Next month, Gundam AGE will be hitting the airwaves in Japan. I’ve made my thoughts on the show pretty clear in my last article on the series, though I think my opinion is starting to change. While I have no plans on actively following the show while it’s airing, I don’t feel as resentful towards it. Even if the show ends up being completely awful, a theme song by JAM Project will leave at least one good thing for us to enjoy. It’s nice to see them finally doing a theme for a Gundam series, especially one that looks like it might have a bit of Super Robot Spirits.
Like SEED and 00 before it, Gundam Age will be having an entry-level kit grade for the little kids. These kits have very simplified construction, often offering very little poseability and require a lot of paint to look nice. These ones seem more along the lines of the SEED no-grades, with the only poseability in the neck, waist, ankles, and shoulders. These are typically priced at less than $10 a piece, and are good for impulse buys to build on rainy days or while you’re watching TV.
The AGE itself will be receiving a “Big Scale” 1/48 scale kit, a new trend Bandai has been doing over the past few years. These kits, while big, aren’t anything more than gigantic High Grades. They don’t have any kind of engineering like Master Grades or Perfect Grades. They have a very toy-like feel, almost along the lines of the DX toys of old. They make great display pieces since they aren’t especially poseable, and at a size like this painting almost seems kind of daunting, making them ideal candidates to just build and panel line. These can be a bit pricy, but less than Perfect Grades, coming in at about $75-$100 each.
Of course, AGE will be having a High Grade line for the bulk of its 1/144 kits. I’m glad this has become standard practice since SEED first introduced it in 2002, replacing those no-grade kits that were halfway between First Grades and High Grades. They were pretty good at the time, but of course, Bandai is capable of so much more these days.
Out this month is AGE’s basic form. I’m not a fan of it, personally. It just feels so… generic, and a step in the wrong direction after all the cool stuff we got in 00’s first season. I find it odd that they chose to release some of the grunts before the rest of AGE’s forms, but I suppose that makes sense as to not flood the market with variants of the same suit right out the gate.
October will be seeing the Unknown Enemy suit (?) Gafran and the Federation’s GM equivalent, the Genoace. I like these. The Gafran looks very out-of-this world and can turn into a dragon, though I doubt the kit can actually do that. I like the Genoace, because it looks very… low-tech compared to the Gundam. I like it when shows make the Gundam SPECIAL, and not one of many.
November will feature Gundam AGE’s Titus form, the Genoace Custom, and the Zedas. Everything I said about the two grunts previously holds true here. I rather like the Titus form—reminds me of the Bolt Gundam from G-Gundam. Heavy Gundams with style that aren’t just fat (see: Gundam Seravee) are way too lacking in today’s world.
All we know for December thus far is AGE’s Sparrow/Spallow form, the “speed” form of the three. This form is okay, kind of in the middle of the ground. It still feels like something we would’ve seen in 00 instead of something new and original…
As always check FPNYC for any new Gunpla kit releases. I might pick some up after I see the show, which won’t be for awhile. I’m probably going to start out with one of the grunts. Those Genoaces are looking mighty fine to me!