Gundam AGE – 16
OP2: 「sharp #」 by ねごと (Negoto)
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「馬小屋のガンダム」 (Umagoya no Gandamu)
“Gundam in the Stable”
Flit may have been very emotional as a kid, but he sure is an awesome father as an adult. I wish I had someone leave a Gundam in the stable/garage for me when I turned seventeen. So with the sixteenth episode of Gundam AGE, we finally move on to the second of three arcs where Flit’s son Asem Asuno (Eguchi Takuya) succeeds him as the main protagonist of the series. Romary Stone (Hanazawa Kana) fills in the role as the new love interest — and will likely become Asem’s future wife judging from Kio’s hair color — while Zeheart Galette (Kamiya Hiroshi, back in a Gundam role) serves as Asem’s undercover masked rival — another mainstay in the Gundam franchise. In terms of support characters, we have Asem’s friends in his Mobile Suit Club, the taller brown-haired Shawee Berton (Ishii Kazutaka) and the shorter green-haired Macil Void (Kaji Yuuki), as well as some more minor ones that double as Vargas’ “farmers”, Josse Maris (Yamamoto Itaru) and Hans Luuji (Takasaki Takurou). The story pick up 25 years later after the Earth Federation’s been unable to make peace with the Vagans (confirmed in-show spelling) and a war against them is in full swing.
As this is our first look at Asem’s arc, what caught my attention the most — outside of the opening sequence — was how Flit (now voiced by Inoue Kazuhiko) has changed since the loss of Yurin during the Ambat Operation. Now an Earth Federation commander, he has little remorse for the Vagans even though he knows that they’re humans who were abandoned, and is bent on annihilating every last Vagan out there judging from his conversation with Fredrick Algreus (Koyasu Takehito, also back in a Gundam role). That’s not all that unexpected, but had they not added the bit about how the Vagans turned down every peace attempt that the Federation had made and shown how Flit was a happy father raising Asem, I would’ve immediately thought that he was consumed by hatred to this very day. Emily on the other hand “grew into” Endou Aya’s Sheryl Nome voice much like I was anticipating she would, making the real Asuno family surprise their daughter Unao (Oogame Asuka, Erio in Denpa Onna). That, I really wasn’t expecting, though I do like the prospect of another female character in this arc regardless of whether or not she finds herself in a mobile suit or battleship before it’s over. As for Asem and the others, I really like how the romantic elements have taken off almost immediately, considering how Emily was more or less kicked to the curb and Yurin’s involvement was nothing but ominous death flags. What’s more, it’s reassuring to know that Asem’s relationship with Romary will end happily, assuming that the writers don’t drop a real bomb on us later by introducing another brunette heroine.
Progression-wise, it looks like Medel Zant (Inaba Minoru) will play the role of the new antagonist, having awaken from cryogenic sleep alongside Zeheart. He doesn’t appear to have aged much since we saw him at the end of Flit’s arc, so he could of very well been in a cold sleep all this time in preparation for the second phase of the Vagans’ plan. What exactly this second phase entails is anyone’s guess, but it does look like Zeheart’s been sent to find the Gundam. Now that he knows where it is, I presume he’s going to get closer to Asem once he finds out he was piloting it. From a technical standpoint, I actually like how the Gundam hasn’t been upgraded to its transformable AGE-2 form yet, giving us a chance to see how Asem uses the AGE Device he’s been entrusted with to evolve the Gundam himself. He’s not nearly as talented of an engineer or pilot as Flit, so he’s already shown as some unconventional piloting that should prove interesting in future encounters. The mere thought of that, his relationship with Romary, and inclusion of Flit as a Federation commander have me really looking forward to seeing how this second arc plays out.
* It took me the better part of 20 minutes, but I managed to piece together the pre-opening pan of Mars. I had to do it in sections and blend/redraw several parts. Warning: It’s a 1.3MB image file though.
* Full-length images: 02, 05, 08, 11, 15, 16.
ED2: 「My World」 by SPYAIR
Watch the 2nd ED!: Streaming ▼