Similar to some of my previous posts on Gundam AGE comes another analysis post based on the current episode of AGE. By now, Kio has been to Second Moon and seen what Ezcelants’ plan really is, to create a “superior human race” on Earth. He witnessed Lu’s death to the Mars Rays, and reunited with his father, Asemu. The series turn comes as all three protagonists come together and possess different sides to the overall story, what is war to them, and how do they stop it?
A lot of theory and conjecture has gone around as to what everyone is thinking and how this story will conclude. Especially after the latest episode, because unfortunately, it looks like we’re taking the Jesus Yamato route with the AGE-FX and C-Funnels. Don’t get me wrong, I love funnels, just as I loved Strike Freedom, but SEED Destiny took this route with almost similar bullshit. Durandel’s “Destiny” plan was similar to Eden, only the Destiny plan worked to give everyone a job, a purpose, and essentially form Space Communism. The Eden plan mimics more of a Hitler-style idea where Ezcelant is airing to build a superior race of humans with the thought that war, poverty, and disease will be erased because they are superior without weakness. Unfortunately, both Hitler, and Communism really, failed. Humanity will always experience strife, and I think all three protags know this, only their response varies. Flit continues to bear a long-standing grudge with the Vagan and wants them completely exterminated, representing the extreme, Asemu wants to maintain a stalemate by keeping the balance of power between the two, and Kio wants to minimize the amount of bloodshed he causes while he finds a way to bring a mutual understanding between the two sides.
Flit really showed his true colors though in this episode, and it has started to make me reverse some of my opinions about him from earlier posts. Awhile back I defended his position of marrying Emily out of obligation, that he’d rather have Yurin instead, and that had she lived, all of this wouldn’t have happened. It’s hard to say what might’ve happened if she lived, but she continues to be the one piece to the puzzle that eludes me about Flit. I always assumed she knew who she was, that she was a Vagan all along, and that meeting her in the first place would have shown him that the Vagan were people too. But I think at this point, he has convinced himself, slowly over the span of fifty years, that they have taken everything he ever knew and loved away from him, and that have made him so bitter to the point that he wants them all dead, and not even his son or grandson can change this fact. They don’t show Emily or Romary much in the show, but you can tell that the burden the heroes have placed on them is more than we’re treated to, especially with Asemu having remained missing for most of Kio’s life. Still, compared to Flit, Asemu and Kio don’t share in his views of the world, and why would they? They did not lose their parents, their friends, or everything important to them. They’re fighting to restore peace for everyone.
Some folks joke about how Japan sometimes sends subtle messages in its anime, especially in reference to World War II. While I don’t think that is their intention, it’s not completely without merit. Gundam AGE has done what no other Gundam show has, and that is tell its story of space war through the eyes of three generations. In many ways, this does shadow some elements of World War II and the atomic bomb droppings. I imagine many older Japanese folks who lived in that time, or lost loved ones in the blasts, still resent us for doing so. Subsequent generations grew up on the stories and history lessons of the time, but not having personally experienced the trauma, your opinion of it changes drastically. Today’s generation likely has no concept of war, reading only what happens in the world. Japan generally doesn’t involve themselves in military affairs and keeps to themselves, so it makes sense that the true war stories were penned by writers from past generations. Even if you put this frame of reference into America, the result is roughly the same. Veterans of past foreign wars often complain about kids not respecting their servicemen and women, and traditions like Memorial Day or Veterans Day, and that people fought and died for their freedom, but if you’ve never fought a war, or lost everything, what would you know about war? Not even I pretend to know anything about war, and I hope that I never have to.
Gundam has always been a story about war, in space, on lands, on space colonies, and so on. It’s often grim, and other times it is campy. But Gundam is also a kids show, a show to sell toys. One shouldn’t look too far into it, but at the same time, it offers enough depth that one can, something that fascinates me. I do have strange tastes after all.