Can You Watch Gundam AGE Without the First Half?

As the final part of the generation-themed Gundam AGE begins, I’m reminded of the “Machete Order,” a way of watching the Star Wars movies which supposedly introduces all of its elements in the best ways while cutting away some of the excess. Specifically, “excess” means “Episode 1,” as the entire adventures of a very young Anakin were deemed unnecessary and even perhaps detrimental to enjoyment. While I don’t think any of the parts of Gundam AGE are awful, it does make me wonder if it’s actually possible to watch the third and fourth Gundam AGE arcs without having watched the prior two.

While it would be sad to lose characters like Woolf and young Emily, I feel like the third part introduces you enough to the returning characters that someone who got into the show right at that point wouldn’t take long to fully grasp the story, and perhaps because the ratings were so low they actually made it with this in mind. While you don’t get to see Flit go from idealistic young boy to supportive but crotchety old man, you also get to immediately see the differences between him, pirate Asemu, and noble Kio. Obviously as someone who’s already watched the previous parts I can’t simply use my own experience to judge the effectiveness of omitting the earlier parts, at least not without much scrutiny and testing on willing subjects, but I would be interested in hearing thoughts on this matter.

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2 thoughts on “Can You Watch Gundam AGE Without the First Half?

  1. I had exactly the same feeling you had. I felt that the third phase is more straightforward, and it could have been more successful with younger audiences – its original target – than the first two phases.
    If you look seriously, one of the problems was to introduce some hard sci-fi concepts borrowed from the original gundam for a younger audience (http://www.cyzo.com/2012/03/post_10280.html). They did not seem to be interested about it. In the phase 3, the Earth has been invaded. It is easy and uncomplicated to understand. :) Another mistake: AGE had become too teen angst-driven in the phase 2. The kids do not seem to like it (and minimize charismatic characters as Arisa Gunhale when the show needs empathy is a poorly thought out move).
    The third phase seems to solve most of these problems and invests in the iconic characters. Even Zeheart looks less generic here. If we’ve never had stage 1 and 2, Age could be successful. And I liked the first phase, don’t get me wrong. :\

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  2. I actually starting watching G AGE starting with AGE 2. Blogger Executive Otaku over at thatanimeblog filled me in on just a few things, but other wise I jumped in cold. While I can’t say how not watching AGE 1 has effected my experience with AGE 2, I can say I enjoyed it a great deal.

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