「悲しみの閃光」 (Kanashimi no Senkou)
“Flash of Sorrow”
For what is easily the best episode of Gundam AGE to date — even trouncing the one from the week before — it saddens me that the only emotionally positive thing I can say is, “I was prepared for the worst.” Yurin’s death was all but guaranteed with all the flags that were raised in recent episodes and more or less cemented by the fact that the excruciating pain of loss in war is a tried and true scenario in the Gundam franchise. That painful feeling is almost always compounded by the lack of alternatives, as our Gundam hero is powerless to do anything except watch his love interest die before his very eyes. In some series, she’s killed by someone else; in others, she sacrifices herself to protect our hero like Yurin did here. From a screenplay standpoint, the instant moment of understanding just before Yurin’s killed was really well done, with their X-Rounder telepathic ability mirroring the traditional Newtype one, so my only regret is that I was too prepared and didn’t allow myself to get caught up in all the emotions.
As is often the case, Flit’s tearful explosion of anger provided little consolation, even as he took Desil apart limb by limb; however, Gundam AGE did surprise me with Flit showing an enormous amount of restraint by not finishing Desil off. I get the feeling that this decision will haunt him in the future, but as with all righteous protagonists, it would probably reflect more poorly on Flit’s character if he lost himself completely. The question is, will he be able to show the same amount of restraint when he has an opportunity to put a bullet through UE’s supposed leader Gerra Zoi? Odds are he will be able to, at least until he’s forced to kill Gerra in his humongous mobile suit Defurse, as losing himself in a fit of rage to the point of no return doesn’t really send a good message to younger viewers. If this series is truly intended to be reboot of the franchise, then I would imagine that they have to keep the morals of the story intact. I’d like to see Flit give the UE what they deserve just as much as the next person, but his lines about how the UE are unforgivable are likely just for show. If this suspicion proves to be true, it’s hardly a disappointing turn of events though. Gundam AGE isn’t exactly trying to take the franchise in a new direction after all and instead, merely trying to refresh it for younger generations (at least from what I’ve seen).
In other developments, I had to question Grodek’s idea to raid Ambat and take it down from within — and lead the boarding party no less. I am however willing to overlook how crazy that plan is since the writers are clearly setting things up for a face-to-face meeting between the Diva crew and Gerra Zoi. If Flit’s arc is expected to wrap up next time with Asem’s picking up from episode sixteen onward, then there really needs to be some dialogue between the opposing sides to further the overall story before the time-lapse. Mankind is still in the dark about who the UE are and exactly what they’re after, so it’d be somewhat disappointing if we went into the next arc with the same questions.
R.I.P. Yurin. You and your lovely Hayami Saori voice will be missed.