playing with people’s expectations is a delicate, difficult game. Aldnoah.Zero, for all its enjoyable moments, has not succeeded in this game. 

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