With the end of AGE-2 and the beginning of AGE-3, I thought I’d spend a short post going over a few things on Gundam AGE I’ve noted through its run, and on some bits I’ve pulled from various /m/ threads on AGE.
Similar to my last post after the end of AGE-1, the set up for AGE-3 seems to have drawn less ire of the channels for its presentation. In fact, many regard this to be looking like the best arc of the show so far. I tend to agree, mainly because my perception of the second arc was that it did not do a lot to enhance the story besides introduce us to the building blocks for the third and final arc. Asem was rather generic and didn’t do anything really extraordinary until the end, and Romary was Romary. Flit ended up being the Badass Commander in the end, helping purge the EF of Vegan supporters. After Kio’s birth, Asem heads off to his final mission to investigate a derelict spaceship, only to go missing. All that was recovered was the AGE device, which was given to Kio. Thus, AGE-3 opens up with Kio looking to the sky wondering what it would have been like to know his father.
What separates AGE-2 and AGE-3 so much in my mind is the way the characters are presented. In the start of AGE-2, you see Asem and Unoa with Flit and Emily around the table when he is given the AGE device. There isn’t much fanfare, and early on you could see the wear in Flit’s eyes for the war. In AGE-1 he was a kid who always stayed pretty upbeat about everything until Yurin’s death, and that no doubt continued to play into his later life. But if you take some of the OP/ED images from AGE-2, early on he seemed like he was a good father to the two. But by the airing, his gruff exterior set the pace for the rest of the arc where he always seemed distant from Asem and on many occasions refused to acknowledge their relationship as father and son. His hatred for the Vegan never wavered, and it was painfully obvious in the final episode that he won’t back down until they are completely wiped out.
However, in AGE-3, we’re shown Grandpa Flit, who doesn’t seem to have dulled in his old age, but looks very mellowed out and much more in-tune with how he was as a kid in the first arc. It has been said that some fathers make better grandfathers than fathers, as if they are trying to atone for previous mistakes, or simply give their grandchildren experience they did not have before. We’re shown several scenes from Kio’s childhood and inferred from his speech with his friends that in the absence of his father, Flit has taken on the role of being close to Kio throughout his life. But it’s pretty obvious that Flit has been grooming Kio to assume the role of the Gundam AGE-3, and be the “savior” that he himself set out to be all those years prior. Being the first episode, we don’t know anything about how Romary takes this, or how it will play into the remainder of the arc. But I honestly kinda like Grandpa Flit. He seems much more down-to-earth (literally) than he was in AGE-2 when he was wound up by the string. But I could be wrong, he could go shit crazy once more before the end.
As I mentioned before, there have been a number of /m/ threads I’ve skimmed and commented in, and I thought I’d go over some of the “speculah” contained. Some spoils ahead.
- Asem’s Whereabouts: It’s been suggested by many that due to the pirate suit and logo in the OP that Asem may have either been kidnapped by space pirates, or become one. While I am not sure what purpose this would serve, unless they had the means to achieve a goal he was aligned with, this is one of the more popular theories currently out there for Asem’s return, which is predicted to happen at some point in AGE-3.
- Parallels to Gundam SEED Destiny: Besides the fact that AGE-3 resembles Impulse in many ways, even some of the plot details are familiar. Asem’s disappearance (or just not being there) ties to Kira Yamato in many ways, and would be further reinforced by his return as part of a neutral or hostile force later on. But really, that’s about where the line ends. Other folks will tell you that it’s like ZZ, Turn-A, and so on, but it’s probably better if you divorce yourself from inter-series comparisons. For everyone’s sake.
- Flit Asuno: Vegan: I myself mentioned this a couple times, but what if Flit was actually a Vegan? Not directly perhaps, but a descendent of the original Mars colonists? People will be quick to point out that his parents developed mobile suits and lived on an EF colony, but the colonization of Mars occurred hundreds of years before “The Day Angel Fell”. In that time, it’s not hard to believe that some colonists might’ve gotten out and hid on Earth or on other colonies. Being that AGE is a show about generations, the ultimate irony would be, in the end, that Flit turns out to be a descendent of an original Mars colonist, and their exposure to the radiation is what gave them the X-Rounder power. That hasn’t been fully explained either. So as absurd as it sounds, it’s plausible until the Sunrise bird sings.
- Emily versus Romary: Emily got a lot of hate after the end of AGE-1 for marrying Flit, knowing that Yurin was killed, and in most fans eyes, they were the true couple. Yurinfags continued to play this up through the beginning of AGE-2 because they felt Flit would have been a less bitter man had she survived and they married and had kids. While possibly true, the war would have continued, and with Desil still alive at the time, she could have still been killed. So naturally, a few people brought up Romary’s role as Asem’s wife and thought Arisa should have been there instead. This didn’t carry the same weight as before though and went largely unnoticed. Besides, if Dique had any say, that shit wouldn’t fly.
- Kio the Chosen One: This one cropped up earlier in the week (note: I started this post last weekend 4/29) and I thought it was funny. Along the lines of /m/’s “Happy Family” facade involving Yurin had she not died, and Flit’s cold shoulder attitude to Asem throughout much of AGE-2, many people felt that his reaching out to Kio and training him on the MS simulator was his way of trying once more for the “Savior” he wanted in Asem but did not get. In a way, I do feel like Flit is trying pretty hard to exterminate the Vegan more than his character let on in AGE-1, I mean, he was affected a lot by their actions, but he always seemed like he had reconciled with his mother’s death by the start of the series, and that even though he would still harbor ill-will towards the Vegan, Grodek shielded him from really having to bear the full weight of that revenge. He seemed to magnify it on his own over the years, but in his old years, he doesn’t seem that wound up, and displays a softer side to Kio, while remaining firm on the belief Kio should be the one to protect everyone. Perhaps he is slowly returning to his character from AGE-1.
One of the things I probably enjoy the most about Gundam AGE is telling a story across multiple generations. It does something I think other series don’t, but suffers from compression. I would have rather they did full 26-episode seasons for each AGE, but I guess that would be a lot for them to handle.