Part of the reason for my interest in Gundam AGE is curiosity about whether someone with virtually no prior interest in the franchise can contribute something useful to the discussion about a new Gundam show. That’s not to say I haven’t liked the first two episodes, especially the first one. There’s a supremely retro charm to the show that – while even I know it’s not typically “Gundam” – appeals to me. It’s not rocket science (if you’ll pardon the pun), just very simple and straightforward adventure narrative. And so far, it’s executed pretty well.
For all that, I’m not sure it’s good enough to earn a place in the blogging lineup, and I don’t think it would be an especially easy show to blog. I don’t sense there’s going to be a whole lot happening besides what you see on screen, and not a lot open to interpretation. I suspect most of the discussion surrounding this show is going to come from “Gundam” veterans debating (passionately, as they always do) where this one fits in the hierarchy of the franchise. And as someone who’s never been engaged enough to finish any “Gundam” series, I obviously won’t be able to contribute a whole lot to that.
In terms of the episode, it followed relatively predictably on last week’s heels. The major developments this week were the reveal of a political conflict between the Nora authorities and the military, the introduction of a girl who seems to know things she shouldn’t, and the reveal of the AGE system. Tackling the latter first, that’s a neat trick where the Gundam can use the information it gathers in combat to design new weapons systems on the fly – a very useful tool indeed. After Vargas launches the
Lance of Longinus DOTS rifle up to the Gundam in space, little Flit (with the new girl on his lap) is able to make short work of the UE mobile suit. Alas, there’s evidence that the UE have some ability to adapt on the fly, too.
That new girl, Yurin (Hayami Saori) is interesting – Flit finds her wandering the colony after everyone else has evacuated. She initially flees the Gundam before Flit finally reveals himself and coaxes her on board. She knows her way around the interior of the station, and knows way more about the UE than she should. We also have the pilot of the battleship Nora, Fonroid (Kiyama Shigeo) initially refusing to participate in the Commander’s plan to use it to evacuate the residents via the central core, before Vice-Commander Grodek (Touchi Hiroki) knocks him out and takes control himself. This may be the most interesting plot element so far, as it suggests a complicated situation where the colonists and Earth authorities are in some sort of uneasy alliance. Finally, there the old commander who decides to go down with the ship to help the colonists escape. I certainly wasn’t fooled by that “special commander’s escape route” nonsense…
Stay tuned – I’ll be posting an update on the blogging schedule today or tomorrow, and soliciting some feedback via a poll on blogging options.