26 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Gundam Age episode 1

Gundam Age had been getting a lot of negative feedback prior to its airing, mainly due to its childish character designs. What’s effectively happening here is Sunrise are planning to bring in a new younger audience to Gundam by targeting this latest series squarely at them. I was hoping that the new audience skew would mean that the producers would be trying something slightly different with Gundam Age. Oh how silly of me for thinking such a thing~!

Let’s start off by ragging on those character designs. I don’t mind that they’re more cartoonish at all, but it only works if you follow that philosophy for every character type. There’s just a handful of cartoonish character designs while the rest look like they stepped straight out of Gundam 00. It’s like those Lupin III specials where the character designer can’t draw like Monkey Punch so draws them in his own style, making the elongated original characters like Lupin and Zenigata stick out awkwardly. Also, having a more cartoony character design does not mean having the same character design then sticking an unusually coloured blob on top of his head.

Then there was the move to make the main character only 12 years old. Great, a Gundam show that focuses on kids instead of whiny teenagers. This is, in fact, total bullshit. Our lead character, Flit, acts exactly like any self-righteous mecha pilot teenager you’ve ever seen. He helped in building a giant Gundam robot, far superior to that of the armies machines, all at the age of 12. Right, pull the other one. If you’re going to make him act exactly like a teenager, why even bother make him 12 years old? If this story is really going to focus on three generations like it claims, then the generations have to actually act like they come from that age bracket.

This points to a larger problem Gundam Age has. The same main character that Gundam series have always had, even though he’s meant to be 12? Some character designs looking pudgier but essentially being the same stereotypes we’ve come to know and get tired off? You know what Sunrise have done here, haven’t you? They’ve gone and done the exact same thing they’ve done for the past 25 fucking years and remade the exact same goddam fucking story. It’s still about an orbital space station getting attacked, only for plucky teenager and his accompanying Haro bot to leap aboard a robot he’s never piloted before in his life and fend them off. How can you even make concept like that so routine and dull? Oh right, by doing the exact same thing in every single iteration of this franchise.

If they’re going to copy the usual Gundam story, it would have been nice to copy some of the things that made Gundam interesting. Like, how about villains that are actual characters and have motives and dreams and personalities, instead of these indiscriminately slaying machines we got here? Actually don’t mind that suggestion, they’ll probably appear later. And the key guy will be wearing a mask and have a slightly cocky attitude, because original thought for the Gundam staff is a scary prospect and must be crushed. Did they think that, since they’re aiming for a younger audience they could just trot out the same old crap? It’s not even well presented. The animation is bland, the characters are dull and there’s no motives behind the fighting.

Gundam Age doesn’t have the worst first episode of the season, but it was the most disappointing. I like big ambitious 50 episode anime about war and space and action and giant robots and so on and so forth. And yet, when we get one of these anime, it’s another fucking Gundam with the same shit story and the same blasted cocksucking set up that they’ve done for every single shagging version of the franchise.

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  1. Nebulous
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    He’s 14 and Victory Gundam’s main is 13. Otherwise I agree 100%.

    • Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      While we’re on the subject of making Gundam pilots younger and younger as a means to magically create mass appeal, you know what AGE should have featured?

      A fetus piloting a giant ass-kicking robot with a top hat. An evil one. Named Doctor Fetus.

      Cripes, he’s so awesome he’ll even have fans in utero.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      14? Bullshit, only if living in space somehow causes puberty to hit at a much later age

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        It’s a scientific fact that going into space causes you to become a little bitch.

      • mcm38
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        That’s a first. I only heard that going to space made your muscles weaker.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Naw, colonies revolve and create artificial gravity, so your muscles stay fine.

        Doesn’t explain space travel on the White Base and Argama though.

  2. Kiseki
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    …I’m not sure whether you were kidding or not when you went on about Frito being 12 when he’s 14…

    I’m sure the original character designs by Nagano were much more defined. In Inazuma Eleven, all of the characters happen to have such unique designs that you could easily tell them apart without problem. Over 2000 playable characters mind you. Those designs were one reasons I grew to love InaEle.
    Of course if they were straight adaptions instead of going through Chiba’s filter, we’d have more shit being thrown around. I still think the guy who drew the Danball Senki art should have designed the AGE characters.

    I didn’t expect any more or less from the show though. :/ Didn’t expect it to be amazing, didn’t expect it to be horrible. Just expected Hino Akihiro and his usual stuff. At least this is my first Gundam so everything is A-OK.

  3. Karry
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    “Some char­ac­ter designs look­ing pudgier but essen­tially being the same ste­reo­types we’ve come to know and get tired off?”

    I’d say they were more stereotypes from generic JRPG, than traditional Gundam stereotypes. I wouldnt be surprised if that fat grandpa was called Cid in preproduction.

    Unfortunately it seems no one sane is subbing it, just some retards with their shitty 10-bit. Fuckers.. *shakes fist*

    • Kiseki
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      They released an 8-bit version because no one would shut up about that…

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Grrr fucking 10-bit.

  4. Posted October 11, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Actually, Flit is fourteen. That’s only one year younger than Amuro, the original Gundam protagonist, and the exact same age as the Evangelion pilots.

  5. ~xxx
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Gundam(n) pilots are younger…?

    It felt like child labor to me… like saving the world.
    Man, the Gundam world is full of child labor.

  6. luffyluffy
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    If you guys haven’t noticed, I’ve been watching Gundam recently(I’m 20 episodes into Double Zeta).

    I suppose, after Zeta’s angsty ending I’m probably going to enjoy AGE, simply AGE promises to be at least a little light hearted, but not bonedead stupid the day Double Zeta is. Seriously, only reason why I’m 20 episodes in is because Bright is sexy.

    Even if AGE turns to shit, I’ll probably watch as long as Grudech stays alive. Three lines and a minute of screentime, and he’s already my favorite AGE character.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Well what I’m trying to say here is that Gundam starts off shitting and tends to get better.

      I’m still angry over Zeta’s ending by the way. I don’t think I’ll ever not be angry about it. Jewdough can fuck off, because i hate him. He will never be the pilot Kamille was, let alone getting anywhere near the level of piloting Amuro was.

      if yo can’t tell i really hate judau

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        As for Flit from what I got, the Asuno family is rich, and probably high up politically, so it’s possible that after his parents death he inherited a large amount of money.

        Perhaps in exchange for help and supplies in building the Gundam, he promised the Army he would give them most of the money.

      • Blood Wizard
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        I’m gonna tell you now that the second half of ZZ is at least 10 times better than the first half.

        Plus Judau actually becomes someone you can like at that point.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        To be honest, I really hate him for his attitude towards the Argama and the Zeta Gundam.

        The Argama was my home for 50 episodes, and the Zeta Gundam(and by extension Kamille, who I really started watching Gundam for, because my name is Camille) were someone I rooted for, and this kid just comes out of nowhere and talks about scrapping Zeta just so he can get rich?

        Yeah, I was mad. Now it’s a mad race to see what happens first, I finish ZZ or my copy of CCA arrives in the mail.

      • Fadeway
        Posted October 12, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        Amuro>Judeau>Kamille. I only started caring about Kamille and seeing him as more than a whiny emo during ZZ.

        Anyhow, Flit is also likely a genius, what with working on the Gundam at such an age AND being the descendant of a line of Gundam builders. Similar to Amuro, except that he is acknowledged before he actually starts piloting. And this is what irks me, because a child genius should probably have a more powerful person to show his speculation about the attacks to than his teacher, and said teacher shouldn’t be so dismissive about the guy who even the local White Base Lookalike’s captain knows.

        Had it not been for this little scene, I would’ve looked at the show as a full-fledged Gundam. I mean, at the very least, if he is the survivor of an attack, surely they should at least be aware of trauma and be more considerate of his delusions, as opposed to the laugh-at-his-face that happened?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 12, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        Perhaps Flit moved to another part of the Colony and tried to hide the fact that he was on Angel, surely he doesn’t want to be known as “That kid who survived the Day Angel Fell zawa zawa” and stuff.

        And gurl wut r u sayin Kamille is the bestest pilot eva

    • Kiseki
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      If beard man stays in Diva all the time, then he’s not gonna die!! Hino prefers to kill off his characters with car crashes.

      …Unless Diva explodes.

  7. romulus
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    just as expeced. Name is gundam after all.

  8. Embok
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Oh no the extremely basic premise is similar to other series in the franchise. Next you’ll tell me they’re making another Precure about magical girls!

    Give it some time. If it was intended to give you everything in a single episode it wouldn’t be a 50 episode series. The ‘alien’ aspect will continue to be explored for a while, and Flit eventually becoming a father and grandfather is new as well.

    Also yes currently he’s the same age as pretty much every other Gundam protagonist. He also had his mother (and presumably a good deal of his friends at the time) killed by these aliens so I’m willing to cut him a bit of slack.

  9. gw_kimmy
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    i refuse to watch another gundam series with haro bots in it. been burned once and that’s enough.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 12, 2011 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      But Haro is moe!

      • Fadeway
        Posted October 12, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        And badass, in Victory at least.

  10. TheVoid
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    So far I’m watching this for the mysterious enemy that they all think is aliens when it’s probably just humans.

    They’ve already displayed more intelligence than I usually see in first Gundam episodes.

    1.Actually hanging outside the hangars to destroy the mechas when they attempt to leave.
    2. Blowing up one of their own so they can’t reverse engineer it and use it as a scare tactic.
    3. Retreating instead of dying pointlessly against the Gundam after seeing it defeat one of their own.
    4. Deciding to attack the place from the outside.

    These UE are my kind of enemy. Granted knowing Gundam this probably won’t last.

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