Gundam AGE – 15
「その涙、宇宙に落ちて」 (Sono Namida, Uchuu ni Ochite)
“Those Tears Shed in Space”
Flit’s arc comes to a close with this fifteenth episode and does so in a way that makes the series a welcome addition to the Gundam franchise. I admittedly had my doubts about some of the earlier episodes, such as the introduction of the Euba and Zalam factions and whether they’re really going to have any importance to the story, but everything came together surprisingly well in this “final” episode. Even Grodek’s betrayal of the Earth Federation and seemingly suicidal plan to take down U.E.’s fortress with a handful of dated warships and mobile suits panned out well, especially during the climax of the battle where he didn’t have a last minute change of heart and shot Gerra Zoi in the back, proving that Gundam AGE isn’t just a children’s show that encourages viewers to be “above” revenge. Instead, the show embraced it with Grodek not showing an ounce of remorse for Gerra’s son Arabel and only leaving him his name, fully expecting the cycle of hatred to continue and Arabel to seek his own revenge one day. Now if that isn’t a terrible lesson to viewers that breaks the mold of a children’s anime with good morals, then I don’t know what is.
Even better is how this cycle of hatred shows no signs of ending anytime soon, as Flit’s also decided to tread down a dark path of vengeance, despite learning that the U.E. are actually humans known as “Vagans”, remnants of the Mars Colonization Plan from 150 years ago who were cruelly abandoned by the Earth Federation after the truth behind the “Mars Rays” disease was covered up. There’s almost nothing positive to take away as far as either side is concerned, which as masochistic as it may sound, actually improved my impression of Gundam AGE as a whole. It doesn’t shy away from the travesties of war, much like the other Gundam series that came before it, and instead depicts a not-so-rosy picture that originally drew me into the franchise. In some ways, it even exceeded my expectations by making it feel that certain situations were beyond reparation, so much so that I half-expecting Grodek to commit suicide for his sins and “reunite” with his wife and daughter, Airi and Sara, in spirit. While things didn’t quite go that way, Grodek taking responsibility for the Diva’s betrayal and willingly going down as a tragic hero leaves just as much of a lasting impression — one that I’ll definitely remember this series for.
As for some episode specifics, the battle against Gerra’s gigantic Defurse mobile suit/armor wasn’t as climactic as it probably could have been but still worked well as a big last battle before closing the curtain on Flit’s arc. At the same time, it subtly introduced the idea of Psycomet “Mucell” technology that helps draw out a pilot’s latent X-Rounder abilities — a concept similar to Universal Century’s Psycoframes — which I imagine we’ll see a lot more of in the upcoming arc. It was also nice to see Yurin one last time (*sniff*), Flit’s anger erupt in tears, and Woolf’s stark realization that they were fighting humans all along. I’m actually quite pleased to learn that neither Largan nor Adams were conveniently written off, as I’m curious to know what kind of a role they’ll have in the future (if any). We know that Millais takes over as the Diva’s captain and Woolf becomes the ship’s mobile suit commander, but nothing about Largan or Adams, so I originally thought that one or both of them would be killed here. As such, I’m excited to see where the next generation arc has in store, which stars Eguchi Takuya (Kujou Kazuya as GOSICK) as Asem Asuno, Inoue Kazuhiko (who’s been doing the narration) as the older Flit, Kamiya Hiroshi as the Woolf-lookalike Zeheart Galette (same surname as Desil), and Hanazawa Kana as the new heroine Romary Stone.