Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 29

The third generation begins with the Vagans launching an all-out invasion against Earth and Kio Asuno pilots a new Gundam to defend his home.

Unfortunately this is the only father-son moment in Kio's life for years to come.

They really let 13-14-year-olds drive cars. What a scary world.

Summary:
Kio was born 10 years after the battle at Nortram. Just after Kio was born, Asemu participated in one last mission in which he went missing in action, and only the AGE device was recovered and left to Kio. 13 years later, Kio lives on Earth growing up as a normal kid despite his father not being around. One day, Kio and friends are on their way to a mobile suit display when Kio suddenly gets a bad feeling. Out in space, a giant Vagan beam weapon appear and obliterates Big Ring with a blast, and a large number of Vegan landing ships make their way towards Earth to start an all out invasion. Vagans forces that have been hiding on Earth also emerge to start their attack. Back in town, Kio and friends arrive at the plaza for the display, but everyone then notice the big Vegan ship hovering overhead. The Vegans, led by Zeheart in his new Ghiraga mobile suit, launch their attack and start destroying the city. The Federation forces nearby launch, but they are outnumbered by the Vagans. Kio and friends are on their way out of the city and during that time Kio keeps getting X-Rounder visions of the AGE device. Kio spots three kids trapped on a damaged bridge and so he and his friend Wendy stop to rescue the kids. After saving the kids, Kio leaves Wendy and the kids to two military officers who happens to be passing by.

I don't know why we didn't think of using a giant beam cannon to destroy Big Ring before.

The Vagans and their obsession for giant holograms.

For an old man, Flit still has some hops.

Following the X-Rounder messages, Kio tries to seek out his grandfather Flit who appears in a truck just in time to save Kio from being blasted by a Vagan Danazine. Flit tells Kio to pilot the truck which turns out to be the Core Fighter of the new Gundam. Kio and Flit fly the Core Fighter towards another larger truck. Flit jumps onto the truck and activates it as the Gundam's main body, the G-ceptor. Kio and Flit then pilot the two parts into the sky and combine into the new AGE-3 Gundam. Kio finds the Gundam's controls familiar because Flit had been secretly grooming him to be a Gundam pilot by giving him a simulator game as a gift. Kio easily destroys a two Danazines with the AGE-3 beam saber and powerful SigMaxiss Rifle. The Gundam then comes under fire from a Defurse mobile armor. Knowing that destroying the Defurse on the ground will cause a large explosion that will damage a lot of buildings, Kio flies near the Defurse and drags it into the air with the Gundam. With the Defurse in the air, Kio drops back down and destroys the mobile armor with a blast of the SigMaxiss Rifle. Zeheart finally notices the new Gundam and flies in for a confrontation.

New Gundam Time!!!

Training to become a world-saving Gundam pilot must start at a young age.

The Gundam multi-verse never gets tired of the Char clone gimmick.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd say that's a pretty good start to third and final generation of Gundam AGE. I found this episode to be better than most of the episodes from Asemu's arc. I'm always down for a big invasion by the bad guys to start off the show, and despite Zeheart's failures 20 or so years ago and how things turned out at the end of Asemu's arc, things have been turning in the Vagan's favor. I'm really surprised that the writers effectively put Asemu on the shelf by having him go MIA shortly after Kio's birth. Asemu may or may not be dead, but at this point he has been absent from Kio's life, and what happened to him is a major question in this part of the story. In the OP sequence it's hinted that the Vagans will have a Gundam on their side, so perhaps they had captured or recovered Asemu's AGE-2? The OP also hints towards a mysterious "pirate" faction, and we'll see how that'll come in to the story.

Another surprise this week is that Flit seems to have either retired or lost his post in the Federation. It looked like Flit became the military's forefront man at the end of Asemu's arc, and if Flit had his way he would definitely have bolstered Earth's defenses against Vagan infiltration and possibly go as far as launching a space campaign against Mars. Flit is only 64 in this arc and that's not terribly old for a top-ranked military officer, so it's possible Flit was forced out. Over the last 20 years, it looks like the Feds have been doing nothing while the Vagans have been stockpiling weapons and developing new technologies (such as giant beam weapon the used to wipe out Big Ring in one hit). The Federation was caught with their pants down during this large scale invasion campaign, but at least Flit has been preparing for battle all of this time, developing a new Gundam and slowly grooming his grandson Kio into the next savior. With the Federation being helpless as a whole, it'll be up to Kio, the New Gundam, and a new crew on the aging Diva to repel the Vagans. Kio seems to be up to the task though, and unlike his father Kio is gifted with X-Rounder powers from the very start of the arc, and that'll help him against Mr. Red Comet clone Zeheart and whichever other X-Rounders the Vagans throw his way.

This week, Kio gets his hands on the brand new AGE-3 and has no trouble destroying a few Vagan grunts, but a big test is coming in the form of Zeheart. Zeheart's new mobile suit is thinner and lankier to the Zeydra, and it seems to be outfitted for close combat. The AGE-3 definitely takes after the ZZ Gundam from Universal Century just as the AGE-1 resembles the original Gundam and the AGE-2 corresponds to the Zeta Gundam. We'll have to see how separating the cockpit Core fighter from the main body will be advantageous in battle.

4 comments:

  1. Asemu just constantly gets screwed over by the series. Right after his kid is born he goes MIA? Of course in a sense it was good for Flit. Sure he loses one Gundam pilot, but he gets to mold Kio into the pilot of the next generation. Asemu was already intending to get out of things and might have kept his kid out of the battles....my god did I just conspire Flit as getting rid of his kid?

    But really I expect Asemu to show up again. MIA is just too easy. The series really has to put Asemu through the ringer after all. I wouldn't be surprised if he shows up in that pirate Gundam at some point. A likely thing is that he was captured by the Vagans or some other faction.

    Flit being around more is hard to speculate on from one episode. Was he forced out because of radical policies? Did he snap out of it after Asemu disappeared (wasn't around at Kio's birth)? Did he retire so he could work full time to mold Kio into the best Gundam pilot the series has seen?

    All we know is that Kio really loves Flit and recieved pilot simulation training from a young age. Maybe he learned from Asemu and wanted the kid to have as many skills as possible from the start and not just have to rely on natural skills (which Asemu had plenty of) in a first fight.

    At the very least Kio seems to be the most talented of the 3 Asuno's we've seen so far. He has pretty good skills and developed X-Rounder abilities even earlier than Flit did.

    The fight against Zeheart should be interesting. Does he know about Asemu being missing? What will he think about fighting his kid....and Flit again? This will be a tough fight for what seems to be a Gundam focused on pure firepower.

    One thing I can't believe is that Flit calls that thing a rifle. It's a freaking beam cannon!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, the series hates Asemu... because he doesn't have X-Rounder powers maybe. He's in the ED sequence so he'll play into the arc even if he's not physically present right now. Just having him go MIA means he'll show up eventually.

      Kio is honed from a young age for the job. Maybe Flit thought about how he brought up Asemu and decided it'd be better to train Kio from the start. Kio certainly has the skills and the X-Rounder abilities to do the job. We'll have to see how he handles the role mentally though.

      The AGE-3 is more heavy set and probably have trouble against Zeheart in a melee fight, but a Gundam's shape is not necessarily indicative of its performance. And yeah, the SigMaxiss "Rifle" is just a shrunken down version of the Diva's photon blaster. Certainly more of a cannon than a rifle.

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    2. Even the series discriminates regarding X-Rounder powers. Maybe Woolf was wrong, you really do need that thing.

      I'm curious to see how AGE-3 performs. AGE-1 was pretty flexible with the different 'packs' it could go with, AGE-2 had more firepower, but still allowed for intense close combat which tied into Asemu's strengths and fighting style, AGE-3 seems to be all firepower. Agree can't judge a Gundam on appearance, so this fight against Zeheart will be key to seeing what this thing can do. Of course I'm really uncertain about the core fighter thing, seems kind of pointless. Think AGE-2 was a much more intelligent design. Could transform and was solid on its own. But, let's see what the AGE system has for us.

      Let's hope by the end Asemu is at least alive so the series can apologize to him a bit. Could easily see him brainwashed in the Vegan Gundam from the preview (a chance to do better than what happened to Yurin before) or he could be in that kind of pirate Gundam thing. After all Asemu seems to have the best chance still to be a middle of the road person in this conflict. He has a friend who is Vegan and yet has precious people to him from the Federation side. Flit clearly can't be objective here. With Kio we'll have to see what kind of guy he is and how he mentally handles this.

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  2. You're surprised that they let kids drive cars?

    What's the worst damage you can do with a car? Run someone over? Hit another car?

    They let kids drive giant honking robots with frickin laser beams and positron wave motion guns. I think they let kids drive cars because if they didn't then they'd just hijack a mobile suit.

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