Mild spoilers particularly for the end of season 1 How did this happen? Why did this happen? I know season 1 wasnt necessarily a masterpiece but you could at least make the case that it had clear intentions contrived as its methods tended to be. Heres its a gigantic car crash at the beginning and end occupied by a lot of nothing of note happening What happened to all the big moments that season 1 was peppered with? What happened to letting characters sometimes have backstories or anything that could help them somewhat resemble actual characters rather than caricatures not that the antagonists of the first season werent caricatures anyway? What happened to the wonky action scenes that often used actual movement and terrain to its advantage sometimes? How do you shit the bed this hard? Oh wait its the second season of a mecha anime that already had some major scriptwriting issues that were bound to worsen as the series progressed. That explains everything Geass R2 ok that might be unfair cuz R2 aint anywhere near as bad as this show 00 Season 2 SEED Destiny meet your new best friend as I proceded to beat the everliving shit out of him The first episode is literally just a baffling copout of the first seasons ending. Its an actually incomprehensible middle finger and one of the worst first episodes I have ever witnessed. Both Inaho who got shot in the head at pointblank range and Asseylum who was shot by a VERS version of a shotgun in the head are still alive with no major head or brain damage. Count Saazbum despite being riddled with bullets is alive and Slaine takes both him and Princess Asseylum with him and everyone just fucks off and rejoices except Slaine who goes nuts throughout the course of the season. The finale of the first season was a horrendous cliffhanger that already relied on terrible melodrama and arbitrary sequences to sell itself but actively undercutting everything it tried to accomplish is not at all a good way of trying to make up for it. 1 and 1/2 years later Slaine has gone through the ranks of the VERS people and with a now seemingly evil Asseylum leading he feels that it is his turn to take charge and eliminate the humans of Earth to make it their new home. Inaho and the rest of that military he was in continue the battle with little having being changed. The rest of the show until the finale is just Slaine rising through the ranks and Inaho taking down more VERS and keeping one prisoner to help him find Asseylum. Better than the first episode which has more plot holes that Saazbum had bullet holes but a meandering mess where almost nothing of value happens. The finale just turns into this mush of obscene melodrama and rushed circumstance because they wanted to get the war over quickly and cut to everything and everyone having a mostly happy ending without the proper time necessary to devote itself to showing us a sense of proper reconstruction and consequences of the wars end. Its a baffling nightmare that makes me wish I was watching the final arc of Macross instead. Inaho and Slaine are the actual worst here which is an accomplishment given how terrible Inaho was last season. Inaho continues to be a ridiculously overpowered tofu MC except with less arbitrary douchebaggery towards Slaine and more robo eyes because he really needed to cement himself as superhuman. Slaine is the ultimate angsty melodramatic pile of shit who just screams blood cries and vows for vengeance without having any concrete character or even having his progression naturally link up with the first season in practice. Theres so little to mention regarding any of the other characters either. Theres nothing going for any of them outside of the camaraderie some of Slaines lackeys towards the end of the series share. Its a neat gesture but its too little too late. Everything else is just a black void that somehow trumps even the abysmal writing of the narrative. Visually the show suffers compared to its predecessor as well. The CGI was never good but the mechs tended to be surrounded by large objects in the first season so they facilitated movement and covered up some of the faults that were present. Here empty space everywhere both on Earth and in space That means we get to see the awful CG mechs in full glory just hovering most of the time. The 2D artwork is still solid however. Sadly its wasted on pretty mediocre character designs that dont tend to have too much movement during most of the action scenes because TROYCAs awful CG maybe it was A1 Pictures I wouldnt be too surprised needed do be dragged around all the time. Theres significantly more actual animation when the characters are running around doing their own escort missions or hanging out than during the battles themselves. Its pretty but thats all there is. The dub was ultimately one of the only saving graces of the show even with some of its star players such as Patrick Seitz gone. That said the dub is once again overshadowed by the shows OST which comes with several new insert tracks and bombastic background tracks to marvel at. There arent too many new additions and the new tracks arent quite as good as No Differences from season 1 and perhaps this isnt one of Hiroyuki Sawanos best OSTs but its still one of the highlights of this miserable series. The opening Z by SawanoHiroyukinZk:mizuki is a stellar track that builds up a sense of tension and melancholy before launching into a bombastic sequence that hypes you up for each disastrous episode. The main ED GENESIS by Eir Aoi isnt as great as what came before especially when it goes from emotional to sorta plain in the chorus but its still a nice song to listen to. The penultimate episodes ending theme Harmonious by Asseylum Vers Allusia starring Sora Amamiya is a lot more emotionally resonant really representing the emotional climax the penultimate episode wants to have. Its been several years since Ive seen it and I still remember how much of a disappointment Aldnoah.Zero was. After season 1 fell apart season 2 decided to trample over any good will that was left before meandering for 10 episodes and then crashing and burning in spectacular fashion again. Its amazing to witness how easy it became to get disillusioned with this franchise by this season if the previous one didnt already do the trick. Its like witnessing a car crash and wondering if the people survived only for the wreckage to explode at the very end Its amazing I wouldnt say I despised this season but it really was a gigantic misfire that imploded in on itself. This second season makes the first look like Turn A Gundam and that comparison is honestly fitting if youve seen both A.Z and Gundam. If nothing else it was entertaining to see the community react the way it did to this mess. Still watching and talking about the show is honestly tiresome and that right there speaks volumes of this dumpster fire more than its catastrophic first episode ever will.