In AG 151, Asemu and Romary welcome the birth of their son, whom Asemu names Kio. Unoa is excited and wants to hold Kio, but Emily cautions her to be careful. Romary asks Asemu if he really has to go to work, but Asemu apologizes and says it’s his last mission. He says to himself that he never thought this day would come, and he wants to show Kio a world without war. In AG 164, 13-year-old Kio lies down on a field with Haro outside the Earth city Olivernotes. He thinks about it being the Day of Courage and wonders if he could’ve met his dad if there hadn’t been a war. On Second Moon, a gigantic hologram of Ezelcant is projected into the city as he gives a speech proclaiming that they will soon realize their utopia. He says his plan is entering its final chapter, and they will soon plant the Vagan flag on Earth. Kio plays a portable video game while lying on the grass until his friend Wendy Hertz and several other kids pull up in a car driven by Revels Lamond. She tells Kio that the mobile suit exhibition is about to start, so he hops in the car with them. Revels asks Kio if he’s coming to the party today, but Wendy mentions that it’s the birthday of Kio’s grandpa Flit. Kio then has a strange feeling and wonders what it is. In space, a Vagan ringed energy weapon de-cloaks next to Big Ring. Big Ring prepares to send out its mobile suits, but the weapon fires and completely destroys the space station. The Vagan invasion force then decloaks and begins its descent toward Earth. On Second Moon, Ezelcant tells his wife Dorene that the opening bells have rung. Kio has an X-Rounder reaction and takes out the AGE device from his pocket. Wendy recalls that the AGE device belongs to Asemu, and Rosie asks what it is. Kio explains that Asemu was an EFF pilot who went missing on a mission to investigate a derelict ship. The military later found the AGE device, but no sign of Asemu. The sky over Olivernotes darkens as the battleship Fa Zeos descends from the sky, led by Zeheart’s Ghirarga. Multiple Danazines land on the ground and begin opening fire on civilians and buildings. Revels turns around and drives away from the battle. At a nearby base, Seric Abis prepares to launch in his Clanche Custom, followed by his wingmates Shanalua Mallen, Jonathan Gistav, David Crood and Odeck Yadan in their standard Clanches. Abis tells his underlings that this won’t be like previous missions. A large hologram of Ezelcant appears over Olivernotes, and he announces the full scale invasion of Earth. Across the world, Dorados, Danazines and Reganners emerge from hiding and begin attacking. Revels drives toward an evacuation area, but Kio wants him to stop when he sees three kids trapped on a bridge that has had both ends blown off. Revels doesn’t want to stop, so Kio jumps out of the car with his scooter and speeds over to help. Wendy tells Revels to stop, and she runs after Kio.
Kio backs up onto a highway ramp to build up enough speed to jump over the gap. He tells the kids that it’s going to be ok, but they start to cry. Wendy asks Kio how he intends to cross the gap with the three kids, but he gets an idea and builds a makeshift bridge with parts from a damaged truck. The children hug Wendy, and Kio says they should head for an evacuation center, but he then has another X-Rounder reaction. EFF officer Natora Einus pulls up in a jeep and tells Kio and the others to evacuate, and he asks her to take the kids. The driver doesn’t want to, and when Kio asks if the EFF is going to leave civilians to die, Natora makes an exception. Wendy wants to go with Kio, but he tells her that the kids need her. Kio says to himself that the Gundam could definitely fight the Vagans. A Danazine then lands in front of Kio and opens fire, but the shot is blocked when Flit pulls up in a trailer. He tells Kio to get in and they drive off. Flit asks Kio if he knows what they’re going to do, and Kio asks if they’re going to send out the Gundam. Flit says it’s time for a savior, and Kio asks Flit if he’s going to show him where the Gundam is hidden. The Danazine pursues and continues to attack, and Flit tells Kio to pull the control stick. He wheels and outer body then eject, revealing Core Fighter. Flit gives orders for the Diva to launch, and when Kio asks about it, Flit says the ship is an antique, but it and the Gundam can save Olivernotes. Flit tells Kio to get the Core Fighter closer to a trailer, which he jumps over to. He gets into a cockpit and ejects the outer casing, revealing the G-Cepter. Kio asks if it’s going to transform into the Gundam, but Flit says they’re going to dock. Kio puts the AGE device on the console, and the cockpits controls begin transforming. A Danazine pursues and opens fire, but Flit fires smoke charges to blind it. Kio presses the G-button, and the Core Fighter and G-Cepter transform and dock to form the Gundam AGE-3 Normal. Seric destroys two Dorados and wonders what the Gundam is. Flit’s cockpit rotates in place behind Kio’s seat, and he asks Kio if he’s scared. Kio answers that he isn’t, and Flit tells him to inherit the Gundam. Kio dodges the attack from a Danazine and wonders how he can pilot the Gundam. Flit tells him that the controls are the same as the MS Battle Simulator game he played as a child, and Kio realizes that Flit has been preparing him for this. Kio attacks with a beam saber and then destroys the Danazine with the SigMaxiss rifle, which is based on the Diva‘s photon blaster cannon. A Reganner then opens fire on Kio, and he recognizes it from the game. Kio has an X-Rounder reaction and kicks up a cloud of dust to pick up the Reganner and toss it into the air. Zeheart has an X-Rounder reaction and spots the Gundam. As he falls back to the ground, Kio fires the SigMaxiss rifle and destroys the Reganner. Flit congratulates Kio and tells him he’s now the pilot of the Gundam. Zeheart rushes in to attack, and Flit has an X-Rounder reaction.
The third generation of Gundam AGE has arrived. We start off with a short scene about Kio’s birth and the mention of Asemu’s last mission. The implication here is that he died, but AGE has never been good about hiding some of its secrets. A side story manga called Remembrance of Sid depicts the events surrounding Asemu’s disappearance, and Crossbone-inspired Gundam that appears in the OP is almost certainly a modified version of the AGE-2 Double Bullet. We see the full scale of Ezelcant’s plan finally go into fruition, combining an invasion force with the activation of sleeper agents that have been sneaking onto Earth for the last 25 years. The powerful new Vagan energy weapon destroys Big Ring in one shot, and I wonder if the Vagans were spending all these years developing the weapon for that specific purpose. The invasion force is led by Zeheart, who appears to have been in cold sleep the entire 25 years because he doesn’t look any older than before. The battle in the streets of Olivernotes is somewhat reminiscent of the battle at the start of Gundam F91. As for the AGE-3 itself, it continues a tradition of UC-inspired Gundams. The AGE-1 was comparable to the RX-78-2, the AGE-2 was roughly analogous to the Zeta Gundam (by way of the 00 Raiser) and the AGE-3 clearly takes inspiration from the ZZ Gundam. Kio seems like a pretty enthusiastic protagonist, and his years of MS training through a simulator game are similar to Victory Gundam‘s Uso Evin. He certainly seems to be a powerful X-Rounder, since he has a strange feeling just before the Vagan fleet appears in space. As for Flit, he certainly looks like a crazy old man with his Bask Om-style goggles. It’s interesting that he makes mention of it being time for a savior, because he hasn’t talked that way since he was a kid in the first arc. I wonder if he’s chilled out over the last 25 years and isn’t dedicated to exterminating the Vagans anymore. With all the rest of the series to itself, hopefully this arc will have enough room to breathe and not suffer from the same issues as the second arc did.