Two things make me remember… not quite love for one of my most favorite shows – Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory here in this latest episode of AGE: Asemu not quite eating his carrots, and Zeheart not quite finishing off a vanquished Gundam and its pilot. While they cannot be reduced to mere expys of these characters, Asemu was being Uraki Kou, and Zeheart was being Anavel Gato.
If Romary plays the Nina Purpleton card and we’ll have ourselves a proper shipwreck. Of course, there are striking differences: Romary is not hotshot Gundam engineer, she’s an entry level bridge bunny. Zeheart has something much more than Anavel Gato’s Zeon pedantry towards Uraki Kou. Zeheart and Asemu have something greater, more special, more bitter and painful… between them.
The Spring of their youth was cut short by war… and there are no seasons in space, only the tears of time.
I want to talk about two things here (there’s more to the episode than these two – and the above mentioned; just chat me up in the comments): 1) Desil Galette is becoming the Jerid Mesa of the show, much to my delight and 2) the mobile suit fighting is excellent for non-CG TV robot anime.
I said a lot little about Jerid Mesa in the previous post. He is such an entertaining villain because there is nothing high, or great about him. His largeness over life has more to do with him being such a petty, insignificant jerk playing what should have been a very significant role in his milieu. He is in some ways the opposite of Char, who with all his talent brings the tragedy of applying all of it towards petty grudges with the Zabis, and then Amuro when he could’ve been the leader of all humanity. Jerid never had a quarter of Char’s talent nor charisma and yet people expected better of him, I wanted better of him…
But he, in Tomino’s genius, delightfully and awesomely disappoints.
Desil Galette evokes Jerid in that he gives off the air of the bitter, petty foe… consumed by hate and a rivalry with the Gundam and its pilots. He is dangerous because he’s an X-Rounder, but he will never be great. This is somewhat tragic, enough for me to appreciate especially since he was introduced as a child soldier. This is a rather satisfying turn to what would’ve been an annoying kiddy villain had he remained that way.
Now going back to the action in the show, it was fast when it needed to be, and fluid when it had to be. No one should be accusing this episode of being a Gundam Unicorn installment, but I felt like it evoked it. It’s not only because Zeheart’s Zeydra MS is basically um, Full Frontal’s Sinanju LOL, complete with a trademarked Char Aznable kick.
The similarity is really striking when viewed from the rear and the “wings” are in play. I appreciate how Zeheart is the kind of ace who is utterly dissatisfied with how Mobile Suits move. I know nothing short of a Macross Variable Fighter will truly satisfy him, and that’s why the Gundam AGE 02 transforms … it’s a close enough facsimile for him to covet. In the mean time, char clones gotta live with them red suits.
But Kycillia, you had it coming.
That said, the action still suffers from kiddy show battle dynamics: unhittable Vagans (good) who somehow can’t shoot down static Feddies (terrrible). Then of course the emo teen Gundam battle dynamic of not killing off the Gundam and its pilot when the opportunity presented itself. It’s love, and Jerid Desil can see it for what it is. Watch your back, Zeheart. Not every heart is as pure as yours.
Isn’t the Hyaku Shiki a Gundam? Right Gato? NVM I’m not going there…