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Episode 48: Glimmer of Despair

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 18, 2012

 

Summary

 

From the Fa Zard, Zeheart issues orders for La Gramis to connect with Second Moon and use the colony to recharge the Digmazenon cannon. Ocramud mentions that their own forces will be caught in the blast due to the chaotic battlefield, but Zeheart declares that he'll make any sacrifice for the sake of the plan. La Gramis then begins to reconfigure itself around Second Moon. Leil's Ghirarga Custom stabs an Adele Mk II, which is finished off by Fram's Fawn Farsia. Leil notices that La Gramis is transforming and wonders what's going on, as does Fram. Jonathan's Clanche is attacked head on by a Danazine, but he's saved by support fire from Obright's Genoace O-Custom. Obright tells Jonathan not to cry and asks him if he wants Seric's death to be in vain. The Diva's engine output begins to fall, but Natora orders full combat speed, even if it means cutting power from all systems except life support. Asemu's AGE-2 Dark Hound destroys two Danazines, and a G-Exes Jackedge destroys a Gafran that was attacking a Shaldoll Rogue. Zeheart wonders what he's trying to do and thinks about Daz, who tells him that everyone who fights at his side shares his desires. The image of Dole says he believed in Eden, and Desil states that Zeheart shouldn't let anything slow him down. Zeheart knows he has no other path but to reach Eden. He calls Fram and orders her to lure the Gundam into firing line of the Digmazenon so he can destroy it and the Diva together. Fram is surprised by what Zeheart is asking and leaves Leil in command as she moves out. She thinks to herself that Zeheart used to be so kind, but she thinks he can be so once again when the fighting ends. Several Danazines cause damage to the Diva, and Kio uses the AGE-FX's C-Funnels to slice them apart and spare the pilots. Fram attacks Kio with her funnels, but he creates a barrier with his own to protect himself. He tells Fram that they should use their power to stop the war, but she responds that he should shut up because he doesn't know anything. She presses her attack with the funnels and states that Kio is getting into Zeheart's way. She rushes forward with a beam saber to kill Kio, but Asemu uses the point of is DODS lancer to sever her beam saber hand. Asemu tells Kio to leave Fram to him and uses his flash eye to blind her. Leil then kicks Asemu away, and Fram asks if he knows what he's doing by being there. Kio and Flit have X-Rounder sensations as La Gramis completes its transformation. Zanald calls Ocramud and gets no response, so he wonders what Zeheart is up to. Flit states that La Gramis is going to fire the Digmazenon again, but Natora wonders if they can fire so soon. Flit calls Algreus on the Amadeus and asks if La Gramis could recharge through Second Moon, which Algreus thinks is possible. Flit sees that the Vagans are going to destroy their own allies just to get the Gundam and the Diva. Flit wants Algreus to have all other ships evacuate while the Diva stays behind as a decoy. Flit tells Natora to have the crew prepare to abandon ship, and he launches in the AGE-1 Glansa.

 

Fram attacks Kio with her beam whip, and Leil comes to her defense with his spear when Asemu opens fire on her. Flit tells Kio and Asemu to draw the enemy's attention while the Diva's crew evacuates. The crew of the Diva gather at the aft hatch and see the Baronoke decloak underneath them. The Baronoke pulls away after the transfer is complete, and Flit thinks about his time aboard the ship over the years. Flit and the entire crew salute the Diva as the Baronoke activates its invisible umbrella. Asemu tells everyone to grab onto the AGE-2 Dark Hound so that he can use the hyper boost and take them out of the firing line. Fram grabs onto Kio so that Leil can fire, but Obright and Jonathan slam into Leil while Flit comes to Kio's aid. He tells everyone that they have to stay until the last minute so that the enemy doesn't realize they're retreating. Obright's rifle gets destroyed, so he uses his beam saber to slice into the Ghirarga Custom and kill Leil. Jonathan grabs onto Fram from behind and prepares to fire and get revenge for Seric, but she uses her beam whip to slice his Clanche apart and kill him. Asemu tells everyone it's time to go, but Obright rushes forward to attack Fram and loses an arm. Fram stabs the cockpit and mortally wounds Obright, but he manages to stab Fram's cockpit and return the favor. Asemu calls Obright, but he tells them to live on and forget about him. With his dying words, he says that he'll finally see Remi again. Zeheart telepathically contacts Fram and apologizes, even though he knows an apology isn't enough. He explains that her sacrifice will help the plan succeed so that he can repay Dole's spirit. Fram tells Zeheart to forget about Dole because she was happy to fight for him. She asks him to reach Eden, and he vows that he will. La Gramis fires the Digmazenon cannon just as the three Gundams escape. The blast destroys multiple Vagan ships, including Zanald's, along with the Fawn Farsia, the Diva and several EFF ships. Zeheart's feeling of victory is immediately spoiled when he's informed that the Gundams survived. Zeheart imagines the spirits of the dead laughing at him and screams out that he'll defeat the Gundams. He then launches in the Gundam Legilis attacks Kio in a rage. Asemu uses the point of his DODS lancer to push Zeheart away from Kio. He asks Zeheart what he's doing after sacrificing his own allies, and Zeheart angrily declares that he has to do it because he threw away his human feelings. Asemu asks what the point is of a cause that makes one lose their own humanity. Zeheart tells Asemu that he doesn't know anything, and Asemu mentions that Eden was supposed to be a place where people could be human again. Asemu cuts off the Gundam Legilis' left arm and destroys its rifle. He then cuts off the other arm and stabs the torso before using his wire hook to rip open the cockpit in the head. He stops short of smashing the cockpit with his fist. As he bleeds profusely from his normal suit, Zeheart is impressed that Asemu caught up to him. Zeheart wonders why everything is slipping through his grasp, and Asemu tells him there are things they can't grasp because they're human. He says that Zeheart saved his life despite being an enemy, and he was a human before he was a warrior. Zeheart states that he devoted himself wholly to Ezelcant's plan, because otherwise he doesn't know what he was living for. Zeheart mentions that he felt very content during the time he spent with Asemu in the mobile suit club during high school. He adds that while Asemu was jealous of his power, he was jealous of Asemu for having a family because he wanted one too. Asemu tells Zeheart that he made it this far because of him, and Zeheart thanks him. He then pushes Asemu away just before the Gundam Legilis explodes.

 

Commentary

 

The penultimate episode of the series gives us a story that's as messy and rushed as the battlefield it's playing out on. Although the body count rises, many of the deaths have no emotional impact. Jonathan and Leil didn't matter much as characters, and Zanald died as a wannabe traitor villain who never accomplished anything. Fram had potential as a character, but that was ruined once the writers transformed her into being blindly in love with Zeheart, much like the relationship between Sarah Zabiarov and Paptimus Scirocco in Zeta Gundam. Zeheart became exactly the type of man she would've killed, but she blindly followed his will to the end. At least Obright got a moment of glory to shine in by expertly taking down two aces, at the cost of his own life. The Diva is also destroyed, and its sacrifice had more of a dramatic effect than any death except Obright's. Then there's Zeheart, who is possibly the biggest failure of an antagonist in all of Gundam. The writing for him has been all over the place, and rather than have any consistent character growth, he just fit whatever role the plot demanded from him. This is a man who sacrificed everything and achieved nothing for it. For a major antagonist, I found his final duel with Asemu to be very lacking. It's fitting that they have a final showdown, and I know he experienced an emotional meltdown, but the fight is disappointingly short. The Gundam Legilis was built up as this high level fusion of Gundam and Vagan technology, but even when you factor in Zeheart's state of mind, it was defeated too easily by the outdated AGE-2 Dark Hound. Zeheart's dying revelation that he wanted a family comes out of nowhere, and it makes no sense since mere seconds before he was proclaiming that he'd abandoned all human feeling. Once again, as was the case during the final battle of the second generation, too much is crammed into a single episode. I know that Zera Gins will be the final boss in the last episode, but it's something that has no development at all. It has the feeling of being a random boss in a video game, but I guess it's not surprising since this is Level 5. My optimism over a satisfactory conclusion for the series is gone, but I guess I'll know soon enough what the ending has in store.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Gundam AGE Episode 48 Gundam AGE Episode 48
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