The Power of Love & Friendship: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 27

[Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 26]

A lot of things went down, and most likely a number of red herrings in terms of character deaths. I’ll let you guys bring these up for discussion in the comments, as I’m going to step away from discussing them in the post proper.

The fundamental dissatisfaction I have is the failure to iron out the details at how Asem reached a level of combat piloting beyond that of X-Rounders. Am I unnecessarily upset/obsessed with this? Maybe. But hey, after the robots themselves, the particulars of the pilots and how they go about combat is of paramount interest to me in Gundam. Characterization and the stories themselves exist as justifications to pit pilots and mobile suits against each other in glorious illustrated and animated combat. Why else would I want to watch anime so much?

Sometimes, these justifications are engaging indeed, and at times quite compelling. Bright hit Amuro twice. Mineva spent her time as a princess mostly in hiding. Char for all his force of personality reveals himself a small, small human being… all these contribute to Gundam being the way it is as a franchise, but the important thing here is the spectacle of mobile suit combat. Still, I will mention a few things about Gundam AGE here.

Zeheart is a hero.

For now at least, he is unwavering in his goal, that is to achieve the vision of his idol and benefactor. And he does this without being underhanded towards his opponents. He fights in a straightforward way, and is unerringly devoted to, if condescending towards, his beloved friend Asem. We see this play out when the Vagan operation was lost, and the space fortress was going to hit the Earth with the force of a colony drop, Zeheart himself would stop it. This was fortuitous because it was the same choice that Asem made, that would be his first and definitive heroic act in the eyes of his peers and his father.

Thus, instead of seeing Char hunting down Amuro in Axis, we find Asem and Zeheart working together to save the Earth.

I don’t know about you, but this gave me thematic heart tugs and filled me with bro-ness and love. This was Kira and Athrun all over again, only not made of suck and fail. I’m serious. Asem confronted his father just as Athrun did, only that Asunos are made of far better quality than Zalas. Zeheart may not be the forced perfection that is Kira Yamato, but he is far more interesting in his villain role. He does not “turn” into a hero here. What happened is far more interesting. The Vagans are not Char. They do not intend to preserve the Earth by scorching it free of Humans, no matter how butthurt they are from their oppression.

Asem is a man(‘s name).

Previously mentioned hangups about pilot skill and power levels aside, Asem is an interesting character, albeit not as interesting as Flit. This is fine. Flit’s been around since the beginning and has never let go of the narrative as its driving force. Asem is the upstart, the pluck in the machine. It works out.

In the heat of battle in space, Gundam leads awaken or find their Newtype powers. Asem instead found his purpose in fighting. This is the magic that made him more powerful than “inherent” “inherited” “artificial” powers that make X-Rounders formidable in battle. Purpose and inspiration made Asem break through. The narrative runs with this and takes us along with Asemu facing down his father not in a contest of who’s more powerful as a pilot, but in terms of achieving something great by means of the Gundam.

Flit destroyed enemy mobile suits with his Gundam. Asem prevented an ecological and meteorological cataclysm with his. The battle of Ambat was where Flit distinguished himself, but that was Grodek’s fight and Grodek ended it, and completed it. This was Flit’s defense of the Earth, but it was Asem who saves the planet. Flit failed to pull the trigger to execute his enemy. Asem felt compelled to agree to those terms – this is war after all, but achieved his objectives with virtue, friendship, and love.

Next episode, TO EARTH!

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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49 Responses to The Power of Love & Friendship: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 27

  1. Shinmarizu says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, so here we go:

    This post was possibly the best way to defend (and / or salvage) Asem’s development, considering the breakneck speed at which this had to take place. You point out that Asem’s path to warriorhood (not manhood yet…) was far more palatable than anything out of SEED, and I would have to agree.
    I was reading the discussion everyone was having on your previous post, and was surprised to see one entry that the target demographic for this show (young to preteen) does not like this stuff as much as WE do because the material isn’t relatable. No populist uprisings or stuff like that – makes me think they should re-broadcast Combattler V or Daimos… (NO REMAKES, PLEASE. If there are remakes I will hunt these people down from halfway across the world and persuade them otherwise.)
    And finally, the panel: Katz, you can stay. I have no issue with you. Shinn, Judah, Angelo; the three of you can go in a corner and masturbate to those pictures of your sisters/mancrushes you idolize so damn much. Just as long as you go away.
    Char, I dunno. Can’t do much about you. You seem to dodge every defense keeping you out of this sandbox. I’ve grown desensitized to you; here’s a straitjacket and a Yurin plushie.

    • what the hell says:

      i think he’ll be much more satisfied with a living loli’s plush. just sayin

    • Welcome back!

      Development… what the fuck does this word even mean?

      Do you mean Asem’s story? Characterization?

      Asem’s story is pretty clear:

      Talented son of a famous war hero has issues about matching his father’s skill/accomplishments… as a complexity of his motivation in joining the war effort. He is not there so much to fight, but to follow his father’s footsteps. He has a conflict with his best friend who turned out to be a commander of the enemy forces, and is a kind of talent Asem’s father is… and the kind of talent that Asem doesn’t have. This friend questions Asem’s place in the war.

      Asem finds his purpose in the war and distinguishes himself from both his father and friend. He’s not so much a fighter but a hero, as far as episode 27 is concerned.

      His character/personality is good-natured, well-meaning, trusting, and hard-working. His adolescence brings with it envy, competitiveness, and self-consciousness that eats at his confidence. This lead to acting “out-of-character” by arguing with his commander and father, disobeying direct orders, and selfishness.

      What is this development bullshit? Characters have stories, they have personalities/characteristics… that play out as the narrative gets told.

      Katz can stay?

      • Shinmarizu says:

        My apologies, I was referring to Asem’s character. Some other blog sites I follow are panning Asem’s character progression without much forethought. (I have seen comparisons to Shinn *shudder*) I beg to differ; there’s a lot more thought put into Asem than many other young male anime leads as of late. My aim is to direct some of those people here, to well-written discussion. That and a panel of crazies, siscons and lolicons. And Char.

        • The specific term character “development” is a pet peeve of mine, as I’ve found it thoughtlessly bandied around in anime discussions in blogs and forums like it’s some hugely important thing.

          I do endeavor to make this blog a thoughtful and sensible space for discussion for all things Gundam, because yes, there’s so much shit out there.

  2. ToastCrust says:

    Obright for Commander-in-Chief of AGE-3.

    I want to see some Obright slaps.

  3. what the hell says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO REMI DIED

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    we didn’t even give a crap about her name until she went /deprived of air

    WHY THE MAINTENANCE CREW! WHYYYY

    /sadpanda

    anyways, overall the bromance in AGE feels a LOT less bad compared to seed. mainly because the characters are DRAWN BETTER and has much better design (even if it is kiddy, its still more badass than those morphing triangle faces)

    and frankly the badass neo-cowboy music playing in the background when blondy finally found his light at the end of the tunnel was all there needed to be. simply, fucking, terrificia. its bad, but not as bad. and they didn’t spend an entire episode setting up the bombs, i love it when kids show skip details that hinders the show. thank god ❤

    anyways, onto the next AGE!

  4. The people say than the episode was rushed… that is a bad sign,gundam X suffer rush post 25 when lost the battle with Evangelion, and Gunda AGE faced the Evangelion of the videogames make Anime… Persona 4, even if Persona 4 is over, the damage is done, I fear for AGE… that is like how the original gundam would have be, New, original, revolutionary but the mainstream ‘mindshare’ doesn’t follow it, they want EMOS , Oppai, Pantyshot,Etc.

    In general the chapter yes feel like some scenes were shorted to avoid past the 30 minutes limits, but in general was more we hope, the battle of superweapons(both offensive and defensive), an attemp of Colony Drop that remind us the love of CCA, and a reversal of the Char/Amuro last dance… Simple was very well made, Perfect…. lack some things, but very lovely.

    In general the spoiler are true, we going to see Furito shouting a ‘Zeon is Exhauted’ combined with the legendary ‘J’accuse’ as an attack to both the VEIGAN Invasion and the corruption of the Federation… that is a must see, Asemu now becoming the New ‘white woolf'(who with heresy-free, was the ‘Roy Focker’ of the AGE Era) with the gundam in full white(the old wish of Tomino), and with our first battle in Earth.

    This week would have been double… we need the another episode to clousoure a ‘chaotic’ era, and enter to final generation, the generation of Blood,Sweat and Tears… I only want to see how the Ghost of Judau Astrah, Tobias(motherfu##€) Anorrax & Uso Ewin will lead the way for us new Protagonist and Gundam Pirroto… Kio.

    P.S. It’s me or Lord Elzecant is the Light Yagami of the AGE Era? All for him is ‘Just as Keikaku'(T.N: keikaku means plan), he is the perfect final boss for much.

  5. Laziness says:

    I would like to say, “Shut up Shinn,” AGAIN, but all the other critics need a Bright Slapping as well.

  6. rollover says:

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but Char is right.

    The panel is full of emofags.

    Poor Obright. He’s going to become Flit’s right hand man, isn’t he?

  7. CVPhased says:

    As of the moment, I can’t shake the feeling that Asem’s arc is more of a transitional one than anything (i.e. Flit’s arc starts this whole thing and Kio’s supposedly will end it). But despite this, it opened us to many things, like how the EFF x Vegan war isn’t as black and white as with the 1st generation where they’re just portrayed as homicidal maniacs. Zeheart’s character did a good job in opening the audience to their side of things, as evident of how Asem accepted that fact in their “bro-moments” in the recent ep.

    And Shinn doesn’t have any friends sans his overly obsession to that pink cellphone… orz

  8. Arabesque says:

    I’m still unsure what to think about the episode, though what you wrote gave me a better impression of it over all than the one I had earlier. There is one thing I disagree with tho

    ”They do not intend to preserve the Earth by scorching it free of Humans, no matter how butthurt they are from their oppression.”

    Going by how the Vegans first attack against the Federation was on a non military colony that was inhabited largely with a civilian population, and following attacks during the 14 years leading on to the attacks on Nora and Farden where the formers civilian population was under risk of being killed entirely and the latter being attacked for no reason at all, I find that very hard to believe. That’s ignoring all the slurs Vegan pilots utter against the ”damn Earthers”.

    Then again, the entire Vegan philosophy and motivation for their attacks had been a mess …

    • Laziness says:

      Well, it’s fine if they hate the Federation, but the colonies aren’t their “Eden” so why the hell bother with preserving them?

      • Arabesque says:

        I’m not saying that the Vegan’s had been attempting to preserve colonies, but that they had an active agenda against anyone who was born under the Federations flag. They had been so far killing every person of the Federation indiscriminately, and at times even cursing them for being Earthers.

        The Vegans see the earth as being their rightful Eden, and see the current tenants as pests they need to eliminate.

    • The point I was making has more to do with not scorching the earth (i.e. with an asteroid/colony drop), not “making nice with humans.”

  9. Turambar says:

    One important ommited is that we finally saw x-rounder powers being used for something other than combat. Was Elzacont phsycically transmitting information to Zeheart? Did he know exactly how the operation would fail and what Zeheart would do well in advance, and thus prepared an escape route as well as a piece of latent memory in Zeheart’s brain activated via an x-rounder flash? Interesting stuff.

  10. Shining_Bard says:

    Apparently the AGE-2 will get a different color scheme rather than a new Wear. I guess that’s something.

  11. Metaphysicist says:

    Gundam AGE Episode 27 ‘I Saw a Red Sun’ A.k.a. Mobile Suite Gundam Age: Zeheart’s Counter Attack!

    Much of Gundam AGE has been about Remembering The Love of past Gundam series the Universal Century in particular. Episode 27 was a love song to Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack. The Episode unraveled beautifully, with the only real flaw being the failure to explain just how Asemu is able to fight on par with an X-Rounder; Asemu wasn’t Even exhibiting anti-clairvoyance like during his fight with Desil.

    It was sad to see Remi go, she was such a sweet girl but she did her duty and died with Honor.
    I’m also sad that Mink died, I was so hoping the Delicious brown Vagan girl would to become the mother of the third generation Galette;oh well.

    All and All this episode felt like a much more optimistic retelling of Char’s Counter Attack. A what if Armuro Rei and Char Aznable had been best friends who fate had cruely pitted against each other. Instead of what they were. Bitter rivals who could have been friends but were unable to reconcile until it was much to late.

    All in all this Episode made me feel like I’d Gone Beyond the Time!

    • Yes, agreed re CCA ^_^

      It’s really a shame that the kids aren’t eating this up, because this is really good stuff from Gundam. It’s re-introducing trope and narrative elements en masse without being cheap about it. The positive spin on CCA wasn’t bad at all, it felt good and not just well-meaning.

  12. sadakups says:

    Okay, why do you have to place all the douchebags in Gundam in the panel? Just asking.

    With respect to what the episode has shown us, it was more Asem getting his head cleared on what he was fighting for. It’s a given that the AGE-2 is a strong piece of equipment and Asem is definitely not bad of a pilot for he has skills. The only thing holding him back in previous battles is his desperation to become an X-Rounder like Flit and Zeheart, thinking that that’s the way for him to go in battle. I know it’s still a weak explanation, but let’s see where Asem goes from here, like what I’ve been saying all this time.

    Funny that Flit was like a tsundere to Asem when he said that he was saving the AGE system rather than saying that he’s saving Asem. For all we know, he was proud of what Asem did, for the kid saved the Earth.

    Now, with the Zeheart X Asem dynamic, I don’t know what to think of it. One minute they were trying to kill each other, the next minute they were working together. Truth be told, I think it is actually nice to see both guys work together, like Kira and Athrun (minus the faggotry and lame shit), but I just find the transition weird. Generation-2 seems far from over and after what happened, will the two continue to fight each other considering that both knew what they were fighting for?

    • They had no idea they had the same objectives in going in the fortress. When they finally met and there was no aggression, it was pretty clear to each other what they had to do. No logical leaps required here.

      This isn’t a case of them having the same ideals or politics. They just needed to stop the fortress from crashing to the Earth, is all.

  13. ces06 says:

    What can I say? Awesome episode. I’d have to say though, AGE (again) blew expectations with the episode title. I thought they were going to have another colony drop or something.

    I think I’ve said stuff before about how AGE is a fresh retake on the tropes that make Gundam, but I’ve been watching Saint Seiya Omega, and I like how it’s been re-inventing the mythos in the same vein as AGE. What strikes me most about Omega is strangely, how old school it feels for a new series. A lot of elements changes and there’s a new cast of characters, but most importantly, if feels like I’m watching the first season again. Because the point where the original Saint Seiya is in right now, it’s reached a point where it’s become…. stagnant, for lack of a better word. But only through the experience of having watched all the Saint Seiya series up until now, I can really take note of every little detail that’s put into Saint Seiya Omega. Which is why I guess most people haven’t been eating up on AGE is because you’d really have to be watching Gundam from the start up until now to fully appreciate it.

    Back to the episode, finally, no more butthurt.

    Liking the amount of consideration they put to show tactics and whatnot.

    Of course! Man, how the hell did I miss out on the CCA references?

    Can’t wait for the next episode. An earth that’s neither ecologically ravaged or war-torn in a Gundam? Impossible!

    • Yeah I’m looking forward to seeing a pristine Earth… a marvel really, in the tradition of Gundam narratives. Well, you could make a case for the Earth in Turn A Gundam being idyllic.

  14. Reid says:

    It sucks that Remi had to die, but she really had to die, what with the confession of love and marriage proposal of the previous episode. Oh well; this episode was filled with many good things: the AGE universe’s equivalent of a RB-75 Ball, team work and a friendly handshake between Asemu and Zeheart (and the former’s long-due validation as a MAN OF DESTINY), more AGE-1 pwnage, cool atmospheric reentry scene (complete with a subordinate’s selfless sacrifice), the promise of Asemu as the new “white wolf” and FINALLY some terrestrial action. Only one more week until the debut of the “third age.” It seems like just yesterday that this great series began. It’s quickly become my favorite of the alternate universe Gundam shows.

  15. Pingback: An End to an Age, and Good Night My Sweet Prince: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 28 | We Remember Love

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