Weekly Digest: 3/18/12 – Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Brave 10, Shakugan no Shana III

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_22.18_[2012.03.18_13.23.21] [Hadena] Brave 10 - 11 [Hi10P 1280x720 x264 AAC][6AAF1DB3].mkv_snapshot_04.44_[2012.03.18_14.22.23] [SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_14.01_[2012.03.18_22.22.14]

I’ve been screaming for Flame Haze deaths for weeks, but wouldn’t you know it – when they finally off one, it’s the one I actually wanted to live.

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 23

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_00.14_[2012.03.18_13.01.59] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_03.27_[2012.03.18_13.04.06] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_08.13_[2012.03.18_13.09.16]
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_10.48_[2012.03.18_13.11.51] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_12.41_[2012.03.18_13.13.45] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_16.01_[2012.03.18_13.17.04]
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_18.32_[2012.03.18_13.19.35] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_20.29_[2012.03.18_13.21.33] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_23_[720p][10bit][79E7AED3].mkv_snapshot_21.08_[2012.03.18_13.22.11]

The dogs of war are definitely barking on Gundam AGE now.  It was an interesting choice to make Flit the anti-hero of this arc, which is increasingly what I’m convinced he is.  The moral dilemmas as presented are a bit more nuanced than they were before, as witness this example of a colony, Solon, where arms dealer Techno Solon appears to be selling parts to the Vagan based on equipment salvaged after the Battle of Big Ring.  For Flit, it’s clear-cut – once proof is in hand, the colony is now the enemy and any action is justified.  That includes sending out the mobile suits to attack the company’s HQ in the midst of a civilian zone, which Asemu finds abhorrent to the point of mutiny.

Adding some spice to this is the fact that Zaeheart is under fire from the Magician’s Eight for losing said battle, and Flit is soon to be joined by a partner in crime – Grodek Ainoa, just released from white-collar prison.  My sense is that Zaeheart’s hesitation about the cause hurts him as a commander – I don’t think Asemu would be a very good one either.  As for Asemu’s decision, it’s eminently understandable though even the cardboard cutout that is Romary tried to talk him out of it.  In the end (as war usually presents) Asemu was in a no-win situation and had to go to his comrades defense and fight Techno Solon, who weren’t in it just for the money, but the Vagan cause, too.  Asemu’s boyish idealism isn’t realistic, but I don’t see cynicism turning him into his father – he’s cut from a different cloth, and I still say the ultimate struggle here is between his thirst for peace and Flit’s hunger for war.  And with the equally hate-driven Grodek now free to help him cause trouble, I suspect the cause of peace will be set back quite a ways – and ultimately it will be up to Kio to decide between the path of his father and grandfather.

Brave 10 – 11

[Hadena] Brave 10 - 11 [Hi10P 1280x720 x264 AAC][6AAF1DB3].mkv_snapshot_04.05_[2012.03.18_14.21.44] [Hadena] Brave 10 - 11 [Hi10P 1280x720 x264 AAC][6AAF1DB3].mkv_snapshot_06.18_[2012.03.18_14.23.57] [Hadena] Brave 10 - 11 [Hi10P 1280x720 x264 AAC][6AAF1DB3].mkv_snapshot_08.50_[2012.03.18_14.26.29]
[Hadena] Brave 10 - 11 [Hi10P 1280x720 x264 AAC][6AAF1DB3].mkv_snapshot_11.48_[2012.03.18_14.29.27] [Hadena] Brave 10 - 11 [Hi10P 1280x720 x264 AAC][6AAF1DB3].mkv_snapshot_21.11_[2012.03.18_14.39.15] [Hadena] Brave 10 - 11 [Hi10P 1280x720 x264 AAC][6AAF1DB3].mkv_snapshot_21.30_[2012.03.18_14.39.33]

For the first half of this episode my thoughts pretty much ran to “what the f…” Kamonosuke has been a weird character from the very beginning, but that whole dream sequence was pretty out there by his standards.  I’m still not exactly sure what gender Kamonsuke is supposed to be, to be honest.  The Ida ninja have some pretty weird abilities, I’ll give them that.  In the end there can really be no doubt who the major target audience for this show is.

I’m finding that my enjoyment of this show usually tracks pretty closely with how much Sanada features in the episode, and since that was all of about three seconds this week, it’s not too surprising that it wasn’t one of my favorites.  There was a sameness to the battle between Saizo and Hanzo, and now it’s already stretched over two weeks I’m about done with it.  Hanzo toys with Saizo and baits Isanami, repeat.   I get that.  Now that Isanami has finally given herself over to terror Goddess mode – eclipsing the sun in the process of discarding her Kushimitama and embracing the dark side – it looks like we have our finale set up for next week.

Shakugan no Shana III – 23

[SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_01.54_[2012.03.18_22.09.38] [SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_07.37_[2012.03.18_22.15.37] [SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_08.19_[2012.03.18_22.16.20]
[SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_10.39_[2012.03.18_22.18.52] [SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_13.20_[2012.03.18_22.21.33] [SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_13.51_[2012.03.18_22.22.04]
[SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_16.04_[2012.03.18_22.24.17] [SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_19.21_[2012.03.18_22.27.34] [SS-Eclipse] Shakugan no Shana Final - 23 (1280x720 Hi10P) [0E731EA4].mkv_snapshot_20.42_[2012.03.18_22.28.55]

Sleep well, Sweet Prince – you were truly the best among your kind, and you shall be missed.  May you finally have that long-dreamed chat with your monster.

I’m really sad to see Khamsin go, because he was already my favorite flame haze going into this season, and all the more so now for basically being the only one who wasn’t preachy, parsimonious and completely in love with killing for its own sake.  His death was only one of the emotional tugs of the episode, which also drew real pangs from me at seeing the tomogaras fly up to their heaven.  Part of it was the beautiful way JC Staff animated their stellar spiral stairway to heaven, part of it was the tasteful piano BGM, and part of it was the confirmation that the flame haze were basically wrong and being total douchebags all along, and still couldn’t prevent the God of Creation from making his paradise.  And it was the tomogaras own wish that the humans not be eaten in Xanadu – even in spite of the massacre of thousands of them that Shana and her allies have been engaging in, SotF and his followers have basically been arguing in good faith all along.

I do have a problem or two with the episode.  Primarily I have issues with the way the Guiding God was added to the story in what seems like a total deux ex machina, because she’s barely been mentioned in the anime.  If I interpreted events correctly, it seems as if she was summoned either explicitly or indirectly by Johann and Pheles and their engage link, and she used the power therein to create this new hybrid being that Alastor and Shana’s predecessor had prevented from coming into existence before.  I’m not sure what the full meaning of this is, but it’s certainly interesting – even if it feels like a total cheat.  I’m also interested to see that Sydonay is sticking behind with Sakai Yuji rather than following his commander to Xanadu, at least for now – though I ‘m unclear as to why Yuji and Shana are still supposed to fight at all.  Well, I still don’t know why the whole way even happened to be honest – if Shana and that crazy-ass nun Sophie had just stayed out of it…

So now, Yuji and SotF have separated at last – after a real affection formed between them – and with Xanadu successfully created it appears that the stage is cleared for whatever the final confrontation with Shana is to be.  Again, still not sure why they look like they’re still going to fight – and what Yuji’s status is, with the Engage Link and the God inside him gone – will he still have power of existence?  Is he planning to go to Xanadu himself after dealing with Shana?  It’s depressing to think of Shana going forward, even for one ep, without Khamsin.  I know he was only Yoshida’s rebound guy, but I still thought those two kids had a real chance despite the small four-digit age difference.



  1. e

    @guardian enzo what you said about the god of guidence is exactly how she was summoned she was summoned indirectly not explicitly about yujji i wont spoil to you i will just say to you he will have unexpected ending

  2. F

    I think its a real stretch to assume that the Tomogara would have made that decision absent the Flame Haze beating it into them. And if that adjustment hadn't been made, then the Flame Haze would have been fully justified in killing every single Tomogara to prevent Xanadu from coming into existence.

    And don't even get me started on Gundam Age. Ugh. At least the parts not involving Asemu and Romary were tolerable.

  3. e

    well at least they got what they wanted their own world instead of keep killing humans

  4. The impression I got from SotF's dialogue was that the reason that "no kill" bug fix was still in the programming was because he sensed the tomogara wished for it, and he chose not to override their wishes. Maybe I misread his meaning and a novel reader can correct me.

  5. F

    Oh, thats why it was STILL there, but it would not have been there at all if Shana hadn't placed it, and if the other Flame Hazes hadn't been making their point with such…clarity.

  6. A

    ''the tasteful piano BGM''

    For the first time in YEARS, Koh Otani finally is back in the game baby! I honestly wanted to cheer, if the scene wasn't so sad …

    So conflicted.

  7. P

    @God of guidance: It's the exact opposite. The Flame Hazes wanted her to be their deus ex machina and shove in every tomogara face that they couldn't eat humans in the new world(and hence serve as a psychological attack that would give them the upper hand). In the end she ended being summoned for something completely unrelated that didn't affect anyone's plans. With the Engage Link effectively trolling everyone. :p

  8. P

    It is mentioned that way back in the first season that the reason Alastor stopped the first creation of the heir of both worlds is because it was going to involve the City Devourer spell, the same thing Friagne was going to do on Misaki City. This time around Pheles and Johann needed no such thing since the world was already overflowing with spare PoE

  9. Indeed, I definitely got that the GoG completely disappointed the asshat flame hazes. I LOLd.

    Is there any reason I shouldn't feel that my assumption that the whole flame haze war has been complete douchebaggery was correct?

  10. I

    Its sad to think that one of the first anime I watched is gonna end in 4 days time. It wasn't a masterpiece but it was great fun. This third season wasn't as good as the first although because of the sheer amount of plot it was better than the second.

    So lets go out with a bang, huh JC

  11. P

    @GE: Well, the disruptions the Tomogaras caused when casting Powers of Unrestraint was a real thing. It's not like the Flame Haze side is without reason. The main problem the Guze Kings on the flame haze side did is that the essentially only contracted with avengers, to the point that after a while for the flame haze side the fight for the balance was only an excuse except for the select group around Shana.

  12. P

    Does Shana get a full post next week? :p

  13. Generally speaking I do give digest shows full (if not necessarily long) posts for a series wrap-up, so unless I hate the ep the answer is probably yes!

  14. e

    @guardian enzo will you do final impressions on all the third season next week like the outher animes you did after the final episode review?

  15. I will, yes.

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