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Episode 20: The Red Mobile Suit

 

Review by Chris Guanche

February 28, 2012

 

Summary

 

Zeheart flies the Zedas R through an asteroid field to test a performance upgrade. However, the suit is unable to keep up with his X-Rounder reflexes and suffers damage as a result. At Downes, Daz says he knew Zeheart would be disappointed, and Zeheart answers he expected it because no suit has ever moved the way he wanted it to. Daz asks Zeheart to be patient until the final adjustments are completed on the new Zeydra, which he says can take on the new Gundam. Later, Zeheart walks through a corridor and recalls Daz's report that the X-Rounders in cold sleep have awakened. Zeheart enters the room of his older brother Desil, who comments that infiltration missions are hard. He says that valuable X-Rounders like him are allowed to roam free, and he was preserved because Ezelcant values his talents. A lackey then comes in and reports to Zeheart that all units are ready for the operation, and Zeheart tells Desil that he's been promoted to commander of the Earth Occupation Forces. After he leaves, Desil feels anger that his younger brother now holds a higher rank. Zeheart's battleship launches from Downes, and Zeheart tells Daz that their target is the AGE System in the Gundam's chest, which gathers combat data and allows the suit to evolve. They have to capture or destroy the system to stop the Gundam's evolution. Daz then shows Zeheart a map of space and the most common route that the Diva would take to Big Ring, but Zeheart asks about an area called the XD37 shoal zone. Elsewhere, the Diva enters the shoal zone in an attempt to avoid the Vagans. One of the bridge crew asks Romary if she's worried about Asemu, but she says it isn't like that. Woolf sits down with his pilots in the mess hall and tells them they can't just eat, but have to turn food into power during battle, so he tears into his bread. Asemu and Arisa wonder how that's any different from normal eating, but Obright tells them they should just do it. Daz reports to Zeheart that the Zeydra is finally ready for combat and gives him a mask. He explains that since the Zeydra is built exclusively for use by X-Rounders, the mask will help Zeheart control his abilities and communicate with the suit. He adds that without the mask, the use of Zeheart's full power would destroy the suit, and a lackey suggests wearing it during an entire battle to keep its effectiveness up. Desil watches from nearby while eating an apple and wonders if they'll get to see the great commander's power. Asemu stands by a window and thinks about Zeheart, and Arisa asks him why he looks so gloomy. He asks her if she ever thinks about the enemy pilots, and she answers that she tries not to. She then slaps him on the butt and tells him to man up, saying it's a tradition in her family. The ship's sensors then detect approaching Vagan suits, so Millais orders battle stations. Woolf tells his pilots to keep cool since its their first time fighting in a shoal zone, and he tells Asemu not to worry about what happened last time. The Zeydra then approaches at three times normal speed.

 

Woolf tells everyone to remember that the Zeydra isn't their only enemy, and he destroys a Baqto. Arisa and Max try to attack several Dorados, but their shots miss. Three Dorados attack the G-Bouncer, and Asemu shoots a Dorado through a small asteroid. The Zeydra approaches at high speed, and Zeheart realizes it can keep up with his reflexes. Zeheart fires his rifle at Asemu and dodges Asemu's hyper DODS rifle. He pulls back when Woolf arrives to help Asemu. Arisa crashes into an asteroid and is cornered by a Baqto, but Max's Adele shoots it down. Woolf moves in to attack Zeheart, but three Dorados attack him as a distraction. Asemu pulls out both beam sabers to fight at close range against the beam saber end of Zeheart's rifle. He realizes that his moves are being predicted and calls out Zeheart's name. He asks Zeheart why he's doing this, and Zeheart answers that if Asemu doesn't want to fight, he should leave the battlefield. Zeheart says he's out to destroy the Gundam, and Asemu asks if he's the only one who thinks of them as friends. Zeheart speeds away, so Asemu transforms to G-Strider and gives chase, ignoring Woolf's orders. The two attack each other with beam sabers, but Zeheart knocks both of them out of Asemu's hands. They then fire their rifles, but the shots hit each other and cancel themselves out. Zeheart charges the Zeydra's leg and kicks Asemu, knocking him into a large asteroid. Zeheart puts his saber up to the AGE-2 Normal's neck and tells Asemu it's the end. He stabs the asteroid next to the AGE-2 Normal's torso and says this is the power of an X-Rounder. He says he never wants to see Asemu again and retreats. Back on the battleship, Desil comments about the Gundam getting away and calls Zeheart a bad liar. He says Zeheart held back to save his friend and wonders what Ezelcant would say about that. Millais tries to enter Asemu's quarters to talk to him, but Woolf stops her and says sometimes men need to be alone. Asemu lies on his bed and wonders if Zeheart is trying to say that he's not strong enough to fight.

 

Commentary

 

This episode brings back an old character, features a new mobile suit and serves up a plate full of Gundam cliches. We finally see Desil in adult form and learn that he's Zeheart's older brother. He seems just as nuts as ever, and the news that his little brother ranks so highly now makes for a rude awakening from his cold sleep. The introduction of the Zeydra leads us to a host of Char cliches that the show lays on real thick. Red mobile suit, moves three times faster, and Zeheart wears a mask with a flimsy excuse. I'm fine with homages here and there, but this episode kind of overdoes it. The Zeydra's debut in an asteroid field is reminiscent of the Sinanju's introduction in Gundam Unicorn, but even then it's interesting to see this sort of battle because it's not all that common in Gundam. For all the spunk that Arisa shows, she sure is useless as a pilot, and the fact that she's getting saved by Max, who's hardly better, doesn't speak well to her ability. I was also a bit surprised to see the Vagans still using the old Baqto, but I guess they haven't rolled out a heavy suit yet to replace it. The main part of this episode boils down to the conflict between Zeheart and Asemu. For all his talk about how soft and weak Asemu is, Zeheart is the one who's actually soft, since he keeps letting Asemu go and deliberately fails to accomplish his own objectives, even when he has the upper hand in battle. Desil is aware of this, and I don't doubt that he'll exploit it in some way since he's crazy. With Desil awake and the AGE-1 Normal being modified for continued use, I wonder if we'll see an adult rematch between Flit and Desil.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam AGE Episode 20 Gundam AGE Episode 20
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