The X-Rounder Sounds Like a Dirty Word For Newtype Gundam AGE 12

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_03_[720p][10bit][CA6F22B7].mkv_snapshot_15.54_[2011.10.24_06.40.55]

[Gundam AGE 11]

Flit Asuno’s X-Rounder powers awakening on their own just like Amuro Ray in the showdown with the Elmeth in Solomon may seem like the highlight, and perhaps it really is, but the best part of this episode and perhaps the series so far is the tactical standoff between Commander Chocolate and Grodek.

It was so good that I was quite disappointed in how the UE’s pointless (tactically) attack served as a cheap plot solution to a truly excellently staged battle. It almost made me forget that this is a kiddy show. But then it is one, and it reminds us how much it is – and this is very important – in how the key value here is getting the humans to cooperate. The UE’s purpose is to unify the conflicted humans, to get Commander Chocolate off Grodek’s back.

Humans are great when they work together on the same side, and Gundam AGE showed precisely how. The Diva, and its mobile suit complement earned the respect of the Federation Forces in how they responded to the UE attack. The UE were driven back, and the stage is set for the final conflict of this AGE (prior to the time skip).

Still, I can’t help but be hung up about the standoff.

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In the standoff, I got treated to a tactical tangle I haven’t seen since the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Code Geass. What makes AGE’s remarkable is the lack of technological silver bullets. Commander Choco’s use of the flashbang effectively neutered the Gundam. I really LOVE how it (and Woolf and his unit) was put in its place in a capital ship showdown. Choco deployed his mobile suit complement efficiently and to great effect.

There’s really something about well-thought-out scenarios that it can be utterly gripping without showing a lot of action. It’s the tension and suspense. In the 10 or so minutes this whole thing played out, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE showed how it embarrasses the likes of Guilty Crown and the first episode of Rinne no Lagrange. This is what good mecha anime does. This is what good battle anime does. Holy smokes not even Broken Blade delivered anything like this. Not even Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn delivered anything like this. Not this year, not last year. The Macross franchise never ever does anything like this.

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You heard me.

Which brings me back to the cop-out resolution, which is the go-to play of any lesser narrative pitting two respectable opponents against each other. Lelouch vs. Suzaku had Schneizel. Katy Mannequin vs. Sumeragi Lee Noriega had the Innovators. Tiger vs. Bunny had the robot anti-hero. Yes, comic book vs. crossovers routinely have the heroes fight each other for a while until they have to face a third opponent they eventually team up against.

Gundam AGE gets a pass for doing this given the kiddy lesson it serves, but we must also consider how much of this cheap stuff we let slide. You’ll have to look at Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Reinhard and Yang had to fight it out without any of this nonsense; Bucock and von Merkatz would never let this shit go down; then Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack where thankfully, Char was enough of a douchebag to never let this shit happen.

But yeah, the Humans unite and push the UE back. Now Grodek’s mutineers and allies make their way to the final battle.

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Fuck yeah Audrey. Fuck you Saji for having to just… ruin everything.

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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35 Responses to The X-Rounder Sounds Like a Dirty Word For Newtype Gundam AGE 12

  1. Shinmarizu says:

    There is not enough tactical battle between ships of those size in anime. This is welcomed heartily.

    And Saji, go away and die in a corner. Really. Stop being such a pussy. (Seriously, how’d he get in here? Who the hell let him in?)

  2. Golos says:

    Saji? Wouldn’t a comment from Kira have been more appropriate?
    After all, he did, once again, return to haunt us with his militant pacifism.

  3. sadakups says:

    “Commander Chocolate”? I called him Commander Kit-Kat LOL.

    That was an awesome episode. It was horribly predictable for me as I guessed perfectly about Flit launching separately, the UE engaging in the middle of the stand-off AND Commander Kit-Kat coming off as a nice guy since all he wanted to do was to do his job. As I said, I predicted the UE attack, which I agree that it was a let-down that the stand-off had to end the way it did considering that the setup was so smart.

    Of course, the highlight here is Flit awakening to his X-Rounder powers (which I think is a cool name of calling Newtypes in the AGE-verse), which was obviously inevitable and had to happen sooner or later. I honestly wish though that being the X-Rounder concept won’t go as retarded as Kira doing a SEED Burst, or to a certain extent, Setsuna becoming an Innovator.

    And Yurin meeting Desil? Again, not surprising. I just hate how obvious they’re going with this.

    • Predictability is the last thing I’m worried about in this show. And oh, the candy bar looks more like a Twix than a Kit-Kat.

      Now if it’s a physical area of the brain… this X-region, then one can theoretically beat the shit out of it.

      • Shinmarizu says:

        “And Yurin meeting Desil? Again, not surprising. I just hate how obvious they’re going with this.”
        Agreed. It’s the plot hammer rising to beat everyone watching this series in the head. And it has the appearance of a giant squeaky toy hammer, with sparklies. *sigh*

        • sadakups says:

          Well, of course, the only way for this to go is do make a shift than doing what’s looking obvious. Who knows, Yurin might survive this generation to become Flit’s enemy in the next generation.

        • The sooner we let go of wanting this to be Z Gundam, the easier it will be for us to enjoy ourselves.

      • sadakups says:

        So it’s Commander Twix now. Chocolate fail. OTL

        • Andaer says:

          It’s definitifly Snickers Cruncher! The way it sounds when he’s eating makes it obvious that there are nuts in it. Eating Twix does not sound like that.

  4. Kuro says:

    Actually I liked the episode of Gundam Age because it is tactical awesomeness subtly delivered, while the the whole thing is resolved in a very simplistic matter, this was a good episode.

    So will we be calling Newtype flash the X-Round flash?

  5. Karry says:

    This show will never be any good…will it ? Playing SRWL and miss SEED…

  6. Reid says:

    I gotta tell you, I think it’s classy how episode 12 didn’t air last week, considering it was Christmas.

  7. It looks like you and I were thinking the same thing watching Mr. Chocolate Bar and Grodek face of tactically. I was anxious to see how good a ship’s captain he could be. Working on his own, he’s almost James Bond-like, but he is supposed to be a captain of an advanced unit of mobile weapons on a super special battleship that’s so fancy it’s named, “Diva”.

    I wanted to see him under some true pressure to make a good decision in the heat of battle against an even opponent. But instead we get the way too convenient intervention of the UE towards the end. For a moment, I was all immersed in some good quality space combat and I get godsmacked back down towards kiddy show writing techniques. Still, I did have fun.

    • Yeah, this is key.

      We are having fun despite the things we wouldn’t accept in a more adolescent Gundam show. A lot of these people watching, and often very vocal complainers probably never grew up watching didactic kiddy robot shows. Well, I did — from all these super robot shows from the 70s. Even romance trilogy violent epics like Voltes V and Daimos are chock full of this kind of shit.

      After all, it took Mobile Suit Gundam to make the cleanest break from the tradition.

  8. Anya says:

    The tactical standoff was good, though I was annoyed at the animation of when Grodek’s backup ships started firing at the federation. The mobile suits didn’t react and were just floating around like nothing happened, and the shots were just weak beams that didn’t look like they affected the ships at all apart from a few minor shakes in the Chocolate Control Center.

    The UE’s attack was so pointless – yeah it’s a kid’s show and should be let slide, but still I wish there was a decent explanation for why the UE decided to attack right at that time and go up against 8 warships. Or resolve the standoff in a different way entirely.

    Oh and GTFO SAJI CROSSROADOOOOO

    • Well, the animation in this show is seldom going to be amazing. Remember that you are not necessarily comparing it with Gundam 00 animation (to use the most recent Gundam TV series) but rather the Bakugan/toy anime stuff that’s currently/recently out there.

      Otherwise, the whole beam stuff in this show, like in ALMOST EVERY GUNDAM SHOW, is shit.

      Saji still thinks he’s better than you.

  9. CVPhased says:

    While the episode is good overall, their explanation of the X-Rounders (i.e. heightened senses) somewhat made me less excited about Yurin’s character. Either her abilities just awakened for some reason or she was a test subject for Federation experiments on the matter.

    And by the way, how can Saji be even in the same page as the likes of Haman Karn and Char? Hahaha!

  10. Whatsht says:

    Well, Saji did pilot the 0 Raiser, although he still suck at it, he should went ahead and become a member of CB, that way he’ll help against the ELS

  11. Chevalier says:

    “You’ll have to look at Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Reinhard and Yang had to fight it out without any of this nonsense.”

    Are you sure? To be fair, even the Reinhard vs. Yang conflict was never really decisively resolved on the battlefield. The real victories and defeats, such as they were, happened outside of it.

    Quite a few times one of them was either forced to give up, retreat, let someone else handle the matter, chose to be prudent or otherwise act in such a way as to leave the final outcome inconclusive. Political and military circumstances played as much of a role in interrupting or delaying many of their encounters as they did in the other cases mentioned.

    • Yes indeed, but the crucial difference here is that the intrusion is part of each others’ armed forces, and not some third party nonsense. The Terraists didn’t barge into Vermillion. Phezann didn’t have a fleet to mess up Rantemario. And as for great standoffs, you just look at all the battles for, at, and with Iserlohnn.

  12. kevin says:

    yurin’s gona die~ then age is gona become a magical girl

    being gundam is srs suffering
    unless your some freaky japanese kid who thinks he is gundam
    then being gundam is srs lol

    …they say that when sestuna made a wish with QB for world peace, he turned into a gundam instead.

    wut happen!

  13. Pingback: Enter the Diva: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 13 | We Remember Love

  14. dliessmgg says:

    X-Rounder is a very deep name. Just consider Japanese quiz shows.
    What do they get when their answer is wrong? X.
    What do they get when their answer is right? O.
    Therefore, X-Rounders are wrong and right at the same time. Very deep.

  15. squaresphere says:

    Finally got around to watching this ep. I’ll definitely say that some of the adults really shine through. Mainly Wolf and Groudek. They always seem to be thinking and acting like how some adults would (unlike some some of those useless Diva bridge officers! Oh noes, what do we do? SOOO lame)

    Honestly, I’m watching the show to see what the real adults do along with any of their real opponents. IE like Captain Choco. Gotta say I was impressed by him. His initial impression was that he was another arrogant feddie officer but he ended up being very like able and it’s easy to see why his men would follow is orders to a T.

    On X rounding… I’ve come to accept that there will always be magical hyper space telepathy/sense/god mode in all Gundam series along with massive beam cannons, rainbow color schemes and ninja/samurai blade duels in space.

    • Yes, NT magic is a fundamental part of Gundam.

      You’d be surprised at how people behave while leaders are in the room. I work with a fair bunch of people in their 20s. You’d be surprised how “kiddy” they act when they can get away with it. When strong leadership presence is available, they feel free and safe to act like headless chickens because someone’s got their back, and would be paternal/maternal instead of judgmental.

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