Hi Irina! How has your week been going? I heard something about you having a longer weekend than usual, which is pretty cool. So hopefully, having a larger amount of down time was good and just spent it well. Actually, give me some ideas on how to spend a day off because I don’t know what that is like.
Next week is Memorial day, so it is an important day to honor those who died during the civil war, but it is also a day off. I almost wondered if I should sign up to work more on that day. I really am that kind of person who doesn’t know how to do anything but be busy or otherwise. What is down time? How does one relax? I still haven’t figured out how to do almost nothing.
Somehow I missed that you got a job. Congratulations Scott! I hope you are liking it so far! We just had Victoria day or Journée des patriot in Quebec – mostly because we refuse to celebrate the queen so it’s really more of a PR thing than actually celebrating specific events. I had to look it up and it actually is a commemoration of public meetings organized by patriotic citizens across Lower Canada throughout 1837… so yay for meetings?
This said, I am happy to relax. I am looking forward to my next vacation. I just have no clue when it will be. I’m thinking October! If you figure out something fun to do next week, let me know!
Speaking of honoring people and peace, episode 20 is a lot about this concept too. So I honestly don’t have much to discuss because this episode was fully focused on the concept of our rebellion, the Oceania forces, Eurasian, and the Asian forces, are going to join together to fight the North American forces. It’s really cool.
Smooth segway Scott! I’m impressed.
I am not every person here because I am a person that loves the meticulous nature of treaties and politics in anime. There is a reason why I am an older gundam fan after all and why I love the older Legend of the Galactic Heroes and the newer one. I like series that cover the full nature of the politics at hand and how it affects people. I’m kind of amazed that AMAIM decided to do that too. Amaim isn’t a stranger to politics, but this is a slightly different level.
Luckily, we are on the same page. I’m also a fan of fictional politics but I often find myself rather isolated in that opinion. And I get it. Paperwork and careful negotiations isn’t exactly what most people think of when they want joyful escapism.
This said, I was pretty interested in where AMAIM is going. This show, and anime in general, has taught me to have some serious trust issues so I’m just waiting for the rebels to get double crossed. Especially in such a large union of convenience. Maybe everyone will get double crossed by only one side, maybe they’ll split off into two opposing factions. I’m not sure what exactly will happen but somehow I’m sure something will. Something not good.
I think it’s because the entire episode seemed too good to be true for me. Sure, the concessions were modest which makes the entire thing more believable, but still, the rebels have been fighting a losing war and all the sudden, this is the biggest break they have ever gotten. I just can’t relax.
It was really cool seeing some of the commander’s faces. I mean, obviously Alexei is there, but I liked seeing the Asian commander again. HIm meeting the leader of our rebellion on a different level again is pretty cool. So I really like already having an attachment to some of these people. I don’t really know or remember the Eurasian representative that was in the four way zoom call, but I am sure I will get to know him eventually.
The moments between Alexei and Amou were pretty uncomfortable, but they felt like they should be again. Especially with Amou being questioned in whether he could kill again if he needed to. So that tension of Amou’s story of being pressured to see how far he could go. Will Amou really find complete happiness again in the middle of this war even when he found it recently. Some interesting through lines there.
With that sort of human nature, I do like that our three Amaim pilots were able to play a larger part into the deal too. Amou, Gashin, and Shion all decide that it is at least a step forward to freeing Japan again. Especially with how there is going to be a longer policy into how the treaty does and yet doesn’t do everything it wants them to do. All of them expected that, but it still hurts them regardless.
I thought they did a pretty remarkable job at humanizing Alexei. He has ben an almost cartoonish bad guy up until now and I figured his presence would be jarring. And yes, like you said his one on one with Amou was definitely tense and awkward but as you also pointed out, there was no other way to play that. Up until recently these two were literally trying to kill each other, personally.
However, I found Alexei to be a much more measured and almost relatable character than I had perceived him to be. Alexei asked some uncomfortable questions but he also actually made a pretty big effort to comfort Amou. To reassure him that it’s a war and if Amou ever caused casualties he did nothing wrong. We can argue about the validity of that statement but I really think that in the context of the scene, it was spoken in kindness.
With the actual intention of soothing and giving advice to a younger combattant going through a tough time, from someone who has been there before. Whether that is because Alexei is actually a nice guy or simply because he wants his new ally to be in top condition on the battlefield as that is clearly to his advantage, it still has the same effect. And it gives the impression that Alexei may not have immediate plans to betray them all.
I find a lot of intrigue into how the North American forces treat the news of the four sided treaty happening. I mean seriously, it does feel like a very typical North American thing to be like “we are the ones who already freed Japan. It is that standard sort of self confidence that makes them the cliche villains. We saw how they are treated by the part of the country they occupied last cour, but how will that change for them now?
Brad Wyatt though. Man, power has really changed him. Especially with him leaving his friends behind while seeing the news he faces of this treaty with the sharpest smile ever. A good challenge for him is approaching and Brad probably wants this to just test himself even more isn’t he? Or what about his strange relationship he has with Amou after spending five minutes with him. A lot of things are going on here.
I was just going to say, what happened to Brad. I mean when did he change that much and why? I didn’t like this much. I don,t mind that Brad becomes our main antagonist and I’m ok if the show wants to turn him into a much more clear cut villain. AMAIM has not been great about adding nuance to their antagonists so I’m all for fleshing one out even if he is a big baddie.
But this is just too sudden. It plays out almost like a mood swing rather than some type of fundamental change. They did mention that his personality started changing noticeably after he got Ghost and I’m not sure if they are setting up for the reveal that Ghost (the original and not the copies) has some type of influence or mind altering power on the pilots that use it. That is the one explanation that popped into my mind but it would be a bit of a stretch.
Still, I would prefer an out of the blue explanation like that, than just having important characters change their personalities for no reason. That makes it very difficult to engage with the show for me. Next week maybe Brad will decide he is a staunc pacifist and refuse to fight….
So Irina, how did you feel about this episode? What about the complicated things that will happen in this next episode from the preview? There is some really interesting things going on here as the show leads to its conclusion and I feel like all the build up and intrigue has been interesting.
I really like the alliance. I think it has a lot of potential and it was interesting to see it getting set up. However, I am not really digging Brad’s sudden shift. It makes it a bit more difficult for me to really figure out America’s motivations and stakes since he somewhat represents that side of the conflict.
So we will se where it goes!
The vibe I’ve always gotten from Alexei is, unlike the Oceana commanders and East Asian commanders we’ve encountered is that Alexei just wants a challenge. The other commanders have had a heavy sense of clear racial prejudice, that they feel that the population they’re occupying is just a resource to be exploited, or that they’re getting off on having power over others who can’t strike back, or don’t view them as human. You know – All Imperialists Are Bastards.
Alexei, on the other hand, while he got a bit of a M’quve vibe when he was first introduced, feels more like he wants to fight a challenging opponent. He didn’t have that before, he thought he was going to get that with the Resistance when he went up against Amou, but now North America has Ghost, so that’s where the Fun Fight is. Otherwise, we never had any encounters with the Eurasian Occupation forces interacting with the populace before, so we have no sense of them treating the people like dirt, as opposed to Oceania (holding children as a hostage and planning to kill them whether Amou surrendered or not), or East Asia (actual human trafficking, deliberately putting civilians in the middle of an active combat situation).
What really makes me suspect a sudden but inevitable betrayal is the fact that outside of Eurasia, we have no sense that things for the Japanese people in general have improved in the Oceanian and East Asian sectors following the Resistance’s actions in those areas. We haven’t gotten anything to indicate that those two factions won’t fall back on their old habits given the chance. Similarly, while we’ve gotten some other commanders on the North American/US side who are cartoonish villains, we’re also seeing a bunch of people on that faction who are against or would be against (if they fully knew) what Brad’s up to with his heel turn, making a real possibility that part of the climax could be Brad’s chickens coming home to roost.
I would not be surprised if the end of the season lead to some sort of Zeta Gundam situation where the North American government and high command find out the full extent of Brad’s plans, decides he’s gone too far, and tries to stop him, while Brad (and his arms dealing buddy), teams up with one of the previously villainous factions that are currently allied with the Resistance (maybe East Asia), with that faction going “Surprise, we were Evil All Along!” (only for the audience – and maybe some of our protagonists to not be surprised).
Finally, I have to admit, this season does have the problem (one similar to the one that Billionare Detective Balance Unlimited ran into a year or two ago, though less geopolitical), of the series running into current events in a way that could not have been foreseen during pre-production on this season. Specifically, the clear Russian military analog (Eurasia) becoming the most sympathetic faction at a time where the Russian military is invading Ukraine and has been committing war crimes including shelling civilians attempting to evacuate combat areas.
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Yeah, it’s hard to take what happens in the real world into account with this series or any series really. Can’t really blame this show for that considering it takes so many years to make this show.
I’m not completely sure about the Zeta Gundam kind of ending for this series because AMAIM feels like a series that has all it’s cards on the table. Maybe a split off from the North American government can happen though. This show only has a limited amount of time to do something and I don’t know if it would pull out off like that so quickly.