「激戦の日」 (Gekisen no Hi)
“Day of the Fierce Battle”
I’ll be quick to admit that I have a soft spot for prideful stubbornness that someone will take to their grave, but even then, Gundam AGE deserves some praise for getting an emotional response out of me with the deaths of some side characters. I haven’t seen Boyage and his two henchmen as anything more than a throwaway trio and some poor comic relief, but now that they’re gone, it’s safe to say they left their mark on the story — more so than I would’ve ever anticipated anyway. Their kamikaze sacrifice — though in vain of actually dealing damage to the UE warship — served its purpose of instilling a relentless and suicidal mindset on the Euba and Zalam troops that were overtaken by fear, hence why I couldn’t help but get a little emotionally caught up in their deaths. I was more taken back by what their deaths meant, more so than feeling of sadness to see them go, though I will concede that it’s partially because I’ve gotten used to seeing them around in the past five episodes. I guess you never quite realize the impact someone’s had on a story until they’re gone, even in the case of characters you don’t care too much about.
Battle-wise, I was expecting a slaughter so to speak, seeing as the Euba and Zalam mobile suits still couldn’t inflict any real damage to the UE. For whatever reason, Largan’s Genoace wasn’t even equipped with a DODS Rifle, leaving it up to Woolf’s G-Exes and Flit’s Gundam to actually take out enemy units. What was surprising of course is that it wasn’t a slaughter, with Euba and Zalam’s piloting experience coming into play to help draw the UE’s fire and pincer the enemy mobile suits so that Woolf and Flit could easily pick them off. The coordinated effort actually made the battle fairly believable, as it suggested the UE’s been relying on their impenetrable armor for the most part. Had all of Zalam and Euba’s forces been equipped with DODS Rifles, Grodek’s plan may have even succeeded, so the only plot hole is the failure to address when that wasn’t done, even if it’s with a convenient explanation such as a lack of materials and/or time. On the plus side, there really wasn’t anything terribly jarring aside from that minor oversight, which is saying a lot considering Grodek’s plan to attack the UE with a handful of ill-equipped ships and mobile suits was questionable at best. The writers were able to make me buy into the idea that it might actually work despite my skepticism, allowing me to everything else at face value.
The highlight of course was the completion of the Spallow parts, which transformed the Gundam into a high-speed ninja-like variant equipped with a Shiguru Blade that it holds with a reverse grip. It turned the tides against Desil’s remote-piloted Zedas much like it’s been foreshadowed to, and raised questions as to how much longer the back and forth technological advancements would continue for Flit’s portion of the series, seeing as Spallow is the only other major upgrade seen in the opening sequence. Before we see any sort of a time-skip, we need to first address who Flit’s future wife is though. The preview shows his reunion with Yurin, who is probably the better candidate in terms of harnessing the Newtype-like abilities that have started to awaken in Flit as well, but in all likelihood, we won’t find out until the “Ambat Capture Operation” Grodek’s proposed to the newly-formed Euba-Zalam Alliance is completed.