「ゆがむコロニー」 (Yugamu Koronii)
If they had just told me that there was going to be a huge rocket attached to the other end of the colony core and that Bruzar was going to try and escape himself after detaching it, there really wouldn’t have been anything for me to nitpick about last time. Believability on moving a massive mass in a short amount of time? Check. No needless throwaway death for the commander who adopted Flit? Check. Granted, it was still a stretch to completely pull out the core in less than eight minutes when they ran into trouble with debris inside, but it sure seemed a lot more probable than having the Diva do it alone. The race against time made was suspenseful to watch, and I was moved by everyone’s reaction to the loss of their home and Bruzar’s sacrifice so that everyone could escape. He left behind a pretty powerful impression — both for Flit and myself — which was reinforced by the brief flashback of their first meeting seven years ago. At the same time, this episode raised some questions as to exactly what the UE’s intentions are, since they passed on a prime opportunity to destroy the Diva and put a stop to the evacuation completely.
Two possibilities came to mind upon seeing that and a plot hole wasn’t one of them. Either 1.) the UE are pre-programmed artificial intelligence that don’t diverge terribly from their plan (as suggested by their attack patterns) or 2.) they’re purposely attacking mankind without any real intention of wiping them out. It could very well be both 1.) and 2.), but the idea for the latter actually comes from Super Robot Wars OG, where one radical faction purposely went to war with the Earth Federation to force them to further their arms development against a future alien threat that it was anticipating. I really don’t think we’re dealing with a conspiracy of that scale with Gundam AGE, but I thought I’d throw that idea out there for those who are familiar with SRWOG’s storyline and may have thought the same thing. I am however leaning toward the possibility that the UE mobile suits are unmanned, since their flashing visors suggest that they’re learning and adapting to the situation. This suspicion would also support the heartless shown in the first episode, where they were quick to destroy a damaged unit rather than letting it fall into enemy hands. Still, this raises the question on who created them and what the purpose is behind their targeted attacks on colonies. Flit noticed a pattern in their targets, so I suspect that will be revisited some time in the near future.
As for some technical tidbits, I like how the writers had Vargas specifically mention the limitations of the AGE Builder. Dique asked what a lot of viewers were probably thinking about why they don’t use use it to churn out anti-UE weapons at lightning speed, but was told that it needs time to acquire and analyze data to come up with countermeasure. The AGE System is by no means a deus ex machina, since it was properly introduced and established as a integral plot device, but the notion of some limitations should help it from being incorrectly mistaken as one. Yes, the writers can still conveniently have the Builder upgrade the Gundam at crucial moments during a battle, but they have some obligation in showing viewers how things got to that point if they care about storytelling at all. It’s really no different than the GN Drive’s Trans-Am in Gundam 00, so the AGE Builder is something to watch for but not bank on in every situation.
What I’m most curious about from a story standpoint is what Yurin’s role is. She possesses some extrasensory perception akin to a Newtype and used this ability to calm Flit so that he could see through the enemy’s patterns, making her come off as a capable pilot herself, but she likely won’t be around for the next while having been left behind with all the other civilians. There’s little doubt in my mind that she’ll show up again, but I just really hope it’s not under the “painful loss” scenario that I mentioned last time. For now, the focus shifts over to the ace pilot, Woolf Enneacle (Ono Daisuke), who looks like he just woke up from cryogenic sleep. I presume he’s going to nominate himself as the new pilot of the Gundam, but from my understanding the AGE System’s already been imprinted to only acknowledge Flit’s DNA/bloodline — something that was mentioned on the official site from the very beginning.