The flashback showing "The Day the Angel Fell." While working in an office, Grodek hears from one of his colleagues that the UE have destroyed his home colony. His reactions from the horrible realization that his wife and daughter were still in the colony makes it hard not to cry.
The second half of episode 14, specifically when Yurin gets forced into a pink UE mobile suit and fights Flit against her will. One can't help but feel horrible for the poor girl as her mobile suit is tearing up the only boy she ever loved no thanks to Desil mind-controlling her mobile suit.
Which leads to Yurin's death itself. She takes Desil's blade for Flit not unlike Four Murasame. Not long afterwards, we're treated to a forest farewell scene, which then cuts back to Yurin's cockpit, where she's reaching for the Gundam. As her helmet cracks and the mobile suit explodes, she goes out with a smile.The musicdid not help.
And as if that wasn't enough, Flit has another vision of Yurin in the midst of fighting Gerra Zoi and the Defurse. He sees her standing in the middle of the forest of Colony Minsry and races towards her. He reaches her, and the two of them share a loving embrace... that lasts for all of a second before Yurin dissolves into dust in Flit's arms. Good LORD.
Episode 15 had a lot of depressing moments as well.
Sure, Yark Dole might have had zero regrets over the destruction of the Angel Colony (Grodek's home colony.) But he was shown to be a genuinely loving father for his son Arabel and a loyal commander for Vagan. To see Arabel mourn over his father's death is utterly heartbreaking.
While searching for Flit, Woolf runs into a dying Vagan soldier. Seeing Woolf realize that the Unknown Enemy are human and befriend the Vagan soldier as he slowly dies in Woolf's arms is devastating to watch.
Woolf could barely keep himself together when Adams asks him if the war against fellow people is going to continue. He quietly responds "I think so..." as he clutches to the necklace the Vagan soldier gave him. ;-;
And lest we forget, we see Grodek dreaming about returning home to see him reunite with his dead wife and daughter as he's about to get sent to prison for treason. One can't blame him for shedding Manly Tears.
Yes, Emily might have been The Scrappy for being concerned about Flit a little too much. But one can't help but feel terrible for her when she comes over to the hangar only to hear Flit mourn Yurin's death as he holds her pink ribbon. The fact that Emily will always be second-best to Flit regardless of what she does, or will do in the second generation, can break one's spirit.
Episode 18 has Zeheart revealing himself as the pilot of Zedas R to Asemu after defeating the Gundam. Seeing Zeheart trying to explain himself as his friendship with a devastated Asemu collapses is a prime example of why War Is Hell.
Zeheart: (bears a sad smile) Perhaps we could have remained friends. However, as a warrior, there is a burden I must bear. I have a reason to fight. One that I can never forget. ...Do you have something like that? Something that gives you such resolve? Could you shoot, knowing it was me?!
Grodek's death in Episode 24, full stop. He's about to deliver evidence on a Vagan spy when a grown-up Arabel Zoi stabs him in the back. The final speech Grodek makes to Arabel is even more saddening, considering how his obsession with avenging his family ruined Arabel's and Flit's lives. And to top it off, Arabel himself is killed shortly thereafter, denied the chance to live the remainder of his life free of revenge.
Episode 26. Woolf's death, full stop. He uses his last moments to offer one final encouraging speech to Asemu even as he loses the strength to speak.I´m expec… great thin…
When the Diva registers the loss of the G-Bouncer, they immediately open a channel to Asemu. All they hear is the sound of him sobbing.
Even Flit, who by this point is a ruthless and unfazeable commander, tears up a bit at this event.
Episode 27. Obright trying to rescue Remi from her ruined repair unit after Mink's attack. He desperately tries to convince her that she's going to be okay while she talks sadly of the family they could have had. He even gets out of his Genoace and reaches her cockpit to pull her out, only in time to see her last moments.
Episode 32 Shanalua flatly refuses Kio's plea to return to the Diva because she'd be executed for spying, which is bad enough for the kid. When they both come under attack moments later, she defends him from a Vagan mobile suit at the cost of her life and tells him that he has to be strong and live, while she reaches for the photo of her sister taped in her cockpit.
Episode 34: Glatt Otto of the Phantom Three dies whilst almost avenging his fallen comrade Deymon. He even cries upon his own death because he could not avenge him. Then their leader cries having lost two comrades to a Gundam. It's made even more poignant when Zeheart tells Fram Nora the names of the soldiers who died and to remember their names.
Episode 35: Kio finds Obright mopping the hangar and asks him why he's doing that, since the ship has auto-cleaners. Obright responds the exact same way that Remi did when Obright asked her that very question 22 years ago.
Episode 37. JESUS CHRIST, Episode 37.
After Deen stops the pickpocket, he invites Kio over to his house where he meets his sister Lu who's suffering from a terminal disease from the Mars Rays. Because of her disease, Kio's the first outsider she's met and wants to learn more about his personal life. Judging from her curiosity about Kio, it's pretty much implied that most children in Vagan never have a chance to learn, to love, or to be happy within their lives. It's no wonder why so many in Vagan see the military or an impoverished life in the city as the only ways to live.
Pictured above: And then we have Lu and Deen arguing whether or not Lu could ever see the outside world before she breaks down and cries. Deen's reasons for his reluctance to let her go are heartbreaking.
Ezelcant's discussion to Kio after he gets to see what life in Vagan is like. Death and poverty are so rampant within Vagan, that people believe that emotions will only increase the despair within their lives and thus view them as useless.
Ezelcant: "Have you learned what the Mars Sphere is like? People cherish their loved ones, and seek warmth from their families. But here, even such pure feelings are crushed. For fear of loss, the Vagan people have smothered the emotion called love. …It’s true, everyone has human feelings when they’re young. But as they grow, they cease to love others. They cease to be attached to their family or lovers. They become afraid to love someone from their hearts. Can you hear them? The cries of those who’ve been robbed of human feelings? To us, dying is not sadness. Sadness is being unable to live as a human being."
Oh, and that family photo that's on a table in Kio's guest room? It's a younger Ezelcant, his wife, and their deceased child. It's not that Ezelcant wants Kio in his palace as a special prisoner as much as Kio's resemblance brings back nostalgic memories of their dead son.
Episode 38 manages to OUTDO episode 37. Lu passes away, and Deen tells Kio that Lu smiled until the very end, then gave Kio her diary full of future memories. Hearing them read aloud in Lu's voice — especially the last one, of Kio taking Lu to Earth◊ — as Kio fights off tears and Vagan mobile suits simultaneously is heartbreaking.
The kicker? Because of Asemu's attempt to rescue his son, Kio was unable to arrive on time to say goodbye or perhaps extend her life with the medicine he had in his hand. ;_;
In hindsight, Kio's attempts to save Lu's life by exchanging medicine for access to the AGE system's security protocols. One look in Dorene's eyes, and you know that Kio's eagerness to save Lu is ultimately not going to end well.
As Kio, Lu, and Deen reach a viewpoint of Second Moon colony, Lu says its beautiful. The look on Kio's face not only drives home his understanding of Vagans, but also the sadness from the fact that the poverty-filled colony seen from a junkheap would turn out to be the most beautiful thing Lu would ever see in her short life.
The entire 4th opening is this. Here were a few notable moments.
Showing the three generations of protagonists together in many scenes, showing their happy memories together and the progression of the Gundams. This is especially so if you seen just how far apart Flit, Asemu, and Kio have become due to their separate approaches to the war.
And lest we forget, the sequence of prominent people the Asuno family lost throughout the series, namely Yurin L'Ciel (Flit's love interest), Grodek Ainoa (Flit's mentor), Woolf Enneacle (Asemu's mentor and true bro) and Lu Anon (Kio's love interest). Looking back at those characters makes it so hard not to cry from remembering how each of them went out.
After a family argument in Episode 44 in which Kio tells him he's not fit to call himself a savior, Flit stares out the window. His reflection turns into that of his 14-year-old self as he remembers the deaths he blames himself for: his mother, Grodek, Woolf, and Yurin. As bitter and extremist as he's become, it's hard not to feel for him there.
It really doesn't help that Flit's life is essentially one long Trauma Conga Line. To think that he was pushed over the Despair Event Horizon so hard at just the age of 14 is heart-wrenching (more so as his first encounter with death prior was at such a young age). Looking back at the earlier episodes or the opening, it really hits home how drastically he's changed over the years. Not to mention, as mentioned above, how it's strained his relationships with those he should be closest to. The reflection is like a reminder that he hasn't always been so cold and hellbent on annihilating the Vagans and Used to Be a Sweet Kid. Just look at young Flit's face.◊
Episode 47: GODDAMN IT EPISODE 47!!
Deen's last conversation with Kio, telling him that he want to build a grave for his sister Lu on Earth, where there are fields of flowers and blue lakes, which she wants to see before she died. That scene was terribly heart-wrenching. His death after this scene didn't help either.
Seric Abis's death. After defeating the Guldorin, his Clanche Custom crashed against a Vagan Battleship and got stuck, while the Diva is currently preparing to fire its Positron Cannon. His final conversation with Natora Einus, The Captain of the Diva, telling her to fire the Cannon and seize the window of opportunity to assault the Vagan Fortress, in spite of the fact that he can't escape nor eject because his Clanche Custom is stuck and his cockpit is crushed. And when the Diva fires its cannon, Seric Abis faced his impending death with a smile on his face, knowing that Natora has become a true Captain, and finally saying "Perhaps I can take a long vacation..." before his Mobile Suit is obliterated along with the rest of the Vagan Mobile Suits and spaceships. The crew of the Diva saluting his death just adds to the tear-jerking scene. An item of note, Natora is openly crying during this entire scene, which shows how much she cares about him, and might have some feelings for Seric Abis.
The background music really helps to pull at the heartstrings, as the two most painfully beautiful and Tear Jerker tracks are used during, including the one from Woolf's death.
Episode 48: BBBBBAAAAWWWWWW!!!!!
After initiating the plan to use The Diva as a decoy, the entire crew of the Diva abandoned ship, and as they all escaped with the Baronoke, the entire crew of The Diva saluted the spaceship for its Heroic Sacrifice, even Filt who uttered, "it has been a long time..." remembering the three generations of Asunos and their bridge crew as well as Mobile Suit Pilots who lived on board it and regarded the ship as their home. The memories of the three generations just make it all the more heart-wrenching.
A telling indication of Gundam AGE's ability to tug on the ol' heartstrings. How many series can you think of that make you shed tears for a ship?
Obright's death. After killing Leil Light and Fram, Obright tells the three generations of Gundam Pilots to leave him and escape, because he's dying while locked in a death embrace with Fram's Fawn Farsia. Then when the Vagan's Digma-xenon Cannon fires again, obliterating The Diva and his Mobile Suit, Obright closes his eyes and smiles, finally at peace with himself and saying his final words: "Remi...I am finally going to see you again..." Manly Tears, man, Manly Tears.
Fram telling Zeheart to make his dream of Eden come true, and to beleive in himself. Before dying in the Vagan's Digma-xenon Cannon's blast along with the Diva and Obright. Zeheart even apologised to her, telling her that an apology is not enough for her to forgive him, but she assured him that she was glad to fight by his side. That speaks a lot for someone who inititally want to kill him if she finds him unworthy of her brother's death...to someone who genuinely care for Zeheart by the end of the whole series. The whole entire scene is so heartwrenching...and Fram's tears were freely flowing in zero gravity.
After being defeated by Asemu the super pirate pilot, Zeheart remembers the happy memories of him being part of the Mobile Suit Club along with young Asemu, Romary and friends during the Asemu story arc beginning. The words said by Asemu, "Zeheart, I only made it this far because of you!" in both young and adult selves speaks volumes about how Zeheart helped Asemu to realise the potential within himself and eventually making him into the man he is today. Zeheart then thanked Asemu one final time before pushing Gundam Legilis away from Asemu before it explodes, and Asemu openly screamed out Zeheart's name into the depths of space. This scene tugs at the heart-strings of fans who have watched the second story arc of Gundam AGE.
Memories of Eden gave him a different goal, no less sad than the others: He wanted to go through Ezelcant's clearly insane plan because he did not want everyone that died under his command to have their lives wasted in vain. And what's even sadder is that right after Asemu comes into the heavily damaged Legilis to get him out, he pushes Asemu back into the Dark Hound and detaches the Legilis.