Back to the reviews again, folks. I've got something in the workshop that should be photo-ready in about a week's time, but meanwhile, it's back to the Age series. I've waited till ep24 to post something 'cos I wanted to see where the momentum and direction was heading, and I must say, I wasn't disappointed.
I've mentioned earlier that I thought Zeheart was the deeper character, but kudos to the writers for finally fleshing out Asemu. I mean, how could they not, rite? He's the hero after all, lol. We're coming to terms with Asemu's psyche, which is basically, a son living in the shadow of his more accomplished father. They've succeeded in making viewers root for this fella now. Good move, I say.
I've not watched all the Gundam series, but I think this is the first with a protagonist that has Daddy issues. On top of that, throw in the standard mix of girl problems - an elegant love triangle develops here between Zeheart, Asemu and Rosemary. And where else better for it to happen than at gunpoint, in a showdown between our two boys eh? The Zeheart-Rosemary-Asemu triangle was just high school mush that I dismissed earlier in the series, but its starting to shape up and get more sophisticated now. Rosemary's liking for Zeheart only augments Asemu's feelings of inadequacy. But is she expressing her affection for Zeheart to save Asemu's ass? Or maybe she does has something for the Vagan dude. Ah, the plot thickens...
So the action transfers to space. And we finally see the latest addition to the Age 2 system - Double Bullet!! (I do wished they'd come up with a better name though.) It just seems like a cheap name rip-off from Double 0, doesn't it? Action-wise, it's jam-packed with thrills. The Double Bullet Age 2 is one badass machine. But colour-wise, as with all the Age's additions, they're of course, mis-matched. I'm still having trouble swallowing the Age 2's design though. The Age 1 has grown on me, but I have yet to buy into its successor.
So what can Double Bullet do?
Shoot um, double beams from its double binders. Double 0 anyone?:
My absolute favourite scene of the ep - Double Bullet takes out double opponents!
But wait a minute....Gundam guy has so astutely pointed out - This is basically a rehash of an exact scene from 00! LOL:
But who cares, rite? Double Bullet kicks double ass! And besides the dual beams, it also has an entire artillery package. Kinda reminds me of fin funnels. Those binders sure do everything:
A little caveat is revealed in this ep. The Diva's first runaway captain, Grodeck makes a short-lived appearance, meets up with former boy-hero and protege Flit, and says he has some info to divulge that will alter the course of the war. Too bad he can only bring it tomorrow. Same time, same place. You almost wished this old man's gonna join the party again, but you know it's too good to be true. Grodeck will die. Something tragic needs to happen.
And alas, Grodek gets offed by - no surprise - the Vagan kid whose father Grodeck killed in the sacking of the Vagan colony 27 years ago. It's a bit of a disappointment though cos I thought this kid was gonna grow up to become something. Like Zeheart, maybe. But instead his role would only be a low-life who takes out Grodeck, then gets taken out himself.
Of course, no story is good without some suspense, so we'll never know what that little 'secret info' Grodeck was trying to pass Flit was, at least not til the next ep.
I suspect that it has something to do with the suits of the Vagan, and all this evolution into X Rounders....There's a little hint of it before this scene, where Flit recovers a Vagan suit after the battle, and scrutinizes the dead pilot's helmet. Now what was that about???
What moved me most was at the end where Flit discovers Grodeck's lifeless body. We see for the first time, some emotion in the stoic, adult Flit, as he breaks down at the death of his mentor. Truly the most heart-wrenching point in the entire series thus far. A perverse part of me is drawn to tragedy. And I like it that the series is becoming a little less kiddy and a lot darker, much like the 00 series. Lets see how far they can take it. I have a grave feeling this scene will be repeated at a later stage, where Asemu's the son, witnessing Flit's death. Ouch.
Final thoughts? I dunno why but seeing these characters in an aged state - Flit all grown up, moustached and stern, and Grodeck as a weather-beaten old tough-guy - always tugs at my heart-strings. Perhaps it reminds me of my own father and how he has aged through the years. It's really silly, but I always think of my old man, when I'm watching this. Man, before this series is up or fills my head with too many morbid thoughts, I'd better bring my dad on some holiday and treat him better LOL. This father-son theme is strong in the Age series, and is fleshing out nicely. I wouldn't have thought they would be able to make it more complex than the goody high-school feel of the Age 1 era. But they did. And I'm excited to see where this all heads next. I expect Asemu's frustrations with himself to culminate in something epic. Like Setsuna's awakening into an Innovator or something. Most likely Asemu will evolve into the Roundest of X Rounders. Or sumthin' like that...We'll see.