Well, after a year, Gundam AGE has finally drawn to a close, and while IÃ¢â¬â¢m glad to see this mediocre show finish so they can move on, IÃ¢â¬â¢m not sure the ramifications of its massive failure (Go look at the game sales, Hino aimed for 1 million salesÃ¢â¬Â¦they didnÃ¢â¬â¢t even reach 100k) will be anything any Gundam fan will like at all.
IÃ¢â¬â¢m amazed this show was allowed to finish this run considering how poorly it was received during its run and how badly the game tanked. That this show was allowed to finish but that the After War timeline wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t allowed to play out in full is a goddamned crime.
Lots of spoilers to come, but IÃ¢â¬â¢ll refrain from coding it given that reading loads of text in code is a bit irritating, but I donÃ¢â¬â¢t think itÃ¢â¬â¢ll matter since this really isnÃ¢â¬â¢t a show you should bother watching. IÃ¢â¬â¢ll take this time to say that the animation and music for the show are both pretty solid, and that alone was able to carry me through the series- though 00 had far superior animation, at the least.
Because of the nature of the work, I understand why the show was structured the way it was. If you had read some of the production info, you would know that essentially, AGE was designed as an Ã¢â¬ÅanthologyÃ¢â¬Â type work, where the show would lay out the basics of what was going on, with elaboration to be done in side-story mangas and the like. I donÃ¢â¬â¢t have a problem with that by itself, the problem is that in so doing they seemed to have forgotten that they were supposed to tell a goddamned story
while they were at it. Everything in the show is so obvious in its way of saying Ã¢â¬ÅHey, look at this, itÃ¢â¬â¢s yet another story that will be told elsewhere!Ã¢â¬Â that it constantly takes away precious screentime from a show that, in concept alone, already has a really confined box.
ItÃ¢â¬â¢s clear what the Ã¢â¬Åmain threadÃ¢â¬Â from the first episode onward was supposed to be though- Flit, who starts off with the purest of intentions (that of protecting those he loves) has it twisted into a zealous desire of exterminating the enemy, so we can have the subtle lesson that becoming a genocidal maniac is a bad thing. While I might sound like IÃ¢â¬â¢m criticizing it, FlitÃ¢â¬â¢s actually the most entertaining part of the show, mostly because I just imagine a kid watching a show like this where a good guy is allowed to say the kinds of things Flit is allowed to say. After a while you can predict exactly what heÃ¢â¬â¢s going to say because he becomes pretty much a caricature, but itÃ¢â¬â¢s so hilarious to see him actually say them that I never really minded.
A problem he ended up having though, was that a lot of his story, as in the parts that mightÃ¢â¬â¢ve actually been interesting, just happened off screen
, even the parts they make a big deal out of. ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s nothing bridging the gap between the kind-hearted boy in G1 and the cold man seen in G2, and itÃ¢â¬â¢s known that Flit was actually a pretty cheery father for at least the first few years of AsemÃ¢â¬â¢s life, so it would be nice to know what the hell actually happened. In G2, one of the big things he was trying to do was uncover a conspiracy within the Federation. At the end of the arc, itÃ¢â¬â¢s revealed that the mastermind is someone who was barely a character, and we just have a narration of him weeding out all the defectors in the Federation. Gee, sure wouldÃ¢â¬â¢ve been fun to actually see those things happen instead of seeing Flit dick around in Fardain for half a dozen episodes. Actually, this sort of thing happens all over the place in this show- they waste so much time on pointless irrelevancies and then have to rush to cram in all the major plot developments, which ends up having a bunch of the charactersÃ¢â¬â¢ actions make no sense whatsoever. Especially the predictable "I learned I was wrong" moment for Flit. To say that Yurin alone is the motivation for his rampage is pretty insulting to both the audience and one of the only developed characters in the entire show.
The shame here is that thereÃ¢â¬â¢s so many good ideas here, one after another, and they just squander them over, and over, and over, so they can move on with the overarching plot, which is a poor decision because the overarching plot is idiotic. The basic premise is in many ways just like Nadesico, except in that show the plot, while also having the same holes this one had, was used to present the theme of that show. Here itÃ¢â¬â¢s left to stand on its own so it allows the viewer plenty of time to realize how incredibly stupid the premise is. This is without even needing to mention the main villainÃ¢â¬â¢s plot, which I suppose you can explain away by saying the guy was totally out of his mind, but then it makes you wonder why everyone is so determined to follow his faÃÂ§ade when his actions so obviously donÃ¢â¬â¢t mesh up with it. As mentioned earlier, this wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t even a case of them having no time to fit everything in, because they had several times in this show where they stopped everything in order to fit in something that wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t important in the least (Fardain, Remi, Lu, Girard, etc).
Also I would finally like to note that while Gundam has rarely been good with female characters (Outside of Turn A and maybe Zeta), AGE is especially heinous in this crime because pretty much all the female characters that exist are there to be killed or to squirt out babies for the next generation of the story.
As for the long term effects of this...well, its probably going to be a while before Sunrise approaches a third party to make a major Gundam production, and given Unicorn's general success it means even more UC stagnation/UC copies are probably scheduled for down the line instead of relatively original concepts like this show had thrown around. The whole generational conflict thing for AGE was such a great idea too. What a complete waste.