I approached this episode anticipating a rage-induced warpath from Kio after the death of Shanalua. I wasn’t mistaken but the key thing here is how his aggression was restrained, and notably not by Flit, but by his unit commander Abis. We know Kio was going to be an incredible fighter, but this episode showed us how he can be a good soldier. Never mind the tremendous latent powers, and the X-Rounder skills that detected the plasma bomb. The takeaway here is how Kio can function well under command and deliver results.
The thing that makes this even more notable is what Kio had to be restrained from doing.
He was so close from destroying Zeheart Galette, or at least his mobile suit evoking Char’s Z’Gokk. That duel between the AGE 3 Fortress and the Wrozzo is one of the best I’ve seen. It was fast, exciting, and brutal. Mind you I’ve just come from watching Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Episode Five from the theater, and while the duel in this episode can never match the animation quality of the OVA, it gave just as good in terms of choreography and intensity. Maybe Gundam AGE doesn’t get enough credit for its duels, because they’re really pedestrian for long stretches. But in a set-piece like this one, it was very good.
Kio did win, as the Wrozzo fell apart after the AGE-3 Fortress pulled out. And yes, it still had enough juice to go around hunting for the plasma bomb and throwing it where it can explode without damaging the Federation HQ.
Yes, it’s not lost on me at all at how this battle was the Zeonic assault on Jaburo, where Char in his Z’Gokk fought Amuro in the Gundam. I’m also glad at how this episode did not pull out the stops at all, bringing out the flamingos. There was a lot of love remembered here. And yes, “God lies in the details.”
Next episode, PIRATES!