So if you’ve started watching Aldnoah.Zero, you may find yourself a little confused about characters. Things move pretty quickly early on, and it can be easy to get confused. So, let’s look a little bit at our primary and supporting cast. I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers here, though you’ll want to watch at least the first couple of episodes before you keep reading. With that in mind, let’s get started.
We’ll start with what I think of as the big three, Aldnoah.Zero’s three primary characters.
The lead - Inaho Kaizuka
Inaho is our anchor in the Aldnoah.Zero universe, and the first character we really get to spend time with in the series. We’ll meet a lot of other characters in our time with this world, but Inaho is the one we’ll follow the most. When we first meet Inaho, he’s calmly cooking breakfast while his sister has just gotten out of bed (more on her in a bit). This is a perfect setup, because it really gets at the core of Inaho’s character. Inaho is calm and reliable at his core, and these characteristics will show up over and over through the series. We learn that Inaho is living with his older sister since the death of his parents. It seems pretty clear early on that Inaho is the one who keeps the place in good shape. He doesn’t seem annoyed with his sister’s disorganization, but he doesn’t change the course of his day to help her either.
Inaho is a fifteen year old high school student living in the city of Shinawara. He’s currently in training to be a Kataphrakt pilot (Kataphrakt is the lingo for the mecha Aldnoah.Zero) for the military. We learn fairly early on that Inaho is intelligent and performs well at school both in academics and pilot training. This is just the start, however, of our understanding of Inaho.
More than anything else, Inaho is a savant. He relies heavily on his intelligence and tactical reasoning to keep himself and his friends alive. Inaho makes an interesting contrast to the recent trend of anime protagonists who have more passion then sense. Inaho considers his options, reviews the data available to him, and makes calculated decisions. As you might expect, this way of thinking makes Inaho seem cold and distant at times. He’s not great at emotional expression, and it often seems as though he doesn’t feel anything at all. His sister assures another character that she can see his emotions, even if he doesn’t express them.
You might believe that this would make Inaho an uninteresting lead. You might also think that it makes him a less effective hero. After all, we often see protagonists who don’t want to know the odds, and who don’t care how much stronger an enemy is. What makes Inaho interesting as a lead is that he knows and calculates the odds; he understands just how much stronger the Martian forces are, but he’s willing to fight them anyway. Inaho knows that if he doesn’t fight the Martian forces then innocent people will die. Though he knows how dangerous this is, he’s willing to put his life on the line if there’s a chance he might save people.
In battle, Inaho pilots a KG-6 Sleipnir training Kataphrakt. It is distinct in its orange color, and is widely used as a training Kataphrakt. Despite this and the presence of more advanced Kataphrakts, Inaho continues to use a KG-6 throughout the series. When engaged with the enemy, Inaho is calm and calculating like a chess player. He spends time analyzing the enemy and finding an exploitable weakness. He also has a history of not communicating very well with his allies in combat, which can cause problems. Inaho values his allies, but he often seems to forget to keep them informed of his plans. That said, he is willing to let anyone help and values the contributions that everyone is capable of.
Slaine Troyard – The Outsider
Slaine Troyard is a bit of an enigma. He’s actually the first character we meet in Aldnoah.Zero, and he helps serve as an anchor on the Martian side of the story. Slaine is what is called a Terran, which means he was born on Earth. Slaine is treated as an outsider by most of the Martian people, and often as a second class citizen. When we first meet Slaine, he is by the side of Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia. Slaine acts as a sort of cultural adviser to the princess, who has a host of questions about Earth. It is clear that Slaine cares for the princess, and that their relationship is more than just professional.
We learn early on that Slaine, despite his youth, was an astronaut from Earth who crash landed on Mars. He was found and rescued by a young Princess Asseylum, who resuscitated him. We also learn that his father was a researcher of Aldnoah. When we meet Slaine, he is in the care of Count Cruhteo, who treats him with contempt and suspicion because of his Terran status. Slaine’s relationships are all colored by his Terran birth, and he never seems to be quite a part of the Orbital Knights. Count Saazbaum is one of the few to treat Slaine with any respect, and actually seems to trust him.
Slaine is an exceptional pilot, and throughout the series is able to accomplish impressive feats with even basic Martian vessels. Slaine’s piloting skills make him an early rival for Inaho despite their initial teamwork. It is clear that Slaine respects Inaho’s skill, and the two are able to work together for a brief time. Unfortunately, miscommunication and distrust cloud their interactions. Slaine is often a difficult character to read, and his motivations are often in question by those around him. His most consistent trait is his care for and protection of Princess Asseylum. He proves time and again that he is willing to go to almost any lengths for her sake.
Princess Aers Allusia – The Believer
Princess Asseylum is the first princess of the Vers Empire and is the last of our primary characters. Princess Asseylum is the easiest to read of the bunch; she is a trusting, passionate, and caring. Early on, we learn that she has a deep interest in Earth and its people. Further, unlike most of her Martian counterparts, she actually believes that the Terran people are equals. It is her very idealism, and naivety, that set off the chain of events that leads to war.
Princess Asseylum heads to Earth on a goodwill visit. She believes that her presence and her kindness might help ease tensions between the Martians and the Terrans. It also seems that her curiosity about Earth helps to inspire her trip. Despite the many warnings she receives, Princess Asseylum will not be dissuaded from visiting the Earth. Though her goodwill and her kindness make her a good ambassador, she does lack an understanding of the deceitfulness of war, both Martian and Terran, and ends up causing a great deal of trouble.
That said, Princess Asseylum is not merely a damsel in distress. When she discovers that an attempt has been made on her life and she is believed dead, she works quickly to try and blend in on Earth. When she becomes involved with Inaho and his friends’ struggle against a Martian Kataphrakt, she volunteers immediately despite the risk. She is instantly willing to put her own life at risk to save others, Martian or Terran. She warms to people quickly and seems to trust with ease, which can be a liability. Princess Asseylum is a consummate peacekeeper and pacifist, constantly working to bring out the best in everyone.
Now that we’ve got the big three taken care of, let’s meet the rest of the supporting cast. Let’s start with the United Forces of Earth.
Yuki Kaizuka – Goddess of Tuesdays
Yuki Kaizuka is Inaho’s older sister, and his only living family. Yuki lives with Inaho and is also a member of the United Forces of Earth. Yuki is a warrant officer for the United Forces, and she is partially responsible for the training of the young pilots; this includes Inaho and his friends. Yuki is introduced to us as somewhat apathetic, and not entirely reliable. She is often running late for work because of oversleeping, and seems to have real trouble motivating herself. In fact, Inaho comments that he feels she’ll make it if she finds a bit of spirit. He even jokingly suggests she might be the Goddess of Laziness instead of the nickname Calm uses for her, the Goddess of Tuesdays. The Yuki we see at work, however, seems to be a whole other person. She takes her responsibilities for the United Forces very seriously. Yuki tends to be a bit of a mother figure to the younger pilots, Inaho especially. She seems to understand how he is feeling despite his difficulty expressing himself. Yuki is a capable Kataphrakt pilot as well, though she is sidelined early in the series by an injury. Yuki is more than willing to risk her own life to protect others as well.
Koichiro Marito – The Drunk
Koichiro Marito is a drill instructor at Shinawara high school. He works closely with Yuki Kaizaku to help train the younger students. Koichiro has a tendency to drink on the job and doesn’t seem to take much seriously. In fact, Yuki tends to treat him almost like she would a younger sibling. Koichiro is a veteran of the first war between Earth and Mars and remembers how brutal the previous conflict was. In fact, he is consistently haunted by his first interactions with a Martian Kataphrakt as a tank pilot. Koichiro blames himself for the death of his partner during this event, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.. Most of the other United Earth forces believed his story was a fiction because they refused to believe the Martian Kataphrakts to be as capable as he described them. Koichiro lost the respect of many of his colleagues because of this, and he sometimes seems to have little respect for himself. Despite of his apathetic exterior, he doesn’t hesitate to risk his life to give Yuki time to escape a Martian Kataphrakt early on the in the series.
Rayet Areash – The Martian
Rayet is actually a Martian herself, though she has been living on Earth for some time. In fact, Rayet and her father are part of a group of Martians who were left on earth during the first conflict between Earth and Mars. Her father and his associates are in fact enlisted to make the attempt on Princess Asseylum’s life. This attempt ends up costing them their own lives as they are disposed of by one of the Orbital Knights, leaving Rayet with no family or friends. She soon finds herself in the company of Inaho and his friends, including the Princess herself. Rayet is initially quiet and unemotional. She hides her feelings well, and is slow to trust.
Inko Amifumi – The Girl Next Door
Inko is one of Inaho’s classmates and fellow pilots. In fact, Inko is the second in her class, behind only Inaho. She is a member of the student council, and is a caring friend. Inko has known Inaho and his sister for a number of years. Inko is also a capable pilot, and her callsign is Mustang 11. It is also hinted that Inko has feelings for Inaho beyond friendship, though she never comes out and says so.
Nina Klein – The Cheerful One
Nina Klein is another classmate of Inaho. She is consistently cheerful and high spirited. She is also Inko’s best friend, and comes from the same country as Calm, which was greatly affected by the first conflict between Earth and Mars.
Calm Craftman – The Loud One
Despite his name, Calm has a habit of being loud, energetic, and even losing his temper. He is friends with Inaho and is in the same class as Inaho, Inko, and Nina. Calm fancies himself a ladies’ man, though reality doesn’t often back this up.
And now, for the Martian Forces
Count Cruhteo – The Proud one
Count Cruhteo is a member of the Martian Orbital Knights. His Kataphrak is the Tharsis, and he is a very capable pilot. Count Cruhteo reveals himself early on to be an enemy of Terrans. He believes that the Martian people are superior to Terrans, and doesn’t miss an opportunity to express this. He bears a great ill will towards Slaine Troyard for this very reason, despite the fact that Slaine is in his custody. Count Cruhteo is very loyal to the Martian Royal family and, like many of the Orbital Knights, has a great zeal for combat.
Count Saazbaum – The Schemer
Count Saazbaum is another of the Orbital Knights. He pilots the Kataphrakt Dioscuria in battle. Saazbaum seems to have a number of plans, and keeps most of these to himself. He is connected with Count Cruhteo, though the strength of this connection is unclear.
Eddeilrittuo – The Little Sister
Eddelrittuo is Princess Asseylum’s handmaiden. She and the princess have an almost sisterly connection, though it is clear that Eddelrittuo idolizes the princess. She seems to have her own prejudices against Terrans, though she does become more accepting of them over time.
So that’s everyone you’ll need to know, for a while at least. Aldnoah.Zero relies mainly on a primary cast, but the supporting characters are what really make the world come alive. The conflict in the series wouldn’t mean much if there weren’t people to care about on both sides.