Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 01 Review
Adults are the naturally untalented good-for-nothings of this series…
Gundam AGE, the newest instalment of the Gundam franchise wants to show you that it can be kiddo-friendly – and that being a hero is family business. With the universe in danger it’s an Asano’s job to put things right and kick some ass. Like that this series will feature three generations of children showing the bad dudes that surprisingly the future is decided by little boys playing war.
UE, terrible inhuman tools of mass-destruction attack Flint’s colony bathing it in the fiery embrace of destruction, hell-bent to leave nothing but ashes behind. As Flint finds his mother lying in the ruins of civilisation and life as he knew it, his dying mother entrusts him with a device that will change Flint’s future – and that of the entire human race.
From then on Flint becomes a boy with a destiny, a mission – and an enemy…
As UE attacks once again trying to burn down his new home to the ground, Flint decides it’s time for humanity to stop burning and fire back.
Nothing important happens in this series without the consent of a 14-year-old boy…
There comes a time when a boy just has to do what he has to do – and that’s being a soldier. You can’t start early enough to be a soldier because that’s what you have to be when you want to be anything noteworthy. Screw school, it’s the military where the future for little boys lies.
Gundam Age is the rather strange attempt of making shounen-action about the cruelties of war a kiddo-show and I think it’s rather hilarious to see how taking its seriousness away leads to a totally different message: That war is great.
Naturally it isn’t enough to just say ‘For everyone’ since Flint is an existence beyond the meaning of ‘everyone’, he’s simply TOO exceptional to be thrown into the same pot like the rest of humanity…
First of all, you should look at the main-character Flit who’s a hero. I don’t know whether he shits gold or something but he’s the stuff ideal heroes are made of. He has a special destiny, talent and is the brightest bulb since the sun was invented. And he has a Gundam-suit –which kicks ass.
The story is fairly simple as it starts with the usual miserable flashback telling us that bad guys gotta be bad. The colony Flit was originally on got attacked by the UE and got practically obliterated or something. Anyway, he could flee and ends up in another colony growing up there to be a rich brat with a vision. He wanted to build a Gundam with the plans he received from his mother who told him that he should get his shit together because he has to do something frigging awesome in the future. Well and that’s that. He has to build a Gundam because everyone else has become too stupid to do it. Instead they made stupid replicas out of plastic while they forgot how to build real mechas. But that’s fine since it helps the brat to be even more prestigious.
But the evil UE who seemingly are Aliens (since they are the Unknown Enemy… get it? UFO, UE=Aliens… really, what a great pun!) don’t sleep on their little sorry asses and they want to attack the colony Flit is on! But don’t worry they’re too slow for Flit! Because just by looking what kind of shit the enemy did last week he’s able to figure out when they will attack – and it’s pretty soon. So the genius brat wakes up worried, goes to school – and tells the teacher that he should better go commando because the enemy is right on top of them. The teacher doesn’t like to be lectured like that by one of his students and proclaims that the military fucked up his mind.
But they didn’t! And that’s where the whole usual anit-war-message of the Gundam-series gets pretty twisted as there’s no such thing as shades of grey, the military are just these heroic defenders of civilization and Flit is the proud hero leading them. There’s no ambiguity in the way war is handled in this series as there’s only the simple duality of absolute good and evil. And war becomes even more glorified because of the fact that it’s portrayal is toned down in terms of brutality which means that there’s no blood whatsoever and you never see someone die (the worst thing is seeing someone in the process of dying but there are no dead persons in this episode).
Gundam Age that preaches the kind of inspiring tale that shows what is good and what is bad –without making compromises. Characters become just idealistic types like Emily, Flit’s female sidekick, whose role is so obviously portrayed that there’s little room for her character to be anything than just the role she got assigned to. At the end it’s rather difficult to get excited by these kind of characters and with the story being exactly as pretentious and idealistic, it’s hard to take this series serious.
Overall, the anime may give you enough fun to be entertained on a very cheap level but deep down this is a pretty bad effort of showing the bad sides of war. Instead it gets glorified with an idealized vision of how to make war kiddo-friendly. This is only the start of one of the three stories of this series but its atmosphere doesn’t really put me in a good mood concerning what to expect from this series.