Gundam AGE 48 Remembers the Show I Loved For Almost a Year Now

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[Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 47]

No. I’m not saying this makes up for the entire Kio arc. Also, there’s one more episode for it to all go to waste. But, for 20 or so minutes, I was reminded of the show I loved all year; the show I was so ready to proclaim as the best TV Gundam anime since Turn A Gundam, or even better than it. This episode won’t make sense of all the narrative turns, and stylistic decisions over the last 15 or so episodes, but I will celebrate it.

Yes. I’m reminded of how Mobile Suit Z Gundam completely tanked before the last three episodes… with the high point being the penultimate one (“Casualties of War”), but Mobile Suit Gundam AGE dug itself a far, far deeper hole, and the episode in question does NOT give the same shock and power Z Gundam’s did, despite being more melodramatically named “Flash of Despair.”

Having said all that, I can now celebrate what I really enjoyed watching this weekend. What’s amazing is how it barely involves Flit doing awesome things!

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Kio did not get to fight in his own way.

No, the show didn’t “set Kio straight,” but rather the episode took the spotlight nearly completely away from Kio. Thus, I can easily rationalize the defensive move he pulled here as just any other defensive move from a lead pilot in Gundam. What happens when we don’t see Kio fighting?

Characters die, as soldiers do, in big battles.

A whole bunch of people get to do soldier-y, things. A lot of what I like about Gundam happens. That’s what.

Fram

She dies, something I know will happen. When it finally does, it was pretty good. Instead of a confession before heading out, which would’ve been very awkward to watch given the sequences surrounding it, we just get to see her farewell to Zeheart just as she gives him the resolve to sacrifice her. This isn’t just one of those girls who stands in front of the beam to save Jerid. Fram was consistently throwing herself at the Federation for Zeheart’s sake.

Zeheart fires, as he accepts her devotion. The beam kills Fram, who was dying anyway, and takes out the “undesirables” like Zanald and his forces. This attack not only was supposed to destroy the Gundams and the Federation vanguard, but also purge the Vagan of the weak-minded. Only that it failed, only accomplishing the latter. It’s all cool, made better by Fram’s sad farewell.

Zeheart and Asem

I’ll set aside my disappointment for Asem’s ascendance as a pilot, as it’s really the payment to purchase this emotional resolution. Asem defeats Zeheart, Gundam vs. Gundam, in a straightforward duel with no gimmicks. Zeheart is interesting because his death offers no apology. He went as far as his commitment took him, and that was all the way. There was no corruption, like say, Char. If Zeheart was a fool, then he was a consistent, valiant fool.

Instead of redemption, we were given something else: the affirmation of love, of friendship. Zeheart remembers youth, and how it really was to be happy. That is what his time with Asem was. It was only right that Asem did him in, to remind him of what he chose to give up for his ideals.

Asem shows up HUGE in this battle. His pirate ship rescues the Diva’s crew. His pirate Gundam takes his father’s and son’s mobile suits to safety away from the Vagan super beam. And only after all this, he defeats Zeheart. Asem and Zeheart saved the Earth from the plummeting Zeon fortress once, and Asem now defeats Vagan’s most valiant warrior.

This episode establishes Asem as major character of worth in the show, a worthy lead, at least to stand beside Flit as an interesting, morally compromised character asked to become a hero standing at the vanguard of humanity.

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One more episode to go, and it’s going to be split between Flit, Ezelcant’s avatar, and Kio.

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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48 Responses to Gundam AGE 48 Remembers the Show I Loved For Almost a Year Now

  1. Myssa says:

    Moderate Haruhiist The episode kind of felt to me like the producers were saying, “So, you think we’re not serious with this? Fine, lets start thinning the cast herd.” However, aside from possibly Obright and Fram, none of the deaths held ANY kind of gravitas. The former obviously because it was an inevitable carryover from the tragedy that sort of dropped unexpectedly in the second generation, the latter BECAUSE IN THE END IT WAS UTTERLY POINTLESS, especially when the object of sacrifice ALSO buys the farm less than five minutes later, and pretty much derails the Eden Plan in the process.

    They just sort of happened. Heck, even in the last not-fight, I couldn’t even get myself to care at all for Zeheart, given how he’s been a douche for the last few episodes, and come THIS one, delusional as well.

    Though I have to admit though, I laughed a bit at the end, especially when Zeheart the “I wanted to have children with the one I loved” speech, while staring straight at the SUPER PIRATE. I don’t have to be a fujoshi to put two and two together. Subtext? Subtlety? Ain’t any here, no siree!

    • Obright went out LIKE A BOSS, it was fitting that he finally went home to Remi when the Diva was also blown up. Btw, loss of the AGE builder means that there probably won’t be any Gundams for a while, although the System survived.

    • senshi says:

      The fact that Zeheart was a douche and fool who devoted everything to a madman’s delusional cause and then suffers the consequences in the most pathetic of ways was actually, dare I say, VERY satisfying to watch. The best bit was actually him realising he was wrong and could’ve had another choice and had to swallow that huge bitter pill dealt by no one else by Asemu himself. I absolutely loved the tragic set up and the fall Zeheart got.

      If Zeheart somehow went out with some flashy heroic way like a kamikaze move taking out some more Feds while crying “Zieg Vagan!” I would actually be disappointed!

      • Biggest problem with Zeheart is that whenever it seems like there’s hope for him yet, he goes and talk to Ezelcant and get hoodwinked by pretty holograms and X-ROUNDER MIND CONTROL, wtf is he, a three year old?

        • senshi says:

          And that’s EXACTLY why he deserves this pathetic exit. He was such a fool in completely believing that nonsense – which a person with half a brain can see through – that he does not deserve a remotely heroic end one single bit, if it wasn’t everything he sacrificed for not only meant absolutely nothing – but on top of which escalated the intensity of the war – it won’t show how dumb he was in believing Ezelcant. If he went out in a heroic way that would actually go to support that Ezelcant’s ideal and method had some merit and make it like seem like a noble cause – which it is not, one single bit – and that Zeheart supporting him was somehow could be argued to be a viable choice – which it wasn’t. Thus a complete crush of Zeheart – both physically and mentally by Asemu – is the best outcome here.

          • Agreed, save for the total crushing — unless you mean it in the romantic sense, which means I wholeheartedly agree LOL.

          • Reid says:

            I did think it was kind of…I would say “cool” but I think “meaningful” might be the better word to use…how Asemu rammed (hahaha) Zeheart’s cockpit with the lance/nose of the AGE-2 in its g-strider mode, similar to how Kamille wrecked Scirocco in The O using a similar attack while in waverider mode.

          • Myssa Rei says:

            So phallic! Would have even more hilarious if he rammed the Legilis from behind to seal the deal.

          • Reid says:

            Exactly my…point…hahahah and then that “with the person I love” speech. Yeah, them boys is in love.

    • sadakups says:

      Yeah, I also laughed when Zeheart said having kids with “the one he loved”.

  2. rollover says:

    Ah, this episode… went down much better.

    Char is back on his meds?

  3. CVPhased says:

    Looks like they’ve been prepping everything for these last couple of episodes, with bumps in animation quality and what not. And now that Asem’s character has been resolved, it makes me tinker how they’ll do genocidal Flit…

    There’s still that EXA-DB remnant… and oh yeah, Kio.

  4. No mention of Obright’s glorious death? He reached SUPER PILOT status by killing 2 X-rounders and died next to the Diva, his home. If AGE is on SRW, I’ll make sure Obright is my best pilot.

  5. Reid says:

    Mr. Lightning, I applaud your efforts with the Nabokov quote. So appropriate for Char. I lol’d and lol’d and lol’d.

  6. It was nice to see a good, dark spark in this show again. Characters dying left and right. The pained grimace of death and failure. The smirks of satisfaction at the door of death. Fram’s beautiful death scene. Even the Diva went down. If AGE was gonna cash in its chips, this was a good time.

    I guess I was happy for Asemu’s somewhat starring role in this episode. But Zeheart’s death seemed a little too quick and shallow. Very entertaining episode regardless.

  7. sadakups says:

    I just noticed that every time either Flit and/or Asem do something awesome and Kio gets little screen time, the episode actually becomes a good one.

    Seriously though, I feel the same sentiments as ghosty. Watching this episode did make me remember why I enjoyed watching Gundam AGE, amidst all the stupid shit that happened in this last arc. Flit’s smart planning, plus Asem’s nice assist, and Kio not being an annoying prick – this is exactly the Asuno Alliance I wanted to see – working together to kick everybody’s ass.

    As side characters, all of Seric’s crew (except for Shanalua who was a waste) died fighting. While Obright got the most badass death among all of them, I’m glad to see these guys last up to the penultimate episode (unlike a certain crew from Generation 2).

    I feel so fucking bad for Zeheart. Makes me wonder what his VA was thinking when he was reading the script. I mean, Zeheart’s really a mess of a character in Generation 3, considering that he had the potential to be that Vagan that opposes Ezelcant. I was seriously laughing alongside Desil when I saw his face after he saw the Gundams survive AFTER killing his allies and Fram. That was ridiculously stupid, although to give him the benefit of the doubt, I think he just gave up and said, “Fuck it, I’m done with this war, might as well try to screw everything up”.

    I’m not really that excited for the final episode, but as I said before, I just need closure to this show. Still, this episode was indeed a good reminder of those good times in AGE.

  8. Treize says:

    Zeheart threw his life away like an idiot, but not after sacrificing those who actually cared about him. He went down with a whimper…Hell, Alejandro Corners went down in a better fashion than him, and that’s saying a lot. He’s far from being Vagan’s greatest warrior, that’s actually Zera Gins, you know, the clone that hasn’t had a single line yet. But hey, don’t worry, I’m sure that guy too will go down in a 10 second fight.

    This show is a pile of rushed manure.

    You’re all drooling over the one-sided slaughter of Vagan characters and Asemu, one of the worst characters in the entire show right up there with Kio, Zeheart, Romary, and a long etc. The only characters worth a damn were Flit, and Grodek. Woolf showed promise in S1, but get forgotten in S2.

  9. kilvy says:

    na na na hey hey hey goodbye cause this PG-age gundam almost over give is real flop to watch due to um

    1.lack of characters develops blame on timeskip hype characters they last only few eps or put on a bus.
    2.mis-used of women in this series good grief is this series being a bullied or they don’t like women in gundam?
    3.too much timeskips really lacks more to work give skip it all.

    etc etc really no longer PG-gundam series really bad project to watch give good news the PG-age is almost over indeed goodbye & next gundam series give us a main lead female gundam pilot.

  10. Inky says:

    I would have to disagree on Zeheart as consistent. For most of the show, he was the honorable guy-on-the-other-side, but the rapid descent from someone who remembered his fallen subordinates to someone willing to throw out two of his most valuable aides, just because Ezelcant said “please carry on the genocidal dream of a dying madman!”

    “I sacrified everyone who loved me. NOW MY PLAN IS SURE TO WORK…” no, dude, you kind of needed them. If only to keep them out of the hallucinatiatory crowd you’ve got following you around. And Fram. “If I let him throw me away like an old sock, he’ll go back to being decent!” No no no no no. Her fighting in general was great this episode, but I can’t understand why she’d think that this disposal is a good thing when he’s lost the quality that made her decide he was worthy of her brother’s sacrifice in the first place.

    The heartfelt talk he had with Asemu would have worked for his original characterization, not for the crazy man he was railroaded into being. Yeah, he realized he was wrong, but they shouldn’t have had him act that way in the first place.

    And they handily killed off all the enemies the audience gives a crap about, in favor of… another new rival! Gee willikers, the one who hasn’t even had any dialogue yet after 49 episodes! I am going to be SO INVESTED in it, let me tell you. This really should have been the last episode. Or at least get rid of the SID crap and this unnecessary clone and make the finale about what Flit and the Feddies will do with their victory, ’cause that’s enough conflict for the 20 minutes before an end montage.

    The Diva sinking was sad, the deaths were sad, the fights and Flit’s gambit and Asemu + Bisidian were all great! but for me, the good and great moments were also a reminder of all the wonderful potential that this show has squandered. At least if it was all bad, it would have been funny.

    • sadakups says:

      Actually, if they ended the fighting right there and the last episode is just the epilogue, I’d be fine with it.

      And this:

    • senshi says:

      No Zeheart was consistent – from Gen 2 he always ONLY believed that Ezelcant’s ideal was right. Here at the very end he flat out said so – if it wasn’t “their dream” of Eden he’d had nothing to live for. The fact the Ezelcant was dying sent him into panic mode – because Zeheart himself was so brainwashed since early childhood that he doesn’t have his own ideal nor vision, because if he did he would have realised in Gen 2 what he only come to realise upon his immanent death in this episode (which is actually to live peacefully with the Earthnoid friends). I think it was a bad idea to give Zeheart the classic Char mask because it confuses people to think that Zeheart was a leader and/or revolutionist or even a politician like Char – but he is not, Zeheart had always been the soldier and Ezelcant’s personal puppet, and the fact that his string-puller is dying meant that he doesn’t know what to do, and that’s why his character is consistent.

  11. mechafan2040 says:

    Congratulations Obright you get the award for epicness of the ENTIRE SERIES!!!

  12. Reid says:

    Obright owns TWO powerful X-Rounders in one go, all while using his two-decade old mobile suit?! Why was he sandbagging this whole time?! Why wasn’t he the officer in charge instead of Seric?! Jeez, if they’d have given Obright the AGE-FX the war would have been over and done with 6 or 7 episodes ago. I knew he’d have a Crowning Moment of Awesome in the spotlight, and awesome it was indeed. Here’s to you, brave sir. Go to your well-deserved rest.

  13. Turambar says:

    That is one badass looking image for this week’s peanut gallery Char. Where did you find it?

  14. Gamer2002 says:

    For I short fight with Zeheart I blame AGE not having 50 episodes because of olimpic games. I hope they will make DVD special/final plus or something like that.

    I loved the part when Asem acknowledged Zeheart as a human, who at the end of second gen acknowledged him as a warrior. I shows how Asem has grown up.

  15. Pingback: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Finale: The Worst is Over | We Remember Love

  16. Pingback: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Finale: The Worst is Over | Xcuz Me

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