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Episode 49: A Long Journey's End

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 23, 2012

 

Summary

 

From his bedroom inside Second Moon, Ezelcant senses Zeheart's death. Ocramud is informed that Zeheart is dead and gives orders for Zera to launch in the Vagan Gear. An officer informs Ocramud that they aren't finished with some adjustments, but Ocramud insists that if they don't turn the tide now, things will be over for them. Zera launches in the massive Vagan Gear while Sid lurks nearby. The AGE-2 Dark Hound floats near the remains of the Gundam Legilis, and Asemu vows to move forward while carrying Zeheart's feelings. Algreus gives orders for his forces to regroup and continue fighting. As Zera slices apart several Clanches, Ocramud notes that he's the inheritor of Ezelcant's genes and possesses superior X-Rounder abilities, but he's also a soldier without a human heart. On the Baronoke, Natora and the Diva's bridge crew take command of the ship as per their agreement with Asemu. Wendy helps Unoa tend to wounded soldiers. Kio's AGE-FX slices apart a Danazine and spares the pilot, while Flit's AGE-1 Glansa blasts another. Kio has an X-Rounder sensation and hears Ezelcant's voice asking him why he can't understand that people need to create a better humanity. Kio disagrees with Ezelcant's methods and the idea of someone selecting people for a utopia. Ezelcant states that it's so that people can be human, but Kio counters that the Vagans are already human. Ezelcant vows to make Kio understand by force, and just then the Vagan Gear attacks. Zera easily dodges Kio and Flit's attacks. Ocramud gives orders to fire the Digmazenon cannon again over the objections of his officer. Zera chases after Kio and Flit until he comes under attack from Asemu, and Flit warns Asemu that they're fighting an X-Rounder on a level he's never seen. The three Gundams then attack Zera simultaneously, but just then Sid appears and latches onto Vagan Gear to form the combined Vagan Gear Sid. Zera screams out in pain and flies away, and Asemu thinks he might be trying to take control of Sid. Flit ejects the Glansa armor and flies off in the AGE-1 Flat while Vagan Gear Sid crashes into one of La Gramis' spheres. The berserk mobile suit destroys more spheres and their heat absorption systems, which will destroy Second Moon. Ocramud gives orders for La Gramis to disconnect from Second Moon, but the separation mechanisms aren't working. Flit grabs a plasma diver missile, and Algreus wonders if he's going to wipe out the Vagans. Kio has an X-Rounder sensation about Flit and flies toward him. Flit takes aim and says that everything he's been doing has been for this day. Flit says this is for the best and puts his finger on the trigger.

 

Kio blocks his path and cries that they should stop fighting. Kio wants them to find a way to live together, but Flit says that's impossible because the Vagans have taken everything from them. Flit says he swore he'd become a savior to protect people, and Kio notes that the people of the Mars Sphere have suffered so much. Asemu adds that the Vagans have sustained themselves on the hope of taking back Earth, and Kio asks Flit if this is the kind of savior he wants to be. Flit answers that he did everything for the people he couldn't protect, but Kio thinks those people wouldn't want Flit to do this. Kio forces and X-Rounder vision onto Flit where he's a teen again. Yurin appears in his lap, and he says he knows the Vagans are suffering too, but they took her from him. Yurin tells Flit that it's ok and that he should forgive everyone and then forgive himself. Flit then sees other people who have died, including his mother, Grodek, Woolf, Boyage and Bruzar. Woolf tells Flit that he's an amazing guy and that he's done enough. The vision ends, and Flit notes that Second Moon will be destroyed even if he does nothing, so Kio says they should save them. Asemu states they can do it if they get the spheres away from Second Moon, so he flies over and uses his stungle rifle to get to work. Flit addresses both the EFF and Vagan forces and asks them to stop and listen to him because Second Moon is about to be destroyed. He asks everyone to help destroy the energy spheres and save Second Moon, and he points the plasma diver missile up and fires it to get their attention. Both sides cease fighting and begin working together to destroy the spheres. Kio is happy that Flit has finally become the savior who can save everyone. Vagan Gear Sid appears attacks Kio, but Flit jumps in front of him and gets his arms sliced off. Wootbit sends out the new Daidal beam bazooka to Kio, and Ocramud asks the EFF to help take care of the berserk Vagan Gear Sid. Kio chases Zera through Second Moon, but Flit tells him it's dangerous. Kio says someone has to end things, so Flit leaves it to him. Kio uses his X-Rounder powers to tell Zera that the battle is over, but Zera responds that it's not over until he exterminates the Gundams and every EFF suit. He slams one of Sid's wings and destroys several C-Funnels, but Kio activates FX Burst mode and breaks free from Second Moon. Vagan and EFF forces open fire on Zera, and Kio moves quickly as he slices up Vagan Gear Sid and pulls Zera out of the cockpit. The last energy sphere is destroyed, setting off a chain reaction that destroys La Gramis. Kio emerges safely, and the smoke clears to reveal Second Moon undamaged. Natora calls Flit and says that Kio did it, and Flit proudly proclaims that Kio is his grandson. On his deathbed, Ezelcant tells Dorene that he didn't want to start a war, but rather to create a place where people could live as humans. Dorene tells him that the world is changing anyway because of Kio, and Ezelcant says he still thinks Kio is the reincarnation of Romy. With his dying words, Ezelcant contacts Kio telepathically and asks him to show him a future where people can live peacefully. Later, data from the AGE system and EXA-DB are used to create the Everse System that nullifies Mars Rays, which allows for the safe colonization of the Mars Sphere. In AG 201, Asemu and Kio visit the Federation capital Brucia, where a statue of Flit was erected and the AGE-1 is on display. Kio addresses the statue and tells Flit that humanity is doing well now.

 

Commentary

 

Coming off of episode 48, it was no surprise that AGE ends with an incredibly rushed finale. This episode is a mess in every sense of the word. Following Zeheart's sudden demise, we get a random last boss that's too random even for a video game. If the viewer is supposed to feel the danger poses by Zera, who is constantly referred to as Vagan's ultimate pilot, the writing failed completely on that point. He's a random test tube kid with barely a handful of dialogue, and he does hardly anything before being taken over by Sid, which appeared out of nowhere. Instead, it would've made more sense if Zeheart was in Vagan Gear, because he'd at least be the last boss and is an existing character rather than some random person. The hunt for the EXA-DB could've been an important plot point for the series, but instead it was relegated to a few mentions and then just being quickly dealt with in episode 45. Ezelcant receives a totally undeserved peaceful death given all the death and destruction that he caused. Kio, with his neverending whining, is probably the worst protagonist in the Gundam franchise. He again just repeats the same nonsense over and over, and this time it only works because he forces an X-Rounder vision onto Flit. I find it hard to believe that Flit so easily lets go of 50 years of hate in mere seconds thanks to a hallucination of Yurin. All this time wasted on a pointless final battle means there's no space for an ending. All we get is seconds of exposition about the EXA-DB and AGE system being used to nullify Mars Rays. Then we jump forward in time a whole 37 years to see a statue of Flit.

 

Overall, I'd have to conclude that AGE showed a lot of potential as a series, but failed to deliver thanks to sloppy writing. I give it credit for being ambitious with its multi-generation storyline, even though that storyline is also its greatest flaw. Cramming three generations of story into 49 episodes was just too much - two generations at best would've worked better. With everything divided up so much, the characters in each generation barely have time to develop properly. The series also carries the distinction of having possibly the worst written female characters in the entire franchise, since their roles are mainly limited to cheerleaders, baby factories and death motivators. I think the Vagans may end up being the most poorly written and unsympathetic antagonists in the franchise, even moreso than the rabid Coordinator haters of the Earth Alliance. It is interesting to see Flit's development over many decades, which is something we've never had in Gundam. However, many other characters don't turn out so well. Characters undergo extreme changes just to fit into where the plot needs them. Zeheart transformed from being a caring commander to a tyrannical madman. Fram went from having an agenda to fulfill to being a blind Zeheart fangirl. Kio went from being a somewhat interesting character to a one note, weak-willed pacifist. He could never make the tough decisions that are necessary in a fight, such as killing a rabid crazy person like Girard. He was so focused on preaching peace to his enemies that he couldn't even properly defend himself and needed constant saving by his allies. He was so determined to save his enemies that he never considered the consequences of his actions. Had he taken one of many opportunities he had to kill Fram, Obright and Jonathan would still be alive. Will Kio ever have to think about these things? No, because the writing is too simplistic here. Looking outside the story, I do give the series credit for creating some vastly unorthodox enemy designs that move away from Zeon retreads. AGE certainly dreamed big, and while I wouldn't label the series a failure, it certainly did fail to live up to its early potential. It's a big step down from its predecessor, and I hope the next series can carve out a better path for itself, whenever that is.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

2 out of 5 stars
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Gundam AGE Episode 49 Gundam AGE Episode 49
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