Several hundred years have passed since mankind first began to colonize outer space. The perpetual wars for dominance on the planet's surface are ended, and humanity embraced a new, peaceful era.
But that peace soon crumbled into despair.
A.G. 101 -- The 101st year of the Advanced Generation calendar.
An unknown enemy, designated UE, attacks and destroys the space colony Angel, suddenly and without warning. This brutal attack becomes known as "Angel Sunset," and marks the beginning of humanity's suffering.
The United Earth's war against the UE continues. When the UE attacks the space colony Ovan, a 7-year old resident of the colony, Frit Asuno, watches his mother perish. The memory of her death is forever documented his his memory unit, "Device AGE," there to be passed down through the generations. From his mother, Frit inherits an ancient blueprint for a powerful weapon--an ancient messiah called "Gundam." Frit determines to make the ancient blueprints into reality.
Frit Asuno, noew 14 years old, lived at a United Earth Federation base in the Nora space colony. After spending years studying with the military engineers at the base, he finally completes the Gundam. Equpipped with self-evolving mechanism, it is installed with the "AGE System."
But now that he finally has the power to avenge his mother, Frit Asuno is afraid. The UE are invading Nora: Frit's destiny is fast approaching!
The war with the alien UE has persisted for more than 14 years, and in all that time the United Earth Federation has been unable to win even a single victory. Is this truly an enemy that Frit can overcome?
- AGE System: The AGE system is an artificial-intelligence designed to self-evolve. When coupled with a body (human) and a system (Gundam) it collects data from combat, and evolves on its own. It is designed to grow with the pilot, and is permanently "registered" with only one pilot at a given time.
- AGE Devices: Passed down through the generations of the Asuno family, the AGE device records the guiding principles of the Asuno family, as well as other information--data and research compiled by various family members--accumulating over the years. Known as a "Book of Secrets," it is inside his family's AGE Device where Frit discovers the blueprints for the legendary messiah, Gundam.
AGE-1 Gundam Normal (ガンダムＡＧＥ-１ ノーマル)
AGE-1 Gundam Titus (ガンダムＡＧＥ-１ タイタス)
AGE-1 Gundam Sparrow (ガンダムＡＧＥ-１ スパロー)
RGE-B790 Genoas (ガンダムＡＧＥ-スパロー)
UE (Unknown Enemy)
Frit Asuno (フリット・アスノ)
Asemu Asuno (アセム・アスノ)
Kio Asuno (キオ・アスノ)
Emily Ammond (エミリー・アモンド)
Gurudekku Einoa (グルーデック・エイノア)
Millais Aroi (ミレース・アロイ)
Air Date and Merchandising
- The Gundam Age anime will air this October, 2011. (Only 4 months away!)
- The first three gunpla will include all three initial variants of the AGE-1 Gundam (Normal, Titus and Sparrow). They will be 1/144 in scale.
- There will be a collectible card game available for sale soon.
- A tie-in video game for an as-yet undisclosed platform is currently in development by Level-5. It will allow players to fight as all three protagonists.
At this point, although there's still a great deal about Gundam Age that we do not yet know, I feel compelled to reverse my initial impressions. Yes, the protagonists may be too young for my tastes. Yes, the character design may be too simplistic and the mechanical design too derivative and uninspired--but the story sounds really cool. And since we've had a run of Gundam shows (ever since Turn A) that had decent-to-good looking character and mecha design, but lousy narratives, I think this may very well be a step in the right direction.
The concept of a multi-generational story is very appealing, but I'm curious as to how it will be executed. We could see some interesting narrative depth is the story was told in a non-linear fashion, jumping back and forth between past (Frit), present (Asemu) and future (Kio)--and on the other hand, if the story is told in a linear fashion, that would mean we would (or we should) have the opportunity to see at least two protagonist grow up, maturing from rash children into competent adults. I, for one, would love to see a protagonist grow from age 7 to 60. This would be particularly nice for Gundam, which even in the "golden years" under Tomino, never quite had much in the way of character development. Or, rather, character growth: once a Kamille, always a Kamille, so the saying goes.
The setting, too, seems quite promising. With several centuries of peace and space colonization, we'll be seeing the most "developed" gundam setting since Gundam Wing--so I expect to see a whole lot of space colonies, several Lunar cities, and (hopefully) some sort of terraforming operation on Mars. Despite the "super robot-y" feeling the initial story details evoke, the presence of United Earth Federation military forces (in the form of both mobile suits and warships) bodes well for a "war drama" opposed to the generic "enemy of the week" routine. The initial designs for the AGE-1 Gundam, though uninspired, may look better with the addition of 1) fluid animation, 2) additional parts/accessories and 3) weapons. the Unknown Enemy design is certainly something very new for Gundam, even if it is a bit of a ZOID, and I look forward to seeing it in action.
On the whole, I'm beginning to feel more and more optimistic about Gundam Age. I probably won't be buying any merchandise, unless the Diva is really, really cool, but I hope to be entertained by the show itself. With an air date this October, and without an assinine year-long hiatus mid-series like Gundam, I fully expect Gundam Age to be a far more enjoyable experience than Gundam 00 or either of the Seed projects.
Sources: Bandai Channel Live announcement event, and the newly-opened official Gundam-Age.net website.