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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gundam AGE Episode 13

Beginning of The End... of The First Arc
We're finally nearing the end... of the first arc! There's been some highs and some lows and this last arc seems to gearing up for a Gundam-style high octane finisher. As the picture above indicates, Desil suits up at the end of the episode to get in his Zedas and wreck some crap. And of course, right behind him, being restrained by the EDEN Sith Lords, is poor Yurin. Now if they don't actually end up killing her in the next episode or the one after that, I will be enormously and pleasantly surprised. But having said that, I'm 98% certain that she will die, that she and Flit will have a Lockon and Anew moment right before Desil blows her up like the little brat he is. I almost think that this HAS to happen because I'm not sure if they could have Yurin survive and have Emily end up as Flit's wife and the mother of his son.
Anyway, as far as episode 13 is concerned, the battle of this arc begins as the Diva and their Zalam/Euba allies engage the UE's mysterious space fortress Ambat. The mysterious UE Dreadnought shows up from some optical camoflouge and strangely enough, as big as it is, it doesn't absolutely wreck the Diva and the other ships. Doesn't really matter as the Diva's secret upgrade is revealed: The Diva is a new model of Macross!! No, not really but it does turn into...
Yep, that's right. It turns into White Base. Really Sunrise? Are you so worried about how AGE is going that you need all these wink wink nudge nudge visual UC references? Now some of you might say I'm being too anal about this but that's why it's my opinion and everyone's is different. I mean, it's not even a CREATIVE redesign of the White Base, not like the Archangel from Gundam SEED. So no, I don't really care for the Diva's Assault Landing Mode, I actually do prefer the way it used to be and I'm now kinda worried that we're going to get some kind of Argama ripoff in the second arc and a Nahel Argama or Ra Cailum ripoff in the third arc.

Moving on, the battle was really good with the Zalam and Euba suits finally getting equipped with proper weapons and actually getting some. Largan and Wuulf also get some but they've also thrown up some death flags so we'll see what happens. Flit does some more conscious Newtype syuff (I refuse to use the term X-Rounder) and awesomely 'splodes a whole cluster of UE MS. We see Yark Dole in a patently ridiculous outfit and some other kid we've never seen before talk strategy and Yark even says that the Diva looks like a "Trojan Horse." (rolls eyes)
The Diva then unleashes its supermegaultrastupendousawesomecool BFG cannon and decimates the UE ship Fa Bose. But at the last minute a section detaches and heads straight for the Diva! At the last moment its blown to crap by the Hyper Mega Cannon of Mukured madorna and his custom red Shalldol.
Hmm, a white-haired guy in a red MS? This possible reference I'm actually cool with and the fact that this guy has such wonderful toys. The good guys regroup to attack but waiting in the wings are Decil and--
Oh poor Yurin!! But it is possible she might survive, because I saw a picture of a new UE type that is colored in pink and purple. We'll see although i think we're more likely to see the tears of time.

All in all this was an awesome episode marred only by bad UC references. Its been said that the second arc will begin with episode 16 so we've only got two more episodes to go for this arc, although if I was in charge, I'd use 14 and 15 for the last battle, 16 as the wrap up and use 17 as the first of the second arc episodes. In any case, here's hoping that this'll be one heckuva finale!  :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gundam AGE Episodes 10-12

Well here we go with AGE episodes 10-12. I really feel that AGE has finally hit a consistent stride here. No more of this malarkey with Zalam and Euba, except where it's relevant to the overall plot, and we can finally get to the business at hand which is the UE.
Episode 10 opens up with something of a sudden battle that wasn't even hinted at last episode. There's lots of good stuff here including the first large-scale battle of the series and Don Boyage and his extremely annoying sidekicks biting the dust. It's not that I don't like Boyage but he got the Oliver Inoue death from Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, where he crashes into a ship and his supposedly heroic sacrifice does nothing, except demonstrate that the UE dreadnought is pretty tough. Flit also gets the Sparrow upgrade (trust me, the Japanese are trying to say Sparrow, they're just doing it wrong, like "Shalon Apple.") but it's no where near as impressive as the Titus in my opinion. Ok, so it goes fast and can use it's green crystal blade that it borrowed from the 00Qan[T] to slice, dice and make julienne fries. Big deal, we've had Gundams like that before. I sadly think that this means that the Titus is going to end up with the crown of Most Awesomely Short-Lived and Useless Gundam Upgrade Ever.
On the character front, Ensign Adams/Ensign Zinger finally comes to terms with the fact that the Feddies aren't going to lift a bloody finger to help out the Diva. Good in a way but I would've liked more of a confrontation, perhaps when the Diva was gearing up for the Ambat invasion.

Moving on to episode 11, we finally get to see Yurin again and find out she's been adopted by some guy name Alzeck Birmings, who looks like Sunrise borrowed him from the next pirates of the Caribbean movie. She and Flit get to spend a lot of time together while Emily, the supposed future mother of Flit's son Asem, is working on the Diva. This trips all sorts of death flags for Yurin. The poor girl is unfortunately doomed it seems.
Speaking of Emily, she seems to have gotten over her Fraw Bow-itis and is taking charge of things, like getting that Madorna guy to come and upgrade the Diva with something called a Photon Blaster Cannon or in other words an RRBFG (Really, Really Big Fracking Gun). One last interesting thing in this episode is a Federation Inspector who comes to find Grodek and arrest him. Almost manages it too if not for that pesky kid and his Gundam. But he's not done yet because...

In episode 12 he shows up with a fleet! He tries to outmaneuver Grodek but DAT BEARD is just a little too good at playing The Game for Mr. Chocolate Bar. Also the UE pick a convenient, not-at-all-timed-by-the-plot chance to pull off another attack. Grodek and the Diva crew show that we're all just bros in the end by coming to the Feddies rescue which convinces Mr. Chocolate Bar to let them go. At least there's one other honorable officer in the Federation Forces besides Grodek and the late, lamented Cmd. Bruzar.
Ah, but the happiness is spoiled by the arrival of Desil and his Sith Lord Guardians, including Yark Dole (dumbest name ever). It seems that young Desil might be something of a bloodhound for these EDEN/UE guys, because they've come for Yurin and threaten her to come with them... or else. You see, it seems that Flit and Yurin and possibly Desil are something called X-Rounders which seem to be this series' version of Newtypes. Now personally, they couldn't have picked a worse name for these guys. X-Rounders? Seriously? What is this, a new X-Men comic book? Look, if anyone from Sunrise happens to be reading this, just because this show is aimed at an audience younger than normal Gundam fare, doesn't mean you have to shoot yourself in the foot. Just 'cause you've already used up Newtype, Coordinator, Extended and Innovator, doesn't mean there aren't other cool names you could have used.

Now that we're at this point in the series, things are wrapping up. Episode 13, which I'll be posting right after this, just broadcasted and the final battle of this arc has begun. I could definitely see it lasting another two episodes and then using 16 as a wrap-up to the first arc. As to what will happen after that... who knows. Scans of the characters and mechs from the second arc have already been released and it looks like at least a few characters are making it through. Who will live and who will die? Will we see the tears of time? Find out on the next exciting episode!