The first episode of AGE was essentially standard fare when it comes to a Gundam opener, and we were left with Nora about to be destroyed by the UE. This episode we are introduced to the battleship Diva, and the mysterious girl Yurin.
The UE forces have begun launching massive missiles at Nora, and the colony wall is on the verge of collapse. With only about five hours to evacuate, a last ditch plan is hatched: the new battleship Diva will be used to pull out the colony core with the civilian population inside. With the plan and evacuation underway, Flit tells Emily to escape to the core while he uses the Gundam to evacuate. Emily of course, will have none of this.After she has Dique drive her to where the Diva is docked, they come across Dian Donfried, the captain of the Diva. He tells the kids to head back to the colony core, but they follow in after him anyway. Inside, they overhear Donfried talking about how the plan to pull out the core is nonsense, and they will simply launch the Diva, leaving the people behind. That is when Grudech appears, taking Donfried and his men hostage, all while Emily watches from the shadows. Meanwhile, Commander Bruzar stays behind to separate the colony core manually, convincing Millais to leave him behind by lying about an emergency escape route. On the bridge of the Diva, when the crew data is mysteriously missing, Millais takes charge and decides that those present will serve as the crew and launch the Diva themselves. Elsewhere, Grudech is shown to be responsible for the missing data, and takes control by appointing himself as the captain of the Diva, leaving behind a bound and gagged Donfried. When Emily and Dique arrive at the Diva, they run into Vargas who is overseeing the transport of the AGE Builder onto the ship. As this goes on, Flit encounters a lone girl while on his way to the Diva. After rescuing her from oncoming debris, she attempts to run, but Flit eventually catches up to her and convinces her to escape the colony with him. The girl is named Yurin, and before Flit can ask her why she was out there by herself, the Gundam falls deep into the colony wall when another UE Missile hits. Back on the bridge of the Diva, Millais is troubled by the nature of the UE attack. According to her, if the goal was to destroy the colony, all that was needed was to attack the energy plants. Just then, Grudech enters and announces that he is the Captain of the Diva, and orders the ship to launch, leaving the Gundam behind to escape on its own. Millais is suspicious, but begrudgingly follows orders. Now at the lowest bulkhead of the colony wall Flit continues to search for a way out. Yurin however offers guidance, and even predicts a breach in the colony wall sending the Gundam straight into a UE waiting outside. Forced to engage the Gaffran in combat, the beam spray gun proves to be completely ineffective against the enemy. Seeing this, Vargas activates the AGE Builder, which instantly constructs a beam rifle from data gathered during the AGE-1’s first battle. The completed DOTS Rifle is sent out to Flit, and he uses to destroy the UE mobile suit in a single shot. However, before Flit and the Diva crew have time to celebrate, the purple Gaffran from before approaches with a never before seen MS alongside it: The Zedas.
The problem with being a big Gundam fan, or even having seen a few Gundam series in the past, is that when a new series comes out, you inevitably end up comparing it to prior shows. I can point out how Yurin is extremely reminiscent of any number of characters from prior shows (Tiffa Adil from Gundam X comes to mind) among other similarities, but I think that would be missing the point. While the premise of these first two episodes (an enemy attacks a colony with an experimental Gundam and battleship on board, some kid must use the Gundam to fight back while the ship escapes) is not a new one, there are still some interesting things that AGE is doing here.
I’ll start with some of the side characters that got more attention this time around. Millais stood out to me as a strong female character. She’s a soldier, so she of course follows orders, but she was the one only one to notice the strange nature of the UE attack, hinting that there might be an ulterior motive, and she of course found the way Grudech became captain to be suspicious. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her. Grudech on the other hand proved to be simultaneously bad ass and utterly suspicious. The UE attack left him breathing heavily last episode, and I just assumed he had some sort of past trauma with them, but his actions this episode put that into question. On one hand, his taking over the Diva ensured that the plan to save the people in the colony core would go through, but the way he went about it, erasing the existing crews data and putting himself in charge, was beyond shady. We’ll see how his character develops.
On another note, Donfried showed that the Federation is full of jerks. He was willing to prioritize the launch of the Diva over the safety of Nora’s population, citing the fact that he answers directly to the bigwigs on Earth, and not Bruzar. Bruzar on the other hand shot up right away to old bad ass by staying behind to ensure the separation of the colony core. This almost certainly has ensured his death.
The biggest question mark from this episode, however, is Yurin. Other than spending a lot of time on Flit’s lap (which I’m sure will send Emily into a jelly fit when she finds out), she showed what appeared to be precognitive powers by telling Flit exactly where to be in order to get out of the colony. Right now, I’m assuming that she is somehow connected to the UE, but her being some sort of Newtype equivalent is definitely not off the table. Other than that, it’s pretty clear that Flit is interested in the pretty girl sitting on his lap. I see a love triangle forming with Emily.
On the action front, the Gundam spent a lot more time walking around than fighting anything, but the scene toward the end was pretty cool. The AGE Builder is an almost fantastical piece of machinery, but it’s a cool bit of technology none the less. It’ll be interesting to see what new weapons it creates and how the Gundam continues to change over time. The Zedas looks to be of rival machine caliber, so the fight next episode should be intense. Overall, this was a good episode that did what it had to do in order to move the story forward.
-Run toward the new age.