Lost Sons in Space: Happy Fathers Day Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 36 (Gundam Fathers Power Rankings)

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[Mobile Suit Gundam 35]

The Gundam Franchise is notable for its teenage pilots. This almost always means problems with the father. From the very first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam back in 1979, Amuro took issue with Tem Ray who clearly prioritized securing the mobile suits with the White Base than evacuating the civilians in the colony as the Zeon attacked. The Asunos present very fresh take on the father & son dynamics, especially since the story takes on extended narrative length that we can actually see these dynamics change over time.

But how do these fathers stack up against the other dads in Gundam. I’ve taken liberty in ranking these dads myself. Let’s see if you agree with how I’ve arranged them. Here’s the ranking (taking into account the events of this episode). Discuss.

Father Power Rankings in Gundam

image1. Uzumi Nara Athha – for being “only” an adoptive father he is one of the believable heroes in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Stern but fair to his daughter Cagali, he is also one who values truthfulness in revealing the relationship between Cagali and Kira as siblings when the time was right. Plays the martyr as the leader of the United Emirates of Orb faces destruction. Also leaves behind ORB-01 Akatsuki as legacy for Cagali. It’s hard to find anyone better.

2. Flit Asuno – We’re grading fathers, not grandfathers. Even so, Flit is pretty amazing, raising Asem in a loving, supportive environment. His expectations for Asem were sky high, especially relative to his own accomplishments. This would’ve been a tremendous blemish to his parental record if not for how they deepened their relationship as they closed out the purge of Vagan collaborators in the Federation. His trust in Asem was complete – which justifies his anger at him at present.

3. Dozle Zabi – He didn’t perform the kind of parenting (that is, raising his child) as Uzumi and Flit did, but he saw the writing on the wall in the Battle of Solomon and made sure his wife and child (Mineva) were safe before he sortied in a glorious last run, defying the true Nightmare of Solomon armed with only a rifle – the RX-78-0 Gundam.

4. Cardeas Vist – I expect this to be a controversial ranking, given how he 1) subjected his own son to the Cyber Newtype process at a very, very young age, then subsequently withheld his identity from him, making Banagher grow up without a father. 2) Planned his son to take on a very dangerous Psycommu beast in the form of the RX-0-Gundam leaving very little choice in the matter. He’s up here because he did care and provide for Banagher, and gave him the choice re the Unicorn when the time came.

5. Bright Noa – Mostly an absentee father who tried to instill strength and good sense by being a good example to his son Hathaway (but this was a terrible failure). A telling behavior of the Eternal Captain is how he doesn’t have a photograph of his family in his office on the Ra Cailum, but instead hung an 8” x 11” framed photo of Amuro Ray on his wall instead.

6. Hayato Kobayashi – A tough, stern adoptive father of the three White Base orphans, Hayato spent a lot of time away from his family as he led the Karaba resistance movement. This may be the cause of his son’s utter failure of character. It’s harsh to pin the failures of Katz on Hayato, but I think he has to take responsibility for his son’s utter lack of good sense.

7. Degwin Zabi – Bad seeds, bad fruit. Degwin Zabi was one bad man who didn’t set a good example for his children. His underhanded way of securing power in the establishment of the Principality of Zeon pretty much gave license to how his son Gihren dispatched him when he became an inconvenient obstacle – that is, how Degwin attempted to sue for peace with the Federation, as Gihren deluded himself that Zeon wasn’t exhausted and could still win the One Year War.

8. Asem Asuno – As soon as his son Kio was born he went on a mission and never came back. What’s abominable about this is how he wasn’t really in mortal danger throughout the 14 years he was away, and yet he never attempted to contact his wife, his son, and his father. Now he’s playing the Father card to undertake the rescue mission for Kio. Still, he had the grace to ask Flit for permission.

9. Tem Ray – The good thing is, he never hit Amuro. On the other hand, he was this absentee father who can never take credit for the kind of adult Amuro became. Amuro met with him twice during the OYW: the first was when he displayed his prioritizing of the mobile suits over the civilians, the second was when he’s already addled… insisting Amuro install some strange part on the Gundam, with little left of his hold on reality.

10. Franklin Bidan – Among Gundam fathers, this guy is the king of all douchebags. He didn’t attend to his son Kamille, he cheated on his wife, and was an all around asshole who developed the Gundam Mk II for the Titans. He was taken in by the AEUG as a refugee and he repaid them by stealing a Rick Dias. Quattro Bajeena gave chase and that’s all she wrote. Also, he gave his son a woman’s name. Never wonder why Kamille is always so angry. Fuck this guy.

And you thought I’d never give Mobile Suit Gundam SEED any credit; but then again it also had Patrick Zala – who is an incredible cesspool of fail consistent with the shit that characterizes the sub-franchise. Maybe one could make a case for Capt. Grodek, but our experience of his being a father was his incredible, ruthless, and comprehensive vendetta. Another example would be Maharaja Karn, but he’s pretty obscure appearing only in the manga Char’s Deleted Affair. Also, I haven’t finished reading it so I don’t feel confident adding him even if he’s shown nothing but exemplary leadership and governance of the Zeon remnants on Axis. I don’t think Haman turning out being batshit insane has anything to do with him. That’s 1 part Char Aznable, and 3 parts Tomino himself (Fuck ZZ Gundam).

Obviously, the only characters with upside here are Flit and especially Asem – who would begin his rescue arc next episode. His interaction with Flit may elevate Flit’s standing here, though I really appreciate how hard he’s flipping out in this episode and his being a crusty old fart in general. One can argue for Bright, in consideration of the novel Hathaway’s Flash which chronologically happens after Gundam Unicorn, but I haven’t read that. All I know is that I want to watch more of this Asuno family drama. Happy Fathers’ Day!

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Useless, fucking useless.

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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51 Responses to Lost Sons in Space: Happy Fathers Day Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 36 (Gundam Fathers Power Rankings)

  1. Laziness says:

    Setsuna, your father never got the chance to hit you because you shot him with a gun – GG.
    I wonder if Asem’s ranking will jump up a few numbers depending on his actions in the next few episodes.

  2. animekritik says:

    Happy Father’s day~

  3. sadakups says:

    Okay, where do I start… oh yeah, belated Happy Father’s day, ghosty! 🙂

    Anyway, I like the fact that this episode was different from what I said last week. After seeing the preview though, I kinda like where the show is taking us. What I said about in Generation 2 about Asem seeing the Vagans in a different light through his friendship with Zeheart is about to be done with Kio being in Vagan territory. How this encounter affects Kio’s state of mind is something I’d like to see. It doesn’t change the fact that the Vagans are psychopaths loyal to Ezelcant and have killed a lot of civilians in the course of this war. Seeing a different side of them and to make us think that there’s some good in them in this war is hard to take now.

    I just find it amusing that Asem had the balls to actually asked permission to Flit for their rescue mission, while he could have done the rescue mission himself without Flit’s permssion, although it’s more of Asem showing respect for Flit. He knew for a fact that Flit isn’t going to like him being a pirate, but hey, gotta give Asem some cred.

    Lastly, Flit. OMFG, this mofo continues to be godlike in this show, taking on two, much newer suits, with a relic of a Gundam unit. I hate to do comparisons with a certain show that ghosty likes to color in pink, but it reminded me of that episode in GSD where Kira used the Strike again, where he owned everyone before getting wrecked. Heck, he could have succeeded if not for the AGE-1 showing its, ummm… age.

    • ZEHEART: HEY KIO I CAN BE THE FATHER YOU NEVER HAD!
      KIO: BUT MY FATHER IS ALIVE!
      ZEHEART: I CAN BE THE MOTHER YOU NEVER HAD!
      KIO: …
      ZEHEART: YOU LOVE YOUR DAD? I LOVE HIM TOO!

  4. CVPhased says:

    I don’t know if it’s purely coincidental, but I liked how they played the whole father-son dynamic between the Asunos in the episode that aired during Father’s Day. Either way, Kio’s lucky to have pretty badass father figures with the two.

  5. Jexams says:

    I still wonder why they kept the AGE-1 on the Diva but whatever, it just let Flit show that he can still kick ass in an absolutely obsolete Gundam. To be fair though, the only reason why Flit got shot down like that was because he was overly emotional/irrational over Kio being captured (rightfully so), so he ended up leaving his back open to Zeheart, who let himself be Zanald’s bitch because of his loyalty to the undying Ezelcu– I mean, Ezelcant.

    Great episode anyways and I liked how Asemu asked Flit for permission to save his own son, though I wonder what kind of intelligence he has, to know that his son was captured in some god-forsaken corner of space, only days after it happened.

    All in all, I can’t wait for Asemu to burst in after Kio tours (is dragged around) the Mars Sphere and destroyed everything like the SUPA PAIROTO he is.

    (The episode preview makes me think of Banagher’s capture in Gundam UC, by the by)

    To the panel:

    Amuro, how does it feel to be more important to Bright than his own son? :B

    • Laziness says:

      Hmm, the Bisidian/Visidian pirates get their supplies and mobile suits from the Madorna Workshop right? In that case maybe, just maybe, the workshop might be Asem’s intelligence contact. Thought I might be over analyzing it and his sources are probably never meant to be disclosed anyways.

      • Ratatosk says:

        The workshop has beens selling arms with no questions asked to any random person who turns up for the whole series, so wouldn’t surprise me… 😀 And Asem probably has a shipload of Harlock spy-tech if he was going after traitor federation ships.. (fill-your-own plotholes time) 🙂

        To be fair Bright as a father would be better from as far a distance as possible (emotionally awkward, responds to stress by having tantrums, shows how much he cares by slapping people around etc etc). I always thought what happened with Amuro’s parents was so much darker and messier than any of the conveniently-orphaned pilots in other shows though (even Zeta)..

    • Reid says:

      I think the Age-1 was left aboard the Diva for the same reason that (and I’m purely guessing here) Obright is allowed to use a REALLY REALLY outdated Genoace II (albeit one that was refitted/customized and brought up to modern specifications) in active combat duty – the Diva was probably used as a “living” museum by the Federal military forces. The Diva was the flagship of Commander in Chief Flit Asuno during the lead-up to the purge of Vagan sympathizers within the Federation government and it was the ship on which he served during the long journey back from deep space to save humanity from the first major Vagan attack against the Earth Sphere, so it’s got a lot of significance in that sense. Ghostlightning pointed out during the discussion of last week’s episode that the Diva’s status may not have been that much different from the eponymous Battlestar Gallactica was treated by the human folks in that series. Again, this is all pure speculation, but I think it’ll hold up to scrutiny.

      And Ghost will no doubt be amused that I somehow managed to make this comment at least partially about my man-crush OBRIGHTO-KUUUUUUN. ^.^

    • Asem follows Zeheart on twitter.

      Amuro cries to Kamille, who tells him to be a fucking man.

  6. schneider says:

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Other good stuff this week: Natora not kowtowing to Flit this time around. Actually standing up to him and making her own decision is still beyond her right now, but I pray it’ll happen soon!

    I also thought Zeheart was pretty cool this episode, surrendering the credit to the other guy.

    I wonder if Daddy Madorna is already dead. He was pretty old already by the events of the first arc.

    • Ratatosk says:

      Standing up to Flit takes balls, but she was right, it just came across as indecisive. Showing she knew more about the ship on the back of a few allnighters reading the manual than the so-called specialists on the bridge (and thinking of workarounds to technical problems before grampa-genius) was far more impressive a few episodes back, but then she probably hasn’t slept since then..

    • ABIS X NATORA BABIES.

      ZEHEART X FRAM BABIES (LOL AS IF)

      Madorna has got to be dead, way too old.

  7. Inky says:

    I thought it was interesting how even though Asemu broke away from him and hasn’t seen him in at least 13 years, he still seems to want Flit’s approval. It’s a realistic little touch that a person never quite stops being a child around his or her parents, no matter how old they get (even if they become captain of a pirate ship). Like was said above, he really didn’t need to have a conversation at all–he could have just sent a video letter saying “GOING TO RESCUE MY KID JUST FYI” and zoomed off, but he made a point of having the actual conversation and being worried that Flit would say no.

    And I’m continually perplexed by Flit’s need to pretend that he cares more about the Gundam than his family. Obviously as an admiral he didn’t want to be seen as favoring his boy, but he takes it out the other side where it seems callous and unnatural, acting as though the tech is all he cares about when it’s OTHER CHARACTERS who think that he’s going to be concerned about his son who just plunged through the atmosphere and his answer is “YES THE AGE SYSTEM.” Or in this episode, although the mask slips off much more easily this time. (And loving Unoa still. She’s the only Asuno who’s emotionally healthy, I swear…) But that was good to see, because I’d been having my doubts about him after the way his relationship with Asemu took a complete nosedive in Gen 2.

    • Inky says:

      Also, I might add Dr. Kasshu or Dr. Mikamura onto that list–Kasshu wasn’t actually an active character until the very end, but his appearance there and the fact that he’s a key motivation for Domon through the whole show proves his quality as a father, although maybe not remarkable enough to push out one of the guys on the list.

      Mikamura, though, is probably a solid 4 or 5. A good dad in that he stands up for his daughter and clearly cares for her, but he loses most of his points for using her as a piece in his scheme to destroy the family of her childhood friend (and not realizing it was bad until she tells him explicitly DAD, THAT WAS BAD AND I AM PISSED).

    • Yeah, it’s a nice touch and it speaks of his guilt to for basically flaking out on both of them for 13 years.

      Flit truly is, outside of Char himself, the most nuanced character in the whole fucking franchise. It’s a great achievement. Also yes, Unoa is the only emotionally balanced genetic Asuno.

  8. Shining_Bard says:

    Do we really need to sympathize with Vagan at this point. Somehow the next episode will make Shanalua seem understandable by comparison.

  9. rollover says:

    Next episode: UNDERSTANDING.

    Or underground Vagan resistance fights brainwasher.

    • what the hell says:

      next episode: truth with out the 00 gay. done right with kids instead of teenage fuck mothering idiots who can’t stop being idiots even after huffing all the pixie dust.

      understanding is overrated – lets try knowledge instead.

      • what the hell says:

        knowledge is power, knowledge is truth, understanding is hard core control where one loses its individuality, but knowledge, in place of understanding, will promote peace the true american way – before the nukes hit people’s faces, of course :>

    • Needs more Marida Cruz.

  10. megaroad1 says:

    I’ve already got one up on Franklin Bidan: I’ve given my son a sensible boy’s name.

    Happy Father’s Day Ghost.

  11. Kio looks like he is going end up like Banagher, looking at the war from both sides, and using the Gundam to bring peace.

  12. Dono says:

    btw you forgot Corozzo Ronah

  13. Reid says:

    Zeon Zum Deikun was a pretty good dad, I guess. He certainly had the loyalty of decent human beings like Jimba Ral and his family…but then the Zabis were his pals too so that probably counts against him in the long run.
    I often wonder, having read “The Iliad” fairly recently, if the family name wasn’t supposed to be Deicoon like the guy killed by Agamemnon or even the son of Hercules (killed by daddy for being a raving loon, nonetheless).

    Kiki Rosita’s dad, the guerilla leader from 08th MS Team, was also a guy who inspired a lot of loyalty from his men and the people in the villages near the front. He obviously had strength of conviction on his side, but we don’t know too much about his relationship with his daughter other than she loved him a whole lot.

  14. Andaer says:

    I’m kind of surprised that Father’s day is actually celebrated in some parts of the world. lol.

      • Andaer says:

        Well, in Germany Father’s day is on the same date as the Feast of the Ascension (Christian holiday). It does not nearly have as much importance as Mother’s day. Men go hiking and drink beer and do things with their friends. Quite the opposite of mother’s day which is more like a family celebration. In kindergarden we did presents for our moms, never for our dads. I personnally know nobody who celebrates Father’s day. But to be sure there are people who do it in germany, too.

        • Oh yes, even here in the Philippines Mother’s Day is more significant — us Catholic boys being driven by guilt (thanks Mom) will ensure this day as more significant. Father’s Day isn’t celebrated with much fanfare at all. All my life it simply meant a good meal with dad, maybe he gets a gift. I know my wife gives me one every year ever since our daughter was born.

          Perhaps a better indicator is the media mileage: both parental fetes provide marketing opportunities for a wide range of products (due to the above practices) and the lead up to the day is marked with advertisements in various media.

  15. banagherlinks says:

    I knew you would point out asem and flit. Since they are the fathers here who started as a main character in a series. Ofcourse there suppose to be the better characters. But I find it kinda biased, to even include them, but no one can deny how great they are. I will reconsider on continuing Age. Nah… I would love to see Asemu’s Counterattack or father vs son. Maybe asem’s gonna pilot a new gundam can’t wait for it.

    Hey!!! Come to think of it, why is Amuro is not on this list. Based on my intel, on beltorchika’s children Beltorchika is pregnant with amuro’s son right? He is in the same shoe with asem since he’s gone MIA too but during CCA, but he did save the world from that big fat space rock. 🙂

  16. Suiman says:

    Flint and Asemu, in their own ways, both had faults that lead to Kio’s abduction: Flint put him in the front-lines; Asemu was nowhere near the front-lines. Still, Flint’s recognition of Kio’s x-rounder hax and “successful” rescue of his grandson (the kid had to go back, but who could really blame him) makes the decision of sending a child into war (anime logic wise) acceptable.

    As for Asemu, we have yet to find out why he became a pirate (I’m also interested on why he retired early from the army, unless he already planned to go swashbuckling before his last sortie) so his absence might be (anime logic wise) justifiable. I presume he trusted his father and Romary would manage, and they did.

    Both elder Asunos however shared the same blunder of overestimating Kio’s abilities. The kid was still too inexperienced. He might have handled well against Zeharto on land, but that was a duel. When another heavy hitter came, unlike his father and grandpa, Kio did not have the luxury of having super pilot Wolfe behind his back, as such he got overwhelmed. Given time though, Kio would eventually move asteroids with is super regressed mind.

    I really want to see more conflict between Flint and Asemu, and I hope Kio joins in.

    As for the father power rankings, I would rank Cardeas Vist higher. In context of the “shady” Vist family, being an absentee father really showed his love for Banagher. Aside from looking after his son from a distance, it should be noted that even after Anna’s death – which perhaps resulted in Banagher’s fixation with big holes – Cardeas, probably out of atonement and in honor of his wife’s wish, did not bring back his son into the “family business” and opted to hand over the Unicorn to Full Frontal instead. It was only when worse came to worst and through “dumb luck” that Cardeas offered the Beast of Possibility to his son.

    Also, unlike the fathers of today’s panel, Cardeas did hit his son – Banagher occasionally remembers the pain on his left cheek.

    • sadakups says:

      Stop calling him Flint, please.

    • Both elder Asunos however shared the same blunder of overestimating Kio’s abilities. The kid was still too inexperienced. He might have handled well against Zeharto on land, but that was a duel. When another heavy hitter came, unlike his father and grandpa, Kio did not have the luxury of having super pilot Wolfe behind his back, as such he got overwhelmed. Given time though, Kio would eventually move asteroids with is super regressed mind.

      LOL yes, yes.

      Good insight on Cardeas, I just wish I saw more of him. Then again, Gundam Unicorn is also the story of the aspirations of fatherhood — especially with the ghosts of Daguze and Gelboa appearing (as if the RX-0 was the Z Gundam) to help Banagher, just as Loni’s father figures variably manifest in the Shamblo’s cockpit… just as Marida’s masters appear to her in the cockpits she pilots in.

  17. Matt Wells says:

    Biggest dick move for Kamille’s Dad? As he died, the ONE thought going through his head was “I really wish I had more sex with my mistress.”

  18. Pingback: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE 37: Behind The Propaganda | We Remember Love

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