The last two 12 Days of Anime posts may have been about changes occurring on a personal level by how particular lifestyles unfold, but this time let’s look at some other changes that can occur during our lives that are on a grander scale. Less personal changes that still affect us happen all the time, and sometimes we really only play a small role in being able to control these things. An easy example of this would be how laws can cause these sorts of wide-scale changes, but sometimes the amount of input into preventing or supporting those particular laws can seem meaningless or futile. This can be disheartening, especially when these things can affect us so much.
Aldonoah.Zero is that sort of story. The stakes are high, changes in how the different governments view things happen frequently, and those changes have direct impact on the world at large, especially on the future of humanity.
Everyone’s goals are different though and vary based on what they want to accomplish for themselves. It’s a world where two groups of humanity from differing planets can’t reconcile their differences and come together with the same principles in mind. The Vers Empire hold a grudge from a previous war with Earth and need to find a way to escape their slowly dying planet and oppressive government, while Earth just wants the wars to end, attempting to come to a peaceful solution whenever possible. Politics play a huge role in this planetary conflict, and whenever they do, it’s really easy to get drawn into them, forgetting your own goals in the process.
Conversely, it’s also really easy to get absorbed into our everyday lives and forget about the world at large, which brings us to the main characters in our story; Inaho, which attempts to live a normal life yet gets drawn into the conflict, while Slaine has his own goals in mind, but often gets carried away in political ventures and just wants to regain a normal life with Princess Asseylum of the Vers Empire. What really throws a wrench into the works though is Princess Asseylum’s own goals, which is to restore peace to Earth, despite all of the past and current conflicts with Earth, as she can see that a war based on vengeance will grant no winners in the end.
Ultimately, this is what Aldnoah.Zero becomes, a story about war, where no one is a winner.
With this war going on, nobody is able to live their own normal lives, even if that’s what they desire, and as the story progresses, it even becomes more apparent that even after the war is over, nobody will be able to go back to the lives they once lived. It really just goes to how much a war can affect how we live our daily lives, even if we’re not necessarily a part of it.
A great example of this would be Princess Asseylum of Vers, and while she desires to bring peace to both nations, along with reducing the class system that the entire Martian planet is based around, she ends up becoming a target by her own nation’s desire for revenge and ultimately pays a hefty price for this. It’s unfortunate that the second half of the show fails to utilize her character for this reason, but up until that point, she is seen as a character that really wants the best for both nations, and fighting a pointless war will gain them nothing that they cannot fix with diplomatic methods.
Inaho and Slaine end up slightly better off, but it’s obvious that they can’t go back to living normal lives after Inaho is permanently damaged by being involved in the military and Slaine ends up being further dragged into the war by the Vers Empire’s influence upon him. Inaho and Slaine end up working together at many points during the show, as Slaine is revealed to be an Earth citizen and wants the best for Princess Asseylum, who desires peace.
Sadly, this doesn’t last though, as Slaine ends up wanting to enact revenge upon Earth after Princess Asseylum is fatally injured by her own people. This becomes an interesting dichotomy for Slaine, as he wants to get his revenge upon Earth due to causing Princess Asseylum to become in the state that she’s in, but also wants to save the Princess herself and help accomplish her own goal of peace because she helped integrate him into the Vers Empire as originally a citizen of Earth.
All of this may seem so far from being able to relate to it as a society today, as we don’t have interplanetary travels or large mechanical behemoths fighting space battles (yet anyway), but this does bring up some interesting points about how these sort of events change us as people and as a society as a whole. It isn’t a far-fetched idea that war can affect everyone in a singular nation, whether they support a war or don’t, and everyone can suffer similar consequences as Princess Asseylum did without even being involved in the conflict itself and even wanting to pursue the best answers for that conflict. The world can seem so much against us, even when we want to see the best outcomes for society.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do the best thing we can for society, even when the chips are down. Slaine ended up falling victim to this trap, where nothing could be accomplished because of his crushed hopes for diplomacy after Asseylum suffered from life-threatening damages. That doesn’t mean that we have to follow in his footsteps.
By changing society, we can also change ourselves and our future as well. This is exactly the sort of mindset that Princess Asseylum was using to accomplish her own goals; she wanted to change society to allow a better future for herself and her companions as well in order to life a better life. War may be a life-changing experience, especially if you’re placed in a situation where you have to participate like Inaho did, but that doesn’t mean the consequences of war cannot be life-changing as well.
What we can take away from this as individuals with laws, political events, and undesirable things out of our control continue to happen around is that while we may not be able to make the necessary changes in order to necessarily stop these sorts of things from happening, we still have control of our own lives.
If we desire to stop these sort of events as a society, we must continue to stand that ground, but also not forget who we are and get too drawn into these conflicts and wishes, as they may end up consuming us as well.