「アセムの旅立ち」 (Asemu no Tabidachi)
Koshimizu Ami in Gundam is one thing, but I wasn’t expecting a Diva bridge crew with Kawasumi Ayako and Noto Mamiko in addition to Hanazawa Kana. What’s more, there are two more pilots voiced by Yusa Kouji and Sakaguchi Daisuke, the latter of whom is no stranger to Gundam having starred as Uso Ewin in Victory Gundam. What more could a Gundam fan ask for in terms of cast? Ami voices Dique’s daughter Arisa Gunhale, whereas Kouji and Daisuke voice the other two rookies of Woolf’s MS team, Obright Lorain and Max Hartway respectively (from the far left). On the bridge, Mamiko is the communications officer Wilna Janisty while Ayako is the systems operator Elisha Murai. Other notables are helmsman Alan Lightney (Suganuma Hisayoshi), engines officer Odio Bran (Sugimura Kenji), weapons officer El Tonies (Ishii Kazutaka, also voiced Shawee), and of course captain Millais Alloy (Shimamura Yuu). Interestingly enough, Dique is still voiced by Oohata Shintarou, except in a much deeper and grizzled voice.
So with all the new character names out of the way, what this episode was truly about was showcasing Gundam AGE-2, which happens to be a whole new mobile suit created by the AGE Builder. It’s very very blue, somewhat reminiscent of Zeta II, but uses its Hyper DODS Rifle as the nose of its G-Strider mobile armor form, similar to how Wing used both its shield and Buster Rifle. AGE-2’s uniqueness seems to come from the its X-Wing design, but it’s an otherwise fairly “standard” Gundam from a weapons standpoint. That is, until it gets F-91 VSBR-like upgrades anyway. For now, Asem’s new Gundam seems to be more than enough to take on whatever Zeheart and his Earth Subjugation Force “Downes” has at its disposal, even in spite of his recklessness and disobedience of orders, but it’s probably only a matter of time before the arms race begins and the AGE Builder has to start cranking out countermeasures.
In terms of the overall story, there wasn’t much to take away from this episode, except maybe that it’s the first time we’ve seen and heard anything from the Vagan supreme commander, Fezal Ezelcant (Ootomo Ryuuzaburou). It doesn’t actually look like much time has passed between the last episode and this one, as Asem went from graduating high school to enrolling in the military. Regardless, I do find it a bit odd to see since him as a key crew member of the Diva when he doesn’t seem to have any real form of military training, and he’s already given a brand new Gundam to boot. I presume taking part in these missions is part of the training, but even then, I’d have to agree with what everyone else is saying about the obvious favoritism Asem’s getting. I guess when your father’s the boss of the “Big Ring”, getting the most powerful prototype in the entire Federation is a breeze. Still, I kind of wish they threw in some sort of X-Rounder explanation to at least make his gift-wrapped Gundam somewhat easier to accept.
In any case, I like the Asem x Arisa pairing I’m seeing now, despite the unlikelihood that it’ll go anywhere, plus the prospect of seeing Desil again after he’s aged a good 25 years like Flit. Will Asem be able to avenge Yurin after Flit chose to spare him? I can see him being forced to kill Desil.