Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
|Mobile Suit Gundam AGE|
Limited Edition Cover of the 13th BluRay volume, featuring the AGE-FX Gundam AGE-FX.
(Kidō Senshi Gandamu AGE)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Susumu Yamaguchi|
|Written by||Akihiro Hino|
|Music by||Kei Yoshikawa|
|Original run||October 9, 2011 – September 23, 2012|
|Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Story of the Beginning|
|Written by||Hiroshi Nakanishi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shonen Sunday|
|Original run||October 2011 – ongoing|
|Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: First Evolution|
|Written by||Hiyon Katsuragi|
|Original run||December 2011 – ongoing|
|Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Treasure Star|
|Written by||Masanori Yoshida|
|Original run||September 15, 2011 – May 15, 2012|
|Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Memories of SID|
|Written by||Hiroshi Nakanishi|
|Magazine||Shōnen Sunday Super|
|Original run||January 25, 2012 – October 25, 2012|
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (機動戦士ガンダムAGE Kidō Senshi Gandamu Eiji?) is a 2011 Japanese science fiction anime television series and the twelfth incarnation of Sunrise's long-running Gundam franchise. The series was first announced in the July issue of Shogakukan's CoroCoro Comic, and has gaming company Level-5's President Akihiro Hino in charge of the story.
This installment of the Gundam meta-series is set on a futuristic Earth plagued by an interplanetary war that spans a whole century. Its story revolves around three protagonists from the same family, each piloting his own version of the eponymous mecha, fighting to defend Earth and its space colonies from an enemy race far more advanced in terms of technology.
The series was officially unveiled by Bandai on June 13, 2011, during a special event at the 2011 Tokyo Toy Show. Gundam AGE premiered on the MBS and TBS broadcasting stations in Japan on October 9, 2011 and 49 episodes were broadcast, with the final episode on September 23, 2012. Gundam AGE was the last Gundam series to be broadcast on the MBS and TBS late Saturday/Sunday afternoon block, ending a decade-long run that began with Mobile Suit Gundam SEED in 2002. A compilation OVA titled Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Memory of Eden was released on July 26, 2013, focusing on the second protagonist of the series, Asemu Asuno.
The story of Gundam AGE is separated into three arcs, each revolving around a different protagonist.
Flit Asuno (A.G 115)
In A.G. 101 (the 101st year of the Advanced Generation calendar) a mysterious entity known at the time only as "UE", or "Unknown Enemy", attacks and destroys the space colony Angel. This brutal attack becomes infamous as the "The Day the Angel Fell", and marks the beginning of the "One Hundred Years War". The series begins in A.G. 108 when the UE attack the space colony Ovan, where Flit Asuno lives with his mother after they escaped colony Angel before its destruction. Flit's mother is mortally wounded by the UE, but before dying she gives her son the "AGE Device", containing the blueprints for a powerful weapon from the past—the ancient messiah named "Gundam."
Flit spends the next several years studying engineering at an Earth Federation base on the Nora space colony while designing the Gundam AGE-1 from the AGE Device's blueprints. Seven years later, in A.G. 115, Flit completes the Gundam AGE-1 Normal, just as the UE attacks Nora, and makes use of it to aid the crew of Federation's battleship "Diva" in evacuating the colony's citizens before it is destroyed. Determined to bring the battle to the U.E. for destroying his home twice, Flit agrees to serve at Diva's mobile suit squad piloting the Gundam.
After gathering enough intel and military power to establish a course of action, the crew of Diva and their allies launch a successful attack to destroy the U.E.'s secret fortress in the Ambat asteroid. In the occasion, they learn that the U.E. are actually the descendants of a failed human mission sent to colonize Mars, left for dead by the Earth Federation, who formed their own nation on the red planet called "Vagan".
Asemu Asuno (A.G 140-142)
25 years after the battle at Ambat, the Federation's war against Vagan keeps escalating with no end at sight as their enemies rejected all offers for a peace treaty. Flit, now married and father of two is a commander of the Earth forces determined to destroy the Vagans and chooses his son Asemu to succeed him as the Gundam's pilot, entrusting him with the AGE Device on his 17th birthday. After successfully defending his colony from Vagan attacks with the Gundam AGE-1, Asemu enlists into the military and just like his father before him, he joins Diva's mobile suit squad piloting AGE-1's successor unit, the Gundam AGE-2.
Under Flit's command, the federation forces, spearheaded by Asemu and the crew of Diva successfully stops several Vagan attempts to progress with their invasion of Earth. Flit also manages to expose a large scale conspiracy involving several corrupt authorities in cahoots with the Vagans, leading to a massive shift of power in the Earth Sphere. Ten years later, just after the birth of his son Kio, Asemu leaves for a final mission that ends with his disappearance, although his AGE Device was retrieved and entrusted to Kio.
Kio Asuno/Third Generation (A.G 164)
After deploying several sleeper agents around the globe, the Vagans launch a surprise attack that finally brings the war to the Earth. To counter the invasion, Flit activates the recently completed Gundam AGE-3 and entrusts it to Kio. Just like his father and grandfather before him, Kio enlists into the Diva as part of its mobile suit squad to confront the Vagans. Just after reaching space, Flit and Kio has an encounter with the Bisidian space pirates, and discover, much to their surprise, that Asemu is still alive and working with them, piloting a heavily modified version of his Gundam AGE-2, named the Gundam AGE-2 Dark Hound.
The Diva's crew learn from Asemu about the existence of EXA-DB, an ancient military database containing strategic data that can provide an overwhelming advantage to whoever side secures it. However, their plans to retrieve it are halted when Kio is captured along with his Gundam by the Vagans and put under custody of their leader Fezarl Ezelcant. Soon after Kio is rescued by Asemu and his pirate comrades, but his Gundam AGE-3 is almost totally destroyed. After returning to Earth, Kio rejoins the crew of Diva piloting the AGE System's ultimate mobile suit, the Gundam AGE-FX.
Fighting together for the first time, Flit, Asemu and Kio lead the federal forces and the Bisidian in a successful attempt to recapture the Federation's main base on the moon from the Vagans. After Asemu locates and destroys the EXA-DB to ensure that neither side claims it, the Earth Federation and the Vagans focus all their efforts in one final battle at Earth's orbit. The battle ends when the Vagan main colony "Second Moon" is about to be destroyed, and Kio convinces Flit to abandon his grief and rally both the Federation and Vagan soldiers to work together and save the colony. After the conflict, the Federation and the Vagans make use of their military research to finally render the planet Mars habitable and Flit becomes remembered as a savior who united all mankind for a brighter future.
Development of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE began when Akihiro Hino and Level-5 were first hired by Sunrise to develop a Gundam video game. Interested with working for the Gundam franchise, Hino wrote a plot summary for an anime which Bandai eventually saw and decided to create an anime based on it. The script was eventually green-lit and was first announced in the July issue of Shogakukan's CoroCoro Comic.
Many of the staff behind Gundam AGE is also the same staff members who created the previous series Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Susumu Yamaguchi, who previously worked as a director in the Sgt Frog franchise, was in charge of the direction of the series. Michinori Chiba and Takuzō Nagano were both in charge of the character designs of the series while Kanetake Ebikawa, Junya Ishigaki, and Kenji Teraoka were all contributing to the mechanical designs.
The series was originally plan to be a year-and-a-half long in length; however, sometime during broadcast, it determined that the show was to be cut short to the final length of 49 episodes. Gundam AGE thus followed Mobile Suit Gundam and After War Gundam X as Gundam series that were cut short.
On February 20, 2013, it was officially announced a new OVA project titled Gundam AGE: Memories of Eden which is basically a recompilation of the second arc of the anime series focused on protagonist Asemu Asuno and his major antagonist, Zeheart Gallete. The OVA will feature new footage totaling one hour.
The first opening song, Asu e (明日へ To Tomorrow?) by Galileo Galilei and the ending, Kimi no Naka no Eiyū (君の中の英雄 The Hero Within You?) by Minami Kuribayashi were used from episodes 1 to 15. From episodes 16 to 28, sharp# by NEGOTO and My World by SPYAIR were be used as the opening and ending themes, respectively. From episode 29-39, the opening theme is REAL by ViViD, and the ending theme is White Justice by Faylan. Episode 40 onwards has "Aurora" by Aoi Eir as the opening and "Forget-me-not ~Wasurenagusa~" by FLOWER as the ending.
Two manga adaptations of the series have been announced. Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Story of the Beginning (機動戦士ガンダムAGE 〜始まりの物語〜 Kidō Senshi Gandamu Eiji: Hajimari no Monogatari?) by Hiroshi Nakanishi was published in Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday. This two-chapter adaptation of the beginning of the anime features a different AGE System from the show. Instead of using the AGE Builder, Gundam AGE-1 is able to analyze its surroundings and incorporate machinery that are appropriate for the combat situation it is in. The other adaptation is published in Kadokawa's Gundam Ace, titled Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: First Evolution, is being drawn by Hiyon Katsuragi and serialized in the December 2011 issue.
Two sidestory manga have also been announced. The first is entitled Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Treasure Star. Written and drawn by Masanori Yoshida and serialized in Shogakukan's CoroCoro Comic, it features a group of adventurers exploring space in the ship "Treasure Star". The second sidestory manga titled Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Memories of Sid is serialized in Shōnen Sunday Super in January 25, 2012 and ended in October 25, 2012. Drawn by Hiroshi Nakanishi, the story is set before the third generation, dealing with Asemu's first encounter with the EXA-DB and SID. It also shows his decision to fake his death and join the Space Pirate Group Bisidian. The series is compiled into three tankōbon volumes.
Models and toys
During the announcement event, Bandai had the first several Gundam AGE models and toys on display at the Tokyo Toy Show 2011. Some of them were a 1/48 scale mega-size model of the AGE-1 Gundam AGE-1 Normal and several HG 1/144 scale models of the main mobile suits from the series. The HG Gundam AGE-1 Normal is first released on September 2011 while the Genoace, Genoace Custom, Baqto, Zedas, Garfan, Gundam AGE-1 Titus and Gundam AGE-1 Sparrow will be released in a later date. Aside for the HG models, Bandai also planned to release GB (Gage-ing Builder) grade models of the AGE-1 Gundam, AGE-1 Titus, AGE-1 Sparrow, Genoace and Garfan will be released between September and December 2011. The 1/100 scale GB toys of the same types will be released around the same time also. Bandai also released Master Grade lines for this series, starting with the Gundam AGE-1 Normal which is on Japanese Market in February 2012. The series' appearance in the Robot Spirits line is also confirmed with the confirmed release of the Gundam AGE-1 Normal on December 2011. Both the Genoace Custom and the Gundam AGE-1 Normal were confirmed to be released as part of the FW Gundam Converge line on November 2011.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Try Age is a Data Carddass card game as well as an Arcade Game developed by both Level-5 and Bandai-Namco Games. The game utilizes cards as well as the sensors in the Gage-ing Builder model kits. Some of the characters and units from the series were also included in SD Gundam G Generation 3D and G Generation OVERWORLD.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Universe Accel and Cosmic Drive is a role-playing video game by Level-5 for the PlayStation Portable. It was released on August 30, 2012.
- "Anime News Network: Level 5 to Help Create Gundam AGE Anime This Fall (Updated)". Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "機動戦士ガンダムAGE 公式サイト". Sunrise-anime.jp. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
- Gantayat, Anoop (June 15, 2011). "How Level-5 got its hands on the Gundam license". Andriasang. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- "Sgt. Frog's Susumu Yamaguchi to Direct Gundam AGE (Updated) - News". Anime News Network. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
- Newtype November 2012 issue
- "Gundam AGE Memory of Eden Compilation Outlined". Anime News Network. 2013-02-20. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- "P(Review) Mega Size Model 1/48 Gundam AGE-1 Normal, No.13 Wallpaper Size Images". gunjap. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
- Official Site (Japanese)
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE at the Internet Movie Database
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