Kiddy Senshi Gundam Youchien: Gundam Age 05

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[Gundam AGE Episode 04]

My, that was rough. If the previous two episodes gave fence-sitters hope against hope that this show will be a “mature” GRIMDARK Gundam in sheep’s clothing, this episode crushed those hopes with finality.

Desil has got to be the youngest Newtype in action. I don’t mean some Mineva Zabi loli with dormant NT powers like in Zeta. I mean serious Kindergarten Newtype h4xx0rz on the level of Kira Yamato. This is the worst. Stop watching this show now. There’s nothing but heartbreak from here on out.

Unless…

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You can handle this kind of thing, in the context that this is a kiddy show where you don’t get ONE kid in an adult world. You get a kiddy rival. This rival is a lot smaller and younger than your lead. This rival is already an advanced pilot with Newtype abilities.

Of course, Gundam AGE hasn’t named this space power yet, so I’m calling it Newtype power until they cough up their newfangled name.

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This is a big ol’ kiddy show with kiddy enemies and rivals. Just checking, are you past this now? Can we start talking about the episode now?

Flit and Emily arrive at parallel crossroads: Flit isn’t a fighter, and he doesn’t really want to fight in the Gundam. However, he can’t stay in the Diva if he’s not going to pilot the Gundam. He’d have to leave for Tordia with the other kids. He doesn’t want to, because he’s attached to the Gundam, he believes his dead mother gave it to him to protect everyone… and he wants to get better at being a Gundam pilot… if only that didn’t mean becoming a soldier and killing enemies.

Emily still doesn’t want Flit to become a soldier. She doesn’t want him in danger, she doesn’t want him emotionally damaged and scarred by fighting and potentially killing. Emily confronts the suspicious Captain Grodek himself, and talks him down. This is an amazing scene, and solidifies the kiddyness of the show. How? Because Grodek doesn’t for a second condescend to her. He reasons out to Emily as if she were an adult, a civilian adult not under his command who is holding him into account in his own office.

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Why is he suddenly explaining his strategy (never mind revealing them in the first place) and tactics to a little civilian girl? It’s because this is a kiddy show and it’s being awesome at it. It sends a kiddy message that even suspicious adults can be held into account, that it’s okay to suspect, but it’s even better to ask for the truth directly. Awesome.

Back to Flit. Instead of indulging him in a “cue Linkin’ Park music” 4 minute stretch of wallowing in emo, he’s given a rival… a rival sure to annoy him (and therefore everyone else watching LOL). He already knows he wants to be better at piloting the Gundam, and there’s nothing like someone showing how far he has to go, and how far he’s left behind. This builds on the previous episode’s lessons of how precious little difference he can actually do and how he had to rely on Woolf to save not just everyone but himself.

Don’t listen to these losers, they’re just fucking try-hards:

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Lastly, I’ve been listening to Aya Endo the last 7 days (Emily in ep 04 and 05, and as Sheryl Nome in my rewatching of Macross Frontier TV as well as watching and rewatching The False Songstress and The Wings of Farewell), and I think she’s great. I don’t hear the loli Sheryl in her Emily performance, which would be an easy thing for her to fall back on.

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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59 Responses to Kiddy Senshi Gundam Youchien: Gundam Age 05

  1. Xard says:

    I’m not even watching the show and just posting ot tell you Katz “The Man” Kobayashi made me lol

    and yeah, Aya Endo is still fantastic. Too bad she really does more live action TV dubs than anime

    • You really should watch this show. It’s great kiddy fare, unless you prefer your Gundam shows the way Katz “The Man” Kobayashi professes to hate them LOL

      • Xard says:

        I’m still working my way through Gundam man. In fact I’m in middle of, god bless my lost soul, ZZ Gundam and for some reason it’s taking ages for me to finish this…

  2. Matt Wells says:

    Decil was… a little worrying. HAX skillz, but I hope they really play up his kiddie psycho aspect. Probably the only thing that’ll make his character bearable. We are but a few steps removed from PURU PURU PURUUUU at this point. Woolf continues to be hillarious, “Welp, can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen kiddo. THANKS FOR THE FREE GUNDAM SUCKER!!!” I like how Flit has decided to actively seek out these Newtype powers, while the likes of Amuro and Kamille were in denial about it for most of the series. A Gundam pilot who actually fucking practices outside of life or death combat? Bizarre!

    I love how high ranking UE members just go around the densely populated space colony dressed in cultist robes, very conspicuous guys! 🙂 Grodek was pretty cool in this ep, blackmailing the port official to avoid court martial. His scene with Emily really did show how much of a kid’s show AGE is, like you noted. If this was a Tomino show he would have slapped the shit out of her and said “It isn’t the place of a child to question the world of adults!”

    The week long schedule might indicate we’re getting a mini-arc where Flit learns the ropes of MS combat and we get backstory on the UE. I’m guessing the circumstances the Diva leaves under wil be traumatic in the best traditions of Gundam. The next episode with the Dad figure in a Zaku expy reminds me a whole lot of the Kou and Layzner at Von Braun sequence in Stardust Memory, minus the enormous, THROBBING Homoeroticism. Time for Flit to become A MAN OF DESTINY.

    Biggest gripe: Flit was traversing the colony ON A FREAKING SEGWAY SCOOTER. Gundam protagonists can always drive, and Flit did in the first ep. NO REASON FOR HIM TO USE THE DUMBEST VEHICLE IN HUMAN HISTORY WHEN HE CAN DRIVE A FUCKING DUNE BUGGY.

    And as for YOU Katz… a Linkin Park fan? Just when I thought my opinion of your character could sink no lower, you find new ways to insult humanity with your very existence. Who the hell seeks out Linkin Park AMVs?! They already make up half the goddamn anime vids on Youtube.

    • If this was a Tomino show he would have slapped the shit out of her and said “It isn’t the place of a child to question the world of adults!”

      ROFL yes, yes indeed!

      Usso Evin: “I spit on your hate for the Segway. How many Gundam’s have you jacked?”

      Katz “The Man” Kobayashi: “If you were actually reading and instead of whining like a jerk-ass emo kid who kills his girlfriend who inexplicably likes him and smashes his G-Defenser onto an asteroid, you’d notice how I rated the episode NEGATIVE 100/10. Like I would EVER listen to Linken Park. I’VE BECOME SO NUMB, because IT’S CRAWLING IN MY SKIN, to just think about it!”

      • Reid says:

        It’s truly sad that the fellas in Linkin Park are such massive losers when it comes to making good rock n roll but are yet some of the most vocal fans of Gundam in the international entertainment world (they may be the only Gundam fans in the world of English-language music PERIOD). My hate for their sorry “nu-metal” and my appreciation for their love of Gundam is a source of conflict in my otherwise cut-and-dried appreciation for music. How can I CROSS THIS NEW DIVIDE?! I wish someone would GIVE ME A REASON TO PROVE ME WRONG – TO WASH THIS MEMORY CLEAN because I’M ABOUT TO BREAK. EVERYTHING [they] SAY BRINGS ME ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE EDGE.

        • Matt Wells says:

          Surprisingly, they are NOT the only Gundam fans in the English language music industry. May I direct your attention to Andrew “Party Hard” W. K. (Yes, the guy who does game shows on Cartoon Network), and his recent tribute album “GUNDAM ROCK”. Available only in Japan, it’s a few decent covers of songs and themes from the original 1979 Gundam. His lyrics may be too literal in their translation, but his version of “Amuro Forever” arguably beats the original. He even throws in a dramatic reading of Ghiren’s Sieg Zeon speech. Impressively nerdy for a rock star.

          I’m no music buff like you buddy, but in your own opinion, has Nu-Metal ever NOT sucked?

          • Reid says:

            YES. I have indeed heard of this album by Andrew W.K. In fact, I’ve got it downloaded…erm I mean “legally acquired online through completely non-illegal means that were 100 percent not illegal.” I really like his version “Alone in the Wind”. Another pretty good one is Richie Kotzen’s “Ai Senshi ZXR” released a few years back.

            Haha one can only presume that he’s singing about Kou’s love for the Zephyranthes!

            And no, you’re absolutely correct – Nu-metal has always sucked. I hope I didn’t convey any sort of appreciation for it at all, because I certainly don’t feel that way. lol far from it. I just thought of this:

            Char: Amuro, your soul is being bound by gravity! Can’t you see how your crappy techno-rock is polluting the entertainment industry?! Why do you allow those fools to make use of your talents?! I’m fighting to re-introduce the glories of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal!
            Amuro: THE NU METAL IS NOT JUST FOR SHOW!!!!
            Char: Metal-specific blocks of rock n roll radio programming could have been amazing for me! I could have listened to Maiden, Jaguar, Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang! And LINKIN PARK TOOK THEM FROM ME!
            Amuro: Saxon? What?

          • Matt Wells says:

            Just checked out Richie Kotzen’s Gundam covers, and I’m impressed. Loved his version of Beyond the Time, even if lyrically he doesn’t “WANNA HAVE A PURE TIME.” RE Amuro’s Nu-Metal being not for show HA HA HA FUCKING ROFL! You gave me a genuine spit take there man, thanks a ton! Funniest thing I’ve read all day.

          • DON’T YOU KNOW I’M WAITING FOR YOU BAAABY~

            Z Gundam spoilers, but still.

  3. Tenryu says:

    the kid reminds me of neko musume from Gegege no Kitaro

  4. d3v says:

    I’ve been wondering about this show. The whole kiddy angle does turn me off, but I’m willing to give it a chance, if just to have some mecha/Gundam to watch.

    • It’s okay to be a kid too, and like kiddy things.

      I don’t mean it like how this guy says it. There’s puerile and juvenile, and there’s kiddy. I mean stuff that we’d have genuinely enjoyed when our ages were in single digits. Would we have enjoyed GRIMDARK stuff then, I know I would, but that would be me trying to be cool and adult.

      We know that GRIMDARK stuff often are still puerile and juvenile, though there is content in them that is mature and engages us in mature ways. But AGE speaks to something a lot simpler, something more openly didactic. There’s something really off-putting when someone like Kira Yamato goes WAR IS BAD, STOP FIGHTING, because his show is trying so very hard to be cool and mature.

      But for something like Gundam AGE, I appreciate how that scene with Emily vs. Grodek is done. I like how it shows that it’s better to ask people about the truth …than perhaps whisper behind their backs, conspire, gossip, etc. It takes courage, but that’s a good thing.

      • d3v says:

        What’s worrying me is that his kids get progressively younger when they get the AGE.

        His son Asemu is suppsoed to get it at 15, then his grandson Kio gets it at 13, tying him with Uso.

  5. Reid says:

    Apparently this shows A CHAR is the leader of a group of cultists who, through some “Rosemary’s Baby” type [ish] bred the Anti-Christ. Because we know all kids with eyes like his are evil right from the start…this episode was the weakest by far.

    However, the scene at the beginning between Woolf (Wulf? I hope that’s going to be the official Romanisation…) and Flit was super cool! The whole “I won’t let anybody else pilot the Gundam I built with my own two hands! My mom entrusted me with the Gundam to protect people! I will get stronger and be useful and not a whiny little punk!” “I wouldn’t have it any other way, little bud! We’re really gonna go kick some alien A$$ now! YEAH! BRO-FIST, BRO!” was setting me up for another amazing episode like the one from last week. Instead we got SCUT FARKUS’ YELLO EYES.

    • FUCK THAT SCENE. /traumatized

      It’s rough and weak, but I dare say there’s quite a bit of value in it particularly in the Emily scene. It’s very important to distinguish how the lack of things we ask for from GRIMDARK Gundam doesn’t necessarily make the episodes weak.

      I thought that the setting (Fardain) should’ve come alive more, though it was clear that only Dique was interested in it.

      • Reid says:

        I agree with you on the grimdark score. I just didn’t “get” what the deal was with the little boy (?) and then the weird robed-up cult dudes at the end. I guess it’s more a of a mediocre episode than an outright bad one, so I suppose I’ll retract that opinion in light of your argument. The scene between Grodek and Emily was indeed pretty darn good – along with the one I mentioned (though this one was obviously less important).

  6. d3v says:

    What I want to know is if Flit will be shown grown up, especially considering that part of the shows gimmick is the AGE being piloted by 3 generations of Asuno.

  7. Justin says:

    You know, someday I will watch this show. I just don’t know when. Stop bashing it!!! 😀

  8. sadakups says:

    I don’t like it much when kids appear stronger than everybody else. I mean, at least with Flit, he has serious skills, while Desil has the Kira Yamato complex in him. I guess that encounter will motivate Flit to be a better pilot.

    And once again, the Federation is shown to be dicks. Now I still can’t see where Grodek is coming from with what he is doing.

    • What if these children aren’t actually children?

      You know it’s actually not uncommon in anime to put hundred-no, thousand-year old souls into child bodies, even if only an excuse for pervs to act all defensive while fapping to pr0n of them.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if this show pulls off something like this, like Desil and Yurika being old aliens… or old alien souls merged with young humans’

      Whatever anime, otakus gotta fap.

      • sadakups says:

        Ah, that’s an interesting point you have there. Considering that these “kids” don’t exactly act their age and thinking about it, if I saw a five-year-old looking kid doing shit like what Desil did, I’d be freaked out.

  9. Fadeway says:

    Love what you did with Kira and Katz. Also had me thinking of “Kiraboshi!” for a second.

    As for the show, dropped it. I’ll probably watch it after more episodes pile up, but for now, the new kid has me scared off.

    • Hehe thanks.

      I thought that for every hater that would think that whatever emo content this ep contained would be too much, there’d be some nerd who’d think that it wasn’t enough. And that both would be emotards anyway trying to be cool.

      It’ll be around a long time, so it’ll be here for you and so will I.

  10. schneider says:

    I enjoyed this episode because it didn’t treat kids like idiots, which is what a lot of kid-oriented shows do.

    Grodek is really interesting. He’s a bit tortured inside, and gets what he wants via shady methods. He’s a good foil to the young ones.

    • From the children will Grodek’s redemption/salvation come. The Children are a foil to him as well. Aside from the stated reasons, his opening up to Emily like that says a lot about how he isn’t evil, or how much he doesn’t want to be.

    • Stormshrug says:

      Yeah, I have to say, I don’t think it’s absolutely ALWAYS a simply the mark of a “kid’s show” when adults treat children as equals. Sometimes it’s a commentary about the specifics of the character. Grodek has some hang-ups about kids, clearly (not Char hang-ups, or at least, they don’t seem that way), probably stemming from his dead family [see photo].

      If anything, he seems to more consistently treat children as equals than adults, who he tasers and manipulates without much apparent regret. He feels vulnerable(?)/responsible(?)/answerable(?) to children in a way that he doesn’t to other adults. There’s something going on in how candid Grodek is with Emily beyond this just being a kid’s show.

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  12. CES says:

    Not really as good an episode as the last ones, although still interesting. White Wolf guy got too friendly with Flit too fast, but that’s probably okay, with Desil now being the PITA that Flit has to deal with. The cultists felt weird and out of place in a sci-fi show, especially how a bunch of guys wearing hooded robes just showing up like that seems to attract no commotion whatsoever. WTF?

    Man, Flit just gets more likeable with every episode. A gundam protagonist that’s neither emo or angsty AND wants improve his skills? What a shock.

    Grodek gets a lot more interesting. He does seem to have his own agenda, has the means, and is willing to what it takes to achieve it, but going as far as to explain himself to Emily probably means that he shouldn’t be in conflict with the rest of the crew in the future. Clearly he’s not an antagonist, or otherwise Emily would’ve wound up in a ditch somewhere. Everything else about the guy is still a mystery.

    A few let downs though. No mention of whatever Grodek had in mind when he said he knew the UE’s identity. Also, whatever happened to the red-haired guy who was supposed to pilot the gundam? Relegated to background character status, just like that?

    • Re the cultists:

      Yes, they’re still weird, but the Terraist Cult from Legend of the Galactic Heroes was not an insignificant element of that story and they were probably weirder, and LotGH is quite the space opera.

      Re Flit:

      Yeah, exactly. They made Flit to get to this point not only by giving him predispositions (which will make him feel unnatural), but rather a lot of external provocation to make decisions from: Woolf, then Desil.

      Re Grodek:

      We know he has or had some family that he keeps a photo of on his desk. That could be an important motivation.

      • Stormshrug says:

        The more Warhammer 40k this show gets, the more I will lol.

        And goofy-ass cultists are very 40k.

        Of course, they usually then sacrifice you to their dark gods, which mitigates the goofiness somewhat.

  13. JoeQ says:

    I’m curious, is Char actually a member of your reviewing board or does he just constantly barge in and offer his horrible comments before the security manages to throw him out again?

    • I gave Char a lot of leeway to show up, given his enthusiasm but he’s being a pain so last week I got Lt. Quattro Bajeena to screen and enforce order, but that doesn’t seem to be working out.

  14. foshizzel says:

    Ahahahaha I died laughing at Chars comments dem censors! LOLOLOL I agree there would be much [censor] going on in that scene…

    Great episode for me I enjoyed how Emily had that chat with Grudech and yeah they are showing how adults can’t always be trusted! Desil was interesting and he can run circles around Flint all day! But at least we got to see a masked man, well half a mask? Or more like random headgear…And what of Yurin?! What’s her connection to Desil I wonder if she like escaped some lab and Flint helped set her free xD

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  16. Stormshrug says:

    I dunno, man, there’s really not a whole lot more Grimdark than genetically-engineered(?) psychopathic child soldiers…

    Whether or not Desil is totally okay or the worst thing about this show will all rest on his handling, and how others react to him.

    Okay:
    Flit: “Oh, sh*t, I have to fight a little kid to the death? This is really f*cked u!”
    [they fight, consequences are semi-realistic and scarring]

    NOT OKAY:
    Flit: “Desil, I don’t want to fight you.”
    Desil: “We must fight!”
    Flit: “SPAAAAAAAAACE HUUUUUUUUUUUG.”
    [This resolves the conflict]

    Hilarious:
    Flit: “Desil, I don’t want to fight you.”
    Desil: “We must fight!”
    Flit: “SPAAAAAAAAACE HUUUUUUUUUU-”
    Desil: [Shoots Flit]

  17. squaresphere says:

    I’m still enjoying it, sure with Desil the disbelief got cranked up to 11 but… to be honest I was expecting that (*cough kira yamato cough*. I mean we’re supposed to think Flit is actually 14-15 where as his character design is about maybe 11-12. But yeah I can fake myself out that it’s just an artist interpretation of the age. But Desil… he can only be about 6 maybe 8 at a stretch. Which leads me to believe that he’s going to be around for a long time. No way even they would off a child looking baddy. IF they did, that would be way beyond grim dark that I’ve seen in a gundam series (granted i haven’t watched zeta).

    But more to the adults, who i find more interesting any how. Wolf is really growing on me as a mentor / adult ace character. He’s still very bro and unexpectedly encouraging of Flit, I really hope he doesn’t become a masked character. Capt. Grodek actually makes me feel like he’s the flip side adult version of Flit. It’s obvious he probably lost his family in a UE attack (possibily due to Feddie negligence (ie his “they’re rotten to the core” comment), and is going all Capt. Ahab looking for his white whale to kill. That being said, like Flit he is a person of uncanny intelligence and drive. While Flit was able to move into a position of influence through his family’s proprietary GUNDAM technology, Grodek wormed his way into the heart of a weapons program that would allow him to strike at the UE directly. It’s obvious he probably doesn’t expect to survive the UE encounter hence the lack of co conspirators, but having Emily on board to remind him of his daughter, will make him alter his mission choice.

    • Yes to everything!

      Well, not quite since you haven’t seen Z. Have you seen V? Now that’s some really grim crap right there.

      God damn so many interesting perspectives from people who watch this show. I’m almost ashamed at the trashy blogging style I’m using… almost.

  18. Suiman says:

    I agree on how amazing and kiddy the Grodek and Emily scene was. But I’ll just focus on the awesomeness of that scene, however surprisingly (absurdly) soft Grodek— a man who resorts to insubordination, deceit and blackmail to achieve whatever his goal is — was with Emily. Aside from highlighting the kiddyness of the show, I agree with the previous commenters that this could just as well be hints on the familial affection he feels towards Emily.

    Putting such a premium on a kid’s point of view sends a powerful message to both kids and adults. Just as Grodek schooled Emily on the realities of life, Emily’s moral pleas were able to emotionally move Grodek. It reminded me of the scene in Unicorn 2 where Daguza used Audrey as a hostage, followed by Banagher’s “Adults should not be doing this to children”. Initially, I saw Banagher as immature and in need of a good smacking, but seeing how Captain Otto and his crew were ashamed by their actions showed how much weight a kid’s say [should] have. Grodek will not stop his plans just because of Emily’s MOE tears, but at least he still recognized the selfishness of his actions, even if they are justifiable because of a war and a corrupt system.

    I’d go as far as to say that Unicorn (OVA Adaptation) and Age subverted the Bright Slapping done to Amuro and the added Wong beatings unleashed unto Kamille. Well, with kids watching Age, I’m sure that it will not depict physical violence as a means of convincing children to follow adults. However, it did portrayed both age groups as near equals, as shown with Wolf x Flint and Grodek x Emily. As for UC, Otto and Daguza reasoned with Banagher through the use of their (heart-warming) words, instead of their fists.

    Some may say that I might be “too” serious about Age but a crying Emily should AlWAYS be taken seriously. (Sorry for all the UC content, it’s just that ep 4 is just around the corner and I could hardly wait.)

    Lastly, If Asemu’s facial features are red herrings, I will feel sorry for Emily if she would indeed follow the tragic footsteps of my dear, sweet, Fraw Bow.
    Go TEAM Emily!!!! Kuro Pantuso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Putting such a premium on a kid’s point of view sends a powerful message to both kids and adults. Just as Grodek schooled Emily on the realities of life, Emily’s moral pleas were able to emotionally move Grodek. It reminded me of the scene in Unicorn 2 where Daguza used Audrey as a hostage, followed by Banagher’s “Adults should not be doing this to children”. Initially, I saw Banagher as immature and in need of a good smacking, but seeing how Captain Otto and his crew were ashamed by their actions showed how much weight a kid’s say [should] have. Grodek will not stop his plans just because of Emily’s MOE tears, but at least he still recognized the selfishness of his actions, even if they are justifiable because of a war and a corrupt system.

      Excellent.

      I think you nailed it, and raise good points regarding Unicorn as well.

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