Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Finale: The Worst is Over

[Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 48]

Thank you everyone for following my coverage of the show. I didn’t think it was possible for me to complete a year-long episodic coverage in a consistent, timely manner. But I did it, and I’m very thankful for the community of readers who stopped by, left comments, and enriched my experience of watching Gundam for a whole year.

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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70 Responses to Mobile Suit Gundam AGE Finale: The Worst is Over

  1. sadakups says:

    Yup. thank heavens that the show is over. Nothing much to say. Glad it’s over.

    Kudos to ghosty for the whole year of AGE-ing. On to the next one, huh?

    • Thanks for the acknowledgment and for keeping the discussions fun and interesting. I haven’t been as good or as timely in responding, I so I really appreciate everyone who kept commenting anyway. You’re true bros.

  2. -chii- says:

    right on char right on! XD

  3. Inky says:

    I enjoyed reading your reviews, and I compliment you on the specific picture you chose to represent the great Harry Ord.

  4. jonas says:

    Congratulations!

  5. Laziness says:

    Marina’s real name is Katejina?! *shocked and disillusioned”

    • Arabesque says:

      WHAT A TWEEST

      Always trying to get in the pants of younger kids, she’d even change her name and face to get her way with them. tsk tsk tsk

    • Oh crap sorry about that. It was well past midnight and I was/still am sick as sin when I made this. But you know what, all that proves is how Marina bullied me in my befuddled state to let her represent herself the way she really wants to become.

  6. RaidenWarrior says:

    It’s been a pleasure to be a part of your discussion group about Gundam AGE (the franchise sure has aged…) It’s been fun to go through even the hell just to finish one of the worst anime shows…
    There is one thing I want to comment about the franchise as a whole. The Gundams — even the original — have all been intended more like shiny, fantastic super robots; it was the Zakus that laid the foundation for the gritty, realistic real robot shows.
    Nevertheless, SEE YOU NEXT WAR! ;)

    • RaidenWarrior says:

      [quote]The Gundams — even the original — have all been intended more like shiny, fantastic super robots[/quote]
      To be frank, I skipped the Gundams in the 08th MS Team, which are much more of real robots than the rest of the Gundams.

    • Reid says:

      Maybe the next one will be one worth fighting.

    • Well, intended by whom? The original Gundam was just going to be white. That intention was only fulfilled in 2009 via Gundam Unicorn, with obvious compromises because there a shinier brighter and sparkling Gundam within it.

      • RaidenWarrior says:

        What I’m saying is that in spite of being categorized in the real robot territory, the Gundams, for the sake of marketing, have been painted not only in white, but in colors as flashy as possible, and they have been nearly indestructible until near the end (for examples, just look at SEED and 00, in those cases the main protagonists’ Gundams). This is in contrast to the uglily colored Zakus and VOTOMS which are portrayed as everyday and expendable.

  7. Reid says:

    I’m having a hard time believing that the higher-ups behind Gundam AGE could really do something like this. It’s just so…disappointing. There was no emotion at all. I am ultimately left with no feelings whatsoever about the conclusion to the show I have diligently watched each week over the past year, as have all of you, and that apathy is really, for me, the surest sign that the show is a failure. It’s even a failure at making its own point. Even Gundam Wing’s conclusion was better at the “And now the world is at peace….for now” thing that all the AU Gundam shows seem to be about. Such a shame, such a shame. What might have been better in some ways than something great (Turn A), was even worse than bad (SEED, SEED Destiny) – it became….a nothing.

    What does the future hold for Gundam? Does the franchise even deserve a future? I ask these questions to you all in earnest. I honestly don’t know. If all best “new” stories ultimately become about remembering what was worthwhile about past Gundam stories (Unicorn) or revisiting that past wholesale (the upcoming “Gundam: The Origin”) what really is the point of continuing this exercise? I hate to be a downer, but I simply don’t hold much hope that the current crop of creative people at Sunrise can come up with something new AND good AND true to what makes Gundam what it is.

    ….however….

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.animenewsnetwork.com%2Fnews%2F2012-08-25%2Fgundam-creator-tomino-g-reko-entering-full-fledged-production&ei=TslfUOnPKZTS8wSMqIDYBQ&usg=AFQjCNF2f3kjjj8iT8M6R52Wi8jtfHf0yw

    • ces06 says:

      I feel you man. It’s like they tried to shoot the moon (and there are times in the show where they felt like they were really going to), came so close, and chickened out at the last moment. There’s a lot I wanted to say about the show, but now there’s nothing to say really.

      I’m really putting my hopes up on G-Reko, and I’m glad Tomino’s making a conscious effort to distance it from the usual Gundam . The shows that tend to stray away from the usual themes and setting of what Gundam usually does tend to be the best. (G, Turn A, X) They really need to stop this line of AU Gundam that started with Wing, IMO.

      • Reid says:

        I think that’s the worst part, that there really isn’t much to say. We all saw it coming from the moment that Kio was captured by the Vagans, that this AU show would go on to be the same old AU Gundam thing about superhuman pacifistic soldiers solving a war with nonviolent violence, mutual love and understanding. I’ll just have to chalk this up to AGE being a kids’ show when we really get down to it, which is exactly what the pundits all said it would be from the moment it was announced. I just hoped that it would exceed those low expectations – and it did, and almost from the start – but for the series to end the way it did is worse than if it had been consistently bad or crappy throughout. Maybe the fandom itself is to blame for the poor outcome and the direction the show took in its final arc. That may be the only thing worth discussing.

        G-Reko fascinates me. Let’s hope it is something new and good in the way that Gundam AGE could not be.

    • Matt Wells says:

      Wasn’t the end of the Wing TV series some flowery bullshit about Heero was “the true heart of outer space”? What utter fucking tosh… what does that even mean?! An emotionless child soldier is the embodiment of the cosmos? That’s retarded dialogue even by LOL-Tomino standards.

      I think the franchise needs a fresh break from tradition. Something drastic and unconventional like G Gundam to really fuck with this Magical Jesus corner that they’ve dug Gundam into. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Super Robot show or the like, just something different and unusual. Give us a female protagonist (seriously, WHY have they not done this yet? Why?), make the bad guys actual aliens, pull an Evangelion if you have to, just do SOMETHING different Sunrise!

      How about a show where the main conflict and the Gundam itself are only supporting characters? Where the actual focus is a team of frontline grunts, and we get snippets of information of the overall “main” war presented to us as the the characters find it out? In essence, an in-universe side story which is actually the TRUE story, and the Gundam pilot is just a multi-faceted cypher, more plot device and historical totem than an actual character? That idea was inspired by SEED Astray, which is by all accounts far superior to the main show that spawned it.

      How about a show where the Gundam itself is the VILLAIN? An incomprehensible super weapon of enormous destructive power, which the Federation desperately throws all it’s resources into just halting. The series ends with the protagonist taking control of the nightmarish mobile suit, wiping out the enemy forces in turn but losing his sanity and family in the process, destroying the infernal war machine in a final desperate act to spare humanity further suffering.

      (Maybe they could try actually listening to us legions of moaning Oldfags and just make us a grimdark real robot show with Gundams in it already? It’s only what we’ve been clamouring for since 08th MS Team bloody well concluded…)

      And failing all that, why not just take a break? Remember, it was a good few years between the relative failure of Gundam X and the success of Turn A. There’s no desperate need to hit the public with a new Gundam TV series every year; they can afford to go back to the drawing board while Unicorn and The Origin keeps the die hard fans happy.

      • Reid says:

        If you’ll recall back to Ghost’s post about the episode of Gundam AGE where Woolf first appeared, it was my suggestion that a show about a junior mobile suit grand prix set during the Gryps Conflict or something similar. That would satisfy all the things you recommend: it would be something different, it would feature “grunts” ie common people, it would feature The War as a secondary plot element, the hero or heroes would not paragons of world-saving virtue. Most of all, though, it would, ideally, be set in the Universal Century, which is a prerequisite for any good Gundam show, as all real fans will tell you :P

      • Unfortunately, Japan is very much about tradition, which is why, for example, we won’t be getting a female main protagonist any time soon. I like best what Chris Guanche of MAHQ said about Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Pacific Rim movie: “It figures it would take an American film, directed by a Mexican guy to feature a Japanese woman as the hero of a mecha story.”

      • RaidenWarrior says:

        Finally, someone else pointed those things out — a female protagonist in a mecha anime and the Gundam in question as a villain. Those are the things I have been thinking of in these past months.
        AND that female protagonist must not be another Ms. Fanservice like nearly every female character in the anime industries has been. Again, why the fuck must the anime industries segregate its audiences by gender and sell ONLY magical girl and romantic genres to female audiences (granted, I dislike Fram’s MS a hell lot, too)?
        As of the villainous Gundam I would make it like a black box project by the Federation, who are the villains in that show, just like Metal Gear. As of the heroic resistance groups, I give them everyday Zakus, but they must fight as infantry units a majority of the show and on the task of deactivating the monstrous Gundam that the Federation plans to use to rule the Solar System with iron fists.
        There are lots of wonderful possibilities like these that very few anime creators have ever attempted — people who are brave enough to break the “tradition” of Japan just to make a true outstanding anime show.

        • Zetatrain says:

          While the female Protagonist is definitely a possibility, the Gundam as a villain is pretty much out of the question. While I can see it maybe happening for an OVA, I can’t really see Sunrise willing to make the Gundam the villain in a TV series. Gundam is after all a toy commercial.

          • Psycho Gundam Mk 1 and Mk 2 are villains, albeit not “main” villains. Approaching main villain status is the Gundam that Zeheart used, and the Banshee (vs. Unicorn).

          • Zetatrain says:

            @GL
            Oh I’m well aware of that. However, I think what RaidenWarrior is saying is that he wants the Gundam to be the main villain and the protagonists would just be using grunt suits (GMs, Zakus, etc.).

          • RaidenWarrior says:

            Well, you got that concern of mine right here, Zetatrain. I’ve been well aware of that for Sunrise and Bandai’s worry over the possibility that doing this might topple the good image the Gundam has had over more than 30 years.

          • RaidenWarrior says:

            However, I brought this up because I thought placing Gundam as a main villain would be awesome :D

      • Reid says:

        Perhaps I didn’t do a good job explaining what I meant – when I said AGE had not even managed the “and now the world is at peace” thing as good as Gundam Wing did, that was not a vote cast in Gundam Wing’s favor. It was more of less my way of saying that the whole idea is preposterous, but at least in Gundam Wing the ending was not so rushed that it was clear the creators just slammed everything all together at once. The ending to Wing (the real ending) was really quite good, and I’ll stick by that.

  8. Meh. This story comes across as benign at best to me. It didn’t really inspire much emotion in me once things got to the third age, either. The Old Fag in me still wishes for the grittier, more intense narratives, but the old anime fan in me appreciates an ending that doesn’t f*ck me over with another cliffhanger, or deus ex machina. At the very least I can appreciate Flit’s super successful career. He’s a top five pilot and soldier in the Gundam metaverse in my eyes.

  9. Zetatrain says:

    Well the long road is finally over. Congratulations and thanks for all the fun reading. Looking forward to a more in depth look at the series.

  10. I’m guessing that you were disenchanted with the last episode so much that you didn’t want to write a review for it? I would be. :)

  11. Turambar says:

    Setsuna’s real talk makes me depressed as all fuck.

  12. megaroad1 says:

    Congrats on completing such a long episodic run Ghost.

    Any ideas on what you’re doing next?

  13. ces06 says:

    Thank you, man. Despite the show itself, at least the discussions here were enjoyable, haha.

    Oh well. At the very least, if nothing, I’m glad the show gave us Flit Asuno. (And that’s something.)

  14. Of course, I’ved enjoyed the long run of Gundam AGE and it has been a interesting journey.
    And the net is filled with SEEDboys, 00guys, and the rest are bitching and moaning on their Gundam fanbase(SEED, 00, or others) VS AGE.

    Congratulations to a good run with ghostlightning’s review of Gundam AGE and the series itself

  15. squaresphere says:

    Haven’t watched the finale yet, but I’m sure it was as predictable as most of the endings for Gundam has been.

    Ultimately the Gundam is (or has become) what Flit thought it was. “A Savior”. Not the lay man, or the mass of the meek inheriting the will to stand up and change the direction of their own lives. No, Gundam is the embodiment of the “righteous spirit” and it’s pilot the prophet of change. Through the words of said prophet he moves the masses with passionate speeches from his pulpit (cockpit :p ) and they yearn to do his bidding as they are tired of war but not taking orders. ..

    Sprinkle some magic fairy dust and add a flash back homage to those in the past… let bake for 20 mins on high heat (with a dash of beam spam), take out of oven after climax and let cool (epilogue) for 3-5 mins. Preferably with future time skip to really show off that “generational impact”

  16. CVPhased says:

    epic final panel right there… and LOL at Seabrook, bitter for slimmer chances of getting a Crossbone Gundam anime :))

  17. Andaer says:

    Thank you, ghost! You (and all my fellow commenters) truly enriched my experience watching Gundam AGE. I should add that AGE was my first Gundam show I watched while airing and all in all I appreciate how it – and therefore you’re blog series too – became an entertaining companion to a successful year of mine. The final really was a let down and in my disappointement I feared that your final blog post would be as whiny as a Gundam fan can get. But instead, you really pulled something with that panel!

  18. Jexams says:

    Since I wasn’t expecting anything from the finale, it didn’t exactly disappoint me. Hell, if you look away from Kio, I think the finale wasn’t so bad. I have no actual qualms about Flit changing his ways the last minute and having everybody rally to save Second Moon. Actually, it made me think back to one of my favorite scenes of Gundam 00 S2, where everybody has to work together to destroy the falling pieces of the space elevator. The thing is, there wasn’t enough focus on working together. If they had taken care of the finale boss before the joint effort to save second moon, then it would have worked out better rather than setting up the scene and pulling everybody attention away almost immediately.

    Of course, I could just be overly enthusiastic here.

    What did make me absolutely rage though was how Kio somehow saved SUPAH X-ROUNDER. He basically plows through the Vagan Gear but somehow takes the pilot with him before the thing explodes? ALRIGHT THEN.

    I guess I’m just trying too hard to forgive the show I loved but whatever.

    • You’re okay Bro. If you enjoyed it, why let everyone else who didn’t get you down. I enjoy terrible, noxious piles of buttfruit as entertainment. The only problem is when I insist they’re good for other people.

  19. senshi says:

    I don’t think the ending was as bad as people think, in many minor places it made more sense than a lot of previous Gundams. Especially how Flit being able to call out for peace actually made sense – he is the top commander of the Federation forces (none of the previous Gundam protagonist who calls for peace has such authority over others), he had the biggest f-ing missile on his hand which he could destroy the Vagans once and for all but he showed the Vagan bastards that when their very life is completely at the mercy of this man he could forgive all the atrocity they committed by firing it into empty space and offered them help in the most desperate of times. These little things added together actually made a very convincing argument how war could actually end, and not the whole “oh suddenly everyone’s humanity awakens and don’t want to damage Earth etc”.

    There’s definitely a lot of lost potential in the series, the 3 generation setup is actually an excellent idea. If nothing else I’m really glad that AGE gave us Flit – he has to be the most successful and well developed male protagonist we’ve got in the Gundam franchise up till now. Simply love this old man.

    • It’s bad, quite terrible, really. But do I need to overreact? No.

      Only Turn A, G (arguably), 0079, and Z had good endings (Z had an AWESOME, best-in-class and beyond ending… ALL RUINED BY MOTHERFUCKING ZZ). All other TV Gundam shows had shit endings.

  20. schneider says:

    Thank you for your timely coverage, funny panels, and being a hotbed for discussion! And Katejina is the sane one in this final panel!

    I thought the ending was ok, considering that it could have been much, much worse. I absolutely abhor the after-credits scene, though.

  21. Arabesque says:

    This isn’t about the show itself per say, but about the panel for the finale. I remembered you mentioning here and on twitter why these panels were so great for a franchise like Gundam since you are able to pull any character from anywhere from the past shows and use them again to illustrate the point you want to get across (and tell jokes as well, with Char being the ultimate punchline most of the time).

    What you wrote

    I don’t know if this actually applies to you in particular, but people are often sucked in by the idea that Gundam as a franchise is a rich vein of quality to be mined.

    This is far from the truth. Gundam as a franchise has mostly sucky shows, and a lot of them are truly terrible. On a per-episode basis, you’ll find the ledger incredibly unbalanced.

    What truly makes Gundam great, is the quantity. Yes, you read that right.

    No, I don’t mean quantity in a stupid, shounen, infinite episode count kind of way. I mean that there are so many Gundam shows. This is where the wealth is. Watching AGE after watching and rewatching all the shows I’ve seen in the franchise makes the experience incredible in ways no other show can match. While it won’t have the levels of execution and perfection as say, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex or Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, neither of those shows can provide this kind of layered experience.

    Look at the panels I’ve been doing for every episode. That’s the funnest part of writing every week. It’s only possible because I’ve seen so many, and mind you — I don’t only use characters from shows I like, or only characters I like from shows I like. Everything is usable because Gundam as a franchise is that kind of rich. Thus, consistently good shows are a rarity in Gundam, and it’s no surprise that the shorter OVAs get that kind of regard. But it’s TV anime where the weekly action is, and excellence in this theater of war, to me is more valuable than the goodness I get to experience twice a year from watching Unicorn installments.

    I wasn’t really convinced by it the first time I read it, but now with the show over and seeing this final panel, I get it. I really, really get it.

    In the end, AGE had it’s moments, some of them pretty fantastic, but they were spread between a lot of mediocrity and ended up in a gigantic mess. As a stand alone series, it wouldn’t really be remembered kindly by history, I think.

    But it’s not a stand alone series. It is part of a larger existence, a monolithic 30 year old franchise that had withstood the test of time to become a symbol in the subconscious of several generations of people. It’s part of something bigger, so even if it had many problems and didn’t succeeded, that doesn’t matter, since in the end these failures merely add to the rich and often spotty history of Gundam, so whatever negative the series has ends up becoming a positive for the greater Gundam narrative. Something more you could pull to add for the future. Like using the ruins of the past to pave the way for the future …

    Yes, I can see it now. I can see how AGE fits in Time.

  22. metaphysicist says:

    Gundam Age
    The series as a whole has left me whelmed…not overwhelmed not underwhelmed simply whelmed;and that is not what a Gundam series is supposed to do. Across the decades and through multiple series/timelines the name of Gundam has become synonyms with Greatness. At time entries into the storied franchise have for one reason or another have arguably been failures; F91 and Seed Destinty. However even those lesser series had a degree of gravitas to them! AGE ultimately lacks this. Perhaps it was because AGE written to be something for everyone, so it failed to truly please anyone;maybe it was poor execution? Gundam-00 wove narrative elements and even an actor or two from past Gundam series into it’s structure , while still maintaining a distinct identity. Though not a perfect series by any stretch of the imagination it was a satisfying one, that stayed true to it’s narrative-essence. Gundam AGE’s biggest fault was the weakness of it’s Narrative-Essence. It’s story was overshadowed by the elements borrowed from past Gundam series; most prominently the U.C. series. This heavy borrowing resulted in an ungainly integration of themes from OldSchool and NewSchool Mecha anime. The OldSchool notion of the grim utility of Violence and War, The NewSchool notion that (quasi-mystical)Understanding one another will solve all problems. Now to be one hundred percent honest, both Old and New School have valid point; you must fight to live and protect what is precious to you. Understanding one another is an essential element to peace and coexistence. The afore mentioned “ungainly integration of Schools Old and New” is most painfully obvious in the third Arc/GEN. Kio Asuno comes across as weak and ineffectual because he persist in preaching Understanding to the detriment of himself and his allies. Ultimately even Kio fails to fulfill his goals of peace through Understanding. The one that succeeds is ironically Flit “kill em all” Asuno. Through out the course of it’s run Gundam AGE has been utter mediocrity punctuated with brief moments of utter brilliance! Any series is going to have it’s up and downs. However that is to extreme a swing between the point on the Quality-Curve to be acceptable. None of us knows what the future has in store for the Gundam franchise. But i do know this if a higher and more importantly “consistent” quality of writing is not demand for the next Gundam series; then franchise we have all come to love will die.

    Now For some wishful thinking.

    First and foremost for Yoshiyuki “Kill Em All” Tomino’s G-Reko project set durring U.C. 1000 to be both a critical and financial success.

    A revisit to the 00-Verse. in Mobile Suit Gundam 00V Battlefield Record, There is mention of a war breaking out between Innovators and Resentful/Xenophobic normal humans; they could get at least a six episode OVA out of that.

    A return to the Universal Century, perhaps animated adaptation of CrossBones Gundam. And if that were to prove successful a relaunch of F91 because folks are going to want know were Crossbones Vanguard and Characters like Kincaid came from.

    A return to the After War vers, because that timeline has much untapped potential.

    Lastly for the writer/producer of the next Gundam series to first be straped down to a chair and have the taste of pacifism and understanding. pimp slapped out of his mouth by “Kill Em All” Tomino. Then he be forced to study all of the Gundam Tropes and Conventions from the Source! Beginning with old freaking Testament! Mobile Suite Gundam,Zeta Gundam, Double Zeta, Char’s Counter. Then The New Testament, Victory Gundam. And Finally the Apocrypha, 08th MS Team,Stardust Memories, War In the Pocket.

  23. Chris Tenney says:

    Bring Stabity just called “unhinged” by Katejina Loos! You KNOW you’re insane when she thinks you’re nuts! LOLJK

  24. MarigoldRan says:

    Tom says: “I love you!”
    AGE says, “um, ok.”
    Tom says: “I love you so much I want to squeeze you to death!”
    AGE says: “uh….”
    Tom: [squeezes AGE] “I…. LOOOOOVE…. YOU! GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!”




    Yup. This is my interpretation of your attitude to this show.

  25. I did not watch this show and I probably won’t. Can anyone recommend this show to someone who has seen all the Gundam shows and is anticipating some grand new sequel to continue the tradition? Seems impossible after the Unholy Atrocity that was Gundam 00….

    I just want to add a comment about Gundam Wing. I really don’t understand why so many like to pile up on that show. It’s dialogue is not stupid or especially flowery or pointless, especially compared to the general tone of Gundam shows. It is a melodramatic show for sure, but I don’t think it deserves all of the hate considering how most of Tomino’s shows are mostly centered on directing battle scenes, and much of the AU series are some pointless garbage. People need to get over themselves, Gundam Wing is actually a smart show IMO… ::flame suit on::

  26. Pingback: We Remember Love Says Goodbye, and Thank You For All The Memories | We Remember Love

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