At last the new Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE has debuted! There’s just one problem. The video stream with English subtitles is only available to south Asia! Why do I get the feeling that Sunrise was watching all the [CENSORED] comments from the [CENSORED] fanboys on YouTube and decided that Americans don’t get to watch it? Fortunately if one pokes around the internetz enough these days you can [CENSORED].
Anyway, I thought this was a very good first episode. It definitely is aimed at a younger audience I think, but it holds up and is definitely Gundam to the core. I liked the main character Flit, he definitely gets a pass on the accidental civilian pilot trope. Can’t say I’m fond of his character design though.
Emily might have a little bit of Fraw Bow syndrome; we’ll have to see. Most of the other characters seem interesting, especially the pilot for the Genoace mobile suit. Largan I think it was? We’ll have to see the next few episodes for me to really get a handle on the rest of the cast.
There were a couple of stand out scenes in this episode that I liked. The first was the scene where Flit’s mother dies in the first attack by AGE’s Unknown Enemy. Very Batman-esque. She gives him the AGE Device, which is certainly not the cell phone those damn fanboys were complaining about.
I also like the scene in the classroom where Flit tries to explain about how it’s just so logical that the space colony they’re on, Nora, will be attacked by the UE next and how the teacher doesn’t want to hear it. Seems little Flit may be a child-genius but he doesn’t understand how a lot of people’s heads work. Seems like he might be a bit of an outcast at school too, as Emily and this kid named Dique seem to be his only friends.
I also like how Flit isn’t obsessed with the Gundam to the point of being stupid. There’s a flashback scene to his home on the space colony Orvan where Flit is being shown a painting of a Gundam (one that looks a lot like the classic RX-78-2) and is told that the Asuno family have been involved with the legendary Gundams for years. But when the time comes that the UE invades the colony, Flit initially wants the trained military pilot Largan to fly the Gundam before he tries piloting it himself.
Lastly, while the Gundam AGE-1’s debut fight is kinda similar to stuff we’ve seen in First Gundam and SEED, what makes the fight stand out is the way that Flit quite literally shanks one of the UE Gafran MS. It’s actually kinda hilarious. The other two Gafrans blow up their injured comrade and then retreat. I guess this is why the UE are still unknown if they won’t let their tech fall into enemy hands.
What else? I can’t say that I cared much for the opening song of this series. It’s not that it’s a bad song, I just don’t think it fits a Gundam series, even one that’s aimed at a younger audience. But since this is a Gundam series, we’ll have at least two to three opening and closing themes in total, so we’ll see.
I also think that this series might be pulling a Gundam X. What I mean is, Gundam X was depicted as sort of an alternate history of the Universal Century. I think they might be going with that here with all the talk of the Earth Federation, O’Neill Space Colony cylinders and stories about legendary Gundams from the past. We’ll have to see.
I’m still not cool on the design of the Gundam AGE-1. In a previous entry I did a comparison, and I’ll do it again here.
The original RX-78-2 Gundam from 1979
The AGE-1 Gundam AGE-1. Notice similarities?
These four other Gundams are from Gundam 00, Gundam SEED, Gundam Wing and Gundam F91.
Notice how they all have a similar look to but a different flair from the original Gundam.
I think I could safely say that this is the first Gundam series I’ve seen where I like the grunt and enemy suits more than the Gundam. Hopefully the AGE-2 and -3 will look cooler.
All in all, I’m liking what I’m seeing so far. I give this episode *** out of five stars. Chris Guanche of MAHQ.net has his review posted here if you want to check it out. I’m sure they’ll also be discussing AGE on their Gundamn!@MAHQ podcast.