What it’s about: Some years ago, a hypergate was discovered that made it possible to colonise Mars, where settlers uncovered a hoard of alien artefacts. A cultural and technological schism developed between Earth and Mars and, after one abortive war ended with the destruction of most of the Moon and devastation to “Terran” populations, an uneasy truce was established. A truce that is now in danger, after a visiting Martian dignitary is apparently assassinated by terrorists while visiting Earth.
Why you should watch it: The crew behind the show is almost unbelievable. The director of Fate/Zero, the writer of Madoka Magica, the composer behind Attack on Titan, etc, etc. And they all bring their A-game to Aldnoah. In short, it’s the summer blockbuster of 2014; a mecha-based action show with enough intelligence to keep you engaged with the story and enough giant robots to keep the blood pumping. The soundtrack is already shaping up to be a massive hit, with stirring titles from Kalafina and Hiroyuki Sawano.
Caveats: The show gets a little “mecha of the week” in the middle of its run – while it’s good that it plays to its strengths (giant robot fights), it starts to do it to the exclusion of anything else for a while. The CGI, while competently done, is very noticeable.
Themes: Classism, xenophobia, and the cycle of violence begotten by envy.
Similar works:Code Geass for several reasons, though it’s a lot more over-the-top in execution than the relatively realistic Aldnoah. Attack on Titan has a similar dynamic of defending against an overwhelming force.