Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE - 45

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You know, Gundam AGE is a lot like (bear with me, here) playing golf.


[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_45_[720p][10bit][38F264AA].mkv_snapshot_00.59_[2012.08.27_20.22.14]If you play the occasional round of golf like I do, and you aren’t very good like I’m not, chances are you’ll have experienced the feeling of playing so badly you feel like you’re ready to give up the game for good – only to hit a great shot.  Insidiously, that makes you think that there’s no reason you couldn’t do that more often – especially as that great shot often comes on the last hole – and you’re back on the course again, full of hope.  There have certainly been times over its long run where AGE has exasperated me to the point of tossing the clubs into the hazard, but then it comes up with a really solid episode like this one that makes me feel as if there’s real hope for the future of the show.

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_45_[720p][10bit][38F264AA].mkv_snapshot_03.25_[2012.08.27_20.23.29]Was it perfect?  No, not by a long shot – but it was damn good.  For starters, Sunrise really did an outstanding job with the art, animation and battle choreography here. AGE has always looked fine, but it was really beautiful this week – both in terms of backgrounds and character expressions.  It was also an episode that had a lot of internal drama, playing off Zaeheart and Aseumu against each other like old times in the battle against SID.  A lot of unnecessary chaff was brushed aside and the narrative was sharper than the usual for this show.  We were starting to see this last week, too – the framing for the final conflict is starting to come together in a coherent manner, and that’s a good sign.

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_45_[720p][10bit][38F264AA].mkv_snapshot_05.45_[2012.08.27_20.25.49]In a sense, this was a continuation of the work of episode 44, moving the chess pieces into place for the endgame.  Kio has pretty much despaired of Flit ever changing his viewpoint, and his role remains the most uncertain – we know what he wants to do but have no idea (neither does he) how he plans to do it.  Flit is so blinded by his lust for revenge that he passes up the opportunity to try and claim the EXA-DB for himself – though Asemu and the pirates recognize what’s happening in an asteroid belt where a battle is taking place, and leave the Diva to play their part.  A glimpse into the past reveals that Asemu has a history with SID, so this is personal for him.  It was good to see Asemu make a decision here without worrying about his father, to whom he really owes nothing at this point – Kio was the only one he told, in fact.  His decision to destroy the EXA-DB rather than let it fall into either Flit or Ezelcant’s hands is consistent with his professed ideals in a way his actions often haven’t been, and that’s a positive for his character.

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_45_[720p][10bit][38F264AA].mkv_snapshot_06.16_[2012.08.27_20.26.20]As for Zaeheart, he seems to have drunk the Kool-aid to the last drop and boarded Ezelcant’s crazy train to Eden.  But at least he was downright GAR by his standards this week, using the Gundam Legilis to fight SID basically to a draw, despite the fact that it has a cloaking device.  Admittedly it’s through Asemu’s intervention that he’s able to destroy (well…) SID, when his old rival manages to attack a couple of grabbling lines to SID to reveal its position.  The EXA itself is hidden inside an asteroid, and as Zaeheart is finishing his battle with SID Asemu has given orders to his crew to blow it up.  Zaehart is pissed at losing his prize, but takes some consolation in having mastered the power of Gundam – or so he thinks – in the process of defeating SID.

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_45_[720p][10bit][38F264AA].mkv_snapshot_06.34_[2012.08.27_20.26.38]Asemu and Zaeheart’s fates are obviously linked in a profound way, so it seems inevitable that each will be linked to the other’s role in the story’s conclusion.  While Zaeheart is gung-ho about Project Eden for the moment, the path for Asemu and Kio is obscure.  Does Asemu simply return to the fleet and take part in the attack on La Gramis as if he were a Federation foot soldier, in spite of his professed opposition to Flit’s goals?  Given that Flit is now actively in charge again his goals and those of the Federation are effectively one and the same, so it’s impossible for Asemu to pretend to be neutral if he’s helping the Federation directly.  As for Kio, the question is what method he’ll choose to try and knock some sense as he sees it into the leaders of both sides, something that for the moment seems to be a hopeless task.  And not to be forgotten is the fact that the EXA-DB isn’t space dust after all, and has SID 2.0 looking after it, which will surely make a complicated situation even more so.

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11 comments:

  1. Hey GE! This is off the topic but what happened to RC? Is there a new website?

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    1. Yeah, I'm also curious.

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    2. Some unscheduled maintenance due to server issues. Give it a couple of days.

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    3. Oh, I thought it was something bad and permanent. Divine said that it was indefinite. Good to know its not. Thanks.

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    4. I'm guessing as to the timing, so don't assume I'm right. I think the hope, at least, is that it won't be longer than a few days.

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  2. '' to whom he really owes nothing at this point ''

    Aside from raising his only son, but I suppose that shouldn't play a factor here at this point ...

    Good episode. Mostly thanks to the animation and the great effort the staff had placed into it, though the writing seems to have also struck the same sweet spot that it seems to hit every ... well, once in a while.

    At this point, with only 4 episodes left, Gundam AGE had more or less ended up being a decent show with it's moments where it manages to shine past the many (oh, so many) problems and failings that continued to plague the story and plot and the characterization of it's cast to the very end.

    But really, at this point any criticism I have I'm going to be saving for myself. It's been a long journey watching this show, and all I want to do is just end it on a good note.

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    1. You know, I thought about that when I wrote the line - and I'm comfortable with it. I would say if you want to make an argument that Asemu owes Flit for the genetic material that created him fine, but as far as we were shown Flit basically had zero role in raising his son and never showed him an ounce of affection.

      In any event, from a professional standpoint he certainly doesn't owe Flit anything. He's not in the military, and he's publicly avowed that he opposes Flit's goals.

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    2. @Anonymous Nope, shows had been confirmed to end with episode 49. 4 more episodes to go.

      @Enzo

      ''I would say if you want to make an argument that Asemu owes Flit for the genetic material that created him fine''

      Well no, that's not an argument I ever want to make (parents are the guardians of their children, but that doesn't mean they own them like properties). The arguments that I bring up here is that while Asem went ahead and abandoned his only child and wife of ten years to become a SUPA PIRTOO and attempt to prolong this bloody conflict for god-knows how long, Flit had retired and became Kio's father figure and guardian, as well as having raised and took care of Asem through out his childhood in a well environment, given him good education etc.

      And yes, I know that Flit was actually training Kio to become his perfect little child Super Soldier to purge the universe of every single Vegan scum, but look, nobody in the show seems all that worried about it, so there!

      ugh, why does this show make it so hard to defend it?

      ''as far as we were shown Flit basically had zero role in raising his son and never showed him an ounce of affection''

      See, I have examples to prove that Flit did in fact care for, was actively involved in the raising and development of, and thought about Asem's best interest all along and only ever wanted to see his son happy no matter what ... but it has never been ''shown'' because it isn't in animated form.

      For a show about family, Gundam AGE seems to like to put all those crucial details about how much the Asnuo's actually love each other in supplementary materials, leaving them in the anime looking very dysfunctional and uncaring for each other and their well being.

      ''In any event, from a professional standpoint he certainly doesn't owe Flit anything.''

      Yeah, which is why I said ''shouldn't play a factor here at this point'' since no matter how much Asem owes Flit for everything he did for him as his father and as the man who raised his son and took care of his wife, he is still not going to let him go through with his genocidal plans.

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  3. Enzo, the ED for gen 2 showed a lot of Flit with young Asem and there were a couple flashbacks in the early episodes too, so I think he did play a role in raising his son. It seems like Flit grew more distant with him as time passed, though, and yeah, the show could have put forth better effort.

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    1. If by a couple flashbacks you mean only one where he goes on riding with his son ...

      And as much as I love the second ending, it is still an ending, not an actual scene or event that was shown in the anime proper. And that's the problem here.

      Akihiro Hino, for some bizarre reason, had concluded that kids don't really like to watch family members tell each other that they love them, show signs of affection and care towards each other, or even act like they even give a thought about their families. To him, that shit belongs in Drama CD's (Where we see Flit tell Emily he loves her (an event that never happens on screen lol) thanks her for raising their children and helping him get to where he is today and apologizing (yes) for being distant and appearing cold and not being around for long periods of time ... also included is Flit having bonding moments with Asem, having Fatherly Talks with him, and in general acting like a normal human being who doesn't spew talks of genocide everytime he shows up on screen) or can be ''tagged along'' in the novelization (Bless Kotachi Ukyo-san, actually putting in the effort to fix the most illogical bits of the plot. Reading the 4th novel changes brings a smile on my face ...)

      So, while the intention is pretty clear of how we are meant to take Flit's character (a man who has lost so much for little reason to the Vegans and tries to protect everyone on the earth (he says he sees them all his his family) by being as cold hearted and efficient as possible, but in actuality he is a caring and loving person who only thinks of what is best for his family and the earth's future, but can't show these emotions publicly or let them take over him due to how much pain he endured over the years and the realization that lingering over his past loses will not help him protect those around him now, and if he even slips up once it might cause him to lose everything again, and constantly questions the path he is taking as being the correct one to protect those he love) the way he is written in the show makes him out to be a cold hearted bastard who married a women he doesn't love, had two kids he sees as being just a continuation of his genetic legacy, and only has thoughts of how much genocide and mass murder he can commit without any likable bits of him left to make us sympathize with him.

      WTF Hino?

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