「卒業式の戦闘」 (Sotsugyoushiki no Sentou)
“Graduation Ceremony Battle”
I thought it was kind of weird how the preview showed Zeheart graduating right after
transferring to infiltrating Asem’s school. Little did I know, the writers had a one and a half year time skip planned within the first episodes of this second arc — in a series that already has two major ones planned. The bigger unknown is exactly how well this one will pan out, because while I could appreciate what the writers were going for by establishing that Asem, Zeheart, and Romary were good friends during high school — as well as some unexpected friendships with Abus and the other school bullies — the brevity of it all didn’t leave much of a lasting impression.
At the moment, most of what we know about their friendship comes from the ending sequence and a handful of photographs, so I’m quite indifferent to even Romary’s look of disbelief when she learned that Zeheart is a Vagan and Asem’s the pilot of the Gundam. As such, I initially questioned what the time skip adds to the story, because what we saw here with the Federation suspecting Zeheart of being a Vagan spy and Asem rushing to his defense could’ve easily taken place only weeks after the events of the previous episode, and still had all the makings of “I don’t want to fight you but I have to” scenario that they’re clearly going for. What’s more, I actually find it kind of ridiculous that Zeheart hung around the school for 1.5 years as part of a mission — even if he did grow fond of a “normal” life — and not use that built-up trust to infiltrate the Federation itself. The time frame is a little absurd when I think about it (that and the fact that he never found the Gundam all this time) but there’s obviously an upside to this approach — the benefits of which remain to be seen.
It didn’t actually occur to me while I was watched this episode, but having an untold time frame is like a storyteller’s way of sowing seeds for the future. In effect, the writers have given themselves a means to tie upcoming developments to the past — a past we know happened but not much about — through the use of flashbacks that they may not even have planned yet. It’s just a window of time for them to shape as needed, which can go a long way in emphasizing the emotional turmoil that Asem, Zeheart, and Romary will undoubtedly go through later on. The preview already hints at Romary enlisting in the military with Asem, likely in hopes of meeting Zeheart again so that she can try to stop her two potential love interests from killing each other, so that’s already one avenue that’s moving forward. We’re also slated to see more of Woolf and his G-Bouncer than we did here, as Asem is likely going to become a pilot on board the refitted Diva now captained by Millais. Dique’s daughter Arisa Gunhale (voiced by Koshimizu Ami) makes her debut, and Gundam AGE-1 finally gets upgraded to Gundam AGE-2, so there may even be another time skip next time.
Suffice to say, I like where things are headed even though I’m not really “feeling” it at the moment. The staff did make a pretty good attempt at playing up these peaceful times though, as the soundtrack was really something this episode. I don’t talk about music too often, nor have I taken notice to Gundam AGE’s music in the past seventeen episodes, but there was basically a track for every scene to help bring out the emotions in them. Great compositions too.
Note: I’ve been busy with a new job, so blogging isn’t very high on my priority list at the moment. I contemplated just dropping 3-5 shows, but I’m going to try and make time for all the ones I’m currently covering. I won’t get to Ano Natsu de Matteru until tomorrow though.