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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gundam AGE Episode 6

Hot on the heels of the latest episode of mobile suit demolition derby aka Gundam Unicorn, AGE continues to inspire RAGE. Trolls on both sides of the ocean are trying their level best to tear it down and I really have no idea why. I really don’t know why they feel so insulted that it’s trying to capture a new, younger audience. That said, unfortunately, AGE hasn’t been succeeding on that front. The general ratings have been way up and down (going UP with the last two episodes thankyouverymuch) but the ratings for the target audience have been pretty poor. This might possibly be why they’ve changed Flit’s son’s age to 17 for the second arc of the show (assuming that’s true) and have revealed what the Gundam Age-2. Again, I’m not hot on this design; I think it looks a bit too much like the 00 Raiser.
In any case, low ratings for the target audience are bad news to producers, so we’ll have to see what happens. As I said before, the ratings for the last two episodes have been going up. Which leads me to this week’s gangbuster (literally) episode, the Light and Shadow of Fardain.

Again I’m just going to touch on the main points of the episode rather than go into a full-blown summary. Emily finally confronts Flit about what he wants to do, but still isn’t as direct about it. I’m hoping that as the next few episodes go, they’ll talk more and Emily will start to evolve out of the Fraw Bo Syndrome she’s got right now. Would go along with the themes of the show wouldn’t it?
Wuulf takes off to a nearby space station where a husband and wife pair of mobile suit designers hangs out. I find this interesting because I really don’t think we’ve had something like this since Wing. Y’know, almost kinda a MS chop shop feel. Actually now that I look at this guy Madorna and Howard from Gundam Wing, they could almost be brothers. Therefore I shall call him Howard 2.0. 

Anywho, Wuulf asks Madorna to make him a mobile suit that’s better than the Gundam (probably the G-Exes). Another oblique Wing reference?
Cool Hand Grudek aka DAT BEARD, is getting very shady! I like it! We see a flashback that yes, he did have a wife and daughter and that they died in the first UE attack on Colony Angel. And Grudek is making deals with shady Al Capone type weapons dealers. Obviously he wants to take the UE down any way possible and that includes making deals with criminals. How much y’all wanna bet that this attitude is coming back to bite him in the butt?
Flit and Emily also find themselves in the colony underground, situated between the outer and inner walls of the colony. An extremely, practically comically disproportionate man named Iwark Bria saves them from a bunch of Zaku-esque mobile suits having a shootout in the Fardain streets. 
Must have been a bad day because as Iwark leads them into the Fardain underground, he explains that these mobile suits are a remnant of a war decades past. Back then the population of the colonies grew so large that they tried to form two independent countries. And as we humans tend to fight for the stupidest of reasons, they went to war with one another. Eventually an accord was reached called the Silver Chalice Treaty and the two nations (Zalam Union and Euba Alliance) were disbanded but as Iwark points out, hatred born of bloodshed doesn’t fade easily. This probably goes further to show the corruption of the Federation, unless the Earth Federation in AGE is literally just concerned with the Earth and doesn’t bother with the colonies too much? We’ll see. Anyway, it seems that the fighting between these two former factions continues sporadically to this day and funnily enough, flares up just when Flit the Gundam Savior shows up. Also Iwark’s adopted daughter goes wandering up to the surface with Haro, so that Flit can conveniently pull a Superman and try to get the two factions to stop fighting. But then a new UE mobile suit called the Baqto literally appears out of nowhere and starts to fight him. 
Just when the fight gets good, the Baqto literally pulls a ninja vanish and Euba suits try to arrest Flit. They seem to think that Flit was shooting up Fardain. Was the Baqto invisible to them? Did they just not see it? More and more curious.

Another thing I really liked about this episode was Iwark’s Desperado construction mobile suit. THIS SHOVEL OF MINE IS BURNING RED!! ITS LOUD ROAR TELLS ME TO SHANK YOU LIKE SOME SLASHER MOVIE STAR!! 
I also liked the Euba and Zalam fleets they showed, very sci-fi.
 Did anyone notice that the Zalam symbol seems a lot like the ZAFT crest?  :)
Also I liked how the Fardain interior had a very New-York/Art Deco style to it.

Okay, so one last thing. Now that we’re six episodes in, there is still no official episode count that I can dig up. Considering that AGE has had a very rocky start (curse you trolls), I can see why Sunrise doesn’t want to reveal this yet. If they do, they’ll probably also have to reveal how many episodes are in each generation of the show and I’ve heard rumours that the Japanese Gundam nuts want the second generation to hurry up and debut.
Now assuming that we’re going to have fifty episodes in the series just like SEED, Destiny and 00, and if each arc is broken up evenly, we’d get 16 episodes per arc with two spare episodes. I really, REALLY hope they don’t use these spares as clipshows. Who knows. Let’s assume in my Candyland version of the show, Flit’s arc gets seventeen episodes to set up the world and the war, Asem’s Arc gets sixteen episodes and Kio’s arc gets seventeen episodes to finish things up. They might not now give the first arc an extra episode, but we’ll see.
In any case, I now think that this first arc is going to wrap up with Grudek’s assault on the UE strong hold and the fallout from that before going into the next arc. Oh and next episode we get the Titus armor! Yay! But seriously, if they only have ten or eleven more episodes to wrap this arc up, they better step on it a little more.

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