This is War (This is Hell, um yeah): Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 23

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_00.41_[2012.03.19_06.59.00]

[Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 22]

Lots of good things I appreciate in this episode, from the introduction of a war profiteer entity similar to Anaheim Electronics in the Universal Century, to seeing the Titus Equipment mass produced; from seeing Flit finally go “Gihren,” to Zeheart having to take the bullshit from his X-Rounder corps. Everyone’s just a little bit compromised (or a lot), making the stress, tension, and ultimately the drama a little more interesting.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m put off by some of the execution in this episode. I’ve been very forgiving, distinguishing what would easily work for my 8-12 year-old self. But there are things here that just don’t work period. There are mistakes here that exist because of the point the show is trying to make, and I dislike such laziness.

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_05.10_[2012.03.19_06.57.33]

No, I don’t even mean Woolf Enneacle going Solid Snake on us. Any action done outside of mobile suits in this show isn’t very good, and Woolf dodging bullets either while jumping and running, or driving a jeep is rather painful to watch. It kind of sucks, but I know that as a kid I’d be WOW, WOOLF IS AWESOME. No sense trying to act cool, that’s just how I was, and I find it a lot easier to take than Setsuna F. Seiei’s super soldier bits at the beginning of Gundam 00 S2. Pilots aren’t infantry/CQB experts. I can take Kamille being a martial artists – Karate was his thing. I can even take Char and Amuro fencing, their proficiency with beam sabers must come from somewhere (I think).

But like I said, this doesn’t bother me as much.

What really annoys me is what Asemu did after his confrontation with the Commander, his dad. It’s one thing to disobey a direct order to launch – that’s bad enough, but what he did was not only run away, but run away into the combat zone on foot. What the flying fuck does he intend to accomplish? There was truly no reason for him to be out there. There’s nothing in his personality that predicated this behavior.

So why is he here, in the streets?

It’s because the show needed to portray “War is Hell,” and the quickest way to do that was collateral damage. We had to be shown Asemu’s horror, and his inevitable reevaluation of what he can do to stop/minimize human risk.  Flit fighting with not-Zakus back in Fardain was one thing; that was incredibly and unmistakably kiddy-show fare. This on the other hand, is clumsy GRIMDORK.

Another lame thing directly related to this gaffe, is how the collateral damage reached this area. The fight involved one Federation MS with a beam rifle, and 2 melee suits. HOW THE HELL DOES THE CITY LOOK CARPET BOMBED WITHIN MINUTES? Why are skyscrapers being shot at near the top? UrrrghhhhhhRAAAEEEEG. I hate this kind of shit.

Why does a small skirmish turn the city into worse than Industrial Z in Unicorn (minus the nuke)?

It’s because the show needed to portray “War is Hell.” The show did this already during flashbacks of “Angel Fell” or whatever they called the first UE massacre. They already destroyed Flit’s home colony. This was already very clear. The show is doing this for Asemu’s sake, so that WE can see him work out these issues, and show how cold and/or ruthless Flit has become.

Good intentions, lame execution.

image

That Anaheim dude with the terrible facial hair is so evil.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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41 Responses to This is War (This is Hell, um yeah): Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 23

  1. So I guess Grodek’s return and the Adele’s getting fancy new underwear wasn’t enough to blind you to the insanity that was some of this episode’s logic? I was more pissed personally at Asemu going all whiny angsty Newtype brat on us. I was worried he was gonna find a patch of sand and bury the AGE-2. I’m a little amazed at Flit’s professionalism. If this were most other Gundams he would’ve decked Asemu.

    • He is now the first protagonist to go in that route( is very rare the exception to that route) but that is the little problem with the generational system… the experience already done must be done similar but different for the new main characther for his Development… that is a little problem for those who start from Zero(or with other Gundam Serie), but have to be made anyway.

      And Yes Flit Professionalism is pretty well, he learn a lot in all his years in the Army(25 now) and somewhat confirm his Gihren’s Policies…

    • what the hell says:

      newtype brat? i would like to challenge that.

    • That he goes emo doesn’t bother me as much at all. He should’ve just sulked in his room or hit the weights or something. But step out into the city while there’s mobile suit combat going on? PERFECT.

  2. Even from some Perpesctive. In my Watch i fell it well made, Obviosly for those who start to Zero(or us since other gundam series), that was a quick rehash of War is Hell… but those who come late to the party(partial advantage of the generation system) will need this to learn of what is the Gundam Franchise about… how the people and their action in war can cause both good and bad things.

    The act of Techical Solomon executive was very nice, I don’t belive the bullshit of this employees but the twist at end was legit… thus we have some people who Support the Vagan and all, that open a new worm of can, specially for Furito( I have a bad vision of him as the Earth Federation President-Dictador-Whatever for Kio Generation with his own Titans)

    The result of the action were pretty realistic even in the gundam metaverse, Asemu is not the First(Since Amuro, Kamille and a long etc) Pilot to going AWOL… but being one of directly being threat under military law and put in jail provisionally, his Scene with Romary was vital to him to clear his doubt and start to know he hasn’t see the blood that is Otou-san have saw already.

    Woolf going metal gear was something i loved it, was nice and little over the top, but again, YOU FORGET THE LOVE OF MAX IN MACROSS/ROBOTECH?

    And about the Preview: Grodek Exchange some secrets(that man have his fame and respect even in jail) with his old Friend/protege and that can mean anything, Asemu and Zenehart have their ‘Lake Scene’ going a little Yandere, and them their Duel when Asem fullfily his dream and become a Jedi too… the next one will be big.

    And talking About Future… now that Furito have go in Full Gihren Mode… Asemu will Awake his Kamille and going in a AEUG Fashion?, because the chance of our Father Vs Son ala Star wars was generation Finally still can happen…and if Furito manage to won more power… Create his own Titans for going full Against the Vagan? As always… we can only speculate.

    • It’s not the introduction of War is Hell is the problem. It’s the execution. Like I said in the post, they did it with Angel Fell, and in the first colony that had to be scuttled. That was fine and hellish. This is not.

      The scenes are important, but terribly handled. The narrative had things to accomplish, but did it ham-fistedly.

  3. Asemu has no idea how much shit he’s actually allowed to get away with just because he’s the AGE-2 pilot, any other pilot would have been brought up on a charge instead of the usual brig or NJP. That said, a few BRIGHTSLAPS are in order.

    And yeah, out of cockpit scenes involving the MS pilots are retarded. Low gee acrobatics are plausible, but dodging bullets???

    And finally an picture of shota-Char which is actually reflects his mental maturity at the time of CCA…

  4. sadakups says:

    Yes, oh yes. I was saying the same things in my head. As much as they had to setup the conflict between Flit and Asem, those things in between were really just dumb.

    I was laughing hard when I saw Wolf do those crazy shit. Damn, those guys have poor accuracy, just like our contrabidas in our local action flicks.

    For all those execution errors, just seeing Grodek overshadowed it. Seeing the possible unholy alliance between the two, the Vagans are definitely fucked. And I bet my ass that whatever those two will do, Asem will not like it.

  5. All I can say is that this ended up being far better than I had originally expected. Mind you, I feared the worst when I first read the spoilers about this episode bringing back the Gundam protag running away trope, so I had expected that the worst case scenario would’ve been Asem pulling the same shit in 0079 when Amrou ran away (it didn’t help that this episode started out in a desert …)

    Lots of things to like, as always. This episode does prove that Asem is a pretty damn good pilot, even without any X-Rounder abilities (can you believe that the Titus got overpowered by the same UE suit it beat back in Generation 1? WTF at Uso and Kallen, where did all their 133t pioliting skills from their past lives go?) and that Romary does love him after all (or at least, it looks that way … god this show and the romance is so lacking … at least Obright X Remi and Uso X Kallen getting some screen time)

    Anyway, I want to see next episode Godrick telling Flit to cool down a bit, considering he’s the guy who got it into his head that the UE weren’t humans.

  6. Reid says:

    Man I had an awesome comment when you first made this post, Ghost, but something happened and the whole thing went away. That was…geez, hours ago. I had the first comment and everything. Now I can’t even remember that poetry I wrote explaining my viewpoint.

  7. Gamer2002 says:

    I liked corporation guy. He was all like “I am Vagan’s bitch” and ended like a boss.

    And yes, they went over the top with destruction in city and you are right about Asem being outside of ship. But I think that now he will be ok.

    • He’ll be fine, I just want the show to clean up its shit storytelling.

      • Gamer2002 says:

        Eh, I think it is just clumsy. Probably writers though that we would just take for granted that MC after protesting against orders would escape from his organization.

        If we want to come with interpretation that would justify it, I have this: In previous episode Zeheart was accusing him that he just wants to follow his father (and he was partially right, when Asem joined army he was happy about following Flit), so when Flit gave order against Asem’s declared reason of protecting people he protested.
        Not only that caused him to run, he was also scared that he was becoming like his father and Zeheart. He knows that Flit fights since he was 14, and seeing him being calm about risking lives of civilians made him realize what AGE showed us already – war can affect people negatively. And When Asem yelled at Romary he was in full Flit mode, but he saw her shocked about what he become. Something like this didn’t happen to his father, not with such close person.

        At last, not until this episode. When I rewatched scene of Asem arguing with Flit, I realized that after Asem said that Flit doesn’t care for people and doesn’t even try to solve this problem better, Flit added to his command “take Titus frames”. And Titus was created as a solution to problem how to fight enemy without causing destruction of city.

        If we look at those two scenes separately, they are really good. Problem is with what happened in between – Asem’s teleportation without cleared up reason.

  8. CVPhased says:

    For some reason, I am feeling that Asem’s character development is at a pretty slow pace compared to Flit’s… but then again, we only have 2 wears for the AGE-2 and I’m guessing that the Double Bullet is going to debut in the next couple of episodes or so, thus they have the ‘luxury’ to slow things down…

    • What does this mysterious “character development” jargon mean?

      • CVPhased says:

        It’s how his character changes throughout the show, depending on the events that are happening around him… haha!

        • In all seriousness, I think characters changing for the sake of changing as a good thing is silly.

          Characters, if they are well put together, may stay constant and IN character in a good story. A lot of the garbage that people say about characters getting development is really when some character gets some episode with a back story which shows them a primitive state of that character.

          In any case, I don’t put much stock in this “element of fiction” at all.

          • CVPhased says:

            Yup, I guess character development is pretty much a case to case basis… For Asem’s case, I think this is somewhat needed given his “issues” with his father and his resolve to fight while coping with the fact that he’s not an X-Rounder (at least not yet)…

            A perfect example of character development thrown out of the window is Athrun Zala, where his development in SEED is suddenly disregarded and was just repeating the same cycle in Destiny…

            So yeah, hahaha! Still enjoying the show btw! :D

          • I still think character development is a dumb idea. Character stories exist, character back stories exist. Characterization exists. But development? Ugh. The item on Wikipedia doesn’t even have citations AT ALL.

          • CVPhased says:

            Hahaha! At least you have one less thing to worry about a show. :))

  9. ces06 says:

    For all the low points this episode hit, it was all redeemed by Grodek freaking’ Ainoa walking out of prison. That epic still was well deserved.

    I agree, most of the stuff that went wrong in this episode had to do with it’s execution. Even Asem running away (putting aside how whiny it looked for a moment) wasn’t that whiny at all in argument, even somewhat legit.

    Flit…. man, he sure dishes some tough love, to the point where he really seems emotionless.

    Whoah, the Adele has Gundam eyes.

    Cue the Double Bullet foreshadowing.

    One thing I’m a bit not sure of, so Solon City is on Earth, and not on some colony? If so, this is the first time we’ve seen Earth, and although it’s not enough to judge it’s condition, I’d say this Earth is pretty much as trashed as any other Earth on Gundam.

    If it’s Earth though, that begs the question, what the hell has the army been doing all this time? Letting the enemy manufacture their weapons right under their noses is a pretty large oversight.

  10. Rusty says:

    Here I was starting to feel some respect for that company director guy but he had to go super ruthless agent. Ah well. Also is it just me or those new Vagan X-rounders look pretty psycho?
    Woolf’s stint in James Bond-esque action was highly entertaining, even if the aim of those Vagans sucked. And Flit has certainly learnt from Grodek about distrusting the Federation.
    Totally agree with you on Asemu’s running away. I was expecting him to only go sulking in his room, but no, he had to rush to a mech fighting scene that he knew would take place for no apparent reason. Darwin Award material there.

  11. Reid says:

    Here’s the gist of my original comment –
    There are several things I think are very well done (or at least very appealing to me) in this otherwise lackluster episode, which, as we’ve established was lacking in execution. Said shoddy execution made me feel like this episode was one of very few in “Gundam Age” that really “felt” like a kiddy show instead of a more serious show that only “seems” to be for kids on a superficial level. Us hardened veterans of more space wars than we can count see through the ruse and know this Gundam is just as much a Gundam show (and in some ways more of one) than those that have come before it. So now on with the things I liked about the episode.

    1. I’m paraphrasing here, but that “ISN’T THERE A WAY TO RESOLVE THIS SITUATION WITHOUT USING MOBILE SUITS?!” Asemu directs at his dad was hilarious. I could almost hear Flit thinking something along the lines of “HAHAHAHA Not in this show, kiddo.” Also, their whole exchange further makes it clear the difference between these two heroes: Flit doesn’t get why his boy doesn’t hate the Vagans as much as he does – almost as if he he’s disappointed in not only Asemu’s inability to be completely devoted to defeating the “enemies of the human race” but also his seeming inability to make the most of his super-sweet hereditary mobile weapon.
    2. Obright Lorain’s dynamic entry in the ever-hapless Genoace was cool (only redheads get to be B-A in a Genoace – oh how I miss you, Largann), even if he never got to do anything because of…
    3. Asemu’s dynamic entry and “X-slash special attack!!!” thing in the AGE-2. I think it’s pretty neat that we’ve just seen what one of this Gundam’s attacks will be come the inevitable SRW/SD Gundam game appearance. That was pure boss, if in an artificial way that Asemu’s previous displays of swordsmanship didn’t feel to me.
    4. The pep-talk/chastisement/wake-up call conversation/man-to-man between Woolf and Asemu in the brig was kinda cool as well. I sincerely hope that this hard talk takes the place of a slap-down for our hero. Maybe the tough love of his big brother figure Woolf will help Asemu get his mind right so that he’ll surpass his own limitations and not be such a (relative) screwup.
    5. The return of Grodek. When the jailers saluted him as he left prison it made me do a fist pump.

  12. Pingback: I Hate You [Like I Love You] Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 24 “X-Rounder” | We Remember Love

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