「進化するガンダム」 (Shinka Suru Gandamu)
“Evolving Gundam”

For anyone coming off the latest episode of Gundam Unicorn, it’s easy to draw parallels between the lingering hatred between the Earth Federation and Zeon to the hatred between Euba and Zalam, but it’s also easy to see that AGE’s variation lacks the seriousness and severity seen in the Universal Century timeline. With only seven episodes to go on — and the two factions only introduced last time — Flit’s attempt to break the cycle of hatred simply can’t compare to the significance of Banagher’s variation. However, it can’t realistically be expected to either, seeing as the Advanced Generation timeline is still in its infancy and will require a fair bit of time to establish itself. For that reason, I didn’t feel it was fair to knock this episode for failing to get me emotionally invested in what was going on, so instead, I simply appreciated the fact that one of Gundam’s main themes carried over to the latest iteration. As a result, younger audiences will get to experience some of the same elements that I got to during my childhood, and hopefully garner some interest in the franchise as a whole.

In terms of appealing to new viewers, Gundam AGE has done a decent job thus far, but could use some minor tweaks to the script so that the characters are a little more agreeable. While I’m okay with chalking up most of the disagreeable stuff to adolescence and a tendency to act on emotions — like how Emily and a bunch of kids went protesting for Flit’s release — I sometimes have to question if they add anything to the story or if they’re only intended to be a convenient set up for something else. In this particular case, I was okay with Vargas giving into his granddaughter’s insistence even though he knew it was a fruitless endeavor, but I didn’t see what bringing all the kids added except for some increased dramatics when Flit came to their rescue. Questionable developments like that can easily take away from the intended scene, since it’s hard to feel concern for those who dug their own grave, so I wish the series featured more scenarios where the kids simply get caught up in the war and don’t go looking for trouble. So far, this hasn’t bothered me that much, but I can understand how it can ruin the viewing experience for some people. After all, nobody cares about characters they don’t like.

The other area of concern is believability, like when the UE mobile suit was unable to shoot down the truck full of children that Grodek was driving. I gather a lot more people would’ve been completely okay with that scene if Flit tackled the UE mobile suit before it got a single shot off. All the missing just belittles the ultimate enemy in the series because they can’t even shoot down a truck on a narrow road. Equally unbelievable is how Grodek suggested that some old Zalam warships are going to fair better against the UE than the Earth Federation’s. If they had shown some indication that he was lying to Flit to hide the fact that he stole the Diva, it wouldn’t have come off as the ridiculous justification that it was. Minor changes like those can go a long way by not stretching a viewer’s suspension of disbelief to its limits, so there are definitely other areas for improvement in the script.

Amidst those head-scratching moments, the best developments came from the explanation that the Earth Federation don’t care to get involved in the Euba and Zalam’s guerrilla war — addressing some concerns from last episode — and the sight of the two sides fighting over nothing but old grudges. They were straightforward and believable, and didn’t take away from the battle that ensued. People who complained about the Gundam not taking any damage should be somewhat appeased too. Incidentally, that ties in with my favorite aspect of this series that continues to trudge along — the constant adapting between the AGE System and the UE. It’s nice to see that the AGE Builder isn’t churning out countermeasures for every situation so that the debut of the Titus add-on was actually meaningful here. If there’s one area that the writers have handled really well, it’s the balanced portray of both the Gundam and the AGE System. They’re an answer to the UE, but far from being the ultimate solution.

* Don Boyage didn’t help the series when he said, “What the hell is this? It’s just a bunch of kids.” The haters are going to love the irony.
* The Titus add-on reminds me of the Hyukebein/Exbein’s Boxer parts.
* Full-length images: 02, 03, 04, 09, 11, 15, 32, 36.

Note: This post isn’t intended to be as negative as it may sound. I just felt like discussing some aspects that could be improved.





  1. Hm… interesting.

    At this point I think the best summation of Gundam Age is something like, “it ain’t bad, but it’s not exactly good, either.”

    To me, that questionable character development is majorly detrimental… but, hey, at least they’re handling character development and narrative delivery with greater effect than we’ve seen in Unicorn, 00, Destiny, IgLoo, etc.–all the recent installments. (Not saying Unicorn’s dialog/characterization is bad in general–it’s almost universally good–but every single line out of Barnargarfarhargar’s mouth is absolute rubbish).

    Hojo Joe
      1. Erm, with that “Yes, Don is right!” lines continue since episode 6, I don’t think AGE will get any (noticeably) more serious than what it already has. Even Digimon looks better in comparison…

        Also, if by episode 7 nothing big happened yet, it somewhat looks like a drag already.

        (P/S: If those two henchmen are Haro-like/android then it’s acceptable, but…)

    1. As I said, episode 7, can’t ask for depth and tension now. In longer series, you don’t see kind of thing during the first 1/3 of the show.

      And sorry to say that, but you and a bunch of guys here are just nitpicking Gundam AGE. “Oh, there are two characters saying ‘yes, Don is right’… See? That’s why Gundam AGE is no good”.

      C’mon, that kind of argument is childish. Gundam AGE may have some silly moments, but that’s true for some other Gundam series and other series as well. Look at Gundam 00… It has aliens, a clone army and pilots with freakin’ magical powers. Gundam AGE almost realist war documentary when compared to 00.

      For what I have seen, everything is this Gundam is in the same level of an avarage Gundam in terms of dialogues, plot, etc.

      1. I understand what you are saying but I think you are also forgetting that Gundam Age covers three generation of protagonists. I’m not sure how long Flit’s arc is, but by episode 7 there should be some depth to his story arc.

  2. After seeing Unicorn 4, I still don’t understand why the people are dead sighted to defend this. The main problem Age has it’s that it tries too hard to be a “Gundam series”, when clearly it isn’t. Another is that it tries to be a “politically correct series” in the fact that it still lack the death ratio of a normal Gundam series (yes, even for the extras) and the tension between the “heroes” and the antagonists. Even compared with the almost-childish start of ZZ, Age is way too much for kiddies that don’t want to use their brains to understand the situation (a-la Naruto).
    As for the Titus, the Red Baron lookalike is hideous. Well, is a hideous MS for a hideous series. I’m fearing the worst for the debut of the “Mr. Gay-Ninja Posed” Spallow.

    1. I find it funny how your critique is so generalized that it can apply to most Gundam shows, but then just add “childish” to make it a point that’s worse than anything else.

      If you have a problem with “kiddie” or “childish” then do yourself a favor and never EVER watch the original Mobile Suit Gundam. You’ll probably only last four episode then quit in disgust.

      1. It’s strange, because I’ve seen the original MSG (series and movies) and it isn’t as childish as Age. As a matter of fact, even Kikka, Katz and Letz are more mature than the whole crew of Age in the fact that they became part of the White Base in what they can actually do for the ship without resorting to plot armor.
        Don’t patronize me in Gundam history… brat.

      2. Right…because 0079 had millions of casualties by EPISODE 7. People dying left and right. Not an ounce of childish in there.

        In case you couldn’t tell, that was sarcasm. Grow up, and stop whining about a series that’s about selling toys.

    2. I don’t think the plot is what makes this show seemingly childish. Let’s look at the bigger picture: this is episode 7 of a 3 season series (I’m assuming it to be 3 seasons b/c of the 3 generation story line), so the depth of this series has yet to come. In contrast to Gundam Unicorn’s 6 or 7 episode series, episode 4 is already slightly over half way, thus it’s further progressed. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see that Gundam Age is still immature in its plot, tension, death ratios, and whatever have you. Readdressing my first point – in my opinion, it is the animation style of Gundam Age which portrays this as a “kiddie” or “childish” show. It’s as if you’re viewing a 9 year old piloting a Gundam and defending humanity in contrast to the ~15 year old pilots in the UC era.

  3. I still think that the Zalam vs. Euba thing is less fleshed out just to make it more ridiculous. In UC, the conflicts tend to be very realistic, so the MC can’t just say “But fighting is bad guys!” In AGE, it’s just two groups of people that hate each other because “Screw those guys.”

    At least, that’s my rationalization. Rather than delve into some deep stuff for just a few episodes, they just made the conflict simple and stupid.

    1. To be fair, UC has plenty of protagonists whining about war and telling people to stop fighting–Kamille is particularly bad in this respect, with his character arc stagnating around the point of blaming enemy pilots for, you know, getting killed by him. The, “If you hadn’t come out here, you wouldn’t have died” quote, delivered immediately after shooting something in the back.

      Not to mention that UC conflicts are almost all equally nonsensical.

      Take the One Year War: a simple war for independence that escalates. Makes sense. Some racism thrown into the mix due to the cultural differences of the two factions. That makes sense, too.

      But what about all the other wars?

      Gryps war? It made a degree of sense, but ultimately we were left with not the Titans, per se, as the villain, but Scirocco–and what did he want? World domination? An empire? A harem? The motivations for the Titans outside of the first dozen or so episodes are completely unexplained. The Neo-Zeon war? What, exactly, was Haman Khan out to achieve? Who knows. We’re left to assume “world domination” because that’s the go-to motivator for villains, even if Axis in no way had the resources necessary for such a campaign, and were only able to do so due to the Earth Federation’s apathy.

      And the second Neo Zeon war? Enormous diatribes have been written trying to wring the slightest bit of sense out of that cluster****. Same with Cosmo Babylonia and Zanscare. We never–never–get a sense for why those wars are being fought, period. Hell, Gundam Unicorn’s plot ~revolves~ around attempting to explain why these various groups keep fighting.

      Turn A is in a similar boat, with the actual reasons behind the war being virtually incomprehensible.

      Much of this is intentional–a deliberate attempt to illustrate the nonsensical nature of war by depicting the reasons (or lack of reasons) for going to war–because, in the end, just how many acceptable reasons for war are there?

      So what I’m saying, in a nutshell, is that it’s unfair to say Age is doing something new or different with regard to its depiction of war, when it’s really not. The key difference between Tomino’s work and that of almost every other director to work on the franchise is more about execution.

      The real key to the difference lies, I think, in the fact that people like Tomino and Imagawa were old enough to remember, first-hand, the latter years of the Pacific War, and grew up during the post-war era. The people that have been making gundam for the past decade or so… NONE of them had any direct experience with the war era or even the post-war era, and their… unfamiliarity with the nature of war and its effects is VERY apparent.

      Hojo Joe
      1. Yeah, there have been plenty of pilots that cried about stopping war, but they were usually singled out as being immature for doing so. Here, Flit’s the rational one for once.

        As for the wars, the UC ones do tend to have some reasoning behind them, even if they’re usually just the work of some tyrant. And in the end, the reasons can be traced back to the One Year War. There’s no One Year War for these guys, so they end up just being two groups of assholes playing at war. Conflicts after the Gryps War were more or less “We want a nation/real freedom/to be recognized,” with a big helping of imperialism and a dash of “Fuck the Feddies” tossed in. In AGE it’s just the latter.

        While it doesn’t seem too different from what we’ve seen before, the scale is wildly different. It’s like rival gangs in a high school anime, except here the punks are aristocrats with mobile suits.

      2. As far as I’m concerned the reasons for most of those wars in the Universal Century were pretty clear to me.

        1)Scirocco’s goals were similar to Gihran Zabi’s ideals that the strong should govern the weak. Being a powerful Newtype, he looked down on those who he considered weaker than him. In short, he wanted to create an empire. The Titans wanted the Earth federation to maintain control over the colonies. One of the main reasons the Federation wanted to maintain control of the colonies was that there were those in the Federation that believed that if the spacenoids were given freedom they would seek to conquer earth. This paranoia was mostly generated by Ghiren who believed that Newtypes were a “master race” and should govern all of humanity, an attitude that has made clear in his speech at Garma’s funeral and his speech right before the battle of A Baoa Qu. Another reason for the creation of the Titans as well as their agenda was the colony drop on North America in 0083 Stardust Memory.

        2)Haman was simply trying to do what Zeon did in the OYW, conquer Earth. If she conquers earth then freedom for spacenoids is certain. Also, the Titans, who made up a good proportion of the Federations forces, were completely wiped out in Zeta Gundam, and the AEUG suffered heavy casualties. By comparison, Axis/Neo Zeon suffered light damage in Zeta Gundam and there was little to oppose her. A combination of little opposition and apathy within the Federation was what allowed her to declare war against the earth. Also, Axis was a giant asteroid with raw materials, so while they probably would not have been able to sustain a drawn out conflict they did have the resources to start a war.

        3)In CCA, Char wanted to drop Axis onto Earth to force all of mankind into space so that all of humanity would become Newtypes. He believed that this would get rid of the Oldtype vs Newtype (spacenoids) conflict that has been responsible for much of the previous conflicts in the Universal Century and as a result humanity would be unified. Although there is evidence to suggest,in addition to the previous motive, Char used the war to settle his rivalry with Amuro.

        4)The Crossbone Vanguard’s reasons are similar to the whole “strong should govern the weak”
        ideal, but are more like a monarchy and less like a fascist regime. In short they believed they could govern the colonies much better than the apathetic Earth Federation. I admit it is a bit hard to follow given the compressed nature of the film, but what do you expect from a movie that was originally suppose to be a 52 episode series.

        5)Have not watched Victory Gundam, so I can’t really comment on it, but If I had to guess I’m sure its similar to the previous wars.

        In the end, the reasons for the wars were spacenoids wanting freedom and tyrants believing that they know what is best for humanity, all of which can be traced back to the OYW.

  4. The last preview promised the Titus, and instead we only get it as a cliffhanger. What a disappointment. It better be good next episode. Can’t go wrong with a giant punching robot.

    And the kids. Ugh. I guess they were trying to make a callback to the original MSG, but the kids back in that show were easily the worst part of the series.

  5. You know, I’m getting real tired of people defending Gundam Age and how it’s a “real” Gundam series (usually by drawing comparisons with previous installments). I’ll admit, I have not closely followed previous Gundam series but that does not automatically dismiss any critiques that I may have of Gundam Age.

    I HAVE, however, been following both Gundam Age and Unicorn. From a purely anime-fan perspective, I just don’t see much appeal for Gundam Age. With Unicorn, I am always anxious for the next episode. And it is NOT because one can argue character designs, action scenes, mecha, etc. to be superior in one over the other (however I don’t understand why these things can’t also be critiques… enjoyment of any media form is based on very personal, visceral feelings to which visual aesthetics can be important). The problem that I have with Gundam Age is primarily one of character development, voice-acting, and execution. The scripts are ridiculously simplistic (“Yes, Don is right” to be the most recent absurdity), character interaction has no emotional depth, and plot developments or character actions/motivations force the viewer sometimes completely suspend his/her disbelief.

    Now are either series completely terrible or completely perfect… of course not. However, I refuse to accept that Gundam Age is a good series, PURELY because it follows similar developments in previous Gundam series. From my own personal perspective on the enjoyment of anime, Gundam Age is (so far) underwhelming.

    1. Funny thing is, I can get behind your opinion because at least you aren’t looking at the whole Gundam franchise with rose-tinted glasses.

      The problem is that every negative critique I’ve read so far, whether it be character development or plot execution, has been quite apparent with plenty of early episodes of other Gundam series. This includes Tomino’s work. Despite what others say the UC series had plenty of flaws, but fans just ignore it.

      All the Gundam series I’ve seen have always been slow on build-up and excite and annoy me in the process. AGE isn’t any different, it has excited me(I like the UE) and annoyed me(Emily needs to go away) but it hasn’t reached that point where it can establish its own identity. I’m still waiting for that.

      1. Bacause there were other times. Times when you can go with the trial and error because it was never done before. Everybody knows that the earlier Gundam series had certain fails, but because it was something new that became a standard and make a turn for the better in anime in general. What Age is triyng to do, and miserably fails, is taking that early MSG eps in an era that everybody knows that it will fail, no matter the Gundam title.

      2. @fragb83

        Actually I’ve been following the comments section for Gundam Age fairly often and I find your posts to be very well-informed. You don’t seem to blindly support/hate Gundam Age as some other posters tend to do.

        I do understand that there are many Gundam fans on this site that feel very strongly about what a Gundam series should consist of. But since I have very little exposure to earlier Gundam installments, I’ve been trying to judge the series purely on the characters and story with no expectations of what Gundam is/should be.

        Like I said in my earlier post, I don’t find Age to be as terrible as others make it out to be… just a little underwhelming. However, I’ll still follow the series, just because I am an anime fan and it’s still too early to write off. You seem to know a lot about Gundam so I’ll trust you when you say that most series start off a little slow… Hopefully it’ll get better and better as the series progresses

    2. K so start of each ep “The curtain was rising on a new battle that would continue over 100 years”

      100 years. 7 eps in. Very hard to represent everything in 7 eps so sit back and enjoy the ride cause you’ll all feel silly when you think this series is good but can’t admit it cause you’ve already committed yourself to hating it. No you’re not allowed to change your mind. lol

    3. Right now, I’m pretty so-so on AGE. I’m still going to go through it and see how it completely goes before I fully judge it, but I do agree that EVERY Gundam series has had flaws, UC or otherwise, so trying to make out AGE like some kind of Gundam sacrilege series is a bit unfair (for now).

  6. The “Z” in Zalam’s Emblem is identical to ZAFT’s Logo. And by guess that it might be a 25 or so episodes including the introduction of the official scans of AGE-2 and AGE-3 in future episodes.

  7. I think its time to accept that this is a kids show first and foremost. Children are portrayed like their opinions matter and good adults (Vargas, Grodek) listen to them. On the other hand you have crazy adults like zalam and eulud whose lines barely make any sense and are obviously to represent idiotic adults. This makes kids feel better cause Flit is saying good things and that the adults should listen to Flit.

    The kids won’t die cause justice always protects the weak and innocent. Grodek’s justice steering will protect them all.

    1. I thought it looked rather comical, actually, especially if you compare to the earlier Gundam series. The Gundam, with its shield, bird-running (arms straight out to sides) instead of a more normal running motion or a fast advance with its shield in front? I was expecting to see it get blasted straight through the torso.

  8. Okay, so the dude from the underground society has a mobile suit and a truck (full of gas as well) yet he needs to worry about tomorrow’s meals…. WHAT???

    Gundam Age has a good background setting and everything, but its pacing, execution and characterization is just plain off. The illogical plot holes really makes me feel like sunrise is mocking our intellegents… It distracts us viewers from the real message… They are racing through things (which i believe is) to leave more episodes for the other two generations. At least the gundam mecha is somewhat acceptable to our eyes…(age-1 normal is not bad and so is age-2 and age-3).

    Did I mention how (from the looks of the preview) the engineers made a pseudo-gundam for wolf in less than a day based on a photograph yet it took flint and the professor 7 years to make age-1 with its blueprints already designed in the age device?

    At this rate, I believe Flit’s story/generation will end with them “defeating” UE, and Age-2 will start off with UEs striking back since they did spend some episodes prepping for their attack… Guess Grodek will reveal who UEs really are pretty soon…

  9. I’m going to have to disagree (shocker) about the AGE System not turning out countermeasures for everything. I look at this and see that the AGE System is becoming exactly the type of plot device that many of us “naysayers” were fearing from the beginning. Developing the DOTS Rifle, okay, maybe it got some data off of the Zafran that Flit offed. But creating the Titus? From what data? All the AGE System knows about it right now is “strong beam saber” and “DOTS rifle doesn’t work”, and it wouldn’t even have known about the beam saber until this episode. Second, without syncing the Gundam’s data to the rest of the system via the Haro… would the Builder even have any data on the Baqto at all?

    In either case, even if you assume that it had sufficient info to develop a countermeasure, how does “punch it really hard” turn into an adaptive end? Physical weapons don’t work. Beam weapons don’t work. And the solution is to add bulk, and “Gundam smash” the UE?

    As for Largan’s Genoace… even if it’s won’t hurt the Baqto, give the poor thing a DOTS rifle already. The beam spray gun is a total joke.

    And as a final random note, did anyone else look at the Zalam pilot suits and see a Gouf and two Zakus? Don’s MS is a Zaku II design derivative, while his flunkies are piloting Zaku Is. I’m not sure about the Euba though… maybe a take-off on the Gyan or Galbaldy?

    1. You know, that’s a good point. Is there a reason why the Age Builder isn’t cranking out DOTS rifles for the poor GenoAces? Currently they are useless against the UE suits. They need an upgrade.

  10. The running with jetpack scene was incredibly stupid. The physics of the attempt would mean either the Gundam broke whichever leg it extended out first or completely negated the used of the jetpack by having it leg become a sort of braking device.

    Its tactically useless since the UE visual sensors can obviously see him through the open terrain and a shoulder charge has greater strength if the velocity is higher (mass x velocity) which the running slows down.

    The children are being stupid again and seriously, do all the adults coddle them so? No adult ever thought people who shoot each other on open streets aren’t nice people and could potentially kill them with a missile (oops collateral damage)? Iwark didn’t even raise a peep on Liliya running out into a open battle field and the old mechanic didn’t even take any precautions. Great parenting there.

    The AGE system isn’t all that great when you realise its not improving the actual gundam itself, from the frame durability to the reactor power output to the sensors (hell the Gundam’s sensors beeped at the same time as the fake Zakus).

    The good thing about this anime is that the characters are still nowhere near as irritating as Guilty Crown’s since being children is an excellent excuse.

    Zaku Fan
  11. Flit is such an idiot for not eating that delicious looking steak!

    Also the Titus frame probably won’t be nearly as effective as the Boxer frame for one simple reason. THE TITUS FRAME CAN’T TURN INTO A GIANT SWORD FOR THE GUNDAM TO RIDE ON! :3′

    Yes I agree, the children of the show are being portrayed more as stupid than unfortunate, but then again this might be the result of “peace” in the AGE universe because the world isn’t exactly being “ravaged” by war. There’s not much civilian casualties and collateral damage, the only thing the civilians are suffering from is poverty.

    Suppa Tenko
    1. It can’t turn into a giant sword, but the Titus makes it look bulky. What if… what if we give it the wrecking ball of the Bemidoban? That would make it effective!

      Ware koso wa~
      Ware koso wa~
      Baran Doban!

      Also, power button in the Zaku’s neck. Heehee.

      I’m looking forward to seeing the Titus IN ACTION next week. Also if they actually get the warships they went and what happens from there.

    1. Animation is kind of an “Episode 1” comment. It’s something you say when you start watching the series, and never again. If you have a real problem with the animation, stop watching. Otherwise, since they’re not going to radically change character designs mid-show, put up with it. It’s not like there aren’t other things to critique.

  12. I like Gundam enough to not nitpick about the story and really just watch the Gundam action itself. What I would like to point out is the silly dialogue in AGE especially when Vargas is telling one of the kids to get up and the kid is just like “I CANNNTTTTT” and thats it.

  13. Gundam Age’s apologists continue to dwindle. Even Divine is wavering.

    I’m going to enjoy this show in a “so bad its good” capacity from now on. At the very least, it will be fun to mock.

  14. The titus looks like that robot from gundam g. i forgot the name. anyways, it is still too early to judge, but i hate it as of now. i want it to improve because i love gundam shows. After so many gundam shows you’d think that the writers would know that fans hate the “Hard trained military grunts who can’t aim” At least i like flit.

  15. I can’t deny it- my enthusiasm for this show has been dwindling with each episode, just as many have said on here already. While I haven’t watched every Gundam series out there, I have watched a couple- enough to know understand that even by Gundam series expectations, AGE is falling short.

    Yes, you can say that it’s a long show, yes you can say the audience is directed at a younger generation; that still doesn’t excuse the fact that AGE right now is lacking a basic intrigue factor. It’s droning on rather than getting more interesting. I’m not asking for a show that deals with moral ambiguities and political conspiracies/problems like Unicorn, but I am asking for at least a little depth, and so far these seven episodes haven’t been giving me that. Does that mean that AGE is a bad show? No- but it’s not great. It’s mediocre. Even by regular standards of watching anime, AGE lacks the energy to really push its characters to the extreme, something I look forward to in all shows, whether they are childish or not. You could essentially clash AGE and HXH- two shows directed (for the most part) at a rather ‘young’ audience- but personally, I feel like HXH comes out as the winner because it has that sort of energy to it that AGE is really lacking. The dialogue, plot and characters are just too over-simplified. I can’t speak for how or if this will change in the future, but the truth is that AGE is slowly becoming more of a chore to watch than a pleasure. 🙁

  16. Just watched episode 7 and I can’t help the feeling I get of watching Beyblade with Gundams. I tried, AGE failed for me, therefore drop time. I haven’t enjoyed a single episode and I don’t see the direction of this show changing.


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