Not only have I not found a subbed release of AGE this week, there doesn’t seem to be a RAW of less than 2.5 GB. So screencaps later, hopefully – in the meantime please enjoy these pictures of cute kittens.
Is it possible – Zaeheart did something not stupid in the middle of a battle?
There were certainly more than an equal share of death flags this week, though I hope the ones that fly for Seric Abis are a feint – he continues to be the closest thing to a level-headed and reasonable figure in this giant FUBAR of a situation. I’m sure most of the fan-hate will focus on Kio after this week, and I can certainly understand it. If his actions seem to fly in the face of logic, that’s because they do – self-preservation is the most fundamental of all human impulses, after all. So when he says he’s not going to kill anyone and “end the war in his own way, even when cornered and in dire threat, it’s easy to dismiss him as an utter fool.
For me, it’s a little more complicated than that. I still see Kio as a victim of circumstances and his Grandfather’s – and Ezelcant’s – manipulation, more than anything. He’s idealistic, but he’s supposed to be – he’s 13. He’s been placed in a position no one should ever be placed in, never mind a kid, and he can’t formulate a logical way out of it with the experience he has to draw on. This is the problem, the essential “Catch 22” of his situation – Seric quite rightly points out that if you enter a battlefield, you have to be prepared to kill. Not only is Kio putting his own life at risk, but that of his colleagues as well. As we saw in this battle the Vagan – including Zaeheart – don’t hesitate to slaughter Federation forces. Yet if Kio doesn’t at least try to find a third way, who will? It’s a no-win – if anything, Kio should have become a conscientious objector and refused to take the field at all. But he’s too young to understand that this was his only realistic option, and too idealistic to believe he can’t make a difference against impossible odds.
Seems Kio is going to have no choice but to activate the FX Burst “indiscriminate kill” mode next episode in order to survive. Zanald, meanwhile, has acted in direct mutiny against Ezelcant’s orders in seizing the chance to try and eliminate Zaeheart, so it seems we have a full-on civil war in the Vagan forces – in the midst of the final battle, no less – although not over ideals, but personal hatred. It’s ironic that it was Zanald that ended up saving Kio from Zaeheart – an interesting twist, that. Especially given that Zaeheart had just executed his greatest stratagem, using dummy Vagan fighters to lure Federation ships and mobile suits (including Derek) into the path of the Vagan’s molecular cannon, which wiped out a good chunk of the Federation fleet. Zanald’s treachery has conveniently given the Feds a chance when it looked as if they were in serious trouble, in addition to saving Kio’s life (though not intentionally).
All in all, this was another pretty good ep, extending a pretty good run for AGE. Nicely paced, well-animated, and doing a nice job portraying the epic nature of the looming debacle – even if the character side of the series can still go into facepalm mode at a moment’s notice. Where do things go from here? Fram seems a goner for sure after her flag scenes with Zaeheart this week, Ezelcant’s clone “Zera” is about to take the field as their super pilot (though Ezelcant’s words suggest Zera is not right in the head). And Deen is going to take to the field, too, which makes a confrontation with Kio all but inevitable. In the larger scheme I think we’re no closer to seeing a possible way out of this that doesn’t involve the annihilation of one side or the other – the cannon gambit has only increased Flit’s manic lust for genocide, and Asemu seems relegated to his customary role on the sidelines, trying to have his cake and eat it too and accomplishing neither. Perhaps it really is up to Kio to find the third way, although finding a way to make that happen without resorting to Deux ex machina is a monumental task I’m not sure this writing staff is up to…