Check-in Station: Gundam AGE ep18 (Veigan hamburgers flavored with Regret.)
Looks like playtime is over. I mean that literally. I suppose that could be said once anyone takes up a blade, gun or whatever weapon they may have. But this little arc has effectively shaken all of the main characters lives up in a irreversible way. It seems like the creative team doesn’t want to play around at all. There will be no mystery as to who is facing who or why. The pilots already know each other quite well, and the maiden is already quite heartbroken. This is Gundam AGE, and it’s a show that keeps on schedule.
This episode got off to an interesting start with Asemu saving the fat bully, Abus. I was a little taken back by Asemu’s friends’ reactions to finding out that he went to save the big jerk. Sure he was a big pain in the butts, but I didn’t think they were indifferent to guy dying a horrible, painful, lonely death in space via suffocation. Though perhaps I’m being too harsh on a bunch of kids. I’m assuming Asemu’s actions are gonna pay off in the future, else it doesn’t make too much sense to feature the moment. It could easily have been covered in one of those photos that they had pinned in their club room/garage.
The time skip threw me off at first, I let out an audible “what the hell” when I realized how much time had passed. I was kinda expecting more duality in the characters’ lives as they worked not only through their high school duties and friendships, but also threw their “secret’ lives as destined Gundam pilot and undercover enemy spy. that said, it was probably for the best that they skipped most of that stuff. Since the beginning of the second “age”, the story progression has proceeded evenly, and nothing has been lingered on for very much time. It seems my little dreams of a modern “War in the Pocket” end here.
I actually got a little sentimental during the graduation build up and the ceremony. That was definitely done well. It made me wish I wasn’t such an indifferent jerk when I had my high school graduation. It all seemed so perfect. Perfect until the Feddies showed up to arrest Zeheart. There is no worse timing for an arrest. Tactically speaking though, it was a sound decision by the Feddies. They knew exactly where and when he was going to be. If that scar faced Veigan spy hadn’t cause a commotion and threatened Romary (not cool dude), then Zeheart would have probably been arrested or killed the soldiers. I vote for the kill the soldiers option. He clearly knows “pretty boy” martial arts. The kind where the pretty boy gains super speed and strength in front of impressionable young women who wish to mate with them. The whole time I felt sorry for Asemu, it was a little awkward to watch him stand up for someone who has clearly duped him.
When the battle moves outside, that’s when we get some good ol’ in-colony mobile suit combat. I think this was the first episode that confirmed that Zeheart was piloting the Zedas-R (I’m slowly learning this mobile weapon names), and the first time we see that he’s a ….a …a X-Rounder! Ugh! I thought I was comfortable with the term, but I’m not. Call me a butt-hurt oldfag if you want. They’re g**d*** Newtypes to me!
Anyway, the inevitable happens; Asemu rides in on the AGE-1 to kick some Veigan butt, because that’s what he does. And him and Zeheart clash. Gotta say, Asemu’s doing good. It seems that he’s decent using AGE-1 in a standard way, but when he dual-wields he’s a monster. If not for Zeheart’s superior battle experience, and a Newtype flash, he might have been made into hot Veigan hamburger. HA! That was actually pretty funny! Veigan hamburger! *ahem x2* Zeheart is able to take down Asemu and could have killed him, but I guess all that time (that the show swept under the rug) spent at the academy had an effect. Zeheart chooses to spare Asemu, exposes his identity, and asks his future rival to not take up a military career. His request doesn’t fall on deaf ears, it’s just a shame that a set of those ears had to belong to Romary. It’s amazing how conveniently the women in these shows just pop up at the most convenient times.
In the end, Zeheart escapes and he, Asemu and Romary are all left with a sense of regret.
Pretty good episode I think. Another example of the show successfully conveying emotions to the audience, while also managing to entertain us with action, and a little melodrama. I didn’t really like the time skip (as I said above), but I’ll accept it. I believe one episode of character development would have been nice, but apparently the show is operating on a much tighter schedule than I assumed it had. Also, I was a bit pissed that we hardly got any of Woolf this episode despite the tease we had last week.
As for the arc, it served its purpose quite well. Asemu and Zeheart look like they’re going to be able to carry the show on their own. Though I’m sure Flit will still have a major part in the upcoming chain of events. It looks like Romary may not have much more of a role or impact than Emily did, which is not bad but still a bit of a disappoint for female character. I could be wrong though. Maybe she’s more than a bad of eggs waiting to produce the next Gundam ace.
I found Zeheart to be a somewhat more interesting character as of this episode. When it comes to rival ace pilot, I believe he’s much more closely parralleled with Athrun than Char. It’s not a cockiness, so much as it’s a quiet confidence that he has. I sure would have liked to see his character relax and talk a bit more, but it seems his character development will have to come in battle.
Well, as we say goodbye to the “training phase” of the second age I’m looking forward to more combat, a bitter rivalry and maybe some character development that doesn’t take place in the middle of a fire fight. Come on AGE, give me less montages and more real time character involvement. You’ve been doing most everything else right up until this point.