Fall 2011 Anime First Impression: Gundam AGE

Plot Synopsis: “Hundreds of years have passed during the space age that began with the settlement of the space colonies. The wars that were once fought for control of the Earth Sphere had ended, and it seemed that an era of peace had arrived. But this fleeting peace has now collapsed.”

Thoughts: This is not your daddy’s Gundam that is for sure.  This new Gundam series was pissing off anime fans before the first episode even aired.  Everything from the character designs to the fact that it is aimed at a younger audience has set the fickle anime fandom in an uproar.  However, is as bad as fandom thinks it is going to be?  Based just off the first episode I would say no that is not quite the case with Gundam AGE.

It would not be a Gundam series if some common tropes that usually pop up in the Gundam did not appear.  Any trope you can think of that comes with the Gundam franchise you will find here.  Young male lead who happens to be a pilot?  Check.  His family has something to do with the Gundam mobile suit.  Check.  Way too young to be in the military?  It would not be a Gundam series otherwise.

There are however a few things make this new series different from the others in the franchise.  The biggest one is that this story going to be covering several generations over the course of the series instead of just focusing on generation or a small period of time that some of the other shows focus on.  The other big change is that this series is aimed more at a younger viewing audience than an older viewing audience.  Now does this mean someone who is older cannot enjoy this series?  No, someone who is older can enjoy this series, but those that looking for a show that is similar to the Gundam shows of yore will be disappointed to find out that it is not like the previous shows in the franchise.

The animation is solid from what we have seen so far both in background art and character designs.  The character designs do take a bit used to seeing since they are a lot different from what you may expect from a Gundam franchise.  The mobile suit designs that we have seen so will take some time to get used to but they are not terrible.  We do some mobile suit fighting here and is animated quite well and are not boring.  They are not quite at the same level of battles that we see in Gundam 00 but they do the series justice.

Gundam AGE is going to be a mixed bag for the fandom.  Some outright decry that because it is aimed at kids and that it is terrible by default.  Is Gundam Age going to be for everyone?  No it will not but fans of the Gundam franchise and non-fans should give the first episode a watch.

Score 3/5


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