Slaine also sympathized with Sauzbaam on a certain level; Like I said, the Princess was nowhere in sight; it was only Sauzbaam and Inaho. In that instant, his body and mind reacted before he had a chance to think things through; and he paid for it. Up to that point, he did all he could to help the princess. Are there a lot of things he could have done differently, perhaps. But hindsight is 20/20 and we as the audience will always know more than the characters in the story. In the second second season, we see that he is a lot more level headed in his decisions; including manipulating Sauzbaam. He used all the tools and personel at his disposal, and he did it magnificently. If he wasn't such a great manipulator, he wouldn't have been able to fool Sauzbaam or convince the other Orbital Knights to name him leader. There's a reason why Inaho says Slaine is a force to be reckoned with, and it's not just his Tharsis or his position. Those things are just tools;it's how he used them to get an advantage that's so frightening. If Inaho didn't have Inko with him during his first official fight with Slaine, Inaho would have died. If he also didn't have Mazuurek to help him, then Slaine would have won the entire war; no question. Sure the UFE could put up some resistance, but that's it. The Martian forces were overwhelming the Terran forces from the beginning,but using new tactics allowed them to stand a fighting chance. Now that Slaine had united the Counts, they are all but unstoppable; and although Inaho managed to defeat the three of them it was only through using team tactics. Inaho knows he can't defeat Slaine politically; he needs Asseylum to do that. As for a sequel, I heard somewhere that Aoki had some ideas for one, but nothing is set in stone. Slaine's return wouldn't necessarily undo the things in season 1 and 2, it just depends on the script and where they want the story to go.
I like Slaine. In my opinion he carried the show throughout the entire second season, Inaho was like a side character in this season. Also what people need to remember in the first season was that Slaine wasn't a soldier he was just a tutor of some kind, Inaho was. Because of this, in the last episode of the 1st season Slaine was not able to keep calm and make a rational decision like Inaho usually is able to do.
I don't think it's so much that Slaine isn't a soldier, but it was his personality and characteristics that drove him to do the things he did in the first and sceond series. If you read the little manga that was set around the time of Dr Troyard's death, Slaine was taken in by Cruhteo. Since he wasn't a scientist like his father was, Slaine was probably trained to be a soldier in order to be "useful" to Asseylum. He was able to single-handily overpower and interrogate Sauzbaam's spy, so it isn't a stretch to say that Slaine had military training like Inaho. However, he was more than likely the lone wolf of the group, thus more inclined/forced to keep to himself. His interactions with Trillram and Cruhteo point to the fact that Slaine was ostracized even while he was considered a part of the Vers army. It wasn't until episode 12 of the first season that Slaine realized he chose the Martian side from the beginning. Ironically, the martians that made Slaine feel like a true comrade were the ones who were gunning for the Princess's life. I don't think many people understood Slaine's circumstances because not many have experienced what he's been through.
Everybody hates Slaine because he did something unforgivable. He decided things WITHOUT asking for approval from the Princess, whom he swore loyalty to, even after she recovered from the injury. He BETRAYED her, the one who saved his and his father's life. Inaho will never ever do anything of the sort given his characteristics.
Fine, he can do anything he wants provided the Princess is still unconscious. But, just at the moment she regained consciousness, what he should have done was to step down immediately, and let the Princess know the details of what had happened during the time of her unconsciousness, and let her decide the next moves. In fact he didn't, but still acted on his own will and kept the Princess in a cage. This is exactly why everybody hates him. The BETRAYER.
I love Slaine. I connect with him so much. He's the type of character that will be misunderstood by most people because he requires reading between the lines to understand. You really need to read context and let your imagination flow out beyond being told verbatum what is going on.
People probably hate him because things are getting lost in translation and they're taking what he says too literally. Everyone is so busy trying to ship the whole Inaho thing that they seem to be ignoring the political situation with the orbital knights. At the time Asseylum got shot, his only option to keep her alive was to return with both her and Saazbaum in order to use his resources to keep her in stable condition. As far as he was concerned, he couldn't trust the terrans - especially Inaho who left him for dead the first time they met even if he was crucial in defeating the Kataphract. Remember? He was tortured almost to death after that and didn't say a word. If it was only as simple as flicking a switch around and making everything better the moment Asseylum woke up.
You have to remember that Slaine couldn't trust anyone - not even Lemrina - not even Saazbaum. It wasn't just Saazbaum who was in the coup and even up to this point he had no way of knowing so his only choice was to play the role. Lemrina posing as Asseylum was Saazbaum's idea. He had to roll with it. All he had to do was wait for Asseylum to wake up and run away with her but after Saazbaum adopted him and then died in a salvo meant for Inaho, he had to roll with that too. Then there's that jealous sister you still have to deal with this whole time. Had Asseylum woken up one day sooner, that first engagement wouldn't have been called and Slaine would have just had to keep holding his own against the other knights... but no... he gives into despair.... can't blame the guy.... your babe has been in a coma for two years... just marry her sister... now he has to play his role as Napoleon. All this crap falls on him and he just takes it. At somepoint he has to realize that there's no turning back even if Asseylum wakes up... especially if she wakes up. She'll need to separate herself from the warmonger but the irony is that the warmongering is what has kept her a secret from the other knights this whole time.
After all that, there is no turning back. He knew at some point it was eventually going to be his life for hers and he's shown early on that it's something he is prepared to do.
You can't help but feel sorry for the guy. Barely reunited with Asseylum, he doesn't even get a chance to ever tell her what he's really thinking - he gets setup to tell Asseylum somthing that was meant for Lemrina. Lemrina being someone he's currently lying to in order to keep Asseylum safe... the guy can't catch a break.
People should hate Saazbaum for brainwashing Slaine to be a villain in season 2 and not Slaine himself!
Alright, I just watched the second episode of the second season and I am slightly confused about how Slaine is supposed to be seen by the audience. On one hand we have our "protagonists", the Terrans, who are unjustly attacked and driven back time after time. We are supposed to root for Earth and the Terrans, because hey, nobody roots for injustice. BUT then there's Slaine, seemingly a protagonist too (with his Terran background and whatever) - but suprise, he's with the Martians! The very same guys who are established to be the "bad guys". If it's clear that Earth will not be eradicated in the end (mind you, I have not finished the second season yet and I find it hard to do so, but I think I'll watch it nonetheless, because I really need closure), then why do we have to watch one of our protagonists be an agent and enforcer of the Martians? For me, if I were invested in the story, it would create some sort of cognitive dissonance - on one hand, he's a protagonist which boils down to being a character we are supposed to like (he might turn out to be an antihero, but considering the writing of this anime, I doubt it or at least I doubt it will be well written), on the other hand he is willingly cooperating with the very people we are supposed to see as "bad" and participating in the violent conquest of Earth. What exactly were the writers trying to achieve with this? Making the Martians more likeable/"human"? Making Slaine look like an asshole? If anything, they succeeded with the second. Which leads me to the characters.
Slaine is, as I said before, a character whose role in the story is not quite clear to me. Is he a protagonist? Is he an antagonist/rival figure for Inaho? Is he an antihero? Although in the end the answers to these questions are not that important. Because whatever role he has, his character is established and not in a really good way. From as far as I watched, Slaine's top priority and motivation is his beloved hime-sama. And he is willing to go any lenghts to protect her which I personally find a bit creepy, given that they've known each other for about five years but that's fine with me, I've seen and written far more devoted characters. The problem for me is the way his devotion comes to shine - namely in the way that in the end he doesn't seem to care about the idea his hime-sama represented or the goals she wanted to fullfil. Instead, all he cares about is having hime-sama within his reach and under his control and protection. Which is plain creepy. He does not care about the war they are fighting, on the contrary, he's more than willing to fight/slaughter soldiers (with his advanced mech it really is nothing but a slaughter, except when Inaho comes to save the day once again) and use everyone (his conversation with Lemrina, anyone? To me, it seemed that he played on her feelings of being inferior to his hime-sama by using his background as an underdog to build similarity and thus connection to her to make her activate the Aldnoah again) just to keep his hime-sama safe. On a character writing level it might be a good idea (on paper, the execution is a whole other thing), on a personal level Slaine is just despicable and that's why I can't get myself to like him.
But don't get me wrong, me disliking Slaine does not mean that I like Inaho. It's quite the opposite. While Slaine is unlikable for me because of his misguided feelings, at least he has some. Inaho, our dearest main character, doesn't even have the luxury of that. For me, Inaho seems like a filler character, a thing for the viewers to project themselves into (which is sadly more or less common). Yes, he has a few defining traits, namely him being stoic and seeming emotionless (I know he has emotions because his sister kindly explained that to the viewers - and still, it's a flaw. An anime lives off visual representation and if I can barely see hints of the main character's emotions then they may as well be nonexistent) and his intelligence which is another problem. This problem is less rooted in Inaho's character, it's more of a problem that involves the whole anime. If Inaho, a 15 year old high school student who might or might not be highly intelligent, is able to figure out his enemies' weaknesses after only brief observations, then how come that the whole rest of the whole world's armies were not able to that in the first place? The adults fighting there are trained soldiers, who were aware that the 15 year long armistice was in fact temporary (why else would you train high school children in warfare) and the anime is telling me that in 15 years, in which they did find a Martian Cataphract, removed it's Aldnoah drive and installed it into a warship (for whatever reason they did that) which means they had access to this mech for more than one or two days and thus could study it, nobody ever came as close as a 15 year old high school student to finding out how to defeat or at least fight against Martian mechs. So, in comparison to the whole world's stupidity, Inaho's intelligence only seems more brilliant than it would without it. Apart from that I do have a problem with Inaho's lack of emotions/ his inability to show them (is he lacking an amygdala? did he get lobotomized? who even knows with this show) but I've gotten pretty off topic (Slaine) so I won't delve further into that topic.
Addition: Now that I finished the anime, I still don't know what to do with Slaine. His character arc in the second season is definitely better than in the first season (where he was basically a glorified version of a bodyguard with a crush and I still don't like S1-Slaine) but somehow his whole character development (becoming this cunning and observing mastermind) happened in the 19 off-screen months which is not a good thing to do because it feels a lot like a leap in character instead of a gradual development. Also his sudden motivations to conquer Earth sort of seemed to come out of nowhere. That said I kind of do appreciate villain!Slaine and I found his scenes to be a lot more entertaining than whatever was happening on Earth/with Inaho.
Slaine is cool, inaho is an emotionless person with no character development. I don't like him.
What do you think?