Gundam AGE – 09
「秘密のモビルスーツ」 (Himitsu no Mobiru Suutsu)
“Secret Mobile Suit”
After getting a glimpse of a UE mobile suit at Madorna’s workshop last time, I’m still torn over whether I’d be happier if he actually turned out to be an accomplice. I like how he and his wife Laraparly remain “good” people in the story — the latter of whom started nudging Emily toward becoming Flit’s supportive girlfriend — but I’m somewhat disappointed at the missed opportunity for a huge conspiracy involving the UE. With the way things stand now, it’s still very possible that the UE — or more specifically Eden — came from the future though. “Yark Dole” is revealed to be Gira Zoi from episode five, and Desil Galette the pilot of the black “Zedas” mobile suit, making them the faces of the UE and confirming what the trading card game inadvertently revealed over a month ago.
Thus far, there hasn’t really been anything to disprove the theory that Eden’s taken it upon themselves to guide mankind towards technological growth. Instead, there’s been plenty to support the notion that the destruction or subjugation of mankind is not their goal, such as Desil’s decision to call his mobile suit back when he had Flit and Woolf pinned down. The UE’s unusual timing for retreats has been the most confusing aspect to their attacks, which is why I’m leaning toward the idea that they have some greater goal in mind. It draws some similarity to the premise of Gundam 00 too, where Celestial Being made themselves enemies of the world for what they believed to be the greater good. I rather enjoyed the whole “armed intervention” bit in Gundam 00, so I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing something as radical in Gundam AGE even if we’re viewing it from the Federation’s perspective. After all, it sure beats the possibility that Eden’s just messing around with mankind.
As for this episode in particular, I didn’t find anything to be overly convenient progression-wise, outside of Vargas’ speedy Gundam delivery service (“5 seconds flat or your money back!”) and maybe the decompression of the Shaldoll cockpit as Flit hopped into Titus without a spacesuit on. The first wasn’t nearly as unbelievable as the truck delivery, whereas the second I was a little forgiving of because Woolf did tell Flit that he has fifteen seconds max in a hard vacuum and to exhale his lungs before decompression so they don’t pop. Yes, it still stretches believability on how Flit’s eardrums, sinuses, and blood vessels didn’t rupture within seconds of rapid decompression, but for the purpose of an anime, it’s better than if Flit simply hopped cockpits thinking there would be no risk. Humor-wise, I actually got a good chuckle out of Flit calling the G-Exes out as a knockoff Gundam, simply because everyone was probably thinking the same thing last time.
Now it may surprise some people when I say I didn’t have any major qualms with the bridge scene where Grodek finally revealed his plans to the crew and how he isn’t really their captain. It was a little hard to accept that they’d believe Emily’s eyewitness account of Dian talking about abandoning Nora, but it wasn’t too hard to swallow with Woolf confirming that it’s something the Federation captain would pull. I would’ve been more bothered if the entire crew got on board Grodek’s thirst for revenge and became rebels without any objections, so hats off to Adams for being the voice of reason in a fairy tale-like development. However, it wouldn’t reflect well on the crew if they didn’t rally together after learning that the Federation was going to let their colony be destroyed, so if I had to choose between this outcome and everyone marching off of the Diva, I’d have to go with what happened here. Granted, the addition of Euba and Zalam is questionable at best, seeing as they sorely lack firepower to take on UE, but at least Grodek has pilots with some experience. The AGE System is set to churn out the Spallow (not “Sparrow” surprisingly) parts too, as hinted several times in this episode and confirmed in the preview, so I guess its speed is going to be the difference-maker next time.