image
image
image
imageimage
image

image

 

 

Episode 16: The Gundam in the Stable

 

Review by Chris Guanche

February 2, 2012

 

Summary

 

In AG 140, Zeheart Galette and Medel wake up from cold sleep on the Vagan space fortress Downes. They take a dip in a hot spring, and Medel tells Zeheart that Project Eden will now shift to the second phase. At the EFF command center Big Ring, a staff officer named Frederick Algreus prepares coffee for himself and the base commander, Flit. Algreus reports that testing of the new mobile suit Adele is completed, and they've already received requests for combat deployment. Flit says that's no surprise since the Adele is based on the AGE-1 Normal. Algreus notices that Flit is working on an operation plan, and Flit vows that he's going to wipe out every Vagan from the universe. He says the EFF has made multiple peace offers, but the Vagans have rejected them all. He says they don't even think like humans and that peace would be unthinkable with the enemies of humanity. Algreus says that Flit's judgment is very flexible except for that one point, and Flit asks Algreus if he's saying that his thinking is wrong. Flit notes that Algreus graduated at the top of his class from Srysrains and tells him it's his job to understand his commander. Algreus asks Flit if he's going to see his family on his next leave, and Flit answers that he intends to. Later, he departs on a shuttle to Colony Tordia. At the Suzie Muscovy School, three punks bully Shawee Belton and Macil Boyd, members of the Mobile Suit Club. Haro then bounces by, and 17-year-old Asemu Asuno steps in. One of the punks attacks Asemu, so Asemu grabs him and flips him over his shoulder. He then dodges the attacks of the other two punks, causing them to trip and fall onto the first punk. Inside the club room, Asemu begins working on their junior mobile suit for the competition, but its arms malfunction and drop an oil drum. Several girls walk in when they hear the noise, and Romary Stone is impressed by the mobile suit. She says that the mobile suit looks fun, but her two friends take her away because they say mobile suits smell bad. Outside the school, Flit calls Asemu on his cell phone, and Asemu is glad that his father remembered his birthday. Later, a small birthday party is held by Flit, Emily, Vargas and Asemu's little sister Unoa. Asemu comments that it's rare to see Flit at home, and Vargas says that as a EFF commander, Flit can't come home to play with his family at will. Flit pulls out the AGE device and gives it to Asemu, saying that it's the legacy of the Asuno family. Asemu asks what it is, and Flit tells him that when the time it comes, it'll allow him to protect himself and the people he cares about. Flit tells Asemu that if anything happens, it's his duty to protect everyone. Unoa tells Flit that he should come watch Asemu in the mobile suit competition next week, but Flit says he only has one day of leave. He tells Asemu that he's going to send a recommendation for him to join the Srysrains Military Academy. Later, Asemu lays in bed and thinks about how Flit wants him to be a soldier. The next day, Zeheart joins Asemu's class as a transfer student. After class, a fat punk named Rod Abus threatens Zeheart for walking in the middle of the hallway. Rod tries to attack Zeheart, but Zeheart moves quickly and causes him to fall on his lackeys.

 

After school, Asemu continues to work on the mobile suit with Macil and Shawee when Zeheart walks by. Shawee asks Zeheart if he wants to join and boasts that they won the Tordia Tournament last year, but Zeheart says he isn't interested and walks off. Zeheart then makes a call on his phone and says he's found an infiltration route, so they should start the operation immediately. The mobile suit's arms continue to malfunction, so Asemu wants to rebuild the entire joint drive program. Asemu is determined to win, and Shawee says that Asemu is trying to impress his father. The colony's emergency evacuation alarm then goes off, and they run outside and see two Vagan Dorado suits fly by to the residential area. The Dorados start destroying houses and come under attack from a Genoace II and two Shaldoll Customs. Asemu tries to call Emily and is unable to reach her, so he hops on his motorcycle to drive home. Along the way he encounters Romary, who fell and hurt her leg. Asemu tells her to come with him because it's dangerous. The Shaldoll Customs attack the Dorados, but they're both taken down by one of them. When Asemu gets home, Vargas tells him to come to the stable. Inside, two men named Josse Maris and Hans Rouge are removing stacks of hay, revealing the AGE-1 Normal. Asemu is surprised to see the Gundam there, and Vargas explains that Flit hid it there to protect the colony. Asemu asks if Vargas wants him to fight in the Gundam, and Vargas answers that that's for Asemu to decide. Asemu wonders if Flit knew this would happens, and he recalls hearing as a boy that it's his duty to protect everyone. Asemu decides to fight, and Vargas tells him that the Gundam has been well maintained and has higher performance now than when Flit used it. Asemu hops into the cockpit as Josse and Hans pull a crank to open the stable's roof. Asemu activates the Gundam with the AGE device and takes off, using several jumps to reach the battle zone. The Dorados take down the Genoace II, and Zeheart makes a call reporting that the Gundam has arrived. Asemu rushes toward the Dorados and trips. He then pulls out both beam sabers and gets knocked down by a Dorado. He then hits it with his head and quickly gets up. Vargas tells him to stay calm, and Zeheart wonders if the pilot is a rookie. A Dorado slams into the AGE-1 Normal, and Asemu uses his thrusters to prevent a fall. The thrusters cause a lot of dirt to stir up, and Asemu uses the confusion to stab a Dorado in the head. The downed Genoace II grabs the other Dorado by the leg, and Asemu uses the severed arm of the other Dorado and its still active beam saber to slice into the second Dorado. Flit watches a news report about the Vagan attack and thinks to himself that he wanted to spare Asemu the pain of being unable to protect those he loves.

 

Commentary

 

Gundam AGE's second generation begins with a jump 25 years into the future. It can certainly be a bit jarring at first. It's hard to think of the AGE-1 Normal as being a state of the art suit in one episode and an antique in the next, or Flit going from a kid to an adult. In a way, this almost feels like watching the first episode of a new series, especially since Flit, Emily and Vargas are the only returning characters to appear in this episode. A lot has certainly changed here: Flit is married to Emily, and they have two kids. He's a high-ranking EFF commander, and though he seems mostly normal, he's quite bitter about the Vagans. That's not at all surprising, given how much pain they've caused him throughout his life. We're introduced to Zeheart Galette, a young Vagan infiltrating Asemu's school. He has the same last name as Desil, so I wonder what their connection is. This episode also introduces Asemu's friends, along with a girl named Romary, who based on her appearance will presumably be Asemu's love interest and the future mother of Kio Asuno. It's nice to see the AGE-1 Normal still have some use before the introduction of the next Gundam. This second generation has gotten off to a quick start, but there are plenty of unanswered questions, including what Project Eden is and what its goals are. So far, I think AGE has managed to pull off pretty well the first transition in its experimental narrative.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3.5 out of 5 stars
Spacer

 

Gundam AGE Episode 16 Gundam AGE Episode 16
image
image

image

image

image

imageimage

image
image
image
imageimage