Fantasy Warfare in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 25

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_25v2_[720p][10bit][AAB956BD].mkv_snapshot_15.48_[2012.04.02_16.56.52]

[Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 24]

Thematically, I think it still works. Asemu is not an X-Rounder. He suffers emotionally due to the pressures he puts on himself to be the pilot his father is, to become a match against Zeheart, both X-Rounders. It’s pretty good, actually – as a character conflict. It engages us with a story about accepting one’s limitations without selling out one’s possibility. After all, Asemu can still pilot the beast of possibility, can’t he?

The rather brilliant counterpoint to this is Woolf Enneacle himself, now an old hand, an exceptional veteran who is a match for at least an “artificial” X-Rounder while piloting an inferior, if customized, mobile suit. Woolf accepted who he was, who Flit was, without feeling bad for himself. Instead, he worked on getting better and over the past decades became an accomplished pilot and squad leader.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m going to dump on the presentation of the whole thematic conflict. Why? It’s because the content is not enough, it’s the storytelling via moving illustrations – most importantly the battles. Because what is a goddamn robot show if it can’t do battles right?!?

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_25v2_[720p][10bit][AAB956BD].mkv_snapshot_17.54_[2012.04.02_16.57.54]

I’m not asking for much. I can hang with this episode taking pages and pages from Mobile Suit Z Gundam where Desil basically Jerids the place up and Zeheart does a Paptimus and lets him get fucked up. Just like Jerid, Desil gets his subordinates killed, but unlike the charismatic Mr. Messa, his subordinates have no love for him, and he has no love for them in return. He’s just pure buttmonkey in this show.

Now, the very idea of the mobile suit is for it to be a tactical threat to battleships and carriers. A slow and large target like a capital ship is at a tremendous disadvantage to a fast-moving mobile suit that carries comparable weaponry. I keep mentioning the Battle of Loum in UC 0079, but it’s the perfect example: Char destroyed 6 capital ships with basically a tommy gun and some grenades (albeit gigantic ones). The gun arrays of the ships can fire continuously and miss, but the ships themselves cannot evade short range fire.

Given this precedent, and what should be definitive in all Gundam (actually, it’s very rarely enforced, even in Z Gundam because capital ships have plot armor BUT STILL), the Diva should not have punked Jerid like that. I don’t care if Flit was X-Rounding the gunnery. The ship still cannot evade Desil’s weapons if only he actually got to shoot them. This is not difficult. If you want to see, an entertaining MS vs. Capital Ship battle, watch the Sinanju vs. the Nahel Argama in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn episode 02. That is the shit right there.

I suppose the important question is: is it fun watching Desil get punked again by Flit, in ever escalating levels of indignity? Yes. I love shit like this. But the battle itself is not to my liking. More importantly, Asemu is at the heart of the story again, and given Woolf’s intervention, he’s going to enter the big battle next episode with the right attitude.

And yeah, the next episode brings us the big battle. I think blondie assistant is going to die.

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Am I asking too much from the show? Maybe. I know I’ve watched something like 30 episodes of Legend of the Galactic Heroes over the last 48 hours, but I promise I don’t mess up my perspective in evaluating Gundam AGE’s space battles. Still, the X-Rounders did not even score ONE kill amongst the grunts. NOT A ONE.

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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36 Responses to Fantasy Warfare in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 25

  1. Blacknoah says:

    Oh screw you, Murrue! Neumann should’ve been captain!

    I agree with your points here. But I STILL LOVE FLIT FOR PUNKING HE @$#@ OUT OF DESIL. HE HAD IT COMING.

  2. Andaer says:

    Woolf is a great sensei! Hopefully, Asemu wil now become the (super) pilot we want him to be. He might in the next battles – but I fear that in the end, he returns to the helmet and consequences will be shocking.

    Flit owning Desil with the Diva was ridiculous cool. No wonder that the authors cannot afford to give him a new mobile suit. he would be so overpowered, he would destroy Veigan as a one man army.

    • It’s going to end well for Asemu because he’s still gonna knock up Romary and be a father of some kind. Only that Flit will be such an awesome grandpa that Asemu grows old forever insecure LOL.

  3. Tenryu says:

    ever played a super robot wars game before they introduce Nadesico? i swear instant game over in a turn if you let your battle ship get to close to the enemy units. Ahh the horrors of running away from a berserk Unit One

    i think most people will let it slide that Filt beat Desil with a battleship because its so much fun to watch.

  4. Reid says:

    Good stuff in this episode: The majorly awesome speech at the end from Woolf to Asemu. I like the way Ghost said it, this speech capped off an episode about “accepting one’s limitations without selling out one’s possibility,” which is pretty much what this whole generational arc is about in terms of its relationship to the Gundam AGE narrative as a whole. If I had to say it my way, I’d say Woolf told Asemu something like this….


    Woolf: “Asemu…there’s nothing wrong with being your own man. We can’t all be our fathers, and we shouldn’t want to be. Listen, your dad did some pretty righteous stuff. I mean, hell, he did a number on ME, the great Woolf Enneacle in our first mock battle and saved my butt more times than I can count. But I ALSO helped him out too, because that’s what team mates do: they’re there for each other, which is why you’ve got to actually be on the catapult on time. And don’t fall back on that crutch of self-pity. I don’t want to see you using that dumb X-rounder fake hat thing. It looks way dumb. Be the man I know you are. Put in the work and you’ll see dividends. I mean, I took out that X-rounder myself this time. You think I got that good just because? No, I had to work for it. So follow my example kid. Just remember ‘Hard work and guts!’ and you’ll be fine.”
    Asemu: “Yeah, thanks, Captain!” (click the link to see how he’ll hopefully be from now on: the bad-a$$ normal, just like his mentor)

    Junk (sometimes cool and sometimes just plain junk) in this episode, otherwise known as “this show hates red-haired people”:
    1. The ship vs Decil battle was cool just because we all hate Decil and I for one can’t wait to see what horrible thing he’s going to do when he finally stops screwing up. It’s probably going to be horrific. (Cool)
    2. The marriage proposal between Obright and the cutesy mechanic chick. I was thinking, up to this point, that their little romance was kinda, well, endearing. Now I know he’s as good as dead. He got totally owned by the X-rounder corps in this episode and it’s now only a matter of time before his number gets called for good. He really should have just asked her on a date, though that may have had the same effect. Still, it’s always good to see my little buddy, the Genoace, getting some time “on the clock,” thought I wish he’d get to steal the show more often. (Junk)
    3. The X-Rounder corps went from hero to zero in no time flat. They really all suck now. I mean, they still beat the crap out of Max and Arisa (neither of whom make a good case for the effectiveness of a mass-production Gundam AGE-1), but Flit and Woolf made short work of them when they fought on pretty equal terms at the battle of Big Ring. I guess when you fly off the handle you can’t be expected to turn in your best performance. How does this point illustrate that the show hates red-heads? Here’s how: the one effete, metrosexual dude who always claimed “this isn’t beautiful” or “this would be pretty” or whatever, got punked faster than any of the others, but that’s ok because he’s a douchebag on a team of douchey folks. (Lame/sorta ok)

    • I don’t hate Desil.

      That proposal was terrible.

      The X-Rounders pretty much went out like those gimmick pilots in SEED, GSD, and 00. Pretty terrible crap.

      • reidjou4342 says:

        lol I didn’t really mean it about hating Desil. More like the writers want to make him the perpetual butt-monkey…kinda exactly like you’ve been saying the whole time with him being “the Jerid.” If anything, both Desil and Asemu are different flavors of “Jerids” in the way that they deal with repeated failure and the attitude they have about correcting those failures.

  5. rollover says:

    Is the X-Rounder conservation of quality and quantity in effect. Because, really now, they are just plain trash at their jobs. It’s like watching Innovades again.

  6. Turambar says:

    I’m more wondering how Desil’s suite didn’t get blasted apart. It was taking multiple capitol ship cannon blasts to the face.

  7. ces06 says:

    I don’t know man, this isn’t the first time Woolf’s done intervention. If anything, Asemu’s gotta talk it up with Flit (Fat chance) and Zeheart (Will only end with a lot of butthurt with Asemu the way he is now)

    Oh, the delicious references to brain damage!

    Asemu’s hitting another low. I think he’ll go further though. I love how they’re not pulling any punches with the fail.

  8. Rusty says:

    Wow there will be another big battle next week. In Earth’s sphere no less.

    For this episode, that death flag is surely heavy-handed. To me, the X-rounder antics was facepalm-worthy mainly because of how badly disciplined and ineffectual the Vagan pilots are. I don’t believe Zeheart’s “elimination” threat towards Desil at all considering his track record with Asemu but he sure needs to do something to better control his troop.

  9. The Episode was slow but good, how you say, finally Asemu will going out of his littler rebel/emo state and start to improve himself as a (super)pilot(please Level-5, let him as a normal (super)pilot, make Kio the Super Jedi instead, aka the male Nanoha) and the experience with the cyber-newtype help was necessary(and kid don’t do drug, i was the only one who read that subtext).

    Why the people think than Oberight has his life numbered? In fact with the proposal he make himself a way to survive for the other generation unlike max.. why you will ask? pretty easy… His son with remi will be Kio brother in arms(and with Remi as the Gunda Age 3 Chief Engineer) with that movement he already save is existance to generation 3… unless a bed scene happen(there start the funeral march, his dead is sure in all but moment). In fact the Max(aka the Space Monotheist) will be the one of goign to heaven….

    Again Desil have his own death flag… only to be anticlimatic in the hand of either Asemu or Zehart.

    But the massive Invasion, in the whole spirit of the Independance Day.. if the Spoiler are true, that will be a slatemate but that would make a little civil war in the federation (guess who would lead the ‘Titans’…)

    Anyway the climax is soon to happen but still waiting for the big things…

    • Oh… so Obright survives eh?

      Yes, the moral of not using the helmet is to not cheat, don’t rely on performance enhancing drugs/tools, and fight honorably — along with the theme of accepting one’s limitations without giving up possibility.

  10. Gamer2002 says:

    I don’t agree with you about Desil vs Diva. IIRC when Char was doing what made him famous, Mobile Suits were still a new thing, in setting where they ware standard even before current calendar started no one would want to have a ship that would be at mercy of just one single mobile suit.

    And look at Desil’s first attempt, at the begging he was really far away from the Diva, we couldn’t see ship from his perspective. He get closer at the end of battle, but at this time Woolf with his team (minus Asem, but Desil probably wouldn’t be aware about his condition) were returning.
    It reminds my good old days with Freespace. I don’t remember if ships had AA missiles, but if they did trying to taking them down alone would be just that painful. In this game against ships your job was to take down their engines and anti-ships weapons, you could destroy smallest ships, but normally it wasn’t for your caliber and it never was done quickly. Final boss of first game was a ship with weak points, but still you had squadrons of bombers to help you.
    And Flit is not only a X-Rounder but also a brilliant mathematician 😛

    Aside from not showing us much of it so we could clearly see how it worked, I liked it. Ships have armor and AA weapons for a reason.

    I don’t remember how it was in Unicorn second episode aside from hostage situation, it was long time since I watched episode 2.

    • Gamer2002 says:

      After writing this comment I rewatched IGLOO’s scene from Loum and I have to add one more thing: Loum was a big battle, ships had plenty of other targets that were attacking them, so Char didn’t have that hard when he knew what he was doing. Here all cannons could concentrate on Desil, he had no chances.

      • No. The fundamental problem is not addressed.

        Desil needs only to shoot once and hit. The Diva is a big, stationary target. It doesn’t turn, bank, change altitudes (or its equivalent).

        A capital ship MUST send MS defenders to engage enemies beyond the hostiles’ range to fire at the capital ship. MS are the anti-MS capital ship defense.

        • sadakups says:

          Yes, that’s exactly how I see it. The show, however, made it seem that Flit was that godlike that he can screw with Desil with just a warship and not with his Gundam. The kids will buy it though.

    • What really happened in Gundam anime is that despite more mobile suits increasing firepower, the less effective that firepower was against capital ships. Z Gundam was incredibly bad at this, when the Garuda class airplanes can’t be brought down WITHIN THE ATMOSPHERE… DESPITE BEING SPEARED THROUGH BY A MOTHERFUCKING PSYCHOGUNDAM. Never mind being hit with beam rifles, missiles, etc.

      /all my rage

      This would not be addressed until Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory when Gato rampaged with the Neue Ziel. Capital ships don’t have I-Fields, and beam rifles should be able to punch through ship armor. Plot armor, however, is incredibly variable.

      If you really believe your point, rewatch the Gundam franchise and get back to me.

      • what the hell says:

        Garudas are probably the biggest earthborn cruisers ever built in UC. considering that they could fit two thousand people with out being made to fit two thousand people, has enough anti air guns to make amuro think about using it to attack a military stronghold with only THREE assault units. and when it was in port, omg, dude that was beautiful. so beautiful, taller than skyscrapers lolwut. at least they were shown to take damage, i like my carriers big 🙂

        it might also be a legit reference to how imbalanced some of the world war two destroyers were. combat is a strange thing. at least they didn’t try to use anti-ship swords on the garudas carriers. that would’ve made me throw my TV out the window. well, in the remake ‘movies’ the one hit by psycho gundam tumbled out of the sky.. if i remember…

        + points: it doesn’t fucking sparkle
        + points: it was flying really really slowly
        + points: reused in ZZ, was still flying even after the entire bridge crew had died
        + points: so fucking fat, that a psycho gundam could ram it and it would still fly
        + points: its fucking fat
        + points: in america.

  11. sadakups says:

    I just really found it funny that Desil got punked by a warship. I found it funnier that Dique wasn’t smart by just locking the Vagan helmet in a GLASS case and leaving it with Asem still around. 🙂

    After Asem gets a taste of what being an X-Rounder is, I hope, that after Wolf’s words, he does become that Super Pilot (goddamn is that a cheesy title). I said it before and I’ll say it now, I just hope that Asem stays normal and not awaken to his real X-Rounder powers later on. I mean, AGE-2 is a very powerful suit, and that balances his lack of X-Rounder powers.

    • It’s more about Dick believing in Asemu as a good kid who’d never steal.

      Yeah, the oldtype/normalfag angle is a good one and I hope it stays that way.

      • sadakups says:

        The best way they can make Asem like that normalfag that kicks Vagan ass is for him to develop his adaptability skills, i.e., just like Wolf did, be able to adapt to X-Rounders through trial and error.

        Heck, they should go back to that simulator.

  12. what the hell says:

    actually if a battle ship picks up speed in outer space, it would theoretically be as hard to hit as a any other smaller mobile suit. provided of course that the altitude control drives are at least a few times bigger than an average mobile’s suit’s main engines. This isn’t really that hard, not to mention capital ships has (since AGE doesn’t have ANY sort of particles) a team of communications officers jamming the fuck out of your radar and radio signals. oh and if we let AGE do its bullshit, there are Anti-Beam slugs that renders particle weaponary almost useless at longer range in this universe, so it could work. but that said, who cares? desil got OWNED by a ship

    • Yes, I know this but then the Capital Ship must be depicted as zipping forward continuously. What it can’t do is maneuver like a Ghost fighter from Macross Plus, which is the only way it can engage an MS in a “dogfight.”

      • what the hell says:

        it can however make it hell for anything that comes within its firing range. that plus the pseudo Absolute territory field set up by what ever the hell AGE ships are using.. desil probably needs to be pretty dam close for his particle weapons to be of any use. and those peggy classes sure has a lot of concealed guns, despite the fact that it only has one main cannon (lol just like halo ships, one set of MAC and nothing else…) it does have a shit ton of point defence lasers. rather strange how this happened in a kid’s show rather than a ‘full fledged’ gundam.

        and who said them capital ships couldn’t fly really fast! >:U bro remember eureka seven? they were dodging macross LAZERS with a fricking hundred meter long assault cruiser, and even god knows that eureka seven is probably ten times more gundam than anything made past turn A. it all depends on how hard you push the machine and how much thought the creators put into the making of the machines (which in most cases in gundam, absolutely zero, with the exception of bullet’s anti-assrape wings).

        just because its big doesn’t mean its a fatass slowpoke.

        oh and ships aren’t the easiest things to sink. military grade vessles has enough failsafes, crumble chambers, blast doors, armor and what not to stand quite well against incoming attacks. no matter how fast weaponary advances they will always have a little bit of trouble taking down heavy cruisers. if they have no problem at all then the cruiser in question deserved to be destroyed.

        • The Diva doesn’t have that many guns, compared to say, the Nahel Argama. And while it can move fast, it’s only in one direction. It wasn’t strafing Desil, it was sitting there laying suppressive fire.

          If it’s in the visual range of an ms, the capital ship can be fired at. It’s the target that should be getting strafed, not the other way around.

  13. Ratatosk says:

    Yeah, wasn’t that one of the reasons for having Mobile Suits, because in with the Minovsky Particles excuse the bigger ships just couldn’t keep up with them? (Must re-read those first Gundam books again, I’m sure I remember it making sense at one point..) I may just be reading too much One Piece, but I always got the impression that the technology involved in making something that could move well enough to walk bipedally or have a lightsaber fight probably cost about as much as a battleship anyway..

    I did enjoy the novelty of seeing one of the previous generation’s aces piloting a capital ship though, who in the history of Gundam has managed this apart from enemies. A single season of Gundam usually ends up with main characters conveniently dead, crippled for life or under house arrest; turning into a fundamentalist Evangelion father-figure is far less lazy. This era’s Newtype powers seem to come without the bonus of hearing/feeling everyone around you die so it even makes sense.. But it’s an interesting shift towards realism. Is it suddenly ok to have an anime where the most interesting characters aren’t 16 with pretty hair again, or are they just getting away with it because this is supposedly aimed at little kids instead of slash-writers? 😀

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