「立ちはだかる幻影」 (Tachihadakaru Gen’ei)
“Haunted by Phantoms”
I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who was reminded of Dragon Ball Z’s “Room of Spirit and Time” when the newly introduced 24-year-old Rody Madorna (Morita Masakazu, most well-known for his role as Ichigo but also played Auel Neider in Gundam SEED Destiny) flexed his engineering fingers and revealed his super simulator — especially when Asem was down and out from his dismal X-Rounder aptitude test results and ready for some serious overnight “leveling up”. Flit’s words of encouragement were understandably of little consolation, seeing as he was a childhood genius turned childhood hero and now the big shot of the Big Ring, but I actually like how Asem hasn’t been made out to be a prodigy like his father and will have to find his own thing to excel in. The writers went to great lengths to get that point across with both Woolf and Rody advocating how Asem isn’t his father, and actually did a pretty good job of it too. Sure it was a bit of a cliché, but I found it worked really well in conjunction with the portrayal of Asem’s anxiousness and impatience. I could really get a good sense of what Asem was going through, since the need to prove oneself after a blunder is something that just about everyone feels at some point.
The highlight of the week — at least for me since I poked fun at it in episode 17 — was Asem’s reaction to Romary gazing out in space and dreaming of meeting Zeheart again. I found myself torn between laughing at how Romary is definitely no Yurin and facepalming over how she evidently enrolled in the military in hopes of meeting Zeheart again — not to be with Asem and support him like Emily did with Flit. Neither outlook was particularly good, as my image of Romary as the supportive heroine pretty much went down the drain. She’s not doing anything to help Asem, who’s already way in over his head battling with his inner Zeheart demons. I dare say that I actually don’t want to see Asem to end up with Romary now, unless he’s forced to take her as his second choice. If he’s quick about it, he may be able to snag Remy Ruth (Sakura Ayane) before Obright gets his hands on her. I’m only saying that half-jokingly too, as Remy’s a brunette who doesn’t look like she’d just go off on cloud 9 and inconsiderately trample on other people’s feelings. If not Remy, then Arisa would easily be my No. 1 pick for Asem’s future wife. I’m sure both Flit and Dique would approve of their kids hooking up. (Quick, someone change Kio’s hair color to teal!)
Anyway, I have to hand it to the producers for using the preview last time as a red herring, but I don’t feel cheated whatsoever since they’re going to give us the real deal next time. It’s kind of interesting how the tables have turned with the Vagans launching a full-out attack on the Big Ring — a complete opposite of Operation Ambat in Flit’s arc — so that should prove to be quite exciting next time. I’m also looking forward to seeing the fruits of labor from Asem’s training. I wish I could tell him that not every Gundam pilot has to be an Amuro Ray. We could use more Kou Uraki’s and Shiro Amado’s. Newtypes, Coordinators, Innovators, X-Rounders… “Real” men don’t need to rely on telepathic handicaps!
* Gundam AGE gets a nod from me for featuring Minovsky particle dummies from the Universal Century timeline. I haven’t see these bad boys in ages.
* I was really hoping the official spelling was going to be “Asem” and not “Asemu” since they were pretty good about not making “Flit” “Frito”, but when most of the other English on the screen is spelled properly, it doesn’t seem like “Asemu” was left up to the animators. Out of spite, I’m still going by “Asem” for this post.
* Full-length images: 06, 09, 18, 21.