Woolf Enneacle’s pep-talk to Asem worked superbly, and he builds upon it with a team-wide speech on surviving at all costs. The thing about the speech is its fundamental inconsistency:
Directive 1: Survive at all costs. Fighting to survive is suffering, but seeing your comrades die is even more suffering. So, don’t die.
Directive 2: Fight to the bitter end.
What the flying fuck is the bitter end? Of course it means death. This is probably the worst pre-battle speech ever given. There are 2 good (arguably) things to come from it:
Woolf had the good sense to get killed before anyone else did, and he did it by 1) killing 2 sacrificial X-Rounders, and 2) saving Asem’s ass from being Z-Gundamned (hugged to death IN SPACE).
Woolf dies delivering a better (if funnier) speech to Asem, which really lights a fire under his ass. BE THE SUPER PILOT THAT’S EVEN MORE SUPER THAN ME! Yep, that’s the message. Let’s pretend X-Rounding doesn’t exist and just be better than anyone else by pure RAEG and GUTS. Don’t forget Asem, you’re piloting the motherfucking Double Bullet!
Will Asem’s X-Rounder powers awaken in the heat of battle?
We won’t find out yet, but he didn’t need such powers in completely dismembering Desil’s mobile suit and sending the poor Jerid facsimile to his timely demise. That loser has been asking for it and now he got it. The awesome ignominy is that Flit wasn’t even needed. His son was the pilot that got him, and wholly without X-Rounder powers. Good riddance, loser.
The battle itself is rather interesting because 1) the strategic goals are obscured, and 2) the mega-weapons tactically neutralize each other after dramatic tactical events (and non-events). It’s evocative of (however paling in comparison to) “Operation Stardust” from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memories, and this is a good thing. It makes me care about the battle itself beyond the character drama that unfolds within it.
It’s not incredibly complex, but I don’t need it to be. It’s funny though that it’s the defenders that have an offensive WMD laser and the attackers are the one who deployed a shield. Well, not that funny given the science fiction example of the Iserlohn Fortress’ Thor Hammer as the primary deterrent in the corridor it guards (from Legend of the Galactic Heroes). As he claimed, Zeheart would command better from the front lines, and he anticipated the Photon Ring laser attack based on the gap in the Federation fleet formation. We may still see a Vagan WMD in the succeeding episode.
I suppose Zeheart’s coldhearted manner towards Desil is worth discussing, given that it’s presented as his lack of humanity. Seriously. Desil was a liability. Given that he ignores all orders and gets his comrades killed, just let the loser die while taking out a bunch of grunts – which is what you want an X-Rounder to do: reduce the war potential of the opponents by creating lopsided mismatches.
It’s Zeheart who gives Asem his battlefield evaluation: his power levels are unknown at this point, only that it’s enough to beat a high-level X-Rounder. I’ve mentioned before that the trigger for Asem’s X-Rounder ability would be a significant death, I just didn’t expect it to be Woolf’s.
Now Flit is very, very mad. And Zeheart you’re all alone to deal with both Asunos in Gundams. Enjoy.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE is awesome.