"It is the space age, hundreds of years after people began to emigrate to space colonies. The wars that were once fought for control of the Earth Sphere had ended, and it seemed that an era of peace had arrived. But this fleeting peace collapsed. A colony was destroyed by a mysterious enemy that suddenly appeared. The curtain was rising on a new battle that would continue over 100 years."
Gundam AGE is the newest addition to the Gundam Franchise, which began airing in October 2011 as part of Sunrise's Fall 2011 lineup. This revolves on three generations of pilots, namely Flit Asuno, his son Asemu, and the latter's son, Kio. A manga, several models, a card game, and a video game have already been announced.The sudden appearance of a hostile force know only as the UE (Unknown Enemy) prompted the Federation to hire Flit Asuno to build the ultimate weapon to beat back the UE: The Gundam AGE-1. As the Hundred Year War rages on between Earth and the UE, Flit, Asemu, and Kio must use the Gundam to defend the Earth.The first generation begins with Flit, who was allowed to pilot the Gundam when its intended pilot was injured during a UE attack. The destruction of his second home colony lands him on the Diva, piloted by a rogue captain who is determined to battle the UE in defiance of the Federation's sluggish response to the threat. Flit uses the Gundam to protect colonies from the UE and in general to be a savior for humanity. It ends with the young and idealistic Flit being shattered by the senseless death of a girl named Yurin, setting him on a lifelong path of vengeance. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is horrified at revelation that the UE were humans all along,abandoned by the Federation after a failed attempt to colonize Mars.The second generation starts twenty-five years later and follows Flit's son, Asemu. He is given the Gundam as a sort of coming-of-age present by Flit on his seventeenth birthday, befriends Zeheart Galette in his last year of school, and is devastated when Zeheart turns out to be a Vagan agent. Although he is kind-hearted by nature, Asemu joins the military to follow and impress his father. Their relationship becomes increasingly strained as Asemu sees the reality of war in his own way and Flit begins to treat him less like a son as the constant battles progress. Asemu eventually transfers his admiration of his father to his commander, Woolf Enneacle, who dies to save him not long after that. He and Zeheart reconcile while averting a Colony Drop, and Asemu decides to fight to protect rather than to avenge. Flit stages a coup one year later, ousting the Prime Minister and systematically purging any government officials found to be collaborating with Vagan. Meanwhile, the remains of that space fortress have landed hundreds of Vagan sleeper agents on Earth....The third generation follows Kio, Asemu's son and Flit's grandson, who is only thirteen when he inherits the Gundam. The Vagan reveal their Earth-based sleeper agents on the anniversary of their first attack on the Federation and quickly turn Earth into a battlefield.Two manga side spin-offs were also made: Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Treasure Star (Set during the Flit Arc) and Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: Memories of Sid (Set after the Asemu Arc but before the Kio Arc).A bit of trivia: Akihiro Hino, the writer of Gundam AGE, is actually the head of the video game company Level-5. Originally, Level-5 was hired by Sunrise to created a Gundam Licensed Game. Hino, who wanted to work with the franchise, wrote a plot summary for what would eventually be approved as this anime. The Level-5 game then became an adaptation of the anime and it was released August 30th in Japan (meaning that it was released before the anime finished). It is an Action RPG for the PSP that comes in two versions. Universe Accel features cameos and Mobile Suits from UniversalCentury Gundam series in its sidequests, and Cosmic Drive features cameos and Mobile Suits from CosmicEra and Anno Domini Gundam series. The game follows the same plot as the anime, but also features more content for the series's history and world through optional quests using an original player avatar. It additionally features many more Wears for the AGE suits other than the ones that have appeared in the anime.There is a character sheet with more details.Please put character-specific tropes there instead of adding them here.Also notable in AGE is the sheer volume of references and homages to other Gundam timelines, requiring the series to have a separate page for its Mythology Gags. If you are going to add an Expy or Shout Out of a mobile suit or character that looks like the RX-78-2 or a Char, check there first. It's almost certain to have been added already.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE comes with the tropes of:
108: A.G. 108 is the year Flit's mother dies. It's also the same year that Desil is born.
Generation 1: Alzack Birmings is forced to watch as his adopted daughter is taken at gunpoint by enemies of the state.
Generation 2: Sending your child off into a war.
Generation 3: Having your son/grandson be abducted by your enemy. Watching your child die of an incurable disease. Having your spouse go missing-in-action.
The AGE System Is Useless: While some the technology the AGE System produces is eventually mass produced, such as the beam rifles and Adele and Clanche mobile suits, some other technologies it produces as far back as Generation 1 are never disseminated beyond the Diva. The most blatant example would be the Photon Blaster, which is never installed on any other Federation ship despite the fact that it can annihilate entire enemy fleets. This is averted after the war when the AGE System and EXA-DB technologies are employed in something more useful than mass destruction.
In the defense of the lack of Photon Blaster mass production, the weapon appears to require connecting to the AGE Builder to employ, which may be a factor into the decision to not mass produce the weapon.
Animal Mecha: The Gafrans can turn into dragons and the Danazine has a dragon design as well.
The Anime of the Game: Kind of, see the bit of trivia above. Given that the video game adaptation was released before the anime was finished, it arguably became this trope for the last few episodes. A common criticism of the series is that it did a lot of things that would be more acceptable in the video game medium but not in the anime medium.
Anti-Hero: Unfortunately, Flit descends into one after Yurin dies in front of his very eyes. Grodek also turns out as one in the end, only caring about getting his personalRevenge rather than working to solve the UE problem.
Artistic License - Astronomy: According to this show, the rays produced by Mars's magnetic field cause a deadly, incurable disease, even though one of the big issues with real-world Mars exploration is that Mars doesn't even have a magnetic field. In fact magnetic fields protect organisms from solar radiation—life on Earth couldn't exist without one.
Art Style Dissonance: This series is notorious within the Gundam fandom for pairing a kiddy art style with a rather cynical and mature story.
Awesome Yet Practical: The tails on the UE mobile suits aren't there just to look badass and menacing. They sometimes act as lifesavers when a UE unit is outnumbered or cornered.
Badass Bookworm: Flit Asuno, his son Asem & grandson Kio all of them being skilled MS pilots & engineers. Especially Flit, with him being the original creator of the AGE Gundam, and later proving himself a skilled tactician.
Badass Normal: Woolf Enneacle. No psychic powers, not an X-Rounder, no Gundam to pilot. Just skill & talent when it comes to kicking ass & taking names in an MS.
Even more obvious example would be Largan Drace. This so-calledRed Shirt manages to hold off a Baqto with just a plain-vanilla Genoace for awhile before he was overwhelmed. Cue Flit's Big Damn Heroes moment in the AGE Gundam Titus.
Asemu also ascends into one when angered by Woolf's death, kills Desil in a duel despite his inability to use X-Rounder powers.
Woolf arriving in the G-Exes and pwning a UE suit with just one sword slash!
And then again in Episode 13, when Madorna and his friends showed up to stop a piece of the Fa Bose from ramming the Diva—and stop Ract from performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
Flit returns to the battlefield in episode 22 to to save Asemu and Woolf from Desil and Zehart in the good ol AGE-1 Normal.
Bittersweet Ending: The end of the Second Generation. Loads of characters die on both sides and the Earth suffered its first Vagan invasion. Nonetheless, Flit uncovers the moles within the government and Asemu has learned to be himself. Asemu winning over Romary Stone and marrying her just puts the icing on the cake.
Black and White Insanity: Flit sinks into this after Yurin dies; it is even more obvious after Yark Dole's shocking revelation of the true face of the UE. It is implied that the Big Bad, Lord Ezelcant, has this black-and-white mentality, too. Though so far the Vagans are the ones exterminating the people of earth first while Flit has yet to get the chance to attack the civilians of Vagan.
Bloodless Carnage: Played straight in the first two episodes, but averted for the rest of the series starting with Bruzar in Episode 3. Instead....
Blood from the Mouth: The deaths of major characters almost always include this (or a bleeding scalp wound, for variety) along with large globules of blood floating around them in the cockpit of their crippled mobile suit.
Boss in Mook Clothing: Despite the Genoace II looking nothing more than a recolored Genoace Custom, it has the same armor, armaments and specifications of the original AGE-1.
Child Soldier: Flit. It's perfectly clear he is turning himself into one; the first hint of that is the sight of the fiery battlefield right after his first kill that saddens him immediately in Episode 1. Understandably, Emily is not taking it well.
He also trains his grandson, Kio, into one, with bad consequences for Kio's emotional state.
Colony Drop: In Episode 27, although it was averted in time.
The Bisidians threaten Vagan this way in Episode 39, except that the asteroids the pirates use are fake.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Just in case anyone has noticed, the Earth Federation units are painted with bright colors, making them look like the "good" side, while the UE (Vagan) ones are generally darkly colored as the "evil" side.
And subverted for the Visidian pirates, who are good guys in dark suits.
Combat Pragmatist: In Episode 22, rather than fight Desil one on one, Flit brings a squad of Federation mooks along with him to guarantee a win.
Crap Saccharine World: Fardain. In Episode 5, we see the world inside the colony as a shiny, lavish, and seemingly peaceful commercial center. In Episode 6, however, we see the ugly truth behind the mask: there is a war inside this colony that has raged on since the past history in spite of the peace treaty that apparently ended the slaughtering between the two sides, cue Universal Century, and there are also a mass of people living in poverty in an underground ghetto while enduring the rich people who keep being fooled by ideologies or even don't give a damn about the warfare, cue Gundam 00.
Crapsack World: Yark Dole reveals the entire story to belong to this trope, with its darkness competing with that of the Universal Century timeline all of a sudden.
Crazy-Prepared: Flit made a battle simulation program for Kio to play, giving him adequate skills for his first sortie in the Gundam!
Once again in Episode 26. The victim is the same as the one immediately above, only this time it's Flit's son serving out the curb stomping. And he does what his father couldn't: kill the bastard.
Episode 47: After Zanald kills Deen, Kio accesses FX Mode and completely pwns him with minimal effort.
Episode 48: Asemu and Zeehart's final battle can barely be described as such. Since Zeehart has lost his Sanity at this point, he's far less effective and despite being in the Gundam Legilis, Asemu pwns him in the AGE-2 Gundam Darkhound despite it being 30 year old tech at that point.
The UE seems to be this, at least in the first episode. One Gafran camps outside the hatch to a hangar, firing at the sortieing Genoace before it has a chance to get out. When the Gundam takes down one Gafran, rather than fight it, the rest retreat and start bombing the colony from outside, after destroying the one that Flit managed to down to prevent it from being analyzed.
And in the second episode, when Vargas sends the new Beam Rifle to the Gundam in a capsule, the Garfran immediately tries to shoot it down rather than wait and see what was in it.
In Episode 4, we get to see a huge mothership and dozens of purple Gafran, as they show up during a mock-battle between Flit and Woolf. They waited for the right time and launched an excessive force to deal with the Gundam and Genoace Custom, when they only carried non-lethal weapons.
For Episode 10, the UE knows that the Enemy Mine between Euba and Zalam is already a strained one, so part of their strategy is to invoke friendly fire to cause infighting between the two sides.
In Episode 19, after losing soldiers to the Gundam AGE-2, the Vagan take a soldier hostage to prevent the Gundam from shooting them. Additionally, the Vagan positioned themselves so that the Gundam would hit the Diva if he shot at them.
In Episode 27, it appears all is well with the destruction of the Vagan flagship. However they'd actually counted counted on that, using the explosion to disguise their drop pods down to Earth as wreckage.
In Episode 30, when Kio receives an upgrade to his SigMaxiss Rifle, Zeheart immediately recognizes the danger and orders all of his mobile suits to concentrate on the Gundam before the rifle can charge. One episode later, the Three Phantoms also try to prevent the AGE-3 from receiving its Fortress wear. In both cases, the Federation pilots are equally genre-savvy and successfully protect the Gundam.
The Dead Have Names: Zeheart makes it a point to remember the name of every pilot under his command, especially the ones that are killed in action
Despair Event Horizon: Flit suffers a painful one when Yurin dies. This makes him reject the Vagans' humanity and swear revenge.
The citizens of Vagan have to endure this as a way of living. The trauma of the poverty, sicknesses, and deaths these citizens go through could put many entries on the Despair Event Horizon page to shame. A space colony without any natural life, those living in Vagan have to live with scarce resources and high crime. Anyone, rich or poor, can be struck with the terminal Mars Rays disease. As children get older, they tend to shut down their emotions because loving unreservedly is too painful. Because of the hopeless nature of their lives back at home, it's no wonder why so many Vagans resent the Earth Federation and want to return to Earth.
Distant Finale: The final scene is set on the centennial of The Day Angel Fell. Gundam AGE-1 is now part of a museum exhibit, and Asemu and Kio, now 78 and 50 years old respectively, are paying a visit to a statue of Flit erected in his honor.
Averted in the second generation. Although Asemu's hometown takes significant damage in a UE attack, neither it nor the colony is destroyed.
Played nearly straight in the third generation. Kio's hometown isn't totally destroyed, but it is subjected to a brutal attack on its civilian quarters.
Downer Ending: The final episode of the First Generation. Despite destroying the Ambat fortress, Grodek gets sentenced to life for committing treason and the Earth Federation covers up the evidence of the crew's findings about Vagan. Millais, Woolf, and Adams are all shell-shocked from finding out that the UE were people all along while the Earth Federation reveals genocidal motivations by renaming the first battles against Vagan as the War of Bat Extermination, and also showing they haven't learned a damned thing since the year they abandoned the Mars colonists. Moreover, Yurin's death instills an everlasting hatred for the Vagans in Flit and Emily is overhears him grieving over his inability to save anyone. Most importantly, however, Sir Ezelcant's forces are alive and well as they prepare for the next step of the war against Earth Federation.
Dual Wielding: Asem's fighting style when he first deploys in the Gundam.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite being a goddamn hero and the former commander in chief of the Federation, Flit is not taken seriously by the Federation commander stationed in Olivernotes.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The ultimate ending of the series. Flit is finally able to let go of his lifelong hatred, the long war is brought to an end, and the Vagans return to the Earth Sphere where a cure for their disease is eventually found.
OP 1: The silhouette of AGE-1 Normal is replaced by Titus and Spallow after respective forms appeared. Eventually the Diva is replaced by the silhouetted Gundam AGE-2 Normal in G-Strider mode starting in Episode 12.
ED 2: The Gundam AGE-2 Normal is replaced by the Double Bullet starting in Episode 24.
OP 3: The Dark Hound is not shadowed and Captain Ash is added starting in Episode 34. Legilis throws away it's silhouette by Episode 39.
ED 3: Captain Ash appears starting in Episode 34.
Falling into the Cockpit: Surprisingly averted in a Gundam series. Even though Flit wasn't intended to be the pilot of the Gundam AGE-1, he built the suit and knows how to use it. In the second generation, Flit gives Asemu the AGE device for his birthday and Vargas leads him right to the Gundam when he needs it. Likewise, in the third generation, the first thing Kio thinks of to repel the Vagan is to the find the Gundam, and Flit brings it straight to him.
Treasure Star sets during the Flit Arc and tells the story about Daiki Ryuuzaki and the Space Caravan Group Treasure Star on which they were searching for the "Grand Wings", while fighting against the Vagan. Turns out that the Grand Wings Is a Time Machine and Daiki's Father is from the Third Generation, just got thrown to the past. Of course, this one is questioned if it set in the same universe.
Memories of Sid explains more about Bisidian and Asemu's disappearance in his last and final mission. And explains more about the EXA-DB and Sid.
It's pretty much a given that neither Flit nor Asemu will be able to end the war with the UE.
From the physical appearances of Flit's son and grandson, it's pretty obvious that Flit/Emily and Asemu/Romary become the Official Couples. (Though in the first case, it happened due to Yurin's death.)
And one more featuring the same character in the second generation. Episode 22's Gundampedia noted that the Khronos (Desil's personal mobile suit) was rumored to have the ability of controlling allied mobile suits. He uses this ability in Episode 26 to pin Asemu down.
Gambit Roulette: Aaron Simmons predicted Reina Spriggan's reaction to having her boyfriend killed during a deliberate testing "accident" and a cover-up with surprising accuracy, which sure is handy when her defection and hatred of the Feddies was a key part of his plan to turn Luna Base over to Vagan.
Generational Saga: The format of the series. In addition to the Asunos, the Gunhales have had a representative in each generation, and supporting characters from the generation previous often return.
Generation Xerox: The three protagonists. Specifically, Asemu and Kio are male xeroxes of their mothers.
Also, Dique and Wootbit Gunhale. The latter looks exactly like the former did at the same age, only with blond hair, and both fill the same role. Wootbit's just not as friendly to his Asuno counterpart.
Yurin L'Ciel bears a sad smile just as her Farsia mobile suit explodes.
Yark Dole also bears a dignified smile as he dies in the hands of Grodek.
Woolf Enneacle follows Yurin's path as he dies a heroic death in his G-Bouncer.
Medel Zant smiles as he sees the Eden the Vagan long for.
Lu Anon bears a hopeful smile, presumably dreaming about the future and Kio, as she died in her sleep.
Seric Abis has a contented smile as he is tragically killed along with much of the Vagan fleet.
Basically, if someone who dies in Gundam AGE is even remotely sympathetic, they're probably going to go out with some sort of smile.
Obright, Fram, and Zeheart all die with a smile: Obright, thinking of reuniting with Remi, Fram, hoping Zeheart achieves Eden, and Zeheart, remembering his time in school and comforted by Asem's words.
Grey and Gray Morality: The Federation versus Vagan. The Federation set the stage for war by abandoning their failed Mars colony. Several generations of corruption and editing of history in their favor have now been replaced with Flit's unflinching anti-Vagan sentiments. Vagan, while having a sympathetic cause, began the war without warning, targets civilian colonies, and refuses Federation efforts to negotiate peace.
Who are the UE? What do they want? No one is quite sure, although Grodek seems to figure it out midway through Generation 1. Not that he tells anyone.
Episode 15 finally showed us the truth about the UE. 150 years before the start of the series, the Earth Federation abandoned support for the human colonies in Mars after an outbreak of a disease. Those who survived felt double-crossed by the Federation and formed the nation of Vagan. YMMV on whether or not their plight is sympathetic enough to warrant their atrocities.
History Repeats: Near the end of Flit's arc, Yurin is stabbed and killed by Desil, causing Flit to enter an Unstoppable Rage, and slices Desil's suit to pieces, but sparing him. 26 years later, Desil kills Woolf in a similar manner, followed by Asemu going berserk and slashing Desil's suit apart limb by limb and finishing the job by blasting the remains into molten space dust.
In Episode 34, Kio is held by two enemy suits the exact same way that Asemu was by Desil. Asemu shoves him out of the way in the exact same way that Woolf saved him... only he turns around and guts Gratt before he can get stabbed in the back. Woolf would be proud.
Hope Is Scary: According to Ezelcant, children are the only ones in Vagan who let themselves freely feel emotion. They learn to be stoic andjaded as they grow up, because loving unreservedly is too painful when those people are likely to die of disease and/or poverty.
Despite stiff competition from other series, Flit, the fourteen-year-old weapons designer on the military's payroll, may win the all-time achievement record for Gundam protagonists when it comes to this trope.
Flit is out done in his own series by the seven year old Desil who not only jacks the AGE-1 for a joyride, but is also the pilot of the UE MS Zedas and commands their forces in one battle.
Desil Galette turns out to be a pilot and battle commander, but he's an unpredictable brat who abandons a sure victory because he gets bored and kills Yurin L'Ciel, who the Vagan had gone to great lengths to conscript for her X-Rounder abilities. Notably, he lacks this authority in Generation 2.
Zeheart gets this, too. At age 18, he's put in command of the Earth Occupation Forces. He even outranks his older brother!
Irony: As the Third Generation rolls in, it's pretty clear that Vagan boasts a technologically advanced military. And then Episode 37 shows life within the actual capital city... which is a primitive, impoverished desert city that shares quite a few similarities to Cappadocia. To call the difference between civilian life and military within Vagan jarring would be an understatement.
Justified since they possess a fragment of EXA-DB, which only gives them access to advanced military technology such as weapons and armor, but nothing that can be used for civilian applications.
Also at the beginning of the Third Generation, when Flit asks for the launch of the Diva (which is at that point in time an antique and Flit has also left the military, only holding merit as the former commander-in-chief of the Federation), another high-ranking officer puts together a ragtag crew of half-dead pilots and rookies, even giving a complete amateur Nice Girl the position of captain, for it out of pure spite. Genre Savvy viewers should know that the Diva's new crew will likely wind up turning the tide in the war.
It's Personal: Flit and Desil. Twenty-five years later, the grudge is still going strong.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Yurin's death caused Flit to do this. From age fourteen well into his sixties, his hatred for the Vagan is so strong that his main goal in life is to exterminate all of them. His words.
The UE/Vagan did this circa A.G. 108, when they started wiping out colonies full of civilians in their campaign to retake Earth.
Kill 'em All: Many characters get killed off in the series, but the third generation in particular is rather heavy on the character deaths, especially episodes 47-48.
To elaborate, every Vagan soldier with a name is dead at the end of 48—save for an Artificial Human who hasn't arrived on the battlefield yet—along with the entirety of the Diva's mobile suit squadron.
Killed Off for Real: With all the homages AGE pays to previous entries of the franchise, it's only natural that it would be just as eager to kill off its cast.
Remi Ruth is killed when Mink attacks her unarmed repair unit in Episode 27.
Kio, He Is Your Father: Flit reveals that Captain Ash is actually Kio's father, Asemu Asuno, who was presumed dead after he went MIA.
Knight Templar: After Yurin's death, Flit proclaims that the Vagans are inhuman and devotes his life to wiping them out.
Laser-Guided Karma: Desil Galette suffers this big time starting from his defeat in the hands of an enraged Flit after his murder of Yurin. Since then, he never gets to surpass the rank of his younger brother, Zeheart, never gets respect from his fellow Vagan soldiers, always fails to kill Flit, and eventually — a well-deserved death in the hands of Flit's son, Asemu, which is also set up by Zeheart himself.
Lensman Arms Race: Thanks to the AGE Builder, the Diva is pretty much a one-ship Lensman Arms Race, developing massively powerful new weapons after receiving only a single battle's worth of combat data.
Likewise, the Vagan seem to be able to produce newer and more powerful mobile suits at a faster pace than the regular Federation forces.
Implied to have been taken to an even farther extent in the previous wars, where a pilot could control hundreds of mobile suits at once, and it's been mentioned that a single mobile suit from that era could probably outclass every currently existing armed force in both the Earth and Mars spheres.
And now they also have the Zeydra, the first mobile suit that can keep up with Zeheart's X-Rounder abilities.
The Gundam AGE-2 Normal can be considered one due to being fast & strong. But the one that takes the prize would be the Mid-Season Upgrade of AGE-2, the Double Bullet.
The Gundam AGE-3 in its entirety is this. Despite being the physically largest of the three regular Gundams, it has surprising agility and maneuverability (able to glide around melee strikes on a city street) and excellent speed thanks to its massive thrusters, and is also armed with a miniaturized version of the Diva'sPhoton Blaster Cannon.
The Fortress equipment gives it hovering abilities for gliding across the ground at high speeds, and is armed with four SigMaxiss Cannons. The Orbital equipment is the fastest yet, matching the Ghirarga for speed and armed with a rifle that fires homing sword beams.
The Gundam AGE-FX, full stop. Specifically mentioned to have been built to be as fast as possible, and armed with a multitude of extremely quick C-Funnels. It's also armed with the Stangle Rifle, which has two firing modes... and the weakest of which is on par with the Gundam AGE-3's Sigmasis Rifle. Taken Up to Eleven with FX Burst,it managed to reflect Xamdrag's well.... Xamdrag cannon.
SID. The Mobile Armor has more firepower than a warship and moves so fast that even the Gundam Legilis and AGE-2's Strider mode can barely keep up with it.
Lighter and Softer: Averted. The "kiddy" art style doesn't stop the show from featuring its fair share of deaths or depict the Federation as still a corrupt organization. The scenes of large-scale battles throughout the series are no more sanitized than those in other Gundam shows either.
Flit with Emily and Yurin. Emily wins. Though it's doubtful she'd revel in the victory... I mean, is it really winning when your love rival—the one Flit seemed to have more romantic feelings for—is killed? And considering the scene with Flit and Yurin's pink ribbon, the girl's very aware of it, and not exactly happy? Something of a Pyrrhic Victory, really.
For the Second Generation, Romary with Asemu and Zeheart. In Episode 24, Romary seems to have chosen Zeheart despite the fact that he's a Vagan. By Episode 28, Asemu wins, with Romary and him getting married.
Lost Technology/Magical Database: EXA-DB. It contains information on every weapon used prior to the Silver Chalice Treaty. Vagan's mobile suit and warship technology comes from a fragment that Ezelcant found decades ago.
Mauve Shirt: The Diva mobile suit squadron of Generation 3. Rather than the oddball trio of G1 or the New Meat squad of G2, they are simply competent, experienced pilots and come off as generic thanks to their lack of screentime (usually, atleast). They're all dead by the penultimate episode.
Meet Cute: Yurin for Flit. Romary for Asemu. Lu for Kio.
The Messiah: Flit aims to become one throughout much of the First Generation. Yurin's death kills his idealist views and triggers his dark descent into becoming a Dark Messiah.
Mid-Season Upgrade: Woolf replaces his nearly out-dated Genoace Custom during the middle arc of the first generation with the G-Exes.
Asemu gets an example of this, too, when he switches from the Gundam AGE-1 to the AGE-2, then to the Double Bullet.
And on the villains' side, Zeheart upgrades from the Zedas R to the Zeydra.
Kio then upgrades from the AGE-3 to the AGE-FX.
The fourth opening shows that the AGE-1 is going to get a "Full Armour" type upgrade so Flit can keep up with the younger members of the Asuno family.
In Episode 44, Zeheart inherits Lord Ezelecant's Gundam Legilis.
Mighty Glacier: The AGE-1 Titus is right out of the textbook: hits like a brick wall with fists in ground combat, easily outmaneuvered by nimbler units in space battle.
The Mole: Over the course of the war, the Vagan have infiltrated countless moles and sleeper agents into the Federation. Zeheart initially started as one, and Shanalua Mullen turns out to be a Federation native working as one.
Probably the most twisted example ever with Flit versus Desil. The former is a maturing fourteen-year-old kid aware of his own limits; the latter is an arrogant and selfish 7-year-old Ax CrazyBlood Knight.
Averted with Asemu and Zeheart in the Second Generation. They are exactly the same age. until they put Zeheart on cold sleep and they follow the trope in the Third Generation
Inverted with Kio vs. Zeheart. Also inverted with Kio vs. Ezelcant.
Psychic Powers: The X-Rounders, which at first seem to be a fairly basic and near identical Newtype equivalent. And then people start talking about it being a regression in humanity, rather than the next step in their evolution.
Puppy Love <- -> Star-Crossed Lovers: Kio Asuno (Earth) and Lu Anon (Vagan) from the Third Generation, both of whom are only 13 years old when they meet. Sadly, it doesn't make them exempt from Gundam'sLove Hurts tradition, as seen by Lu's heartbreaking death in Episode 38.
This is played with in the Second Generation, as Romary is saved by both Asemu and Zeheart at different times. Asemu rescues Romary when she's injured during a Vagan attack, and Zeheart rescues Romary from getting hit by a wrench. She distinctly blushes at the latter.
Asemu, also on Desil, this time after he kills Woolf.
Kio unleashes FX Burst on Zanard after he kills Deen.
Zeheart gets one in episode 48 after he sees the Gundams survived the attack he sacrificed a good deal of his forces, including his closest Lieutenants, to pull off. Unforunately for him, his does not go as well as any of the Asunos'.
Satellite Love Interest: Emily, and to a lesser extent, Romary. Emily's only concern seems to be Flit, and she barely even interacts with her grandfather. Romary has more screentime, but her role is overshadowed by the rivalry between Asemu and Zeheart. Their absence in subsequent generations makes it painfully obvious that they were only included for their ovaries.
Wendy is the presumed love interest for Kio, but only through various love interest signal flags shared with her predecessors (her appearance in the ED and prior friendship with Kio) and not any kind of actual romantic expression. Or screentime.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Grodek, Flit as of Episode 14, Woolf in Generation 2, Obright and Shanalua in Generation 3.
Kio shows some pretty major signs of PTSD as the war comes to a close, including staring numbly at the devastation left behind by the Photon Blaster during the final battle, culminating in finally breaking down and crying after his fight with Deen.
Shoulders of Doom: The Gundam AGE-1 Titus has those. Notice the 4 holes in each of its shoulder-pads? Those are actually Beam Spikes stored in the shoulders, placed ideally for tackling the enemy.
Suicide Mission: Fram is given one to lure the Gundams into the La Gramis' Wave Motion Gun, a mission that would get her in the way of the cannon's fire. She does so, all so she could get Zeheart to change back to the kind man she knew. It doesn't work.
Super Mode: The AGE-FX has one: FX Burst Mode. The machine glows blue and beam sabers erupt out of every conceivable point on its frame. It gains a tremendous speed boost and near immunity to beam attacks, as the numerous beam sabers apparently generate some kind of interference field. The problem is that it cannot be activated for very long, and that its destructive potential is too great: Kio doesn't want to use it because it's too difficult to disable the enemy without destroying them while it's active.
Surprisingly Good English: For once, a Gundam series has this. Yurin says "Nice catch" in episode 14 and it's just as well that it's this rather than Gratuitous English, as it's shortly before her death as well as most of the written English text throughout.
Moreover, Lu's diary about her future memories not only has beautiful sketches, it also contains entries written in grammatically perfect English. Here is a heartwarming entry.◊
Taking You with Me: Daz attempts to do this to Flit in Episode 27 after having his mobile suit split in two. He almost succeeded. On the other hand, Godom and Fram had more success with this on Seric and Olbright.
Trailers Always Lie: At the end of Episode 8, we are shown a new UE model hiding in the factory that builds customized mobile suits including G-Exes, leading the audience to suspect that it has been working for the UE all along. In the next episode, however, it is revealed that the crew has been UNKNOWINGLY working for the UE until they realize something is dead wrong in the combat record of the UE model. They get better after this.
The Gundam AGE-3 too, sort of. It doesn't transform as much as the AGE-2, rather the arms and legs fold up into a flight-mode, stretching out to become the body which the Core Fighter then transforms into the Head and Cockpit for.
The Federation's new Clanche is a straighter example, being developed directly from the AGE-2.
Transformation Is a Free Action: In Episode 31 "Tremble In Fear - Ghosts of the Desert", this trope is averted as while Kio performs the mid-air conversion with the G-Hopper, the bad guys attempt to shoot them down while they're doing it. However, Flit intervenes and the conversion is successfully executed.
The Purge: The second generation ends with one of Vagan collaborators within the Federation as part of a coup.
The Uriah Gambit: When Desil disobeys orders during the battle at Nortrom and engages the Gundam, Zeheart deliberately withholds reinforcements, which leads to Desil's defeat and death. His subordinates then accuse him of invoking this trope in order to conveniently get rid of him, but he points out that they probably would have ended up as Canon Fodder if he'd allowed them to assist.
In Episode 30, the Olivernotes commander deliberately assigns the worst crew he can find to the Diva, as well as promoting an inexperienced lieutenant into captaincy long before she is ready for such responsibility. He seems to this all for the purpose of spiting Flit.
In Episode 48, Zeheart fires La Gramis' cannon, knowing that Zanald, who has proved himself to be a traitorous bastard, would be caught in the blast.
Aaron Simmons, who when it looks like the Federation has even breached the base, hands control of the base to subordinate claiming he will return, then proceeds to kill two guards to escape the base all while ranting how he doesn't want to die after his successful Gambit Roulette.
Zeheart, after failing to kill the Gundams with his final La Gramis blast that annihilates all in its path, friend and foe alike, snaps and tries to take out the Gundams with Legilis and meets his own demise.
Voodoo Shark: A major one surfaces in Generation 3. Halfway through the planning period for the show, the writers seem to have noticed that Lord Ezelcant's two stated objectives (reclaiming the Earth for Vagan and testing the worthiness of the Federation's citizens) didn't exactly gel. Consequently, they had him reveal his real plan, which was even more nonsensical and self-contradictory (evolving humanity into a peaceful, utopian master race by killing most of them off).
War for Fun and Profit: Desil Galette's motivation for fighting. He thinks that war is a game and that the soldiers are toys at his disposal.
The War of Earthly Aggression: Once the Gundam became the Diva's ace-in-the-hole, the Earth Federation rebranded their war against the UE (aka Vagan) as the War of Bat Extermination.
Was It All a Lie?: Asem demands this of Zeheart, who wishes they could have remained friends.
“Well Done Son” Guy: Asemu enters mobile suit contests and excels in school so he could attract his father's attention. When he joins the Federation, he focuses on being just as good of a mobile suit as his father in order to impress him. Woolf tries to teach Asemu to be his own man and not to be confined by his father's accomplishments.
Episode 8's last scene of showing a UE being built in a facility was but an appetizer to how big episode 9 would be. A UE Zedas outclasses the Titus, making a new Gundam obsolete in record time. Moreover, the episode reveals that Desil's calling the shots for the UE and, most importantly, Grodek convinces his crew to break off from the Federation's forces. Talk about a dramatic buildup!
After much tension of the first part of the battle, Episode 13 gives the audience one more sudden shock by revealing Yurin as a manipulated X-Rounder soldier by the UE at the end. (Unless you've seen enough Gundam shows to know what happens to the newtype-y love interest. Then it's more of a Foregone Conclusion.)
Two words: Episode 15. We finally realize that the UE are actually people belonging to the nation of Vagan, but also learn the reasons why they are fighting against the Earth Federation. After watching this episode, you may find yourself sympathizing with those from Vagan.
Episode 29. First, Big Ring is destroyed. This signals the Vagan forces sent to Earth in Episode 27 finally reveal themselves, rapidly turning Earth from a peaceful paradise into a battleground.
Episodes 37 and 38. We finally get to see what life within Vagan is like. Prepare yourself for the series' most sobering episodes yet.
Episode 39. The truth behind Ezelcant's Project Eden is revealed. Gundam Legilis is also introduced, giving the AGE-3 not one, but twoNo-Holds-Barred Beatdowns.
Episode 48. To whit, Zeheart fires La Gramis' cannon again to destroy the Gundams, but also taking out a significant portion of his own forces who are in the way, ordering Fram and Leil to keep the Gundams from fleeing, even though this means their deaths as well. The Federation is forced to abandon the Diva so it can be used as bait to draw the cannon's fire. Obright makes a Heroic Sacrifice that ends up killing Framas well, and the three Gundams work together to escape the laser blast (which incidentally also takes out Zanald). When Zeheart realizes he's just sacrificed the bulk of his forces-including his two loyal subordinates-for nothing, he snaps, and enters the battle in Gundam Legilis, where he is quickly and swiftly defeated by Asemu, reconciles with his friend, and then dies as Legilis explodes.
Speaking of Memories of Sid, we have Wivik in the 3rd Generation. Now, just where the hell is he?
In Generation 3, Laparaly Mardona seems to be running the business without Murkured, so some fans have hypothesized that he died of old age between generations.
What Measure Is a Mook?: Episode 15 has a heartbreaking example when Woolf runs into a dying Vagan soldier. Learning the truth about his people and befriending him, Woolf is given a Vagan necklace just before the soldier dies in his arms. Sorry, I got something in my eye...
In Generation 3, Zeheart makes a point of knowing the names of soldiers who die under his command.
What the Hell, Hero?: The three Asunos lash this out against one another in the fourth arc, with Flit despising Asemu for turning into a pirate, and Asemu and Kio questioning Flit's Messiah work by exterminating all the Vagans.
Worf Effect: While Asemu is perfectly capable of handling Vagan mooks, the early Second Generation episodes show him continually getting curbstomped by Zeheart.
A lot of Federation mobile suits that aren't the Gundam or piloted by Woolf fall victim to this too. They're somewhat less hopeless in Generation 2 and more on the level in 3, most likely due to the Federation being caught off-guard by the Unknown Enemy in the first place.
The "Magicians' Eight", a squadron of elite Vagan X-Rounders, spend most of the episodes they show up in getting continually and rather easily picked off and killed by the protagonists.
By the point of the Third Generation, the Defurse, which was able to give the Gundam AGE-1 a tough fight, is easily one shotted by the AGE-3.
Big Ring, which is the lynchpin of Earth's final line of defense, easily holds off a massive Vagan offensive in the 2nd Generation. However, come the Third Generation, the station is quickly destroyed in the opening minutes of Episode 29.
Gundam Legilis. Despite it gives Gundam AGE-3 not one,but two No Holds Barred Beat Down and it defeated SID with the help of Asemu. Somehow,it was easily defeated by Asemu.
Wrestler in All of Us: The Gundam AGE-1 Titus's weapons loadout is specifically built around giving wrestling moves that little extra kick, making it perhaps the only Humongous Mecha in existence to utilise the 'beam lariat'.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Arabel's fate. Shortly after he stabs Grodek he is shot by unknown people as part of their cover-up of something within the Federation. The one that shoots him tells him they don't need him anymore.
You Killed My Family: Flit's (initial) hatred of the UE comes from watching his mother die during an attack on their colony.
Grodek's wife and daughter were killed in the very first UE attack, and he has no other purpose in life but to avenge them.
Arabel's attitude towards Grodek. Grodek is also Genre Savvy enough to know that Arabel will ruin his own life in order to pursue revenge, which he eventually does in Episode 24.