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Episode 37: The World of Vagan

 

Review by Chris Guanche

July 19, 2012

 

Summary

 

Dorados, Gafrans and Danazines form an honor guard as the Fa Gantatriumphantly returns to Vagan's main colony, Second Moon. Kio thinks that it's a Vagan base, but Zanald tells him it is Vagan itself. After disembarking from the ship, Kio is greeted by Ezelcant. Kio and Ezelcant ride on a monorail that runs through the colony, but Kio says nothing as Ezelcant speaks. Ezelcant says he created the ultimate army to take back Earth and that it's peerless in every respect. Kio is taken to Ezelcant's residence, and Ezelcant tells several guards that he'll be taking custody of Kio personally. Elsewhere, Vagan engineers examine the captured AGE-3 Orbital, and one of them tells Zanald that by using data from the AGE-3 and the EXA-DB they might be able to create a new Gundam. Zanald is confused, so the engineer explains that Ezelcant has ordered the creation of a new Gundam using Vagan technology. Zanald is amazed by the power that the EXA-DB contains, and the engineer explains that any single mobile suit from the old wars was more powerful than what they have now. Zanald then becomes fascinated with the idea of finding the entire EXA-DB and using it to change the course of the war. Ezelcant introduces Kio to his wife Dorene, and she's shocked when she sees Kio. Kio angrily demands to know why he's here, and Ezelcant says he wants Kio as an Earther to see Mars for himself. A maid named Kio then takes Kio to his room, and Mary realizes that Kio is getting the room because he looks like Ezelcant's dead son Romy. Kio looks at a picture of the deceased Romy with Dorene and a much younger Ezelcant. After changing clothes, Kio takes another monorail ride with Ezelcant and asks where they're going. Ezelcant asks Kio if he knows why the Vagans launched a war to take Earth, and when Kio answers to steal it, Ezelcant insists that it's to reclaim their homeland and their human dignity. Ezelcant says that the Vagans lived on despite the deadly diseases caused by Mars Rays in the hopes of someday returning to Earth. The monorail stops at a station, and Kio is given a backpack with an ID card and communications device. Ezelcant wants Kio to learn the truth about the enemy that he hates, and the train departs. Kio walks through the Arabesque streets of the town and immediately has his bag stolen by a young thief. Kio gives chase and falls down some stairs, but the thief is stopped by a teenager named Dean Anon, who takes the bag back. Dean gives Kio back the bag and comments that he must not be from around here.

 

Dean takes Kio to his him to clean up the scratch Kio received from the fall. Dean tells Kio that he's lucky because things are rough in the area, and Dean's sister Lu gets out of bed to see what's going on. Lu tells Kio that he's cool and asks Kio to stay for dinner because she wants to hear about the outside world. Kio stays for a Spartan dinner of soup and a chunk of bread. Lu asks Kio where he's from, and he pauses before saying that he's from far away. She asks him if he goes to school and what that's like and says she wants to go. Kio asks if she doesn't go to school, which angers Dean. Lu explains that because of the disease she has to stay in bad. Zanald angrily insists that they should interrogate Kio, but Ezelcant says he's going to handle the situation. As Lu lies down in bed, Dean asks Kio how the Mars Rays have affected his colony. Kio doesn't know what to say, which Dean misinterprets as him not wanting to talk about the situation. Dean reveals that Lu only has about three months to live and says it isn't fair that she has to die when she hasn't done anything. Kio asks if there's something that can be done, and Dean explains he can't get medicine, but even if he could, it's not a cure. He complains about Earthers living in comfort and safety while making Martians suffer, and he believes some day Ezelcant will lead them to Earth. Kio's comm device rings, so he says he has to leave. Dean thanks him and says Lu hasn't been so happy in a long time, but he doesn't want Kio to come back because having a friend would make it harder for Lu. Lu gets out of bed and says she knows that she's going to die soon, but she wants to meet more people and go to places. Dean says it doesn't matter because meeting people will just make it harder when her time comes, but Lu answers that she doesn't mind. She says she wants to really live, even if just for a short time and starts to cry. Later, Kio has dinner with Ezelcant and Dorene, but he sits silently and doesn't touch is food. After dinner, Ezelcant asks Kio if he saw what the Mars Sphere is really like. He says that people's desire to be with their families is crushed by the reality of disease. Because of that, he claims that Vagans have abandoned the emotion of love. Kio points to Dean and Lu as a counterexample, but Ezelcant explains that as children grow, they stop feeling love because they're afraid of getting close to someone and losing them. He goes on and states that to a Vagan, death isn't sad, but the inability to live as a human being is. Ezelcant states that he's going to reveal his true intentions and says that this isn't just a war. He says that in previous attacks he's always given Earthers a chance to survive because they don't know what it means to live. Zanald complains to an underling that Ezelcant has become too attached to Kio. He angrily smashes his disk with one fist and says he'll kill Kio if it becomes necessary. Dorene privately tells Ezelcant about how Kio looks so much like Romy, which Ezelcant says is a cruel twist of fate. Ezelcant takes his pills and tells Dorene that he has about six months left, so he has to hold out and open Eden's doors. Kio lays in bed and thinks about Dean and Lu. At La Gramis, Zeheart speaks to Ezelcant in a video call and reports that Project Eden is entering its final phase. At Second Moon, Zanald is informed that high-speed molding has begun on the parts for the new Vagan Gundam.

 

Commentary

 

This episode gives us our first in-depth look at the main Vagan colony Second Moon and its inhabitants. Unfortunately, it also gives us a really lame and ham-fisted attempt to humanize the Vagans with two sympathetic kids. Lu is someone destined to die, even more so than Yurin, and her sad situation obviously tugs at Kio's heart. If this series was actually capable of such subtlety, I would think that perhaps this was all deliberately set up to emotionally manipulate Kio. However, AGE isn't that kind of series, so what we have on the surface is exactly what it appears to be. This attempt to humanize the Vagans 37 episodes into the series is just far too late for it to make any difference. Even the relatable Dean has completely fallen for Ezelcant's nonsense propaganda. Ezelcant develops an attachment to Kio and reveals his true plan, saying he's been testing Earthers all along, something that Zeheart and Flit both picked up on earlier. That in itself is completely ridiculous. If you have people in the Mars Sphere dying from disease, why waste decades with some stupid plan by "testing" Earthers, including sabotaging your own ability to win a battle, as seen in Rostroulan. It makes even less sense knowing that Ezelcant suffers from the same disease and only has six months left to live. Zanald is starting to become dissatisfied with how Ezelcant is doing things, and if he heard what Ezelcant told Kio, I could see him going down the path of traitor villain. At the same time, we've got the Vagans working on their own Gundam, which is sure to spell trouble in the future.

 

Overall Rating

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam AGE Episode 37 Gundam AGE Episode 37
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