「決死の共同戦線」 (Kesshi no Kyoudou Sensen)
“A United Front Prepared for Death”
I said back in episode one that Gundam AGE feels like it’s brought back the franchise’s “boyish charm” and this week’s episode feels like it’s done that to a certain degree. I wasn’t oblivious to the predictability of the plot, as I’m sure just about everyone anticipated would result in Euba and Zalam working together, but there were other aspects to offset it to the point that it became a mere observation and not a detriment to the story. It all started with the expanded recap of the events leading up to the cliffhanger last time, which saw Flit’s Gundam retrofitted with the Titus parts. It was a little cheesy and melodramatic, but was still cool to watch with the momentous background music during the transformation scene. I mentioned in my IDOLM@STER post this week that I have a soft spot for seeing people in the face of insurmountable odds and finding a way to overcome them, and the sight of Gundam Titus turning the tides on the battlefield touched upon that really well.
One moment that particularly stuck out in my mind was Vargas’ line about how this is the answer the AGE System gave them. The older cynical side of me naturally thought that it was such an obvious remark to make, but the child in me who can still enjoy a flair for dramatics just ate it up. Heck, I even got some goosebumps from watching Flit unleash a Beam Lariat to take out the first upgraded UE simply because the music brought out all the scenes so well, so I chose not to focus on the predictability and convenient developments that saw Don Boyage and Ract Elfamel (Suwabe Junichi) come around, and tried to look at AGE’s take on something I’ve seen before and judge it based on that. In doing so, even Woolf’s explicative dialogue in his new G-Exes didn’t bother me that much, as it served its purpose of emphasizing his timely arrival and showing that something other than the Gundam can take down the UE.
Compared to other Gundam series, it’s becoming more and more evident that AGE plays up the “super robot” aspect a lot more to appeal to younger audiences. Whether or not someone chooses to knock it for that reason will vary depending on the person though. Personally, I don’t mind if there’s an element of convenience to the plot provided that it’s 1.) believable enough and 2.) portrayed well like it was here. It’s far from my ideal formula for a Gundam series, but it’s not something I’m opposed to giving the benefit of the doubt. I’m quite interested in the overarching plot itself, especially now with mention of Dark Merchant named Yark Dole, who possesses blueprints of UE mobile suits and gets them produced at the same Madorna Workshop that Woolf received his G-Exes from. I assume that Yark is part of EDEN like Desil and Gira Zoi (Chou), but what makes this twist intriguing is how it suggest the UE mobile suits are produced in the present and don’t come from the future like the rumor floating about. Of course, this doesn’t rule out the possibility that EDEN is guided by some information from the future to revive the technology that was presumably discarded as per the Silver Chalice Treaty, so the UE’s purpose could still be preparing mankind for a future threat.