Episode 01, "Gundam, the Savior"
Synopsis: Flit Asuno, a young boy living in a space colony, and his friend Emily Armond, find themselves in the middle of an attack by the UE ("Unknown Enemy"). Flit climbs into the cockpit of the mobile suit he designed, the Gundam, and defeats the enemy attacking. But the victory is short lived when an UE ship attacks the colony.
Ah, a new Gundam series. An alternate universe title, too, with all of its own personality and a variety of different aspects in contrast to other recent programs.
No, wait. This isn't that.
All right, so it's pretty much run-of-the-mill Gundam in this episode. Boy meets Gundam. Boy pilots Gundam against invading enemy. Space colony gets damaged in ensuing battle. Pretty typical. You have your kid genius who designed his own Gundam and has a female friend that tags along and is more level-headed than he is. Your doomed hometown. You have your "Gundam stands" moment. Gene and Denim are killed (we don't see who is actually piloting the enemy MS this time, though).
Oh, and a Haro. Fancy that.
Apparently in this universe, at least one Gundam fought in a distant past war, because Flit (Flit? Really?) remembers seeing a painting of it as a child. Judging by the painting, it must've been made during Georges Seurat's "classic giant robot" period rarely covered in art history courses. (Yes, I made a pointillism joke.) Is it like Turn A Gundam where there's a whole history of MS combat that lies in the past? Even the Gundam Flit designs, much like the one in the painting, seems pretty "basic Gundam". Then again, maybe it's for the best, since the viewer is forced to absorb the story and not just MS designs. But with enemy MS like the ones here, maybe I'm wrong.
Oh Flit, can a new era be born without sacrifice? (Too Giant Robo for you?) Flit seems a bit like Banagher Links, actually, but that's just a vibe I'm getting, since this is just the first episode. Poor kid's mother died right in front of him. I'm guessing we'll get some info about his father at some point.
I don't know if I like that device thingie, it reminds me of one of those card game shows or something from a super sentai show that transforms the user. I prefer the key/stick things from Gundam X. But I guess having a device like that prevents rampant MS theft.
There's really nothing outstanding in this episode. The character designs for the show make it seem more youth-oriented. It kind of reminds me of Shotaro Ishinomori or Leiji Matsumoto, but worked at so that it lacks either of their charm. It's sort of filed down and oversimplified. I didn't notice any particular track of the music, either. It was just sort of there. Kenji Kawai's 00 OST made a better first impression. Nothing particularly excellent about the characters themselves or even the plot, but nothing cringeworthy, either.
It's all pretty average.
3.5 out of 5