BRIGHTSLAPS are SOOO Over: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 21

[Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 20]

This episode, our Asemu goes full emo, as much as a kiddy show would allow (no, I don’t watch SasukeNaruto). What makes this delightful, yes, delightful, is a number of reasons that I’ll get to soon enough, but the main thing is this: Asemu is upset because he’s not as good at piloting the Gundam as he wants to be. No this isn’t Setsuna F. Seiei’s “gotta be a Gundam,” nor Graham Acker’s “gotta Shinbo the Gundam.” Asemu, wants to be better at piloting, at fighting, because he wants to win.

Remember, this is the character we thought would be overpowered from the start! He’s the most thoroughbred Gundam pilot in all of Gundam’s history in all universes, with the Gundam for his birthright as well! But what do we find? He’s not a Newtype.

This is too delicious. I didn’t see this coming. Maybe some of you did, but no one who’s been following the discussions here. If you say you did, I bet you’re lying. Of course, his X-Rounder powers may just be lying dormant, to be triggered by some kind of traumatic event like the death of Flit or something. Even so, this moment, this episode, is top class Gundam entertainment. And I’ve only scratched the surface, because emo Asemu doesn’t get BRIGHTSLAPPED, and that’s a good thing. You heard me.

Asemu cried into his knee after being whipped by Zeheart in the previous episode. Sure he moped after. But by and large his reaction was to fully apply himself into bettering his skills. He didn’t run away and bury the Gundam in a hole in the desert as Amuro Ray infamously did. He didn’t run away and help rebuild a Zeon mobile armor like Kou Uraki did. He didn’t even ask to be left behind and die in some ditch like Banagher Links did. He went into space and started shooting Vagan baloons, drill after drill. After all, his father Flit Asuno, a Commander of the EFF told him how high is expectations are of him.

He kicks it up a notch, going to “Top Gun” and measuring himself against the most rigorous piloting tests in the Earth Federation Forces. That’s when he finds out he’s no X-Rounder. This is, as Zeheart said, why he doesn’t belong with him in the battlefield. He’s no X-Rounder like him. And what does Flit say? “You’re still my son,” without an ounce of pity. Flit is goddamn badass. He owns Bright in the parenting thing and in the career thing already.

But that’s not going to reassure Asemu. Like the fourth episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, this episode deals with legacies from prior generations. Loni, Banagher, Mineva, and Riddhe deal with theirs as if their legacies are curses (in some cases they definitely are). Gundam AGE takes on how to find oneself amidst the noise of such legacies. Madorna’s kid, Dique’s kid, and now Asemu. They have to find their own selves.

Asemu doesn’t have to do it alone. His moping isn’t met by some completely unnecessary BRIGHTSLAP. Uncle Woolf instead engineers the most AWESOME gift ever: the ultimate Gundam video game using actual battle data. Woolf recognizes what Asemu is going through and lets him not only get a rematch against the X-Rounder who beat him, but also the X-Rounder legend of his nightmares: Flit Asuno himself at the height of his X-Rounder, Desil-smacking menace.

Asemu vs. Flit, Gundam vs. Gundam – this was exactly what we asked for. We got it, so easily, without contrivance. And it ended perfectly too: Asemu got completely owned as an oldtype taking on two NT beasts at once, and one of them was in a freaking Gundam. And you know what, Asemu rewards us all for not getting BRIGHTSLAPPED: he asks for another go. This guy isn’t stopped by defeat. A Gundam pilot fighting through repeated ass-whipping? When does this ever happen?

Just look at what happened in this episode? We saw pilots training like mad. Never mind the “like mad” part, we see pilots in training like real soldiers! When was the last time this got indulged? Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, and Mobile Suit Gundam: 08th MS Team. We see pilots caring about the performance of their suits, reaching out to the maintenance folk, just like Kamille does in Z. We see some side characters discovering romance (this is a set up for death, don’t ask me how I know). We saw the surviving and actively serving crew members of the Diva from the first Vagan war reunited (Woolf winking at Flit was priceless). We saw awesome parenting and support. And we saw mustering of the fleets from both sides, towards a grand old set-piece battle to start in the next episode.  SO MUCH GOODNESS.

I’m not one to indulge much speculation, but what if the 2nd AGE wraps up after the next few episodes in one big battle that goes terribly for the EFF. Everybody dies, except Asemu and Romary who escape and make at least one baby who is born and raised in the forests of the Earth to fight the ruling Vagans in the future.

YESSSS, this is a chance to redeem the awful Mobile Suit Victory Gundam. Big Ring will be in the control of the Vagans, remembering love for Angel Halo without the utterly stupendous levels of LOLTOMINO. I am so hyped. There’s so much possibility I can’t wait for the fireworks to begin next episode.

REMEMBER, JERIDDESIL IS COMING.

image

That Neo Roanoke sure is one good lookin’ fella…

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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44 Responses to BRIGHTSLAPS are SOOO Over: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 21

  1. Myssa says:

    Someone will eventually comment on this, but Emily’s contribution to the gene pool of the Asuno family is both a good and a bad thing. While it means that Asemu likely has dormant X-Rounder potential instead of having a latent one (had he been born of Yurin), it also means that Asemu now has other avenues of grown instead of the one given by convenient Newtype-esque powers. I’m sure the X-Rounder abilities will figure into the narrative again eventually, but for now Asemu’s lack of it gives him a compelling driven “underdog” feel to him.

  2. For being a breather episode, was a very good breather episode, like more that going EMO(i’m a long fan, Asemu was more mature than anyone except the semi robot who Heero tends to be) was simple accepting he still a rookie and need training.

    In general that is the good of AGE, not only play with gundam cliches but mauled it and give us what ironically want in other series.

    Still some big come, we either going to have a sophie choice for the diva or even Flit will awake this latent Gihren mode(he is now mostly in Dozle mode)

    So I haven’t read any mad ‘spoiler’ for this generation like the before, Gundam AGE is so Unpredictable than the fanwank doesn’t now what think?

    Char call down… maybe the Third Generation will bring the lolis back(with a katejima loos expy)

    • Myssa Rei says:

      Aesthetic-wise though AGE is following a Gundam -> Zeta -> Double Zeta path of aesthetic inspiration though, given what we know of the units now of each generation. Characterization-wise though the series hasn’t followed a set trajectory. We may very well get something like Victory like chief hopes, but personally I want to see a Double Zeta redux (kind of how Generation 2 is taking stuff from Zeta, but from other Gundam series too), but with a TWEEEEEST.

      • Yes you’re right in the Aesthetic and Mechanical side, but in the narrrative is the secret of this series, at the start the people thing some time pretty linear(and manage to score) but the twist was so big that shock both fans and hater alike(and made the later apologize like small child)

        In general waiting what mad theory or twist for the future, if AGE manage to do all right… this will become the new model of Gundam Series for the future(unlike our current model.. the SEED/CE one… urruh)

        Hey some mad Question.. Which Kind of Goverment are the Vagan? they say the ambigous Lord Ezcebart but that not reveal nothing. They are a Republic? a Monarchy?(for lulz & mythological gag sake a Principality) something new from the future?

        That can help us for the future, more for a Victory Gundam like Scenario(with both Expies of the Queen and Katejima loos)

      • Zetatrain says:

        “personally I want to see a Double Zeta redux (kind of how Generation 2 is taking stuff from Zeta, but from other Gundam series too), but with a TWEEEEEST”

        As long as they leave out the chickens, and the Aztec moon ninjas I think we’ll be good…Oh and if Desil somehow survives this generation they better not bring him back in the third generation only to just throw him off a cliff and to never be heard from again.

    • Wouldn’t think to compare anyone with Heero. That character is terrible, just like Wing in general.

      • Nah Heero Suffer the Post tomino Syndrome(G-gundam being a stealth parody is in another case), that have interesting main characther who simple fail to deliver… Heero is another focus for gundam… the over seasoned Child Soldier who show how war can take humanity from us, but with some niptik of the narrative and the narm of the translation… fail to deliver..

        I know your ‘lack of love’ for Wing in that matter, but still… more decentat that SEED..ever.

        (cut here for avoid a flame exchange)

  3. kevin says:

    I can see an asteroid coming towards earth in the movie that is bound to happen no matter what now.

    look at this series! one lolreference after another. first killing off the (second) cutest loli in the show in cold blood, then cause some disturbance with their macrosses and made their second main character the second coming of Lt. Jerid. and this time, with out the asshead portion.

    wait, what? OH SHIT! ROSMARY’S TURNING! shoot her before she goes vegan >:U

    • kevin says:

      as for victory’s redemption, its ez, just cut off half of the episodes and we’re set. ez mode

      its ZZ that needs a huge make over. seriously, the backstory is so sad, if only they displayed the retardism of the gang AND the back story well at the same time. IF ONLY!

    • LOLreference?

      What are you on about? This show has great reference work.

  4. Shinmarizu says:

    Man, I haven’t had much of a chance to lurk here lately.
    Thank goodness AGE is doing everything right. I am just as impressed with Asemu’s development to you, ghost. The question is, just what special tricks did Asemu pick up inside the simulator?
    More importantly, and what I’m looking forward to the most, is what amount of good old destruction we’ll be treated to next episode.
    Also, considering the last second of the preview shows AGE-1, will Flit vs Desil Round 2 take place?
    Finally, it seems as if there is some tension in the budding love triangle-thingy. Hopefully it doesn’t weed its way into Asemu vs Zeheart Round 2…. oh who am I kidding!?

    • kevin says:

      don’t worry, flint will die. its time for his soul to join yurin in time.

      emily would be so pissed. she would be filing for divorce through the dimensions.

      • Shinmarizu says:

        I’m not worried that Flit will eventually die, but it may be too soon even at this stage for him. No closure for Emily either, who deserves a bit more airtime.
        What I’m more interested in is what casualties of the new generation will occur next episode. Keep in mind Asemu hasn’t even received AGE-2’s second configuration yet.

        • kevin says:

          so far AGE showed itself to like to faceroll our predictions ALOT

          so i’ll say that flint dies next episode just to be 100% safe. also, bullet upgrade -> ?! IDK D: i expect it sooner!

          fuck it, just kill flint. hes creeping towards gendo now

    • DEATH. DEATH TO ALL CHARACTERS.

      V Gundam scenario is coming. I’m calling it. The next battle will take 4 episodes to play out, but it ends poorly for the EFF. Everybody’s been so wrong about in predicting shit about this show I don’t care making mistakes. DEATH.

  5. Kherubim says:

    Yeah, Yurin, you may laugh in the NT afterlife, but in another universe where you emerged victorious, your son could have had an A in X-Rounder potential and a D somewhere else (like motion sickness LOLOLOLOL)

  6. rollover says:

    Asemu… become the Oldtype that surpasses the X-Rounders!

  7. JoeQ says:

    This episode was definetily remembering love for Gundam X, which not only had similar character dynamics (Garrod being the young oldtype pilot and Jamil the older newtype mentor/fatherfigure) but also a similar scenario of the oldtype protagonist being completely defeated by a newtype opponent and then having to level grind in simulator programmed by his friends.

  8. Blacknoah says:

    Mu la Flaga wishes he could shine Woolf’s awesome boots. Seriously, Woolf has finally grown on me as one of the best characters in this show. He’s what a real mentor is supposed to be. He totally understood what Asemu was going through and helped him get over it. I hope they show him go wild on the next episode so he can show us how much of a real ace he is!

  9. Turambar says:

    More than anything else, this episode was remembering quite a lot of love for Gundam X. Protagonist feeling the sorrow of not being a newtype, an ability he sees in his enemy (Carris, Zeheart) as well as his mentor and idol (Jamil/Tiffa, Flit). Though while all it really took for Garrod to get his groove back and beat the Frost bros was walking across thin ice and a mid season upgrade, that specific part will hopefully be more satisfying in AGE.

  10. sadakups says:

    The episode preview for this one was such a tease. I honestly thought that Flit is going to shape Asem to become a man, but damn, I like how Wolf did it better with that simulation battle. Flit must have given that task of mentoring to Wolf rather than himself doing it since he’s the commander and all.

    It’s been a long time since I found myself liking a Gundam protagonist since X’s Garrod Ran. Not because they’re both pilots that don’t have powers, just mad skills. I have nagging feeling that Asem might awaken to his X-Rounder powers, although I wish Asem stays normal.

    I’m quite surprised that a big battle is already here despite six episodes in Generation 2. Seeing AGE-1 launch in next episode’s preview gave me a bad feeling though.

  11. ces06 says:

    Love the episode. It’s really nice to see something fresh and out of the usual tropes in a gundam. THIS is how more of AU gundam should be, instead of just re-used tropes and flashier mechs.

    I don’t have anything else to add except that Flit’s the bro-est- strick-caring dad ever, and Woolf’s the bro-est commander ever in anime now.

    • Gundam AGE has been a revelation so far. What I love about it too is it never really compromised with its kiddy show aesthetic and dynamic. Sure, some of us still wish it otherwise, but in the end — as a potential Gateway Gundam for a new generation of fans… just wow.

  12. Pingback: There is Only ONE True Monster of This Age, & it is Still Flit Asuno: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 22 | We Remember Love

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