14 June 2011
More on Gundam AGE Project
As mentioned in the previous post, the new Gundam animated series to be aired this October will be called Gundam AGE, which is aimed primarily for children. But this is going to be more than just an anime series; in fact a lot of things have been planned and announced already in the official announcement on Bandai Channel Live and Gundam Info yesterday.
The rough story below may not be fully accurate:
It was A.G. 101 (Advanced Generation), where mankind has colonised the space for hundreds of years, and the moments of peace after many years in the Earth Sphere has come to realisation, only to be shattered again by the arrival of an unknown force, conveniently named "Unknown Enemy" (UE).
7 years later, mankind is still fighting against the UE, and the protagonist's mother was killed in the midst of warfare. Her mother passed on the "AGE Device" and the blueprinst of the ancient mobile suit "Gundam" to her son Frit (?) shortly before her death.
In A.G. 115, the Gundam has finally been materialised and completed after many years of hard work and research by Frit in the peaceful colony of Nora. The Gundam is revolutionary for able to self-evolve with the AGE system that is implemented inside it. But it is soon that the peaceful colony would be attacked by the UE, and Frit would have to pilot the Gundam to fight against them.
HG 1/144 and Mega Size 1/48 of Gundam AGE-1 Normal. Now that I get to see it more clearly, I have to say that the back of the Gundam looks a bit like a car's spoiler ^^;
MG 1/100 model has also been announced, but no pictures are available at the moment.
A new line of Gunpla is also announced called AG (Advanced Grade), which is also 1/144 scale. Judging on the prices I would assume that they are simpler than the HG 1/144 models. There also is an emphasis of having bigger parts for beginners to handle with as a contrast to many small parts for the RG (Real Grade) line of the same scale.
Next are the GB (GAGE-ING Builder, ゲイジングビルダー) 1/100 pre-assembled figure series.
Part swapping is emphasised as a feature so you can customise your own Gundam.
The GB action figure and the AG Gunpla line will have "GAGE-ING Chip" on the Gundams themselves so you can connect them to "GAGE-ING Battle Base" (ゲイジング バトルベース) machines in shops and arcade centres (presumably) or the "GAGE-ING HARO" (ゲイジング ハロ). AG lines will have 1 chip on each model, whereas BG line will have 4 on each figure.
The "GAGE-ING HARO" will allow one to play simulation battle on LCD after scanning the chips of one of the Gundams from the AG or GB line.
Next is the activation equipment "Age Device" (エイジデバイス), which is the item the protagonist uses to start up the Gundam in the anime trailer I think. Apparently one can get to play up to 7 different games with this as a personal ID item I think, so you can save your game(s) progress and get unlocks etc. The "Gaging Haro" is one of the games that you can connect the "Age Device" with.
The other game that one can use the "Age Device" as well as the chips on the AG Gunpla or the GB Gundam figures will be the Gaging Battle Base. You get your Gundam scanned on a special scanning area (as seen in the picture above), sign on the game with your "Age Device" on the yellow slot at the right of the scanner, and play as the Gundam that you have scanned in the virtual battle.
Another arcade game that will be announced will be the Gundam Triage (?). It is a card battle game, which will have Gundam AGE featured there as well.
Whoa, that sure is a big and ambitious Gundam project there. With so much stuff having announced before the anime gets aired, and a lot of merchandise have been materialised already (and it's a lot more than, say, Gundam 00 too).
If you ask me, I am getting a slight information overload already, not to talk about the radical change of Gundam recently that is getting harder to swallow. I will probably watch a couple of episodes to test the waters, but given that this is specifically aimed for children, it is likely that Gundam AGE will be a miss for me, but I won't bet on that.
But there's more! There will be another Gundam project to be announced on 25th June on Gundam Info. It doesn't say whether this project will be an anime or not, so we will have to wait and see. Maybe those who are disappointed with the annoucement of Gundam AGE can look forward to this one instead? Or maybe just stick with Gundam UC OVA for the time being.
Regarding on reactions from "fans", it's not surprising that many will be disappointed that the new Gundam anime series that is to be aired this October will eb a "kiddy" show, and that the enemy will be alien look-alikes just like the Gundam 00 Movie, which got a lot of extreme views from audience.
While the difference from the Gundam series that we are used to is vast, I think it's too early to jump into conclusion and judge the book by the cover even before the anime series has even aired. Looking back at G Gundam, which had a strong super robot style to it while lacking the theme of war in it, was it a disaster though? Sure it was different, but at the end many people accepted and even liked it means that Gundam can still be different and be good I think, but those who are very used to, say, the Universal Century era and its well established lore may find the new substance too different from the rooted settings that they were used to, and resist it. Money-milking talk aside (I personally would like to avoid this as it is one thing that tends to draw a lot of tensions), I think that the Gundam fandom has turned to a low end with a lot of conflicts and unecessary hatred out of entertainment and hobby nowadays.
There I have said it, and I will like to move on.
Sources and info from Gigazine