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Gundam AGE – 12

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「反逆者たちの船出」 (Hangyaku-tachi no Funade)
“The Rebels Set Sail”

Leave it up to anime to make goofy characters a lot cooler and more respectable than they originally seem, much like with the chocolate bar-munching Commander Stoller Guavaran here. His understanding of Grodek and his willingness to let the Diva and Euba/Zalam warships go led to a character-defining moment, and easily made him one of the more interesting characters to date. What was most surprising about his character is that he’s not as hot-headed as the prior episodes had me believe. He listened to what Adams had to say but stayed firmed with what he was here to do. He didn’t lose his cool when the UE suddenly appeared either, and was quick to pick up on what Grodek was thinking when the Diva came right at them with its main cannons charged. For all those reasons, it was pretty hard to hate the guy despite being the obstacle in our heroes’ way.

Aside from Largan’s Genoace finally getting a DODS rifle of its own so that he can show what he’s capable of, the “big” development this episode was undoubtedly the awaken of Flit’s extrasensory perception, which Gundam AGE has coined “X-Rounder”. I don’t know if the “X” in the name is meant to appeal to younger audiences, but it does have more “zing” to it than Newtype, Coordinator, and Innovator. Whatever the case, its effect appears to be the same, giving Flit an edge on the battlefield where he’s able to predict his enemy’s movements and throw beam sabers in their faces. The latter part was actually pretty cool to see, as it reminded me of the “whatever works” piloting mentality that I’ve seen from Amuro Ray, Kou Uraki, and Usso Ewin.

The real question now is what to make of Alzack willingly yet somewhat reluctantly handing over Yurin to Eden, who have taken an interest in her X-Rounder ability. Given how the last episode had death flags written all over it, I’m already fearing the worst where Yurin is brainwashed into piloting a UE mobile suit/armor and Flit is forced to kill her. This is a tried and true scenario in Gundam, so I’m just hoping to be proven wrong. I gather I’ll find out soon enough, as Flit’s arc willing likely conclude after the attack on Ambat. The opening sequence has already been slightly updated, showing a black shadow of Gundam AGE-2′s mobile armor form.

* Full-length images: 03, 08.

Note: This would be an example of a shorter and more succinct post. (~425 words.)

 

Preview

Gundam AGE   12   Preview 01 Gundam AGE   12   Preview 02 Gundam AGE   12   Preview 03

Omake

Gundam AGE   12   Omake 01
January 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm
51 comments »
  • January 2, 2012 at 8:11 pmtom

    Things are picking up. Wasn’t too sure about this show, but I’m liking it so far

  • January 2, 2012 at 8:24 pmcain

    A few episodes ago I was like “meh”, but now I’m like “sweet”. Can’t wait to see what transpires next.

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:16 pmSparkNorkx

    This episode is all right. It’s kinda getting better in a way but it’s still a downer.

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:16 pmTakamachi

    Flit double-tapping a mook with a beam saber and then a shot from his beam rifle is definitely not something Amuro would pull off. As cool as that scene was, Flit is now one beam saber short.

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:37 pmfragb85

    I actually cringed at the term “X-rounders”. I guess it sounds cooler to the Japanese. At least it sounds better than the silly SEED acronym. Not much to say this episode, the “duel” between the captains was meh, but I’m glad to finally see some perspective on the actual Federation. At least SOME of them aren’t douchebags. And now another death flag has been raised for Yurin. I’m still hoping the writers will defy the obvious route.

    Also, the Genoace weapon isn’t a DOTS Rifle. DOTS is apparently exclusive to the Gundam, and the other rifles including the G-Exes are designated “Beam Rifle”. The Kits aren’t clear on what exactly the difference is.

    • January 2, 2012 at 9:40 pmDivine

      Hmm, is it “DODS” or “DOTS”? It’s written “Dozzu Raifuru” 「ドッズライフル」 in Japanese.

      • January 2, 2012 at 9:56 pmfragb85

        I honestly don’t know. Bandai’s official subs call it DODS while the Gundam’s interface says DOTS. I’m just going with the assumption that the subbers made a mistake.

      • January 3, 2012 at 2:32 amShiden

        I’ve been saying DOTS, since that’s what the Gundam’s interface says, but who knows.

    • January 2, 2012 at 11:01 pminfo600

      I’ll just make a guess here that the writers have X-men on their minds…

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:41 pmGermanguy

    So Flint got “Sharingan”.. Oh Wait, other Anime :)

    • January 2, 2012 at 9:42 pmGermanguy

      ..and now it seems. We get a Damsel in Distress Storyline. Reminds me of Inoue in Bleach..

    • January 2, 2012 at 10:26 pmAndré

      This is actually very Gundamish. Since the first one, Gundam pilots have some kind of sixth sense for battles. Look for “newtype” on Wikipedia.

      • January 3, 2012 at 2:50 amGermanguy

        I know, but looks like the “Fans” here. dont know a Joke, even if it Bite

      • January 3, 2012 at 2:09 pmRickyMack

        or maybe they thought your “joke” was lame. no need to be bitter, it just makes people want to thumbs down you even more.

    • January 3, 2012 at 8:13 amRichfeet

      More like mantra haki from one piece. Works the same way too.

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:49 pmHojo Joe

    Overall, I liked the episode. I think this is the first time we’ve actually seen the UE win against something, even if it was just two unnamed grunt suits. In general, the combat animation has been pretty dull, but this one probably had the most interesting fights to watch. I’ve heard some people say that the fights are INTENTIONALLY dull so that they can gradually “stup up” things with subsequent generations. I hope this is true, as it’ll be nice to A) have more interesting battles, and B) have a nice sense of time advancing.

    At this point, as an old and worn-out Gundam fan, I have to say that the next few episodes will make or break age. Will it go into the timeskip-transition boldly, taking the narrative tension to new levels, or will they continue to strive for “middle ground” and leave us with a completely resolved “ending” to Flit’s story, so that everything will be reset for Asemu?

    Well, if it’s not obvious, I’m hoping for the former eventuality, not the latter. Hopefully, we’ll find out a bit before episode 15 (which is either Flit’s last or Asemu’s first). The way I see it, everything hinges on Yurin. If he dies, it’ll mean Bandai is once again playing it safe, and we won’t have much to expect from the rest of the show. If she lives, it shows they might have the balls to break from long-established franchise tropes and take Gundam in the new direction it so desperately need.

    Or, hell, we’ll be stuck with another UC show featuring the remnants of the remnants of the remnants of the remnants of Zeon fighting against the Earth Federation for… no real reason.

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:49 pmbertman4

    GenoAces finally getting an upgrade. I know you need to keep your main mech cool and unique but this should have happened 10 episodes ago.

    • January 2, 2012 at 10:59 pminfo600

      You have to remember that the grunt units are not allowed to use expensive stuff, and have to wait for people to mass-produce a cheaper equivalent…

  • January 2, 2012 at 10:31 pmMorito-kun

    I’m really happy with the direction AGE has been taking in the past three episodes. We’re finally starting to get the level of military and emotional drama that are a large part of what makes Gundam special (at least, in my book).

    Though if I had one complaint, it would be the whole “X-Rounder” thing. I know it’s been said before, but it’s a cringe-worthy term that kinda sounds like they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas on what to call this universe’s version of Newtypes. However, more than the term itself, the explanation Grodek gave was what made me facepalm. The “unused portion of your brain” nonsense is something that has been thoroughly debunked at this point in time, and it’s rather annoying to see a dead horse concept like that trotted out, even in an all-ages show such as this. I know that the whole “magic space espers” thing is unscientific to begin with, but when you bring out a BS explanation to try and cover for it, one can’t help but be a tad annoyed. That said, Grodek’s probably not the most reliable source, and his explanation could be just what he was told while the truth could be something entirely different… Oh well, I guess time will tell on that one.

    Rambling aside, I was very happy to see Largan finally get some hardware that will keep him from being completely useless. I find him to be an interesting and likable character, and I hope that this break in his unlucky streak will put him on the path to acedom.

    • January 3, 2012 at 1:56 ampaulrenzo

      Well, he is technically an ace already, but what the heck can an ace do if you make him fend off a tank with nothing but a wooden stick and some duct tape?

  • January 2, 2012 at 10:41 pmSilivious

    Welp, there goes one love interest down the drain. Good knowing ya. (‘w’) /

  • January 3, 2012 at 1:20 amsaka

    • January 3, 2012 at 1:46 amDivine

      A red Zedra for Desil and a “G Bouncer” for Woolf? Interesting.

      • January 3, 2012 at 2:04 amsaka

        seems like the G-Bouncer is a ‘speed’ type, since it has AGE-spallow’s legs.

      • January 8, 2012 at 6:38 amiron2000

        Spallow legs = savings for Bandai :P

    • January 3, 2012 at 9:49 amHojo Joe

      Please don’t give GundamGuy any traffic. The guy is an asshole and gives the gundam community a bad name.

      Or, rather, a worse name than it already has.

      • January 4, 2012 at 5:13 amsaka

        what happened between GG & the gundam community?

  • January 3, 2012 at 1:53 ampaulrenzo

    I’m a bit disappointed “Whatever works” was mentioned without mentioning Shiro from the 08th MS Team. Both the first and last thing he pilots are explicit definitions of that term.

  • January 3, 2012 at 2:06 amZaku Fan

    This was a good episode. Seeing fleet battles mixed with mecha strikes seem more complete than constantly having mecha vs mecha decide things. The ship designs are interesting, not “drop dead grab the gunpla” intresting but still the shape is memorable.

    They finally upgraded the Genoace paint guns but having only 3 mecha for a combat ship seems too low. For a scout class type maybe, but i rememeber the Diva being mentioned as the Federation’s latest battleship.

    Despite the upgrade to the guns, the Diva’s weapons are about the same effect on the UE as the Federation ships = 0, while the effect on the Federation ships by the colony battleships are also the same = 0. Unless they have some sort of shielding tech that exhausts after sufficient damage ala star trek, i don’t see why the UE should retreat.

    Other than that, only the wierd look of Guavaran in the early scenes and the silliness of being scared of standard Genoace paint guns (even at close range and especially since they take ages to fire it seems) are the only problems i have with this episode.

    Interestingly, i may be correct on Aizack not picking up Yurin due to a random draw but he knew about her and selected her for that reason.

  • January 3, 2012 at 2:47 amShiden

    In past Gundam shows, I was somewhat critical about how one or two beam rifle (or other weapon, short of another battleship or MA) shots could down a battleship, but these ships took it to the other extreme. Full barrages were exchanged, with barely a scratch on the paint.
    Euba/Zalam ships can’t hurt the Feddies. Feddies and Diva can’t hurt the UE. UE doesn’t seem to do much to the Feddies. For all the fire that was exchanged, and all the hype about the Diva’s new weapons… nothing did anything at all.

    I also seriously laughed at everyone being shocked that the EFF was trying to arrest Grodek, or that they might need to fight the EFF. Guys, just last episode, you all decided to join in his mutiny. What did you think would happen? Even if you think you’re right, from the military’s perspective, you’re a bunch of mutineers, just a hair better than an out and out traitor.

    • January 3, 2012 at 2:56 amGermanguy

      well, not really “mutineers”. Just exchange it with “I am a Pirate, and i can fight against the System forced Rules”(One Piece). They do, what they thing is right. Even if it’s against the “Bigger System”

    • January 3, 2012 at 3:24 amfragb85

      I thought it was pretty obvious that Diva wasn’t using its new weapon. There’s no way they would reveal their trump card on a skirmish with the UE. Also if you payed attention to the preview, you can see all the Zalam and Euba MS equipped with beam rifles. They did spend two weeks getting ready for the attack.

  • January 3, 2012 at 9:52 amMoratorium

    This isn’t really related to Gundam Age. But just dropping to say, you are doing a fantastic job Divine. It has been several years that I kept up with your updates, and you constantly persevere to deliver. Thank you for all the episode summaries and updates, and I hope you have a successful New Year!

    • January 3, 2012 at 10:44 amDivine

      Thanks!

  • January 3, 2012 at 11:27 amSudachi

    Great episode and I must say I’m really enjoying this series so far! AGE has has been my intro to the franchise so if this is the worst of Gundam (as some might have me believe) than I’m pretty psyched to spend a good chunk of time discovering 00, Unicorn, etc. in the future.

    On a different subject– Divine, I’m torn on whether I like the shorter “more succinct” posts as opposed to the longer analysis and extra images/eye-candy you were mentioning recently. Despite being a bit shorter, this still does an excellent job summing up the episode and I always enjoy the insight you and your writers offer. It must be a lot of work so just wanted to say that whatever you decide, you guys are doing an awesome job!

    • January 3, 2012 at 12:04 pmHojo Joe

      It’s not one of the worst bits of the franchise. Not even close. A lot of the fans just hate it because they think it’s either too similar what what they expect Gundam to be. It’s re-using… a lot of tropes.

      Generally speaking, though, most of the AU’s are below-average. The real cream of the franchise will be found with Tomino’s work.

  • January 3, 2012 at 1:57 pmjingoi

    Since I heard this may not be released in the US I think I’ll start this now but I just restarted G Gundam.

  • January 3, 2012 at 7:29 pmActene

    A much better episode than I came out of the last one expecting. Instead of some lame combat against some outmatched tin-can EFF ships we got more of the mass fleet combat that has made me love Gundam so much in the past. I was a bit disappointed that Guavaran didn’t join his forces with Grodek’s, since that would have made for a bigger (and thus cooler) fleet, but perhaps he and the EFF will show up at the tail end of the Ambat battle a la Eomer and Gandalf at Helm’s Deep.

    From the looks of things, this series can only get better in the next couple episodes. As far as I’m concerned, the X-rounder nonsense isn’t all that annoying, since it’s just a stupid name for an ability that’s been animated in a pretty cool way so far. All this revelation really does is introduce the possibility that the Federation might be trying to manufacture super-soldiers in similar ways as seen in SEED and 00.

    • January 5, 2012 at 8:18 amDivine

      Oh snap, you did not just mention the Battle at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers. I watched that movie four times and the epicness in that scene was just as good every time.

      +1

  • January 3, 2012 at 11:22 pmGenius

    I miss bad mouthing this anime series. Just wondering why the Diva was afraid of robots with water guns pointed at them.

  • January 3, 2012 at 11:59 pmHKSun

    After looking at the preview images for G-Age S2, I really hope the artists drew S2 characters in a way that the audience can recognize their bloodline. After all this speculation about how Yurin is going to die (props to Divine for pointing out similarities), at least some of us can agree that Emily is the mother of Asem. Just by observing Asem’s blonde (Emily’s) fluffy (Flit’s) hair style with ponytail (Emily’s) and seeing the similarities in eye color, I really hope that the artists don’t do anything too silly with the drawing of offspring.

    For that matter, I also apply the same concept to the unknown woolf* look-a-like standing next to adult Flit and Asem, in my opinion, his hair color and skin color is definitely akin to Woolf Ennacle (white hair, olive skin). Unlike Woolf’s eye color, which is a mix of gray/blue, unknown Woolf* possesses yellow eyes and a bowl hair top similar to Millias Alloy. If this is the case, I would be interested in how G-Age maintains and develops family rivalries/cooperation during S2.

    Image References:
    http://gundam.wikia.com/index.php?title=Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE&image=I6X8D-jpg
    http://gundam.wikia.com/index.php?title=Woolf_Enneacle&image=Woolf-enneacle-jpg
    http://gundam.wikia.com/index.php?title=Millais_Alloy&image=Millais-png
    http://gundam.wikia.com/index.php?title=Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE&image=Flit-png
    http://gundam.wikia.com/index.php?title=Emily_Amonde&image=Emily-png

    Let me know if y’all also see the same similarities.

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:05 amBeat

      You are very much right. I just wanted to point out that there is a possability that the mystery man COULD be older than Flint and would be some sort of guide to the next protagonist. More over i knew from when i saw both Decil’s and Yurin’s abilities that Yurin would betray Flit. In the gundam series there is always someone who betrays the main protagonist and i think it will be Yurin this time. Will he die? I hope not. She could prove to be a useful adult in the future but foreshadows can be a real b*ch if you know what i mean.

      • January 8, 2012 at 7:03 amiron2000

        The mystery man is called Zeheart (or Zehart or whatever :P).
        According to the caption in the wikia picture, he is 17 years ago like Asem and is a mysterious transfer student.
        The black uniform is school uniform.

      • January 8, 2012 at 7:03 amiron2000

        Correction, I mean 17 years old :P

    • January 8, 2012 at 6:58 amiron2000

      Actually its confirmed that Emily is Asem’s mom and Flit’s wife.
      Its in the caption of one of those pictures in the wikia page.
      http://gundam.wikia.com/index.php?title=Emily_Amonde&image=x1201061919630530b1268d47f2-jpg

  • January 4, 2012 at 7:56 amBeat

    I wonder. Am I the only one who noticed the change in the opening theme? Normally at the end of it the Diva flies by before it show the Flint running sequence. Now it shows a shadowed silhouette to replace the Diva. Honestly when i saw the shadow i freaked out all over my room cause i recodnised its shape as Show Spoiler ▼

    I thought Divine would have noticed that and put it up like how you did with the Titus and Sparrow silhouettes but this one was very subtle in how it appeared so its okay if it was missed. My brain only caught it cause i was looking through the series on various sites. Great job none-the-less. Random Curiosity has been my anime info source for the past few years and I enjoy your efforts.

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:24 amRickyMack

      I’m pretty sure he mentioned it in the last sentence of the synopsis

      • January 5, 2012 at 8:22 amDivine

        With a screen capture too! :)

      • January 8, 2012 at 2:28 pmBeat

        Ah. Missed that. Thanks. Guess i only read the important parts.

  • January 7, 2012 at 12:06 amGhostalker

    Finally!

    Hurray for the appearance of the federation Fleet and mobile suit forces!! Finally (albeit slowly) the series is becoming like a gundam series should be.

  • January 8, 2012 at 6:56 amiron2000

    Somehow I feel that the series is rushing to end the first timeline.
    Felt like Flit hasn’t done much awesome stuff.

    Seems like lots of pictures and info popped up when I wasn’t paying attention.
    Saw them as I clicked to one of those wikia links.

    Yurin, if she does become another one of those brainwashed females, will she be sortied (and killed?) in the battle at Ambat? Or will it be the last we see of her till the second timeline (or third?)?

    The G-Wear of AGE-2 is simply disappointing.
    Savings for Bandai though.