In our latest podcast, it seems that no one wants to admit they’re watching Aldnoah.zero. The general consensus is, I don’t want to keep watching, but I just can’t help it. I get the feeling that a lot of viewers feel that way, especially as they see the decline of Slaine Troyard from a loyal, kind boy to a single-minded, sinister one (feels very Anakin Skywalker-ish, no?).
Slaine has apparently gone well past the point of no return (I admittedly dropped the series after episode one of season two – a smart move, I think!). He seems to have done enough killing and betraying to have passed the moral event horizon, that event in which a character shows that they are “irredeemably evil.” When we watch series like Aldnoah.zero, these falls from grace are often hard to turn away from – the drama of seeing such a transition is both difficult to watch and terribly compelling.
In real life, though, when we see friends falter, it’s not compelling at all – it’s just painful. Certainly, it hurts me to see friends with whom I once served at church fall away from their faith. The change is usually gradual, bit by bit, until there seems to be some spiritual event horizon where instead of say, killing earthlings in mecha, they make the choice to embrace the world – pleasures, success, comfort, money – and reject the gospel message, which isn’t as simple as saying a prayer of faith or going through the four spiritual laws, but is instead a choice to surrender all these wants and desires because of who Christ is and what He has done.
One by one, I’ve seen so many turn away. If Facebook is anything for me, it’s chronicle of friends who have left their faith behind, a history of the Devil’s victories perhaps. As another point of comparison, it feels a little like a battle out of Aldnoah.zero where lives are lost.
But there’s still hope here in real life, unlike in fiction, where when a character dies, his or her death is permanent*. In life, there’s always hope – anyone can repent and change, embracing surrender and the death of his or her old life. As with Lelouch in Code Geass (and perhaps we’ll see the same with Slaine in Aldnoah.zero), what should amount to a moral event horizon doesn’t – there’s more to the story.
Because of that hope, I don’t feel utter despair at seeing friends go astray. And even more personally than that, I’m able to keep hope within myself, knowing that I’m “prone to wander,” and even if I should (and do, in a sense, daily), the path of grace remains before me, always beckoning toward life.
*Aldnoah.zero may not be the best example of this…